It can be a scary experience when riding a bicycle through Queens streets. Drivers tend to concentrate on the other vehicles that are on the road, and this means they may not realize that they are also sharing the road with bicyclists. Due to their size, it is often difficult for those driving larger vehicles to see there is a bicycle on the street until it is too late. This is especially true if the cyclists is riding in a driver’s blind spot. In addition, some drivers also unintentionally make turns as bicycles are approaching them because it is difficult to determine the speed at which a cyclist is traveling.
Although it can be very nerve-wracking, it is legal to ride a bicycle in Queens. This means that cyclists have as much legal right to ride their bikes on the streets and roads as do drivers in their vehicles. This also means that if there is an accident between a bicycle and a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle may be held at fault if they are responsible for the accident.
The Queens bicycle accident lawyers at Cellino Law practice exclusively in injury claims, and they have handled many of these types of cases throughout New York for many years. The primary goal of our Queens personal injury lawyers is to ensure that negligent drivers are made to take responsibility for their actions.
Table of Contents
What Are The Main Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Queens?
The following are some of the scenarios that cause bicycle accidents on the road.
Before a driver makes a left turn, it is their legal responsibility to make sure there is no traffic approaching from the opposite direction. This law also applies to cyclists. Sadly, many drivers do not pay notice to those who may be riding a bike, and this can lead to serious collisions and accidents.
Drivers must also make sure that there are no vehicles or bikes in their blind spot or in their rearview mirror before making a right turn. This means that no vehicle or bike should be on their right side before making a right turn. Once again, many drivers do not take these precautions, and this causes them to turn directly in front of a cyclist.
There are even some drivers who may try to quickly turn in front of the cyclist, and the cyclist has to turn or stop to prevent hitting the vehicle.
Vehicles Crossing Into Bike Lanes
There are designated bike lanes on the roads in Queens, NY, to improve bike safety. Drivers often ignore these lanes and allow their vehicles to cross into them. If this happens while a bike is in the lane, a serious accident may happen.
Failure To Stop
Drivers in Queens do not always come to a full stop at a stop sign. Instead, they do what is commonly referred to as a rolling stop. This is when they simply allow their vehicle to ‘roll’ at the stop sign before continuing on. Bicycle accidents are often attributed to rolling stops because drivers do not have enough time to see an approaching bicycle.
Distracted drivers may open their car doors in the street without checking to see if someone is approaching the side of the car. A cyclist can easily collide with the door and get seriously injured.
Driving Too Close
There are some drivers who will pull up behind a cyclist on the road and not leave enough room between the bike and the front of the vehicle. These drivers are often in a rush to get somewhere and they believe that the cyclist is slowing them down. However, if the cyclist is forced to make a sudden stop, the driver may hit the bike because they do not enough stopping distance to prevent an accident.
Leaving An Alley Or Driveway
Drivers who enter a street from a driveway, alley, or side street often look to see if cars are on the road. This means they tend to ignore cyclists on the street.
Speeding And Aggressive Driving
These two driver actions often lead to accidents, and many of the accidents involve cyclists. These types of accidents are often the result of road rage. Bikes that are moving too slowly may make a driver angry, and the driver may begin to follow the bike too closely or become aggressive behind the wheel. The result can be life-threatening injuries. Speed is another common reason there are accidents between bicycles and vehicles.
It is important for drivers to remain focused on paying attention to the road when they are behind the wheel. Sadly, modern technology such as satellite navigation (GPS) and electronic devices (smartphones) have caused the number of distracted drivers on the roads to increase. This has resulted in more accidents with cyclists.
People who are intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs and get behind the wheel have a more difficult time staying focused while driving because the time it takes for them to respond to an accident is negatively impacted. This leads to an increase in all types of accidents, especially those involving bicycles.
It does not matter how the accident happened. Any accident that involves a vehicle and a bike typically lead to life-changing injuries. So, if you were riding a bike and got injured in an accident with a vehicle, contact us today so we can schedule a free consultation. After we have reviewed your claim, we will discuss the process of what you will need to do so you can get fair compensation.
What Types Of Injuries Are Common With Accidents Involving Accidents?
Head injuries, trauma, and brain injuries. After a bicycle accident, the cyclist generally experiences some type of head trauma due to their head coming into contact with the ground, an object or the vehicle. These types of injuries can lead to brain trauma, concussions, and fractures in the skull. Unfortunately, these injuries often cause permanent injuries and disabilities.
A cyclist can incur full paralysis or partial paralysis if there is trauma to their spinal cord during the accident.
Fractures And Breaks
Cyclists also tend to get broken bones and bone fractures in accidents. The most common fractures and breaks occur in the hips, knees, ankles, collarbone, pelvis, saddle. It is not uncommon for a rider to also have broken bones in the face, especially if there is facial trauma.
Dislocations, Strains, And Sprains
Cyclists can incur severe damage to their musculoskeletal system. Dislocations, sprains, and strains are very typical. The good news is that cyclists with these injuries tend to have a full recovery.
Damage To Internal Organs.
When there is an impact to the abdomen or chest, a cyclist’s internal organs can experience trauma and become damaged. The organs that are often injured the most are bowels, spleen, lungs, and pancreas. These injuries are considered serious and it can take a long time for an accident victim to completely recover. There may even be some permanent damage to these organs.
Injuries To Soft Tissue
Injuries to the skin and the tissue underneath are also common injuries for bicycle accident victims. Bruises, lacerations, contusions, and abrasions may appear mild, but they can be extremely painful. Some victims require hospitalization for these injuries and they have to miss obligations such as work and school while they are recovering.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) released data that showed cyclists currently make up around 2% of accident-related traffic deaths. The accidents that were fatal involved injuries to the internal organs and brain. Brain injuries and head trauma can be reduced by putting on a helmet before riding.
However, it does not matter how expensive or well-built the helmet may be, cyclists can still get seriously injured. The best way to reduce and prevent these deaths is for both drivers and cyclists to be more mindful while on the road and to make sure they obey the traffic laws.
Bicycle Laws In New York State
The majority of these types of accidents can be prevented. In fact, these accidents can be reduced simply by ensuring that drivers are following the rules of the road. These laws are in place for a reason, and that is to improve sidewalk and road safety in New York state. When you are obeying the traffic laws, pedestrians, cyclists and anyone else on the road can predict what you will do next. As a result, the number of serious accidents will also be reduced.
As long as you are responsible while on the road, you will not have to be concerned about being at fault if an accident occurs. This means that you may also get higher compensation for the injuries you have sustained. The following are some of the major laws regarding the bicycle laws in New York state.
In the state of New York, all cyclists and passengers that are under 14 years old are required to wear helmets that have met the state and federal guidelines for safety. The Vehicle and Traffic Law in New York states in Section 1238 that by not wearing a helmet, cyclists are not assuming negligence or fault in the event of an accident. This means that if someone under the age of 14 years old is not wearing a helmet and is in an accident, they will not be negatively affected when it comes to compensation.
The law also states that cyclists must ride with traffic flow, and they must stay as close as they can to the right side of the road. They are only allowed to travel away from the right side if they are going to make a left turn, or if they are avoiding debris or objects in the road. Those who are on bikes can ride beside each other as long as there are no vehicles beside them.
However, New York law prohibits cyclists from splitting lanes. This is when a bike will ride in the middle of two lanes of traffic. In Queens, those who are riding bikes are not allowed to be on the sidewalk unless there is a legal sign stating they can do so. On streets and roads with bike lanes, all cyclists are required to ride in those lanes.
Cycling While Intoxicated
The state of New York does not officially recognize bicycles as vehicles. This means that there are no laws that state whether a person can legally ride a bike while intoxicated on alcohol and/or drugs. This allows law enforcement to use their own judgment on deciding if they should punish an intoxicated cyclist or not. If a cyclist is intoxicated and is involved in an accident, not only may they be held partially at fault, they may not receive as much compensation.
If you break a bicycle law, it does not automatically mean that you are liable for an accident. The state of New York relies on what is known as comparative negligence. In other words, the law states that a determination will be made to decide what percentage of the accident each side is responsible for. Even if it is determined that you are 98% responsible for the accident, you can still file a claim for compensation for your injuries.
By hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Queens, you can be assured that you will receive compensation. You can get compensation even if you were not following the traffic laws at the time of the accident.
How Do Queens Bicycle Accident Lawyers Determine Damages?
In an ideal world, bicycle accidents would not exist. Sadly, these accidents do occur at a very high rate. When these types of accidents happen in New York, the first question is in regard to who was at fault. Determining who is at fault is essential to figuring out which party is liable for the expenses.
When it comes to accidents between bicycles and vehicles, the cyclist almost always sustains much more damage than the driver. However, that does not always mean that the driver is responsible. In order to decide who is at fault, a thorough investigation will need to occur. By doing this, the one responsible will be held liable.
A trial verdict may determine that the cyclist was also partially responsible. This means that the cyclist may have been intoxicated or not obeying traffic laws. If you are trying to get as much compensation as possible, you must be able to prove that another party caused the accident. The other party could be another driver, a government agency, a business, another cyclist or a manufacturer that made a defective product. Legally, it can be challenging to prove that another party was liable for the accident and was negligent at the same time.
How Liability Is Determined For Bicycle Accidents In Queens
After an accident has occurred, the very first thing that must occur is an investigation into what happened. In a lot of cases, there are several contributing factors instead of just one cause. This means that the accident blame can spread across many parties, as a result of what occurred. If there is more than one party responsible for the bicycle accident, we will work on your behalf to recover compensation from all of the parties liable.
New York state allows victims to recover compensation for all at fault. The negligent and careless behavior of another party could allow you to make a claim for damages. The parties that may be at fault include:
- Other cyclists
- Transit (buses, taxis, etc.)
- Government agencies
- Drivers (including commercial drivers such as truck drivers)
When you initially contact Cellino Law Firm, our qualified attorneys will thoroughly go over your case and make a determination as to who was at fault. This will increase the total amount of compensation you will receive for your damages.
What If The Other Party Tries To Blame You For Your Bicycle Accident?
Insurance companies and drivers will often blame the cyclist for these types of accidents. They do this in hopes that at least some of the blame will be placed on the cyclist so they will not have to pay as much out in compensation. However, these types of claims are usually not true, and they lack the evidence to prove that it is true. Do not let an insurance company or driver bully you into accepting less compensation than you rightly deserve.
If it has been determined that you are partially at fault for the incident, our Queens personal injury firm will work to get you as much compensation as possible. Keep in mind, comparative negligence is applied in New York state. You are still entitled to compensation regardless of whether you are partially at fault or not.
The amount of compensation you receive will be dependent on what percentage of the accident was your fault. So, in order to get maximum compensation, you will need to reduce your at-fault percentage as much as you can.
The attorneys at Cellino Law Firm will work not leave one stone unturned as we fight to get you the largest compensation they can for your injuries by arguing against any claims that blame you for the accident.