Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Long Island, New York
A motor vehicle accident is always a scary—even traumatizing—experience, especially for bicyclists. When a collision occurs, the bicyclist’s body may not be able to withstand the amount of force applied to it. As a result, bicycle accidents often result in debilitating and fatal injuries.
At the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I dedicate my practice as a personal injury attorney to helping accident victims secure the compensation to which they are entitled. I am on a mission to advocate for victims' rights and hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligent and reckless conduct.
I represent injured bicyclists, pedestrians, passengers, and drivers throughout New York and Long Island. With an office in Garden City, New York, I serve clients in Mineola, Westbury, Hempstead, and New Hyde Park.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1,000 bicyclists die on America’s roads annually, and more than 130,000 sustain injuries in collisions. Being in a bicycle accident can be an overwhelming experience, both physically and emotionally. As a victim of a bicycle crash, there are several steps you can take to protect your health and your legal rights:
If you can move, get yourself to safety. Your primary concern after a bicycle accident should be your health. If you can, get off the road to prevent more damage from occurring.
Seek medical attention, even if it seems that you are fine. Documenting your injuries following a bicycle collision is essential for the success of your claim for compensation. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately, which is why it is so important to see a doctor or go to a hospital even if nothing hurts.
Exchange information with other parties involved. New York law requires everyone involved in motor vehicle crashes, including bicyclists, to exchange information with all involved parties. Failure to do so is illegal under the state’s vehicle and traffic law.
Call the police. Reporting a bicycle accident to authorities is critical to establishing a connection between the accident and the injuries/losses you have suffered. When the police arrive, they will prepare a police report.
Gather evidence and talk to witnesses. If you can move and have your phone with you, you should take photos of the scene, including your injuries, bicycle/vehicle damage, road conditions, and other pertinent details. In addition, talk to witnesses and write down their contact information.
Contact an attorney. Last but not least, reach out to a personal injury attorney. Fault is not always clear-cut after bicycle accidents, which is why you’ll need legal guidance from a skilled attorney to pursue the compensation you deserve.
As a bicycle accident attorney in Long Island, New York, I assist injured victims in getting the compensation they need to pay for their medical expenses and get their lives back on track.
New York Law and Bicycle Accidents
If you ride a bicycle in New York, you need to understand the state’s laws pertaining to cyclists and the safe operation of bikes. First and foremost, it is vital to keep in mind that bicyclists in New York have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists on the road.
When riding a bicycle in New York, you must ensure that your bike complies with specific equipment requirements. In particular, bikes operated on New York roads must have:
A red taillight
A white headlight
Reflectors or reflective devices
A bell or any other audible signal
Bicyclists under the age of 14 must wear a proper helmet. New York law also prohibits bicyclists from wearing more than one earphone attached to an audio device while riding the bike. When available, bicyclists in New York should use bike lanes unless they are blocked or unsafe.
On one-way roadways with a width of at least 40 feet, bicyclists can ride on either side of the road. Bicyclists are not allowed to ride more than two abreast. Some of the laws do not apply in New York City, so you may need to research local laws and ordinances based on where you live.
Pursuing Compensation After a Bicycle Accident in New York
When filing a claim for compensation after a bicycle accident in New York, your ability to recover damages can be affected by the following statutes and rules:
No-fault statute. New York is a no-fault insurance state. In no-fault states, people who suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents must first turn to their own insurance provider regardless of fault in the accident.
Comparative negligence rule. New York adopted the rule of pure comparative negligence. Under the rule, your recoverable damages are reduced by the degree of your fault in the accident. For example, if you – as a bicyclist – failed to signal your intention to change lanes to avoid an obstacle in your lane and got hit by a vehicle that was traveling above the posted speed limit, you could be found partially to blame for the accident.
Statute of limitations. Another New York law that might affect your ability to obtain compensation is the statute of limitations. In New York, bicycle accident victims have only three years from the accident date to bring a claim against the other party. If you fail to file a claim within the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your right to compensation.
Wrongful death. If your family member died in a bicycle accident, you need to understand New York’s wrongful death laws. In New York, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate or the adult child, spouse, or parent of the deceased person.
Contact a knowledgeable attorney in Long Island, New York, to help you navigate the complex process of filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim. At the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I will take care of the legal paperwork and procedures on your behalf while you focus on your health and your family.
Bicycle Accidents Attorney Serving Long Island, New York
As a personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Steven R. Smith, I assist clients through the challenges of getting fair compensation after a bicycle accident in Long Island and surrounding areas in New York. I bring over 30 years of experience to every case I handle to serve my clients. If you need an experienced and aggressive attorney on your side, contact my office today to schedule a consultation and discuss your legal options.