Due to the addition of new bike lanes in many parts of the NY-Metro area many people are turning to bicycles as a mode of transportation; it is important to know when riding a bike along the road, the chance of a collision is always there. But the biggest difference between a bike-auto collision, and one where 2 cars crash, is the amount of protection the cyclist has. With no seatbelt, airbags, or even walls, a cyclist in a crash is a lot more likely to be injured from a crash than the people in the car.
Types of Collisions
There are a number of crash situations that can occur between a cyclist and a driver. The two most common happen while the driver is turning and the cyclist is going straight. On left turns, a driver may cross the biker’s path. On a left turn, it is harder for both parties to have seen each other. On a right turn, the driver must cross the bike path to make the turn. This type of turn is more sudden, but the parties are more likely to have noticed each other. Other situations that occur include rear collisions, the opening of car doors, and more. Each collision is unique to your situation.
Call the Police
The authorities should be called to conduct an accident report. Medics may also be needed if the crash appears severe enough. Accident reports solidify claims and insure that stories cat change for insurance claims. You should exchange contact information with the other party as well.
See a Physician
After a crash, it may seem like you have sustained little to know injuries. You should still meet with a physician to assess your injuries further. Often, the adrenaline of the crash will prevent you from feeling pain at first.
In most cases, it is the insurance of the automobilist that first comes into play for the cyclist’s injuries. The driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage will be used first. Then, if the cyclist has auto insurance, their PIP coverage is secondary. Last would be the cyclist’s own health insurance.
Speak with a reputable bike shop about the damages, and have them inspect the bike. If the driver is at fault, their auto-liability insurance should cover the damages. Insurance companies will usually only cover what is market value for your bike, just like they would with any car or motorcycle. Most insurance claims adjusters won’t be as knowledgeable on the values of bikes as you might be, which is where the bike shop inspection is important. They can help determine the value of the bike before the damages, as well as how much damage the bicycle has taken from the crash.
Consider Seeking Legal Counsel
If you or a loved one is injured during the accident with a bike, or if your insurance won’t cover the full damages, consider looking towards legal counsel as the next step. Accidents between a car and a bike can be more dangerous than the average car accident due to the lack of safety equipment on a bike. Sometimes injury occurs or is felt after the accident. If the cause of injury/death is the crash, you may have grounds for legal action. Do not meet with other parties involved in the accident without a lawyer present. Do not sign anything from another party or from that party’s lawyer without discussing it with your legal counsel first.
For over 25 years, we have been assisting people in the New York/New Jersey area with injury cases of all shapes and sizes; from Auto Accidents to Dog Bites. D’Agostino & Associates, P.C., and its affiliates do not provide legal advice by articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal advice. Call 1-888-245-2924 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. Bite Back with D’Agostino & Associates, P.C.