Riding a bicycle is one of the healthiest ways to get around, and it’s environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, bikers sharing roads with motor vehicles can be vulnerable to injuries if proper precautions aren’t taken. Bicycle accident injuries can be severe, and often result in long-term ailments including broken bones, ligaments and soft tissues—all of which can put cyclists out of work for long periods of time.
If a bike accident was caused by the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, pedestrian or other third party, filing a lawsuit can result in significant compensation to pay for a victim’s medical costs, lost wages, and other damages.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists can experience one of three accident types: accidents with pedestrians, other cyclists, or motor vehicles. Accidents with the last group are the most dangerous due to the difference between the speed and weight of both vehicles and because bicyclists are much more physically exposed than motor vehicle drivers and passengers.
Motor vehicles are much larger and faster and are more difficult to stop than bikes. Regardless of the cause of an accident, a motor vehicle can easily cause lasting harm or accidental death to a cyclist.
Bike accident injuries are normally inflicted on the cyclist. However, pedestrians can also be injured. Common injuries inflicted on cyclists or pedestrians include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
How Do Bicycle Accidents Occur?
Many bicycle accidents occur due to negligence on the part of either a cyclist or a motor vehicle driver. In most cases, these accidents happen because motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are unaware of (or simply ignore) New York pedestrian and bike laws. For instance, New York law mandates motor vehicles passing a cyclist from behind “…must pass to the left of a bicycle until an adequately safe distance is reached.” These types of laws are not commonly known and practiced.
In other cases, cyclists or motor vehicle drivers may not be paying attention and/or distracted. For instance, a cyclist may momentarily enter a motorist’s blind spot just as they decide to make a turn of some kind. Parked cars cause cyclists problems simply by opening a door as a bike passes by. Cyclists also may not notice flashing turn lights, ride too closely to a motor vehicle that is about to turn, or is in the middle of making a turn.
If a cyclist is ever injured in a bike accident, they may be able to file a bike accident lawsuit provided there is sufficient cause to claim negligence on the part of another driver, cyclist or pedestrian.
Bicycle Accident Frequency in New York State
Bicycle accidents are relatively uncommon compared to motor vehicle accidents. However, these accidents are still prevalent in metropolitan areas—especially in New York City, where biking is a common mode of transportation.
- 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the US in 2018.
- In New York State in 2011, there were 5 collisions involving a bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle at the same time.
- There were also 27 bicycle/motorcycle accidents in 2011.
- Through 2012-2014, there were 36 deaths as a result of motor vehicle/pedal cyclist injuries. Most were males.
- There were 637 hospitalizations – most of these were males aged 20-24.
- There were 3795 emergency department visits, mostly for males aged 15-19.
- In 2018, New York City bicyclists collectively suffered 4304 injuries in accidents involving motor vehicles, as well as 10 deaths.
*These statistics are based on the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA), the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV), and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
Bike accident lawsuits that involve a motor vehicle are fairly similar to car accident lawsuits in New York. If property damage is the only issue, cyclists can file a no-fault insurance claim. This will cover property expenses without requiring payment out of either party’s pockets.
As a “no-fault” state, New York law usually allows a motor vehicle driver’s insurance to pay for a cyclist’s medical expenses, regardless of who is “at fault” for the accident.
If the injury is severe enough, however, victims may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit. What qualifies as “severe” is normally left up to the determination of a court, or if medical expenses exceed $50,000. Injuries commonly decided as severe enough to file a personal injury case include broken bones, permanent disabilities and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
If a cyclist is determined to be partly at fault for causing the accident, the other party may be able to recover damages as well. The court may deduct this total from the damages awarded to the cyclist. For this reason, hiring a bicycle accident lawyer is recommended to prove the negligence of the third party, and in turn maximize compensation for any damages.
Bike Accident Lawsuit Compensation
A cyclist injured in an accident may require many medical procedures and treatments in order to recover fully. Skin damage, broken bones, and deeper trauma may be inflicted depending on the severity of an accident.
Because bike accident injuries can be so severe, medical costs can also be quite high. Pressing a claim for a bike accident lawsuit may be helpful in managing the mounting costs of surgery, pain medication, and physical therapy. Furthermore, many bicycles are either damaged or totally lost as a result of damage incurred during a bike accident. The costs of bicycle repair or replacement may also be factored into a victim’s total settlement amount.
Experienced bike accident attorneys help victims receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Costs for physical therapy
- Pain and suffering damages
- Costs to replace a broken bicycle or to make repairs
- Compensation for lost income
- Compensation for future lost wages in the event of permanent disability
Bicycle accident lawyers in New York can help injured cyclists make the strongest possible case. Their legal assistance can ensure victims get all the damages they need to recover.
Contact New York Bike Accident Attorneys
The Sobo & Sobo team has decades of experience under its belt helping bike accident victims throughout New York get the compensation and justice they deserve. Their attorneys are well-versed in bike accident law. They can help victims press for full compensation to cover the extent of their medical costs, lost wages and other damages.
Contact Sobo & Sobo online or by calling 855-468-7626 and learn how they can help with a bike accident case in a free consultation today.