If you were recently injured in a bicycle accident in New Jersey or New York City, a personal injury attorney at Eisbrouch Marsh can help get you back on your feet again financially. In addition to general and specific damages, which are discussed more thoroughly below, your car accident lawsuit could result in the assessment of punitive damages against the driver, particularly if he or she acted maliciously or intentionally.
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, up to 50,000 cyclists transverse the major Manhattan thoroughfares each month – especially during the peak months of May, August and September. What’s more, as many as 500,000 New Yorkers use a bicycle at least once a month. These figures, which increase significantly when considering all five boroughs, represent the steadily growing number of environmentally conscious, financially considerate New York and New Jersey residents willing to forgo the conveniences of a car in exchange for the flexibility of traveling by bike. Unfortunately, however, not all passengers on the roadways are as considerate to others, and bicycle accidents occur on a regular basis – often causing severe injury.
For competent and thorough representation of your bicycle accident injury claim, be sure to contact the experienced New Jersey car accident lawyers of Eisbrouch Marsh right away. Call 201-342-5545 today.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Cyclists are especially vulnerable to accident and injury – especially in the absence of protective equipment and reflective gear. The New York Department of Transportation regularly compiles its data with regard to bicycle crashes, which reveals the following:
- Citywide, 3,884 injuries involving bicycle vs. vehicle were reported, along with 13 bicycle crash fatalities;
- From 2000-2013, 2,299 bicycle accident fatalities were reported, with 99.7% occurring due to collision with a motor vehicle;
- The three most common spots for New York City bicycle accidents are Hunts Point in the Bronx, Park Slope in Brooklyn, and the east side of Manhattan north of Midtown.
The statistics arising out of New Jersey paint a similar picture, including several thousand annual bicycle injuries caused by collisions with motor vehicles.
According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation:
- Over the past ten years, over 19,000 bicycle accidents occurred in Northern New Jersey alone
- Between 2002 and 2011, 81 New Jerseyans were killed in a bicycle accident
- Northern New Jersey’s Union County is considered one of the most dangerous counties for cyclists, with 449 crashes over a 10-year period
Due to the physical vulnerability of cyclists as compared with the driver of an automobile, relatively low-speed collisions can still lead to catastrophic injuries. It is not uncommon for bicycle accident victims to experience severe brain or spinal trauma, paralysis, broken bones, internal organ damage or skull fractures – particularly in victims not wearing a safe helmet.
Cyclists are also at an increased risk of injury due to driver inattentiveness, narrow bike paths and the heavy congestion often present in the Northern New Jersey and New York City areas.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
A bicycle accident lawsuit is filed under the laws of negligence. In general, negligence occurs when a defendant was legally required to exercise caution around the plaintiff and failed to do so. Known as a breach of the duty of care, injuries sustained by victims of negligence can include physical or financial harm, as well as property damage.
In the context of bicycle accident law, motorists are required to exercise prudence and caution when driving in the vicinity of cyclists. Failure to do so, resulting in injury, can give rise to a negligence lawsuit in order to compensate the victim for the defendant’s careless conduct.
Bicycle accident lawsuits can also occur in the reverse – as in, the cyclist’s negligence and misconduct gives rise to a cause of action on the part of the motorist. For example, if a cyclist fails to abide by posted traffic signs or runs a red light, causing an accident, the injured motorists could sue the cyclists for damages caused by the cyclist’s deviation from reasonably safe behavior.
Damages Available for Bike Accident Victims
If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, your lawsuit could help you recover what’s known as actual damages: quantifiable amounts of money directly attributed to the incident, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings and damage to your bicycle or vehicle.
General damages may also be available, which are non-quantifiable injuries including emotional turmoil, pain and suffering or mental anguish. If the defendant in your case acted with a serious disregard for the safety of others, or intentionally set out to injure you, you could also recover punitive damages above and beyond actual and general damages.
Notable New York and New Jersey Bicycle Accident Cases
Several tragic bicycle fatalities were reported in the Hunterdon area of Northern New Jersey over the past several years, prompting many to take initiatives to keep the roadways safer and more cyclist-friendly. In Flemington, New Jersey, a woman was killed in the Raritan Township area while riding her bicycle. Not long after, an 18-year old driver struck and killed a 68-year old cyclist in the same general area, reportedly after the cyclists failed to come to a stop at a red light.
New York City and surrounding areas are not immune to catastrophic bicycle accidents either, with one cyclist seriously injured in July, 2014 following a collision with a tour bus near the Hudson River Greenway.
Contact Eisbrouch Marsh, LLC today
If you are considering a bike accident lawsuit in Hackensack, Newark, Bergen County, Essex County and all nearby areas in New Jersey or the 5 boroughs of NYC, the attorneys of Eisbrouch Marsh can help you through the personal injury legal process, offering compassionate and thorough counsel all along the way. For more information or to set up your free initial consultation, please call 201-342-5545. Our car accident lawyers proudly serve both the Northern New Jersey and New York City areas.
- NJ.com, Study: Nearly 20,000 bicycle accidents in northern N.J. over last decade, http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2012/12/study_nearly_20000_bicycle_acc.html
- NYC.gov, Bicycle counts, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/bike-counts.shtml
- NYC.gov, Bicycle fatalities in serious injuries in New York City, http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclefatalities.pdf