Do I Need a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident in New York?
Yes. If you are injured in a bicycle accident in New York City or anywhere in New York, you will immediately need a New York City bicycle accident lawyer to file your no-fault application for no-fault benefits within 30 days of your bicycle accident. Bicycle accident lawyers in New York will know how to properly file your no-fault application.
You will also need a bicycle accident lawyer to represent you for your pain and suffering claim. Because bicycle accidents usually cause more serious injuries than car accidents, Bicycle accident cases usually settle faster and for much more money.
Representing yourself without a lawyer is not something you should even attempt to do. After spending a lot of time and effort, you will find you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you for your bicycle accident. By then, you may have damaged your claim or even lost the ability to make a claim, and you won’t be the first.
When Should You Call a Bicycle Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
DO NOT wait! You only have 30 days from the date of your bicycle accident to file a No-Fault claim, so it’s important to call a lawyer immediately. A No-Fault application must be filed as soon as reasonably practicable after that.
What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need For a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents, where a bicyclist is struck by a car, truck, or bus, are handled by personal injury lawyers similarly to pedestrian accidents. However, motorcycle lawyers are more familiar with how a bicycle accident is caused.
At 1-800-HURT-911® we’re New York’s personal injury lawyers and have represented many bicyclists in New York City, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, and Suffolk on Long Island and Westchester up to Ulster County.
We’re also New York’s largest motorcycle accident lawyers. Motorcycle accidents have some similarities to bicycle accidents when proving who caused the accident but are similar to car accidents when proving you have a court-defined serious injury (see below). Are you looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer in New York? We started the BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE campaign.
Call the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Team™ right now 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at 1-800-HURT-911 >> 1-800-487-8911
What’s Different About Bicycle Accidents in New York?
- Unlike motorcycle accidents, when a bicyclist is struck by a car, the bicyclist is covered by New York No-Fault insurance.
- Bicyclists injured in bicycle accidents are subject to the New York serious injury threshold, which means that if an injured bicyclist doesn’t have a “legally defined” serious injury, the case can be dismissed. You need an accident lawyer who knows how to prove your injury meets the legal definition of a serious injury. If you have any broken bones, no matter how minor, even a broken tooth or finger, your case cannot be dismissed.
- There are similarities to motorcycle accidents when proving that a car or truck is at fault for causing a bicycle accident. You need a bicycle accident lawyer who understands how to prove the driver is 100% at fault.
Who Pays My Medical Bills and Expenses if I’m Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
In New York, no-fault pays your medical bills and lost wages. Also covered are drugs, radiology bills, transportation to doctors, and limited household help.
Who Pays No-Fault Insurance in a Bicycle Accident?
No-Fault insurance coverage is provided by the car, truck, or bus that hit you while riding a bicycle. You need to call a bicycle accident lawyer in New York immediately after your bicycle accident because it can be hard to find the current insurance company for a car or truck that hit you.
What No-Fault Benefits Do I Get After a Bicycle Accident?
Think of No-Fault as health insurance and disability insurance with some additional benefits. No-Fault must give you a minimum of $50,000.00 coverage for:
- Medical bills, ambulance, hospital, doctors, therapists, radiology, drugs, and other medical bills. If you need plastic surgery, we can get your plastic surgeon to agree to accept No-Fault, so you will not have to pay upfront!
- Dental bills, but this dental insurance has to pay for everything needed to restore your teeth and will pay up to the $50,000 limit or more if there is additional coverage. If you need dental coverage, we can get your dentist to agree to accept No-Fault, so you will not have to pay upfront!
- Lost wages or lost income.
- Money for household help.
- Reimbursement for taxi and other transportation expenses to doctors.
Why you should NOT file your No-Fault application for a bicycle accident in New York yourself
We show you how to fill out a No-Fault application, but we’ll do it for you. You should not do it yourself if you had a bicycle accident.
In a bicycle accident, it is much more difficult to determine which insurance company is the No-Fault insurance company than it is with a car accident involving only cars. If you were driving a car, it’s easy because it will be your insurance company, but in a bicycle accident, the No-Fault insurance company is the one insuring the car that hit your bicycle.
Sometimes, the police accident report has the wrong insurance company for the car. The police officer may have made a mistake, or the driver may have changed insurance companies and provided the old insurance card to the police officer. Sometimes, even the NYS DMV computer has the wrong insurance company.
In New York, there are many cars registered out of state, and it can be difficult and take time to find the correct insurance company. Even with a car registered in New York, you could easily file a claim with the wrong insurance company.
If you were injured by a car or other vehicle while riding a bicycle, we will do all the work and complete the forms to file your No-Fault claim with the right insurance company to pay your medical bills and lost wages. A bicycle accident attorney should always file your No-Fault claim and No-Fault application.
Can I submit my medical bills for a bicycle accident to my health insurance company?
Not until after No-Fault denies treatment for your injuries caused by your bicycle accident.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident when struck by a car, you cannot submit the ambulance, hospital, and doctor bills to your health insurance company until you have been denied No-Fault benefits.
New York State law requires that these bills be paid by the no-fault insurance company.
How soon do my medical bills have to be submitted to No-Fault?
Medical bills must be submitted within 45 days of the date of treatment.
Many people get caught having to pay for the ambulance bill, which is often $500 because FDNY doesn’t submit the ambulance bill on time. We will make sure your ambulance bill and other medical bills are submitted on time so you won’t be responsible for the bill.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, call us immediately
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, call us immediately because it can take time to determine which insurance company is responsible to pay your no-fault benefits, and a no-fault application must be filed within 30 days of your bicycle accident.
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Proving That a Bicyclist Has a Serious Injury
Like car accidents (unlike motorcycle accidents), the New York No-Fault law requires that a bicyclist must have a “legally defined” serious injury. Otherwise, the bicyclist’s lawsuit can be dismissed. In the last few years, the New York State Supreme Court has dismissed cases even with surgery, ruling that the injury was not serious.
When you have to see the insurance company doctor, we go with you, and we bring our own doctor to prevent the insurance company doctor from lying to get your case dismissed.
Your doctor’s medical records are crucial to proving your injury is serious, but we know what else to get from your doctors to prove that your injury is serious.
An often overlooked injury in bicycle accidents is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. If you hit your head and had a concussion, you have a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. This injury is extremely serious and can be worth more than $1 Million. We settled a mild case for $1,200,000.
Head injuries are usually overlooked by the hospital if not considered life-threatening, but the injured bicyclist often doesn’t understand that the symptoms are from the bicycle accident. These symptoms may never go away.
Even your doctor will probably overlook these symptoms because you’re probably seeing an orthopedic surgeon who is only looking at common orthopedic injuries seen in bicycle accidents, such as a broken bone, shoulder pain, knee pain, wrist pain, neck pain, and back pain. Orthopedic surgeons are not looking at concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries.
A mild traumatic brain injury is a serious injury. Any broken bone, including a broken nose, a broken finger, a broken toe, a broken rib, or any other broken bone, is defined by New York law as a serious injury.
Other injuries, such as a torn rotator cuff in your shoulder, a torn ligament in your knee, or a torn ligament in your wrist, can be ruled by the court as not being legally serious. With these injuries, it is very important for us to document that your injury is legally serious.
Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents frequently involve a hit-and-run accident where the car left the scene and is unidentified.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident and have car insurance or live with someone who has car insurance, you should call us immediately because you must file an uninsured claim for personal injury benefits as soon as reasonably practicable after your bicycle accident.
If the bicyclist does not have car insurance or lives with someone who has car insurance and the car which caused the accident is uninsured or left the scene in a hit-and-run, the bicyclist must file a no-fault insurance application within 30 days of the date of the accident and a personal injury claim with a NY State insurance agency called MVAIC.
In a hit-and-run accident, New York State law requires contact between the car or truck and you or your bicycle. For this reason, you should not talk to anyone, including your own insurance company, until speaking with us. Other attorneys will not take your case if there was no contact. However, we will.
In a hit-and-run accident, New York State law also requires that a police accident report is filed within 24 hours of the accident.
Can I Get More Money Than The Car’s Insurance?
If you were hit by a car that doesn’t have enough insurance and you also own a car or live with a relative who owns a car that has underinsured coverage, you can get more money, and your family member’s insurance premium cannot be increased.
Note: Uninsured coverage on your insurance policy, or that of a relative you live with, or from the New York State agency MVAIC will cover you whether you are riding a bicycle, a pedestrian, or riding in a car.
Underinsured coverage on your insurance policy or that of a relative you live with will cover you whether you are on a bicycle, a pedestrian, or riding in a car. See what you need to know about Underinsured coverage.
How to Prove the Car Caused Your Bicycle Accident
Proving that the driver of the car caused your bicycle accident is similar to proving that the driver caused a motorcycle accident. Drivers rarely see your bicycle for the same reason drivers don’t see the motorcycle.
Left-turn accidents, like where a car turning left causes a motorcycle accident, and dooring accidents, where a bicycle hits a car door being opened, are caused by drivers who don’t see you. Of course, there are many other causes of bicycle accidents, again usually caused by drivers who don’t see your bicycle.
What You Should Do If You Had a Bicycle Accident
The information provided here is extremely simplified to give you an idea of what must be done when you’re injured in a bicycle accident. As can be seen, it’s fairly complicated, and there are complicated forms that need to be filled out.
Obviously, you don’t want to enter information on these forms, which can damage your case, and no one wants to fill out forms anyway. We’ll be happy to fill out these forms for you, so you don’t have to and will make sure that the forms are filled out properly and filed with the correct insurance company.
If you really want to fill out a NY No-Fault form for your bicycle accident without a lawyer, read How to fill out a NY No-Fault application yourself without a lawyer for your bicycle accident.
How Can I File an Insurance Claim Myself Without a Lawyer if I Only Had a Minor Injury?
If you had a minor injury in a bicycle accident in New York, please call us first to see if we would like to represent you, but if we can’t take your case and you can’t find another lawyer to represent you, find out how to file an insurance claim for a bicycle accident and what you need to write in the insurance claim letters.
NO Legal Fee for Estate Work for Wrongful Death!
We provide FREE legal services for estate work in the event that a bicyclist is killed and the family doesn’t have or doesn’t want to spend the money to hire an estate lawyer.
Please take a look at some of our settlements and verdicts for bicycle accidents.
Phil Franckel is well-known in New York and has been a personal injury lawyer since 1989. He is a Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911, LLP®, the Personal Injury Dream Team™, and a former Member Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has an Avvo Top 10 Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews, Avvo Top Contributor Award, Multi-Million Dollar Trial Lawyers Award, and others. See Mr. Franckel’s bio for areas of expertise.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.
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