Bicycle safety awareness month reminded us of the many different types
of roadway crashes in which bicyclists are involved. Lack of attentiveness
by motorists can lead to an accident with a bicyclist, so too can roadway
debris, potholes, raised sewer grates, reckless behavior, failures to
yield the right-of-way, failures to obey vehicle and traffic statutes, etc.
Experienced Newburgh bicycle accident attorneys have seen many of these accidents, including accidents specific only to
bicycle riders, such as what has become known as “dooring”.
This, among other things is an overall problem in which motorists neglect
to “share the road”.
Of course, as you have read in our other posts, bicyclists must obey traffic
regulations and are subject to the same rights and responsibilities as
are motorists. Despite the responsibilities of all parties, serious injuries
to bicyclists have increased almost 21% in recent years.
bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, the first question that injured bicyclists usually ask is if they can
sue the driver of a vehicle who injured them. The answer is yes. Although
typically the motorist’s insurance will cover some costs, any additional
damages that the bicyclist has suffered can be recovered by commencing
a civil action founded in negligence.
Whether or not the injured bicyclist can recover damages will depend on
the facts of the rider’s unique circumstances that which surrounded thebicycle accident. Generally speaking, if the motorist turned left in front of the oncoming
bicyclist when he or she should have yielded, the bicyclist has a better
chance at recovery. Motorist speeding, failing to signal, and/or improper
lane changes, among other traffic infraction related behavior, is grounds
for a valid negligence claim as well.
Note that the offending motorist will not necessarily be found automatically
liable if he or she violated a traffic regulation. Even if it is undisputed
that a law was broken, the plaintiff-bicyclist must still prove that the
infraction was the proximate cause of the bicyclist’s resultant injuries.
Municipalities can also be liable to the bicyclist if the rider was injured
as a result of a roadway defect, such as a pothole or raised sewer cover.
Note, however, that the law generally requires that the municipality had
notice of the defect and time to fix the problem in order for the municipality
to be civilly liable.
We end by briefly mentioning “dooring”. This is a newer term
used to describe when a motorist or passenger opens a car door in front
of an oncoming bicyclist. A collision that ensues can give rise to liability
for the motorist or passenger. In fact, municipalities are, if they have
not already, enacted legislation in this area.
Are you interested in learning more about bicycle accidents and the law?
Find out more in the latest article by our experienced bicyclist accident attorneysavailable by clicking on this link. Learn more about bicycle accident statistics throughout the country and
New York by
clicking on this link available here. Our attorneys have also explained some of the laws regarding the conduct
of bicyclists and other drivers on the roadway which is
Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.