Are You A Bicycle Messenger Or Courier?
Bicycle messengers, commonly referred to as couriers, are responsible for transporting goods and documents by way of bicycle.
Couriers are under great pressure from deadlines, since packages are promised by companies to be delivered on a time schedule. This can increase the risk of an accident. They are not closely supervised either, because they are out on the road for most of their working hours.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, couriers are at a higher risk of work injury than the national average for other occupations. This could be because of physical strain due to transportation/lifting and because of the ever-present danger of road accidents.
Bike messengers are at serious risk of being injured on the job. Often, the life of a bicycle messenger consists of 9 or10 hours a day of riding time, much of it on the same roads that other cars, motorcycles and trucks use day in and day out.
This puts bicyclists messengering to and from businesses at high risk of being hit by one of the vehicles they share the road with. Protected only by a helmet and possibly elbow/knee pads, bike messengers who are involved in collisions with vehicles will likely suffer extreme injuries.
Cyclists Face Many Dangers
Particularly in the city, bicyclists face significant dangers, including potholes, buildings under construction and the like. Taxicabs are also seriously dangerous for bikers in the city, as they are constantly making sudden lane switches and stops on the side of the street, right where most bike messengers tend to ride. If this was the case for you, we encourage you to speak with a New York City personal injury attorney at our office today. Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, is prepared to help you make a recovery.
The New York State Department of Transportation has noted that nearly all bike fatalities in the city are the direct result of collisions with motor vehicles. It also noted that almost one-third of these fatalities involve collisions with significantly larger vehicles such as trucks and buses. While the department’s statistics suggest that more men are killed in these types of accidents, all genders, races, ethnicities and ages are susceptible to the harm caused in such accidents.
Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim
These types of injuries may be the same in nature as other bicycle accidents, but the legal issues are different. Because couriers are on the job when they suffer these injuries, they may be able to file workers’ compensation claims. Those who work for delivery companies will be offered this form of insurance by their employers (SCL § 2 and 3). The victim is not responsible for proving that the other party was negligent; he or she simply has to report the injury and prove it. You may be entitled to both medical and indemnity benefits.
This means that not only will your initial medical costs be covered, but you will also receive a portion of your weekly pay each week while you are recovering. That portion will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage times the percentage of disability. You may even be entitled to compensation after you are back on the job.
Third Party Liability
In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, bike messengers may have a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver who doored them or ran into them, or against the transit authority for a collision with a bus.
Many bike messengers who have suffered accidents with motor vehicles have reported nose bleeds, burns, fractures, concussions, dislocations and even amputations. Clearly, everyone would rather avoid the dangers of such accidents. You can still seek compensation through a legal pursuit, and we will help you do so.
There is a chance that your workers’ compensation claim will be denied, or that the third party will deny liability, which necessitates legal action. With many years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, we are ready to take on your case and work side by side with you in our efforts to obtain the results you are seeking.