Last month was motorcycle month at our firm wherein we provided statistics,
safety information, and legal implications of a motorist’s conduct
in causing a
motor vehicle accident with a motorcycle. Last month was also bicycle accident safety awareness month. This reminds
us that New York roadways are a shared space by which trucks, cars, motorcycles,
pedestrians, and bicyclists complete commuting, chores, and recreational
Kingston bicycle accident attorneys know the alarming statistics about yearly accidents that which involve
bicyclists. Moreover, vehicle and traffic laws can, and do, regulate bicycle
use on roadways; liability attaches tobicycle accidents depending on the
type of accident; and of course New York’s No-fault statute can
impact one’s recovery subsequent to a bicycle accident.
Bicycle Accident Statistics:
On the national level, 49,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle
crashes and 726 were killed during the 2012 calendar year. Such marked
a 6 percent rise in fatalities from the previous year. Almost 70 percent
of those deaths were observed in urban centers. 60% of the fatalities
occurred in non-intersection portions of the road. And just under 50%
of all bicyclist deaths occurred in between the hours of 4 pm to Midnight.
In regard to age, 43 is the average age of all bicyclists killed in motor
vehicle accidents and those aged 45 to 54 were the most likely to die
in a bicycle accident. On the other end of the spectrum, we see that those
aged 10 to 15 years have the highest likelihood of non-fatal injury.
Laws and Bicycle Riders:
Motorists must use reasonable care when driving on roadways, and such necessity
involves obeying the rules of the road. Bicyclists have the same duty
of care and must obey many of the same traffic regulations. For example,
motorists must lookout of bicycles and use the horn to warn of danger;
on the other hand, motor vehicles might not be held liable for a crash
with a bicyclist if the bicyclist failed to yield the right of way to
the motor vehicle. Parents are required to not permit their children to
violate any regulation affecting the use of bicyclists.
There are also laws specific to bicycles, such as those requiring: at least
on hand on the handlebars; a specific amount of riders on one bike; feet
to remain on the pedals.
Liability and Bicycle Accident Varieties:
The most common type of motor vehicle accident that which involves bicycles
is the situation where there was a failure to yield the right-of-way.
This generally happens at intersections, but they can also happen at the
end of a driveway as well, or from an entry or exit point of a parking
lot. Of course, just as with motorcycles, negligently turning left in
front of an oncoming bicycle causes numerous accidents. There also happens
to be situations in which a driver forced a bicyclist off of the road
due to the driver’s unwillingness to “share” the road.
Poor road conditions can cause bicyclists to crash, as can when a driver
opens a door into the path of oncoming bicyclists. In fact, there is an
extremely dangerous phenomenon arising in some areas that is called “dooring”.
But remember, bicyclists can be negligent too and numerous pedestrians
are negligently injured by bicyclists running into them.
Bicycles and New York’s No-Fault Laws:
As you may know, the
No-fault insurance law was enacted so as to reduce the amount of motor vehicle accident litigation
in the state. Compensation was also brought to victims quicker because
litigation is a long process.
The no-fault statute applies to bicyclists in New York if they were involved
in an accident with a motor vehicle within the state, if the vehicle has
a New York registration, and even if the vehicle is licensed to do business
in the state.
Injured bicyclists should expect to receive medical coverage reimbursement
and wage recovery from a no-fault claim. In fact, one can receive up to
$2,000 in wage recovery every month in addition to other necessary expenses.
Lastly, in addition to receiving no-fault benefits, bicyclists may also
be allowed to commence a personal injury civil suit. Once the injured
bicyclist has demonstrated that the driver was negligent and at fault
for the crash, then there is likelihood that the suit will get recovery
for the bicyclist. Note the difference here; no-fault claims don’t
require a showing of fault.