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Bicycle Accident Lawyer

New Yorker riding bicycle in NYCPersonal injury lawyers representing bicycle accident victims in all five boroughs of New York City and Long Island.

Strict time deadlines apply to filing a bicycle accident lawsuit in New York, so injured victims are encouraged to contact a NY personal injury attorney as soon as possible to to learn more about their legal options.

As bicycle use increases in NYC and across the country, serious accidents are becoming more common. The attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye have decades of experience helping to protect the rights of bicyclists who were hurt because of the negligence or wrongdoing of other drivers. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to anyone injured in a bicycle accident, so that you can make an informed decision about your legal course of action.

How NYC bike accident lawyers can help

After having a bicycle accident, you may have many questions. How did the accident happen? Was the driver at fault, or were dangerous street conditions to blame? If a motor vehicle passenger “doored” the cyclist, who is responsible for the injuries?

The veteran NYC & Long Island personal injury lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye can help answer these and other questions accident victims may have. Our expert investigators can uncover all the facts surrounding your accident. We work closely with medical experts who evaluate the extent of your injuries, and detail any treatment that will be required in the future, and the nature and extent of any ongoing limitations or disabilities that you may face.

Once we assemble the evidence, we explain all the options available to you. If a no-fault insurance claim should be filed, we help you do so within the strict legal deadlines so that you can obtain the maximum award to which you are entitled. If one or more drivers were to blame for your injury, we help determine who was responsible. If an unsafe street condition caused your injury, we can help you file a negligence lawsuit to recover for your pain and suffering, medical bills, diminished income, and other losses.

Common causes of bicycle accidents

Car driver error accounts for the vast majority of bicycle accidents. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, over 6,000 bicycle/motor vehicle crashes took place in 2011. 57 cyclists were killed as a result, while 5,883 cyclists were injured.

Cyclists typically bear the brunt of the harm, as their bodies are directly exposed to the impact. A cyclist can be seriously hurt even when wearing a helmet.

Among the causes of motor vehicle/bicycle accidents are:

  • Driver inattention/distraction
  • “Dooring” (sudden opening of car door into cyclist’s body, cycle, or path of traffic, leading to crash)
  • Driver’s failure to yield right of way
  • Passing or lane usage improper
  • Following too closely
  • Turning improperly
  • Unsafe speed
  • Inexperienced driver
  • Unsafe lane changing

“Dooring” is one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents, particularly on congested streets in NYC. New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1214 provides that: “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave the door open on the side of the vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

A person who opens a car door in violation of this provision is responsible for injuring a cyclist who collides with the door. In addition, when a taxi passenger “doors” a cyclist while exiting the vehicle, the cab owner can also be found liable.

New York City has its own laws that may apply to “dooring” incidents. For example, city law prohibits vehicles from stopping, standing, or parking in a designated bicycle lane. In addition, cabs are forbidden to pick up or discharge passengers within a bicycle lane. And taxis are required to be no more than 12 inches from the curb when picking up or discharging passengers.

The interplay between state and city laws can complicate a bike accident significantly. Edelman, Krasin & Jaye’s veteran car accident attorneys can help victims sort through this maze of rules and obtain the maximum recovery under the law.

Bicycle accident injuries

The disparity in size, weight, and speed between a car and a bicycle means that the cyclist almost invariably suffers more serious injuries in a collision.

Common bike accident injuries include:

  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Bone fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Neck injuries
  • Face injuries
  • Death

Under New York’s “no-fault insurance” law, a cyclist can recover for his or her medical expenses from the driver’s insurance company. The cyclist’s own health insurance may also cover some medical bills.

Liability for a bicycle accident in New York State

If a cyclist is injured on the road, often a so-called third party can be found responsible. For example, if a city or town negligently fails to maintain streets in reasonable condition, and a cyclist is injured as a result, a cyclist may be able to file a claim that the government is responsible for the damages.

If the town uses a road repair contractor, and that company fails to comply with signage requirements, or provides substandard service, an injured cyclist may file a lawsuit against the contractor. Road defects and other dangerous street conditions may include pot holes, sewers and grates, temporary paving, manhole covers, and the like.

Because different rules apply in New York City compared to Suffolk and Nassau Counties, it’s essential that bicycle accident victims consult lawyers with expertise in this complex field. Our team specializes in helping accident victims for decades, in New York and on Long Island, so we can guide you through the process smoothly and reliably.

Depending on the circumstances, crash victims can recover for many types of losses by filing a bicycle accident lawsuit.

Damages awarded in bike accident lawsuits include:

  • Past and future medical bills not covered by no-fault or health insurance
  • Lost earnings, past and future
  • Pain and suffering, both past and future
  • Property damage
  • Damage to the bicycle
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Contact trusted NYC bike accident attorneys

Since 1952 we have specialized in representing New Yorkers who have been injured in accidents on the streets and roadways of the city and Long Island. Often we find that, once insurance companies learn of our involvement, they offer to settle a case right away. If the compensation proposed is fair, we are happy to recommend that you accept the offer. But if the insurer decides to fight, we will take your case all the way to a jury verdict if that’s what it takes to secure a full recovery for your losses.

We encourage you to contact us if you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Nassau County, Suffolk County, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, or Staten Island. We offer free, no-obligation, confidential consultations to victims in New York City and on Long Island. Please contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye at 800-469-7429.

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Traffic Safety Facts, 2011 Data, Bicyclists and Other Cyclists,” April 2013, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811743.pdf
  2. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, “Summary of Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Crashes 2011”, http://dmv.ny.gov/sites/default/files/legacy_files/statistics/2011bicyclecrashsummary.pdf