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Philadelphia Jury Awards Bicyclist $2.4 Million after Van Accident

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A bicyclist won her case after she was severely injured in an accident involving a van.  According to The Legal Intelligencer, Ashley McKean was headed to her apartment when one of the defendants, Marci Shepard, opened her drivers’ side door.  McKean ran into the door and then another defendant, Robert Crawford, hit the rear wheel of her bicycle causing her to fly off her bike.  Crawford then ran over her leg.

McKean was awarded $2.4 million, after incurring about $587,947 in medical bills thus far.  The defendants said Crawford took steps to avoid hitting her and claimed she should have been aware of her surroundings.

Accidents Involving Bicyclists

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 726 pedalcyclists were killed in 2012 and 59,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents.  The three states with the highest fatality rates were California, Florida and Texas.

Bicyclists and other cyclists including riders of nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, two-wheel, and unicycles that use pedals to get around are referred to as “pedalcyclists.”

The NHTSA released Traffic Safety Facts showing:

• Most pedalcyclist fatalities were not in intersections
• About half happened after 4 in the afternoon
• Alcohol was involved in more than a quarter of all fatalities
• Most of the fatalities involved men between the ages of 45 and 54
• Most of the injuries involved males between the ages of 10 and 15

The administration also offers tips to stay safe on the road:

• Bicyclists are required to obey the same rules as drivers when they are on the road
• Wear bright, fluorescent colors to be more visible to drivers
• Drivers need to share the road
• Bicyclists should always wear a properly-fitted helmet

Personal Injury Lawsuits

Even if you take all of the necessary safety precautions, there is no guarantee that you won’t get into an accident on the road.   Make sure that if you are driving you always have your license, auto insurance and registration card available.  It also helps to have your medical card on your person in case you suffer serious injury.