According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Safety Facts, in 2014, there were 726 deaths in the United States caused by crashes involving bicycles and motor vehicles. This amounts to roughly 2 people every day each year.
That same year, the estimated number of injuries sustained by bicyclists increased to 50,000, from 48,000 in 2013. Additionally, the National Safety Council reported that the total cost of bicyclist death and injury is more than $4 billion every year.
Common Questions about Bicycle Accidents
With so many bicycle accidents occurring every year, it is no surprise that people have a lot of questions about them and how they can receive compensation for their injuries. Here is a look at some of the most common questions on this topic.
Q1: Can I be found at fault in a bicycle accident and still obtain compensation? Can I get compensated for my injuries if I was riding without reflectors at night, not wearing a helmet or riding on the wrong side of the street?
A: Yes, you can be found at fault if your negligence was the cause of the bicycle accident. This is why it is crucial that you follow the bicycle laws in your state. However, having said that, you can still recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. In some states, all traffic laws apply to both bicyclists and automobile drivers.
This means that bicycle riders and drivers have the same responsibilities. Some states allow injured bicyclists who are less than 50% at fault for the accident have the right to recover damages, but the damages will be lowered depending on the percentage of fault. You should consult a lawyer to find out about the laws in your state regarding bicycle accidents.
Q2: Can more than one driver be found liable in a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim?
A: The answer is yes. More than one person can be liable under the comparative negligence doctrine in some states. The percentage of fault of each party is determined by the trier-of-fact. Your percentage of fault will play a role in the reduction of your damages.
Q3: Is it necessary for me to discuss in detail about the bicycle accident details if I am contacted by the insurance company?
A: Legally speaking, you do not have to give the insurance company any information. If your injuries are serious, it may be an astute idea to talk to your attorney before you discuss any details of the accident with the insurance company.
Insurance companies always try to get all the information they can, to help them negotiate a low claim settlement. You should always keep in mind that the insurance company will not look out for your best interests and will often use the information you provide against you.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you should immediately seek the help of the skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. You can discuss the facts of your case with us for free, the first meeting is free. Call us today!