Queens Fatal Bicycle Accident Lawyer
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, who can cause devasting injuries in an accident.
Some cyclists might not know how to recover compensation for their injuries. This is where a Queens bicycle accident lawyer can be helpful. Bicycle accident injuries can be serious and even life-altering. The compensation needed could be extensive. However, while insurance benefits will likely be available, you could potentially file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to recover damages that insurance will not provide.
If another person has violated your right to share the road, our Queens car accident lawyers can help you hold the negligent party responsible. Contact The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.
Common Causes of Fatal Bicycle Accidents in Queens, NY
With thousands of cyclists sharing the road in Queens, there is no shortage of ways for bicycle accidents. Queens has also added many more bike lanes across the city, further increasing ridership and bicycles sharing the road. However, accidents have increased as cycling has become a more common mode of transportation. A 2018 New York City Department of Transportation report determined that there were 836 bicycle accidents in Queens alone. Of those, three were fatal. The following are some common causes of bicycle accidents in Queens:
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Right-hook accidents
- Illegally blocking the bike lane
- Running stops sign and lights
- Improper lane changes
- Poor road conditions
- Bicycle defects
- Open-door accidents
- Failure to yield right of way
With cycling’s growing popularity, accidents could happen in many other ways. Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve no matter how your accident occurred.
Recovering Compensation After a Fatal Bicycle Accident in Queens, NY
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 insurance personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This happens regardless of who was at fault for the accident. If you were injured by a driver while on your bicycle, you would be treated as a pedestrian for the purposes of filing insurance and receive your benefits from the at-fault driver’s PIP coverage.
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 seek those types of damages. Unfortunately, the other tradeoff is that most bicycle accident victims will not be permitted to file a lawsuit. Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you determine what compensation options might be available to you.
When You Can File a Lawsuit for a Queens, NY, Bicycle Accident
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 it considers a serious injury:
- Broken Bones
Further, 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. Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you gather important evidence to prove that your injuries are serious.
Comparative Negligence in Queens, NY, Fatal Bicycle Accident Cases
A common question many cyclists have is whether they would lose out on compensation if they contributed to the accident. 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. 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 you were awarded $100,000 by a jury but found to be 20% at fault for your injuries, you would still be entitled to recover $80,000. Our Queens car 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.
Time Limit to File a Fatal Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Queens, NY
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 your lawsuit is filed after the three-year time limit, it will be dismissed by the court. Thus, it would be best if you did not hesitate to start your case. Important evidence like vehicle damage and dash-cam 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 filing a lawsuit or insurance claim. Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you with these special requirements and other filing deadlines, so you do not miss out on the compensation you are owed.
Our Queens, NY, Fatal Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident, our Queens car accident lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve. For a free case assessment, call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.