Hit by a Vehicle While on Your Bike? In New York City, You Can Sue
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Biking in the city is a reliable means of transportation. Unfortunately, it can be dangerous in busy cities and this is especially true in New York City.
If you bike in the city and experience an accident, then know that you can be protected by legal action.
Being hit by a car while on your bike is terrifying. When it happens, you are first grateful that you are okay. If you are not okay, then you have likely been whisked away to the hospital.
Once you have recovered from the accident, it’s important to consider legal action.
It is likely that your bike incurred physical damage and that you experienced a physical, emotional, and financial toll as a result.
Going through an accident is extremely difficult and you should not be forced to go through this alone.
If you’ve been hit by a car while on your bike, then you need to pursue legal action.
Here is your guide on what to do if you’ve been hit on your bike by a car:
New York Law and Bicycle Accidents
In New York, bicyclists share the road with trucks, cars, and taxi cabs.
With such a high population density and more people commuting on bikes or riding their bikes for work, it is no surprise that bicycle accidents are a frequent occurrence on these dangerous roads.
Around 5,000 times a year, a bicycle accident occurs.
About half of these accidents include moderate to severe injuries, which may require the bicyclist to go to the hospital because of a fracture or for surgery.
Some of these accidents even result in a fatality.
The lawyers at Abaev Law Firm know that bicycle accident victims are protected by New York state law.
If you were involved in an accident, you can sue for personal injuries and are possibly entitled to medical benefits.
Seeking Claims Through Driver’s Insurance
According to Section 1146. Drivers to Exercise Due Care, all drivers in the state of New York are required to exercise “due care” when driving.
This means that all drivers must be careful to avoid hitting bicyclists, pedestrians, and animals.
If a bicyclist is hit and they experience a minor or serious physical injury because of it, the driver is required (by Section 1240) to stop and provide their name and residence to the injured party and/or police officer.
With this information, you could seek compensation for injuries incurred through the driver’s car insurance.
You might even be able to reach a settlement without having to go to court.
In this scenario, you will submit a third-party claim to recover losses due to medical treatment, lost income by not being able to work, the repair or replacement of the bicycle, and suffering that was caused by the accident.
To file a claim, be sure to get photo evidence of everything, including the scene of the accident, damages to the bike, and photos of the physical injuries.
You will need to gather all documents that relate to your cases, such as medical bills, and a police report (if you have one).
Once you have all of this information, you will then want to bring it to a personal injury attorney, and one that is approved to practice in the state of New York.
Through your personal injury attorney, you can work out a demand letter which will be sent to the at-fault driver’s car insurance carrier.
Understanding Your Options
It can be frustrating to deal with legal matters after an accident of this kind.
However, seeking compensation will make the whole ordeal much easier to manage.
You should not have to pay for medical bills or take the hit in lost wages.
When seeking legal action, recognize that the fault may not be as clear as you may think.
For example, if you were on your bike and you were hit by a car, you would think that it is very clearly not your fault since you are the smaller vehicle. However, if you did not follow the rules of the road and instead were going the wrong way, failed to signal, or guilty of some other related infraction, then you might be found at fault for this accident.
Speak with a personal injury lawyer about your options and determine the veracity of your claim.
Hit and Runs
If the driver does not stop, it is important to alert the authorities at the time of the accident.
Even if you only experience minor injuries and can still walk or cycle be sure to stop and take the time to contact the police.
Ask any and all eye-witnesses to make a statement.
If they can’t remain on-site to talk to the police, be sure to ask for contact information so they can be reached at a later date.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, it is unlikely that you will be able to get compensation through the driver or through any state support.
You can turn to your health insurance and potentially your own car insurance provider if they offer extended insurance coverage.
A personal injury attorney can best advise you if you have fallen victim to a hit-and-run bicycle accident.
Speak with the personal injury lawyers at Abaev Law Firm so you best understand your legal options.