Personal and bodily injuries involving motor vehicle accidents are serious enough for any victim to handle; however, when it comes to motor vehicle accidents that involve bicyclists, in which the bike rider is the victim, such injuries are even more serious and often have a more devastating effect on the victim. With more and more people using bicycles every year due to environmental and health reasons, it is important to understand more about bicycle and bike accidents, and the rights and options available to its victims.
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In this article, we shall be addressing the following:
- How Do Bike Accidents Happen?
- What Are the Types of Bike Accidents?
- What Are the Most Common Bicycle Injuries?
- Determining Negligence in a Bike Accident
- Damages to Which You Might Be Entitled to After a Bicycle Crash
- What to Do When Getting Hit by a Car On a Bike
- How Do I File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
- The Role of a Bicycle Accident Lawyer When Helping to Negotiate Settlement Amounts
- BONUS: NYC Bicycle Laws
- How a Bike Accident Attorney Can Help?
How Do Bike Accidents Happen?
If a person is injured in a bicycle car accident, in which a bicycle crashes into a car, there is an automatic presumption that the cyclist is the one to blame. This is because people who ride bikes are thought to be reckless and wild, while the motor vehicle operator is law-abiding and automatically has the right-away. However, in reality, when you analyze the bike accident statistics, the bicyclist is often the one with the right away.
A bicycle accident in NYC often occurs due to the negligence of the motor vehicle driver. Some of the more common reasons for such an accident occurring is due to cell phone use, distractions, talking, speeding, and simply not watching their surroundings of what is happening around them while they drive.
The bicyclist could be an on-the-job bicycle delivery rider or may simply be trying to get some exercise and enjoy the day. Whoever the cyclist is and whatever the reason for them riding their bike, such bicyclists must be aware of the dangers involved in riding their bike.
What Are the Types of Bike Accidents?
There are different types of bike rider accidents. One of the more common types is the car and bike crash. This is a general term for any bike rider accident involving a bicycle and motor vehicle. This may be from a car failing to stop at a red light or stop sign and crashing into a bike rider. Or this may be from a car backing out of a driveway or parking space and colliding with the bike rider from behind. Another type of this accident is the right hook bike accident. In this type of accident, a car passes a cyclist to the left of the cyclist and then makes a right turn in front of the cyclist. The cyclist is then either hit by the car or cannot avoid hitting the car resulting in a bike collision. This type of accident occurs not only when a car is turning onto a road, but also into parking lots and driveways.
Another type is the right cross. The “Right Cross” occurs when a car pulls out of a side street, alley, driveway, or parking lot exit to a cyclist’s right. The cyclist has already passed the front of the motor vehicle, which then strikes the cyclist. Or the car pulls out far enough at the last second to block the biker’s right of way, making it impossible for the cyclist to avoid a collision with the side of the car.
Another type is the door prize. The “Door Prize” collision occurs when the driver of a parked car opens the car door directly in front of a bicyclist. The opened door blocks the biker without enough notice to allow the biker to stop or swerve out of the way.
Another type is the rear end. Bicyclists are most concerned about rear end collisions and resulting injuries. It is not an uncommon situation. In fact, the rear end collision is the most common way that drunk drivers hurt or kill cyclists.
Finally, the final type is the left cross. The “Left Cross” occurs when a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of a bicyclist, and either strikes the left side of the biker, or cuts off the biker forcing the biker to hit the right side of the vehicle.
What Are the Most Common Bicycle Injuries?
When it comes to bike crash injuries, the most common bike injuries or cycling crash injuries often involve back or lumbar spine, the neck or cervical spine, or a bicycle accident head injury. Oftentimes, when a bicycle car collision occurs, the cyclist is thrown from their bicycle and land on the ground, injuring their head, neck, back, or a combination of these injuries. A good bicycle accident attorney will be familiar with all of these different types of injuries.
For back or neck injuries as examples of bike injuries, such accidents may be simple soft tissue injuries or scrapes and cuts requiring stitches, but may be as serious as a disc herniation, bulging disc, or even nerve damage requiring surgery.
The most serious injury is the bicycle accident head injury because of the force of the impact may cause a concussion or some type of brain damage. This is why in New York State, all bicyclists under the age of 14 years old are required to wear safety certified bicycle helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles. Children aged 1 to 4 must wear a bicycle helmet and ride in specially designed child safety seats.
Determining Negligence in Bike Accident Case
Like many personal injury lawsuits, one of the key factors in determining the viability or how strong a lawsuit one has, especially when it comes to a bike accident, involves negligence of the at-fault party. Just as bike riders have their own traffic laws that they must adhere to in the State of New York, so do motor vehicle drivers. This specifically applies to motor vehicle drivers and their duty to bicyclists when it comes to bike injuries. Accordingly, if the driver of the motor vehicle was talking on their cell phone, texting, speeding, ran a red light or stop sign, was involved in a hit and run bicycle accident, or was not paying attention to you, the cyclist, they will be the at-fault party. Ideally, if that occurs, you want that person to admit it was their fault and say, “I hit a cyclist with my car.” However, if the at fault party was you, the cyclist, you’re less likely to recover any damages in your lawsuit.
Another way to determine negligence is if the negligent motor vehicle driver was ticketed for a traffic violation. Such a violation shows that the NY officer found that the driver violated some ordinance or code that may have led to the accident.
In order to help prove your negligent theory against the driver when it comes to bike injuries, in addition to getting a copy of the police report, you’ll also want to try to secure any witnesses and their statements, photos, and videos of what happened. Doing so will make your job of proving negligence much easier, and the insurance company will be more likely to resolve your case faster and for a greater amount.
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The best way to prove liability is by contacting a bicycle accident attorney about your car bike accident. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to analyze your case and counsel you on how to best improve your case.
Damages to Which You Might Be Entitled to After a Bicycle Crash
When it comes to cycling injuries, after you determine who is at fault in the car bike accident or what’s commonly referred to as liability, you’ll then want to determine your damages or what’s commonly referred to as your pain and suffering. How many cyclists get hit by car is not what determines damages. Instead, damages in a car bike accident are often based upon 1) the degree and type of medical treatment you received as a result of your accident, 2) lost wages, and 3) permanent disability. Generally, the amount of your medical bills is the main factor in determining your damages to the point that the more medical bills you’ve incurred, the more pain and suffering you’ve endured. Obviously, if the accident results in a bicycle death, then that is the most severe damage that can be sustained. If that happens, then the estate of the victim still has a claim against the negligent party.
What to Do When Getting Hit by a Car On a Bike
Getting hit by a car on a bike can cause deadly and significant bodily injuries to the cyclist. Any cyclist hit by a car will most likely suffer back, neck, and head trauma. Accordingly, after you’ll want to document any injuries you sustain by taking photographs of your injuries. You’ll also want to seek medical treatment right away, especially if you are experiencing any sort of pain at all. The longer you delay in your treatment, the more likely the insurance company will deny your claim.
In addition, you’ll also want to take photographs at the scene of the accident, including photos of any damage to the motor vehicle, your bicycle, the weather conditions, and any skid marks.
You’ll also want to gather any contact information from any witnesses, including statements. If you can, you should also discuss the accident with the motor vehicle driver and see if they provide any admissions, such as, “I hit the cyclist with my car.”
More importantly, you’ll want to contact the police so that they can provide their own investigation and issue a traffic citation, if applicable, to the negligent driver.
How Do I File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
If you are unable to resolve your bicycle car accident with the insurance company, you’ll need to file a bike claim before the statute of limitations expires. In New York, the statute of limitations for motor vehicle accidents, including your bicycle accident, is three years from the date of accident. How many cyclists get hit by car is not relevant to your lawsuit. What is relevant is proving that the at-fault driver was negligent and therefore was liable, and that as a result of their negligence, you then sustained damages.
Accordingly, in order to file a lawsuit for your bike injury, you’ll need to file a complaint in a NY court. To draft a complaint, you’ll need to address the party that you are suing, the facts of what happened in your bicycle crash, the theory of liability alleged, how that party is specifically liable to you, and the injuries you sustained as a result. It is therefore recommended that you contact a well-versed bike accident attorney to be able to properly draft the complaint. A cycling accident lawyer or bicycle accident lawyer will be familiar with the laws that apply to such accidents, but more importantly, how to litigate such a claim in court before a jury.
The Role of a Bicycle Accident Lawyer When Helping to Negotiate Settlement Amounts
A bike settlement isn’t always easy. Even if there is clear liability and damages and the insurance company initially accepts your claim, the insurance company will still do everything in its power to mitigate your case so that they won’t have to pay as much as you may deserve. This is the job of the insurance company. It will claim that you had a preexisting condition, that you were partially to blame for the accident even if you were not ticketed and the motor vehicle driver was, or that your damages are minor because the medical treatment you received was more diagnostic in nature, which resulted in the high cost of medical bills.
This is why it is important to consult an experienced bike accident lawyer or bicycle accident lawyer or bicycle injury lawyer when it comes to bike injury compensation. A bike accident attorney or bike injury lawyer will be familiar with bike accident settlement amounts, have a general idea of the true value of what your case is worth, and generally, will better be able to negotiate a proper bike accident settlement on your behalf than you would yourself. Furthermore, the insurance company will more likely respond differently to a bike accident lawyer than just you alone and will most likely provide you a lower offer than they would a bicycle accident attorney or bicycle accident lawyer.
BONUS: NYC Bicycle Laws
In order to prevent bicycle accident NYC, there are NYC bicycle laws, especially when it comes to New York helmet law. Although helmets are encouraged for both adults and children to avoid New York bike accident, helmets are required by New York State Law for cyclists ages 13 years and younger. In fact, New York’s Department of Transportation fits and gives away the official New York City bicycle helmet at free events throughout the city. In order to receive a helmet you must: be present, learn how to properly fit and wear a helmet in order to avoid bike helmet injuries, and sign a waiver (a parent or legal guardian must sign for children under 18).
Q: What are the most common causes of bicycle accidents?
A: The most common causes of bicycle accidents is when the motor vehicle driver proves to be negligent. This includes the right cross”,“the right hook”, “the door prize”, “the rear end”, and “the left cross.”
Q: How do most bicycle accidents happen?
A: Most accidents occur due to the negligence of the motor vehicle driver. This includes speeding, texting, talking on a cell phone, distractions, and just not paying attention to their surroundings. Since most cyclists ride during the daytime, this is when an accident will most likely occur.
Q: Can a cyclist sue a driver?
A: Yes, a cyclist can always sue a driver due to their negligence. In order to sue, you’ll need to prove liability against the driver and damages. The stronger liability and damages you can prove, the stronger your case will be and the quicker it will likely be resolved.
Q: What happens if you hit a bicycle?
A: If you hit a bicycle, you may be sued or found to be liable; but only if liability can be proved. Just because you hit the cyclist does not automatically mean that you are liable. The cyclist must follow traffic laws too. Accordingly, for example, if the cyclist is turning and fails to signal and just turns into your vehicle, resulting in a bike collision, the cyclist may by the one liable. If you are involved in such an accident, you should contact a bicycle accident lawyer to determine your options.
How a Bike Accident Attorney Can Help?
A bicycle accident lawyer is familiar with your bike injury, the laws involved, the different insurance companies, their different approaches to bike accidents, how to negotiate your bike injury, and if the case has to be filed and tried in court, how to litigate and go to trial before a jury. A bicycle accident attorney will be able to sit down with you and analyze your individual and unique bike accident, evaluating your liability and damages. Furthermore, a bicycle accident attorney can provide you advice and counsel you on how to improve your case so that you get the best bike settlement possible.
At Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, we are experienced, knowledgeable, and advocates for victims of bike accident injuries. We represent all types of injured parties in the greater New York City area including all its boroughs, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island) as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York. If you’ve been and have sustained a bike accident injury and are seeking money damages, you need to consult with the best bicycle accident attorney or bicycle accident lawyer who is an experienced and knowledgeable enough to advise you on these matters. We provide a free consultation.