Bikeshare programs are welcome additions cities and provide people with another option for commuting throughout their city. As bike share programs become popular, issues regarding liability for bike accidents will become more prevalent as well. A bike-share accident can be caused by a manufacturing issue with the bicycle or a collision with another vehicle. If you or a family member was injured while riding a bike share bicycle, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer today. The lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm can help you determine who is liable for injuries you suffered while using a bike share bicycle. Our lawyers are here to explain whether you can sue if you are in a bike share accident while riding in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Bicycle Laws
Philadelphia’s bikeshare program opens up another form of transportation for many people who previously may not have used bicycles for transportation. Therefore, it is important that newer bicyclists are aware of Pennsylvania’s bike laws.
In Pennsylvania, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Therefore, motorists and cyclists must follow many of the same traffic laws. For example, bicyclists are not permitted to ride their bikes against oncoming traffic. Pennsylvania also has laws that are tailored specifically for bicyclists and their safety. For example, a bicyclist can only ride on the sidewalk in areas of the city that are not densely populated with pedestrians and must use a bike or helmet light at night.
To ensure that you are not deemed responsible for causing your own bike accident, you should be aware of Pennsylvania’s biking laws. It will be difficult to recover compensation for your injuries if the defendant can show you violated laws designed for your safety and the safety of other motorists. If you wish to know more about Pennsylvania bike laws, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia bike injury lawyer.
Who is Liable if You Are Injured Riding a Bikeshare Bicycle?
Indego, Philadelphia’s bikeshare program, offers over a thousand bikes throughout the city of Philadelphia. With thousands of bikes available to cyclists, it is more than reasonably likely that some people will be involved in an accident on these bikes. The type of accident you are involved in will dictate who can be liable for your injuries and how you can pursue compensation for your injuries.
Many bicycle accidents occur because a bicyclist was forced off the road by an aggressive and negligent driver. In some cases, the aggressive motorist may not stop their vehicle to check on the well-being of the cyclist after running them off the road. An incident like this should be reported to law enforcement immediately because it may qualify as a hit and run scenario. However, if law enforcement is unable to find the negligent driver who caused the crash, your auto insurance may cover the costs of your injuries even though you were riding a bike. It is important to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to avoid a scenario like this.
If you do not own a vehicle and therefore do not possess auto insurance, it may still be possible to have your injuries covered. If you live with a close relative (parent, sibling, possibly cousins) and were injured riding a bikeshare bike, you may be able to receive coverage from their auto insurance.
If you were in an accident with a motorist, you might also be able to file a car accident lawsuit against that person. Bike and vehicle collisions can leave you with many serious injuries, like a traumatic brain injury or even a spinal injury. Therefore, it is important to pursue a claim against the negligent driver. Be sure to ask the driver who hit for you various forms of information you will need to file your claim. This information should include the motorist’s driver’s license information, insurance information, registration info, license plate number, address, and contact info. If you can, take photographs of your injuries and any damage to the bike and the vehicle. The police should also be called to the scene to provide you with a police report to bolster your claim.
The agreement you made with Indego or another bikeshare program may determine whether they can be held liable for your injuries as well. However, even if these agreements appear to be airtight, a court of law may find that you still have a valid claim against a bikeshare itself program for your injuries, especially if they were caused by dangerous or malfunctioning equipment like faulty brakes or a loose wheel.
Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You File Your Bike Accident Case
If you or a family member was injured while using a bikeshare bicycle, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney. At The Reiff Law Firm, our dedicated attorneys will work with you to build your bike accident case. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (215) 709-6940, or reach us online.