According to the data from New York’s Traffic Safety Statistical Repository, Erie County has around 200-250 bicycle accidents each year. As the second-largest city in the state, most of those are probably in Buffalo.
If you’re in a bicycle accident, you have about a 50/50 chance of getting a mild injury or something that will send you to the hospital—or even to the graveyard. If you know you were following the rules and got hit, speak with our Buffalo bicycle accident attorneys at Morelli Law Firm to see if you have a case.
Common Bicycle Injuries
Cyclists have little protection in motor vehicle accidents, even less than motorcyclists. In Erie County, all bicyclists are required to wear an approved helmet, even if they are adults. This is because head injuries from falling off a bike after a wreck are so common.
Crushed limbs are another risk. There is no metal or airbag between the outside of a vehicle and the side of a cyclist’s leg. A side-swiped bicycle could make a rider fall into the path of another car.
There’s also the speed factor. Bicycles are light and go slow, so they don’t normally cause much damage to cars. But if you’ve ever seen footage of a bicycle crash, the speed and weight of a car can easily send a rider flying up into the air.
Your Rights as a Bicyclist in New York
New York law states that cyclists may use most of the roads in Buffalo. Only interstate highways are illegal for bicycles. As long as you are following the rules of the road, the onus is on other drivers to accommodate your ride.
Any cyclist can tell you that there are some drivers who dislike cyclists and will drive dangerously around them, either to get past them or just because they don’t like to share the road. These negligent drivers can easily cause an accident, and you could be affected.
Fortunately, you can sue these drivers just like you would if you got into an accident with your car. You do not have to wreck in a motorized vehicle to make a claim against the other driver’s insurance. A bicycle accident lawyer in Buffalo can help you with the process.
Buffalo Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
The Personal Injury Process
Once you know you’re injured, find a lawyer you can trust and who agrees they can help you. After you’ve hired one, they’ll perform an investigation to find all the ways you could be compensated. You’ll also receive legal advice on how to get more evidence and how to protect your interests.
Your lawyer will take that information and build a persuasive case to take to the driver’s insurance company. A negotiation will begin between the parties. The insurers know a lawyer could take them to trial where they could lose a lot more money. Most injury cases do end in a settlement.
If an agreement cannot be reached, you and your lawyer can take the insurer to trial. There, your case will go before a judge and jury. Your Buffalo bicycle accident attorney will argue for your case, and the judge and jury will decide if you should be compensated and how much you should receive.
What if I Was also Negligent?
Sometimes, both parties have a share in the responsibility of an accident. Fortunately, New York uses a pure comparative negligence system. This is one of the best systems for dividing fault for accident victims.
Under this system, the percentage of fault you have reduces your compensation. So, if the court deems you 40% at fault, you’d lose 40% of your compensation. However, unlike most states with a modified comparative negligence system, you can still get compensation even if you’re mostly at fault.
The only way you cannot recover damages is if you are 100% at fault for the accident. Your bicycle accident lawyer can determine if the amount you’re likely to receive is worth pursuing, but do not feel you cannot make a claim because you think you were the one responsible. You can under New York’s fault laws.
What Else Will My Bicycle Injury Lawyer Do?
Besides advocating for you in negotiations or trial, your bicycle injury lawyer will also protect you from the tactics of insurance companies. Once you have a representative, all communication from an insurer must go through them.
This means you can focus on recovering from your injuries instead of worrying about insurance adjusters trying to get you to incriminate yourself in a statement. Also, it’s much harder for them to use delay tactics to force you into a settlement by draining your savings.
Be sure that insurance companies hate to pay out claims. They are for-profit businesses and will try their best to pay as little as they can. You deserve full compensation as a victim. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Buffalo will work hard to make sure you get it.
Hire a Buffalo Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you live in Buffalo and got into a bicycle accident, Morelli Law Firm is the team to call. We’ve been helping people in New York with personal injury matters for a long time. Let us put our legal expertise to work for you.
To get started on your case, call or email our offices to schedule an appointment. Your case evaluation is absolutely free and without obligation. You will owe us nothing unless you win compensation. Get your case started today.