Bicycle Riding is one of the most popular pastimes on Long Island. Aside from being a healthy hobby, bicycles are a primary source of transportation for many people in the Freeport area. Some people, such as messengers, depend on their bicycles to earn a living.
Bicycle Accidents in Nassau County and the New York Metropolitan Area
Every government level, from New York State to Nassau County and the Town of Freeport, has laws about bicycles and bicycle riders.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are common on Long Island and across New York. Bicycle fatalities increased across New York in 2019.
Since the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic came to New York, the number of bicycle riders has increased. With the higher number of riders, injuries and fatalities have also increased.
Bicycle Accidents at Stop Signs and Traffic Lights
Most bicycle accidents occur at intersections with stop signs or traffic lights. Not all intersections with stop signs require vehicles to stop in every direction. If a bicyclist has a stop sign, but the driver from another direction does not, if the bicycle rider proceeds through the intersection, the driver might not have enough time to react.
A significant factor in vehicle and bicycle accidents is related to “right of way.” As the law considers bicycles as vehicles, bicycle riders and drivers must respect each other on the road and understand the laws regarding the right of way.
Being “Doored” by a Parked Car
Another common injury suffered by bicycle riders is when a person in a parked car, either the driver or passenger opens a door without noticing a bicycle rider. The bicyclist might not have time to react to the open door and hits the open door and the person getting out of the car. It is the responsibility of the vehicle occupants to ensure it is safe to open a door.
Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Cases Are about Negligence and Substantial Factor
Personal injury cases require there to be negligence. The law defines negligence as acting in a manner other than how a reasonable person would act in a similar situation. Without negligence, there is no case. Another aspect of negligence is “proximate cause,” commonly referred to as “substantial factor.”
The questions that the law wants to resolve are:
Did someone act in a way that could be considered negligent?
Was that negligence a “substantial factor” in the injury?
There will also be questions whether the person who suffered the injury was negligent, and if that negligence was a substantial factor in the injuries.
Bicycle Riders are Required to Follow All Traffic Laws
Bicycle accidents can be devastating for the rider. As such, the bicyclist’s responsibility is to follow the local traffic laws and operate the bicycle safely. Safely operating a bicycle means to be wearing a helmet and following all the local traffic laws.
Bicycle riders must know that they should always ride in the same direction of traffic. When you ride against traffic, it is difficult for drivers to see you. Drivers often do not have time to react to an unsafe situation when a bicycle is going against traffic. The consequences of driving against traffic can be dire.
Contact the Law Offices of Stern and Stern
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you should speak to a local personal injury attorney with significant experience dealing with bicycle accidents. Call the Law Office of Stern and Stern at 516-634-0345 for a free, no-risk consultation. We work on contingency, which means we do not get paid unless there is a settlement or a verdict with an award.
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