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A deadly week for New York’s Bicyclists

September 15, 2017

Our New York personal injury and wrongful death lawyers that handle bicycle accident cases know that riding a bicycle in New York can be dangerous. Even though New York City regulations give the right of way to bicyclists in the bicycle lanes, these regulations are all but ignored in the day to day life on New York City streets.  Our New York City bicycle accident lawyers always offer free consultations to those injured in a bicycle accident.

Although cars and trucks striking bicyclists are a common occurrence in New York City, this week has been especially deadly with two bicyclists suffering wrongful deaths from being hit by vehicles. While on average there are over 5,000 bicycle accidents with vehicles a year in New York City, not all of them result in fatalities. Even in New York, it is unusual to see two fatal bicycle accidents on the same day.

On Thursday, September 14, 2017,  in Manhattan, a box truck  struck a cyclist and killed her, while the truck was making a right turn. On the same day, a taxi cab in Brooklyn hit another bicyclist and inflicted fatal injuries. These accidents could only have been caused by the negligence of the drivers and their failure to see what there was to be seen.

Under New York City Regulations 4-02, bicyclists have the same rights to use the New York City streets as any vehicle, except for expressways. It has long been the law in New York, that all vehicles have the obligation to exercise their vehicles with due care to avoid striking other vehicles and pedestrians. Our bicycle accident lawyers, know how serious injuries can be when a car or truck slams into a bicycle or makes a sudden turn in front of a bicycle and causes a sudden crash.

If a family member was killed on a bicycle, the next of kin obviously has a lawsuit against the offending driver. If the driver flees the scene and is unidentified, then if the bicyclist owned a car or lived in the same household as someone who did, that car insurance company has to provide the same benefits as the fleeing motorist’s insurance company. Every car insurance policy in New York has a provision for uninsured motorist benefits which covers bicycle accidents. If there is no insurance company, then the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation, will step in to provide the benefits.  In addition to a lawsuit, there  are basic economic benefits that the insurance company for the car that hit the bicyclist must provide including funeral expenses and a death benefit payment, as well as any medical bills for treatment prior  to the death. However, most of these benefits have to be applied for within the first 30 days after the accident and applications to the Surrogates Courts for an estate to be set up must be made before any lawsuit is filed.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers know how traumatic the loss of a loved one can be and having handled many of these cases, sympathize with our client’s loss. We often guide our clients through the surrogate process to get the appropriate letters so that a lawsuit can be filed for wrongful death.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph