An alarming number of bicyclists are injured every year in accidents in New York. If you are a bicyclist who has been seriously injured in a recent bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle and you believe your accident was the fault of the vehicle’s driver, contact Queens bicycle accident attorney. The Cassisi Law Firm to find out how we can help. We have won millions of dollars in damages for our personal injury clients in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our attorneys are always available to answer your questions.The Popularity of Bicycling in New York Means Bicycle Accidents Are Frequent
Bicycling has always been a popular activity for exercise and for enjoyment, but many people also use bicycles today to commute to work and school. The attraction of bicycling is not only its health benefits, but its benefit in alleviating another stressful aspect of city life: being stuck in traffic jams. In fact, the benefits of cycling for maneuvering around traffic snarls in the New York metro area has spurred a cycling cottage industry: many businesses now use bicycle messengers and delivery personnel for moving packages and documents quickly and efficiently through the city.
But the increased bicycle traffic—especially on congested streets—means that bicycle accidents are bound to occur. Statistics compiled by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles show that, in 2012, there were 6,137 accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles in the state of New York. That is more than the number of motorcycle accidents in that same year. These accidents led to 45 bicyclist fatalities, and 5,929 rider injuries—meaning that a scant 3% of bicyclists escaped unscathed from these encounters.
Even though New York City has several well-used and extensive segregated bicycle paths or greenways that connect major areas and neighborhoods (such as the Hudson River Greenway and the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway)—and even with increased efforts to provide adequate bicycle lanes and traffic barriers for cyclists—oftentimes, bicyclists must share the road with cars, buses, taxis, and trucks in order to get where they are going.
And unfortunately, motorists and bicyclists do not always mesh well in traffic. For the most part, cyclists suffer from their lack of mass, not only in terms of their likelihood of suffering worst effects of any impact, but in terms of their visibility. Many motorists either do not see or fail to watch out for motorcyclists.Intersections Are Dangerous
Not surprisingly, a joint report compiled by four New York City agencies showed that nearly 90% of all bicycle-vehicle collisions occur at intersections. Common accident scenarios involving cyclists and motorists include:
- Motorists turning left at an intersection into the pathway of an oncoming bicycle;
- Motorists turning right at an intersection into the pathway of a cyclist heading in the same direction;
- “Doorings,” or when a parked motorist opens his door into the pathway of a cyclist; and
- Motorists entering a street from a parking lot colliding with an oncoming bicyclist.
Bikers who are injured in accidents caused by careless driving by another often have a legal remedy. They can sue the motorist for negligence, or a failure to exercise reasonable care on the road. Under New York law, all drivers owe a duty to others on the road to act reasonably while driving. Those who do not, and who injure others in accidents as a result, may be held legally liable.
If an injured bicyclist successfully sues for negligence, he or she may be entitled to economic as well as non-economic damages. This means that the defendant(s) could be liable for quantifiable amounts such as lost wages and medical bills, as well as less easily measured damages such as those for pain and suffering. A negligent driver may raise the defense that your own carelessness contributed to the accident, and that you should not be able to recover damages. However, under New York’s comparative negligence doctrine, you can still obtain damages, even if you were partly at fault—your recovery will simply be reduced by your proportion of fault. An experienced lawyer can help you determine how to approach this potential issue, and also work with you to identify any relevant statutes of limitations so that you file your claim before the legal deadline to do so.The Cassisi Law Firm Can Assist Bicyclists Injured in Vehicle Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle while bicycling, consult experienced Queens bicycle accident lawyer John Cassisi for a free, no-obligation consultation on your potential case at (718) 441-5050, or use our online contact form. We have extensive experience assisting bicyclists in pursuing negligence claims against drivers who have caused serious injuries. We will help you to evaluate your potential case and, if it is viable, help you to obtain all the damages to which you may be legally entitled.