Riding a bike is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to get around. According to the New York Department of Health, there are an average of 36 deaths, 637 hospitalizations, and 3,795 visits to the emergency department each year due to motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists.
Bicycle crashes are often a direct result of careless drivers not respecting the rights of bicyclists to be on the road with them. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Through this type of claim, you can recover financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Schedule your free in-office case review today by calling 212-240-9465 to speak with our bike injury attorneys.
When Can You Sue After an NYC Bike Crash?
Bike accident cases are considered a type of personal injury claim. Generally, you are able to file a lawsuit if you are injured because of something that someone else did – or failed to do. Most cases are based on a theory of negligence, which is a legal term that essentially means carelessness.
To prove that someone was negligent you will need to show four things:
- Duty: the at-fault party (defendant) owed you a duty of care. For example, drivers in NY have a duty to follow traffic laws.
- Breach: the defendant violated this duty in some way, such as by speeding or failure to yield.
- Causation: the defendant’s violation was the proximate or but for cause of your injuries. In other words, if the driver hadn’t breached their duty, you wouldn’t have been hurt.
- Damages: you (plaintiff) suffered losses as a result.
Negligence can happen in any number of ways – like texting and driving/distracted driving or just not paying attention while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Infrastructure issues, such as a lack of separation between bicyclists and motor vehicles
- Impairment by drugs and/or alcohol
- Lack of visibility
In some cases, bicycle crashes happen because of a city or government agency’s failure to adequately design, plan, or maintain a roadway. For example, if a city knows that a lot of people cross a busy street on their bikes in a particular place and that there have been a lot of bike accidents there, they may be held liable if they do not take any steps to protect bicyclists from traffic accidents. In this way, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a town or city even if you were involved in a single-vehicle accident.
You may be approached by an insurance adjuster after a bike accident. They may ask you to make a statement, sign paperwork, or even offer you a settlement. You may even be tempted to take whatever they offer you so that you can move forward with your life.
Remember that insurance companies make millions of dollars a year by paying out as little as possible on claims. The adjuster does not have your best interests at heart. Instead, they will be looking for ways that they can get out of paying you for your injuries.
To protect yourself and your right to full compensation, do not give a statement or sign anything until after you have had a chance to talk to a personal injury law firm. An attorney will advise you of your rights and will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. They’ll put together the strongest possible claim for damages so that you can get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
What Damages Are Available in a New York Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
Any contact between a vehicle and a bike is going to be far worse for the cyclist than for the driver or car passengers. The catastrophic results can be life-threatening, lead to astronomical medical bills, and force you to lose income. When severe injuries occur, you need the best attorney on your side. At Michael J. Redenburg, Esq., P.C., our NYC bicycle accident lawyers stand ready to help you to financial recovery. We have handled thousands of cases before, including hundreds of trial cases. We know what it takes to secure justice for our clients.
Damages in a personal injury lawsuit fall into two main categories: compensatory and non-compensatory damages. Compensatory damages compensate an accident victim for their losses, while punitive damages are meant to punish a person who engaged in intentional or reckless conduct (like drunk driving).
There are two types of compensatory damages – economic and non-economic damages. Generally, economic damages cover specific financial losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, future medical treatment, lost wages and reduced earning capacity. You can usually prove economic damages with things like invoices, medical bills, estimates, and paystubs.
Non-economic damages address intangible losses, like emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. These damages can be harder to prove, but an experienced personal injury attorney will consult with experts and use their knowledge of similar cases to develop a claim for compensation.
Finally, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where a court thinks that a defendant needs to be penalized for their wrongful conduct. Because most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence or carelessness, they are not usually available for bike accidents. However, if the defendant acted egregiously – like driving while under the influence of drugs – then you may be entitled to punitive damages.
Top Reasons to Choose Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers
When it comes to personal injury law firms, we know that you have a lot of choices. It can be hard to know which attorney is best. We believe that our legal team is the top choice for victims of bike accidents in NYC for three main reasons:
- We are a boutique law firm located in Lower Manhattan with more than a decade of experience all our clients receive personalized attention;
- We have recovered millions of dollars for clients in New York over the course of hundreds of successful cases;
- If we don’t win for you, you don’t pay us.
With our law office, you are never just a case number. We understand how difficult the aftermath of an accident can be. We strive to treat each client with compassion and respect, all while working to help you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
You cannot afford to work with an under qualified lawyer, nor can you afford to delay. Act now to make sure all your rights are protected. Backed by proven results and decades of experience, our NY accident attorneys are ready to help you pursue full compensation.
Schedule your free case review today by calling 212-240-9465 to speak with our experienced bike injury attorneys.
What to Do When You are Involved in a Bicycle Accident
When you’ve been injured in a bike accident, you may find yourself at a loss for what to do. In this stressful time, you may not know how to move forward and seek justice for damages and injuries that are not your fault.
The first and most important thing that you should do is to seek medical treatment for your injuries, even if you think that they are minor. Whether you have road rash or internal injuries, it is vital that you get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. Doing so will help you get the right diagnosis and medical treatment, and will also connect your injuries to the accident.
If you are able to do so, you should also gather as much information as possible at the accident scene and ensure that that information is properly documented by all parties involved. Our attorneys can help you understand your options and pursue whatever course of action you choose.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident:
- Be prepared before you begin your ride by ensuring that you have identification, emergency contact information, and writing supplies on-hand
- Wait for the police to arrive and make sure they understand the accident from your perspective – their report will be useful in proving damages and establishing a sequence of events
- Exchange information with others involved in the accident, but don’t negotiate with them or promise not to pursue damages
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses to the accident and for the officers taking your statement and making the report
- Double-check that your account will be included in the official police report
- Create personal documentation of the accident
- Seek medical attention for any injuries, and make sure that serious injuries are documented thoroughly
- Preserve all evidence of the accident – this includes saving clothing without washing it and keeping your broken bike or bike parts
- If you receive a call from the driver’s insurance company, don’t negotiate with them
- Get in touch with an attorney to get valuable advice on dealing with insurers and possibly seeking compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for My New York City Bicycle Accident?
In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 3 years. This rule means that in most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file within that time period, then you won’t be able to bring an insurance claim.
This may seem like a long time, but it can go quickly while you are focusing on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Bike Accident?
Even if you were somewhat to blame for your bike crash, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. New York follows a pure comparative fault model, which means that an accident victims can recover money for their losses if they were 99% or less at fault for the wreck. Your total recovery will then be reduced by the percentage that you were to blame.
Comparative fault cases can be complicated. Our law firm will investigate the facts of the case and work to ensure that you get the most compensation possible.
How Much Is My Bike Accident Case Worth?
The value of any personal injury claim depends on several different factors. One of the biggest questions is how badly you were hurt and whether you will be permanently disabled. A person who suffers a catastrophic injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, will typically recover more money than a person who has a minor injury like a broken bone that will heal within a few months.
Of course, the value of your case can change as the case progresses. The best way to make sure that you get the most possible compensation for your case is to work with a skilled bike accident attorney. Reach out today to schedule a free in-office consultation at 212-240-9465 and see how we can help get the Wheels of Justice Spinning for You!
How Our Bike Accident Attorneys Will Fight for You
With our experience working with legal systems and insurers in the NYC area, we know what it takes to get you the justice you deserve. We can help you seek medical compensation, lost or damaged property consultation, or other damages. We even take no-fault cases to help you claim insurance benefits in incidents where no party is at fault.
If you have been hurt in any type of auto accident as a bicyclist, we are here for you. We’ll fight for you while you focus on your recovery. Reach out today to schedule a free in-office consultation at 212-240-9465 and see how we can help get the Wheels of Justice Spinning for You!