New York Bicycle Accident Attorneys
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 bike accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC have helped countless injured bicyclists get the medical attention they need and the compensation they deserve.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bike Safety in New York City
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
No. However, the insurance company employs an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts to win the case, so in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to, you will need to hire an attorney that specializes in this type of law. Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements, and we are in the best position to ensure that you get everything you are entitled to.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (or time in which a claim must be brought from the date of the accident) is 3 years for a personal injury claim. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death, it must be brought within 2 years from the date of death. If the claim is being brought against a municipality, the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter depending on who the claim is against, so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Can I bring a claim even if the other driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
Yes. New York law follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which states that an injured party will receive compensation for their injuries in proportion to their percentage of contributing to the accident. For example, if a jury believes that a claimant was 10% at fault, the other driver is responsible to pay 90% of the claimant’s damages.
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
No. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee which states that if you don’t win your case we don’t get paid.
How much is my case worth?
If any attorney tells you that they know how much your case is worth before reviewing all of the documentation, then they are lying or incompetent. However, our legal team has decades of experience and will maximize the value of your case.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different, but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our clients’ cases, generally resolving cases much faster than any other firm.
How will my medical bills get paid?
Your medical bills will be paid by the insurance company for the car that struck you. However, you must file a No Fault application with the insurance company within 30 days from the date of the accident; if you fail to do so, you have waived your right to file the claim for benefits.
Does No Fault pay for anything else?
Yes. No Fault will also pay for lost wages, prescription costs, transportation to medical providers, and reasonable expenses for household services.
How can I get my bike fixed?
You will have to file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, a third-party claim can take significant time to resolve. The insurance company will try to twist your words and use them against you, so we recommend that you contact a legal professional before contacting the insurance company directly.
Can anyone sue to collect for pain and suffering if they were hit by a car?
No. New York follows the rule of No Fault, which states that you can bring a successful claim only if you have sustained a serious injury as defined by the New York State Legislature. This law significantly restricts an individual’s ability to collect money for pain and suffering.
What is the legal definition of a serious injury?
A serious injury has been defined as death; dismemberment; significant disfigurement; fracture; loss of a fetus; permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system; permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member; significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
How will I know if my injuries will be considered serious?
Many of the injuries sustained in bike accident cases become progressively worse with time so it is difficult to determine their severity shortly after the accident. However, the attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC recommend that you retain an attorney immediately so that all filings are completed to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
TOP 5 MISTAKES MADE AFTER A BIKE ACCIDENT IN NEW YORK CITY
- Admitting fault at the scene of the accident before you have all of the facts
- Not filing an accident report with the police
- Assuming you will feel better and not seeking medical attention
- Believing that the Insurance Company will deal with you fairly
- Not hiring an experienced New York City bike accident attorney who will complete all filings to protect your rights and ensure that you will receive the compensation that you deserve
Call Now for a Free Case Evaluation!(212) 563-1900 (NYC) (516) 399-2364 (Nassau County) (347) 758-9011 (Brooklyn) (631) 619-5309 (Suffolk County) (917) 382-9212 (Queens)
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