The sky-high cost of owning a car in New York, combined with New York’s congested streets and society’s efforts to combat climate change have made bike riding one of the most cost-effective, convenient, healthy, and environmentally friendly modes of alternative transportation in New York.
However, despite a growing number of laws and traffic regulations that are meant to keep bike riders safe, they remain particularly vulnerable to accidents that can cause serious and sometimes deadly injuries.
Common Bike Accidents
Accidents with Moving Vehicles:
It has been our experience that the most common cause of accidents involving bicyclists on our roads can be attributable to inattentive drivers and drivers who simply don’t follow the traffic laws that have been designed and implemented to protect bicyclists on our roads. Drivers often turn into the path of bicyclists or cross over into bike lanes. Other drivers fail to keep a safe distance from bicyclists on the road or improperly obstruct designated bike lanes. Whatever the specific reason for the accident, the unfortunate fact is that when a motor vehicle and a bicycle are involved in a collision, the bicyclist always bears the brunt of the impact resulting in injuries ranging from bumps and bruises, fractured bones, and even death.
Unexpected Opening of Car Doors:
Another very common cause of bicyclist injuries results from the unexpected opening of car doors by drivers or passengers. Bike lanes are typically on the right side of the road directly next to the parking lane on most streets in the City and State of New York. Very often drivers or passengers will suddenly open the door into the path of an approaching cyclist causing the cyclist to either crash into the car door or veer into traffic. Needless to say, the result of such a negligent act can lead to serious injuries for the unfortunate bicyclist.
New York taxi and livery cab drivers have a notorious reputation for aggressive and reckless driving. We’ve probably all witnessed taxi cabs either speeding, making sudden or unexpected stops, engaging in dangerous lane changes, or blocking bike lanes. These negligent and reckless acts lead to many unfortunate encounters with bicyclists.
The poor conditions of our roadways and the seemingly never-ending construction that we see on New York streets and roads takes a toll on our vehicles, but it also leads to many accidents involving bicyclists. Potholes, construction plates, road cuts, improper repairs, debris, etc. are all hazards that pose a serious safety risk to unsuspecting bicyclists.
Who Will Pay For My Medical Bills and Expenses
In New York, every vehicle that is registered in this state is required to carry a form of health and disability insurance that pays the medical bills, prescriptions costs, lost earnings and other reasonable expenses incurred by anyone who is injured as a result of the use or operation of a motor vehicle. This insurance covers drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists regardless of who was at fault in the accident. This insurance is called No-Fault Insurance.
Once you’ve filed the required claims forms and other documentation, the law requires that the insurance company pay for the following:
Although this sounds simple enough, there are strict deadlines for the filing of the application for no-fault benefits and for submitting your claims. Typically, you are required to file the necessary no-fault application with the proper insurance company within 30 days of the accident. In addition, the insurance companies will frequently make what are called “requests for verification” before paying any of these benefits. These verification requests may involve submitting additional documentary proof, filing new forms and/or appearing to give sworn testimony.