Riding a bicycle on Long Island streets can be a harrowing experience. This is because drivers often pay attention to other cars and may not focus on those riding bicycles. Besides, bicycles are small in size and this makes it hard for drivers to see them on the road. It is riskier for a cyclist to ride in the blind spot of a vehicle as the driver cannot directly observe this area while driving.
And since it is hard for a driver to know how fast a cyclist is moving, the driver could end up turning in front of a bike. While riding a bicycle on Long Island streets can be dangerous, bicycles have the same right as cars to use the roadways with cars as riding a bicycle on the roadways is legal. If a driver hits you while cycling, the driver who hits you will be held responsible provided he or she is at fault.
The Long Island bicycle accident lawyers at Cellino Law have knowledge and experience to help victims of these incidents. Our injury law firm in Long Island has handled many bike accident cases and know how to deal with these cases effectively. Our main aim is to ensure that negligent drivers are held responsible for their negligent behavior.
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What are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Long Island?
The most common situations that lead to bicycle accidents in Long Island include:
Failure to Yield by Drivers
A driver must ensure that there is no oncoming traffic including a cyclist before making a left turn. However, drivers don’t pay attention to cyclists and this can lead to collisions or serious accidents. Making a right-hand turn in front of a cyclist. It is very important for a driver to check his or her blind spot and look in their rearview mirrors before turning right.
Doing these things enable the driver to make sure that there is no bike to the right of his or her vehicle. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t do any of these things when making a right-hand turn. This causes the drivers to turn directly in front of a cyclist. Sometimes, a driver will try as much as possible to beat a cyclist by driving quickly past him or her and turning on in front of the bicycle. If the cyclist is too close to the car, it is highly likely that he or she will run into the vehicle as they may not get the time to stop.
Driving Across a Bike Lane
Bike lanes are meant to make roads safer for cyclists as they offer a dedicated place for cycling. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t respect these lanes and cross over them. This can result in severe accidents.
Stop Sign Accidents
Drivers in Long Island, NY, do not always come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Instead, the drivers do a rolling stop (slowing down and continuing through the intersection). A rolling stop can cause collisions with cyclists as a driver may not be able to see a cyclist or cyclists.
Opening Car Doors
When a driver parks his or her vehicle on the roadside and would like to open their vehicle’s door, he or she should carefully check for approaching traffic first. Drivers who don’t check for approaching traffic when opening their doors may cause dooring (when a cyclist or any other road user rides into a vehicle’s door. Dooring can cause serious injuries.
Driving too Close to a Bicycle
Those drivers who drive too close behind a bicycle on the road at times pull up right behind a cyclist without leaving enough space between their car and the bicycle. Such drivers do this because they feel like the cyclist is slowing them down by blocking the path of their vehicle. This can lead to a traffic collision in case the cyclist stops quickly as the driver will most likely not have enough distance to stop also.
Exiting a Driveway
In most cases, a driver who enters the road from a cross street, driveway or an alley may pay attention to cars and overlook cyclists on the road.
Aggressive Driving or Speeding
Driving aggressively and driving too fast are among the major causes of accidents. Such accidents mostly involve cyclists. Road rage is usually the cause of these incidents. When a bicycle rides his or her bike very slowly, some drivers may try to pass the cyclist aggressively or follow the cyclist too closely. Such driving can lead to severe accidents. Driving fast is also another major cause of bicycle accidents.
A driver needs to pay close attention to the road while driving. This is to avoid distractions that can lead to bicycle accidents. Some drivers are distracted by things such as smartphones and GPS units while driving and increase the risk of colliding with cyclists.
Driving after drinking alcohol or taking impairing drugs can negatively affect your driving as it slows down your ability to respond to things on the road and respond to important driving tasks. As such, intoxicated driving can increase the chances of being in a collision with other road users including cyclists.
Regardless of the cause of an accident, any bicycle accident can lead to life-altering injuries. If you or your loved one is involved in a bicycle accident, call us as soon as possible so that we can set up a complimentary case evaluation. After reviewing the details of your case, we will advise you on what you should do to receive compensation for the bicycle accident.
The Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Head trauma or brain injuries. Bicycle accidents can result in brain injuries, skull fractures or concussions as the head of the victim of the accident can strike the vehicle, ground or other objects near where the accident has occurred. Unfortunately, brain injuries are permanent disabilities.
Bicycle accidents can cause spinal cord injuries that can leave the accident victim paralyzed.
Broken or Bones
Bicycle accidents are more likely to cause broken bone injuries. Even though any bone may be broken in a bicycle accident, there are some bones that are more likely to break than others. Bones that are more likely to break include those in the accident victim’s lower body including the knee, hip, foot, ankle, pelvis, and saddle. Any trauma to the face can cause facial fractures.
Sprains, Strains, or Dislocations
A bicycle accident can cause serious musculoskeletal injuries. Sprains, dislocations, and strains are very common. The good thing is that the victim can fully recover from these injuries.
Internal Organ Injuries
If a victim’s abdomen or chest experiences impact during a collision, then it is more likely that the internal organs will be damaged. Some of the organs that are commonly injured include the pancreas, spleen, bowels, and lungs. Unfortunately, it is hard for the affected person to recover from these injuries and they heal after a long time. These injuries can sometimes become permanent.
Those involved in a bicycle accident can experience lacerations, abrasions, bruises, contusions or other injuries to their soft tissue or skin. Despite the fact that the injuries may be mild, they are very painful. A victim of a bicycle accident requires hospitalization and may have to miss work during recovery.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cyclist fatalities account for 2% of all traffic fatalities. Most of these deaths are caused by problems with internal organs or brain injuries. Cyclists can reduce the risk of brain damage or head injuries by wearing a helmet whenever they ride their bicycles. However, a helmet cannot offer maximum protection regardless of how good the helmet is. Serious injuries can occur even when you wear a helmet. Cyclists and drivers can reduce the number of cycling deaths by following traffic laws and focusing on what they are doing on the road.
New York Bicycle Laws
Many cycling deaths can be prevented if drivers follow the traffic laws of the state. Traffic laws were made to ensure the safety of sidewalks and roadways in the state of New York. As a cyclist, it is good to obey these laws as doing so can make it easier for other cyclists and pedestrians to predict your next move hence significantly reducing the risk of collisions.
If you obey these laws, you don’t have to worry about being held responsible in case of an accident. Obeying the laws can help you receive a greater amount of compensation or a higher settlement for your injuries in case you are involved in a bicycle accident. Here are some of the main New York bicycle laws that govern the bicycles in New York State:
New York bicycle law states that both cyclists and passengers below the age of 14 are supposed to wear helmets that meet the state and federal safety guidelines. According to Section 1238 of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law failure to wear a helmet does not lead to the assumption of fault or contributory negligence in case of a collision.
As a result, if a person below 14 years is involved in an accident and is not wearing a helmet can still receive compensation as the fact that the person did not wear a helmet does not negatively affect the person’s chances of getting compensation.
Locations for Riding
The law says that a cyclist should ride his or her bicycle with the flow of traffic and try as much as possible to stay close to the right-hand side of the road. The law further states that a cyclist is only allowed to move away from the right-hand side of the road if he or she making a left-hand turn or if the right-hand side of the road has obstacles like garbage or debris.
Cyclists can ride their bicycles next to each other on the road provided there is no vehicle nearby. New York bicycle law forbids lane splitting and any cyclist should avoid doing so. Lane splitting refers to riding in between 2 traffic lanes. Cyclists in Long Island are not allowed to ride their bicycles on the sidewalk unless there is an official sign allowing them to do so. A cyclist is also required to use a bike lane whenever it is present.
Since New York state does not officially define bicycles as vehicles, there are no laws that govern the legality of riding a bike after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Therefore, police officers decide what to do with those riding a bike under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a person rides his or her bicycle while intoxicated is involved in an accident, the amount of compensation will be reduced as they are held partly responsible.
When you break a bicycle law in New York, it does not automatically mean that you are the one responsible for causing the accident. This is because New York State usually relies on comparative negligence. What this means is that each of the parties involved in the accident is given a percentage of fault. As such, a person can claim compensation for the injuries from an accident even if he or she is 99% at fault. A good Long Island personal injury attorney can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries even if you broke a traffic law when the accident occurred.
How Can a Long Island Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Prove Fault for a Claim?
If the world would be a perfect place, there would be no bicycle accidents. However, it is not. That is why there are many bicycle accidents. When a bicycle accident occurs in New York, determining who is at fault is often among the first things to be done. Determining the responsible party for the accident is important as he or she is the one who will incur expenses as a result of the accident.
Cyclists involved in accidents involving a bicycle in a vehicle often sustain larger damages. However, this does not always mean that the driver is at fault. The only way to know the party responsible for the accident is to conduct a thorough investigation. In some cases, a jury or judge may find a cyclist partially responsible for the bicycle accident. This may happen if the cyclist was riding his or her bike under the influence of alcohol, broke traffic rules, or riding on the wrong side of the road.
To receive the most compensation possible for your injuries, you should prove that the other party involved in the accident is at fault. The party responsible for an accident could be a driver, another cyclist, a government organization, or a company that manufactured defective products. Legally speaking, proving that the party at fault was negligent is a complicated task.
Who can be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident in Long Island?
The first thing to do after an accident has occurred is to find out what caused the accident. In most cases, accidents are caused by several factors, not a single cause. Depending on what occurred, many parties may be responsible for the accident. If more than one person caused your accident, we can help you get your deserved compensation from the responsible parties.
In New York, victims have a right to seek compensation from all those who are responsible for an accident. A party is responsible for an accident if it’s negligent or careless behavior caused an accident. Some of the parties that may be involved in an accident include:
- Other cyclists
- Drivers on the road including bus drivers, commercial truck drivers
- Companies that made defective bikes, cars, parts or equipment
- The driver’s employers (if the accident was caused by a commercial truck driver)
- Public transportation services
- Government entities
Immediately after being involved in a bicycle accident, contact a good personal injury lawyer such as the lawyers at Cellino Law. When you contact us, we will start conducting a thorough investigation to determine who is responsible for the accident. Next, we will help you get your deserved compensation from the responsible party or parties. This enables us to help you get more money for your injuries and damages.
What if the Other Party Says That I am Responsible for the Accident?
Insurance providers and drivers usually try to put the blame on cyclists whenever a bicycle accident occurs. They do this believing that a percentage of the blame will be assigned to the person who was riding the bicycle hence reducing the amount they have to pay for damages and injuries.
Keep in mind that such claims are untrue and the drivers or insurance providers may not have evidence to prove that the cyclist is to blame for the accident. So, don’t let these claims hinder you from getting your deserved compensation.
Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, a reputable Long Island personal injury attorney at Cellino Law in Long Island will try as much as possible to help you get as much money as possible for your injuries and damages. As we said earlier, comparative negligence applies in New York State and you can receive compensation even if you are partially to blame for the accident.
The amount of compensation you get depends on your percentage of fault. As such, it is good to try as much as possible to reduce your percentage of fault. A reputable personal injury attorney at Cellino Law will try as much as possible to dispute any attempts to blame you for the accident to help reduce your percentage of fault. The attorney will help you get more money for your damages and injuries.