NYC Bike/Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Attorney experience counts in a New York courtroom and should be a major factor when considering your choices for a New York City bike accident attorney.
At Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier PC, our New York City bike accident attorneys have spent the last 26 years in New York courtrooms representing those injured in bike accidents, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, and are regarded as the best NYC personal injury lawyers in a variety of other New York injury/accident cases.
Bicyclists have all the same rights on New York roads as cars; even in the midst of heavy traffic, bikes must obey and are also protected by the rules of the road in New York.
New York Bike Law provides the same rights to bicycles traveling on New York roads as is does to cars, including situations in which there are no designated bike lanes.
When it’s unsafe for a bicycle and a car to travel side-by-side, it’s perfectly legal for a bicyclist to ride down the middle of the lane as a car would.
However, a bike’s smaller profile and slower speed commonly lead to cars acting dangerously around them. Some examples are leaving too little room when passing and failing to yield to a bicyclist when turning. Such actions can result in catastrophic bike accidents resulting in serious bicycle injuries, and even loss of life.
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, you need an experienced New York bike accident lawyers to represent your rights and help you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and any wages lost from time off work. You have a right to be compensated regardless of the type of bike (e.g. bicycle, tandem, cycle, e-bike, electronic bike) that was involved in the accident.
Whether you use a bicycle/bike/cycle for personal use or make your living as a commercial bicyclist anywhere in the five boroughs, we understand the complexities of the laws involved and can help you navigate the legal system.
Motorists or Pedestrians?
Bicyclists have a unique place in New York City law. For purposes of traffic laws, they are treated as “motor vehicles.” However, when struck by a car, they are covered by the motorist’s insurance, the same as pedestrians.
Since New York is a no-fault state for car accidents, this means that under most circumstances, it doesn’t matter whether you the motorist, or both were responsible for the accident. The insurance company will simply pay for your medical care and lost wages if you had to take time off work. You are not allowed to sue the driver because no one is considered “at fault.”
However, sometimes this coverage simply isn’t enough. For severe injuries, the law makes exceptions under which you can file suit for damages as well as pain and suffering to get the compensation you need. A severe injury, under this law, is one which causes any of the following:
- A broken bone
- A permanent injury that limits the use of a limb or organ (e.g. paralysis)
- An injury that significantly limits a body function or system (e.g. traumatic brain injury)
- Significant disfigurement
- Substantial disability for at least 90 days
If you were involved in an accident with a motor vehicle resulting in any of these injuries, we can help you recover what you need to get back on your feet, including coverage for all your medical bills as well as compensation for lost wages.
What Can A NYC Bike Accident Attorney Do For Me?
If your accident is serious enough to fall outside the scope of the no-fault laws, you need to talk to an attorney with experience dealing with bicycle accidents as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for these kinds of accidents is 3 years, unless you are suing any type of city entity, including the NYCTA, NYCHA, city bus or subway. Then you have only 90 days to file a notice of a claim. Furthermore, the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to document your injuries and obtain the facts about your situation. The earlier you start, the better.
Once you file the lawsuit against the driver, your attorney will construct a case based on the evidence and fight for you in the courtroom. At Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier, we not only fight to win your case, but also to give you the greatest possible portion of the award. Because New York is a comparative fault state, the damages awarded by the court will be reduced by the percent you were at fault for the accident, so it’s vital to present your case as skillfully and accurately as possible to give the jury a true picture of the event.
Types of Damages
Once you win your case, you will then receive an award from the court in the form of “damages,” which are payments equivalent to various losses. For example:
Medical expenses (past and future)
Lost wages (past and future)
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship/consortium
It’s important to remember that bicyclists are not second-class citizens when it comes to roadway rights. If you’ve been injured, we want to help you get the compensation you need to fully recover and get back on your feet again.