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.
Bicycle Accidents in New York
As with most things in the state of New York, the tally of bicycle accidents is greatly skewed by how often they occur in Manhattan and other densely populated portions of the city. But the state of New York Department of Health reports that within a three-year period:
- On average, there were 36 deaths due to bicycle v. vehicle accidents per year
- There were 637 hospitalizations due to vehicles hitting cyclists per year on average
- There were 3,795 annual emergency room visits on average
These numbers don’t include the tens of thousands of bicycle accidents where the rider had minor to moderate injuries.
Damages in New York Bicycle Accident Cases
If you’ve been injured by a car while you were riding a bicycle, there’s a good chance that the vehicle owner’s insurance will be responsible for paying for your damages. If they have the minimum coverage for NY, and assuming that you’re the only person hurt, the limits of the policy are $10,000 for property damage and $25,000 for injuries to another person ($50,000 for the death of another person. But your damages may far eclipse those limits. Many drivers carry additional coverage to protect them from excess liability.
We can loosely define economic damages as any damages resulting from the accident that has an easily-calculable dollar amount attached to it. These would include medical expenses, like hospitalization, emergency room fees, follow-up appointments with doctors, lost wages, and property damage — your bicycle, for instance. This would also include funeral expenses and lost future earnings in the case of a bicycle accident wrongful death suit.
The cost of being in an accident doesn’t end with reimbursement for your monetary loss. Accidents are painful, inconvenient, and sometimes life-changing. “Pain and suffering” is a legal term that describes intangible damages, like physical pain, reduced quality of life, and emotional trauma. Long Island bicycle accident attorneys know how to calculate non-economic damages.
What to Do if You’re in a Bicycle Accident
In the moments after a bicycle accident, you may be too disoriented or injured to act. If that’s not the case, you may consider these points to keep you safe and improve your odds of full reimbursement.
- Move to Safety – If you’re in the roadway, you’re in danger of further injuries. Move off of the road if you’re able to. If there are others injured, make certain that you’re not exposing yourself or them to another vehicle impact if you’re trying to help them.
- Call 911 – It’s important to get police and rescue workers on the scene as quickly as possible. The 911 dispatcher will need to know the location and direction of travel at a minimum. If you don’t know where you are, look for identifiable geographic indicators, like road signs or stores that can help first responders locate you.
- Take images or videos – Visual evidence can help solidify your claim. If you can safely take a video, this can be invaluable to the Long Island bicycle accident attorney you hire.
- Allow rescue workers to examine you – Medical workers may examine you and even recommend that you go to the hospital. This will not adversely affect your case.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer – It’s never too early to get an experienced personal injury lawyer working on your case. If you contact The Harrison Law Group, you will be connected to an attorney immediately.
Do not accept a settlement check from an insurance company without speaking to your own attorney. Insurance company settlements require you to sign a waiver of liability, which negates your ability to make future claims for the accident. If your medical bills and losses exceed the settlement amount, you can’t pursue further damages.
Frequently Asked Bicycle Accident Questions
These are some of the most common questions about Long Island bicycle accidents.
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee, which means that they collect upon the successful completion of your case. 33 percent is a standard contingency fee, but it can be more or less depending on a fee structure, which should be disclosed to you before committing.
The state of New York does not have limits for damages on personal injury cases. Most settlements and jury awards are based upon damages and the defendant’s level of negligence.
Insurance companies are committed to minimizing payouts. The truth is that many injuries don’t become apparent until after a few days after the accident. You could be entitled to much more than what they’re offering.
Long Island Bicycle Accident Attorneys
The Harrison Law Group offers extensive experience negotiating and litigating bicycle accident cases for their clients. They have recovered millions of dollars in damages and can help you. Call today if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident.