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New Jersey Bicycle Accident Attorney

bicycle accident attorneyBicyclists lack the protection of enclosed vehicles and are more likely to be seriously injured in collisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that occur on roads in the United States every year. Bicycle trips make up 1% of all trips in the United States. However, bicyclists account for over 2% of people who die in a crash involving a motor vehicle on our nation’s roads.” Bicycle accidents are more likely to happen at night and in urban settings.

Drivers are supposed to share the road with bicyclists and give them plenty of space. But far too often, this does not happen. Bicycle accidents can leave people with very serious and catastrophic injuries. These injuries can seriously impact a person’s ability to be gainfully employed or to simply enjoy everyday activities. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be able to seek aid through a personal injury claim. The New Jersey bicycle accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help you. We can investigate your case free of charge and let you know what your legal options are. You can reach our office anytime at (800-529-9997.

Common Causes of New Jersey Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists have a naturally small profile and often get overlooked by drivers. This is especially true when drivers are making turns on the roadway. It is important for drivers to understand that bicyclists have every right to share the road with them. Pursuant to N.J. Stat. § 39:4-14.1, “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver.” What follows are some of the common causes of bicycle accidents in New Jersey.

  • Distracted Driving: In the modern era, it is common for drivers to become distracted by their cellphones or other devices.
  • Dangerous Left Turns: A number of bicyclists are seriously injured or killed every year by drivers that make dangerous left turns. Drivers may become fixated on looking out for cross traffic and not notice bicyclists going through an intersection.
  • Speeding: Drivers are much more likely to lose control of their vehicle while they are speeding. They are also much less able to slow down in time to avoid striking pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Driver Intoxication: It is illegal for any driver in New Jersey to operate their vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. What many people don’t realize is that many different substances could potentially impair them, including over-the-counter medications.
  • Dooring: Cyclists can be hit by car doors that are abruptly opened by drivers that fail to check for oncoming bicyclists.
  • Poor Road Conditions: For drivers, potholes and debris are mostly annoyances. But for cyclists, a pothole or object within a roadway can become a lethal hazard.
  • Following Too Closely: Drivers must maintain a safe follow distance with cyclists ahead of them. They must also maintain a minimum of three feet of separation for cyclists traveling next to them.

The vast majority of bicycle accidents are preventable and involve some amount of human error. Most collisions can be prevented when drivers simply slow down and obey all traffic regulations. Of course, bicyclists can also take certain measures in order to keep themselves safe. It is always advisable for cyclists to wear a helmet, no matter how short their trip may be. Bicyclists should also consider wearing highly visible or reflective clothing in order to be seen by other drivers.

Liability For New Jersey Bicycle Accidents

All drivers in New Jersey have a legal obligation to get Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance, according to N.J.S.A. 39:6A-3.2. This insurance helps cover people who are injured in collisions, even if they were functioning as a cyclist or pedestrian at the time of a crash. In addition to PIP insurance, an injured cyclist may be able to pursue a negligence claim if they were seriously injured, according to N.J.S.A. § 39:6A-8(a). A serious injury may include death, dismemberment, fractures, and other permanent injuries. There could be many liable parties in a New Jersey bicycle accident.

  • Bus Companies: A bus company could be held at fault for a collision if their driver acted negligently as they were working within the course and scope of their job duties.
  • Truck Companies: Trucks have particularly large blind spots, and their drivers often overlook pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadway. If a truck accident takes place, a truck driver or their employer could potentially be responsible.
  • Motor Vehicle Drivers: All drivers on the road have a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid hitting cyclists. If a driver fails to slow down to avoid hitting a cyclist, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
  • Municipal Entities: If a public roadway was in a dangerous condition and this contributed to an accident, the city or municipal entity that owned the road could be held liable. This could include instances where a road has a pothole or other defects that could be dangerous for cyclists.
  • Bicycle or Vehicle Manufactures: The companies that manufacture bicycles or vehicles may bear some responsibility for a collision. Companies must design products that are reasonably safe and can be held at fault for design defects associated with their products.

Bicycle accidents are often very complex events. The factors that contribute to any bicycle accident can take place several hours, days, or months beforehand. There could also be several liable parties. Even if a bicyclist was partially at fault for a collision, victims of bicycle accidents can still pursue negligence claims, as long as they are not deemed 51% or more at fault. After any bicycle accident, it is important to consult with an attorney who can evaluate the unique facts of your case.

Types of Compensation Available After A New Jersey Bicycle Accident

Bicycle accidents can leave victims with catastrophic and life-altering injuries. This includes broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and organ damage. A large number of cyclists hit their heads and incur traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI can have lasting consequences for a person’s physical and mental well-being. Any person injured in a bicycle accident may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages.

  • Medical Expenses: This includes costs for emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor consultations, medications, and other medical care. Victims can also be compensated for their ongoing medical treatments as well as future medical costs.
  • Lost Wages: Any person injured in a bicycle accident may be able to receive compensation for lost wages due to their inability to work right after an accident. When an injury results in long-term disability or reduced earning capacity, victims can receive compensation for future income loss.
  • Pain and Suffering: Victims are able to receive compensation for their physical pain and emotional distress. Going through a bicycle accident can be extremely painful. This pain can last a lifetime when a person damages their brain or back. A person can also be compensated for their loss of enjoyment of life’s activities. For example, a person who loves surfing or hiking may never be able to perform these activities again.
  • Punitive Damages: When a defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious or malicious, plaintiffs may be awarded punitive damages. These function as a type of punishment for the wrongdoer.

New Jersey bicycle accident attorneys play a crucial role in helping to ensure that victims of bicycle accidents are fairly compensated. Insurance companies will do everything in their power to deny liability for collisions. Even if they can’t avoid liability, they will downplay the severity of a person’s injuries in order to pay as little as possible for any claim. By thoroughly investigating an accident, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance providers, your attorney can help you secure a fair and just financial settlement that allows you to recover and rebuild your life.

Steps To Take After A Bicycle Accident

Going through a bicycle accident can be extremely stressful, even in the best of circumstances. An accident can disrupt every meaningful part of a person’s life, including their ability to go to work, school, and take care of a family. Whether an accident results in minor injuries or significant harm, your actions after an incident can significantly impact your ability to be fairly compensated down the road. Here are just a few of the steps that you should take in the aftermath of any New Jersey bicycle accident.

  • Call 911: It is very important that any bicycle accident be well documented. The police will conduct a preliminary investigation in order to make sense of what took place and who may be at fault.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority after any bicycle accident. Even if you think that your injuries may be minor, it is important to be evaluated by medical professionals.
  • Document the Scene: You can use your phone or camera to take videos of the accident. These may prove useful later on. It’s also important to document the presence of any possible injuries.
  • Keep Records: Maintain detailed records of all medical bills, expenses, lost wages, and costs related to the collision. You will need this evidence if you choose to file a claim.
  • Consult With A Bicycle Accident Attorney: It is a good idea to seek the advice of a skilled New Jersey bicycle accident attorney after an accident. An attorney can evaluate the unique facts of your case free of charge and let you know if you have a claim that can be pursued.

For those who do have actionable claims, it makes a lot of sense to hire a bicycle accident attorney. Unlike many other kinds of legal matters, there are no up-front costs associated with having an attorney pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf. Instead of up-front payments, your attorney will work entirely on a contingency fee basis. In other words, they only get paid by the opposing party if they are able to resolve your claim.

Getting Legal Help After A New Jersey Bicycle Accident

Team AttorneysThe New Jersey bicycle accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. understand how difficult it can be to go through a bicycle accident. We are committed to getting accident victims the very best outcomes possible. In fact, we have recovered over $1 billion for our deserving clients across New Jersey and New York. This includes a $7,250,000 settlement for a bicyclist injured by a delivery truck.

If you’ve been injured in a New Jersey bicycle accident, our legal team can help you get a fair and just settlement for your injuries. There is no case too big or too small for us to handle. You can rest assured that we will stop at nothing to make sure that you are well taken care of. Most cases settle out of court, but our team of lawyers is prepared to take every case to trial if that is what is required to achieve a just outcome. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here to serve your needs. You can reach out to us anytime at (212) 385-4410.

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