Our New York accident law firm aggressively represents personal injury clients who sustained serious injuries as a result of bicycle accidents throughout New York State, including:
• Bicyclist struck by a car, truck, bus or motorcycle
• Bicyclist hit by an opened car door
The bicycle is a great mode of transportation, as well as a source of recreation and exercise. But, if an accident occurs, the bicycle is no match for the sheer size and weight of a motor vehicle. Bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries when they are in a collision with a motor vehicle, or even struck by a door of a parked car or truck carelessly opened by a motorist or passenger. Other than a bicycle helmet, knee pads and similar protective gear, a bicyclist is completely vulnerable and unprotected when struck by a motor vehicle such as a car, truck, bus, or even a motorcycle. The momentary inattention of a motorist can cause a serious injury to a careful bicyclist, even if wearing all available safety gear.
RULES OF THE ROAD
In New York State, a bicyclist is required to follow the traffic laws, and is likewise entitled to all the protection afforded by the traffic laws, including the right of way when applicable.
The NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law provides in part:
Article 34: OPERATION OF BICYCLES AND PLAY DEVICES
§ 1231. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates.
Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.
§ 1234. Riding on roadways, shoulders, bicycle or in-line skate lanes and bicycle or in-line skate paths.
(a) Upon all roadways, any bicycle or in-line skate shall be driven either on a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane or, if a usable bicycle or in-line skate lane has not been provided, near the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway or upon a usable right-hand shoulder in such a manner as to prevent undue interference with the flow of traffic except when preparing for a left turn or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that would make it unsafe to continue along near the right-hand curb or edge. Conditions to be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, in-line skates, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicycle or person on in-line skates and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.
(b) Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a shoulder, bicycle or in-line skate lane, or bicycle or in-line skates path, intended for the use of bicycles or in-line skates may ride two or more abreast if sufficient space is available, except that when passing a vehicle, bicycle or person on in-line skates, or pedestrian, standing or proceeding along such shoulder, lane or path, persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates shall ride, skate, or glide single file. Persons riding bicycles or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall ride, skate, or glide single file when being overtaken by a vehicle.
(c) Any person operating a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates who is entering the roadway from a private road, driveway, alley or over a curb shall come to a full stop before entering the roadway.
§ 1237. Method of giving hand and arm signals by bicyclists.
All signals herein required to be given by bicyclists by hand and arm shall be given in the following manner and such signals shall indicate as follows: 1. Left turn. Left hand and arm extended horizontally. 2. Right turn. Left hand and arm extended upward or right hand and arm extended horizontally. 3. Stop or decrease speed. Left hand and arm extended downward.
Article 26 – RIGHT OF WAY
§ 1146. Drivers to exercise due care.
Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist, pedestrian or domestic animal upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary. For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic animal” shall mean domesticated sheep, cattle and goats which are under the supervision and control of a pedestrian.
Of course, bicyclists should take all prudent precautions to increase the visibility of both the bicyclist and the bicycle, especially at night. Wearing reflective clothing, and using lights and reflectors on the bicycle are helpful in increasing motorists’ ability to see a bicycle. Of course, a bicyclist should never enter the roadway from in between parked cars, or turn into oncoming traffic, or ride against the flow of traffic, and should obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, traffic lights, etc.
BICYCLISTS ARE AT GREATER RISK THAN OTHER MOTORISTS
Despite the bicyclist’s prudent and careful riding of his or her bicycle, and observance of all traffic rules, bicyclists are at greater risk than drivers of cars. In comparison to a driver of a car, a bicyclist is more likely to be involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. This is often the result of the negligence or carelessness of the driver of the car, truck, bus or motorcycle that collides with the bicycle.
The unfortunate reality is that operators of motor vehicles often pay less attention to bicycles on the road, than they do to cars and other motor vehicles. Also, motorists often fail to yield the right of way to the bicyclist, or fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Furthermore, even when bicycle lanes are provided, motorists often ignore them, and do not respect the rights of bicyclists with whom they share the road.
The driver of a car may not see the bicyclist due to simple inattention, carelessness, or lack of awareness to be looking out for the presence of bicycles on the road. Also, a motorist may be distracted by using a cell phone, or speaking with his or her passengers. Other drivers may simply be inconsiderate, and not respect the rights of bicyclists to share the road with motorists.
Have you ever noticed how some drivers treat the roads as a combat field, and their vehicle as an armored tank? Avoid these drivers, because they are ego driven, and will destroy everything in their path. They are afraid of nothing except vehicles larger than theirs. As a bicyclist, your only defense is to stay away from these drivers.
BICYCLE INJURIES CAUSED BY A SUDDENLY OPENING CAR DOOR
Bicyclists are vulnerable to being injured by a door of a parked car or truck carelessly opened by a motorist or passenger. Although bicycle lanes often help motorists understand the boundary between cars and bicycles, it is also important for drivers and passengers of parked vehicles to exercise extreme caution when exiting on the road side of the vehicle. Carelessly opening the
door of the car or truck without looking first to see if a bicycle is approaching, can cause the bicyclist to be knocked over by the suddenly opening door. Being “doored” is a totally avoidable accident that can cause the bicyclist to sustain serious injuries.
New York State is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Therefore, when an accident in New York State is caused either partially or completely by the defendant’s negligence, even if the injured plaintiff was partially at fault, the plaintiff is entitled to recover monetary damages for the injuries sustained (subject to the “serious injury threshold” for motor vehicle accidents in New York State), however the amount recoverable will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to the plaintiff.
MEDICAL & HOSPITAL EXPENSES & LOST WAGES
New York insurance policies provide coverage for payment of No-Fault benefits for medical and hospital bills and loss of earnings sustained by a bicyclist who is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle in New York State.
There are extremely short time limitations for filing an application for New York State No-Fault benefits for medical and hospital expenses, loss of earnings, and other benefits available under the NYS Personal Injury Protection Law. We are happy to assist our clients in timely completing and filing this critical form. If you file the No-Fault Application yourself, we recommend that you make sure to list all of your injuries, and keep a copy of the filed form, and give us a copy. There are also short time limitations for submitting to the no-fault insurance carrier, the medical and hospital bills incurred in a New York motor vehicle accident.
It is important that these bills be paid by the no-fault insurance company, rather than by your health insurance company, because the health insurance company may deny the claim for motor vehicle related injuries, and also because the health insurance company may be entitled to a lien against the personal injury settlement or recovery, for the amounts paid for treatment of the injuries sustained in the accident.
HOW WE CAN HELP
If you or a loved one was seriously injured while riding a bicycle that was involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, it is important that you hire the right New York personal injury attorney. We will conduct a thorough investigation, inspect or photograph the accident location, as well as the damage to the bicycle, and the damage to the motor vehicle. Witnesses will be interviewed, police reports and motor vehicle accident reports will be obtained and analyzed.
FREE CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION
If you have been seriously injured due to an accident, and would like to discuss your case with a New York Accident Lawyer, call our office for a free confidential consultation, or complete our questionnaire.
Visiting our website, submitting any information via questionnaire or email, or discussing your case with us does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship with our law firm can only be established with the signing of a written retainer agreement prepared by our law firm.
Under New York law, in the event there is no recovery in a contingency fee case, the client is responsible for the expenses of the litigation, including court costs and disbursements.
Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case or legal matter.
NEW YORK ACCIDENT LAWYER DISCLAIMER
The New York personal injury, motor vehicle accident, product liability accident, construction site accident, premises liability, birth injury, wrongful death, negligence or other New York legal information contained in this website is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship or lawyer-client relationship. We recommend that you discuss your accident case with a NY lawyer or New York attorney handling accident cases promptly, since there are strict time limitations that apply to New York accidental injury cases.
This website is not intended to solicit clients for accident cases outside of New York State. However, we do represent accident victims who live outside of New York, who sustained fractures or other serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision, hit & run accident, uninsured motorist accident, under-insured motorist collision, motorcycle collision, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, roller blade accident, in-line skating accident, premises accident, trip & fall accident, construction site accident, or on the job accident that occurred in New York State, as well as wrongful death or accidental death caused by a NY accident.
New York Personal Injury Lawyers and Attorneys New York representing accident victims who have sustained serious injuries in New York City, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County and upstate New York.
Law Offices of Michael W. Goldstein, a New York personal injury law firm