Bicyclists have long known the perils of sharing the road with motor vehicles, but unfortunately these dangers are being compounded by larger vehicles and more aggressive drivers.
Every year, thousands of bicyclists are killed or injured by drivers who fail to keep a proper lookout and share the road. The New York bicycle accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have helped countless injured bicyclists get the medical attention they need and the compensation they deserve.
Costly Injuries Deserve Ample Compensation
Serious injuries have consequences that affect a victim for years. In addition to the physical and psychological suffering, a victim also faces the financial fallout stemming from the accident. The harm a victim suffers from an accident are considered damages, which represents the amount you’ll seek in a personal injury claim. Damages can include…
- Medical expenses
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lost income (past and future).
When you work with Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ll help you determine how much money you should be seeking in your claim. Some of these costs will be more clear-cut than others, but all are serious and deserve compensation. Non-economic damages, such as pain, suffering and diminished quality of life, are in many ways more impactful on your life than the financial consequences of a crash. We take all your damages seriously, and we’ll fight to make sure you are given the payment you deserve.
What Happens If You Are Struck by a Vehicle While Biking?
If you have been struck by a car while riding a bike, and the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, your medical bills, prescription costs, household services, transportation to medical providers, and lost wages will be paid by the insurance company which covers the vehicle that struck you — to the limits of the policy’s coverage. It’s your responsibility to identify the negligent driver and their insurance company. And you must do this within 30 days from the date of the accident. This means you most certainly need a seasoned bicycle accident lawyer here in NYC to investigate the accident and find this defendant. You may also be entitled to collect additional compensation for pain and suffering if your injuries qualify under the “serious injury” categories established by the New York State Legislature.
The NYC bike accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have years of experience in these types of cases, and we assure you that we will fight to make certain you will receive all of the benefits you are entitled to. The initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing unless we win compensation for you. Call us today so we can begin working on your case.
Cycling in New York
For a number of reasons, bicycling is a popular mode of transportation for many New Yorkers, becoming even more popular in recent years. In any given month, over half a million New Yorkers use their bike for either transportation or recreation. While cycling has been the preferred mode of transportation for many New Yorkers for well over a century, our infrastructure is just now beginning to catch up when it comes to accommodating cyclists. As you can see from the following statistics, there are still a number of bicycle injuries every year in our state.
Common Types of Bicycle Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): These can include one or more of the following
- Concussions: Concussions occur when the brain “collides” with the inside of the skull. Though helmets protect against head injuries, bikers who wear them can still suffer a concussion, but it’s likely to be less serious than if they rode helmetless.
- Contusions: This “bruising” of the brain can mimic symptoms of a concussion, depending on the region of the brain affected .
- Hematomas: Blows to the skull can cause blood clots between the skull and brain or inside the brain itself. They block the supply of blood (and oxygen) to the brain, which can lead to a stroke.
- Spinal Cord Injury: This can result in temporary, partial, or total paralysis below the injury site. The effects of total paralysis to the spinal cord are often permanent. It can take years of rehabilitation to fully recover from non-permanent paralysis.
- Internal Injuries: Organ trauma can affect the chest (heart/lungs) and abdomen (liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, etc.)
- Bone Fractures: vulnerable areas include arms, legs, wrists, elbows, and knees. Traumatic bone fractures usually involve compound fractures where an arm or leg bone pierces skin.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Road rash is a common injury in bicycle accidents. Other soft tissue injuries can include damage to ligaments and cartilage.
FAQs: Bicycle Accidents
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
How much is my case worth?
How will my medical bills get paid?
How can I get my bike fixed?
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
How long will it take to settle my case?
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
Can anyone sue to collect for pain and suffering if they were hit by a car?
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
What Drivers Should Do to Avoid Causing a Bicycle Accident
Drivers have a responsibility to more vulnerable road users like bicyclists and pedestrians. They should follow the rules of the road and the conduct expected of all motorists. Drivers can avoid causing a bicycle accident by…
- Being mindful of the presence of bicyclists
- Giving cyclists ample room when sharing the road
- Never veering into bicycle lanes, even if a cyclist’s presence isn’t detected
- Never opening a vehicle’s door into oncoming traffic
- Always being focused on the task of driving and aware of surroundings.
New York drivers have experience sharing the road with bicyclists, and there’s no excuse for negligent driving that threatens the safety of other road users. When drivers fail to keep others safe, they should be held accountable for the harm they cause.
To reduce the risks you face while cycling in New York, you should always WEAR A HELMET; ride with traffic rather than against it; stay as far to the right side of the road as possible; use hand signals to communicate with drivers; and obey all traffic controls. It is also important to wear bright-colored clothing and to utilize reflectors on your bike to increase your visibility. Never ride on sidewalks. If you choose to wear ear buds, make sure it’s only one because that’s the law, and you need to hear what is going on around you.
Bike Safety in New York City
What Factors Lead to Bicycle Accidents in New York City
Bicycle accidents are often due to careless driving. Because bicyclists are so vulnerable to serious injury when involved in a collision with a larger vehicle, one misstep from a driver can carry devastating consequences for someone on a bicycle. When a driver fails to do their part to keep others safe, they are being negligent.
Driver negligence might stem from…
These are just a few examples of factors that contribute to reckless, negligent driving. As a bicyclist, you might not know exactly why a driver struck you, and it is not on you to find out. By working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney, you can leave that task to your legal representative.
New York Bicycle Crash Statistics
The following information was taken from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for the year 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available:
- In New York, there were 18 bicyclist fatalities in 2016.
- 4,592 bicyclists were injured in New York.
- There were 4,973 crashes which involved bicycles and a motor vehicle.