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Can You Claim Compensation for a Bicycle Accident Under Pennsylvania Law?

Posted in Bicycle Injury, Bike Accident on Friday, June 21, 2024.

Personal injuries and property damage often result from bicycle accidents. These constitute compensable damages under Pennsylvania law. However, the circumstances of a particular bike crash dictate whether you can bring a civil action or recover damages.

When you are wondering if you can claim compensation for a bicycle accident under Pennsylvania law, call our law firm. The diligent attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos could review the facts of your bicycle wreck. We have experience advising clients on Pennsylvania’s statutes applicable to bike accidents and guiding them toward potential avenues of compensation for their injuries.

How Traffic Laws and Comparative Negligence Affect Bicycle Crash Claims

In Pennsylvania, vehicles legally refer to all devices in, upon, or by which any person or property can be transported or drawn upon a highway, according to 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 102. Therefore, a bicycle is treated as a vehicle by state law.

Someone operating a bike on roadways is granted all rights and must abide by the duties codified in 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 3501 for these vehicles. If a cyclist’s failure to follow the rules of Chapter 35, Subchapter A causes an accident, the dictates of comparative negligence are triggered.

Although injured bicyclists can bring civil suits against any party sharing in the fault for causing their damages, their conduct may decrease or even bar recovery. The comparative negligence standard employed in Pennsylvania personal injury and property damage claims, found in 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7102, clarifies that people bringing a claim are not necessarily denied the right to seek monetary damages if they are guilty of contributory negligence.

Bicyclists are only barred from recovery if their negligent action contributes to more than 50 percent of the cause that produces the harm. When a bike wreck is a combination of the bicyclist’s negligence and the tortious conduct of one or more defendants, any damages sustained by the injured cyclist will be diminished in proportion to the negligence not exceeding 50% of the overall fault attributable to them.

Compensation Available to Bicyclists

State law does not cap damages in civil actions for personal injury and property damage. Theoretically, injured bicyclists can recover unlimited damages for economic losses, such as medical expenses, and noneconomic harm, like pain and suffering, subject to § 7102’s comparative negligence standard. There is a small caveat to this rule when a cyclist pursues damages from the Commonwealth, per 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 8528.

It is crucial that an individual harmed in a bicycle accident files suit within the statute of limitations period, given 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524, as injured people have two years to institute personal injury and property damage actions. As soon as the bike crash occurs, the statute of limitations interval begins. So, cyclists cannot recover if they file an otherwise meritorious lawsuit more than two years after the accident, giving rise to their injuries in person and/or property.

Our Pennsylvania Attorneys Offer Dedicated Experience to Maximize Your Compensation for a Bicycle Accident

At Soloff & Zervanos, we are committed to getting injured people the remedies they need to heal. Our knowledge and experience in Pennsylvania’s legal standards surrounding personal injury claims, including those involving bicycle crashes, will give you an advantage in receiving sufficient damages by settlement or litigation.

When you are wondering if you can claim compensation for a bicycle accident under Pennsylvania law, speak with one of our experienced lawyers. We would be happy to schedule a consultation at your convenience.