Riding a bicycle is a wonderful way for recreation and eco-friendly transport. But, even with marked bike lanes, cyclists are at risk of ending up in a collision with a motor vehicle.
Besides the helmet, nothing else keeps the cyclists safe from the impact, which is why these people end up with severe injuries (just like pedestrians and motorcyclists).
With the high amount of motor vehicle traffic on the roadways, damages on the roads (road hazards, ice damages, etc.) bicycle accidents are becoming more frequent than ever. Cyclists themselves can be at-fault for the accident as well, but the number of these cases isn’t as high as when the crash happens because of another driver or road hazard.
Compensation for a Bike Accident
Even if you were involved in a minor accident, you could still end up with severe injuries like broken bones, spine, or traumatic brain injuries. You will have to go through a lengthy medical treatment and that will cost you money.
Most people ask who will pay for these expenses. New York is a no-fault state, which means the law requires that the other driver’s no-fault insurance will cover the injured cyclist’s medical fees no matter who caused the accident. Often the payment of medical bills alone is simply not enough. When a cyclist ends up with serious injuries because of the driver’s fault, or if the cyclist’s medical fees are higher than $50,000, New York law allows the injured cyclist or their family to seek a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.
Injuries are considered “serious” under New York law if they result in fracture, disfigurement, permanent loss of use of a body organ or body part, or death. In these cases, the injured cyclist can seek a claim for economic damages and non-economic damages in court. Economic damages include medical expenses related to the accident (past and present), with past and future lost wages, property damage, and any other expenses or losses the cyclist has as a result of the accident. Non-Economic damages will cover pain and suffering, permanent scarring and disfigurement, loss of society, or a spouse.
Typical Injuries typical in a Bicycle-Car Accident
Nothing protects cyclists from the impact. There is no seat belt, airbags, or actual shield in the form of doors or windows. In most cases, cyclists end with fractures. Head trauma is a frequent injury since the head is the most vulnerable part of the body. The injury occurs in most cases when the cyclist hits the ground.
Should You Talk to the Insurance Company After a Bicycle-car Crash?
The insurance company is protecting you from bicycle accidents as well. In New York, the car that hits you is the initial insurance coverage for the no-fault benefits, pain, or suffering, or bodily injury benefits. Your insurance can protect you for further no-fault benefits and for extra benefits; they can provide you with additional personal injury protection and protection for bodily injury, pain and suffering compensation (this depends if your personal limits are higher than that of the car that hit you).
Many New York cyclists wonder if they should talk to the insurance company if a car struck them. The only way you should address your insurance company is after you hired a personal injury attorney. Reporting the accident on your own can be risky since they will ask you a million questions. Whatever you say will be used to down pay you. Every question is tailored to benefit the insurance company, not you.
Your lawyer will know exactly what to tell them. And no matter whose fault the accident was, your attorney will not quit until you get the deserved claim.
Insurance companies would offer a low claim at first. Many people who try to do this on their own, would accept the low offer and the case is closed. Your lawyer will negotiate until the amount is high enough to cover all your economic and non-economic damages.
The only thing you should do is get medical help as soon as possible and when you feel well enough consult an attorney. Cellino Law attorneys have experience with such cases. We’ll gladly evaluate your case for free and advise you on your next steps. Don’t wait and make sure you file for your claim on time.
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