Bicycling has become an increasingly popular means of transportation for New Yorkers whether for exercise, leisure or commuting to work. While bicyclists must ride safely and obey traffic laws, drivers of motor vehicles are also required to share the road and exercise reasonable care not to injure others. Nonetheless, with more bicyclists on the streets, bicycle accidents are on the rise, often leading to serious injuries.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice is dedicated to helping bicycle accident victims. We are well versed in New York’s traffic laws and will aggressively fight for your right to just compensation.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Although numerous factors are involved in bicycle accidents, drivers often take reckless or careless actions, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield while turning left
- Abrupt right turns
- Drifting into a bike lane
- Backing up
- Pulling out into traffic
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
- Opening a car door
Determining Negligence in a Bicycle Accident
In New York, bicyclists are required to follow the same local and state traffic laws as motorists and exercise reasonable care not to cause injuries. In particular, bicyclists, must stop at all stop signs and traffic lights, and they cannot ride bikes on sidewalks. Bicyclists must also ride on a designated bike path or lane, and if one is not provided, ride with the direction of traffic, close to the curb.
In addition, bicyclists must also follow safety rules such as wearing a helmet, using proper turn signals, having reflectors, working brakes and working lights at night. Contributory negligence can be assessed against a bicyclist who fails to exercise reasonable care, which can lower the value of an injury claim.
At the same time, drivers still must always exercise proper caution and avoid hitting cyclists.
In order to have a valid claim, an injured bicyclist must show that the driver violated his or her duty not to injure others on the roadway. If the driver is cited for a traffic violation at the time of the accident, this constitutes “negligence per se.” However, each case is unique and if the driver is not cited for a traffic violation, a successful claim may hinge on eyewitness testimony or other evidence to prove negligence.
Bicycle accidents can also be caused by hazardous road conditions, particularly when streets and sidewalks are not properly maintained. Cracks, potholes and other defects can lead to accidents that throw cyclists and cause serious injuries. In these circumstances, a government agency responsible for road maintenance, such as department of public works, can be held liable for an accident.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclist can suffer serious injuries because they have little protection in a collision, outside of wearing a safety helmet. Some of the common injuries bicyclists can sustain in an accident include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations and severe bruising
- Neck and spine injuries
- Nerve damage
- Jaw and facial injuries
Dedicated Bicycle Accident Attorney
The law office of Michael LoGiudice is the premier personal injury law firm serving the greater New York area. We have the necessary skills and resources to pursue successful bicycle accident claims. Our firm routinely collaborates with a respected network of accident reconstruction experts to establish the driver’s liability. By conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, identifying and interviewing witnesses and reviewing police reports, we will work diligently to demonstrate the driver’s negligence.
In addition, bicycle accidents typically involve negotiating a settlement with an insurance company. Armed with teams of attorneys, investigators and claims adjusters, insurers often have an unfair advantage over injury victims. You should never speak to an insurance company or accept a settlement offer before speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney. We are skilled negotiators with a proven track record of pursuing claims with insurance companies. If a fair and reasonable settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to litigate the matter in the court.
In any event, we will level the playing field and fight to help you obtain the maximum compensation, including damages for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the driver was speeding, driving recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. If you injury was caused by a poorly maintained road, we will take legal action against the appropriate municipal agency. Similarly, if you injury was attributed to a mechanical defect in the bicycle, we can also pursue a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor.
Being injured in a bicycle accident can have long lasting consequences, and we are committed to holding negligent parties accountable and keeping the roadways safe for bicyclists. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, please fill out a contact form or call our office today for a free consultation.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.