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NYC Bike Accident Lawyers

NYC bicycle accidents can occur anywhere, anytime. The advent of Citi Bike, the presence of messenger and bicycle delivery services, e-bikes, and the existence of city bicycle tours for visitors all add to the mix of cyclists sharing the streets of New York with motorized vehicles. If you have been in injured in a bicycle accident, contact our New York City bike accident lawyers today for a free case evaluation.

Call Our NYC Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today

Have you or a family member been seriously injured in a bicycle accident by a negligent driver? Call 866-502-9091 or contact our New York bike accident lawyers for a FREE case evaluation. Don’t delay; there are strict time limits for bringing claims.

Dooring In NYC

For the men and women who bicycle in NYC, having to deal with inconsiderate and unsafe motorists is often a challenge. Dooring in NYC is one of the potentially dangerous things that can happen when bicyclists and motor vehicles have to share a space. Just because it does happen doesn’t mean that it is right. Here are some things to know about dooring in New York City.

Getting Doored On A Bike In NYC – Can I Sue?

What is dooring?

Dooring occurs when a motor vehicle occupant opens their door and the door either hits a bicyclist or the bicyclist slams into the door. This can lead to very serious injuries that can land the bicyclist in the hospital, unable to work and racking up costly medical bills. Around 80 percent of bicyclists who are the victims of dooring are injured in the accident.

Who is liable for dooring incidents?

In almost all cases, the occupant of the vehicle is liable for these dooring accidents. This is because the occupants of a vehicle are required to check the area around them before they open the door. Since bicyclists are required to ride in either bike lanes or as far to the right as possible, they often come well within the area that a car door would open. People in vehicles can’t expect that a cyclist would be watching the interior of each parked car or that the cyclist could stop in time to prevent an accident.

What should dooring victims do? Can I Sue?

Dooring victims need to seek medical care if they are injured. Calling 911 to get the medics and the police to the scene might be necessary. This could help the injured bicyclist to get a police report that shows what happened in the accident. Getting medical care right away can help to tie the injuries to the accident.

When the injuries from the dooring accident are serious, long-term medical care might be necessary. This means that you might need to have continuing doctor’s visits, physical therapy appointments and other similar medical treatments. As you can imagine, these can be costly.

If You Have Been Doored in NYC, You Can Sue For Compensation

Seeking compensation is one way that you might be able to reduce the financial impact that the dooring accident has on your life. You could include claims for damages related to the medical bills, pain and suffering, and time you had to miss from work. If you have been injured, our NY bicycle accident attorneys will help.  Call today for a free consultation.

Who Is At Fault When A Cyclist Gets Doored?

Bike lanes are intended to protect from moving traffic, but when you’re cycling so close to parked cars, there is another hazard that’s equally dangerous. “Dooring,” a collision that happens when a motorist or passenger opens a door into oncoming bike traffic, is both a common and a costly accident. It’s also easily avoidable and cyclists are protected by New York City law.

Stats and dangers

Nationwide, roughly one in ten bike accidents is a dooring. Here in New York, a 1996-2005 study determined about three percent to be fatal. A swinging door can knock a cyclist into oncoming traffic, or the impact can cause other serious injuries that include broken bones, deep bruises and head trauma.

If it happens to you

Many of the same procedures apply in a bike-car collision as in motorized accidents. If a door swings open and you take a fall, follow the same process. The difference is your own coverage. In a car accident, you’d have auto insurance. Because bikes don’t, it’s essential that you protect yourself by getting proper documentation on the scene. Even if you avoid hitting the car itself but get hurt in a fall, the car may be at fault and it should be reported.

  • Stay on the scene, along with the driver.
  • Call the police to file a report.
  • Exchange information with the vehicle and with any witnesses. If the driver won’t talk, take down the license plate number.
  • Request that the police issue a citation to the driver.
  • Take photos of the scene, damage and injuries.
  • Visit a doctor to document injuries.
  • Do not negotiate with the driver or insurance company.

Liability and the law

Cyclists are protected from dooring incidents in the city. The driver or passenger is likely to deny responsibility, but New York City has dooring laws and also firm rules on where taxis can drop off and pick up customers. Taxis are required to follow basic parking rules that leave traffic flow uninterrupted, and general dooring rules prohibit opening doors and stepping into traffic. The law says your path should be clear and an open door is a violation.

“Share the road” means more than just being aware of a cyclist’s vulnerabilities. It means equal observation of the road and that the same procedures apply case of an accident. The steps for a motorist to avoid a dooring are simply and fast but it still happens too frequently. Considering the potential for serious injury, it’s important that NYC cyclists know what to do if a door swings open in your path.

What To Do After Getting Doored In NYC

Imagine riding down the street, training for your next century ride. You have hit your top speed and you seem to be effortlessly cranking the pedals as you cruise down the street. You might even reach a new time for your personal best today. Everything was going perfectly until a car door suddenly opened up in front of you, right in the middle of the bike lane. You have just been “doored.”

If this has not happened to you yet, there is a good chance that it might. When it does, it is important to understand your rights as a cyclist in New York. A local bike accident attorney can advise you on how the law affects you and the driver that caused the accident. Read further for tips on how to avoid a dooring and how to handle the aftermath if avoidance is impossible.

Avoiding the door zone

The number one way to avoid a dooring accident is to ride outside of the door zone. This may mean that you have to ride to the far left of the bike lane, or possibly outside of it. Do your best never to ride right next to parked cars. Always be alert for people still sitting in their cars, as they might swing that door open at any time.

What to do after a dooring

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a dooring. You might be riding in the bike lane, in between a moving vehicle and parked cars. Your margin of error is slim in these circumstances and your risk of a dooring increased.

If you are in a New York City dooring accident, tell the driver to stay until the police arrive. If he or she refuses, be sure to get as much information as possible. This may mean taking pictures of the vehicle or just making a mental note of the make, model, and license plate of the car. If the driver is cooperative, go ahead and get his or her driver’s license and insurance information. In addition, take down the driver’s contact information as well.

Get the names, contact information and statements of anyone that witnessed the accident. Ask them to remain at the scene as well until the police arrive.

Handling the police

It is possible that the police will dismiss the accident. Do not let this happen. You have as much right to be on the road as a driver. Ask the officer to file an official report. Make a note of the officer’s name and badge number. Furthermore, request that the officer take statements from the witnesses.

Get medical attention

Even if you think you are not seriously injured, make an appointment with your doctor and have him or her check you over for injuries. It is possible that you will not feel certain muscle strains or other injuries caused by the accident for a day or two.

If you have been a victim of dooring, it is important to know how to handle the aftermath of the bicycle accident in New York. Our bike accident lawyers will help, call for a free case evaluation.

How To Prevent Dooring Accidents

Bicyclists face dangerous conditions when attempting to travel through congested urban areas. From distracted drivers and impaired drivers to drivers who simply aren’t paying attention, a cyclist can suffer serious injuries. In severe cases, a collision can prove fatal.

In an attempt to shield cyclists from heavy traffic patterns, city officials have designated nearly 30 miles of protected bike lanes in the past several years. Unfortunately, the positioning of much of this dedicated space opens cyclists up to a different hazard – Dooring.

What is dooring?

Urban areas typically demand that bike lanes must run in the space between parallel-parked vehicles and moving traffic lanes. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a vehicle occupant to open their door directly into the bike lane without checking for a passing cyclist. Generally, dooring refers to the cyclist crashing into the open car or truck door. The meaning behind the term has recently been expanded to include the times when a bicyclist, attempting to avoid a dooring collision, veers into a traffic lane opening themselves up to even worse injury.

Moving to avoid a collision is a natural tendency, and the cyclist often makes the decision in a fraction of a second. Sadly, avoiding one type of harm often opens them up to another.

Is there a way to prevent this?

Many European cities and numerous states have adopted something called “The Dutch Reach Method” into driver training materials. Developed by Dr. Michael Charney, the Dutch Reach is a simple twisting movement that, when used properly, can prevent dooring collisions. Essentially, the maneuver requires the driver or passenger to reach across his or her body with the hand furthest away from the door and pull the handle. This action twists the torso and causes the vehicle occupant to first look at the sideview mirror and then over his or her shoulder to see any cyclists who are in close proximity. This movement expands the field of vision and can alert vehicle occupants to cyclists who might otherwise be unseen at the rear of the car or truck.

Cyclists can suffer devastating injuries following any type of vehicle collision. From the initial impact to being driven over, these serious crashes can lead to catastrophic injury or death. In a busy metropolitan area, it is crucial that everyone pay special attention to the safety of all road users.

NYC Biking Safety Tips, Resources, & Bike Laws

Bicycling around New York City is often dangerous. Even though there is a large biking community here, people seem to think that anything goes and that bicyclists don’t matter. Listed below are some resources to help NYC bicyclists with bike safety in the city.

Is It Safe To Ride A Bike In NYC?

Automobiles and other motor vehicles may pose the greatest threat to the safety of bicyclists in our crowded metro area. Bicycling.com reported that there were more than 3,800 collisions involving bicycles and motor vehicles in the city that injured or killed the bicyclists. While such statistics fluctuate year by year, NYC bicycle accidents in traffic never go away completely.

It is amazing what one can see on the streets of New York City when it comes to bicycle riders. There are adults with kids in child seats, with neither adult nor child wearing a helmet. Then there are kids wearing helmets while the adult is not, and vice versa. People who ride bicycles in NYC without helmets are simply inviting brain injury and head trauma.

It is surprising there are not more cases of severe brain injury from biking in the city. Our skulls are incredible feats of engineering, protecting our brains and other organs. Nevertheless, they are not well designed for impacts with the pavement, guardrails and other hazards of riding on streets that also carry motor vehicle traffic. Wearing a helmet can reduce the chance of serious or fatal brain damage. Helmets are able to absorb much of the force of a sudden, blunt impact. A very high percentage of cyclists’ brain/head injuries, estimated at anywhere from 45 to 88%, could have been prevented by a helmet.

No Helmet, No Biking. Simple. Safe. Sensible.

Children do as we do, not as we say. Adults need to teach by example. Please wear your helmet. Kids who see adults without helmets infer that helmets are not necessary, important or cool. When parents are not around, these kids drop their helmets. Make it a requirement every time. Don’t accept excuses from your children or bike-riding friends and family. Although our New York bicycle accident lawyers are here to help when disaster strikes, please ride safely, and make sure your loved ones do so as well.

An injured bicyclist or surviving family members need legal advice right away to increase the likelihood of recovering compensation from a negligent motorist or their insurer.

Call our bike accident lawyers today for a free injury consultation.

NYC Bike Lanes

Moreover, the existence of more bike lanes does not guarantee protection for riders. First, cyclists have to use the bike lanes. Second, motor vehicles need to stay out of bike lanes. It is impossible to do either 100% of the time, adding to the danger of riding a bicycle in the city.

Injured In A Citi Bike Share Accident?

The bike share service now available all over New York City has both benefits and dangers. The bike share program’s mission is to provide a safe way for thousands of people to travel throughout New York City, but Citi Bike has had some serious problems in its short period of existence.

The most troubling aspect of the Citi Bike program has been serious injuries to riders and pedestrians. In one bicycle accident, a 74-year-old man suffered severe head injuries after hitting a concrete barrier with the front tire of his Citi Bike. The barrier has since been painted bright orange.

If you suffered an injury from a Citi Bike or docking station, the New York pedestrian accident attorneys at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick can help. Regardless of how your accident involved Citi Bike, our accident lawyers will give you answers about your legal rights. For a FREE consultation, call 866-502-9091 or contact us online.

Causes Of Citi Bike Injuries

Dangerous conditions leading to Citi Bike injuries and death include:

  • Bicycle racks that feature inconspicuous raised platforms creating a tripping hazard
  • Poorly maintained bicycles
  • Crowded areas near bike racks that put pedestrians at risk
  • Disoriented tourists trying to navigate via bicycle
  • Other cyclists and motorists who break traffic laws

Despite its partnership with New York City, Citi Bike is a private company owned by Alta Bicycle Share and operated by NYC Bike Share, LLC. However, many Citi Bike accidents may involve issues of municipal liability.

If you or a family member has been seriously harmed in a Citi Bike or bicycle tour accident, do not delay. You have strict time limits for bringing a Citi Bike lawsuit, especially in claims involving municipal negligence.

The experienced New York bicycle accident attorneys at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick will help answer your questions and take crucial steps to preserve your legal rights to money damages. For a FREE consultation with a Citi Bike accident attorney, call 866-502-9091 or fill out an e-form.

Were You Injured While On A Bicycle Tour Of New York City?

New York is a great city to visit. One way that visitors see the city is by taking riding tours. A guided bicycle tour is a great way to experience New York City. Unfortunately, serious bicycle accidents sometimes occur during these tours. Determining fault in tourist bike crashes is often complicated and contentious. Further, most New York City bicycle tour companies require participants to sign liability waivers, which may or may not be enforceable depending on the unique circumstances of an accident.

It’s important to explore your rights with an experienced New York personal injury attorney in any type of tourist accident, but bicycle crashes may involve a variety of parties, including the tour company and its insurer, a motorist, a cabdriver or taxi company, or a fellow cyclist.

The New York City injury lawyers at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick have a wealth of experience in both bicycle collisions and tourist accidents. Our attorneys provide FREE consultations to injury victims, so contact us online or call 866-502-9091 to claim yours.

If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one as a result of a bike tour accident, contact our NYC lawyers at 866-502-9091 for a FREE case evaluation. For over 50 years, our law firm has been getting results for injured tourists.

Lawsuits Against New York City Bicycle Tour Companies

There are dozens of popular New York City bike tour companies, including:

  • Bike and Roll
  • Bike the Big Apple
  • Get Up and Ride
  • Blazing Saddles

Many of these enterprises are experienced, reputable and committed to the safety of their customers. However, even well-intentioned tour companies can make a mistake that results in a serious or fatal injury.

Because New York bicycle tour accidents involve an array of legal issues, one seemingly minor mistake can decide the fate of an injury suit. An experienced New York bicycle accident lawyer can help avoid pitfalls and give your claim the best possible chance for success.

Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick provides FREE consultations to those seriously injured on a New York City bike tour. To discuss your injury or wrongful death claim with an experienced NY City bike accident attorney, call 866-502-9091 or send us an email.

Learn More About Bike Laws In The City

NYC Bike Smart Guide

It is common for New York drivers to treat cyclists differently from other vehicles. Drivers routinely cut off bicycles or pass them at unsafe distances. Another common but deadly mistake occurs when drivers negligently open their doors into traffic, hitting a cyclist or causing them to veer into traffic to avoid a collision. Here is the law: Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist.

New York City Biking Laws

Bike riders must also obey the rules of the road, just like motor vehicles. These include:

  • Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Ride in the direction of traffic.
  • Stay off sidewalks unless you are 12 or younger.
  • Use a bell or horn to warn motorists and pedestrians.
  • Use one earphone while riding.
  • Use a white headlight and red taillight at night.
  • Wear a bike helmet if you are 13 or younger.

Please obey all traffic rules on your bicycle, and wear a helmet. You owe it to yourself and those who care about you. For New York City bicycle safety tips with illustrations, read Bike Smart or visit the NYC DOT’s bike tips page for further resources. Of course, even the most caution cyclists may be victimized by negligent motorists.

Rules That New York City Motorists Must Follow Concerning Bikes

  • Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicyclist.
    • If a motorist collides with a bicycle while failing to exercise due care, causing serious injury to the cyclist, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver’s failure to exercise due care was the cause of the accident.
  • When a motorist is overtaking a bicycle from behind, the vehicle must pass on the left side of the bike at a safe distance until safely clear.
  • A motor vehicle turning left must yield to bicyclists traveling straight.
  • New York’s “dooring” law: No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic.

If you need to speak with an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney about your cycling injuries or a family member’s wrongful death, secure a FREE consultation at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick by calling 866-502-9091.

Bicycle Accident FAQs

Do you have additional questions about NYC bike accidents? Listed below are some answers to frequently asked questions about NYC bike accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured, call our lawyers for a free case evaluation.

What are the causes of bicycle accidents?

In theory, bicyclists have the same rights on the road that drivers of other vehicles do. However, in practice, cars, trucks and buses typically injure or kill bicyclists that they collide with. Common causes and scenarios of car-bicycle accidents include:

  • Intersection encounters (often involving left turns)
  • Parked cars’ doors suddenly opening when a bicycle is passing by
  • Disrespect of bicycle lanes by drivers of cars and trucks
  • Parking lot mishaps

Determining who was responsible is similar to an investigation into liability after a crash between motor vehicles. For best results, work with an experienced NYC bike accident lawyer.

How Cycling Injuries Happen

Staying healthy and getting fit are laudable goals. For many New York City cyclists, those are just two of many motivations for hitting the road day after day. Unfortunately, far too many cyclists end up with injuries that sideline them not only from their beloved hobby and passion, but also from their work and other activities.

Cycling injuries can arise from a host of causes. While you can’t control all of these factors, simply knowing what they are can be helpful as you ride.

Injuries from overuse

Some injuries are the result of cycling too long or too hard. Overuse injuries range from pulled muscles, strains and tendonitis to debilitating knee and back pain that takes months or years to overcome.

You can prevent these injuries by following these tips:

  • Set a reasonable training program that gives your body plenty of time to rest and adjust to increasing levels of effort.
  • Take the time to warm up before each ride and stretch afterward. Following particularly intense rides, consider an ice bath or foam rolling to soothe sore muscles.
  • Don’t take on races that are more than you can handle for your current level of fitness.
  • Use proper form and technique while cycling.
  • Don’t push through pain; instead, scale back and give your body a chance to recover.

By warding off these injuries – or nipping them in the bud when they do arise – you’ll benefit in the long run.

Injuries from accidents

Accidents are another common cause of bicycle-related injuries. When they involve a collision with a vehicle, the injuries are often severe: broken bones, head trauma, lacerations, back and neck injuries, and road rash, to name a few. Such significant injuries can affect all areas of your life.

So how can you reduce your risk of an accident while riding?

  • Wear a helmet: If you don’t think that a helmet is important when riding, consider the fact that around half of young people hospitalized due to bicycle accidents suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Without a helmet, you are 14 times more likely to die in a bicycle crash than you are if you are wearing one.
  • Make yourself visible: Proper gear is essential for a safe ride – especially if you’re out before dawn or after dark. Use lights and reflective gear to help vehicles see you.
  • Be strategic (especially in traffic): Don’t make unpredictable movements. Use hand signals to alert drivers of your intentions. Ride in bike lanes whenever possible, and choose routes that minimize heavy traffic.

By following these tips, you can avoid undue risks and ensure that cycling remains an enjoyable activity for a long time to come.

What should a bicyclist or their family members do after a bicycle accident?

After any traffic accident, such as a bicycle accident, the right response should go something like this:

  • Call 911, and while waiting for first responders to arrive, give aid to the injured bicyclist (or motorist) if possible.
  • Exchange contact information and insurance information with others involved in crashes, when possible.
  • Do not discuss fault or opinions about how an accident happened with the police, medical attendants or insurance company representatives. Save those conversations for a lawyer on your side.
  • Gather witnesses’ names and contact information, and other evidence, such as photos of the crash scene and its surroundings.
  • Get medical evaluations and treatments as needed for anyone who was injured in a crash.

How much will an injured bicyclist likely receive in compensation from a negligent motorist who caused a crash?

The answer to this question will depend on the outcomes of:

  • An investigation
  • An injury claim or lawsuit
  • A review of available insurance policies and their term limits
  • The reaching of a settlement or verdict

If all goes well, the injured bicyclist (and anyone else who was injured) may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Can I sue someone after suffering injuries in a bicycle accident?

This may not be necessary. A claim to the liable party’s insurer may bring a recovery without a need to resort to litigation. Taking a case to court may diminish the total compensation because of legal costs. However, if a liable party and/or their insurer refuse to pay, a lawsuit may be necessary, appropriate and productive.

Do I need a lawyer to file a lawsuit after a bike accident?

You may not need a lawyer, but a lawyer can increase the likelihood of your injury or wrongful death claim’s success after a bicycle accident. Without a law degree and fresh experience, few people understand how to navigate the legal systems that can bring about maximum compensation for the injured. An experienced attorney can work with medical providers, insurers’ claims adjusters and/or courts as needed. Our law firm takes bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means no attorney fees are due until a settlement or verdict brings financial relief to the injured bicyclist or surviving family members.

Free Bike Accident Case Evaluation

If you need to speak with an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney about your cycling injuries or a family member’s wrongful death, secure a FREE consultation at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick by calling 866-502-9091.

FREE Case Evaluation

FREE Case Evaluation