Bicycling is a thriving alternative to New York City traffic congestion. Unfortunately, rider casualties overshadow bicycling’s success as a transportation option. New York City Department of Transportation 2017 crash data reported 4,397 bicyclist injuries from bicycle/vehicle accidents and 24 fatalities. While the injury numbers seem high, they’ve been decreasing in recent years. This is encouraging news, but statistics offer no comfort when your loved one is among the fatally or catastrophically injured.
Bicycling in New York City
Statistics from Cycling in the City demonstrate bicycling’s rising popularity in the five boroughs.
- 828,000 people ride bikes regularly.
- 86,000 adults and students bike to their destinations each day.
- Bicyclists make 460,000 trips on a normal day.
- New York’s Citi Bike system is the largest bike sharing system in North America.
The city accommodates and supports bicyclists with protective street lanes, bike-share locations, commercial cycling equipment requirements, and other safety measures. Bicycling is an integral element of Vision Zero the city’s traffic safety initiative working toward zero traffic fatalities.
Bicyclists are everywhere in New York City, yet some drivers treat them as though they were invisible. They cut off cyclists’ right of way at intersections and “door” them in traffic. For car and truck drivers, these incidents are often fender benders. In 2017, only 33 vehicle occupants sustained injuries in collisions with cyclists, but the accidents often left cyclists fatally injured or fighting for their lives.
Vehicle Drivers Should Pay When They Injure a Bicyclist
Attorney Ivan M. Diamond believes the negligent vehicle driver who injures you or a loved one on a bicycle should pay for the harm that negligence caused. Over the years, he has recovered millions of dollars in damages on behalf of his injured clients. Ivan Diamond handles personal injury cases only. He understands the many ways in which serious and catastrophic injuries can change his clients’ lives. That is why his mission is to use his experience and know-how to recover compensation from those who did his clients harm.
Our Case Results
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond is a small firm that gets big results. Ivan Diamond prepares every client’s case for trial from day one because he believes that is the best way to achieve a maximum recovery for his clients in or out of the courtroom.
Each injury case is unique. Ivan Diamond can’t promise a specific outcome, but he believes his results illustrate how hard he fights for his clients’ rights.
Bicycles weigh an average of 19 pounds, give or take. Cars weigh 5,000 pounds on average and commercial buses and trucks weigh 10,000 pounds or more. When a bicycle and vehicle collide, the extreme differences in weight and speed make injuries inevitable. The force at impact easily throws a bicyclist to the pavement.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety research determined that, nationwide, bicycle fatalities constitute 2 percent of all traffic deaths. Most of those deaths involve head injuries. When they survive a collision with a motor vehicle, cyclists often sustain severe, life-altering injuries, including;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Back, neck, and spinal cord injuries;
- Severe soft tissue tears and strains;
- Shattered bones;
- Multiple fractures;
- Internal organ damage;
- Abrasions and lacerations; and
- Loss of bodily functions.
Who Is Liable for Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Under New York law, cyclists have the same rights to use the road as operators of motor vehicles. Unfortunately, motor vehicle drivers don’t always treat them as equals on the road. When a car or truck collides with a bicycle, the parties the injured cyclist may pursue for damages often include:
- Drivers who acted negligently or recklessly behind the wheel;
- Vehicle passengers who “doored” a cyclist;
- Employers of drivers of commercial vehicles who failed to train or adequately supervise drivers;
- Vehicle and parts manufacturers who produced defective products that led to the collision; and
- Local or municipal governments that failed to design or maintain safe roadways for cyclists.
What Damages Can I Recover for Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Victims of bicycle accidents may seek a wide range of damages for their injuries and losses. Generally speaking, these include economic (or “special”) damages, non-economic (or “general”) damages, and punitive damages under certain circumstances.
Economic damages reimburse the injured person’s accrued and future out-of-pocket costs, such as:
- Lost wages and income;
- Diminished income potential;
- Medical costs;
- Prosthetics and mobility devices;
- Physical and psychological therapy;
- Transportation costs;
- Care and replacement services; and
- Funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages indemnify an injured person for emotional, physical, and psychological losses which aren’t easily calculated, for example:
- Pain and suffering;
- Anxiety and emotional distress;
- Diminished spousal and family relationships;
- Loss of bodily functions;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Permanent disabilities.
In cases involving a defendant who engaged in wanton and reckless, or malicious behavior, the victim may also recover punitive damages.
How Will the Parties I Sue Defend Themselves Against My Claims?
Even when liability is clear, defendants and their insurance companies usually resist paying for their wrongful actions. The defenses they assert may include:
- No negligence: If a driver proves he had no negligence, he owes nothing.
- Comparative negligence: if the defendant proves the injured plaintiff was also negligent, the damages award may be reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff’s fault.
- No defect: When a vehicle operator or bicycle owner alleges that a defect caused an accident, manufacturers defend their interests by denying the defect.
- Damages: If a responsible party successfully disputes damages, they reduce their payment obligation. They either prove that they didn’t cause an injury or question its severity.
Ivan Diamond often prepares his clients’ cases before entering settlement negotiations, mediations, or courtroom settings. By gaining a thorough understanding of the facts and circumstances, he is able to help his clients overcome these defenses and achieve the maximum award.
Contact The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond Today
If a bicycle accident in the New York City area seriously injured you or a family member, Attorney Ivan M. Diamond wants to hear from you. He has recovered millions of dollars for his personal injury clients, and he may be able to help you, too. Call The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 or complete our contact form to schedule your free consultation.