Long Island Bicycle Accident Lawyers to Fight for Your Rights
Riding a bike is a favorite pastime for many, and for others, it’s the primary method of travel or their job. But riding a bike on Long Island means relying on all the other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to follow the rules of the road and be aware of their surroundings so they can avoid a crash. And that doesn’t always happen.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you need a New York bicycle accident lawyer who has experience in these types of cases. They can discuss your situation with you, including the details of the accident and what injuries you sustained, and provide counsel on your legal options. MontanaroLaw P.C. serves clients in the Long Island area and offers free consultations. You can send us an email or call our office to get your appointment scheduled.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in New York?
Because many people in the New York City and Long Island areas choose to get around by bike, bicycle accidents are relatively common. Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens have the highest rates of bicycle accidents, and there were almost 6,400 bicycle accidents involving a bike and a motor vehicle across all of New York City in 2020, according to data from New York City DOT. There were another 214 bike accidents in the city that involved a bike and a pedestrian.
What Are the Common Causes of Bike Accidents?
One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is the bike being struck by a car. This can happen when the car tries to pass too close to the bike or if it doesn’t see the bike crossing the road in time to avoid a collision. Drunk and impaired drivers may be more likely to swerve onto bicycles. It’s also possible for pedestrians to cause bike accidents.
What Kind of Injuries Are Common for Cyclists Involved in Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents can lead to serious injuries, especially if the crash involves a motor vehicle. Riders can be thrown off the bike, which increases the risk of head injuries. This is especially true if the rider isn’t wearing a helmet. Other common injuries include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and road rash
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones, particularly the legs
- Spinal and pelvic injuries
- Injuries to organs
It can take weeks and even months for injured cyclists to recover, and this can mean hefty medical bills. Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party can help you get some of the money you deserve to get your life back on track.
Can I File a Lawsuit After a Bike Accident?
If your bike accident was caused by another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit to hold them accountable and get compensation for lost wages from time off work or medical bills. In the state of New York, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. The other party has to be at least partially responsible for the accident, and you have to be able to prove that you suffered some type of hardship that qualifies for compensation.
It’s common for bike accident victims to have large medical bills from treatment, whether that’s surgery when the accident first happened or ongoing physical therapy appointments. You probably also needed some time off of work to recover and heal from your injuries. If that time off wasn’t paid or was paid at a lower rate than your normal wages, you could add that to the compensation you’re seeking from the courts.
It’s also possible to ask the courts to award you money for the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident. This part can get a little more complicated, so it’s important to talk over your options with a New York bike accident attorney to ensure you understand what to expect and how to proceed.
What Happens If the Cyclist Was at Fault?
In some bicycle accidents, the cyclist is at fault or contributed to the accident instead of it being 100% the fault of the other party. For example, maybe the cyclist veered out of the bike lane into traffic or didn’t obey the traffic signals, resulting in a collision. In general, cyclists — just like motorists and even pedestrians — have a right to exercise a general duty of care. This means they are taking steps to be aware of their surroundings and following all of the applicable cycling laws.
It’s common for some victims not to pursue a bicycle accident case because they think they were at fault or contributed to the accident in some way. However, even if this is true, you may still be able to file a lawsuit in New York. Your personal injury attorney can talk with you about your case and what part you may have played in the accident. If the other party shares at least some of the liability, you may still have a case.
Will I Get in Trouble If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
It’s important to be aware of the bike laws wherever you are cycling. In New York, the statewide rule is that riders under the age of 14 must wear a helmet while biking. In addition to this, the New York City requirements state that any working cyclist must wear a helmet while riding in the fulfillment of their work duties. For example, this would apply to delivery riders while they are working their shifts. If you violate the bike helmet laws, you can be issued a citation, but it doesn’t affect your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Me File a Lawsuit?
Yes, a bicycle accident lawyer can help you file a lawsuit. In fact, this is one of their primary functions once you hire them. Bicycle accidents are treated like other personal injury cases in New York, and you will need to file a lawsuit with the local civil court system to get your case started. Your attorney can handle all of this paperwork for you, ensuring everything is done correctly and filed appropriately, and all you have to do is sign.
What Should I Know About Working With an Attorney?
When you are considering filing a lawsuit after a bike accident, hiring an attorney who has experience with bicycle accident cases should be at the top of your to-do list. However, it’s important to understand what to expect from the experience and your attorney. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re working with a bicycle accident lawyer.
It’s a Collaborative Effort
When you’re interviewing potential bicycle accident lawyers, it’s important to remember that you will be working together as a team. While your attorney will take the lead when it comes to filing paperwork, keeping up with motions from the opposing side, and providing counsel, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do anything. It’s important to be ready to provide your attorney with what they need to adequately represent your cases. That could be providing copies of documentation for injuries and medical bills from the hospital, answering questions about witness statements, and attending hearings.
The more you are able to provide to your attorney, the better your chances are of being able to put forth a strong case. And that means the better your chances are of winning and being awarded compensation for your injuries. When you are meeting with an attorney, it’s a good idea to ask them what they will need from you to be successful.
It Can Be a Lengthy Process
Bike accident cases can take time to settle, so it’s important that you’re prepared with accurate expectations when it comes to the timeline of your case. How long your case will take depends on the complexity as well as factors such as the scheduling of the courts and whether you end up settling or going forward with a trial.
Talk with your attorney about how long they think your case will take to finish and how long it usually takes for the courts to schedule the initial hearing after the lawsuit is filed. Remember that delays do happen, and it’s helpful to be flexible as the case progresses.
Nothing Is Guaranteed
In the court system, nothing is guaranteed. If an attorney is guaranteeing an outcome, it’s a red flag, and you should look for another option. Once you have the trial scheduled, it could get pushed back with a continuance because someone is sick or even just because an attorney asks for more time.
If you’re going forward with a jury trial, it’s also important to remember that juries can be unpredictable. Even if you had a strong case that was executed well, it doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome. It’s important to stay calm, keep things in perspective, and understand what your options are for an appeal if the verdict doesn’t come back in your favor. Experienced bicycle accident lawyers can help prepare you for all of the uncertainties that come with the court system to make sure that you know what to expect and are prepared for all outcomes.
How Do I Hire a Bike Accident Attorney?
Hiring a New York bicycle accident lawyer is crucial to presenting your case, but it’s normal to feel confused and overwhelmed when you’re looking for someone to represent you. When you find the right lawyer, it’s as simple as saying you want them to represent you and agreeing to whatever fee structure they have in place. For personal injury cases like bike accidents, it’s common for attorneys to work based on a percentage of the compensation award if you win your case.
But what about actually finding an attorney you like to represent you? This is the more complicated part. It can be helpful to ask friends and family members for recommendations to help you narrow your search, but you don’t want to rely on someone’s relative if they don’t have the experience your case requires. This is why it’s important to meet with and talk to any attorney you are considering hiring for your case.
When you first meet with your attorney, you can ask them questions like:
- How long have you been practicing?
- What area of law are most of your cases in?
- What kind of experience do you have with bike accident cases?
- How many cases have you won or lost?
- What is your fee structure?
- How will we communicate with each other?
- What can I do to set my case up for the best chance of success?
Any attorney should be willing to answer your questions and provide basic information about their firm and what they do so you can make sure they’re a good fit for your case and needs.
MontanaroLaw P.C.: Long Island Attorneys for Bicycle Accidents
At MontanaroLaw P.C., we have bicycle accident lawyers who can help you with every aspect of your case and who will be dedicated to representing your interests. If you sustained injuries as a result of a bike accident, contact our office at (516) 809-7735 to find out how we can help. We service clients in Long Island, New York City, and the surrounding areas and are standing by to take your call.