Unsurprisingly, New York City has the highest percentage of bicycling commuters in the country. In fact, almost 9% of workers commute into the city every day. And with surging gas prices, many may be considering joining them. Beyond commuting, young and old take advantage of bicycling’s many health benefits and enjoyable way to experience the outdoors.
In 2019, there were 18,510 vehicle crashes involving cyclists in New York City – 18,494 causing injury and 16 fatalities. While studies show that riding a bike on a road is about as safe as driving or riding in a car, riders should be aware of certain dangers and risks of injury. Read on for New York bicycle accidents FAQs and safety tips. If the unfortunate does happen, the New York bicycle accident lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick can help.
New York Bicycle Accident FAQ
Many veteran and new riders have questions about what to do if involved in a New York bicycle accident.
What are the common types of bicycle accidents?
Keep in mind, most bicycle accidents occur at intersections in urban areas. The most common types of bike accidents leading to serious injury or death are turning accidents -- especially left-hand turns and dooring incidents where a cyclist collides with a driver or passenger’s door just as they are opening it. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents with cyclists are fairly common.
Who is liable in a bicycle accident?
Liability in any accident largely depends on the circumstance; however, oftentimes the motorist bears some liability for the accident due to negligence. New York operates by what is known as a "comparative negligence" rule. Under this law, you can obtain damages or compensation for your claim, even if you are partially at fault for the accident. It’s often difficult to determine who may be liable for a bicycle accident without consulting a New York bicycle accident lawyer.
What should you do if you've been involved in a bicycle accident?
If possible after the accident, make sure to get the names and contact information for the driver, passengers and other witnesses to the accident. Even if the accident seems minor, call the police so they can create and file a police report. Some injuries and symptoms may be slow to appear but make sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Lastly, contact a New York bicycle accident lawyer about your case.
Should I call the driver’s insurance if I’m hit by a car while riding a bike?
New York’s no-fault insurance laws require all drivers to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. You may be surprised to learn that your own PIP insurance may come into play for a claim, even though you weren’t driving a car. Your best option is to consult a personal injury lawyer about your case.
Safety Tips for Bicycle Riding
If you’re planning on commuting to work on a bike or riding along busy roads, it's especially important to equip yourself with the knowledge of how to do so safely.
- Always wear a helmet. Traumatic brain injuries account for 60% of the injuries suffered in a bike accident. A helmet offers protection in the event of a crash.
- Dress in bright colors. Bright colors are easier for motorists to see.
- Ride with traffic. Never ride against traffic, rather make sure you’re riding with traffic on the right side of the road with no more than two bicyclists abreast.
- Learn how to use hand signals. Hand signals can help motorists understand your intentions when riding, especially in dangerous intersections or making left-hand turns.
- Don’t use earbuds. It's important to be alert while riding. Listening to music or any other distraction can cause you to lose focus and attention on the road. Or, you may not hear a car coming up behind you.
- Don’t ride with a passenger. Do not allow others to ‘hitch’ a ride or ride on the bike (unless it is designed for more than one person).
- Ride sober. Just like driving a vehicle, operating a bicycle after drinking or using drugs can seriously impair judgment reflexes and your ability to safely operate a bike.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, New York Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York bicycle accident, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your options. At Brandon J Broderick, Attorney at Law, we understand that every case is unique. Our clients come first. Contact us today for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success, we can get you the justice you deserve.