New York Bike Crashes with Motor Vehicles
The most common type of cycle or bike crash a rider in New York is bound to face will be one with a car, taxi, bus, or other motor vehicle. Despite New York City's new efforts for safe bike riding, riders are still faced with reckless drivers and being "doored" by vehicles. Riders are also subject to crashes due to street defects, such as defective street cuts and manhole covers and improperly maintained street hardware. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash, you are probably worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, your lost wages, and who will compensate you for your pain and suffering.
We believe it is important to contact an attorney quickly because there are many circumstances that require immediate action. No-Fault claims, which are how your medical bills will be paid, must be filed in 30 days of the collision. In order to do that, you will need to identify the other driver and their insurance company. Cases involving a municipality, such as the City of New York, usually require a Notice of Claim to be filed within 90 days of the accident. In addition, prompt investigation, photography, and other data needs to be obtained as soon as possible. If the case involves a road defect or construction location, the condition can change within hours.
Here are the most common questions we are asked from cyclists:
If I pursue a claim against the driver, what happens to him or her?
When you bring a lawsuit against a driver or property owner who causes you injury, in almost all cases their insurance company must cover the payments made to the injured person. If a lawsuit is filed, the cost of defense is also paid by the insurance company, usually with no additional expense to the insured.
What type of damages can be recovered in a bike crash case?
New York law allows recovery for medical expenses that are not covered by a collateral source (health insurance or no-fault), lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, property damage, and other non-economic damages. Claims for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses encompass both past and future damages. You can also recover for the property damage to your bike.
What if I am involved in a hit-and-run crash?
These can be very complicated cases. You need an experienced attorney who is not just familiar with cycling crashes, but also with the ins and outs of insurance claims and insurance policies. In most cases, you can make a claim. Even if you cannot find the person who caused you injury, you still may be able to make a recovery.
If you own a motor vehicle, or someone in your household does, you may be able to make a claim with that automobile insurance company under the underinsured or uninsured (SUM) provision of that policy. This is an area of law that not all attorneys are familiar with.
We offer free consultations, so there is no harm in calling or e-mailing us. We are always happy to provide some guidance, and have done so time and time again. We are committed to helping New York's cycling community.
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