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The Bicycle Boom is Here: How to Stay Safe and Avoid Personal Injury Accidents

There’s a global bicycling boom, and it’s happening here in New York State too. More of our neighbors than ever are searching for information about biking:

The explosion in interest also means that inexperienced bicyclists are likely to be out on the roads. We published some of our top tips for safe bicycling in the Hudson Valley in a previous blog post:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Ride with traffic, not against it, whenever possible
  • Ride extra carefully in new areas
  • Obey the rules of the road
  • Use hand signals before turning

What to do when you get into an accident

If you get into a bicycle accident where there was a significant physical injury, you should call 911 right away to receive medical attention. If you have a phone camera and are out of harm’s way, take photos of the scene of the accident, pictures of any bicycle damage, and pictures of your injuries.

If another vehicle caused your accident, identifying and photographing the vehicle is important; if you can’t get a photo, then have an accurate description handy. The police sometimes can track down hit-and-run drivers based on a good description.

If your accident was caused by road conditions, or the failure of your bicycle, get photos of those too if you are able.

Additionally, obtaining contact information from people who witnessed the accident can be key. If it’s too long after an accident, it can be hard to track down witnesses or their memory may fade.

How can you get compensated after a bicycle accident?

The accident may result in some serious injuries, which can cause you to call out of work, accumulate healthcare bills, and affect your long-term health, earning power and enjoyment of life. 

If you were injured on your bicycle due to the fault of another (a driver, poor road maintenance or design, or the manufacturer of the bicycle), you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. We offer free personal injury consultations at our offices in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. Our experienced legal team can walk you through all of your options with no commitment. We push back against greedy insurance companies.

If you’re seeking to recover losses after a bicycle accident that was partially your fault, you should know that New York State is a comparative fault state. You can actually be partially at fault for an accident with a car, and still obtain compensation; if the court deems that you’re entitled $100,000 in damages, but you were 20% responsible for the accident, you’d receive a settlement of $80,000.

Thanks to New York’s “no-fault” insurance law, you can also recover your medical expenses up to $50,000, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you were in a solo accident that didn’t involve a vehicle, your own auto insurance can even extend its no-fault benefits to you to cover your medical expenses. If your injuries are more serious and cause long-term economic and emotional harm, then it may be possible for you to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver for the full amount.

Tips for motorists to avoid accidents with bicycles

  • Be patient
  • Open the driver’s side door with your right hand
  • Be careful at right turns and check your side mirror