What Happens When A Bicycle Hits A Person?
Pedestrian accidents in New York don’t always involve motor vehicles. They can also occur because of a negligent cyclist crashing into a pedestrian. Suing a bicyclist for financial compensation can be more complicated than filing a personal injury lawsuit in a motor vehicle collision.
Unfortunately, many bicyclists in New York City flout the rules of the road. Every year a large number of pedestrians report injuries after they were hit by a bicycle. Pedestrians are also required to follow the rules of the road, which will mean you need a diligent New York pedestrian accident attorney to successfully pursue a claim for damages.
A Bike Rider’s Responsibilities in New York
Bicycles are treated the same as motor vehicles under New York law. This is why cyclists are required to follow the same rules and responsibilities as vehicles. Bike riders are required to:
- Use the designated bike lane while riding on the road. They are not supposed to use the sidewalk or the crosswalk.
- Cyclists are required by law to use hand signals while stopping or turning
- They should stop at stop signs and red lights
- Bicyclists need to obey all traffic signals
- Cyclists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians as well
- Bicyclists are responsible for the traffic accidents and subsequent injuries they cause
Steps to Take Following Pedestrian Bicycle Accident
Pedestrians can report their accident to the emergency services and police because cycles are treated the same way as cars legally. You should get emergency medical treatment if you were injured seriously when you got hit by a cyclist. You should not hesitate in calling 911 if you were hit by a cyclist and suffered severe injuries.
You should try to get the cyclist’s contact information. Ask witnesses for their name and phone number as well. The bicycle rider may ultimately be held legally responsible for the injuries caused. You may need to take them to court. In any case, you should stay in touch with them. You will need to know their name, address, and phone number. This will be required by your attorneys as well to get in touch with the cyclist.
Witnesses are useful since they can testify in court. You can negotiate better with the insurance companies when you know you have other people corroborating the same turn of events. Police can gather this information for you if you were knocked unconscious or are incapacitated due to the accident.
You should know that cyclists don’t necessarily have insurance for covering accidents, unlike car drivers. In relation to this, the cyclist could be working for someone when the accident occurred. For instance, you may be hit by a bicycle courier, delivery person, or a cyclist riding as part of their job. You can sue the employer in such instances. You need to obtain the contact information for the employer, whether it is a parcel delivery service, food delivery service, or restaurant.
Make sure you seek medical treatment for all your injuries, even if they don’t appear that serious. It is important to maintain a record of your injuries and medical care to prove their severity and how your recovery progressed. It also helps in proving how much the injuries cost you monetarily. You should consider maintaining notes of your injuries, treatment, recovery and pain.
Assigning Fault in a New York Bicycle Injury Lawsuit
Everybody owes each other a duty of care while on the road. This includes both pedestrians and cyclists. New York is a no-fault state. Furthermore, you should still have enough evidence for suing the cyclist if they don’t have no-fault coverage. New York is also a comparative negligence state, in which more than one entity can be held liable for contributing to a collision.
If a cyclist caused an accident in which they were riding recklessly, they will be held as at-fault. Likewise, if the pedestrian caused an accident because of jaywalking, they will not be able to receive full compensation for covering the damages. You should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before you take any concrete steps. A skilled attorney will be able to help identify all responsible parties and place blame where deserved.
Bicyclists are required to stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians as per New York City traffic laws. This is especially important for crosswalks. They are required to obey all traffic lights and signs. Cyclists must use bike lanes wherever available. Most cyclist/pedestrian collisions take place in city parks. Hundreds of miles of cycling lanes were added to these parks in recent years.
Unfortunately, many cyclists choose not to use the lanes. They also go faster as compared to city streets, making the collision results even more catastrophic. Assigning fault following a bike crash is more complex as compared to a car crash. Insurance companies generally compare the parties’ duty of care for assigning fault.
As per the duty of care doctrine, you are responsible if you indulged in acts and activities that potentially harmed another person. Pedestrians and cyclists are both required to exercise proper safety precautions for preventing the crashes. Accidents usually occur when someone violates their duty of care.
Suing Cyclists in New York as an Injured Pedestrian
Your only chance at recovering compensation for injuries may be to sue the bicyclist in court since insurance carriers don’t typically cover cyclists. Personal injury lawsuits can help you recover compensation. These are filed when another person is liable for the injuries caused to the victim because of negligence.
Negligence can be described as the failure to use proper skill or care when performing a task. Negligence is a legal theory while filing a lawsuit. It allows the victim to recover compensation for the injuries and damages suffered. You would need to prove the following to establish negligence:
- Duty of care was owed by the cyclist. For instance, the cyclist owed a duty of care to follow the road rules and drive with proper skill and care.
- The duty of care was breached by the cyclist. For instance, they may be riding recklessly, in violation of traffic laws, or too fast for safety.
- The breach resulted in injuries.
- The injuries suffered by you can be compensated through financial compensation.
There is no denying the fact that cyclists crashing into pedestrians is not as common as vehicular accidents. With that said, witnesses and police rarely ever consider these collisions as serious as car crashes. Courts tend to take all matters of injuries seriously. This is particularly true in the case of severe injuries, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
You should consider speaking with a proven personal injury attorney in New York to discuss your case and identify whether you have a potential suit.
Common Pedestrian Injuries in a Crash with a Bicycle
Cyclists may not go as fast as cars, but they can cause serious damage if they crash into a pedestrian. Accidents and injuries can take several forms, especially if the rider was going at unsafe speeds. These are a few common types of injuries from pedestrian/cyclist crashes:
- Fractures in all body parts
- Severe bruising
- Internal and external bleeding
- Head injuries
- Spinal damage
- Broken collar bone
Everyone has a duty to keep their fellow roadway users safe. It is the responsibility of both pedestrians and cyclists to remain aware of their surroundings and behave in a safe manner. It’s fundamental that the injured discuss their lawsuit with a practiced pedestrian attorney when involved in a crash.
Recoverable Damages after Your Pedestrian Accident with Bicyclist in New York City
These are a few types of compensation or damages that can be recovered following a pedestrian accident:
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medical expenses (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Future lost income
- Pain and suffering
Family members of a pedestrian that died because of the injuries can file a wrongful death lawsuit as well. However, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
What to do if the Bicyclist Doesn’t Have Bike Insurance?
Insurance is not mandatory for bicyclists as it is for cars, buses and motorcycles. Many victims think they cannot recover damages if the cyclist doesn’t have insurance. Correlating with this, you can always claim from an umbrella or home insurance. You can file a lawsuit against the cyclist to claim compensation through wage garnishment as well.
If the cyclist hit you while riding for their employer, you can claim compensation from the employer. This can be a food delivery service, parcel delivery service, or any other service. There is not much you can do if the cyclist hits you and flees the accident scene. You should speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney if this happens with you.
The attorney may have a team of investigators for locating eyewitnesses and the perpetrator. They would be able to seek insurance information for helping the victim obtain the compensation they deserve.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New York City Today
You should consult with a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP if you or a loved one was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident because of a reckless or negligent cyclist. We can discuss your best legal options after reviewing your claim during a free initial consultation. To schedule your free and confidential consultation with our dedicated attorneys, give us a call at 1-800-660-2264.