New York City is home to some of the highest bicycle-vehicle collision rates in the country. According to recent reports, 2020 was one of the deadliest years for cyclists (and pedestrians) in the city’s history, despite increased efforts to improve bicycle safety and fewer cars on the road during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
If you were injured or if someone you love died due to a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation. At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our Long Island bicycle accident attorney represents victims of serious collisions, as well as the families of those wrongfully killed in tragic bike accidents throughout New York City’s five boroughs and beyond. To date, he has secured tens of millions of dollars in compensation for his personal injury clients, both in settlements and jury verdicts. Regardless of the complexity of your case, our team is here to fight for you and the justice you deserve.
Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident in Long Island?
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else on the road. This means that motorists must exhibit a reasonable degree of caution when sharing the road with and/or navigating around cyclists. It also means that bicyclists must obey the rules of the road, including all traffic control devices, such as stop signs and signals. As such, determining fault for a bicycle accident depends on the specific factors involved.
Often, bicycle accidents occur because of a motorist’s negligence. Some common examples of this include:
- Texting while driving
- Driving while distracted (by a cell phone or otherwise)
- Driving while impaired or intoxicated
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to keep adequate space between a vehicle and a bicyclist
- Violating traffic laws (running red lights, making illegal turns, etc.)
- Opening a car door into a bicyclist’s path
- Driving in or across a designated bicycle lane or path
In some cases, however, other factors may be involved. For example, a negligent pedestrian may step into a bicycle lane without looking, causing a collision. A traffic signal may be working improperly, or a poorly maintained road may contain debris or potholes that contribute to or cause a crash.
Even if a bicyclist was partially at fault for an accident, they may still be able to recover compensation for their damages. New York follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule when it comes to these types of cases. Under this rule, an injured party can file a third-party claim or lawsuit for damages as long as they can prove that the defendant was at least partially at fault. However, the injured party’s total recovery will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault they are found to have.
Does No-Fault Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
After a bicycle accident in New York City, your no-fault insurance may come into play. This only applies if you actually have no-fault insurance, meaning you have an auto insurance policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements. In such cases, you could be entitled to compensation for specific damages caused by the accident, regardless of how the crash occurred or who was at fault.
Your no-fault auto insurance may cover the following damages after a bicycle-vehicle collision:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
However, no-fault insurance does not cover any non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. It also does not cover any property damage or associated repairs.
If you wish to pursue a no-fault insurance claim after a bicycle accident, you must act quickly. You must file a no-fault claim within 30 days. Our Long Island bicycle accident lawyer at the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III can help you take immediate action to protect your rights and future recovery, whether through seeking no-fault insurance coverage or third-party compensation.
Why Hire a Long Island Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Regardless of how you pursue compensation after a bicycle accident, it is important that you have an experienced attorney by your side. The insurance company—whether it’s your own or the other party’s—is not on your side. In fact, the adjuster may try to get you to admit fault, downplay your injuries, or otherwise jeopardize your claim in an effort to devalue or deny it. Trying to work with the insurance adjuster on your own can be confusing, stressful, and potentially risky, as it could leave you eligible to recover far less than you are owed.
By contrast, when you have an attorney working on your behalf, you have someone who knows how to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay out your claim, your attorney can help you prepare for litigation and represent your best interests at trial.
At the Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our Long Island bicycle accident lawyer, Attorney Joseph J. Perrini, III, has nearly 30 years of legal experience, including past experience in insurance defense. He is extremely well-versed in complex New York bicycle accident laws, as well as in navigating the system on behalf of the injured. Our firm is known for providing attentive and accessible legal representation, as well as personalized counsel and one-on-one communication throughout the legal process. There are absolutely zero fees unless we recover compensation for you, and we are available 24/7 to take your call.