At PHILLY BIKE LAWYER, our experienced trial attorneys get a lot of questions about local ordinances and laws. Give us a call if you have questions (don’t worry, all consultations are free).
Do I have to wear a helmet while riding my bike?
In Pennsylvania, only cyclists under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet. 75 Pa.C.S 3510.
Was I at fault for not wearing a helmet?
Many insurance companies tell bike accident victims that they were "at fault" for not wearing a helmet. In Pennsylvania, however, 75 Pa.C.S 3510(c) bars any theory of negligence based on the fact that a plaintiff, no matter his or her age, was not wearing a helmet while operating a bicycle at the time of an accident. In fact, the Pennsylvania statute precludes the mere fact that the plaintiff was not using a helmet from being admitted into evidence. Our experienced bike accident attorneys will use these laws to maximize your compensation.
Does Pennsylvania have a "safe passing" law?
Yes. 75 Pa.C.S 3303(a)(3) states, "The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a [bicycle] proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the [bicycle] within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed. A driver may be at-fault if his or her vehicle was in this buffer zone at the time of the accident.
My bicycle accident was caused by a pot hole or defect in the street, can I sue the City of Philadelphia or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?
Many bicyclists think the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are immune from lawsuits. While this is generally true, the City and Commonwealth can be sued for injuries caused by potholes or other defects in the street. 42 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 8542, 8255. These are difficult cases to prove. In addition, the injured party has to provide written notice of the accident to the City or Commonwealth within a certain number of days of the occurrence in order to preserve his/her right to file a lawsuit. If your injuries were caused by a pothole or defect in the street, you should consult with the team at PHILLY BIKE LAWYER.
I was hit by a car and don’t have health insurance, will anyone pay my medical bills?
If you were struck by a motor vehicle, your own auto insurance may pay for a portion, if not all, of your medical bills. If you do not have auto insurance, then you may be able to collect from the striking vehicle's policy. In addition, outstanding medical bills are generally recoverable when filing a lawsuit. Let your accident attorney sort things out with the insurance companies. Give us a call. All consultations are free
I collided with a pedestrian/cyclist, is there an insurance company I can file a claim with?
You should consult with the team at PHILLY BIKE LAWYER to determine if there is applicable insurance coverage. Surprisingly, most homeowners' insurance policies will cover accidents between two cyclists or between a cyclist and pedestrian.
I was struck by a hit and run driver. What are my options?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance, then you may be able to collect from your own policy. UM claims, as they are referred to, are difficult to file and harder to prove. Let an accident attorney at assist you.
The insurance company called and they want a statement, what should I do?
What you tell an insurance company can be used as evidence at trial. It’s a good idea to have an attorney present when giving a recorded statement.
Was I at fault for riding my bicycle on the sidewalk in Pennsylvania?
This is a tricky question. 75 Pa.C.S 3508 outlaws riding a bicycle on a sidewalk in a business district in Pennsylvania. However, violation of this statute does not necessarily mean you were at fault. Currently, Pennsylvania Courts have determined that the intent of 75 Pa.C.S 3508 was to protect pedestrians. Therefore, if you were struck by a vehicle while on the sidewalk in a business district then you cannot be negligent per se for violating 75 Pa.C.S 3508. To the contrary, if you collided with a pedestrian while operating a bicycle on the sidewalk in a business then chances are you were negligent per se for violating 75 Pa.C.S 3508. This is something you should consult an accident attorney about.
I have Limited Tort on my auto insurance, how does that affect my bicycle accident claim?
Luckily, bicyclists involved in automobile accidents are permitted to recover both economic and noneconomic damages regardless of their tort election. Moreover, it is immaterial whether the bicyclist elected limited or full tort on his/her auto insurance policy. So long as you were a pedestrian or operating a bicycle at the time of the accident, you are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, unpaid medical bills, lost wages and other economic loss.
I was hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver, can I still recover money?
The first thing you should do is consult an attorney at PHILLY BIKE LAWYER. Our team is trained to find insurance. There may be another liable party, such as a bar or municipality, that has insurance from which you can collect. Our team will also look to see if you are covered by an auto insurance policy, and whether that policy has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). For example, you may be able to collect from a relative's policy if you were living together at the time of the accident. If you were hit by an uninsured driver, the household auto insurance may be obligated to pay the damages. Likewise, the household auto insurance may be obligated to pay a portion of the damages if the driver had inadequate coverage. If there is no other insurance, then you may be entitled to collect money from the Commonwealth. The Assigned Claims Plan (the Plan), 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 1751-1757, provides uninsured motorist benefits to residents of the Commonwealth who meet the eligibility requirements of section 1752. The Plan will pay eligible bicyclists up to $15,000 if they were hit by an uninsured vehicle.
How can I get more information?
You can call PHILLY BIKE LAWYER or use our Contact Page. All consultations are free.
Check out our tips on what to do after a bike accident.
Check out the official Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual.
Check out the United States Department of Transportation's Bicycle Page.
Check out the Federal Highway Administration's Bicycle Safety Page.
Check out the University of Pennsylvania's Bicycle Resources Page.
Check out Temple University's "Bike Temple" page.
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