faq bicycle accidents

Apart from being a fun hobby and a great exercise, riding is also a medium of daily commute for many New York bicyclists. There will surely be many bicycle aficionados on the New York City streets with the onset of summer, as more bicycle enthusiasts head outside to enjoy the warmer weather. Unfortunately, more bicycle riders on the road mean more accidents involving cyclists, resulting in more injuries.

For the victim of a bicycle accident healing from injuries, trying to understand the insurance and legal intricacies can be confusing and frustrating. This is more so when you are also worried about your medical bills, and your loss of earnings.

Seeking legal counsel from an experienced NYC bicycle accident lawyer is critical in protecting your legal rights and securing full and fair compensation for your injuries in a bicycle accident. Let us discuss some of the commonly asked questions in such situations, that you might need answers to.

Can My Bicycle Be Insured?

Mostly your regular homeowner policy can cover your bicycle theft or damages. You can also consider an additional bicycle insurance policy if you have any fancy, high-priced equipment installed on your bike. These policies, though, may not cover you for any personal injuries sustained in an accident with another rider, or a motor vehicle. Talk to an accomplished New York personal injury lawyer to know the damages your bicycle insurance will help cover in case of an accident.

Am I Required to Wear a Helmet When Bicycling In New York?

In New York, the law allows adults riding a bicycle to do so without a helmet. However, the law requires adults who may be working cyclists to wear a helmet. We recommend all bicyclists to wear approved bike helmets as a prudent safety precaution.

Bicyclists below 14 years of age must wear safety-certified bike helmets. As a parent or guardian, you may be subject to a $50 fine if your child violates the helmet law.

What Do I Need to Do Immediately After a Bicycle Accident?

If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, the first thing you need to do is to call 911 and ask for medical attention for injuries to yourself or anyone else involved in the accident. Once you are sure of your safety, try to take as many photographs of the accident scene, your bicycle, the other vehicle, and anything that you deem relevant as evidence later.

Talk to witnesses at the accident scene and gather their contact information, as also the insurance details of other parties in the accident. Be sure to note down as much information as you can, about the accident and your injuries.

Wait at the crash scene until the arrival of medical assistance and police. Accept any medical attention at the scene and allow the paramedics to take you to the ER if they recommend that you need to do so.

Answer all police queries and ensure that they file a report. Share the eye-witness contact information with the police if the witnesses are no longer at the scene of the crash. Gather the contact information of the police officer and their precinct, to collect a copy of the report later.

Under no circumstances should you discuss the accident or admit fault to anyone. Remember that anything said by you in the immediate aftermath of the crash could impact your case with the insurer or court of law.

Is it Prudent for Me to Talk to the Insurance Adjuster?

It’s fundamental for you to first consult a reliable and outstanding attorney as soon as you can after your bicycle accident. Do not interact with an insurance adjuster, as their main aim is to gather the information that they can use to deny your claim or minimize the insurer’s payout.

It is possible that you yourself may not be aware of the nature and extent of your injuries at the outset. Speaking with the insurance adjuster or sharing any information regarding the crash or your injuries could work against you. Speaking to a competent bicycle accident attorney in New York City can help safeguard your rights. Let your attorney interact with the insurer on your behalf to avoid compromising your interests and jeopardizing your claim.

What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?

You might be able to secure some compensation even if it is established that your bicycle accident was not just due to the other party’s fault, and you were partly to blame. In a case along these lines, the percentage of your fault becomes a factor in calculating your monetary compensation amount. For example, if your monetary compensation is $100,000, and the court determines your share of fault to be 20%, you may still stand to recover $80,000. 

What If I Am a Victim of a Hit-and-Run When Riding a Bicycle?

The first thing you should do is to call 911. Give the police as much information as you can, relating to the hit-and-run vehicle, its driver, and the location of the accident. Noting down the license plate number of the vehicle can prove critical as it can help the authorities to track down the absconding driver.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) liability coverage from your insurance company can come to your aid for paying bills, in case the police are unable to identify or locate the other driver. Take the help of an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.

What Are the Common Injuries in a Bike-Car Accident?

Typically, any accident involving a bicycle and a bigger motor vehicle can have catastrophic results for the bicyclist. The most common type of injuries and the resultant personal injury claims in a car-bicycle accident involve:

  • Injuries resulting from being struck by a car wing mirror, where the car was too close to the bike line
  • Injuries resulting from dooring, where a stationary car suddenly opens the door in a bike lane
  • Injuries resulting from a cyclist being forced to brake hard, ending up being thrown over the handlebars
  • Injuries resulting from crashes with other cyclists caused by a motor vehicle

How Much Monetary Compensation Can I Recover If My Bicycle Is Hit by a Car?

Hire an accomplished New York bicycle accident lawyer if you are a victim of an accident involving a car while riding your bicycle. An experienced lawyer can help you ascertain the monetary compensation you can rightfully recover.

Settlement or compensation amount depends on a lot of factors, including the circumstances of the accident, the evidence against the other party, and the extent of your injuries. Your lawyer must consider the following factors while assessing your claim:

  • Expenses on your medical treatment
  • Expenses on your medical bills in the future
  • Your loss of income
  • The estimated monetary value for your pain and suffering
  • The estimated monetary value of your loss of enjoyment in life

How Do I Determine If My Bicycle Accident Is a Civil or Criminal Case?

Your bicycle accident compensation claim will be argued in civil court if your attorney feels the need to file a lawsuit. However, in case of violation of the law by the other party, evidence from the criminal case brought against them may be useful for your civil court case.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Injury Cases in New York?

Statute of limitations for New York personal injury compensation claims stipulate a maximum time for filing a lawsuit. This time limit may vary depending upon the specific facts of your case. The injured party also needs to serve notice of claim within the first 90 days.

For your bicycle accident, you must file a lawsuit within a year and 90 days from the date of the accident. In case the victim of a bicycle accident is a minor, the statute of limitations applies only after they turn 18.

Do I Need to File a Lawsuit in My Bicycle Accident Case?

You may or may not need to take your compensation claim to trial. Most bicycle accident claims settle with the aid of negotiations between your personal injury attorney and the other party’s insurance company. You will need to rely on an experienced and skillful bicycle accident litigation lawyer to find an effective way to settle your case that helps you in maximizing your claim.

Discuss Your Personal Injury Case with a New York Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle accidents can potentially cause catastrophic injuries and can even prove fatal in some instances. These injuries can play havoc with the physical, financial, and emotional well-being of an accident victim with years of medical bills, pain and suffering, and financial trauma.

If you or a loved one are a victim of a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve full and fair compensation for your personal injuries and other damages. Our skillful and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff are ready to fight for the protection of your rights and help you get the compensation and settlement you deserve.

We can help you with a wide range of issues that may crop up in a serious bicycle accident, such as, negotiations with insurance company adjusters, helping you get suitable medical care, and fighting your case in court if necessary.  Call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.

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