Queens Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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    Queens is adding more mileage of bike lanes each year, increasing the popularity of cycling as a means of transportation. However, many drivers are still adapting to sharing the road with cyclists, which leads to many dangerous accidents for bikers.

    In the event that you sustained serious injuries in a recent bicycle accident, you can file a lawsuit against the party responsible for the incident. To make sure you do this within the statute of limitations, which is three years in Queens, our attorneys will begin investigating the accident as soon as possible. By uncovering compelling evidence, such as eyewitness statements and surveillance footage, we can prove that the defendant alone caused the incident, ensuring New York’s comparative negligence laws do not impact your case. Furthermore, by presenting proof of your various damages, our lawyers can help you recover compensation for all losses related to a recent bike accident.

    Contact The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083for a free case review from our Queens bicycle accident lawyers.

    Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Queens

    With thousands of cyclists sharing the road in Queens, there is no shortage of ways for bicycle accidents to take place. Queens has also added many more bike lanes across the city, further increasing ridership and bicycles sharing the road. With that, accidents have increased as cycling has become a more common mode of transportation in the area.

    Bicycle accidents are often caused by drivers who act negligently, not bikers. For example, texting while driving, distracted driving, illegally blocking bike lanes, speeding, making improper lane changes, and running stop signs and lights are common causes of bicycle accidents in Queens. Bicyclists might also be struck when passengers or drivers fail to look before opening doors into bike lanes. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is another top cause of bike accidents, as intoxicated drivers might experience reduced reaction times, preventing them from seeing and avoiding striking bikers.

    According to the Bicycle Crash Data Report from the New York City Department of Transportation, a total of 850 bicyclists were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles in Queens in 2022. Furthermore, four bicyclists were killed in auto accidents during that year.

    With cycling’s growing popularity, accidents could happen in many other ways than the examples listed above. Our bicycle accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve no matter how your accident occurred.

    Recovering Compensation After a Bicycle Accident in Queens

    Some cyclists might not be aware that they could be compensated by car insurance if the accident involved a car. New York is a no-fault state, meaning that car accident victims are compensated for their injuries from their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. This happens regardless of who was at fault for the accident.

    While no-fault laws are convenient since there is no need to prove fault, there are downsides. PIP insurance typically only provides economic damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage costs for your bicycle. It will not provide other non-economic damages, such as the physical pain and emotional stress that affected you because of your injuries.

    Only a lawsuit can allow victims to seek those types of damages. Unfortunately, the other tradeoff is that most bicycle accident victims will not be permitted to file a lawsuit because of New York’s no-fault laws. Our lawyers can help you determine what compensation options might be available to you based on the specifics of your case.

    When You Can File a Lawsuit for a Queens Bicycle Accident

    Because New York is a no-fault state, bicyclists injured in auto accidents have to prove that they meet the serious injury threshold in order to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. Our lawyers can prepare the necessary information to prove that your injuries are severe enough to warrant litigation so that you can recover the compensation you need.

    You can file a lawsuit for additional damages if you can show that you sustained serious injuries in the bicycle accident. I.S.C. Law § 5102(d) provides several examples of what is considered a serious injury in New York, including death, disfigurement, miscarriages, and broken bones.

    Furthermore, you could prove serious injuries if you sustained a permanent or significant loss in the function of a limb, organ, or bodily system. A non-permanent injury that prevents you from performing normal daily tasks for at least 90 out of the first 180 days after an accident is also considered serious and could entitle you to sue in Queens.

    Even if you have sustained an injury that meets the definition of serious injury in New York, you must prove that the injury exists. This will require our lawyers to have access to your medical records for the injuries you sustained in a bicycle accident. Furthermore, we might enlist medical experts to review your records and give statements regarding the permanent nature of your injuries or their impact on your ability to engage in daily tasks. We might need such evidence to establish that you do indeed meet the serious injury threshold and are entitled to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Queens.

    Comparative Negligence in Queens Bicycle Accident Cases

    Even if the defendant’s involvement in an accident is clear to you, you must show that you did not contribute to the crash. Otherwise, the jury in your case could reduce your total compensation to reflect your involvement.

    Fortunately, New York follows pure comparative negligence rules to determine an injured cyclist’s award. This means that you can recover damages even if it is determined that you were 99% at fault for the accident. That said, under C.V.P. Law § 1411, an award for damages will be reduced in proportion to the fault attributable to the plaintiff.

    For example, if a jury awarded you $100,000 but found you to be 20% at fault for your injuries, you would still be entitled to recover $80,000. Our bicycle accident lawyers can review the facts of your case to help you determine if any conduct on your part will impact the amount of your potential compensation. For example, introducing certain evidence might eliminate any questions about your involvement in the accident. Evidence like security camera footage and eyewitness statements that correspond with your telling of events might help prove that the defendant alone is responsible for your injuries and that you did not contribute to the accident in any way. That said, it is still important to follow all laws pertaining to riding a bicycle in Queens, as otherwise you might jeopardize your recovery, even if the defendant also acted negligently.

    Time Limit to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Queens

    Those injured in bicycle accidents do not have an unlimited amount of time to sue negligent drivers in Queens. If you fail to bring your case before the deadline, you could be blocked from recovering compensatory damages.

    The time limit to file a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. According to C.V.P. Law § 214, injured bicyclists have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Queens. The rule is strict, with few exceptions. In most cases, if you file your lawsuit after the three-year time limit, the court will dismiss it. Thus, it would be best if you did not hesitate to start your case. Important evidence like vehicle damage and dashboard camera footage often becomes lost or destroyed if too much time passes.

    Another important consideration is if your lawsuit, or insurance claim for that matter, is being filed against a state or municipal transit authority or other government agency. If so, G.M.U. Law § 50-e(a) requires an injured bicyclist to file a notice of claim with the city within 90 days of the incident. Our lawyers can help you with these special requirements and other filing deadlines, so you do not miss out on the compensation you are owed.

    In the event that a loved one died because of a bicycle accident in Queens and you are their personal representative, you will have two years to file a lawsuit for wrongful death, according to E.P.T. Law § 5-4.1. Note that the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is one year shorter than that for regular personal injury lawsuits in New York.

    After you are injured in a bike accident, let our lawyers begin investigating the circumstances of the incident right away. We will ensure that there is sufficient evidence for you to bring a claim and that we have a full understanding of your damages before you sue. Filing your lawsuit before comprehending the scope of your medical expenses, treatment, and lost wages will not be wise, as you will not have sufficient proof of your damages.

    Damages Available in Queens Bicycle Accident Lawsuits

    When injured because of negligence, victims in Queens stand to recover compensation for all damages incurred because of a bicycle accident. This includes a victim’s economic and non-economic damages.

    New York does not cap compensation in most bicycle accident claims, except for those against government agencies. Provided we can submit enough proof of your damages, which would include records pertaining to your medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses, the jury assigned to your case should compensate you for all economic damages.

    Regarding non-economic damages, recovery can be more challenging as these losses are subjective. Our attorneys can calculate your damages for pain and suffering using various methods, such as the per diem and multiplier methods, so that we can estimate your deserved non-economic damages. Personal testimony from victims and statements from mental health professionals and experts can provide much-need clarity regarding a victim’s actual pain and suffering. When faced with the full extent of your injuries in the form of your medical records, the jury in your case might more easily appreciate your pain and suffering and award you considerable non-economic damages.

    Because bicycle accidents are often so severe, it is not uncommon for victims to succumb to their injuries and pass away in the following days or weeks. When personal representatives sue for wrongful death in Queens, survivors can recover compensation for economic losses. Furthermore, personal representatives can also bring survival actions to recover damages that a victim incurred prior to their death, namely compensation for pain and suffering.

    Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Queens for Help

    For a free case assessment from our bicycle accident lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.