Bicycle rentals are becoming more and more popular in the New York area and as a result, bicycle accidents are on the rise. New vendors are popping up all over the city offering inexpensive cycling alternatives for locals and tourists. Often these part time bicyclists have little experience navigating the busy streets and drivers are unaware of the increased usage that has become a growing trend. Hundreds of bike rental programs and self-service stations are now available in Manhattan and Brooklyn alone and what looks like a simple riding experience can lead to serious injuries.
Bike accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons including: unsafe lane changes and drivers not paying attention, changing traffic patterns; etc. Dangerous conditions can occur on public or private property and often times the property owner may be held liable. The vast majority of fatal or serious bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, most commonly around intersections or on busy streets.
Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
Cars or other motor vehicles pulling out or changing lanes in front of bicyclists.
Drivers who fail to yield at an intersection or cut in front of a bicycle when making turns.
Drivers opening their doors without seeing the approaching bicyclist.
Depending on the circumstances of an accident you can still sue the driver who hit you even if you were partly at fault. Sometimes bicyclists are at fault themselves. New York is a comparative negligence state which means that a bicyclist's own mistakes do not bar him from suing a vehicle operator who also contributed to the accident. Your recovery will be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault. In other words, if the jury were to award you $2 million for your injuries but determined that you were 50% at fault, your recovery would be limited to $1 million dollars.
The New York State Insurance Law provides that a bicyclist must file a No-Fault claim within thirty days of the accident with the insurance carrier for the vehicle regardless of who was at fault. No-Fault provides coverage not only for necessary medical expenses, but for a portion of your lost earnings as well. If the bicyclist was injured on the job, Workers' Compensation will pay the medical bills. We can explain what documents you will need to file under either circumstance.
Hill & Moin LLP regularly provides our clients with detailed recommendations about what precautions to take after an accident occurs. These valuable tips can make all the difference in developing a solid bicycle injury case that may enhance your claim by thousands of dollars or more.
It is important to carefully select your law firm. Be certain that you are retaining a reputable law firm with vast experience in litigating bicycle rental accidents.
By listening to the details of your bicycle injury case, a good attorney can make a reasonable assessment of potential damages and liable parties. At Hill & Moin LLP, we will listen to the details of your case and help determine who was at fault. In addition, we commonly utilize a variety of experts who can help reconstruct the circumstances of your accident and establish potential liabilities.
In court, the vehicle operator will have attorneys who will try to refute and devalue your case.
Having a bicycle accident attorney on your side will help fight and counter the testimony given by the driver.
Remember, not all injuries surface immediately. For example, back injuries may become worse weeks after the incident.
Make sure you seek medical attention for any injuries that you received as a result of the accident as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know was injured while riding a bicycle in the five Counties of New York - Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Richmond, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
"I had a pretty nasty bicycle accident... A driver opened his door right as I was approaching the car. I landed on my left side breaking my left elbow and hip. I was put in touch with Hill & Moin, I can recommend them highly... You can depend on them..."
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