Working as a bike messenger or delivery professional can be an exhilarating and empowering career. Many times, these savvy cyclists move through traffic more quickly than motor vehicles, thanks to the use of fixed-gear bikes and an intimate knowledge of the fastest and safest routes from one area to another.
As a bike messenger, you probably already know there is risk associated with your job. There’s also a good chance you are active at trying to reduce that risk. Many New York City bike messengers understand their rights on the roads and join efforts to push for more cycling lanes and better enforcement of existing laws to protect cyclists. The sad fact is that getting hurt as a bike messenger can leave you unable to work and likely unable to qualify for workers’ compensation, as you probably work as an independent contractor.
Door accidents can happen even in bike lanes
A dooring accident has the potential to cause catastrophic injury or even death to the victim. These crashes happen when someone in a vehicle opens a door on a car in front of an approaching cyclist. These incidents are usually accidental, but there have been cases of intentional doorings as well. Many times, the person on the bike just doesn’t have to time to stop before crashing right into the open door. When people exit their vehicles, they should check for traffic before opening the door. Too often, people are only looking for motor vehicles and not cyclists.
A dooring can throw a cyclist off a bike, leading to broken bones, head injuries and even spinal cord injuries. Sometimes, a cyclist moving very quickly at the time of impact can get thrown over the door and into oncoming traffic, increasing the risk for a fatal accident. Bike lanes can help, but drivers can still open doors into bike lanes without checking.
Serious injuries or death can result from a crash
While 2017 isn’t over yet, the statistics from 2016 paint a rather bleak picture when it comes to biking safety in New York City. Last year, there were 231 fatalities involving a bike and a motor vehicle. Although there were 317 crashes involving bikes and pedestrians or only bikes, none of those proved fatal. However, there were more than 10,775 crashes involving bikes and cars last year, with 59,396 injuries, 4,592 of which were sustained by cyclists.
For cyclists hurt by motorist neglect or poor decision-making, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best option for compensation. From medical expenses, which can be overwhelming, to property damage and lost wages, a crash between your bike and a vehicle can end up costing you a lot.