New York City can be a dangerous place for bicyclists! In a city where biking is not just recreation, but an actively used form of transportation, safety is very important. When an accident does happen and a cyclist is injured or killed by a motor vehicle in the city, you need an experienced and compassionate bicycle accident lawyer.
According to the NYC Department of Transportation, in 2015 there were 53,987 injuries from bicycle accidents and 234 fatalities. This number covers all five boroughs and includes crashes involving bikes with motor vehicles, pedestrians, other bikes, and single-bike accidents. This is a very high number of injuries and deaths from accidents involving a bicycle!
If you, or someone you know, has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you should contact the top New York bicycle accident lawyers at The Ashley Law Firm immediately, because we know what to do to help you and how to help.
Bike lawyers are also personal injury lawyers, and we protect you and your rights, and make sure you receive compensation for damages. In these claims, “damages” refers to the specific amount of money that is awarded to a plaintiff who has suffered direct and indirect physical harm and injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. In the legal field, negligence specifically means a person’s failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another.
What Do You Do Right After a Bike Accident?
When you are involved in an accident, your first thought may be to get medical help or to run away, but there are certain things you must do in order to make sure you have as much information as possible in case of a lawsuit. A bike accident lawyer will also help you obtain this information.
Here are some important things to do when you have been injured in a cycling accident:
- Call the police and report the accident
- After police arrive, make sure to give a full report, and ask for a copy of the report
- Get the other party’s contact information and insurance information
- Do not admit any fault and do not negotiate with the other motorist
- Take pictures of the accident scene
- Take pictures of all of your injuries
- Get contact information from any witnesses
- Seek medical attention for your injuries
- Ask for a copy of your medical records
- Make sure you attend all follow up medical appointments and therapies you need
- Report the incident to your own insurance company
- Do not admit fault and do not negotiate with yours or the other motorist’s’ insurance company.
- Contact a bike accident attorney, a specialized personal injury lawyer.
A specialized bicycle accident attorney will help you to understand your rights and help you navigate the legal system to determine if you have enough to make a claim within the statute of limitations, and help you get everything you deserve.
Some of the most common types of injuries in bicycle accidents:
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Road rash
- Sprains, twists, and dislocations
- Brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
Common Causes of Bike Accident injuries in NYC:
- Being struck by a car, truck, bus, taxi, or other vehicle
- Doored by a car or NYC Taxi
- Pothole, street plate, manhole cover, or other hardware defects
- Blocked or obstructed bike lane
- Debris in the roadway or bike lane, either natural or unnatural
- Injured while on a bikeshare bicycle or as a result of a bikeshare bicycle defect
- Injured while working as a bike messenger
- Injured while working as a delivery person
In a personal injury claim, you are looking for damages. Specifically, damages resulting from bicycle accidents are things such as medical bills, lost wages from being out of work, disfigurement and scarring, pain and suffering, and any other out of pocket expenses. These damages would cover any surgeries, recovery and rehabilitation, and physical therapies you require, as well as property damage you’ve sustained.
You may not know who exactly can be sued after you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident. The most common claim is against the at fault driver who hit you, and you may choose to file a claim against the bike company and manufacturer for negligent design or manufacturing defects. You may also end up needing to file a claim as to negligent maintenance of the vehicle that struck you, or even against the city or government agency responsible for the design and maintenance of the path, trail, or roadway you were biking on.
It is important for you to watch out for hazards and take bicycle safety very seriously. Here are a few ways you can stay safe and prevent bicycle accidents:
- Follow all bicycle-specific and traffic laws. Here are a few bike-specific laws in NYC:
- Unless otherwise stated, bikes cannot be on sidewalks (excludes riders younger than 12)
- Cannot ride bikes in NYC parks, but they can be pushed/walked
- Riders cannot wear more than one earphone attached to any device
- If you are in an accident, you must provide contact information and report to the police (just like in an auto accident)
- Children under the age of 14 MUST wear a helmet
- Be aware of parked cars, stay alert and aware throughout your ride
- Know your route and stay very alert for any roadway defects or debris
- Make yourself visible and able to be heard by wearing or having reflectors and having a bell or speaking out loud as you come up near pedestrians, other riders, and even cars
- Signal to other drivers when you are turning by using hand signals
- Wear a helmet!! While this won’t prevent an accident from happening, helmets have been proven time and time again to reduce or prevent head injuries in the case of an accident
Here are two recent cases that The Ashley Law Firm has won for our clients who had been injured in a bike accident:
- Our client was riding their bicycle north on 1st Avenue when a vehicle passenger opened up their car door and hit our client. Being doored cause our client to be rushed to the hospital and resulted in a partial tear of his rotator cuff, as well as a non-displaced shoulder fracture. Our lawyers settled the case at jury selection, to cover his medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Our client, a young woman, was riding her bicycle home after work. There had recently been construction and roadwork done, and part of the road had been repaved. A gas cap was left almost 8 inches below the surface of the road, and out client’s front tire hit and went into the hole. She flew over the handlebars and had to be taken to the emergency room. She sustained a displaced broken clavicle that required surgery! We helped her make a claim against the gas company, who had failed to put a new gas cap on the road. We settled the case in our clients’ favor.
The Ashley Law Firm is a top New York bicycle accident injury law firm. Our experienced lawyers will advise you of your legal rights if you are the injured party, or if a family member was injured, or even killed, in an accident, and will advise you on such issues a no-fault insurance and more. The Ashley Law Firm pledges to provide you with excellent representation if legal action needs to be taken against the motorist, and any other negligent party, who caused your accident. Call us now to get a free consultation with a bike accident attorney.