An alarming number of bicyclists are injured every year in accidents in New York. If you are a bicyclist who has been seriously injured in a recent bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle and you believe your accident was the fault of the vehicle’s driver, contact our Queens bicycle accident attorneys at The Cassisi Law Firm to find out how we can help. We have won millions of dollars in damages for our personal injury clients in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions.
Call 718-441-5050 or contact us online for a free consultation. We are available 24/7.
Bicycling has always been a popular activity for exercise and enjoyment, but many people also use bicycles today to commute to work and school. The attraction of bicycling is not only its health benefits but also its ability to alleviate another stressful aspect of city life: being stuck in traffic. In fact, the benefits of cycling for maneuvering around traffic snarls in the New York Metro Area has spurred a cycling cottage industry; many businesses now use bicycle messengers and delivery personnel for moving packages and documents quickly and efficiently through the city.
But the increased bicycle traffic—especially on congested streets—means that bicycle accidents are bound to occur. Statistics compiled by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles show that, in 2012, there were 6,137 accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles in the state of New York. That is more than the number of motorcycle accidents in that same year. These accidents led to 45 bicyclist fatalities and 5,929 rider injuries—meaning that a scant 3% of bicyclists escaped unscathed from these encounters.
Even though New York City has several well-used and extensive segregated bicycle paths and greenways that connect major areas and neighborhoods (such as the Hudson River Greenway and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway)—and even with increased efforts to provide adequate bicycle lanes and traffic barriers for cyclists—oftentimes, bicyclists must share the road with cars, buses, taxis, and trucks to get where they are going.
And, unfortunately, motorists and bicyclists do not always mesh well in traffic. For the most part, cyclists suffer from their lack of mass, not only in terms of their likelihood of suffering worse effects of any impact but also in terms of their visibility. Many motorists either do not see or fail to watch out for bicyclists.
Not surprisingly, a joint report compiled by four New York City agencies showed that nearly 90% of all bicycle-vehicle collisions occur at intersections.
Common accident scenarios involving cyclists and motorists include:
- Motorists turning left at an intersection into the pathway of an oncoming bicycle
- Motorists turning right at an intersection into the pathway of a cyclist heading in the same direction
- “Doorings,” or when a parked motorist opens his door into the pathway of a cyclist
- Motorists entering a street from a parking lot colliding with an oncoming bicyclist
Unfortunately, because bicyclists have so little protection, they often sustain catastrophic injuries when they are struck by vehicles. Even a bicyclist-bicyclist or bicyclist-pedestrian accident can result in devastating bodily injuries and lasting harm.
Common bicycle accident injuries include:
These injuries require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care, ultimately costing victims hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical bills. In addition to this, victims are often unable to work while they are receiving medical treatment and recovering from their injuries. When a victim’s injuries are permanently disabling, they may be unable to return to work at all. All of this can add immense stress to an already challenging situation.
The good news is that bicycle accident victims who were injured due to someone else’s careless or reckless conduct have the right to take legal action. You could be entitled to full financial compensation for your damages, including your current and future medical expenses, current and future lost wages, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and more.
Cyclists who are injured in accidents caused by careless driving often have a legal remedy. They can sue the motorist for negligence, or a failure to exercise reasonable care on the road. Under New York law, all drivers owe a duty to others on the road to act reasonably while driving. Those who do not, and who injure others in accidents as a result, may be held legally liable.
If an injured bicyclist successfully sues for negligence, he or she may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. This means that the defendant(s) could be liable for quantifiable amounts, such as lost wages and medical bills, as well as less easily measured damages, such as those for pain and suffering. A negligent driver may raise the defense that your own carelessness contributed to the accident, and that you should not be able to recover damages. However, under New York’s comparative negligence doctrine, you can still obtain damages, even if you were partly at fault—your recovery will simply be reduced by your proportion of fault.
An experienced lawyer can help you determine how to approach this potential issue, and also work with you to identify any relevant statutes of limitations so that you file your claim before the legal deadline to do so.
We have extensive experience assisting bicyclists in pursuing negligence claims against drivers who have caused serious injuries. We can help evaluate your potential case and, if it is viable, help you to fight to obtain all the damages to which you may be legally entitled.
Schedule a free consultation today; call 718-441-5050 or contact us online to get started. There are no fees unless we win your case.