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New York Bike Accident Lawyers

Lawyers Representing Injured Cyclists

The roadways of New York can be a crowded, dangerous place – particularly for cyclists. Between motorists ignoring designated bike lanes, driving recklessly and/or distracted, bad road conditions and bike manufacturer defects, accidents involving bicycles have resulted in thousands of injuries to cyclists annually in New York City alone.

Need to Know:

  • If you have been hurt by another party while cycling, you should seek medical attention, collect evidence at the scene, and file a police report immediately
  • Cyclists are at a greater risk of significant injury than drivers due to the lack of protection that bikes offer in a collision
  • The lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy won over $110 million for a cyclist who was paralyzed after being struck by construction materials

The vast majority of cycling accidents in NYC occur between bikes and motor vehicles. In 2016, there were 4,592 injuries to cyclists (along with 18 fatalities) caused by collisions with cars, trucks, vans, and buses compared to just 64 bike injuries involving pedestrians, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. Sadly, not all of these cyclists seek legal help after being injured in an accident, leaving them to manage medical bills, lost wages, mental trauma, and painful injuries without financial compensation. Don’t go it alone; keep reading to learn how you can get compensation for your injuries.

In This Article:

Block O’Toole & Murphy was featured in the 2021 issue of New York City Best Lawyers® magazine. Receive a free legal consultation by calling 212-736-5300 or contacting us online – there is no charge unless we win your case.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents in New York City

When bike accidents happen, injuries can be catastrophic. Because the majority of bike accidents occur when the cyclist collides with a much bigger vehicle, the lack of a roof, doors, airbag, and seat belt leaves cyclists vulnerable to fractures, head injuries, and internal injuries. Some of the most common hazards facing cyclists are:

  • Motorist runs red light or stop sign. In the same way that one should always drive defensively, cyclists should always take care at intersections and watch for motor vehicles running red lights or stop signs.
  • Manufacturer defects. Riders should regularly ensure that their bike is in good working condition; faulty brakes or a flat tire while on the busy roads of New York could prove devastating.
  • Distracted Drivers.  Drivers are too often focused on their smart phone, talking to someone instead of focusing on road or manipulating the internal vehicle devices, like a touchscreen.  According to Forbes Magazine, nearly 12% of fatal crashes in New York State are attributed to distracted driving.  If a distracted driver fails to account for a cyclist in the road the consequences can be devastating,
  • Turning without signaling. Cyclists in bike lanes are vulnerable to motorists making right turns; watch vehicles carefully when approaching intersections. Be aware that trucks and large vehicles may make wide turns and/or clip corners; be aware of blind spots and stay well behind vehicles that are turning. Use hand signals when making stops and turns on your bike as well. https://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/dot_bikesmart_brochure.pdf)
  • Road rage or driving under the influence. Negligent motorists can be unpredictable; ride without music, always keep at least one ear free of any earbuds or headphones and wear a helmet to protect yourself against erratic drivers.
  • Drivers who fail to see cyclists. Wear bright and/or reflective clothing while riding at dusk, in the dark, and in other conditions when visibility may be low. Ensure your bike has appropriate lights and reflectors, as well as a bell or horn to signal your presence.
  • Poor road conditions. Potholes or debris in the bike lane or roadway could prove catastrophic to cyclists who don’t see them or anticipate them.
  • Getting ‘doored.’ While cars in motion may be the most intimidating thing on the road, many bike accidents occur when a car parked on the side of the road opens a door and hits a passing cyclist. Keep at least three feet away from parked cars and keep an eye on parked cars. Similarly, drivers and passengers need to be mindful of this as they open their car doors.  Everyone needs to be on alert to reduce the number of ‘doored’ collisions.

On the crowded streets of New York City, there are many things that can go wrong and cause accidents which seriously injure cyclists. By knowing what the dangers are, you can protect yourself against these hazards and bike as safely and lawfully as possible.

What To Do If You’re Injured in a Bike Accident

It’s important to stay as calm as possible in the wake of a serious biking accident. Knowing what to do before an accident happens can be instrumental in acting in your own best interest. This is why a bicycle accident lawyer can help, because they know how to advise on the following steps.

Get Medical Treatment

Consulting with a doctor is also crucial in the wake of any accident that causes you injury. Even if an injury doesn’t feel serious at first, it is a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional. Persons injured in accidents often find that their symptoms did not reveal themselves right away, particularly in the case of back and spinal injuries. Speaking with a doctor will bring you some peace of mind, and the medical report will be another valuable document if you choose to pursue legal action.

Take care not to further hurt yourself, but, if you are able, remove yourself from the roadway or any area where there is a danger of being hit by another vehicle or cyclist.

Collect Evidence at the Scene

If you can, note the surroundings and conditions that caused your accident. Take pictures with your phone if possible. This also involves exchanging contact and insurance information with any motorist involved in the crash.

Collecting evidence also means that you should attempt to speak with any eyewitnesses at the scene or at least obtain their name and phone number. If a vehicle hits you and flees the scene, you should attempt to record their license plate number so justice can be served. This can mean snapping a picture of the license plate, asking someone else to do so, or simply remembering the license plate number and anything you can about the type of vehicle, color, and any writing or notable features.

File a Police Report

Contacting the authorities is another crucial step in the aftermath of an accident. The police will make a detailed report of the accident’s facts and get official statements from you and any witnesses who may be present. If you decide to pursue legal action, this police report will be invaluable in preserving the facts of the case. Those involved and witnesses may forget details later or may decide to change their story after speaking to others or thinking about the accident over time; a report taken immediately after the accident can preserve the initial statements and description of the scene and what happened.

Contact a NYC Cycling Accident Law Firm

The bicycle accident attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy are renowned for their knowledge, experience, and tenacity. If you or a loved one have been injured in a cycling accident, Block O’Toole & Murphy can help protect your rights and pursue compensation for the damages you suffered.

Notable bicycle accident results include:

  • $110,174,972 jury verdict for a cyclist paralyzed by a railroad tie that fell from the subway tracks above while he was biking through a public street in Bushwick, Brooklyn
  • $2,500,000 settlement for a cyclist who was doored by an Access-A-Ride van in the Bronx and suffered knee and back injuries
  • $2,100,000 settlement for a cyclist who required spinal fusion surgery after he was struck by a New York City Department of Sanitation garbage truck
  • $1,300,000 settlement for a 52-year-old man in Brooklyn who fractured his left leg when he was struck by a van turning out of a parking lot
  • $1,250,000 recovery for a bicycle messenger who was struck by an SUV which ran a red light in the Bronx, fracturing his right tibia and fibula

Serving Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, Buffalo, New Rochelle and the rest of New York State. Call 212-736-5300 today or fill out our online contact form to receive a free legal consultation.

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