Once the pastime of children and teenagers, bicycling has become a popular recreational activity for many Long Islanders. With more and more bicyclists on the road each year, bicycle accidents are on the rise. While bicycle riders are responsible for their own safety to some extent, drivers must share the road and take reasonable care not to injure bicyclists. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it is critically important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
The Law Office of Robert Purzak is committed to keeping the roads in Nassau and Suffolk Counties safe for cycling enthusiasts. Backed by 35 years of personal injury experience, we have the knowledge and skill that are essential for achieving successful outcomes inside or outside of the courtroom. With our Long Island bicycle accident attorneys by your side, you can rest assured we will never stop fighting for you.
CALL US AT 516-222-1188 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION!
Common Causes of a Bicycle Accident on Long Island
Bicycle accidents are typically the result of driver errors, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield while turning left
- Abrupt right turns
- Drifting into a bike lane
- Backing up
- Pulling out into traffic
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
- Opening a car door
In addition, bicycle accidents can also be caused by road hazards — cracks, potholes, fallen tree limbs, wet leaves, debris — that often throw bicycle riders, causing serious injuries. In such accidents, it is possible to file a civil lawsuit against the town, village, or county agency that is responsible for maintaining the roads (e.g. the Nassau or Suffolk County Department of Public Works).
Grim Bicycle Accident Statistics on Long Island
Data supplied by the New York State Department of Parks and Recreation (Long Island Region) reveal the following facts:
- About 50 New Yorkers are killed in bicycle accidents each year
- Each year, approximately 2,200 bicyclists are hospitalized for injuries due to bicycle accidents — 38 percent of which involve a brain injury
- About 75 percent of bicyclists injured nationwide are hospitalized for treatment of head injuries — survivors only have a 33 percent chance of recovery without disability
Why Wearing a Bicycle Helmet is Vital to Your Safety
All bicycle riders and passengers under the age of 14 must wear helmets in accordance with state law and local ordinances in certain communities mandate helmet use for all riders. Wearing a helmet is crucial for the safety and well being of any bicycle rider and failing to do so increases the risk of sustaining a head, neck or facial injury in a bicycle accident.
Although helmets cannot prevent all injuries (concussions may still occur), the risk of skull fractures and debilitating brain injuries can be reduced. Moreover, not wearing a helmet could also adversely impact the value of an injury claim due to the state’s rules of comparative negligence.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Serious that can be sustained in a bicycle accident include:
- Lacerations and severe bruising
- Head injuries/concussions
- Jaw/facial injuries
- Neck and spine injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Who is liable in a Long Island Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists in Nassau and Suffolk Counties are required to follow the same local and state traffic laws as motorists and are expected to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. This means they must obey all stop signs and traffic lights and not ride on sidewalks. Bicyclists must either ride on a designated bike path or with the direction of traffic, close to the curb. Even if the bicyclist is partially to blame, however, a negligent driver can be held liable for causing harm to a bicyclist.
To have a valid claim, it is necessary to show that motorist breached his or her duty of care not to injure others. If a motorist is cited for a traffic violation in connection with the accident, this is known as “negligence per se.” Under the states’ rules of pure comparative negligence, a portion of liability can be assigned to an injured bicycle rider for failing to exercise reasonable care. Ultimately, it takes a skilled bicycle accident attorney to prove the driver was negligent and to protect your interests.
Contact Our Long Island Bicycle Accident Attorney
At the Law Office of Robert Purzak, we have a proven history of handling bicycle accident claims swiftly and expediently. With more than 35 years of handling personal injury lawsuits, our staff has the knowledge and skill that are essential for achieving winning results.
To build a successful claim, we will thoroughly investigate the accident scene, obtain and review the police report, and identify and interview witnesses. When necessary, we will call upon credentialed accident reconstruction specialists.
While bicycle accident claims are often settled through an intricate negotiation with an insurance company, we are fully prepared to litigate your case in court if an insurer fails to make a fair and reasonable offer. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and never stop fighting for you. Please contact our office today. The consultation is free and you will not pay any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.