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Fatal Philadelphia crash highlights the risks bicyclists face

a blue mountain bike lying in a crosswalk with pieces of debris

Bicycles are popular in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, but cars and bicycles don’t always share the road well. Bicyclists are at risk on city streets and have very little protection in a crash with cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles. It only takes one negligent or inattentive driver to cause a bicycle accident that results in serious and sometimes fatal injuries to the cyclist.

Recently, a bicyclist was crossing Broad Street on Lehigh Avenue. Police say a car traveling north struck the bicyclist, who was traveling westbound. The collision sent the bicyclist to the southbound lane of Broad Street, where he was then hit by an SUV.

The Philadelphia Fire Department Medic Unit responded and brought the cyclist to Temple University Hospital, but the 29-year-old man was pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. Police say the accident is being investigated and that no arrests have been made.

Sadly, bicycle accidents involving severe and fatal injuries are fairly common in Philadelphia. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 19 people were killed in the city and 64 seriously injured in crashes involving at least one cyclist between 2014-2018.

Here's what cyclists in the Philadelphia area should know.

Why do bicycle crashes happen?

The exact cause of the Broad Street accident remains unknown, but examining other accidents reveals that negligent driving leads to bicycle crashes everywhere. Drivers involved in these accidents often say that they didn’t see the bicyclist. That's not a good excuse. If you're riding your bike and you get hit by a car, negligence is usually a factor.

The at-fault driver may have been:

  • Distracted – Examples of activities that take a driver’s attention away from the road include talking to passengers, talking on the phone, and using a GPS.
  • Texting – This is another example of distraction. Texting while driving is against the law in Pennsylvania, but there are drivers who don’t follow this law.
  • Speeding – Drivers who exceed posted speed limits put others at risk and are often not able to stop in time to prevent a collision with a cyclist.
  • Driving recklessly – Examples include running red lights, failing to yield, tailgating, and aggressively changing lanes to pass other cars.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – Use of these substances can impair judgment, slow reaction time, and cause drowsiness.

Our bicycle accident lawyers fight for injured cyclists

If you get hit by a car while riding a bicycle, your life can change in seconds. You could suffer a serious injury, such as a broken bone, head injury, concussion, neck injury, or spinal cord damage. As a result, you may need hospitalization or surgery. Your medical treatment might involve prescription medication, physical therapy, or home health care.

Your medical expenses after a bicycle crash can add up quickly and become overwhelming. You may not be able to work and experience a loss of income. Recovering fair financial compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company can be complicated. Negligent drivers often deny responsibility, and insurance companies have a vested interest in finding ways to pay you as little as possible.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a bicycle accident due to negligence, it’s important to talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and options. At Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C., our attorneys know how to build strong cases and fight insurance companies to get the results our clients need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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