Bicycle accidents are a serious problem in the Bronx and other parts of New York City. Every year, hundreds of cyclists are injured or killed by collisions with motor vehicles, pedestrians, or other hazards on the road. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, there were 4,397 bicycle crashes in the Bronx in 2020, resulting in 4,282 injuries and 15 fatalities.
These accidents can have devastating consequences for the victims and their families, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, medical expenses, lost income, and reduced quality of life.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, you may be wondering what to do next. How can you prevent such accidents from happening again? What steps should you take after an accident? How can you claim compensation for your damages? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with useful information and resources to help you deal with this difficult situation.
What to do after a bicycle accident in the Bronx
If you are involved in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, you should take some immediate actions to protect yourself and your rights. Here are some steps to follow:
- Seek medical attention: The first thing you should do after a bicycle accident is to get medical help for yourself and anyone else who is injured. Call 911 if necessary, or go to the nearest hospital or clinic. Even if you think you are not seriously hurt, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible, as some injuries may not show up right away or may worsen over time. Getting medical treatment will also create a record of your injuries and their severity, which can be useful for your claim later on.
- Call the police: The next thing you should do is to report the accident to the police. The police will come to the scene and make a report that documents the details of the accident, such as the date, time, location, parties involved, witnesses, etc. The police report can serve as an important piece of evidence for your claim later on. Make sure you get a copy of the report or its number from the officer.
- Exchange information: You should also exchange information with the other party involved in the accident, such as their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance company name and policy number, etc. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should also get their contact information and statements. Do not admit fault or apologize to anyone at this point, as it may affect your claim later on.
- Collect evidence: You should also try to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident. This may include taking photos or videos of your bike, your injuries, the other vehicle(s), the road conditions, any skid marks or debris, etc. You should also keep any receipts or bills related to your bike repair or replacement costs, medical expenses, lost wages, etc. All these documents can help you prove your damages and support your claim later on.
- Notify your insurance company: You should also notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. New York is a no-fault state, which means that regardless of who caused the accident, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for your medical expenses and lost income up to a certain limit. However, you must do so within 30 days of the accident, or you may lose your right to benefits. You should also be careful about what you say to the insurance adjuster, as they may try to minimize your claim or deny your coverage. Do not give any recorded statements, sign any documents, or accept any offers without consulting a lawyer first.
- Contact a lawyer: The last and most important step you should take after a bicycle accident in the Bronx is to contact a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options, evaluate your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and file a lawsuit if necessary. A lawyer can also help you pursue additional compensation beyond the no-fault benefits, if you meet certain criteria such as sustaining a serious injury or exceeding the no-fault limit. A lawyer can also help you prove the negligence and liability of the other party, and recover damages for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc
Risks and bicycling in the Bronx
Being a safe bicyclist, one who wears proper safety gear and follows all traffic laws, could prevent problems. That said, personal injury suits occur when someone’s negligence causes harm, and a bicyclist might get hurt when a driver makes an illegal turn or otherwise does something wrong.
A distracted driver might go through a red light and cause a crash, while an intoxicated driver might veer into a bike lane and hit someone. When hurt by someone’s negligence, taking legal action could be unavoidable.
A vehicle-bicycle collision could leave someone with a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, severe lacerations, and other serious problems. The costs associated with medical treatment and lost income may prompt someone to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit to recover the losses.
How to seek compensation for a bicycle accident in the Bronx
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in the Bronx, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, seeking compensation can be a complex and challenging process, depending on the circumstances of your case. Here are some key points to consider:
- No-fault coverage: As mentioned earlier, New York is a no-fault state, which means that you can file a claim with your own insurance company for your medical expenses and lost income up to a certain limit, regardless of who caused the accident. This limit is usually $50,000 per person per accident, but it may vary depending on your policy. You must file this claim within 30 days of the accident, or you may lose your right to benefits. This coverage does not include damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
- Serious injury threshold: If you want to seek additional compensation beyond the no-fault benefits, you must meet the serious injury threshold defined by New York law. This means that you must have suffered one or more of the following injuries as a result of the accident:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment
- Comparative negligence: If you meet the serious injury threshold, you can file a lawsuit against the other party involved in the accident for their negligence and liability. However, New York follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means that your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the accident. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the accident, and your total damages are $100,000, you will only receive $80,000 in compensation. Therefore, it is important to prove that the other party was more at fault than you for the accident.
- Statute of limitations: If you want to file a lawsuit against the other party involved in the accident, you must do so within a certain time limit called the statute of limitations. In New York, this time limit is generally three years from the date of the accident for personal injury cases. However, there may be exceptions or extensions depending on your case. For example, if the other party is a government entity or employee (such as a city bus driver), you may have to file a notice of claim within 90 days of the accident before filing a lawsuit. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to avoid missing any deadlines.
Seeking compensation for a bicycle accident in the Bronx can be a complicated and lengthy process that requires legal expertise and experience. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer who can help you navigate through this process and maximize your recovery.
Frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents in the Bronx
Here are some frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents in the Bronx are:
How common are bicycle accidents in the Bronx?
Bicycle accidents are quite common in the Bronx, as it is one of the most populated and congested boroughs of New York City. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, there were 4,397 bicycle crashes in the Bronx in 2020, resulting in 4,282 injuries and 15 fatalities. This means that there were about 12 bicycle crashes per day in the Bronx, or one every two hours. The Bronx also had the second-highest number of bicycle fatalities in the city, after Brooklyn.
What are the main causes of bicycle accidents in the Bronx?
There are many possible causes of bicycle accidents in the Bronx, but some of the most common ones are:
- Driver negligence: Many bicycle accidents are caused by drivers who fail to respect the rights and space of cyclists on the road. Some examples of driver negligence are speeding, running red lights or stop signs, making illegal turns or lane changes, opening doors without looking, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting or using a phone while driving, etc.
- Cyclist negligence: Some bicycle accidents are also caused by cyclists who fail to follow the traffic rules and signals, or who ride recklessly or carelessly. Some examples of cyclist negligence are riding against traffic, riding on sidewalks, ignoring traffic signs or signals, weaving in and out of traffic, not using lights or reflectors at night, not wearing a helmet or bright clothing, etc.
- Road hazards: Another cause of bicycle accidents is the presence of road hazards that can make cycling dangerous or difficult. Some examples of road hazards are potholes, cracks, debris, ice, snow, wet leaves, oil spills, etc.
- Defective equipment: A less common but still possible cause of bicycle accidents is defective equipment that can malfunction or break while riding. Some examples of defective equipment are faulty brakes, tires, chains, gears, pedals, handlebars, etc.
What are the most common injuries from bicycle accidents in the Bronx?
Bicycle accidents can result in various types of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Some of the most common injuries from bicycle accidents in the Bronx are:
- Head injuries: Head injuries are one of the most serious and common injuries from bicycle accidents. They can include concussions, skull fractures, brain damage, bleeding, swelling, etc. Head injuries can have long-term effects on cognitive functions, memory, speech, vision, hearing, etc. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk and severity of head injuries by up to 85%.
- Neck and back injuries: Neck and back injuries are also common and serious injuries from bicycle accidents. They can include whiplash, sprains, strains, herniated discs, spinal cord damage, paralysis, etc. Neck and back injuries can affect mobility and sensation in different parts of the body.
- Bone fractures: Bone fractures are another common and painful injury from bicycle accidents. They can affect any bone in the body, but some of the most frequently broken bones are the collarbone, ribs, wrist, arm, leg, ankle, and pelvis. Bone fractures can require surgery, casts, pins, plates, screws, etc. to heal properly. They can also cause complications such as infections, nerve damage, arthritis, etc.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries are also common and can include bruises, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, lacerations, etc. These injuries can cause bleeding, swelling, inflammation, infection, scarring, etc. They can also affect the appearance and function of the skin and underlying tissues.
- Internal injuries: Internal injuries are less visible but still serious injuries from bicycle accidents. They can include damage to the organs such as the lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, etc. They can also include internal bleeding or hemorrhage. Internal injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
- Psychological injuries: Psychological injuries are often overlooked but still important injuries from bicycle accidents. They can include emotional distress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc. Psychological injuries can affect the mental health and well-being of the victims and their families. They can also interfere with their daily activities and relationships.
The team of writers of Nonna Shikh is made up of a group of lawyers specialized in personal injury, traffic, construction and slip and fall cases. Each member of the team has extensive experience in their area of specialization and is committed to providing the best defense and compensation to their clients in New York City.