Let Our Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyers Explain Some Important Things You Need to Know If You Were Injured in a Bike Accident
Although bicycles are a great mode of transportation, you are particularly vulnerable to injury if you are hit by a car while a riding a bike. In fact, bike riders can sustain serious injuries, including fractures and a need for surgery when involved in an accident. Here are some important things you need to know if you were hurt in a bike accident.
How Do You Prove (And Win) a Bicycle Accident Case?
A bicycle rider hit by a car must prove two things to win a personal injury case. First, you must prove that the driver who struck you was negligent. To establish that a driver was negligent, you must demonstrate that the driver caused the accident by failing to exercise reasonable care. In addition, you must prove that you sustained a qualifying injury as a result of the accident. Unless you prove both of these elements, your case will be dismissed.
What Rules Does a Bicyclist Need To Follow?
Like drivers, bicyclists must also follow specific rules. These rules can be different depending on where the accident happened. For example, accidents within the 5 boroughs of New York City follow rules established by the Department of Transportation, while accidents outside New York City generally follow New York State’s rules.
In New York City, a person riding a bicycle generally has the same rights and obligations as a person driving a car. For example, like drivers, bicycle riders must stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and generally follow the rules of the road that apply to drivers.
In addition, as a bicyclist in New York City you are required to:
- Ride on the right side of the road with traffic;
- Ride on roadways and not sidewalks;
- Use a white headlight and red tail light from dusk to dawn;
- Have a bell or other audible signal device (not a whistle);
- Use hand signals; and
- Only use one ear bud, when using headphones.
If you are involved in an accident as a bicycle rider and violated the rules of the road, or any of the specific rules that apply, you are still eligible to file a claim. However, if you are found to be comparatively negligent for the accident, your award will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000, but are found to be 50% at fault, your award will be reduced to $50,000.
Is a Bicyclist Required To Wear a Helmet?
In New York City, only children under the age of 13, and working bicyclists, are legally required to wear helmets. Even though there is no legal requirement to do so, everyone riding a bicycle should wear a helmet. If you don’t, you run the risk of slamming your unprotected head into a car, or the roadway, when an accident happens.
In fact, in our own “unscientific” study of cases handled by our attorneys, clients who did not wear a helmet usually were much more susceptible to skull fractures and brain injury than riders who wore a helmet. So, wear a helmet even if you are not legally required to do so.
Who Pays My Medical Bills If I Am Hurt in a Bike Accident?
Bicyclists injured in car accidents are entitled to No-Fault benefits. These benefits are paid by the insurance company of the car involved in the accident. Your medical bills are paid in full, even if the accident was your fault. The only legal requirement to be eligible for No-Fault benefits is that you must fill out, and send in, a No-Fault Application within 30 days of the accident. You are also entitled to lost earnings, as well as other expenses, under No-Fault insurance.
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If you have any questions about the bicycle accident that caused your injury, you can contact our experienced bike accident attorneys by email or by calling (800) 762-9300. You can also simply fill out one of our bicycle accident case intake forms and we will have one of our attorneys get right back to you.
You Might Also Be Interested In:
- Can My Bicycle Accident Case Be Settled?
- Is a Bike Rider In An Accident Entitled to No-Fault Benefits?