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Riding around New York City is a challenge on two wheels. With lots of green space and paved roadways available for anyone who wants to ride, bicycle accident injuries are increasing with the number of people who choose to ride.
The city and state have invested in increasing the infrastructure necessary to accommodate more riders and make it available to everyone. The introduction of e-bikes and “dockless” bikes for the public to ride anywhere free or cheap means even more bicyclists in NYC.
Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero, modeled on a similar program in Stockholm, aims to reduce all traffic fatalities for pedestrians and bicyclists to zero. Unfortunately, that goal hasn’t yet been reached. Vision Zero’s 2017 report shows that although pedestrian accidents decreased, bicycle and motorcycle accidents increased, with 4,397 reported incidents of cyclist injuries and 23 cyclist fatalities. (The 2017 NYC Bicycle Data Crash Report is available here.) Florida is the most dangerous area in the US for bicyclists.
Where The Most Accidents Happen
A recent report from Localize.city shows twelve of the most dangerous spots for bicyclists and pedestrians in New York City:
- Brooklyn, 1,691 injuries
- Williamsburg: general boundaries between Lee Avenue and North Seventh/Metropolitan Avenue, from Berry Street to Bushwick Avenue
- Downtown Brooklyn: general boundaries between Atlantic Avenue and Willoughby Street, from Boerum Place and Bond Street
- Crown Heights/Bedford-Stuyvesant: general boundaries between Pacific and Fulton streets, from Bedford to Brooklyn avenues
- Bronx, 451 injuries
- Fordham/University Heights: general boundaries between Aqueduct Avenue and Ryer Avenue, from West Fordham Road and West Tremont Avenue
- Manhattan, 1,260 injuries
- Lower East Side/Little Italy/Soho: concentrated around Delancey/Kenmare Street. General boundaries between Spring and Grand streets, from Broadway to Forsyth Street
- Queens, 913 injuries
- Corona: general boundaries between 35th and Roosevelt Avenues, from 94th to 108th streets
- Jackson Heights: general boundaries between 37th Avenue and Broadway, from 76th Street to 84th Street/Whitney Avenue
- Flushing: general boundaries between College Point Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, from 37th to Franklin avenues
- Ridgewood: general boundaries between Woodward and Myrtle avenues, from Grove Street to Forest Avenue
- Jamaica: general boundaries between 89th to 90th avenues, from 164th Street to 168th Place
- Staten Island, 82 injuries
- St. George/Tompkinsville: general boundaries from Jersey to Bay streets, between Victory Boulevard to Fort Place/Taft Avenue
- Stapleton: general boundaries between Bay and Van Duzer streets, from Wright to Tompkins streets
Always Ride Safe
Bicycling is an enjoyable way to exercise, get around and commute to work in NYC. Many people make their living on a bicycle. But safety is always something to consider when riding in or out of NYC.
One of the most important pieces of safety equipment you can have is a properly-fitting helmet, with the strap fastened. A helmet will help protect your head against hard strikes and absorb some of the force involved if you should have an accident.
Other safety equipment to consider:
- Padded shorts, which can help prevent road rash and soft tissue injuries
- Padded gloves, which can protect your hands if you fall
- Reflective clothing and bike lights, helping you be more visible to drivers at night
New York’s Bicycle Accident Law Firm
NYC can be a dangerous place for anyone on a bike. Accidents can mean bruises and scrapes or broken bones. Whether you were hit, or hit someone else, protect yourself against lawsuits and insurance companies. Call Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier today at (212) 777-9400 (or use our online contact form.)
As a family-owned personal injury law firm in New York City, we have more than 26 years of experience helping people just like you. Our contingency fee arrangement means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case in or out of court.
First things first, you need to put a name on your personal injury. It could be the result of a slip and fall. It might come from a defective product. It might be an issue of medical malpractice. It might have come from a car crash. And, so on. Personal injury lawyers can help in any case, but some accidents and injuries require accident attorneys with special experience.
In New York City
Thousands of personal injuries occur every year in New York City, including vehicle accidents (almost 18,000 reported April 2018), slip and falls, workplace injuries, bicycle injuries (4,397 reported for 2017), gym accidents, wrongful death, and more. People suffer injury from invasive surgery, dental procedures, chiropractic malpractice, and more.
So, How do you Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York City (NYC)?
· In New York State, you can consult a personal injury lawyer for free. That lets you interview several lawyers to narrow your choice. But, before you call, you should take advantage of available resources.
For example, you can study the lawyer’s website in detail. You can check the lawyer’s profile, check out the education and professional memberships, and review any client testimonials available.
· Prepare a checklist to use for your interview. You certainly want to know the fees, contingency fees, retainers, and more.
If you are interviewing a firm, you’ll want to know just which accident lawyer will represent you. And, once your lawyer is assigned, you want to know the strategy, timeframe, expected costs, and you want to develop a relationship with the personal injury lawyer, so you are comfortable making calls, making visits, and sharing goals and action plans.
· Dig deep if you want to. Credible law firms will offer a list of cases they handled well. You have a right to information on their track record in handling injury claims like yours.
You should understand that most legal claims in personal injury cases are resolved with settlement meetings before reaching court. In fact, courts order Mandated Settlement Hearings to reduce the caseload in court and to resolve issues that can be resolved with adequate legal representation. These are not hearings you want to handle on your own.
Your Best Choice in Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York City (NYC)
Fractures from slip and fall, traumatic brain injury from a car crash, spinal injury in a construction and scaffold accident, uninsured driver accident, and more. Accident and injury to people with limited English language skills. They all need and deserve qualified legal representation.
If you suffer personal injury in NYC — in Manhattan or citywide, you will be only one among thousands. But, you still deserve support and financial compensation for your pain, medical expenses, rehabilitation, loss of work, and other related costs.
You can leave it to the insurance companies, but you’ll soon discover this is not a DIY project. But, you would do better — psychologically and financially — working from the earliest with a qualified and experienced New York personal injury attorney.
When most people have a slip and fall, they’re just embarrassed. But sometimes, there are injuries associated with a “slip and fall” accident. Some of those injuries can be severe, even debilitating.
But any lawyer who gives you a set dollar amount for your “typical slip & fall” case may not be telling the whole story. There are numerous factors to consider before an attorney can give you a specific dollar amount.
If you’re faced with injuries that may not heal because of someone else’s negligence while you’re on their property, you may be considering a lawsuit, and wondering if it’s worth it. Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has been helping injured people just like you for over 26 years. We may be able to help you recover from your injuries, too.
Retail stores and other public-frequented places of business have a duty to keep them realistically safe. This includes identifying and remedying unsafe conditions, such as a wet or slick floor, removing trip or other hazards or using preventative measures to keep patrons safe.
Never assume that your injury will lead to a “big payout” because you were hurt in a retail store, especially a big one. Many cases that have gone to trial offered no compensation whatsoever to injured parties. Customers and visitors are also required to exercise reasonable caution to keep themselves safe from harm and injury. If an impediment was “open and obvious,” and you chose to ignore it, a jury could find in favor of the defendant because you failed to pay attention.
Every case is different. You may know a friend or relative who received a set amount of money for “the same thing,” but your case isn’t going to be exactly the same. Previous verdicts and associated settlements are really no indication of what your case could settle for. It really comes down to all the facts of the case.
It’s difficult to give an exact dollar amount on any type of injury. There are some variables to address that are used to calculate a slip & fall settlement.
- The other party’s negligence
- The severity of your injuries
- If any part of your injury was caused by the accident, or was a pre-existing condition
- If you will recover from your injuries, or be permanently disabled
- How much and what type of medical treatment you’ve received
- If you will need more medical treatment in the future to become “whole” again
- Your age, occupation and your pre-accident physical condition
- Lost wages and/or income
- How your injuries from this accident have impacted your life
- Any out-of-pocket medical services you’ve received
You may be ruled partly at fault if you contributed to your accident. This is called “comparative negligence,” and can be used to reduce or eliminate any settlements or compensation you might receive. This is true of both cases that settle out of court and proceed to a jury trial.
For instance: if you are awarded $20,000 for your case, you may be found to be 20% at fault because you ignored the “Use Caution” floor signs placed around the water puddle on the floor. Therefore, your $20,000 settlement will be reduced by 20% to $16,000.
Your attorney will investigate every aspect of your case to either refute or substantiate the other party’s claim to comparative negligence.
The Defendant’s Available Insurance
Your slip and fall case could be worth a lot of money. But if the other party’s insurance policy isn’t big enough to cover it, you’ll be restricted by the policy’s payout limits. An attorney will uncover what kind of resources the other party has, including insurance for their premises liability.
A large, multinational company may be able to handle a high-dollar financial settlement, but a corner bodega likely won’t. Your attorney will explain this to you when he or she has a better handle on all the facts.
In both cases, the defendant’s insurance company has the goal of making sure your claim is paid the least amount of money they can convince you to accept. Working with a slip and fall attorney will make sure you won’t leave money on the table, no matter how much it is.
The Clock Is Ticking—Call Today
New York imposes a three-year statute of limitations on filing claims and suits related to a slip and fall accident from a private business. The sooner you get started, the more leverage you’ll have with an insurance company.
If your claim involves a public entity, like a subway, bus, the NYCTA, NYCHA, etc., you only have 90 days to file a claim and a report, so you need to act quickly.
In both cases, the clock starts ticking on the day of the accident. Call us today at (212) 777-9400 for a free consultation. We’ll let you know if we believe you have a case, and how to proceed. Our contingency fee arrangement means you won’t have to pay anything until you receive a settlement. We’ll fight for you and make sure any settlement you receive is fair and take care of what you need.
Driving in NYC has its own unique challenges. Car accidents aren’t an “if,” but a “when.” And when it happens to you, it’s not a happy experience.
But what happens if the accident was caused by a pedestrian?
In a city of 8 million people, they outnumber vehicular traffic. A pedestrian is defined as someone who is:
- Walking on foot
- Traveling in a wheelchair
- Using a foot-powered scooter, both children and adults.
Like a motor vehicle, pedestrians also have specific right-of-way rules they are required to follow when walking around the city. New York’s Vehicle & Traffic Laws govern pedestrian traffic as well as vehicular.
If a pedestrian ignores these laws while on a public street, he or she can be found at fault for:
- Disregarding traffic signals and walking against them
- Crossing outside of a crosswalk (“jaywalking”)
- Crossing any roadway without traffic controls
- Walking in areas where pedestrian traffic is prohibited by law under normal (non-emergency) circumstances (freeways, bridges, etc.)
The Pedestrian’s Fault
A lot of people are of the mistaken belief that the pedestrian is “always right.” That’s not true, and a pedestrian can be cited if he or she caused a crash. Both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to exercise reasonable care on the street.
Just like a car can’t arbitrarily turn right, a pedestrian has to watch where they’re walking, observe traffic lights at crosswalks and avoid jaywalking in front of or in between cars. A pedestrian who does not exercise proper care when walking can be found at fault for a car accident.
Like many states, New York uses “pure comparative fault” with car accidents. If both individuals share blame, they may be assigned a portion of the fault, reducing any judgments or settlements. For instance, if your settlement is $10,000, but you are assigned 20% of the fault of your accident for whatever reason, your settlement will be reduced by 20%, to $8,000.
The No-Fault Accident
For most car crashes, New York recognizes the “no-fault” accident principle, in which no one is actually “at fault.” This means that each party only collects from their own insurance company, no matter who was actually responsible.
There are exceptions, of course, in the case of serious injuries or property damage. You can file a third-party insurance claim or initiate a lawsuit to recover for injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, full disability for 90+ days, and other conditions. This includes pain and suffering as well as other non-monetary damages.
If you find yourself in an accident in which you hit a pedestrian, this article offers information on what to do next.
We’re Here To Help
If you’ve been in a car accident in New York City and need help, give us a call today for a free consultation at (212) 777-9400. As a family-owned NYC personal injury law firm, Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier has more than 26 years’ experience working with injured people to get what they need. We’ll work with you on a contingency fee basis, and there’s no out-of-pocket fee.
Uber ridesharing has revolutionized ground transportation in New York City (and every other city where they’re available.) You just use an app to request a ride with someone without the hassle and expense of a cab, and the driver makes extra money (or a living) giving you a ride somewhere. Simple, right?
If you’re a passenger, you’re at the mercy of someone who may or may not be a skilled driver. And, no matter who you ride with, there’s always the chance of a car crash no matter how good the driver actually is.
If you’re an Uber driver, car accidents are an occupational hazard, particularly in New York City. It’s not a matter of if you’ll have a car accident while Uber driving, but WHEN.
Car accidents are a little different when it’s an Uber rideshare.
Like a lot of freelance jobs, an Uber driver is an independent contractor, not an employee like a cab driver. Most Uber drivers don’t have a CDL (commercial driver’s license, the type cab, limo and truck drivers have.) The rules for employees having car crashes on the job don’t apply here. Uber is a business and will, like any other company, try not to make any kind of payments.
There are three phases of the Uber driver’s time:
· When the driver is on his or own time and not driving. Any damages or accident payments are paid through the driver’s personal insurance company.
· When the driver is available, is notified of a ride, and heading out to pick up a passenger.
· When the driver is transporting a passenger to his or her destination. Once he or she has delivered the passenger, they are again “off the clock” (available) until another ride request is issued.
Uber’s drivers are required to have their own personal insurance, and many drivers have a separate rideshare policy. Uber also has its own $1m company policy through James River Insurance, which covers accidents while a driver is working and transporting a passenger in their vehicle. Should the driver be headed to pick up a passenger and is marked “available” in the app at the time of the accident, the driver’s own insurance is responsible, and Uber’s policy picks up part of it. However, if the driver is on his or her own time, the driver’s personal insurance covers the accident.
CRASH! Now What?
Like any car accident, you must keep your wits about you.
· If there are any injuries or fatalities, call 911 (or the New York City Police Department) immediately.
o New York requires that you stay at the scene of an accident, so do not leave. If you do leave, you can be charged with hit-and-run.
· Cooperate with the police but speak carefully. Anything you say can be used against you later. Even innocuous statements like “I’m sorry” can be considered an admitted fault, so be cautious about what you say to anyone. The police will work to determine who, if anyone, was at fault.
· Document your trip: keep screenshots of your Uber ride, whether you’re a passenger or driver. This will help establish that you were on a trip during the accident.
· Take pictures of the accident scene. Make sure you have the name of your Uber driver as well (preferably within one of the screenshots. Obtain contact information (phone number, email, etc.) from the other party (or parties), any available eyewitnesses, as well as license and insurance information from other parties.
o Make note of the weather conditions at the time of the crash. Screenshots of your favorite weather app may be helpful.
o When available, make sure you get copies of the police report.
· Seek medical attention for your injuries. Keep copies of bills and medical reports.
· If there were no injuries in this accident, and the other driver isn’t around (i.e., you hit a parked car), you can leave a note for the owner on the vehicle with your contact and insurance information. Then contact the New York City Police Department.
· Seek legal assistance from a personal injury attorney before agreeing to or signing any waivers or settlement offers.
Uber has a process for handling accidents involving their contract drivers, and you may be contacted to give a statement. (Uber’s website lists instructions for their drivers here.)
Your Consultation Is Free
If you’ve been in a ridesharing accident and aren’t sure what to do, call us at (212) 777-9400. We’re a family-owned personal injury law firm in New York City with more than 26-year experience helping people just like you after a car accident. Our contingency fee arrangement means we won’t get paid until you do, whether we settle your case in or out of court.