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NYC Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured in a New York bike accident, you may have legal recourse for damages. Contact an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP to discuss your case.

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Cycling is a great way to get around New York City, avoiding heavy traffic and leaving less of a carbon footprint. Unfortunately, riding your bike isn’t always safer than driving. A New York City bike accident can result in catastrophic injuries, even if you’re wearing a helmet. In fact, bicyclists accounted for the highest rate of traumatic brain injuries for those involved in traffic crashes in New York City at 38 percent.

Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims in New York City

If you’ve collided with a motor vehicle while riding your bike in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan or Staten Island, you likely suffered serious injuries, and your medical bills may be piling up. A New York City personal injury lawyer can help build a case for compensation on your behalf.

Typical compensation in bicycle accident cases consists of:

Economic Losses

This form of compensation is for material losses, including medical bills and property damage. The purpose is to make an accident victim “whole” again, at least to the monetary extent that’s possible. This is fairly easy for bike accident lawyers to quantify and can include:

  • Medical bills, including emergency care and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages of income from work missed due to the accident and injuries
  • Property damage, replacing your damaged bicycle and gear, such as your helmet

You may also receive compensation for the time you missed work due to the accident and recovery. 

General Damages

This form of damages seeks to compensate bike accident victims for their intangible losses. Typical claims include:

  • Pain and suffering – both immediate physical pain and ongoing suffering from injuries
  • Emotional distress – many injured cyclists may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Diminished quality of life – serious injuries may prevent cyclists from enjoying their hobby again
  • Loss of consortium – the impact that serious injuries may have on a spousal relationship

Although no amount of money can restore your quality of life to what it was before the accident, bike accident lawyers in New York City can help secure compensation to ease some of the struggles from the bicycle crash.

Punitive Damages

If the defendant was engaged in misconduct, carelessness or negligence, then your personal injury attorney may seek punitive damages as well, which is financial punishment for wrongdoing and a deterrent to repeated behavior.

For example, if the driver was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you were struck by a commercial vehicle driver who wasn’t adequately trained, then you may have a case for punitive damages against the negligent driver.

This form of damages seeks to compensate bike accident victims for their intangible losses. Typical claims include:

  • Pain and suffering – both immediate physical pain and ongoing suffering from injuries
  • Emotional distress – many injured cyclists may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Diminished quality of life – serious injuries may prevent cyclists from enjoying their hobby again
  • Loss of consortium – the impact that serious injuries may have on a spousal relationship

Although no amount of money can restore your quality of life to what it was before the accident, bike accident lawyers in New York City can help secure compensation to ease some of the struggles from the bicycle crash.

If the defendant was engaged in misconduct, carelessness or negligence, then your personal injury attorney may seek punitive damages as well, which is financial punishment for wrongdoing and a deterrent to repeated behavior.

For example, if the driver was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you were struck by a commercial vehicle driver who wasn’t adequately trained, then you may have a case for punitive damages against the negligent driver.

What to Do After a Bicycle Crash in New York City

The first moments after a cycling collision with a motor vehicle can be chaotic and painful, but following these protocols can help protect your rights and help your bike accident lawyer prepare your case.

Call the Police

The driver may try to talk you out of calling authorities, but having a police report of the accident helps establish responsibility and preserves the circumstances of the accident. Unless your injuries are life-threatening, try to remain at the scene to identify the driver and give your account while it’s fresh.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Emergency medical care helps identify injuries that might not appear right away, such as a sprain, strain, fracture or soft tissue injury. Even if you don’t “feel hurt,” it’s essential to get checked out for this reason. The doctor’s report after the accident documents the extent of your injuries and establishes that they happened because of the bike crash.

Collect Evidence

While the police can and will do an excellent job of getting witness interviews and testimony, collecting the names and contact information of people that may have witnessed your accident can help your New York bike accident lawyers build your case.

If you can, take photos of the scene and your injuries. Preserve any evidence, including your bike, helmet and clothing, as your lawyer may use this if your case goes to trial.

It’s important to communicate as little as possible with the driver of the car that struck you. Give your witness statement to the police only, and once you’ve retained a New York City personal injury lawyer, communicate only through them.

People and Bicyclists in NYC

Contact a New York City Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Even if you think you were at fault for the bike accident, you still have legal options. If you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident, it’s essential to consult with a New York City bike accident attorney who understands the laws governing bike accidents and has experience litigating these types of cases.

Your lawyer can give you a realistic assessment of your options and your likelihood of a settlement.

Personal injury lawyers also negotiate with the driver’s insurance company on your behalf. Oftentimes, insurance companies will try to settle for as little as possible, negate that you were injured or fail to offer enough to fully cover your medical bills. Your lawyer can send a demand letter on your behalf and represent you, allowing you to focus on healing.

New York City Bicycle Laws

Bicyclists bear the brunt of a lot of impatience and road rage in New York City. Drivers are often in a hurry to get where they’re going and don’t drive as safely as they should around vulnerable bikers. Vehicles may pass or follow too closely, cut cyclists off while making turns, and fail to check before opening their doors into bicycle lanes. Bicyclists have most of the same rights to the roadways as drivers, but they don’t always enjoy these rights safely. Instead, they often end up the victims of harmful collisions. As a bicyclist in New York City, here are a few of your legal rights:

Drivers must respect these rights and treat bicyclists as if they were other drivers on the roadway. Failure to do so, resulting in an accident, is negligence. A motorist may also be guilty of negligence if he or she causes the crash while texting and driving, driving drowsy, eating and drinking, or otherwise driving carelessly. A New York City personal injury attorney experienced in bike crashes can help you assign fault and initiate a claim for compensation after a bicycle accident in New York City.

What Are Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?

Heavy traffic, crowded crosswalks and tourists trying to drive through the city make bike accidents in New York City far too common. Our years of experience representing bicycle accident victims in New York City have shown us the following types of injuries tend to occur most often:

  • Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Facial trauma, fractured jaws and cheekbones, broken teeth and damage to the eyes
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries, including partial or full paralysis or loss of sensory and motor control
  • “Road rash,” or damage to the dermis and epidermis from scraping against the concrete

These injuries are extremely painful to experience, but many of them may also require ongoing medical treatment.

Road rash may require skin grafts to repair, while a fracture or broken limb can mean weeks of difficulty getting around, followed by physical therapy to regain range of motion. People who suffer facial injuries need reconstructive surgery to fix them and may suffer from a diminished quality of life and emotional trauma due to the change in their appearance.

People with permanent, life-altering injuries may need long-term care, such as an assisted living facility or a home nurse. The settlement from a New York City bike accident should cover the long-term costs of medical care in addition to the immediate injury treatment.

Did you know?

According to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, head injuries are present in up to 47 percent of all injured cyclists, so it’s imperative to always wear a helmet. 

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Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP — Skilled Bike Accident Lawyers in New York City

Hiring a lawyer protects your interests. The other party’s insurance company will likely have its own legal team, and they have years of experience negotiating settlements for as little as possible.

Working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney improves your chances of receiving a fair, equitable settlement, covering your injuries and recovery.

Don’t let fear of high attorney fees deter you from seeking legal counsel. Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP operates on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay a cent unless we win you a monetary settlement or judgment award.

Contact our legal team to speak with a qualified New York City bike accident attorney and learn more about your legal options.

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