New York City Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The number of New Yorkers who ride a bike daily has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Some New Yorkers ride for exercise, some for fun, and others ride to get to work. Commuting to work by bike has become part of the city’s daily routine as it offers a convenient and more affordable option to City buses, taxis or trains, and is environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, the high volume of bicyclists in New York City has translated into more bike collisions with motor vehicles. If you have been seriously injured in a NYC bike accident because someone else did not follow the rules of the road, contact The O’Connor Law Firm and let us help you get your life back on track. With two office locations, your Staten Island or New York City bicycle accident lawyer will answer your questions and guide you through the legal process. We will deal with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery. We offer a free case review with no obligation and are available 24 hours a day.
Causes of Bike Accidents in New York City
Transportation activists have pointed to the city’s need for a safer cycling infrastructure and the lack of success of the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative as causes of the increase in bicycle accidents in New York City. In July 2019, the City announced a new five-year plan called, “Green Wave” which is focused on improving cycling safety in the five boroughs by adding new bike lanes, redesigning intersections, focusing on truck safety, and stepping up of enforcement of traffic laws.
In addition to the lack of protected bike lanes, the most common causes of bicycle accidents in New York City include:
- Distracted Driving: As with most vehicle accidents, driver inattention and distraction is the most prevalent cause of bicycle collisions.
- Failure To Yield: Over the past 5 years 16% of bicycle deaths were caused by drivers’ failure to yield the right of way.
- Speeding: Speeding is one of the more common contributing factors in every type of collision. Bike accidents are no exception. As part of “Vision Zero,” the city has lowered the speed limit in many areas from 30 mph to 25 mph with the intention of lowering the number of fatal accidents.
- Disobeying traffic controls: Since 2014, approximately 23% of cyclist fatalities were related to disobeying a red light signal.
- Improper passing or lane usage: When cars try to pass a bike rider or drive in a bike lane, the chance of a collision increase exponentially.
- Improper turns: 23% of bicycle fatalities involved improper left and right turns. Drivers must know where cyclists are as they attempt to make turns.
- Opening car doors: “Dooring” accounts for 7% of all bicycle collisions. In the past two years, 6 cyclists were killed by drivers opening doors into them while riding by.
- Roadway defects: Sometimes bicycle accidents are the result of potholes or other roadway defects caused by negligent maintenance and repair.
There may be multiple causes of a bicycle accident depending on the details of each case. However, when collisions are caused by motorists, the injuries are always more severe. If you’ve been injured in a NYC bike accident, call our office today and let us help you now. We are available 24 hours a day and a bicycle accident attorney can come to you if you are unable to travel to us.
Bike Accident Statistics
Almost 800,000 New Yorkers ride a bike regularly with almost 500,000 cycling trips made each day in New York City. The number of New Yorkers who ride a bike several time a month has increased over 25% in the last 5 years. With the increase in bike share programs like Citi-Bike and the City’s initiative to increase the number of bike lanes and bike paths there have never been more people biking in New York City. In fact, according to the most recent data, more than 1.7 million Citi-Bike trips are made each year. Unfortunately, the increase in the number of bicyclists also make collisions with vehicles and pedestrians more common than ever.
According to the NHTSA, there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic collisions in the United States in the most recent year reported (2018). According to the NYC Department of Transportation, there were 4,304 bicyclists injured in crashes with motor vehicles in New York City in 2018. While there were 10 bicyclist deaths in 2018, that number nearly tripled to 28 in 2019. There were more bicycle fatalities in Brooklyn (17 out of 28) than any other borough.
Who’s Responsible For My NYC Bike Accident?
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, you may have a claim against several negligent parties. Possible defendants include:
- Drivers of cars, motorcycles, SUV’s, trucks or other vehicles
- Owners of vehicles involved in a collision
- Employers of drivers operating vehicles in the course of employment
- MTA Buses or other bus companies
- City of New York or other public entities as well as utility companies if accident was caused by roadway defects or negligent roadwork
- Pedestrians who disobey traffic laws and fail to use reasonable care
- Other bike riders’ carelessness can cause collisions between bicyclists
Bike repair shops, bike share companies (Citi-Bike), and bike sellers and manufacturers, can cause accidents through negligent repairs or negligent design and manufacturing defects
If you are unsure of who may be responsible for your bike accident, give us a call today and we will gladly discuss the details of your case and advise you on your options. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we thoroughly investigate all bicycle accidents, including hiring private investigators as well as accident reconstruction experts as early as possible as evidence may be lost soon after an accident, including possible video surveillance from nearby stores, gas stations and other businesses.
Can a New York City Bicycle Accident Lawyer Still Help Me If I Was Partially at Fault?
Yes. Even if you were partially at fault for your NYC bike accident, you are entitled to recover damages, but you are limited to the amount of damages that are attributed to the defendant.
For example, if a jury determined that both you and the motorist were equally at fault for the accident, you would be entitled to 50% of the damages. So, if a jury determined your damages amounted to $100,000, you would be entitled to $50,000 (50% of $100,000). In fact, even if you were 90% or more at fault, you would still be entitled to recover 10% or less of the verdict that was attributed to the motorist.
Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries to Bicyclists
Because bicyclists are not safely secured like vehicle occupants, collisions with cars often result in serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries. We can help you recover damages for all your injuries, including:
- Multiple broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Fatal Injuries / Wrongful Death
Damages You May Be Entitled to After a NYC Bike Crash
At The O’Connor Law Firm, we understand how an accident can unexpectedly turn your life upside down. Life-altering injuries can also result in emotional trauma and leave you wondering about your financial future. We will work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve, including damages for:
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Emotional distress
- Loss of healthcare benefits
Call us today and let us help you when you need it most. We have been litigating personal injury cases for more than 20 years with a proven track record of success. We retain respected experts who provide valuable assistance in detailing your damages so that we get you the full compensation you deserve.
Call Our New York City Bicycle Accident Lawyer Now
Brian J. O’Connor is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating in ethics and legal ability. He is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and has been named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers. We offer free case reviews and we are available 7 days a week. Contact our Manhattan or Staten Island office today to learn more about how we can help you.