A bicycle accident can result in devastating injuries that keep you from working and caring for your family for weeks. In serious cases, you may face months of recovery time. Unfortunately, the process of recovering compensation can be equally challenging.
While true, our experienced East Meadow bicycle accident lawyers are available to help. We understand the laws and what it takes to help our clients secure the full compensation they are entitled to.
The first step is to call our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
New York Bicycle Laws at a Glance
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 1231, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. Key provisions include:
Position on the Road
Cyclists are generally required to ride near the right curb or edge of the road, except when passing, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding road hazards. This positioning helps maintain an orderly traffic flow and minimizes the potential for collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles.
Mandatory Helmets for Young Riders
Safety is paramount, especially for younger riders. In New York, it’s mandatory for cyclists under the age of 14 to wear a helmet. This rule is crucial, as helmets can reduce the risk of severe head injuries in an accident.
Lighting Requirements for Night Riding
Visibility is key in cycling, especially at night or in low-light conditions. Bicycles used at night in New York must have a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet in front and a red taillight from the same distance to the rear. These requirements ensure that cyclists can see and be seen, reducing the potential for nighttime accidents.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents in East Meadow can arise from various situations, including:
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is distracted driving. Whether texting, talking on the phone, or fiddling with the radio, distracted drivers are less aware of their surroundings. This reduced attention can lead to not noticing a bicyclist in their vicinity, resulting in collisions.
“Dooring” refers to the sudden opening of a car door in the path of an oncoming cyclist. Often occurring in urban areas with parked cars alongside cycling lanes, dooring can lead to serious injuries for cyclists, as they may not have enough time to react and avoid the suddenly opened door.
Failure to Yield
Intersections can be particularly hazardous for cyclists. When drivers fail to yield the right-of-way, especially in intersections without clear traffic signals, it can lead to dangerous collisions. Due to their lack of protective casing compared to cars, cyclists are at a higher risk of injury.
Poor Road Conditions
The condition of the road can significantly impact a cyclist’s safety. Potholes, debris, uneven surfaces, and lack of proper signage can lead to accidents. While drivers might manage to navigate these conditions with minimal impact, for a cyclist, a pothole or a patch of gravel can result in a loss of balance and a subsequent crash.
Cycling in areas with poor or inadequate lighting increases the risk of accidents. Both drivers and cyclists may struggle to see each other, especially during dawn, dusk, or nighttime. Proper lighting and reflective gear are crucial for cyclists to remain visible in such conditions.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident, taking specific steps to protect yourself and your rights to compensation is necessary. These steps include:
Ensure Personal Safety
The immediate aftermath of an accident can be disorienting. Before anything else, prioritize your safety. If you can, move out of the roadway to a safe location to prevent further injuries from oncoming traffic.
Seek Emergency Assistance
Always call 911 following a bicycle accident, especially if there are injuries. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s essential to have a professional assessment, as some injuries might not manifest symptoms immediately.
Document the Scene
Once safe, use your phone or a camera to photograph the accident scene. Document your injuries, bicycle damage, other vehicles involved, and any pertinent road conditions or signs. These images can serve as crucial evidence if legal or insurance matters arise.
Gather Witness Information
If there were any witnesses to the accident, approach them and ask for their contact information. Witness testimonies can provide an unbiased perspective of the incident, which can be valuable during investigations or legal proceedings.
Avoid Admitting Fault
While it’s human nature to express regret or apologize, refrain from making any statements that could be construed as admitting fault. Even a simple “I’m sorry” can be misinterpreted. Keep interactions with the other party involved cordial but limited.
Contact an Attorney
After seeking medical attention, it’s wise to consult with a bicycle accident attorney. They can guide you on the next steps, help you understand your rights, and advise on any potential compensation you may be entitled to.
Why You Need Bicycle Accident Lawyers
There is no legal requirement to hire a bicycle accident attorney. However, hiring one will likely make the process easier and less stressful. Some of the reasons to consider hiring our East Meadow bicycle accident lawyers include:
Expert Navigation of Legalities
Bicycle accident cases often involve intricate legal nuances unique to your state or municipality. An attorney specializing in bicycle accidents understands these intricacies and can adeptly navigate the legal system to protect your rights.
Effective Negotiation with Insurance Companies
Insurance providers aim to minimize claim payouts. You might receive an offer far below what you deserve without legal representation. An experienced attorney will negotiate assertively with insurance companies, ensuring you get a fair settlement.
Pursuing Just Compensation
After an accident, you may incur medical bills, face lost wages, or experience pain and suffering. Bicycle accident lawyers can evaluate your case and determine the appropriate compensation, advocating to ensure you receive it.
Peace of Mind
Legal proceedings can be overwhelming, especially when recovering from an accident. Having an attorney means you have an expert looking out for your best interests, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims
In New York, victims of bicycle accidents may be entitled to compensation for:
One of the primary financial strains after an accident is the cost of medical care. Compensation can cover hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, prescription medications, and future medical needs from the accident.
Lost Wages and Earning Capacity
If your injuries prevent you from working temporarily or permanently, compensation may cover the wages you’ve lost. Additionally, if the accident impairs your ability to earn in the future, you might be entitled to compensation for reduced earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
Accidents often lead to physical pain and emotional distress. While these are intangible losses, they are significant. Compensation for pain and suffering addresses the mental and physical hardships victims endure post-accident.
Bicycles can be costly, and repairs or replacements are often necessary after an accident. Victims can seek compensation for their bicycles and other personal belongings damaged during the incident.
The exact compensation depends on the specifics of each case, but an experienced attorney can guide victims in understanding what they may be entitled to.
Choose The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III
At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we understand East Meadow, New York, bicycle accident laws. Our attorneys are committed to serving the local cycling community. Our dedication to ensuring justice for our clients has made us a trusted choice for many.
Bicycle accidents can be traumatic, but knowing your rights and having a dedicated attorney can make the recovery process smoother. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in East Meadow, NY, contact us for a professional, straightforward consultation.