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Second fatal bicycle accident in Pittsburgh prompts city response

These blogs are posted on behalf of Seidel, Cohen, Hof & Reid, LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

A second fatal accident on a Penn Avenue, a busy stretch of roadway in downtown Pittsburgh, has inspired authorities to take more drastic measures to try and ensure safety for bicyclists legally traveling through downtown. Each fatal accident occurred within a week of the other. The city publicly recognized that bicyclists have a legal right to travel upon that route, but also want to increase their safety and that of the public.

The first fatal bike accident occurred when a hit-and-run driver allegedly struck a man biking on the side of the road just before the sun rose. While that bicyclist was reportedly the first to die in a Pittsburgh bike accident since June 2010, a second bicyclist died just a week later. Evidently, in that particular incident, the driver involved was driving without a valid driver's license.

One Pennsylvania resident who regularly rides his bike in the area claims that he has been hit three times, with one of those incidents happening on Penn Avenue. Another man says he rides on that particular stretch of road frequently and often comes very close to getting struck. He apparently believes that many drivers in the area are impatient and do not wait for an appropriate amount of time before pulling out into the roadway.

A fatal accident claiming the life of a bicyclist can, understandably, leave family members bereft and wondering what their legal options are. Some decide to research the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim, which can be an appropriate step under Pennsylvania law in certain cases. When a fatality occurs through the negligent or intentional actions of another, a civil claim for damages is permissible. Wrongful death lawsuits can't bring back a lost loved one, but they can help provide financial compensation for those whose deaths leave behind a financial void for dependent children or other relatives.

Source: TribLIVE.com, "Second bike fatal on Penn Avenue spurs city action," Bobby Kerlik, Aug. 1, 2012

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