Given the nature of a bicycle accident, cyclists often sustain serious or catastrophic injuries, including head injuries, spinal cord damage, shattered bones, internal injuries, and amputations. New York laws provide recovery options for bicycle accident victims, but the state imposes strict time limits on when you can file a claim.
If you or a loved one were recently hurt riding a bike, call a Long Island bicycle accident lawyer from Goldstein & Bashner for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and responsibilities: 516-222-4000
How do I recoup my losses after a Long Island bicycle accident?
New York is a no-fault accident state, which means that victims turn to their own insurance company for most of their injury-related expenses after a crash. Fault and negligence do not come into play in no-fault auto accident claims; your contribution to the accident does not bar your right to recovery. This includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
New York law requires every driver in the state to carry no-fault or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. The minimum coverage allowable is $50,000, although drivers also have the option of purchasing additional PIP coverage.
As an injured bicyclist, you can submit a no-fault claim to the driver’s insurance company. If you also carry auto insurance, you may submit a copy of the claim to your own insurance company. Time is of the essence. You have only 30 days from the date of the accident to submit a no-fault claim. Failure to do so nullifies your rights to benefits.
What types of expenses does no-fault insurance cover?
No-fault insurance covers your basic economic losses after an accident. It does not include emotional damages like pain and suffering. You can recover up to $50,000 for the following benefits:
- Medical bills, including all necessary doctor and hospital bills and other health service expenses
- Eighty percent of your lost wages (The maximum amount of wage replacement you can recover is up to $2,000 per month for no more than three years.)
- Up to $25 per day for other reasonable and necessary expenses for up to one year (Examples include the cost of hiring a housekeeper or medical treatment-related expenses)
- A $2,000 death benefit, payable to the deceased’s estate
What if the insurance does not cover all of my expenses?
When the injuries are serious, $50,000 might just be a drop in the bucket. Some bicyclists might retain the right to sue the at-fault party and obtain a fuller recovery.
If your injuries meet the state’s definition of “serious” or if the insurance coverage is inadequate, you can file a lawsuit against the driver. Of course, the other party is only liable for your damages if she caused or contributed to your accident. If you were totally at fault, you will need to turn to your own resources to pay your bills.
In order to establish the driver’s liability, you must show that the driver’s negligence or carelessness caused your accident. For example, the courts will probably deem the driver negligent if she was intoxicated, distracted, speeding, failed to yield right-of-way, did not look before entering the roadway, or otherwise acted in a risky way.
Drivers are not always the only at-fault party. If your bicycle accident occurred because of a faulty bike part, the proper recourse is to file a product liability suit against the manufacturer. Similarly, if your accident occurred because of a hazard in the road, then a governmental agency might be responsible. For help identifying liability and exploring legal options, call us: 516-222-4000.
What types of damages can I recover in a lawsuit?
If you pursue a civil suit and win your case, you may receive damages that exceed those of a no-fault claim. You can also recover:
- Current and future medical bills, including rehabilitation, physical therapy, and in-home care
- 100 percent of your current and future lost income
- Disability, disfigurement, and scarring
- Emotional damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and resulting emotional disorders
And unlike the $50,000 cap on no-fault claim, there is no ceiling for bicycle accident lawsuit awards. In other words, you can fully recover and “be made whole.”
Do I need a bicycle accident attorney?
Filing a bicycle accident claim on your own is not the best idea, especially when your focus should be on recovering from your serious injuries. There are numerous damages you might be entitled to that you might overlook on your own.
An accident attorney can:
- Ensure you meet all claim deadlines
- Help you file forms and requested documents
- Explain your rights to you so you can make informed decisions
- Help you gather necessary supportive documents
- Review any settlement offers and advise you of whether they are fair
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a higher settlement
- Prepare your case for and represent you in court, if litigation is necessary
- Fight for your best interests so that you can secure the funds you need to take care of your injuries and future expenses
Why should I choose Goldstein and Bashner to represent me?
We have a passion for helping victims get the justice and the funds they deserve when they have been hurt by other’s negligence. Do not take our word for it. Check out our case results and our glowing reviews on AVVO, one of the most widely recognized legal directories in the nation. If you already have a lawyer but are not happy with his or her services, download our free eBook, How Do I Change My Lawyer?
In our years of service, we have developed the skills and built the resources and local connections necessary to settle cases efficiently and in our clients’ favor. Our team is made of capable negotiators and litigators so we can handle even the most challenging bicycle accident cases. We feel strongly that every injured New Yorker should have access to legal counsel when they have been hurt by others. That is why we offer our personal injury services on a contingency basis, which means we do not collect any legal fees until we win your case.
Call our office on Long Island today at 516-222-4000 to request a free consultation.