Bicycle Accident Attorney Long Island
On clear days, riding a bicycle is a great way to avoid traffic and get exercise, but even with safety gear, you have little protection against the speed and mass of motor vehicles. In a bicycle v. vehicle accident, the bicyclist almost always sustains injuries. And unlike car drivers, bicyclists don’t carry personal injury insurance. But that doesn’t mean that you’re on the hook for your own medical expenses. If you were injured while riding a bicycle, The Harrison Law Group, bicycle accident attorneys of Long Island, can help you get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office to speak to a lawyer.
Understanding New York Bicycle Laws
New York City has many different municipal laws regarding bicycling. For example, the New York City Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1214 states that passengers cannot open their doors into moving traffic unless they know it is safe. They cannot leave a door open any longer than necessary for passengers to get in or out.
This law prevents bicyclists from becoming seriously injured by colliding with an open door. If you were injured in a “dooring” bicycle accident, you might have a valid claim to compensation against the negligent driver or passenger. It is possible that you can file a claim through their auto insurance policy.
New York City traffic laws are complex. Consulting with an experienced lawyer will help you understand whether the person or company who caused your injuries violated New York City’s traffic laws. If they did violate the law, it would help your case because you may be able to prove that they were negligent per se. In other words, the fact they violated New York City’s traffic laws shows that they were acting negligently when the accident happened.
Common Causes of Long Island Bike Accidents
Bicycling in New York City has become more common, and the city planners have redesigned some of the streets to accommodate the increase in bicycles. These are positive changes, but they do not mean that the risk of bicycle accidents has been eliminated. Distracted drivers can still cause dangerous bicycle accidents. In a matter of seconds, your life can change in a bicycle accident. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving due to text messaging, daydreaming, eating while driving, or using other technology while driving
- Dangerous road defects that cause bicycle accidents
- Debris in the road
- Dangerous weather conditions, such as snow or ice
- Reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
- Traffic violations
Types of Injuries Suffered in Bicycle Accidents
Nearly any type of injury can occur during a bicycle accident, even if the bicyclist is wearing a helmet and other recommended safety gear. Unfortunately, some bicycle injuries are severe. Bicyclists do not have as much protection as those in passenger vehicles or commercial vehicles. Bicycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Other neck and head injuries, such as whiplash
- Burn injuries
- Nerve damage
- Organ damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death
Why You Need a Long Island Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you were injured in a severe bicycle accident in New York, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. After you arrive home from the hospital, you could be facing months of difficult recovery time. Trying to recover compensation for your injuries, whether you are filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, can be just as challenging. Many bicycle accident cases are not clear-cut victories for either party involved.
Even if it seems like your right to compensation is obvious, the insurance company will try to deny your claim or offer you less compensation than you deserve. In some cases, they could even try to claim that you caused the accident and should not receive any compensation because you are at fault. Consulting with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Our Long Island Bicycle Accident Lawyers Will Preserve Your Claim
At Harrison Law Group, our personal injury lawyers will immediately begin preserving the evidence in your bicycle accident case. Preserving evidence is a crucial part of protecting your right to a fair amount of compensation. Our lawyers will do all of the following to help you preserve your claim:
- Visit the bicycle accident scene
- Take photos and locate any CCTV or other video footage of the accident
- Preserve GPS data
- Interview witnesses of the bicycle accident
- Work with bicycle accident reconstruction specialist
You Need a Lawyer by Your Side Through the Insurance Claims Process
Suppose a driver collided with your bicycle and the driver was at fault. You may have a right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver. After your bicycle accident, an insurance claims adjuster will probably begin trying to contact you. The adjuster will ask you to provide a recorded statement of what happened. We recommend consulting with a bicycle accident lawyer before you give a statement to the insurance company.
You may unintentionally admit fault and hurt your chances of recovering compensation. Our experienced lawyers can help you draft a statement that is accurate and protects your right to compensation. We will handle negotiations for you, so you do not have to deal with the insurance company, and you can focus on your recovery. Having a lawyer on your side through the insurance claims process is important for all the following reasons:
- The insurance company will understand what your case is worth and typically will use any tactics available to pay you less than a fair amount for your claim
- Another person or company may try to blame you for the bicycle accident, reducing your compensation award according to New York’s contributory negligence rules
- You may be able to hold multiple parties accountable for your bicycle accident, such as the driver and his or her employer
- Negotiating with insurance companies is time-consuming and stressful. You should be focused on your medical recovery while your lawyers negotiate aggressively with the insurance company
Contact a Long Island Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured while riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation. At Harrison Law Group, our experienced New York bicycle accident lawyers will handle your claim from start to finish so you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.