New York City Bicycle Accident Facts
Each year, about 54 New York State residents are killed in bicycle crashes, 2,000 are hospitalized due to bicycle-related injuries, and countless others suffer more minor injuries.
The Cyclists’ Obligations
Under New York State Law (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1231), traffic laws apply equally to bicyclists and drivers. Cyclists have additional obligations, such as using a bike lane if one is present, or, if one is not, riding the bike near the right-hand curb/edge of the roadway, or upon a usable right-hand shoulder (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1234). Cyclists are also not permitted to ride more than two abreast on a roadway.
The Drivers’ Obligations
In addition to obeying all of the usual traffic laws, drivers must obey certain laws specific to bicyclists. In particular, drivers must overtake a bicyclist only on the left side (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1122-a) and must use due care to avoid colliding with a bicyclist and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary (Vehicle and Traffic Law 1146(a)).
What To Do If You Are Involved in a Bicycle Accident
If you are able to, make sure that you get the name and address of the driver of the vehicle, as well as any witnesses. Photographs showing the damage to the bike and the car involved in the accident are also very helpful. Many times your injuries will make it impossible for you to obtain this information at the scene. In that case, it is vital that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will know how to obtain the police report, find witnesses, and protect your rights.
Getting Your Medical Bills Paid Following a Bicycle Accident
A New York City attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents will be able to guide you through the process of dealing with the driver’s insurance company, as well as your own health insurance company. In New York State, a bicyclist injured by a car is usually entitled to at least $50,000 of medical care being paid by the driver’s insurance policy. These medical benefits are available regardless of who caused the accident. Navigating the insurance laws, rules, and regulations can be a daunting task, especially when you are injured or incapacitated. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you smoothly through the process.
Finding the Right Lawyer
The lawyer you select to help you should obviously be experienced in handling personal injury cases. Selecting a lawyer who is also knowledgeable as an experienced cyclist is also beneficial. At Simonson Hess Leibowitz and Goodman, P.C. you will find that very combination in Edward Goodman. Goodman has been practicing personal injury law since 1994 and has been designated as the best lawyer in the field. He has also been an avid road and mountain biker for more than a decade.