Erie, PA Bike and Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pennsylvania Bicycle & Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Who Will Fight for You
The health and environmental benefits of walking or biking appeal to many people. However, the choice to do so comes with some risks. Specifically, pedestrians and cyclists are at risk of serious accident and injury while on the road. Although cyclists may wear helmets, they are still potential victims. Of course, walkers usually wear no protective gear at all. People injured in these types of accidents may be eligible for compensation.
Erie, Pennsylvania Law Firm Helps Pedestrian Accident Victims
Lawyers at the Erie, PA firm of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. help clients who were injured while walking or while riding their bikes. We understand the liability issues that are the basis for claims and lawsuits arising from bicycle and pedestrian accidents and work hard to build strong cases for our clients. We seek the maximum compensation possible for their damages and losses.
Examples of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents on Roads in Erie, PA
Our attorneys handle all types of pedestrian and bicycle accident claims. Some of the most common cases involve pedestrians who were injured or killed by:
- motor vehicles while legally crossing the street
- motor vehicles while waiting to cross the street
- vehicles that were backing up
- speeding or impaired drivers
- motorists turning left or right into the path of a bicyclist
- drivers opening doors of parked vehicles into the path of a bicyclist
- motorists failing to yield to a bicyclist or pedestrian
- motorists failing to stop at stop signs and red lights
- motorists sideswiping a bicyclist when passing
These and other bicycle and pedestrian accidents can leave victims with serious head, neck, or spine injuries, broken bones, internal damages, and other life-changing conditions. As attorneys, we always work hard to help accident victims obtain the resources they need to rebuild their lives.
What an Injured Cyclist or Pedestrian Can Expect in a PA Personal Injury Lawsuit
We thoroughly investigate each bicycle or pedestrian accident, sometimes using reconstruction specialists, so that we can know exactly what happened. We consult with life care planners when needed to determine the impact of the accident on your life. Are you able to work? Were your injuries so severe that you need lifetime in-home care? Will you require additional surgeries or intensive physical therapy? When we have answers to questions like these, we can calculate how much your case is worth and start developing strong arguments for compensation.
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may expect to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and other expenses resulting from the accident
- Lost wages, both past and future, if you are unable to work
- Physical therapy
- Long-term care
- Cost of modifying your home or car to accommodate a disability
- Pain and suffering resulting from the accident
Contact Our Erie, PA Attorneys About Your Bicycle Accident
If you have been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Call 814-273-2010 or use our contact form. Our experienced personal injury lawyers welcome the opportunity to discuss your rights and legal options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Claims in Erie, PA
Almost every bicycle and pedestrian accident results in injury to the person not protected by a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are severe if not catastrophic. Many bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Erie result in fatalities.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our injury lawyers know how important it is to get financial compensation for medical bills and even to help you pay your bills while you are recovering. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Western Pennsylvania. Call us today for more specific guidance about your accident.
Bicycles and pedestrians have the right to share the roadways with motor vehicles in Western Pennsylvania. However, they also have a duty to act responsibly. The short answer to this question is that while the driver is often responsible, there are situations where the bicyclist or pedestrian may be at-fault, whether entirely or partially. For example, the driver may claim that the pedestrian or cyclist darted into the street so quickly that they did not have adequate time to stop and prevent the accident. Pedestrians often also have the duty to yield to drivers before crossing in the middle of the road, outside of a crosswalk.
Our lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and evaluate the validity of any defense offered by the driver.
It is true that the driver may obviously be at fault for your accident. But that is no guarantee that you will receive a settlement offer from their insurance company that fully compensates for your injuries. Many victims of bicycle and pedestrian accidents require extensive medical treatment initially and long-term care that can last for years if not permanently. Our lawyers are here to fight for a settlement offer that anticipates all of your future needs, not only your current expenses.
Generally, in Pennsylvania, a pedestrian has the right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections (even if traffic signals are not present). Pedestrians also clearly have the right of way with respect to vehicles when on a sidewalk, such as in situations where a motor vehicle is turning onto or off a driveway or alley. When there is not a sidewalk available, pedestrians have a duty to walk as close to the shoulder as possible.
It depends on the cause of your accident. While bicycles are usually required to ride on the roadways with the flow of traffic, riding against traffic does not automatically mean you cannot recover. If the driver was negligent, that driver may still be at-fault for the accident.
While it depends on the facts of your case, a pedestrian generally has the right-of-way while in the sidewalk. That means that the bicycle must yield, and must also make a sound warning the pedestrian before passing from behind.
You may be found partially to blame if the accident was caused by the fact that the driver could not see your bicycle. Under Pennsylvania law, you are required to have a light and reflectors on your bicycle while riding in the dark. The fact that you violated this law does not automatically means you are unable to recover compensation, however.
In Pennsylvania, when fault is apportioned between multiple parties, it impacts the amount of compensation the injured party is entitled to recover. Therefore, if you are partially to blame, your compensation award will be partially reduced to reflect your degree of fault.
While the amount and extent of your compensation award will vary according to the severity of your injuries, we will work to obtain compensation for the following basic categories of costs:
– Medical expenses,
– Rehabilitative care,
– Long-term care,
– Lost wages,
– Loss of your ability to earn a living in the future,
– Pain and suffering,
– Emotional distress,
– Loss of enjoyment of life,
– Property damage,
– And more.
While car insurance covers expenses even if you are injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, you have options if you do not have your own car insurance policy. Depending upon the circumstances, you may recover compensation from:
– The at-fault driver’s insurance company,
– A car insurance policy maintained by your spouse, parent or relative who lives in the same household.
Although the amount will vary, insurance policies have limits. Pennsylvania drivers are generally required to purchase at least $5,000 in PIP coverage. Many policies have much higher coverage limits. Our lawyers can also help you understand how you may be able to access more than one insurance policy to cover your expenses.
In addition to negotiating for your right to fair compensation, we make sure all of your legal rights are protected. We ensure that all paperwork is filed in a timely manner and that the insurance claims are filed appropriately. We are also here to advocate for your rights in court if necessary. In many cases, the insurance company will take your case much more seriously if you are represented by a reputable lawyer. In fact, studies show that victims represented by lawyers win settlement awards that are an average of three times larger than victims who go it alone.
Schedule Your Free Consultation to Discuss Your Erie, PA Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident Today
If you were injured as a pedestrian or while riding a bicycle, you may be facing an uphill battle in terms of your physical recovery. Our lawyers are here to fight for the compensation you need to help with the financial burden of that recovery. To schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced Erie, PA bicycle and pedestrian accident lawyers, call or contact our office today.