New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Protecting Cyclists’ Rights in Bike Accidents
In the United States, more than 900 bicyclists were killed in accidents in 2013. There were an estimated 494,000 visits to hospital emergency departments across the country as a result of bicycle-related injuries. According to federal statistics, in 2012, the national rate of bicyclist deaths was roughly 2.3 deaths per 1 million.
There were 722 deaths caused by bicycle accidents that same year. The state with the highest number of bicycle-related deaths in the US in 2012 was Florida, with 120 deaths. Between 2010 and 2012, the total number of bicycle-related fatalities in the state was 329.
All motor vehicle drivers are required by law to share the road with bicyclists, but in many cases, this is not done. Drivers who are aggressive, distracted, intoxicated, or careless make the roads more dangerous for bicyclists and sometimes, are the reason that accidents occur.
Unfortunately, the injuries that cyclists suffer in an accident are often serious. Cyclists who are involved in an accident with a car or truck often die or face a long hard road to recovery due to the seriousness of their injuries.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Some of the most common types of bicycle accidents include:
- Cyclists forced off-road by drivers – Whether it is due to inattention, road rage or a failure to understand the amount of space that cyclists need, many drivers force cyclists off the road by passing too close to them. This is especially common on busy roads that do not have bike lanes. It also occurs when drivers treat a bike lane as a passing lane.
- Opening doors while being parked – When cyclists ride by a row of parked cars, it may happen that a car occupant suddenly opens the door as they do not see a cyclist approaching. This causes the cyclist to ride straight into the door. This sort of accident can result in serious injuries, especially if the bicycle was moving at a high speed.
- Right- or left-turning cars hitting a bicyclist – “Right hook” accidents most commonly occur when a car that is turning right at an intersection does not see a cyclist riding straight and turns directly into them. “Left cross” accidents occur most frequently when a driver is turning left at an unprotected green light or stop sign and turns straight into a cyclist. Both types of accidents take place because the driver failed to check for oncoming cyclists or vehicles. If a cyclist’s attorney is able to prove that their client had the right of way, it is likely that the driver will be held liable for the accident.
- Street defects – Although most bicycle accidents involve a vehicle collision, they can also occur as a result of street defects, such as a pothole that is hard to see. An attorney may be able to prove that the city is liable for injuries due to this type of accident if the defect was a known problem and no efforts were made to post warnings or fix it.
The most Prolific Law Firm in the Big City
If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law. You can discuss the facts of your case at a free consultation. The first meeting is free. Give us a call.
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