Bronx Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Being involved in an accident with a car or truck while riding a bicycle can be a frightening experience. Collisions with vehicles weighing many tons can cause serious physical and psychological trauma. Dealing with the insurance companies only makes matters worse. They often attempt to minimize a person’s injuries or even try to blame the bicyclist.
Bronx bicycle accident lawyers can work to protect a clients’ rights against aggressive insurance companies and to recover fair compensation for their injuries. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact a skilled bicycle accident attorney today.
Negligence Law in New York
Most collisions between bicyclists and motor vehicles fall under the category of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory of liability under the common law. This means that there is no statute passed by New York defining negligence. Rather, the courts of New York have recognized negligence as a reason that a person can file suit.
Negligence, simply put, is when one person has a responsibility to care for another’s wellbeing, and fails in that responsibility. There are five parts or elements, that must be met by all plaintiffs pursuing a negligence claim. These are:
- Duty – In certain situations, a person has a responsibility to protect others. This is known as a duty of care. People driving cars always have a duty of care for other drivers, pedestrians, and bicycle riders.
- Breach – A breach of the duty of care occurs when a person either takes an action or fails to take an action, to uphold their duty of care. For example, not looking both ways when progressing through an intersection and colliding with a bike rider may be a breach of the duty of care.
- Cause – The accident must have been the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. One tactic used by insurance companies is to argue that the injuries existed prior to the accident.
- Scope – The injuries must have been foreseeable under the circumstances. Collisions between bike riders and cars can certainly lead to significant injury so this element is rarely contested.
- Damages – There must be a physical injury to prevail in a negligence claim.
Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
One other thing to keep in mind for negligence claims in New York is the statute of limitations. The New York Legislature passed NY CPLR § 214 which gives plaintiffs three years to file a claim in court for personal injury. While this may seem like a long time, cases with serious injuries can often be in negotiations for years. For this reason, time is of the essence to contact a Bronx bicycle accident lawyer.
How an Attorney Can Help
When you have been involved in an accident while riding your bike, your main focus should be to get better. Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurance company can be overbearing with phone calls, requests for information, and trying to get you to settle your case quickly.
A Bronx bicycle accident lawyer can talk to the insurance company for you and gather all the medical evidence and police reports. They can talk to witnesses and present demand packages to the insurance companies. Many cases do settle before a complaint must be filed in court. However, if the case does need to go to court, they can fully prepare you to speak in front of a jury.
Contact a Bronx bicycle attorney who can provide peace of mind while fighting for fair compensation for your injuries.