It can be a harrowing experience at best to ride your bicycle through Manhattan streets. Unfortunately, drivers are typically focused on the other cars around them rather than on the bicyclist that is near them. Due to the smaller size, bicycles are far more challenging to see when they’re on the road. This greatly increases the likelihood of drivers not seeing them. For a cyclist, the risk is high of being in a blindspot for a car. Often, drivers will turn in front of a bicycle not realizing that they are there.
Although it’s highly dangerous, it is still legal for bicyclists to ride on the streets of Manhattan. This means that those who are on bicycles are just as welcome to ride their bicycles on the road as cars are welcome to drive on the road. However, when a wreck occurs that involves a bicycle, the drivers are typically held responsible.
At Cellino Law, our Manhattan bicycle accident lawyers have handled innumerable injury cases. Our primary goal is to ensure that drivers are held accountable for negligence on their part. Schedule a free case review with our Manhattan personal injury attorneys at (800) 555-5555.
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What Are Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Manhattan?
Here are a few of the more common situations that can cause a bicycle accident:
Failure To Yield When Turning
Prior to making any left-hand turns, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that there is no traffic coming. This includes checking for any bicyclists. Sadly, many drivers aren’t paying attention to bicyclists and this can result in a serious collision or accident.
By the same token, turning right in front of a bicycle is also dangerous. It’s easy to forget to check your blind spot but it’s vital to remember to do so to ensure that there are no accidents or collisions. In many cases, a driver will turn in front of a bicycle miscalculating the distance and thinking that they can readily pass the bicyclist and turn in front of them. This is very dangerous as many bicyclists don’t have time to swerve or stop to allow the vehicle to pass ahead of them.
Crossing Bike Lanes
Bike lanes have been designed to ensure the safety of bicyclists by offering a dedicated area for them to ride. Unfortunately, too many drivers fail to regard these lanes and they cross the bike lanes causing a serious accident.
Failure to completely stop at stop signs. It’s not unusual for cars to sort of roll through stop signs. Here in Manhattan, we’re no exception, we often slow down as we approach a stop sign and then sort of roll on through. This can result in a serious collision between bicyclists and cars as the bicycles expect that the cars will come to a full stop.
Opening Car Doors
If drivers aren’t paying attention, they can open their car door and swing it right into a bicyclist. Sadly, the person on the bicycle can sustain serious injuries if this happens.
Driving Too Close To A Bicycle
Drivers who are driving too close to cyclists can pull up behind them not leaving enough space between the vehicle and the bicycle. This is usually due to being in too much of a hurry. If a bicyclist is forced to stop unexpectedly the result may be a serious collision. Leave plenty of space between the car and the bicycle.
Drivers that are making these moves often aren’t focused on looking out for bicyclists. They may easily overlook bicycles if they’re not concentrating on looking while they’re making these moves.
Speeding And Aggressive Driving
Both speed and aggression are often the cause of accidents. Such incidents often stem from road rage, being in too big of a hurry, and failure to yield. Drivers may become aggressive if they have to wait for a bicycle and then follow them too closely or pass too closely. The end result can be deadly. It can involve life-threatening injuries. Speeding is a frequent cause of cars in bicycle accidents.
Anytime someone is behind the wheel of a car, they need to pay close attention to the roadway. Sadly, using such devices as GPS and even a smartphone has led to an increased number of distractions for drivers. The result is more frequent collisions with bicycles.
Drugs and alcohol can greatly impair the ability to drive. The use of drugs and alcohol can make it more challenging to focus on the road and reduce their reaction times. This raises the level of accidents that involve bicycles.
Regardless of the reasons for an accident, many of them result in life-threatening injuries. If you’ve been in an accident on your bicycle, give us a call today and let us set up a free case evaluation for you. After we’ve reviewed the details we can advise you on the next steps to take to ensure that you gain the compensation that you deserve for your bicycle accident.
Injuries Commonly Associated With Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents commonly see the following injuries:
Head Trauma And Brain Injuries
Victims of bicycle accidents often suffer from head trauma when their head hits the ground, a vehicle, or other objects. Such injuries may lead to brain injuries including brain injuries, concussions, or even skull factories. Unfortunately, such injuries can frequently result in a permanent disability.
Partial to full paralysis may occur if the spinal cord is injured in the bicycle accident.
Fractures And Broken Bones
It’s not unusual for bicyclists to fracture or break bones in an accident. These fractures and breaks may occur in the collarbone, the lower extremities including the hips, knees, the foot, ankle, pelvis, or saddle. The facial bones may also become fractured due to trauma.
Sprains, Dislocations, And Strains
The musculoskeletal system can easily be damaged due to a collision or accident. Fortunately, such victim injuries are typically short term and the victim usually makes a full recovery.
Internal Organ Injuries
If the chest or the abdomen is impacted, there may be some internal organ damages. This may include the spleen, the lungs, pancreas, bowels, and other organs. Such damages may take a long time to heal. In many cases, they may also lead to permanent damage to the body.
Soft Tissue Injuries
It’s not at all unusual for the bicyclist to experience soft tissue injuries including lacerations, abrasion, bruises, contusions, and other types of injuries to their soft tissue and skin. While such injuries may appear to be mild, they can be very painful. It’s not unusual for such victims to miss work and have to be hospitalized while they are recovering.
Per data that is published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicyclists are involved in approximately 2 percent of all traffic-related deaths. These frequently involve internal organ damage and brain injuries. The risk for such injuries to the head can be greatly reduced by the wearing of a bicycle helmet. However, they still may sustain some serious injuries and brain damage. The best way to avoid such injuries is to be aware at all times of where they are and aware of the traffic. Always follow traffic laws to help reduce accidents.
What Are New York’s Bicycle Laws?
A lot of bicycle accidents are preventable. By encouraging drivers to obey the traffic laws and encouraging them to do so, a lot of accidents can be prevented. Such laws are in place for a reason. They are there to help improve safety and prevent accidents. When people obey such laws, anyone else can predict the next moves and thus respond accordingly. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of a collision.
As long as the state’s traffic laws are followed, you won’t have to worry about being held liable for an accident. You may even be able to get a great settlement if you’re following the law. Many of the laws that govern bicycles in the state of New York include:
In the state of New York, the law states that bicyclists as well as passengers under the age of 14 must wear helmets meeting both state and federal safety standards. Per the New York Vehicle and traffic laws, stipulating in section 1238, those that aren’t wearing a helmet and aren’t wearing a helmet may or may not negatively affect their chance of compensation.
Locations For Riding Bicycles
Per New York State law, bicyclists must ride according to the flow of traffic. They are required to stay as close as possible to the ride hand side of the roadway. Should there be any obstacles, like garbage or debris, they may ride alongside one another. This also includes left hand turns. New York law prohibits bicyclists from lane splitting.
This is when a rider rides in between two lanes of traffic. Also, in Manhattan, it is illegal to ride on sidewalks unless there is a sign that officially states otherwise. Roadways, where bike lanes are present, require that all bicyclists follow the bike lane and ride in the bike lane.
Interestingly, the laws in New York don’t define bicycles as vehicles. Thus, as a direct result, there are no laws that govern the legalities of bike riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s up to the police officer’s discretion to determine whether or not to cite bicycle riders with riding while intoxicated. Should an accident occur while a rider is intoxicated, they may, in part, be held liable and reduce the compensation that they are awarded.
Breaking bicycling laws in New York doesn’t mean automatically that you’re the responsible party for the accident. The laws in New York rely on what is termed “comparative negligence”. Basically, they state that each party will have to show the percentage of how much they were or weren’t at fault. Even a person that is at fault 99 percent may still seek compensation from the other party for injuries that were sustained in an accident.
By working with qualified personal injury attorneys in Manhattan, NY, you can ensure that you receive any compensation that you are due, even if you’re the one that broke the laws when the accident happened.
Determining Fault And Damages In Bicycle Accidents
Of course, in a perfect world, bicycle accidents wouldn’t ever happen. Sadly, such accidents do happen, and surprisingly often. In New York State, when there is a bicycle accident, one of the first questions that are answered is who is at fault. Determining the at-fault party is an important step in determining who is liable for the expenses of the accident.
When there is an accident involving a vehicle and a bicycle, the bicyclist is typically the one that sustains more serious injuries. In spite of this, the driver isn’t always at fault. In order to effectively determine who is at fault, a complete and detailed investigation must be done. In this manner, the responsible party will be held accountable.
A jury or a judge may determine that the bicyclist is at least in part responsible for the accident. A good example is when the biker was riding while under the influence or on drugs. If they were on the wrong side of the road or if they weren’t obeying the laws. The responsible party may be another vehicle, another bicycle. a company making a defective product, or some other reason. Legally, it can be very complicated to prove that someone is at fault for a bicycle accident.
How Does A Manhattan Bicycle Accident Lawyer Prove Liability?
The first step after an accident is to investigate the circumstances of how the accident happened. In many cases, there are contributing factors rather than just one single cause of an accident. The blame may be placed on both parties depending on the particular circumstances. If there is more than one person, we can help you to pursue the proper compensation for the accident from each party at fault.
Accordingly, New York State grants victims the right to pursue compensation from all who are at fault for an accident. negligent or careless behaviors can entitle you to receive compensation. Some of the parties can also include:
- Other drivers. This includes commercial drivers including buses.
- Other bicycle riders.
- People walking, pedestrians.
- Manufactured parts that were defective (and their companies).
- The employer of a commercial driver.
- Government entities.
- Public transportation.
When you call Cellino Law, our car accident lawyers in Manhattan will review your case carefully to determine the at-fault party. After carefully reviewing your case, they will aid you in seeking the proper compensation from all parties who are at fault. In this fashion, they can help to maximize the monetary amount received for any damages or injuries.
What If The Other Party Says That You Were At Fault For The Accident?
Both drivers and insurance providers will try to blame the bicyclist for the accident. They do this in hopes that part of the blame will go to the bicyclist to help them avoid paying out as much compensation as they possibly can. Frequently, however, such claims are untrue and there isn’t any evidence linked to blame the bicyclist to a fault. Don’t allow any insurance company or other driver to prevent you from receiving the compensation that you deserve. It only takes one phone call to get help.
Even if you’re partially responsible for the accident, qualified personal injury attorneys at Cellino Law located in Manhattan can assist you in getting as much monetary compensation as possible for your case. In the state of New York, comparative negligence is applicable. Basically, you can still be compensated, even if you are partially to blame for the incident.
The amount of your compensation will be assigned according to the percentage of fault. To increase the amount that you’re compensated, you’ll want to reduce this percentage as much as you can. At Cellino Law, we can help you in reducing the percentage of blame that you carry for the accident. The lower your percentage of blame, the higher your amount of compensation for the accident will be.
To get your fair compensation, give our Manhattan injury firm a call and let us assist your claim by disproving any attempts to assign you any percentages of the fault of the accident. Our lawyers will evaluate your case and review the circumstances of your case in an effort to help raise the amount of compensation that you receive and to aid in reducing the percentage of your blame for the accident.