Bicycle accidents are an unfortunate reality anywhere in the U.S., but they can be especially devastating in New York City due to the high volume of traffic. The number of bicycle accidents has steadily increased over the past decade, with Brooklyn having the highest number. According to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), bicycle injuries totaled 5,568 in 2020, with 26 fatalities. Brooklyn accounted for 2,005 of these accidents, with eight deaths.
Have you or a loved one been injured due to another party’s negligence? A Brooklyn bicycle accident lawyer at The Rothenberg Law Firm can help you fight to recover the damages you deserve. Our firm was built upon the principle that to be successful for our clients, we need to treat them as if we were fighting for someone in our own family. Please get in touch with us to schedule a free consultation.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Bike Accident in New York?
If you are able, consider following these steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:
- Prioritize your safety. Move away from traffic and any immediate danger. Relocate to a safer place, such as a sidewalk, as soon as possible.
- Call 911. Calling emergency services is critical if you have any injuries, extensive damage to your bike, or the driver became combative or fled. Make sure to file a police report.
- Seek medical care. Get medical care even if you feel fine. Only a doctor can confirm the severity of your injuries because some may take time to surface, such as a concussion or other internal injuries.
- Document the scene. If you can, take photos of your injuries, damage to your bicycle, and personal property like your cellphone or the like. Get the contact information of any witnesses and record what they have to say about the accident if you can.
- Exchange information. Get the driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information.
- Consult a Brooklyn personal injury lawyer. Speak to an experienced attorney to review your options.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
New York City motor vehicles account for roughly 93% of injuries and 92% of fatalities—due to the following reasons:
- Driver Negligence: A motorist may fail to yield to a cyclist, make a dangerous turn, or not give enough space when passing, leading to a collision.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers texting, eating, or daydreaming often cause accidents with cyclists.
- Dooring: This type of accident occurs when someone suddenly opens a car door in a cyclist’s path, resulting in a collision.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, and uneven surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control and crash.
- Bicycle Equipment Failure: Faulty brakes, tires, or other parts can lead to accidents.
Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Cyclists often sustain severe injuries after bike accidents. This is because they share the road with cars but do not enjoy the same level of physical protection or visibility.
Common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Helmets can significantly reduce the risk of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) but they are not foolproof. A severe blow can still cause a concussion.
- Broken Bones: Collisions with vehicles can cause cyclists to sustain fractures in their arms, legs, and ribs.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: A cyclist may suffer a spinal cord injury if their back is impacted in an accident, potentially resulting in paralysis.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, and bruises are common after a bicycle accident.
- Lacerations and Road Rash: Cuts and abrasions from contact with the pavement can be painful and may require stitches or other more extensive medical treatment.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
In most bicycle accident cases, the final settlement or verdict will come down to the details of each case, such as the severity of injuries and the level of negligence.
Here are some of the types of damages you could recover:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and any other medical treatment required due to the accident.
- Lost Wages: If an injury prevents a person from working, they may receive compensation for lost income.
- Pain and Suffering: This type of compensation addresses the physical and emotional anguish of the accident and its aftermath.
- Property Damage: Cyclists can receive compensation for repairing or replacing the damaged bicycle and other belongings.
- Punitive Damages: When there is strong evidence of gross negligence or reckless behavior, affected persons may receive punitive damages which punish the at-fault party and strive to deter similar conduct.
How Our Attorneys Can Help: Call for a Free Consultation
At The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP, our dedicated Brooklyn bicycle accident attorneys are committed to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve. Our team can investigate the accident, identify the negligent party, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent cyclists in court.
We fight tirelessly for our clients and do our best to ensure you receive justice and the compensation your injuries deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees. With decades of experience and billions of dollars won and collected for our clients, we will make sure to fight to get you the maximum compensation available for your bicycle accident.