Who Is Liable for My York, PA Bicycle Accident?

Who Is Liable for My York, PA Bicycle Accident?As a bicyclist, you must be aware of the motor vehicle drivers with you on the roadway. They are often in a rush to get to their jobs, classes, or appointments and may feel like bicyclists are in their way and slowing them down. However, just like everyone else on the road, bicyclists have rights.

If a motor vehicle driver strikes you on the roadway, you have the right to hold them accountable for the York bicycle accident. However, you must determine and prove liability.

What are the most common reasons for bicycle accidents in York, PA?

There are many reasons why bicycle accidents happen, such as:

  • The driver failed to properly change lanes.
  • The driver drove while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The driver did not use a turn signal.
  • The driver stopped or pulled over into a bicycle lane.
  • The driver failed to stop at a traffic light or sign.
  • The driver did not turn their headlights on while driving in the dark or inclement weather.
  • The driver tried to pass another vehicle or bicycle.

While motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists can each be solely liable for collisions, it is not uncommon for both parties to share liability for these accidents and injuries. It is important that you hire a York bicycle accident attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in these types of accidents to help you determine who is at fault.

Who is liable for my bicycle accident?

One of the first questions clients frequently ask after being involved in a bicycle accident is “who is liable for my accident?” The answer to this question can be complicated because several parties could be liable, and it typically takes time to investigate and determine fault.  Some potential liable parties might include:

  • The driver who hit you: Much of the time, the motor vehicle driver is liable for a bicycle accident. However, this does not mean that the motor vehicle driver is automatically at fault for your accident. Your attorney must prove that the motor vehicle driver acted negligently and caused your accident and injuries. If you did not follow traffic laws or acted negligently as well, you and the motor vehicle driver could share fault for the accident.
  • The manufacturer of the motor vehicle that hit you: Another potential party that could be liable for your bicycle accident is the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. This typically happens when the driver’s vehicle has a steering issue or brake problem. If this is the case, your attorney will assess the facts and determine whether the accident is the automobile manufacturer’s fault.
  • The manufacturer of your bicycle: Just like motor vehicles, bicycles can also have manufacturing issues. If your bicycle had a problem that resulted in an accident, your lawyer must determine whether the bicycle manufacturer can be held liable for the accident.
  • Multiple motor vehicle drivers involved in the accident: It is not unusual for multiple vehicles to be involved in a bicycle accident. When this happens, your attorney must determine whether all the motor vehicle drivers or only some of them were at fault.
  • The road owner/ government: Sometimes, bicycle accidents occur because a road was not properly maintained because of debris scattered on the roadway, potholes, or visibility issues. If this is the case, your lawyer will evaluate the situation and determine who owns the road and might be held liable.

Five tips to help bicycle riders stay safe

Even though riding a bicycle can be a great form of exercise and an enjoyable pastime, it can also be very dangerous. Many motorists do not respect bicycle riders, meaning bicyclists must look out for themselves and implement good bicycle riding habits. Here are some tips to help keep you safe while riding your bicycle around York and other Pennsylvania cities:

  1. Wear the proper helmet at all times: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the federal standards for bicycle helmets, and you should be safer if you wear a helmet that meets these standards. You also want a helmet that fits properly. This can prevent head injuries like concussions, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries.
  2. Use hand signals: Since your bicycle does not have a turn signal, you must use hand signals to let the cars behind you and around you know that you are making a turn or changing lanes. (Note: you can purchase indicators for bikes, but the jury is out on how effective they are. Better to use hand signals in conjunction with any aftermarket accessories you buy.)
  3. Always follow traffic laws: Bicyclists are required by law to follow traffic laws, meaning that if you are approaching a red light at an intersection, you are required to stop just like motor vehicles.
  4. Wear protective and visible clothing: Before getting on your bicycle, make sure that you are wearing something highly protective and visible, such as padded and reflective clothing, closed-toe shoes, and gloves.
  5. Focus and pay attention the entire ride: Do not text or look at your GPS while on a bicycle ride. Instead, if you need to check your cell phone or location, wait until you have come to a complete stop somewhere safe and away from traffic.

If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, the York, PA bicycle accident lawyers at KBG Injury Law are here to help you. Our team will listen to your story, consider the facts of your case, gather evidence to support your argument, advocate for your rights, and work to secure the compensation you need to rebuild your life. We have represented injured cyclists throughout the York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg areas for nearly four decades. If you need immediate legal assistance, please call our office or submit our contact form today. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations for your convenience.