When most people think of personal injury cases, they think of car accidents, slip and fall incidents, medical malpractice, defamation, dog bites, or assault. Indeed, these are the most common personal injury claims that are filed by victims every year. But, perhaps a less known occurrence of personal injury is when a cyclist rides into a pedestrian. For the most part, bicycles are seen as an eco-friendly, non-threatening mode of transportation. As such, it may seem odd or unlikely that a person can be run down by a cyclist. However, the reality is that the speed and structure of a bicycle coupled with impact can lead to severe injuries.
Simply because bicycle accidents are not as prevalent as other personal injury cases doesn’t mean they don’t happen, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t merit financial recovery. If you’ve been injured by a cyclist, contact Novo Law Firm PC. Our team of personal injury attorneys will let you know what options are available to you and help you receive fair compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained.
Bicycles and the law
In New York, bicycles are actually regarded as vehicles under state law, and as such, are required to adhere to the same rules as any other vehicle on the road. The trouble is that many people seem to think it’s of no consequence to disregard these regulations as riding a bicycle is not considered as dangerous as driving a motor vehicle. Notwithstanding this, anyone who rides a bicycle must, by law:
- -Use designated bike lanes or ride on the road
- -Obey all traffic signals, lights, and signs
- -Yield to pedestrians
- -Take responsibility for any injuries or accidents they may cause
While it may not seem like a bicycle can do a great deal of harm, the truth is a pedestrian who is struck by a cyclist can suffer injuries ranging from a few scrapes to incapacitation. Again, the low incidence of personal injuries from a bicycle collision does not preclude the dangers or responsibilities.
What to do if you are injured in a pedestrian bicycle accident
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, the first thing to do is attend to any injuries you may have sustained. Even if you don’t need immediate medical attention, be sure to see a doctor anyway. In many personal injury cases, victims often don’t begin the feel the effects of an accident until later on. Therefore, keep note of any increase in soreness or pain in the days following the collision. It may also be helpful to maintain a record of your recovery process and any doctor visits.
If you are physically able to do so without causing further harm to yourself, get the cyclist’s name, address, and other contact information. Take down the contact information of any witnesses who are present as well. If your injuries are severe, the police will collect this and other relevant details for you. Remember, a bicycle is regarded in the same light as a motor vehicle. Under New York state law, a cyclist can be held accountable for any damages or injuries they cause. An additional point to consider is that in New York it is fairly common for people to ride a bicycle for work. Delivery and courier services as well as restaurants often use bicycles to send out packages, parcels, or documents. If you were struck by someone who was working at the time, you are still eligible to receive damages through a personal injury claim against their employer. As such, you should be sure to gather the employer’s contact information as well.
Personal injury and your rights
As previously mentioned, although bicycles are considered vehicles and come with the same rules and responsibilities, they are not usually seen as a danger to pedestrians. And, unfortunately, accidents involving bicycles may not treated with the same gravity as a motor vehicle collision. Nevertheless, if you were injured by a cyclist, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. The crux of a personal injury claim concerns itself with the harm caused to one person by another through negligence. Whether this happens on a bicycle or in a car, the key point is that the individual at fault neglected to use reasonable care, resulting in injuries and possible damages.
If you have been hit and injured by a cyclist, they can be held liable for negligence under a personal injury claim. For more information on how to proceed with a personal injury claim, contact Novo Law Firm PC for a consultation. You’ve been hurt by another person’s failure to exercise proper care and you deserve the right to receive compensation.