Utica Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can vary greatly. Many bicycle riders suffer bruising and scrapes in minor crashes, while others could sustain serious back, neck, and head injuries or broken bones that leave them with permanent injuries.
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Working with our Utica bicycle accident lawyers can help you get damages paid for your medical bills, your lost wages, and the pain and suffering you faced from the accident. However, getting compensation might not be as simple as filing an insurance claim.
For help with your injuries, call the Utica bicycle accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm. Contact us at (718) 841-0083 today for a free case review.
Getting Compensation After a Bike Accident in Utica
You are likely entitled to file an insurance claim after an accident to help you recover compensation for your injuries and lost wages. However, insurance claims can be complex and often deny you coverage for the full value of your injuries. To get full compensation, you might need to file a lawsuit instead.
Filing an Insurance Claim
In New York, all drivers are required to carry no-fault auto insurance that covers injuries to themselves and their passengers after a crash. Cyclists are not required to carry insurance, which opens the question of who will cover their crash. The driver’s PIP insurance also covers pedestrians, which includes cyclists for purposes of insurance coverage. This means that the no-fault insurance of the driver who hit you should cover your injuries.
If you do drive a car and have PIP insurance, it’s possible you could have better insurance that might kick in if the driver’s insurance is too low. This could help you, but in any case, no-fault PIP insurance does not cover compensation for pain and suffering.
At the end of the day, an insurance claim can only cover compensation for medical bills and lost wages – and after deductibles on your policy and policy limitations, this might not cover these damages in full. In order to get all damages you need, you might need to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you file a lawsuit, you could be entitled to claim additional damages, such as damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. However, there are limitations on your ability to sue.
New York’s no-fault laws prevent lawsuits unless the “serious injury” threshold is met. This covers particular types of injuries, such as “serious disfigurement,” a broken bone, an amputation, or the loss of some other body part/organ. Additionally, any injury that will stop you from performing “customary daily activities” for 90 of the next 180 days is also considered “serious” under the definition.
Talk to our Utica bicycle accident lawyers about whether your case meets this threshold or not. If it does, it could entitle you to file a lawsuit against the driver’s liability insurance, but a lawsuit could be more comprehensive and include damages that insurance companies are often unwilling to cover without a court order.
Proving Fault in a Utica Bicycle Accident
One of the biggest questions injured cyclists have for our Utica bicycle accident lawyers is the question of who was at fault in their accident. Generally speaking, no-fault PIP coverage does not require proof of fault to get compensation for medical bills and lost wages, but to get full damages in a lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault, so this is an important question to ask.
Fault is determined in a bicycle accident by looking at the totality of the circumstances. This means looking at everything that each party did and looking at other conditions like lighting and weather to determine whether anyone did anything wrong in the given circumstances. To prove that a driver was at fault for your accident, you need to show that they violated some legal duty or otherwise acted unreasonably in the situation. You must also prove that this breach of duty or unreasonable action actually caused your injuries.
This often means pointing to traffic violations to show fault. Our Utica bicycle accident lawyers can often hold drivers accountable for a crash based on any of the following dangers or traffic violations:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Failing to signal
- Failing to look out for cyclists during right turns (“right-hook accidents”)
- Opening a car door into a biker’s path (“dooring accidents”)
- Refusing to share the lane with a cyclist where there are no bike lanes
- Reckless driving
All in all, our Utica bike accident lawyers can point to many different issues on the road as proof of fault.
Can a Bicycle Rider Be at Fault for a Bike Accident in Utica, NY?
In some cases, the bike rider could be blamed for the crash. In many cases, these claims are unfounded defenses the driver tries to use to dodge blame for a crash. Our Utica bicycle accident cases can focus on the defendant’s fault when building your case and seek to have a judge and jury hold them 100% liable for the crash. However, it is important to understand how you could be held partially accountable for a crash.
First, bikers could have helped cause the crash. There are traffic laws that govern bikers as well, and violations of these rules could put you partially at fault. For example, bikers cannot ride drunk, speed, or change lanes without signaling. They are also typically required to ride on the street and stop at stop signs, stop at red lights, and follow other signs and signals.
Second, bikers could be accused of contributing to their injuries. For example, a driver might claim that your lack of a helmet helped make your injuries worse.
In either case, our lawyers will fight to redirect blame 100% to the defendant. If you are found to share a percentage of fault for the crash, your damages could be reduced by your own percentage of fault. However, there is no cut-off under New York law, and you can get compensation for whatever share of fault the defendant caused, even if they were only 1% responsible for your injuries.
Call Our Utica Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
For a free case review on your bike accident case, contact the Utica bicycle accident attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today at (718) 841-0083.