Organization Names Pittsburgh Among Best Cities for Bicycles

People for Bikes has ranked Pittsburgh as one of the top 20 cities in the nation for bicycling in 2020. It takes into account ridership, safety, network, reach, and acceleration of bicycle access when ranking cities every year. Pittsburgh has made great strides in its accessibility for bicycles with the unveiling of its Bike(+) Master Plan, which propelled the city from 170 to the top 20 on the People for Bikes’ list in a single year. With bike access increasing dramatically across the city, more cyclists will be on the road. Unfortunately, that also means that more bicycle accidents are likely. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident in the Pittsburgh area, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us at Disney Law to schedule a free consultation of your case.  

What is the Bike(+) Master Plan?

The Bike(+) Master Plan is the result of five years of planning by the city of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. It lays out a connected network of on-street and off-street access for bicycles and other forms of transportation. This network will include access for small mobility options like motorized scooters, pedal assisted electric bicycles, and skateboards, as well. The Bike(+) Master Plan is part of the city’s overall goal to reduce transportation emissions by half in the next 10 years and meet the city’s climate goals. 

The Bike(+) Master Plan shows access both on and off-street expanding into the northern neighborhoods and into the south side of the city. The city hopes to connect more neighborhoods through this system, as well. There are also plans for future bicycle corridors, such as connecting the Strip District with Lawrenceville, with the city reviewing the plan every two years for the next 10 years. Currently, city officials plan on building out the Bike(+) Master Plan routes in residential areas first before expanding into commercial areas. However, with the expansion of bicycle access on residential and commercial streets, there are bound to be more accidents across the city. 

Bicycle Accidents in Pennsylvania

In 2017, the state of Pennsylvania released their data for bicycle accidents statewide. According to the report, there were 1,141 reported bicycle accidents that year that caused 1,121 injuries and 21 deaths. Bicycle accidents involving a larger vehicle like a car or truck had the most significant potential for injury for the cyclist involved in the crash. SUVs, vans, and light trucks were also noted in the report as contributors to bicyclist injuries in crashes. Over three-quarters of all bicycle accidents that year statewide happened during daylight hours, and over half of all fatal accidents also happened during the day.

The majority of fatalities happened with cyclists between the ages of 45 and 54 years old, indicating that it is not just children getting injured in bicycle accidents. More and more people are utilizing bicycles to get around for work, exercise, and for environmental reasons. Yet despite the increase of bicycles on the road, drivers in larger vehicles still fail to look out for cyclists, which in turn leads to over 1,000 accidents every year in Pennsylvania alone. 

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet and protective gear, the injuries caused by an accident can be severe. This is because a bicycle does not provide the protection of a larger car or truck, and as a result, the cyclist takes the full impact of the crash when an accident occurs. In many cases, bicycle accident injuries require months or years of rehabilitation and sometimes result in permanent disability for the victim. Some of the most common injuries reported in Pittsburgh bicycle accidents includes the following: 

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation injuries
  • Lacerations and road rash
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If you are involved in a bicycle accident it is critical that you seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe that your injuries are minor. Some injuries, like internal bleeding, may not be immediately recognizable without a health care professional’s examination. Seeing a doctor right after a bicycle accident also creates contemporaneous documentation about the extent of your injuries, which can be extremely beneficial for future legal claims. 

Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries

Compensation for bicycle accident injuries in Pennsylvania includes damages for all economic and noneconomic losses stemming from the crash. Economic damages include all out-of-pocket expenses, such as present and future medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages compensate the accident victim for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and for the loss of enjoyment of life.

In the worst bicycle accident cases, where the injuries are ultimately fatal for the cyclist, the family of the deceased can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. While money can never fully replace the loss of a loved one, it can help cover the financial burden of the accident costs. Wrongful death compensation covers all final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of love, guidance, companionship, and support of the victim.

It is important to note that Pennsylvania uses a modified comparative fault rule when determining compensation for bicycle accident injuries and other personal injury claims. This means that the court determines the degree of fault for every party involved in the accident and reduces the overall award by that percentage. If a party is found to be more than 50% at-fault for the accident, they are barred from recovering anything. For example, if a cyclist incurred $100,000 in damages from an accident and is found 25% at fault, the compensation is reduced to $75,000. In the same scenario, if the cyclist is found 60% at fault, they collect nothing. This is why it is important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney represent your case.

Call or Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in the Pittsburgh area, you need an experienced personal injury attorney representing your legal interests during this difficult time. To schedule a free case consultation, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today at Disney Law.