Brooklyn Bicycle Accident Attorney

Riding a bike is a popular way to get around Brooklyn, and New York’s other boroughs too. Not only is it eco-friendly, but bicycling is an excellent form of exercise. Bike riders need to be extremely careful, though. According to recent research, Brooklyn is the most dangerous place to ride a bike in New York City, with 60-percent of the city’s bicycle fatalities. Injuries from these accidents can be severe or even life-threatening as well. If you were in a bicycle accident in Brooklyn, reach out to The Barnes Firm. Our experienced attorneys will investigate your case and work to hold the negligent party accountable.

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Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Brooklyn

Just because you were hit does not mean the driver was to blame. To hold the driver responsible for your injuries, you need to prove that they were negligent in causing the collision. Understanding the common causes of bike accidents in Brooklyn is vital to demonstrate that the other party is responsible for your losses.

The Barnes Firm is here serving Brooklyn, and all NYC neighborhoods: Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Bedford, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bensonhurst, Bergen Beach, Boerum Hill, Borough Park, Bronx, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brownsville, Bushwick, Cadman Plaza, Canarsie, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, Coney Island, Crown Heights, Cypress Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Dyker Heights, East New York, Flatbush, Flatlands, Fort Greene, Fort Hamilton, Fulton Ferry, Gravesend, Greenpoint, Highland Park, Kensington, Long Island, Madison, Manhattan, Midwood, Mill Basin, Nassau County, Navy Yard, Prospect Heights, Prospect Park, Prospect Park South, Queens, Red Hook, Sea Gate, Sheepshead Bay, South Brooklyn, Staten Island, Stuyvesant, Suffolk County, Sunset Park, Vinegar Hill, Waterfront, and Williamsburg.

Top Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Brooklyn

Texting and Driving

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of all auto accidents, including those involving cyclists. When drivers are not paying attention to the road, they are more likely to cause dangerous crashes. In a city like New York that has thousands of cyclists, the likelihood of hitting one is dangerously high.

Failure to Leave Enough Space

Drivers who follow cyclists too closely create unnecessary risk. Additionally, there are laws that require drivers to leave at space between themselves and other operators on the road, including bike riders. Not only are drivers who break this code more likely to hit a cyclist, but they are leaving less room for riders to avoid a collision.

rear view of bicyclist in the bike lane wearing a backpack
rear view of bicyclist in the bike lane wearing a backpack

Failure to Leave Enough Space

Drivers who follow cyclists too closely create unnecessary risk. Additionally, California Vehicle Code 21760 requires drivers to leave at least three feet of space between themselves and bike riders. Not only are drivers who break this code more likely to hit a cyclist, but they are leaving less room for riders to avoid a collision.

a close up of a speedometer showing that the driver is speeding above 90 mph

Speeding

Speeding already decreases the amount of time drivers have to avoid an accident. Remember that even a low-speed collision can cause severe injuries to cyclists. Always follow the posted limit and reduce your speed if road conditions are bad.

Intersection Collisions

Cyclists must follow all rules and regulations as drivers do, so they may occasionally stop at intersections. Say a driver does not, though, resulting in a rear-end collision. In most of these cases, the driver is going too fast or following too closely and cannot brake in time.

Left-hand and right-hand turns are also common accident causes. As cyclists approach an intersection, a driver who is not paying attention may cut them off. This typically causes the rider to crash into the car’s side.

At right-hand turns, a driver might turn into a bicycle when crossing the bike lane. Sometimes, the driver fails to signal their turn or does not ensure that no cyclist is in their blind spot.

Crash At An Intersection
Crash At An Intersection

Intersection Collisions

Cyclists must follow all rules and regulations as drivers do, so they may occasionally stop at intersections. Say a driver does not, though, resulting in a rear-end collision. In most of these cases, the driver is going too fast or following too closely and cannot brake in time.

Left-hand and right-hand turns are also common accident causes. As cyclists approach an intersection, a driver who is not paying attention may cut them off. This typically causes the rider to crash into the car’s side.

At right-hand turns, a driver might turn into a bicycle when crossing the bike lane. Sometimes, the driver fails to signal their turn or does not ensure that no cyclist is in their blind spot.

How to Prove a Bike Accident in New York

Your Brooklyn bicycle accident attorney will have to prove the other party was acting negligently for a successful claim. There are four elements of negligence, and they are:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care
  • They breached that duty by acting in a certain way
  • Their actions or inactions caused your injuries
  • You were harmed or injured as a direct result of the defendant’s actions

Many forms of negligence can lead to a bicycle accident, such as:

  • Careless driving: Every driver and cyclist must safely operate on the roads by paying attention and abiding by all traffic laws. Reckless drivers may make poor decisions, such as failing to yield, driving through bike lanes, or texting behind the wheel.
  • Aggressive driving: New York drivers are often in a hurry, causing many to drive aggressively and with road rage. Drivers may tailgate a cyclist or improperly pass one. This can cause drivers to get too close to bicycles and cause a crash.
  • Impaired driving: Drunk drivers have difficulty paying attention to other vehicles, so their chances of seeing a bicycle are slim. If you notice a driver swerving in and out of lanes, pull over into a well-light area and alert local law enforcement.

Drivers are not the only ones who might be liable for an accident. Departments of Transportation must create and maintain safe roads, including bike lanes and paths. When it has potholes or other hazards, the responsible government agency might be liable for any accidents.

cyclist riding a bike with a blurred background

Are Cyclists Liable for Accidents?

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. Riders must abide by all traffic laws, including giving pedestrians the right of way and obeying traffic signals. Additionally, this prohibits cyclists from riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When riders break the law, they might be held liable for any accidents or injuries.

Injuries Resulting from Brooklyn Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists do not have the same protection as vehicle passengers do. When an accident does occur, they are more likely to be severely injured in an accident. Common injuries include:

  • Head injuries
  • Spine injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Road rash
  • Internal organ damage

After an accident, seek medical attention immediately. You most likely will have external injuries, but they may be more significant than they seem. Cuts and bruises may signal more severe internal injuries only a doctor can diagnose.

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Bicycle Accident Injuries?

If your attorney can prove the other party was negligent, you might be able to receive compensation for the following.

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • In-home rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering

In some rare cases, courts may award the accident victim with punitive damages. Judges award these when the defendant acted in an extremely reckless or negligent manner. Courts use punitive damages to dissuade others from behaving similarly in the future.

Brooklyn Biking Safety Tips

Bicyclists must remember that they are more susceptible to being in an accident. However, there are a few ways you can reduce your chances of being in one. The easiest way to accomplish this is by wearing brightly colored clothes. If you are riding before sunrise or after sunset, add reflective tape to your clothing. Installing a flashlight on your bicycle will also reduce the chances of being in an accident.

Since cyclists have to follow the same rules of the road that drivers do, always signal when you are about to turn or brake. Using hand signals will allow other drivers to know your intentions, keeping you safe.

Finally, wear a helmet when riding. Only children under 14 are required to wear a bicycle helmet in New York, but wearing one will absorb the impact of hitting concrete or another vehicle in an accident.

Skilled Bicycle Accident Attorney in Brooklyn

When someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you should not have to cover accident-related expenses. Instead, reach out to the skilled Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience and will do everything possible to secure you a fair settlement. Call (800) 800-0000 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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The Barnes Firm was very friendly, always quick to respond to our calls, emails. When we had any questions or concerns they were there to walk us through everything. Would definitely recommend them to anyone that is looking for an attorney that will honestly fight for you and has your best interest in mind.

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