Bicycle Accident Lawyers NYC: Upholding The Rights Of Bicycle Accident Victims
Anyone who rides a bicycle, whether in the city or beyond, knows that cyclists are often a forgotten group on the road. Many bikers are injured when they are “doored” by drivers or passengers in cabs and other automobiles.
Were you seriously injured in a bicycle accident caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another person? Did you lose a loved one in a fatal bike accident? If so, please contact Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, to discuss your legal needs with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
We obtained $287,500 for a client whose arms were fractured when his bike hit a pothole in the road. We showed that the pothole was created by a collapsing pavement condition and that the defendants were aware of the condition yet failed to fix it.
What are some typical bicycle accident injuries?
Unfortunately, cyclists are vulnerable on the road. While modern vehicles are packed with airbags and other safety features – a cyclist has to rely on their helmet and their quick wits to keep them safe.
Clearly though, this isn’t always possible – which is why our New York bicycle accident lawyers see a range of common injuries:
Head and brain injury
It’s prudent to wear a helmet when you’re cycling – but the law doesn’t insist. As such, many cyclists suffer from head trauma if they fall from or are knocked from their bike. Sadly, helmets can only do so much to protect your head too – if an impact is serious, concussion can still occur if you have a helmet on.
Broken wrists and arms
When we fall, our natural instincts tell us to put our arms out to soften our landing. Unfortunately, this means your lower arms will often hit the floor with your full falling weight behind them. Broken wrists and hand injuries are therefore common when someone is involved in a New York City bicycle accident.
Broken or dislocated shoulders
In some instances – especially when a bicycle flips forwards – there’s just not enough time to put your arms out to break your fall. In these cases, people often land on their shoulders – often breaking collar bones. The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body too – so they often take a long time before debilitating pain reduces to allow for normal life again.
Soft tissue damage
Our muscles and connective tissues are only designed to stretch so far – but many bicycle accident cases involve collisions and impacts where these muscles are stretched beyond what they can cope with. This can lead to lasting injuries that need lengthly physical therapy treatment plans to put right.
No matter how smooth a road or sidewalk might appear, the texture can cause very serious friction injuries to skin if you fall and slide for even a short distance. Often, these serious grazes will be on the arms or legs – but it’s not uncommon for serious injuries to be caused to the soft tissue on a cyclists face too – sometimes even resulting in the need for reconstructive surgery.
Although it’s incredibly unpleasant to consider, cyclists are vulnerable to crush injuries both when they’re knocked from their cycles and when they’re upright. Large vehicles can often fail to see cyclists as they turn, closing any gap immediately and pinning the rider between the vehicle and other objects. Of course, if a rider is knocked from a bike, they become exceptionally vulnerable on the road too.
When cyclists fall or are knocked from their bike, they can sometimes fall in a manner which means they land buttocks first on very hard surfaces. In cases, like these, the pelvis is exposed to incredible forces and can fracture. This can often lead to lower body paralysis and potentially even wheelchair use for the rest of that person’s life.
Spinal injuries are some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries that a cyclist can incur. Your spine is more robust than many people think – but an awkward fall or a crush can easily damage your vertebrae – leading to life-changing injuries.
Tragically, cyclists are some of the most vulnerable road users – and this sometimes means that they incur injuries that are so severe they cannot be saved. In cases like these, our bicycle accident attorneys will work carefully and compassionately with the victims loved ones to pursue justice.
How do bicycle accidents happen?
Although the statistics will look different in other parts of the United States, there’s often common themes in New York City cycling accidents. Most of the time, motorists are at least partly to blame – and these are the kinds of driver behaviour that can result in injured cyclists:
Failing to yield: Motorists are expected to yield to a cyclist in the same way they would a motor vehicle – but they often don’t. This can give the cyclist nowhere to go – forcing them into a collision.
Unexpected turns: If motorists don’t signal or make sudden turns (especially left turns) they often neglect to check whether a cyclist is approaching on the inside and can turn across the rider giving no room to avoid the collision.
Overtaking a cyclist: Motorists often misjudge the speed of cyclists when overtaking – often leading to a lack of space for the bike rider, who is forced to take evasive action.
Failing to share the road: Motorists often don’t consider the space needed by cyclists. When they fail to share the road, cyclists can be forced off the road or into collisions.
Opening doors without looking: A negligent motorist or motor vehicle passenger may open a door into the path of a cyclist. Without time to manoeuvre, the cyclist can collide with the door at significant speed.
Who is responsible when a cyclist is injured?
It’s not always an open-and-shut case when it comes to understanding who is to blame for a cyclist’s injuries or the collision that has caused them. At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we’ll carry out a careful, open-minded investigation that explores all possible factors.
These factors can include:
Poor road conditions
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list as every accident is a little different. Needless to say, no matter who or what is responsible for your injuries, we’ll make sure you receive the damages you’re entitled to.
What if you, the cyclist, is partly or fully responsible?
Cyclists who’ve been hurt in on the road often don’t explore injury claims because they think they might be partly or fully responsible for an accident that’s happened.
Firstly, it’s rare that a crash is entirely the fault of the rider – but even if it is, the law is still there to protect you. Cyclists are – like any other road user – expected to follow the same rules of the road laid out under New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1231.
That said, according to New York City No-Fault Law, a person riding a bicycle is considered a pedestrian – whcih means they are entitled to No-Fault coverage in most situations.
Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to start researching No-Fault Law – that’s our area of expertise. Instead, we want you to understand that, even if there’s doubt in your mind about who is responsible for the accident you’ve been involved in, you should always talk to a New York bicycle accident lawyer at a law firm you can trust.
Fighting An Insurance Company
Even if the person responsible for your accident and injuries is remorseful, this carries little weight when it comes to recovering compensation for you.
This is because your personal injury claim will almost always involve an insurance company. Whether that’s a vehicle insurance company or a public liability firm, it’s their job to protect their profits – so even if it feels like you’re dealing with a company that wants what’s best for you, they actually just want to wrap your case up as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
This is where our attorneys step in to fight for bicycle accident victims. We’re not afraid to face down even the biggest insurance coverage providers – and when we do, we know what kind of compensation you deserve for the injuries and suffering you’ve had to endure.
Often, in the immediate aftermath of bicycle accidents, you’ll be contacted by an insurance company representative who’ll be keen for you to agree to a ‘damages’ package. This will usually be a financial settlement that pays you some money but prevents you from taking further action.
It’s absolutely essentially that you let the company know you’re seeking legal advice and have been advised not to commit to anything or sign anything in the meantime. It’s very difficult to quantify what your injuries will cost you in the long-term – so even if a payout would be immediately helpful, we’ll strive to significantly increase the amount you receive so that your life stays on the right path well into the future.
What kind of damages will we seek?
Your circumstances and injuries are almost certainly going to be unique – so if you talk to attorneys who suggest figures without a consultation, we strongly encourage you to at least get a second opinion.
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we handle each case on its own merits. That means we listen when you tell us how your life has been affected and how it may be affected moving forward. We can often think about things into the future that accident victims may overlook – so a consultation with our personal injury attorneys will always be a two-way street – listening and asking.
Factors that we will consider may include:
Current medical bills
Future medical bills
Rehabilitation and therapy
Temporary or permanent disability
Lost wages and income
Reduced earning capacity
The cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
Of course, that is just a small number of the possible areas that you will require support with. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to considering how your life has been impacted – you can trust us to make sure you get the compensation and support you need after a New York bike accident.
Your bicycle accident could prevent future bike accidents
Unlike many other road users, cyclists tend to have a shared respect for one-another. Whether you’re a road cyclist, a messenger, a casual commuter, or a parent taking their kids to ride in the park, cyclists tend to look out for one-another – a shared love of being on two-wheels.
This is another reason why injured cyclists should always pursue justice if they’re involved in an accident.
By talking to an experienced New York bicycle accident lawyer, you stand a far better chance of holding the person or organization responsible for your accident to account. In turn, this means they’re less likely to make the same oversight or mistake again – making the roads and parks around New York a safer place for everyone who uses a bike.
There’s no doubt about it – cycling is a win-win for everyone. Not only do cyclists help to make the environment around New York a healthier place – they’re also bolstering their own fitness. That said, cycling doesn’t look as appealing if there’s danger involved – but we can all do our bit to reduce that as much as possible.
Dedicated ∙ Compassionate ∙ Experienced
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we provide knowledgeable and aggressive advocacy for victims of bicycle accidents in New York City and throughout the tri-state area. Two of our trial lawyers, Adam Cahn and Matthew Sakkas, are avid cyclists. They know from firsthand experience the risks cyclists face, day in and day out, wherever they ride.
Matthew Sakkas rides 10 miles to our law offices in lower Manhattan every day. Adam Cahn has run bike road tours from Vancouver to San Diego and is an active member of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. As such, you can expect an attorney/client relationship like no other.
As evidenced in our notable results, we know how to obtain compensation for victims of bicycle accidents. Our personal injury law firm has experience with:
Bike messenger accidents
Recreational bike riding accidents
New York state no-fault insurance law
Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) claims
Serious personal injury and wrongful death
Request A Free Consultation
Our New York personal injury lawyers at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, are skilled and aggressive trial lawyers with years of experience helping thousands of clients. To learn more about our law firm or to request a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer, please call 212-571-7171 or email Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, today.