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Tough, Tenacious Legal Help For Bicycle Accident Victims

Riding a bike comes with numerous health, environmental and even financial benefits, compared to always using a motor vehicle to get around. But one downside to bicycling is significant enough to deter many would-be riders: safety. Every year, bicycle accidents kill hundreds and injure thousands throughout New York state.

At Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP, we believe that bicyclists have the same rights to respect and safety that motor vehicle drivers have. If you’ve been seriously injured by the actions of a negligent driver, we are ready to help you seek justice and compensation through personal injury litigation.

Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents

Bike accidents are unacceptably common in New York’s larger cities, and they are often caused by negligent, inattentive and otherwise dangerous drivers. Common accident causes include:

  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Distracted and inattentive driving
  • Drunk or drugged driving
  • Passing bicyclists in an unsafe manner
  • “Dooring” bicyclists (opening car doors into them or leaving open car doors in their path)
  • Making left or right turns without scanning for oncoming riders
  • Illegally entering or parking in designated bike lanes
  • Failure to keep a lookout for bicyclists

If you’ve been harmed by any of the behaviors listed above, our attorneys can help you seek full and fair compensation.

Legal Protections For Bicyclists Are Weak In New York

The laws governing how motor vehicle drivers must interact with bicyclists are a good indicator of how seriously a state treats bicycle safety. Unfortunately, New York’s laws are weak compared to many other states.

For instance, we are one of the few states in the country with “safe passing” laws that do not specify a minimum distance drivers must observe when passing bicyclists. Instead, drivers are instructed to use “due care” when passing, which is vague.

Local ordinances and laws are similar when it comes to protecting riders against two common hazards; dooring and cars entering designated bike lanes.

In practice, this means that drivers have few incentives to give bicyclists the respect and deference they deserve, because the laws/regulations are vaguely worded, and fines for violating them are often minimal.

Finding Accountability In Civil Court

Drivers who injure bicyclists often face little to no criminal consequences (unless behaviors like drunk driving were a factor). But if you’ve been seriously injured by a driver’s dangerous actions and poor choices, you can hold the at-fault party liable in civil court through a personal injury lawsuit.

Regardless of specific traffic laws, each person using the roads owes a duty of care to other road users. That means we are all responsible for operating our vehicles in a manner that minimizes the risk of harm to others. If a driver caused an accident by driving negligently, they can be held liable even if they didn’t violate any specific laws.

When you hire our firm, we fully investigate your accident in order to determine what happened and why. We then find all available evidence to show that the driver was solely or primarily at fault for causing the crash and your injuries.

Get Started With A Free Case Evaluation

Chiacchia & Fleming offers free case evaluations to prospective clients in Hamburg and surrounding areas. To schedule yours, just fill out our online contact form or call 888-655-6122.