Bicycle collisions with motor vehicles can result in exceedingly dangerous injuries. When you’re on your bike, there’s absolutely nothing but your helmet to protect you from the impact of an accident, so when you head out on your bike, always make riding safely your top priority. If a motorist injures you in a bike accident then drives off, first seek medical attention and then consult an experienced Philadelphia bike accident attorney.
Hit and Run Bike Accidents
Bike accidents are difficult enough, but if you’re injured in a hit and run accident, it’s that much more difficult—and devastating. After all, someone has harmed you and hasn’t exhibited the humanity to stop and help you—and is hiding from the responsibility of compensating you for your injuries. That can prove hard to wrap your thoughts around. These phantom drivers are responsible for vast damages on our roadways every year. In Pennsylvania, your auto insurance policy automatically covers you for accidents caused by uninsured drivers (which is how insurance companies typically classify hit and run drivers).
If a hit and run driver injured you in a bike accident, you need experienced legal counsel. Your rights and your rightful compensation are too important to leave to chance (or to the insurance company’s discretion). At The Levin Law Firm in Philadelphia, we understand how upsetting and difficult these claims are, and we have the experience, dedication, and compassion to fight for your just compensation.
Bike Accidents: The Statistics
When you’re on your bike, you share the road with vehicles many, many times your size, and that puts you at a decided safety disadvantage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published several sobering statistics as they relate to bike accidents:
- Bike trips account for about 1 percent of the trips made in the United States, but bicyclists are at a much greater risk of injury or death in an accident than motorists.
- Bicyclists between the ages of 50 and 59 are most likely die in bike accidents.
- Those between the five and 19 are most likely to suffer injuries in bike accidents. These youths account for more than a third of the bike-related injuries that flow through our emergency rooms.
- Male riders are far more likely to die or sustain injuries in bike accidents than female riders.
- Most bike-related fatalities occur in urban areas—like Philadelphia—and outside of intersections.
- Thirty-seven percent of bike fatalities involve alcohol, and this percentage applies to both the bicyclists and the motorists involved.
Take heed of these startling statistics, and always make arriving alive your primary concern.
Your Hit and Run Claim
If you’re injured in a bike accident that a hit and run driver caused, you know all about the resulting trauma. While you’re likely covered by your car insurance policy in Pennsylvania, this does not mean that you will face an easy claim. Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit by any means possible—and that this includes doing whatever they can get away with to deny claims. Your hit and run case deserves better; consult an experienced Philadelphia bike accident lawyer today.
Bike Laws in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, bicyclists enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as motorists—with certain exceptions:
- It’s your right to ride your bike on the shoulder of the road and in the same direction as the traffic flow, but you aren’t required to do so.
- It’s also your right to ride your bike in the road’s right lane (just like a car does), which means that you may occupy the right-most lane of travel on a multilane road, the right lane on a two-way road, and the right side of a roadway that has no centerline. For your own safety, remember that you’re most visible when you ride in the center of your lane, which is where you should always aim.
- When you’re overtaking another vehicle that’s moving in the same direction, you may move out of your right-most lane. This is also true when you prepare to turn left and when you encounter an obstacle that requires a lane change or a crossing of the centerline—though you must undertake such maneuvers with the utmost care.
- Bicyclists may not ride more than two abreast (two bikes riding side-by-side) unless they travel on a roadway designated for the exclusive use of bicycles.
- As long as they use appropriate caution, both bicyclists and motorists are allowed to react to inoperable or malfunctioning intersection traffic lights as stop conditions (if the lights are red) and as caution conditions (if the lights are yellow or green). Furthermore, traffic lights equipped with embedded detection devices may not recognize bicyclists, and Pennsylvania law recognizes such situations as inoperable traffic lights.
Motorists, meanwhile, have their own responsibilities to cyclists:
- Motorists must maintain at least four feet between themselves and any bicyclists. Furthermore, they must proceed with prudence in such situations. This allocation of distance is the motorist’s responsibility and not the bicyclist’s.
- A motorist can—to avoid excessive delays—overtake a bike in a no–passing zone, but must do so with utmost care and while allowing for the required four feet of clearance.
- They may not leave accident scenes, even—perhaps especially—when they strike bicycles.
If a Hit and Run Driver Left You Injured in a Bike Accident, Consult an Experienced Philadelphia Bike Accident Attorney
Hit and run bike accidents can upset you more than other dangerous bike accidents. If you’re injured in a bike accident that a hit and run driver caused, you need a skilled bike accident attorney. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our experienced bike accident lawyers have the skill, knowledge, and commitment to guide your bike accident claim toward just compensation. Your claim matters, and we’re here to help—so please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.