Pedals and Perils: Navigating the Legal Landscape of Bicycle Accidents
More and more people, particularly in urban areas such as Bronx, have taken up cycling as their preferred way of moving around. Unfortunately, as the number of cyclists on the roads has increased, so has the number of accidents involving bicycles. In 2021 alone, there was a reported 791 bicycle crashes in the area, as reported to the NYPD.
These bicycle crashes are most often due to negligent drivers. Some drivers show blatant disrespect for the rights of cyclists, by, among other things, not leaving enough space for cyclists to maneuver the road safely. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle crash, a qualified Bronx bicycle accident lawyer can help you to better understand your rights and the next steps to take in pursuit of fair compensation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Bronx and Resulting Injuries
As mentioned, negligent drivers hitting cyclists is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents in Bronx. Others include poor weather and defective bicycle parts or accessories.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you can sustain any one or more of several types of injuries. The most common of these are head injuries. Neck, back, spinal cord, and injuries to the arms, hands, and wrists are just as common. Victims of bicycle accidents may also sustain road rash injuries.
Bicycle accidents involving cars, trucks, and buses can be especially traumatic, leaving you with severe injuries. Fatalities also happen in bicycle crashes.
What to do after a Bicycle Accident in Bronx
What you do and don’t do following a bicycle accident will certainly have some impact on the outcome of the injury claim you file. Follow this 5-step guide for the best outcome.
- Get medical attention right away. Ensure you get checked by a doctor even if there are no obvious signs of injuries, as it may take a while for some injuries to manifest.
- Call the police, who will investigate the accident and prepare a report. The police report will be a crucial piece of evidence when you file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
- Take pictures at the accident scene. These should be clear images of your injuries as well as damages.
- Get contact information of any eyewitnesses at the accident scene.
- Contact a qualified bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible for expert legal advice and representation.
Damages in a Bicycle Accident
You may be entitled to compensation for damages if you get injured in a bicycle accident resulting from another party’s negligence. Your lawyer will do their best to ensure you get fair compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover you for the financial loss you will incur due to your bicycle accident. These include property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic damages include compensation for non-financial losses, which may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
If a loved one died following a bicycle accident, you can file a wrongful death claim and seek fair compensation.
You may also file for punitive and other special damages if you can, for example, prove that the at-fault negligent driver was also drunk driving when the bicycle accident occurred.
Negligence in Bicycle Accidents in Bronx
To prove negligence and establish liability in a bicycle accident case, your lawyer will seek to prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Through the relevant traffic laws, the lawyer will show that the defendant owed you, the plaintiff, duty of care. Through solid evidence, the lawyer will prove that the defendant breached this duty by failing to exercise reasonable care while operating their bicycle or motor vehicle. The causation element demands that this breach of duty by the defendant caused your injuries. Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages as a result of the bicycle accident.
What if you are partially at fault for the bicycle accident? The New York comparative negligence laws reduces the damages recoverable in proportion to the plaintiff’s degree of fault. The laws don’t bar recovery, regardless of the plaintiff’s contributory negligence.
Contact a Bronx Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to speak to a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. While the statute of limitation for personal injury cases is three years in New York, reach out today to get a head start on your case.