A recent New York Post article detailed an issue that has been plaguing New York City in recent years: accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Since 2011, New York City bicyclists have injured more than 2,250 pedestrians. The injuries include at least seven that have died from the injuries they sustained. Although the New York Vision Zero initiative has made strides to try and curb these accidents, the amount of pedestrian accidents involving bicyclists have increased this year to date. Victims of these accidents should be aware of their rights to compensation.
Both New York State and New York City have implemented laws to protect cyclists and pedestrians from these kinds of injuries. If a cyclist fails to obey one of these laws, and that failure leads to the accident, they will be found to be negligent per se. In that case, the cyclist will be found liable for the injuries caused. Laws that are commonly broken by cyclists which lead to accidents include laws requiring bicyclists to ride in the street, ride with traffic, stopping at red lights and stop signs and using marked bike lanes or paths where available. New York City laws also restrict bicyclists from using more than one earphone attached to a radio or other audio device. Additionally, a bicycle must have a white headlight and red taillight during the time from dusk to dawn.
Not only does the bicyclist have to follow the laws, but so does the pedestrian. Pedestrians must obey all traffic control signals, signs and pavement markings when crossing a street. If a pedestrian is in the middle of a block and there is no crosswalk, sign or signal, the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles, including bicycles. Additionally, pedestrians are required to use the sidewalk whenever possible.
Sometimes, there are other factors that pedestrians and cyclists must take into consideration. For instance, if it is raining, it may take a bicyclist more time to come to a stop. Additionally, weather can restrict the cyclist’s vision. Ultimately, it is on both the cyclist and the pedestrian to be alert and aware when traveling in New York City. With programs such as the Citi bike program expanding in the City, there are more cyclists on the streets than ever.
If you should unfortunately be a victim of an accident involving a cyclist, it is important to know what to do. First, you should seek immediate medical attention. Following the immediate medical attention, you may be wondering who will pay for the medical costs. It is possible that a pedestrian who is struck by a negligent bicyclist may place a claim through the negligent bicyclist’s homeowner’s policy. However, in most cases, medical expenses may need to be paid through your personal medical insurance. In that case, you may have a claim for a bodily injury suit against the negligent bicyclist. By filing a bodily injury suit, you may be able to receive compensation for any injuries as well as any economic harm and loss such as continuing treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. You may also be entitled to non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Because there is a statute of limitations as it pertains to these accidents, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney experienced in personal injury matters will be able to advise you on how to receive the compensation you deserve. Put the experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserves. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at (718) 238-2400.