Bronx Bike Accident Attorneys
New York bike riders are fortunate enough to have miles of Bronx bicycle paths where they can travel safely and not be concerned about automobile traffic. However, many people use their bikes for the purposes of running errands or heading to school or work. When they do this, they must venture out onto roads filled with traffic, and, in those congested environments, accidents can happen. When a motorist carelessly injures a bicyclist, the victim should contact a bike accident lawyer to begin building a case for compensation. To schedule a free consultation with personal injury lawyer Ivan Diamond, call (718) 588-2000 or contact us online.
Causes of Bike Accidents
Unsurprisingly, the causes of bike accidents are not that different from those involving cars, trucks, and other vehicles on the road. Here are some of the leading causes of bicycle accidents in the NYC area:
- Human error—The leading cause of bike accidents is cyclist or pedestrian confusion. However, failure to yield was also responsible for nearly 1,500 bike accidents, and distractions caused an additional 1,400. In total, human error was responsible for almost 5,000 bike accidents.
- Mechanical error—Regardless of how carefully owners maintain their bikes or automobiles, sometimes things go wrong, and an operator loses control. In some cases, there could be a manufacturing error, repair error, or a lack of proper maintenance. Mechanical errors accounted for nearly 300 bike accidents a year. As a bike accident lawyer, I can help you determine if the malfunction is to blame for the crash.
- Environmental factors—While bikes are not typically used in winter weather, roads can nevertheless become slippery owing to fallen leaves or a flash rainstorm. The most significant environmental factor in bike accidents was an obstructed view. Furthermore, glare that blinded either the bike rider or the operator of a motor vehicle also caused numerous accidents.
The simple fact is that many of these accidents could have been avoided had a motorist or pedestrian exercised greater caution. For example, far too many motorists are reading text messages or making phone calls when they should be looking out the window at traffic. Many pedestrians are likewise careless about where they are walking and end up walking right in front of bicyclists.
If someone’s negligence contributed to your collision, you can hold that person legally responsible for your injuries and economic losses. Unsurprisingly, many at-fault parties are not anxious to admit they are responsible for a crash, so your attorney will need to review the available evidence and determine whether you have a case.
Bike Accident Injuries
When an automobile collides with a bike rider, the cyclist will bear the worst of the impact. Bicycles simply offer fewer protections than an automobile in terms of structure and speed. As a result, it is unsurprising that many bike riders suffer catastrophic injuries. These injuries can take months or longer to heal, and some never do. As a Bronx bike accident lawyer, I have seen devastating injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Any blow to the head or body can cause the brain to jiggle around, which can impair its function. A concussion is a relatively mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). More serious TBIs, however, can impair a cyclist’s ability to speak, think, remember, move, and control emotions.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord runs up the center of the back and carries signals from the brain to our extremities. In a bad crash, the spinal cord can suffer damage—shredding, tearing, bruising, and stretching. Any damage can result in lost sensation or movement. In extreme cases, a cyclist can become completely paralyzed.
- Broken bones. Any bone in the body can break from a collision with a motor vehicle, but bicyclists tend to see breaks in the arms, legs, and rib cage. Broken ribs can spear internal organs, like the lungs, leading to bleeding and other complications. Bad breaks can require surgery and months of rehabilitation to recover.
- Head injuries. Any traumatic impact can damage your eyes, ears, and mouth. You might lose the ability to see or hear.
- Cuts, abrasions, and lacerations. If not cleaned properly, these can become infected, leading to hospitalization. Many deep cuts will also leave permanent scars, which can be traumatic especially when in a visible part of the body, like the face.
- Severe soft-tissue injuries. A bad contusion can cut off the blood supply to a muscle, permanently damaging the tissue. Other bad strains or sprains might require surgery to repair damaged ligaments or tendons.
- Burn injuries. After the crash, the biker can be thrown along the road. The friction can burn any exposed skin, causing “road rash.” Road rash is incredibly painful and can lead to infection and scarring. Many victims need skin grafts on affected areas.
Immediately after the accident, you should receive prompt medical treatment. Many injuries can become much worse if you delay treatment or if you do not follow your doctor’s advice. If you think your condition is worsening, you should seek a second opinion.
New York Wrongful Death
Because bicyclists are so exposed, many of them unfortunately die after an accident, leaving behind grieving family members to pick up the pieces. As a Bronx bicycle accident lawyer, I have seen too many lives destroyed by negligent motorists. Fortunately, surviving family members might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or business responsible for the crash.
What is wrongful death? If a loved one dies because of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or wrongful conduct, you can sue the person responsible for money damages. Wrongful death is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal one. In a criminal case, the state can prosecute the motorist responsible for the death. If convicted, he goes to jail and pays a fine. He also has a criminal record.
In a civil wrongful death lawsuit, you cannot send someone to jail. Instead, the purpose is to compensate you for your loss with money damages.
According to New York law, the personal representative for the loved one’s estate files the lawsuit in court. If your loved one had a will, then the personal representative should be named in the document. If they died without a will, a probate judge will name a personal representative.
Although the representative files the lawsuit, they do so on behalf of family members who will receive the money damages if the case is successful. Family members can receive compensation for the following:
- The value of support and services your loved one provided to family members
- Medical expenses for treatment of your loved one’s final illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages your loved one was expected to earn
- If the deceased was a parent, then the loss of parental care and guidance to their children
- Lost inheritances
- Any pain and suffering your loved one endured after the crash
The amount of compensation you might receive will depend on the facts of the case and is highly variable. You should consult with a Bronx bicycle accident lawyer right away to see if you have a valid legal claim.
After a Bike Accident in the Bronx
If a motor vehicle was involved in the accident, your bike accident lawyer can help you submit a claim to their insurer under New York’s no-fault coverage. The insurer will pay your medical bills and reimburse you for lost wages up to the amount of the policy. If your accident was minor, then the insurance policy should be able to cover most of your economic losses, allowing you to go on with your life.
However, in more dramatic accidents, the no-fault insurance benefits will likely be insufficient. Instead, you will need additional compensation to help you recover. Depending on the circumstances, you might need to sue to receive damages to cover:
- Medical care
- Future medical care, if your injuries are permanent
- Lost past, present, and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Your Bronx bike accident lawyer can help you estimate how much you can receive by looking at your medical bills and receipts, as well as any proof of income (e.g., pay stubs or W2 form). Non-economic injuries like pain and suffering or emotional distress, however, are more speculative. This is where an experienced bike accident lawyer can make the difference. Your lawyer can show that your quality of life has declined dramatically because of your bodily injuries and that additional compensation is warranted.
A lawsuit is not appropriate in every bike accident case. Your attorney will need to review what insurance policies the at-fault driver has. For example, if they have bodily injury liability insurance, then a lawsuit or settlement is more likely. Your lawyer will also consider the severity of your injuries to determine whether you qualify to file a lawsuit.
Protect Your Rights
To hold a motorist or pedestrian responsible for your injuries, you need to act fast. New York’s statute of limitations creates a window of opportunity for bringing a lawsuit based on your injuries. Currently, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. If you are filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the deadline is two years from the date of death.
Although two or three years might sound like a lot of time, it is very easy to miss the deadline. You will be focused on your recovery and possibly investigating the cause of the collision. You also might attempt to negotiate a settlement with the party responsible for the crash, which can also take time. Before you know it, the deadline has come and gone.
If you miss the deadline, a judge will dismiss your case and you will lose the ability to force the at-fault party to pay compensation for the accident. For this reason, I always encourage injured motorists to meet with a bike accident lawyer in the Bronx as soon as possible so that they protect their rights.
Bronx Bicycle Accidents: FAQs and Answers
Bicycles are an efficient and affordable way to travel—especially in an urban area like the Bronx. Additionally, many people find them appealing from an environmental perspective; they’re carbon neutral and don’t produce any pollution.
For these reasons, bikes are becoming ubiquitous on America’s roadways. Although this is a positive development in the eyes of many there are, of course, negative externalities.
To better educate cyclists on bike accidents and how to respond to them, here are some answers to frequently asked bike accident questions:
Why do bike accidents happen in the Bronx?
Cars and bikes are now more frequently sharing the same roadways, which has resulted in far more car/bike accidents. In fact, about 2 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths are cyclists, and there were 857 cyclists killed in one year alone.
With the advent of the smartphone, distracted driving certainly deserves some blame for this increase. Urban planning is also an issue; cities rarely cater to both cars and bikes effectively.
No matter the reason for their prevalence, bike accidents can result in serious injuries—especially to the bike rider. Bikes obviously don’t offer anywhere near the protection of automobiles. Riders are often fully exposed to the impact of the collision and are frequently thrown from their bikes.
Unfortunately for most riders, the initial pain of the accident is just the beginning of a long road back to normalcy. They may also face mounting medical bills, time away from work, and mental trauma. Furthermore, knowing where, and to whom, to turn during such a dire situation isn’t always clear.
The following common circumstances frequently result in bike accidents in the Bronx.
First, cars often hit bikes simply because they don’t see them. Bikes are much smaller than cars and are less visible. Additionally, many drivers are simply not on the lookout for bikes, all their attention is focused on avoiding other cars.
Many bike-on-car collisions happen while a car is making a left-hand turn. A bike rider coming from the opposite direction may not anticipate the car turning left and the driver may not see the bike entering the intersection. Additionally, a more aggressive bike rider may attempt to speed by a car in the process of slowing down, not realizing it’s about to turn, causing the biker to collide with the side of the car.
Finally, some bike accidents happen when a car changes lane without a driver checking the mirrors first. Because of their diminutive sizes, bikes can very easily end up in a car’s blind spot. The driver may think he has a free lane and may attempt to move over without acknowledging the biker. These accidents happen so quickly it’s often impossible for either party to make any adjustments to avoid the accident.
How can I avoid Bronx bike accidents?
Although some accidents are impossible to avoid, cyclists can take certain steps to greatly reduce the chances of an accident.
Firstly, always give cars a wide berth. It may take cars longer to slow down than you think. You can also easily end up a driver’s blind spot without realizing it. Keeping your distance ensures you both have room to maneuver and the driver always sees you.
Secondly, avoid being in the road. Many localities have designated bike lanes alongside the road intended solely for bikes. Other areas have bike paths away from the road. Before riding, make sure to check if your city or town has a designated space for bikes.
Finally, if you’re riding at night take steps to ensure you’re visible to cars. Bikers often go unnoticed during the day, seeing a biker at night from any reasonable distance can be almost impossible.
Thankfully, there are simple steps a biker can take to ensure he’s visible even during the night. He can wear neon and other bright-colored clothing that stands out even when it’s dark. Additionally, most sporting goods stores have a variety of flashers and blinkers for sale. These attachments light up at night, grabbing the attention of unaware drivers.
Should I see a doctor following a Bronx bike accident?
Yes. See a doctor even if you feel fine. Even serious injuries may go unnoticed for days or even weeks. A doctor can uncover latent injuries and begin providing care immediately, saving you pain and time.
Additionally, if you decide to file a lawsuit, the extent of your injuries may dictate the size of your claim. A formal doctor’s diagnosis is the surest way to prove how badly you were hurt.
Should I contact a Bronx bicycle accident lawyer?
Yes. Contacting a lawyer is important even if you don’t plan on filing a lawsuit. A lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and provide you with options. If your situation changes you’re ready to proceed with your claim right away.
Also, lawyers are immensely valuable if you get into a dispute with your insurance company. Many Bronx bicycle accident lawyers have experience negotiating with insurers and can tell if you’re being treated fairly. In fact, even the insurance industry suggests hiring a lawyer for claim disputes.
What Is the value of my Bronx bicycle accident claim?
Bike accident claims can vary widely in value. Most bike accident lawsuits are built around the pain and suffering experienced by the injured, the cost of treatment, the cost of any necessary ongoing care (such as the installation of a wheel-chair ramp), and loss of income. Therefore, these factors will also have an outsized impact on your claim’s value.
If you only suffered minor injuries requiring minimal care and spent only two weeks away from work, don’t plan on retiring young. If you sustained more serious and permanent injuries, you might obtain a much bigger settlement or judgment.
Ivan M. Diamond: A Bronx Bicycle Accident Lawyer You Can Trust
A serious bike accident can change a person’s life in the blink of an eye; the things they took for granted may now seem out of reach. It may take years for a family to overcome an accident and its aftermath.
Thankfully, victims don’t have to suffer in silence. If you or a loved suffered a bike injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contacting an experienced Bronx bicycle accident lawyer is the first step in obtaining the financial support that you and your family deserve.
Ivan M. Diamond has spent his career advocating for the wrongfully injured in the Bronx. He has practiced personal injury law for over 20 years and has won millions of dollars for his clients. If you believe you were wrongfully injured in a bike accident, contact us today.
Speak With a Bronx Bike Accident Lawyer Now
If you are one of the thousands of people who are injured in a bike accident and you believe the accident was the fault of another person, contact Bronx Lawyer Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 or online. As an experienced bike accident lawyer, I am committed to helping victims of bike accidents who have suffered injuries or the families of those who lost their lives in a bike accident. Call me immediately for a free consultation and case review.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond888 Grand Concourse #1L Bronx, NY 10451 Phone: (718) 588-2000 Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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