Cyclists and drivers who have to “share the road” don’t always have the best relationship. This is especially so in a bustling city like New York. Streets are narrow, and everyone moves fast. The rules aren’t exactly clear to all drivers about who has the right of way when they are on the road with cyclists. In fact, if a driver hits a cyclist, they might not even understand that they made a mistake.
Uber Driver Hits Cyclist in “He Said, She Said” Accident
One example comes from an accident earlier this month. An Uber driver hit a cyclist with his Toyota SUV as he was making a right turn from West Street to Liberty Street. The driver blamed the cyclist for the accident, saying that as the driver was making the turn, the cyclist “came out of nowhere and hit the car. The cyclist’s account sounded quite different. He said the car hit him while he was going straight on a green light.
Who is to blame for the accident? While the NYPD has not looked at the accident with a full-scale investigation (and most likely will not), the blame is likely to be placed on the driver. At the corner of Liberty and West, there is no specific signal that allows drivers to turn right. When a driver has to turn, they must yield to pedestrians and cyclists who are going straight.
Cyclists Should Take Extra Caution
Yielding to pedestrians and cyclists is something that should be practiced by all drivers, especially those for hire-through companies like Uber or taxi companies. But, this isn’t always the case. While the driver in this accident walked away without a scratch, the cyclist was pretty banged up. He was unconscious, motionless, and placed in a neck brace before being put in an ambulance.
Cyclists, in general, are more vulnerable than drivers in motor vehicles. In a perfect world, cyclists would not have to worry about drivers behaving and following the rules of the road. But, we do not live in a perfect world. Because of this, cyclists should take extra caution to prevent accidents and treat all drivers as potential hazards. This may be annoying, but if it ends up saving your life, it’s worth it.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Like any accident, it is important to photograph the damage, collect witness testimony, and document any relevant information about the crash. However, while this information may help you with your insurance company, you may not want to jump to filing a lawsuit. Even if a driver that does not know the right of way or doesn’t follow the rules of the road hits you.
Without a full-scale investigation from the NYPD, a bike accident can turn into a situation like the one mentioned earlier: a “he said, she said” account that doesn’t come to any definite conclusions. These accounts can make a lawsuit in New York very tricky. Car accident lawsuits follow the rules of pure comparative negligence. Any evidence of negligence can prevent you from receiving the full amount of compensation you ask for. Failing to use hand signals, wear a helmet, wear reflective clothing, and so on, can all hurt you in a lawsuit.
Every bicycle accident is different. For more information on your options after an accident, talk to a New York personal injury lawyer today.