Fatal Bicycle Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims in Philadelphia

Around the nation, roughly 800 cyclists die each year in accidents with the majority if these in crashes with motor vehicles. In Philadelphia, 250 cyclists get into accidents where there is an injury, and out of those, five accidents are fatal.

In 2016, Philadelphia was named the ninth most bike-friendly city of U.S. big cities which was granted for their increase in designated bike lanes and other pro-cycling measures. These programs seem to be keeping bicyclists safer as there has been a marked increase in cycling in the last decade in Philadelphia metro area, yet the cyclist deaths remain steady.

Causes of Bicycle Deaths in Philadelphia

Bicycle-motor vehicle accidents happen in many ways, and for a cyclist, even a low-impact accident can bring serious injury or death. This is because of the lack of protection of the cyclist and that fact that every collision usually ejects the rider to the pavement increasing the chance of injury. Some of the most common accidents types that lead to death are:

  • Right Hook: This happens when a motor vehicle turns right from one road to another right in the path of a cyclist.
  • Dooring: Dooring is a phenomenon where a cyclist is passing parked or stopped cars and an occupant opens a door into the path of the cyclist.
  • Tunneling: Cyclist carry a low profile, and many motorists simple aren’t programmed to look out for them when they scan the roads while they drive. Many times, a motorist will look right at a cyclist and not “see” them and turn in their path.

Wrongful Death Actions

When these deaths do occur, the family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death case against the at-fault driver. To prevail in a wrongful death claim, the family member must show that the driver was negligent in his or her conduct, and it caused the death of the cyclist.

Once the claims are proven, the court will award certain damages to the family members. Some of these related to cyclists are:

  • Medical bills before death
  • Loss of income that would have been provided to survivors
  • Psychological pain and suffering of the survivors from the loss
  • Loss of companionship, guidance and consortium
  • Funeral and burial costs

Contact a Cyclist Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Time may be of the essence, so talk to an attorney right away. This doesn’t mean you have to hire an attorney, but it will give you information you can use to make an informed decision. The consultation is free.

The attorneys at the Pearce Law Firm, P.C., are experienced in bicycle-motor vehicle crashes and wrongful death claims.