Those of you who live in New York City already know that riding a bicycle through the city is sometimes risky. Far too many accidents continue to occur with bicyclists every year. Yet, more than half of every citizen here rides a bike at least several times per month.
What kind of bicycle accidents may occur? Numerous scenarios exist. The law is on your side based upon some specific statutes when others are liable.
Details on the most typical bicycle accidents in the city and the statutes available when someone else is liable for your injuries can be found below:
What Caused Your Bicycle Accident?
Numerous scenarios exist on what causes bicycle accidents in NYC. First, you should wear a helmet and use proper hand signals when bicycling in traffic. You should also wear bright clothing or reflective materials so you are easily seen. Using horns, bells, or headlights additionally help enhance safety.
These do not always protect against accidents occurring. Most bicycle accidents occur at busy intersections here in the city. In many cases, these accidents turn fatal, or bring life-altering injuries.
Bicycling along a moving vehicle is another potential hazard. Just as dangerous is riding next to a vehicle in a turn lane.
Trucks are yet another potential risk and usually cause more devastating injuries due to their large size. Or, an accident might occur simply due to lack of street maintenance, like a pothole.
In some scenarios, statutes exist to protect you if someone is liable for your particular injuries.
What About Scooter Accidents?
Scooters are very popular in the city and seen often in busy traffic. Accidents can too easily occur with scooters as much any other vehicle. Since becoming more popular, scooter and moped accidents rose in NYC, often leading to increased ER visits.
One reason is legalized use of electric scooters and electric bikes this year. This means more pedal-assist bikes, throttle-powered bikes, and electric scooters dominating our streets amid continually chaotic traffic.
Common accident scenarios with electric scooters include similar situations listed above with bicycles. These accidents might become more serious, though, because scooters potentially travel at higher speeds.
The noise from an electric scooter motor could also prevent you from hearing a horn or an oncoming vehicle. Accident scenarios like these keep happening and will likely continue to, even with proper safety measures followed.
State statutes ultimately protect riders like you when others are to blame.
Other Motorized Vehicles in NYC
Some motorized devices in NYC are not allowed to register for use on public streets or highways. Devices like mini-bikes, off-road motorcycles, go-karts, and golf carts are prohibited from being in busy traffic areas.
Should anyone get in an accident with these vehicles, it could cause legal hardship due to prohibited registration. An accident could still happen elsewhere, though, creating a scenario where you take legal action due to possible negligence in the motorized vehicle itself. Or, it was perhaps due to another factor, like being hit by a car in a place with no busy traffic.
In all scenarios, what kind of statutes can you rely on if suffering from an injury? Bicyclists and motorized scooter users are protected by these laws when negligence by a third party plays a part.
Gathering Evidence to Take Advantage of New York Statutes
After a bicycle accident occurs, you need to gather evidence as quickly as possible. An attorney can do that for you if your injuries prevent you from gathering the evidence on your own.
The reason evidence is so important is you need to race the clock on statute of limitations. Some of those, particularly against municipalities and their subdivisions, do not last long. No fault claim statutes of limitations are even shorter.
With evidence on your side, you can then use various New York laws to gain a possible settlement due to your injuries. Evidence also helps determine who was really to blame for the accident.
Multiple people might be responsible:
- A driver of a car or truck.
- A private property or business owner.
- The city itself for not properly maintaining a roadway.
- The manufacturer of the bicycle due to mechanical defects.
Consulting with a personal injury attorney as early as possible helps gather these facts to save you time and allow you to heal from your injuries.
Some State Statutes You Can Use in Your Favor
Various statutes protect your rights as a bicyclist in NYC. One your legal team can help you with is NYC Administrative Code Section 4-08(e). This statute is designed to help those who suffered injuries as the result of blocking or obstructing a bike lane.
Another statute to ask about is VTL 1214, or otherwise known as the “door zone” violation. The law requires car doors keep a space of 2 to 4 feet from any approaching bicycles. Any vehicle parallel parked must adhere to this, or they face serious legal consequences if causing a bike accident.
Section 4-12( c ) is a similar statute that says no driver should exit their vehicle on the side where it might interfere with a passing bicycle in a bike lane.
These statutes can hold someone accountable after your bicycle accident occurs. When proven with proper evidence, these laws are the best weapons you have to gain compensation, other than photographic proof, plus your medical bills.
What About Statutes Related to Taxi Drivers?
We all know some taxi drivers in NYC drive far too erratically for their own good. They sometimes cause bicycle accidents due to being distracted, lack of sleep, or simply driving too fast.
Section 4-11, Section C is a specialized statute made just for taxi drivers to discharge passengers within 12 inches of the curb. Similar to passenger cars above, this protects the safety of bicyclists, despite not always being adhered to.
Taxis ultimately need to create fewer than 10 feet available for the free movement of all vehicular traffic.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, call us immediately at Chaikin LaPenna, PLLC so we can analyze your case and get you the legal help you deserve.
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