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Few repercussions for New York City drivers who cause bicycle accidents

April 23, 2012 Car Accidents

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

More people in New York City and beyond are using their bicycles as a mode of transportation. It saves people money and is more earth-friendly. However, reckless drivers can turn a peaceful bike ride into a tragic one. In some instances, car accident victims don’t believe police are doing enough to investigate the cause of accidents involving bicyclists.

In 2010, a New York City artist and her boyfriend were riding their bikes home from a concert when a driver hit them before fleeing the scene of the accident. The woman had a metal pole inserted in her leg and asphalt remains lodged in her skin.

“My body was destroyed,” the woman said. “My whole life was put on hold for months, and no one seemed to care.”

Despite the woman’s injuries and the fact that the driver fled the scene, no criminal charges have been filed against the driver. The woman says that New York City police did not pursue an investigation into the crash. Some believe this is not an isolated incident. Many people in the cycling community believe authorities show indifference to bicycle accidents.

Even though police appear to be doing little to investigate bicycle accidents, more than 34,000 bicycle tickets were issued by the NYPD last year. At the same time, only about 10,400 tickets were issued to truck drivers.

In addition to a lack of criminal charges, without a police investigation accident victims are unable to hold reckless drivers accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.

One New York City Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chairman noted that people on the street are getting killed and injured at an alarming rate. However, many drivers are simply getting away with it.

Some are pushing for a law to be passed that would force police to investigate serious bicycle accidents. Until then, accident victims would be wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the facts in a case and help individuals determine the best course of action.

Source: CNN, “Bicycle Injuries: Is the right-of-way fight getting ugly?” Stephanie Smith, April 20, 2012