Being involved in a bicycle accident is one of the most traumatic and harrowing experiences for cyclists. These accidents can cause severe injuries, and victims are often unaware of their rights and unsure who they can trust. An experienced New York City bicycle accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum to schedule your free case evaluation today.
New York City Lawyer | Here for Bicycle Accident Victims in the Five Boroughs
Unfortunately, a majority of bicycle accidents are caused, not by the cyclist, but by unsafe drivers on the road. If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
In New York, bicycle accident laws are highly complex, and there are many local and state variations to the law concerning the right of way. General personal injury attorneys often do not have the in-depth knowledge of New York’s bicycle safety laws to be successful.
That’s why it’s important to consider hiring a New York City bicycle accident lawyer. The best bike accident attorneys have extensive experience in these types of cases. They will help you investigate your accident, determine who was at fault, and then file the claims and potential lawsuits to help you recover compensation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists take great care to protect their safety, using reflectors and other safety gear to make themselves visible to other motorists. Unfortunately, a great many bicycle accidents aren’t caused by unsafe cyclists. They’re caused by negligent drivers who do not take proper steps to share the road safely.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving, or texting while driving
- Unsafe lane changes and unsafe turns
- Pulling into the bike lane
- Opening doors into bike lanes
- Inadequate lighting
- Passing too closely
- Reckless driving
- Driving while intoxicated
A driver’s negligence can have life-changing consequences for you. You shouldn’t have to fend for yourself on the financial, emotional, or physical costs of this negligence. Compensation helps you recover financially, emotionally, and physically.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims
After an accident, victims often face many new challenges. They may be struggling with physical pain and severe injuries. Financially, victims often have medical bills and rehabilitation costs to pay for. And often, they face emotional distress as a result of the accident.
Compensation is available for victims, and it helps reimburse victims for any and all costs related to their accidents. Your attorney will help you fight for all forms of compensation. A few examples of what compensation can cover are:
- Medical bills, rehabilitation costs
- On-going treatment and care
- Lost wages from time away from work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of normal life
- Loss of consortium
In some bicycle accident cases, gross negligence or even malice was the cause. For example, DUI can be considered gross negligence. In these cases, punitive damages are available. This is a form of financial punishment, and it is awarded on top of any compensatory damages. Punitive damages may be available if your case goes to trial.
An attorney with experience adds value and experience. The best lawyers will help you:
- Investigate your accident
- Contact witnesses and build your case
- Consult with experts to reconstruct the accident scene
- File claims on your behalf
- File lawsuits, if you choose to pursue them
- Negotiate with insurers
Ultimately, after an accident, your primary focus should be on recovering – not stressing about how you will pay for medical bills and other costs. Your attorney manages the entire legal process, so you can focus on recovery.
What to Do After an Accident
Bicycle accidents are scary and traumatic. Victims are often in shock and unsure of what to do. We recommend you follow a few steps to protect your safety and your rights. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you should:
- Seek Medical Care – Call 911 and receive treatment for your injuries. If you are unable to, this is the responsibility of witnesses on the scene.
- File a Police Report – Even if you were uninjured, it’s important to file a report. This will help make it easier to recover compensation for property damage.
- Collect Evidence – If you are able to, collect evidence of the scene. Take photos and videos of damage to your bicycle, as well as the accident scene. Collect contact information for witnesses. If you were injured, be sure to document your injuries, as well.
- Seek Legal Counsel – After a bicycle accident, you have just two years to file a claim. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible will ensure you can build the strongest case and recover compensation more quickly.
Avoid Talking with Insurance Companies
If you have a current auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with them, even if the “vehicle” you were riding was a bicycle. Often, victims rush to file claims for medical benefits or cover property damage.
We highly recommend that you contact an attorney first. Your insurer cares most about the bottom line, and as a result, they may deny, discredit or ignore your claims. An attorney protects you against this unfair and bullying behavior.
You may also hear from the insurance company or attorney for the at-fault party. You are not legally required to talk with them. And we highly recommend that you do not. Instead, redirect any contacts with insurers or attorneys to your legal team.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
After an accident, you may be scared, in shock, and suffering from immense pain. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for medical bills. We want to help. Our New York City bicycle accident lawyer will fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve, and we bring years of experience to the negotiating table. Contact the Law Offices of Brian J. Elbaum today to schedule your free case evaluation with our firm.