Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss / Personal Injury Lawyer / Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Navigating the bustling streets of New York City can be a challenge for cyclists. With the rising popularity of biking in the city, accidents involving bicycles are unfortunately common. At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, we are committed to representing cyclists who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. Our experienced NYC bicycle accident lawyers understand the unique challenges faced by cyclists and are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Constitutes a Bicycle Accident in NYC?

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

In New York City, a bicycle accident typically involves an incident where a cyclist is injured due to another party’s actions, negligence, or oversight. These accidents can occur under various circumstances and often involve complex interactions between cyclists, vehicles, pedestrians, and the urban environment. Here’s what generally constitutes a bicycle accident in NYC:

Collisions with Motor Vehicles

This is one of the most common types of bicycle accidents. It includes situations where a cyclist is hit by a car, truck, bus, or other motor vehicles. Such incidents can occur due to:

  • Drivers failing to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections.
  • Vehicles making turns across bike lanes without checking for cyclists.
  • Drivers opening their car doors without checking for approaching cyclists (dooring).

Accidents Involving Pedestrians

Cyclists can collide with pedestrians, especially in crowded city areas where pedestrians might step into bike lanes without noticing an approaching bicycle.

Single-Bicycle Accidents

These accidents occur without the involvement of another vehicle or pedestrian. Causes can include:

  • Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, or slippery conditions due to ice or wet weather.
  • Obstacles or debris in the bike lane or road.
  • Mechanical failures of the bicycle itself, such as brake failure.

Accidents Due to Roadway Design

Certain aspects of roadway design can contribute to bicycle accidents. These might include:

  • Poorly designed intersections that do not safely accommodate bicycles.
  • Bike lanes that abruptly end, forcing cyclists into traffic.
  • Lack of proper signage warning of upcoming hazards or changes in the road layout.

Collisions with Fixed Objects

Cyclists can crash into fixed objects, such as barriers, bollards, street signs, or parked vehicles, which can lead to serious injuries.

Dog Attacks

Incidents in which cyclists are chased or attacked by dogs can cause them to swerve unexpectedly, potentially leading to an accident.

How a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help

Securing legal representation can be crucial if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in New York City. At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, our experienced bicycle accident lawyers understand the unique challenges cyclists face and are dedicated to helping you navigate the aftermath of an accident. Here’s how we can assist:

Thorough Investigation and Evidence Collection

  • Accident Scene Analysis: We meticulously analyze the accident scene, examining road conditions, signage, and traffic signals to establish fault.
  • Gathering Evidence: Our team collects all pertinent evidence, including police reports, medical records, and witness statements. We may also employ accident reconstruction experts to strengthen your case.

Experience in Bicycle Laws and Regulations

  • Legal Knowledge: We know New York’s specific bicycle laws and traffic regulations. This experience is crucial for effectively arguing your case, whether in settlement negotiations or trial.
  • Regulation Compliance: We meticulously adhere to all legal aspects of your case, from the statute of limitations to specific municipal bicycle laws.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

  • Negotiation: Our personal injury lawyers handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring you are not pressured into accepting a lowball offer.
  • Maximizing Your Settlement: We strive to secure the maximum compensation possible, considering not only your current medical expenses and lost wages but also future needs and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Legal Representation in Court

  • Litigation Support: If a fair settlement cannot be achieved through negotiation, our skilled litigators are prepared to represent you in court, advocating for the best possible outcome on your behalf.
  • Trial Preparation: We prepare compelling arguments and secure expert testimonies critical for your case.

Comprehensive Claim Handling

  • Calculating Damages: We accurately calculate the full extent of your damages, considering both economic and non-economic factors.
  • Holistic Approach: Our approach considers all potential sources of compensation, from liable parties to applicable insurance coverage.

Personalized Legal Guidance

  • Client-Centered Service: We provide personalized legal guidance, keeping you informed throughout the process and addressing your questions and concerns.
  • Support Through Recovery: Our goal is to allow you to focus on recovery while we handle the legal details of your case.

Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicycle accidents can lead to a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe or life-altering due to the vulnerability of cyclists compared to motor vehicle occupants. Here’s a look at some common bicycle accident injuries:

Head and Brain Injuries

  • Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Even with a helmet, cyclists can suffer significant brain injuries from the impact of a collision or fall.
  • Skull Fractures: These can occur in more severe impacts and pose serious risks, including brain damage.

Facial and Dental Injuries

  • Facial Fractures: Bones in the face can break from direct impacts.
  • Dental Injuries: Teeth can be chipped, broken, or knocked out in an accident.

Upper Body Injuries

  • Broken Collarbones and Shoulder Injuries: Falling onto an outstretched hand or directly on the shoulder often results in fractures or dislocations.
  • Arm and Wrist Fractures: Commonly broken bones include the radius, ulna, and wrist bones due to falls.
  • Hand Injuries: Including cuts, fractures, and ligament injuries from trying to break a fall.

Lower Body Injuries

  • Hip Fractures: These are particularly severe and common among older cyclists.
  • Leg Injuries: Including fractures of the femur, tibia, and fibula.
  • Knee Injuries: Damage to the knee can involve soft tissue injuries such as torn ligaments or meniscus injuries.
  • Ankle Sprains and Fractures: Resulting from the foot getting trapped or twisted.

Road Rash and Abrasions

Severe Skin Abrasions Can occur when a cyclist slides across pavement, leading to significant skin loss and infection.

Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Vertebral Fractures and Spinal Injuries: Can lead to permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the site of the injury.
  • Whiplash: Often associated with rear-end collisions.

Internal Injuries

  • Internal Bleeding: Can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Organ Damage: Impacts can cause bruising or puncturing of organs such as the liver, kidneys, or spleen.

Psychological Injuries

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): The trauma of an accident can lead to long-term psychological issues.
  • Anxiety and Depression: May develop due to the physical and lifestyle limitations imposed by serious injuries.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident in NYC

Determining liability in a bicycle accident in New York City involves examining various factors and potential parties whose actions may have contributed to the incident. Given the complexity of traffic interactions and the various entities involved in road maintenance and regulation, several parties can potentially be held liable:

Motor Vehicle Drivers

Most commonly, drivers of cars, trucks, or buses can be held liable for bicycle accidents if their negligence or reckless driving causes a collision. This includes speeding, failing to yield, running stop signs or lights, and distracted driving.

Cyclists Themselves

In some cases, the cyclist might also be partly or fully liable for an accident. Examples include riding against traffic, failing to obey traffic signals, or cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Pedestrians can contribute to accidents by stepping into a bike lane without looking or obstructing a cyclist’s path, especially if they suddenly move in front of a cyclist at intersections or from between parked cars.

Employers of Commercial Vehicles

If a commercial vehicle is involved in a bicycle accident, the employer can sometimes be held liable, especially if the accident occurred as a result of the driver performing their job duties. Employers may also be liable for failing to train or supervise their drivers properly.

Manufacturers of Bicycles or Bicycle Parts

If a bicycle accident is caused by a defective bicycle or part (such as brakes or handlebars), the manufacturer of those items might be liable under product liability laws.

Government Entities

Municipalities or other government entities responsible for road design, maintenance, and signage can be held liable if poor road conditions or inadequate infrastructure (like poorly designed intersections or lack of proper signage) contribute to an accident.

Other Entities

Other entities, such as construction companies or public utility services, may be liable if their operations create unsafe conditions that lead to a bicycle accident. This includes improperly managed construction sites or poorly placed equipment on bike paths.

Legal Considerations

  • Contributory and Comparative Negligence: New York follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that if a cyclist is found partially at fault for an accident, any compensation they receive will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
  • Investigation and Evidence: Establishing liability typically requires a thorough investigation, including gathering evidence from the scene, reviewing traffic camera footage, and obtaining witness statements.

Compensation You May Be Entitled To

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in New York City, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, depending on the specifics of your case, the extent of your injuries, and the liability of the parties involved. Here’s an overview of the types of compensation typically available in bicycle accident claims:

Medical Expenses

  • Immediate and Ongoing Medical Care: This covers the costs of emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any ongoing physical therapy or rehabilitation.
  • Future Medical Costs: Compensation for anticipated future medical needs related to the injuries sustained in the accident.

Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity

  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for wages lost due to time off work for recovery.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous employment at the same earning level, you may be compensated for the reduction in your ability to earn money.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident. This also covers the loss of enjoyment of life and any ongoing discomfort or chronic pain.

Property Damage

Reimbursement for damages to your bicycle and any other personal property affected by the accident.

Disability and Disfigurement

If the accident results in permanent disability or disfigurement, you may receive additional compensation for the long-term impact on your life.

Emotional Distress

Compensation for psychological impacts such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD, which are common after traumatic accidents.

Wrongful Death

If a bicycle accident results in death, the family of the deceased may pursue compensation for funeral and burial costs, loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and emotional suffering related to the loss.

Punitive Damages

Although less common, punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was reckless or egregious. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Let Us Help You Recover What You Deserve!

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, don’t navigate the complex legal and insurance challenges alone. Contact Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP for legal guidance and dedicated advocacy. Our experienced NYC bicycle accident lawyers are committed to securing the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

NYC Bike Accident Lawyer FAQs

Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with legal and insurance issues. Here are frequently asked questions that can help clarify your rights and options if you’re involved in a bicycle accident in New York City:

What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident in NYC?

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health comes first. Even if injuries seem minor, symptoms can appear later.
  • Report the Accident: Call the police to the scene so an official report can be made.
  • Document Everything: Take photos of the scene, your injuries, and any damage to your bicycle.
  • Gather names and contact information of witnesses.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Be careful not to admit liability at the scene; even simple apologies can be misconstrued.

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim in New York?

You generally have three years from the bicycle crash date to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the claim is against a city or municipal entity (like an accident involving a city vehicle or poor road conditions managed by the city), you have only 90 days to file a notice of claim.

Who can be held liable for a bicycle accident?

Liability can vary depending on the accident but may include:

  • Motor vehicle drivers if their negligence caused the accident.
  • Pedestrians who might have unlawfully obstructed your path.
  • City or state entities if poor road conditions or inadequate signage contributed to the accident.
  • Bicycle or part manufacturers if a defect in the bicycle caused the accident.

What types of compensation can I receive from a bicycle accident claim in NYC?

Compensation may include:

  • Medical expenses: Current and future medical treatment related to your injuries.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for time off work and loss of earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering: For physical and emotional distress suffered due to the accident.
  • Property damage: Costs to repair or replace your bicycle and other personal property damaged in the accident.

Should I talk to the insurance company after a bicycle accident?

Be cautious when dealing with insurance adjusters. It’s often best to consult with a bicycle accident lawyer before giving any statements or accepting any offers. Insurers might try to settle with injured cyclists quickly for less than you deserve.

How can a NYC bicycle accident lawyer help me?

An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help by:

  • Evaluating your case to determine liability and assess damages.
  • Navigating legal and insurance processes to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Maximizing your compensation through skilled negotiation and, if necessary, litigation.
  • Handling all legal aspects while you focus on recovery.

Is there a fee for consulting a NYC bike accident lawyer?

Most bicycle accident attorneys offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t pay any personal injury attorney fees unless they recover compensation for you.

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