Choosing to navigate New York via bike rather than a car is good for your health and the environment. However, it is important to remember that a bike does not offer the same protection as other vehicles might. If you are involved in a New York bike accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, there is a relatively strong chance your injuries will be serious. You deserve to be compensated accordingly. Meet with a New York bike accident attorney at Shulman & Hill to discuss your options.
Important Information about New York Bike Accidents
Although the rate of bike accidents in New York is decreasing somewhat, bike accidents rates per capita still tend to be greater in dense urban areas like NYC. This is to be expected. The more drivers on the road, the greater the risk.
The following are just some of the reasons a New York bike accident may occur:
- A driver was disobeying the law or otherwise driving carelessly.
- A driver was distracted. This may be an increasingly common problem due to the rise of smartphones.
- A driver did not see a bicyclist. Bicycles are smaller than other vehicles and drivers sometimes overlook them on the road.
- A government agency failed to properly maintain the road.
- A defect, whether in the bike itself or another driver’s vehicle, resulted in an accident.
The Potential Consequences of a New York Bike Accident
CDC data indicates that, compared to drivers or occupants of motor vehicles, bicyclists are at a greater risk of being injured or killed in crashes. In fact, animal riding is the only sport or recreational activity with a higher injury rate than bicycling.
A New York bike accident can leave you with a range of potential injuries. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Abrasions and/or road rash: While the long-term effects these injuries might have on a victim’s quality of life may not be as significant as the effects of other injuries, abrasions and road rash can still cause substantial pain.
- Head trauma: It is crucial that bicyclists protect themselves by wearing helmets whenever they are riding. However, a helmet does not guarantee a bicyclist will not sustain some form of head trauma in an accident. This type of injury can have lasting effects on cognition, memory, and emotional state.
- Broken bones: Breaks or fractures are very common results of New York bike accidents.
- Disfigurement: Some bike accident injuries are severe enough to substantially alter a victim’s appearance.
Any type of relatively serious injury sustained in a New York bike accident will require treatment. Additionally, if an injury prevents you from working, whether temporarily or permanently, you might struggle to earn a paycheck. You should not have to manage this financial burden yourself if the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence.
You might also deserve compensation for losses that are not strictly financial. For instance, if you are left with long-term pain after an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your troubles. Just be aware that your chances of collecting what you are owed are generally greater if you coordinate with a personal injury law firm in New York.
Seeking Compensation After a New York Bike Accident
New York requires that all drivers have No-Fault Personal Injury Protection insurance. This is because, in New York, when a car crash leaves a victim or their passengers with injuries, their own insurance is responsible for compensating them, even if someone else caused the accident.
However, if a driver is involved in an accident that leaves a bicyclist injured, it is typically the case that their PIP insurance would also apply to the bicyclist. In other words, if another driver’s negligence caused your accident, you could seek compensation from them by filing a claim against their insurance.
That does not mean you will automatically collect what you are owed. It is critical that you meet with a personal injury lawyer in New York sooner rather than later if you plan on seeking compensation.
The Role of a New York Bike Accident Attorney
The insurer of the negligent party who caused your accident is not motivated to compensate you properly. As a business, an insurance company’s priorities will typically involve protecting their own financial interests. Before you can reach a settlement or be awarded damages in court, they will likely attempt to avoid paying you what you deserve.
The following are some tactics an insurer may employ:
- Arguing that your own negligence caused, or at least contributed to, the accident. New York requires bicyclists to adhere to many laws, such as only riding in bike lanes when they are available. If an insurer believes they can argue you were injured because you violated such a law, you might struggle to secure the compensation to which you are entitled.
- Arguing that your losses are not substantial enough to justify the amount of compensation you are seeking.
- Arguing you have not provided sufficient evidence proving the negligent party genuinely caused your accident.
- Going to court instead of offering a fair settlement.
These are all reasons why it is wise to enlist the help of a bike accident law firm in New York when filing a claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who is at fault (keep in mind, the negligent party isn’t always another driver), collect evidence to strengthen your case, file all the necessary paperwork by their respective deadlines, and apply their understanding of how insurers operate in these circumstances to negotiate for a fair settlement. If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, they will help you pursue damages in court.
Why Choose Shulman & Hill?
Many New York bike accident lawyers will claim they have the skills and experience necessary to handle your case. Naturally, not all of them can actually deliver on their promises.
That is not something you need to worry about when you hire Shulman & Hill. We have a proven track record of helping clients just like you secure compensation. We will gladly reference such past successes, helping you appreciate why we are the right team for your needs. Call us today at 212-221-1000 to schedule an appointment.