While most people consider riding a bicycle an enjoyable sport or a means of transportation, a Bicycle Accident can happen at any time, with devastating results. 51,000 accidents occur annually, and 5,500 of these serious accidents happen in New York. What begins as an innocent ride around the block can take an unexpected turn, and leave your with a devastating injuries and emotional trauma. Because of the lack of protection a bike affords, often these injuries are serious and can include a spinal cord injury, neck injury, head injury, back injury or even a severe blow to the head that results in a brain injury. In the same way that a victim of a car accident may seek damages from the negligent person, New York law allows victims of bicycle accidents and their family members to seek damages as well. If you are in need of a New York Injury Lawyer because you suffered injuries due to a bicycle accident, it is important to contact an experienced Bronx Bicycle Accident Lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries including reimbursement for loss of income, pain and suffering and medical bills. In addition, if during the course of the treatment for your injuries the medical staff commits medical malpractice, the party responsible for your bicycle crash injuries may be required to compensate you for the medical malpractice as well.Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
While there are many factors that lead to bike accidents including the negligence of the cyclist, more often than not the fault lies with a negligent automobile driver. Common causes of bike accidents include:
- A driver opening the door of a parked vehicle just as a cyclist is approaching. This is referred as a cyclist being "doored."
- A driver turning directly in front of a bicyclist.
- A driver pulling out from a driveway, side street or parking space in front of the bicyclist. This is referred to as a "drive-out" bicycle accident.
- A driver fails to yield at an intersection.
- A driver fails to stop at a stop sign or red light.
- A driver sideswipes a bicyclist. This type of accident is typically due to the driver's attention while driving past the bicyclist.
- A driver fails to look both ways when resuming travel after stopping at a stop sign.
In addition to the negligence of drivers another common cause of bicycle accidents are roadway defects. For example, debris on the road, potholes, uneven pavement or other irregularities in the road could lead to a bicycle accident. Even a small pothole could result in the bicyclist losing control and crashing.Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
A because of the lack of structure shielding a bicyclist, a bicyclist is likely to suffer severe injuries when involved in an accident. This is particularly the case when a bike is hit by or collides with a car or truck.
There are a variety injuries that those involved in a bike accident may suffer. Only injuries that are deemed serious are compensable. Common serious bike accident injuries include broken bones, back injury, neck injury, traumatic brain injury, or an injury to the spinal cord.Example
Plaintiff Daniel Auguste was riding his bicycle when he was sideswiped by a car operated by Juan Hernandez. As a result Auguste was pushed into a parked car and sustained a serious injuries to his back and knee. He required surgery on his knee and had to go to physical therapy. Auguste v. Hernandez, 2015 NY Slip Op 50639(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2015)Compensable Damages
If you are injured in a bike accident, you have the legal right to pursue compensation from that person or entity whose negligence caused the accident. Depending on the facts of your case, the type of compensation that you may be entitled to includes expenses related to:
- Emergency room treatment
- Hospital stays
- Medical procedures for injuries
- Medication and prescriptions
- Property damage such as damage to your bicycle
- Pain and suffering
- Wages lost while being unable to work
If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, certain family members may can pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. The compensation that you may be able to recover includes:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills for care provided before death
- Emotional suffering caused by the death
- Lost wages and other benefits lost due to the death
While a bicycle accident may have some similarities to an accident involving only motorists, there are nuances to handling a bike accident that only an experienced bike accident attorney will understand. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC to discuss the details of your case. Our staff is experienced in handling claims from people injured in bike accidents as well as motorcycle accidents and car accidents. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.