Can I Still File a Personal Injury Claim if I Was Injured on a Bicycle Without Wearing a Helmet?
Pennsylvania is one of many states that have embraced the widespread use of bicycles. There are many benefits of riding a bike, from cleaning up the environment to providing you with a healthy source of exercise. Unfortunately, those who ride bikes don’t always end up with a clean bill of health. As the Keystone State attempts to integrate more bicycles into its roads and streets, accidents are inevitable. Cyclists are especially vulnerable on the road because they’re not as well protected as cars. They may also be less visible to drivers.
If you have been injured while riding a bike in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering whether you can file a personal injury claim. You may have been told that you can’t file a claim if you weren’t wearing a bike helmet. Alternatively, you may feel that you were to blame for your own injuries due to a mistake or lapse in concentration. Whatever you do, don’t give up on a personal injury claim until you have spoken with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania. These legal professionals can help you move forward and they will fight for your right to receive adequate compensation for your injuries.
Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that even if you were partly responsible for your own injuries, you can receive compensation for your injuries through a personal injury claim. The only catch is that you cannot be more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you will be unable to file a claim.
How Does Helmet Use Impact Comparative Negligence?
While helmet use may be a factor in determining negligence, it is unlikely that this factor alone will make you ineligible to file a personal injury claim. This is because Pennsylvania’s official laws state that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is only recommended. It is not enforced by law, as is the case with many other states throughout America. That being said, helmet use is mandatory for riders under the age of 12. Because helmet use is not mandated for adults in the Keystone State, the defendant can hardly use this as a sign that you are negligent for your own injuries. After all, you were following the laws set forth by the state.
Other Factors that May Impact Negligence
While you can legally ride a bike without a helmet in Pennsylvania, there are other laws that you might want to keep in mind:
- If riding between sunset and dawn, you must legally equip your bike with a front lamp, rear reflectors, and side reflectors that are visible from at least 500 feet away
- You must have working brakes that allow you to stop within 15 feet while traveling at 15 mph
- In certain municipalities, your bike must be equipped with a bell
- You can only ride two abreast with another cyclist if you’re on a road
- You cannot ride on the sidewalk in a business district when a bike lane is available. When riding on the sidewalk, pedestrians always have the right of way
- You cannot ride your bike on a freeway
- You must dismount and walk if you want to legally move across a crosswalk
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching for an experienced, skilled Northeastern Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who can help you with your personal injury claim, look no further than Needle Law Firm. Whether or not you were wearing a helmet is beside the point. If someone else’s negligence led to your injury, you have every right to pursue a personal injury claim. Connect with our firm today, and we can help you along every step of the way.