Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents in New York
Bicycle accidents are unfortunately common in New York, and among them, hit and run accidents pose a significant challenge for victims. With an increasing number of bicycle riders sharing the roads with aggressive and negligent drivers, it is crucial to understand the steps to take after a hit and run incident. When a driver collides with a bicycle rider and flees the scene, it can have devastating consequences for the victim. Unlike individuals protected by seatbelts and airbags inside a car, bicycle riders lack such safeguards and are more vulnerable to severe injuries. The absence of immediate medical attention, uncertainty about how to proceed, and the emotional trauma can turn a victim's life upside down. If you are a victim on of a hit and run bicycle accident, contact an experienced New York bicycle accident lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of your case, protect your rights, and work tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice and maximum compensation you deserve.Law Related to Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents in New York
There are various reasons why a motorist may choose to flee the scene after colliding with a bicyclist in a hit and run accident. These reasons can range from panic and fear of the consequences to attempting to evade legal responsibility. However, it is important for victims to understand that fleeing the scene does not absolve the motorist of liability for their actions. In fact, New York law imposes severe penalties for hit and run offenses, and the legal system provides avenues for victims to seek justice and compensation.
In New York, hit and run bicycle accidents are taken seriously under the law. Leaving the scene of an accident without stopping to provide necessary information and assistance is a violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 600. This law applies to all types of accidents, including those involving bicycles.
Under VTL Section 600, drivers involved in an accident are required to stop their vehicle immediately at the scene and remain there until they have fulfilled certain obligations. These obligations include:
- Providing Information: The driver must exchange their name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration number with the other parties involved in the accident, including the bicycle rider.
- Reporting the Accident: If the accident resulted in injuries or property damage exceeding $1,000, the driver must report the incident to the police as soon as possible. This report must be made in person or by phone.
Failure to comply with these obligations can lead to serious consequences for the driver. In New York, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury is classified as a Class B misdemeanor, while leaving the scene of an accident involving serious physical injury or death is considered a Class D felony. Convictions can result in fines, license suspension, probation, and even imprisonment.
Additionally, hit and run accidents can have legal implications beyond criminal charges. Victims of hit and run bicycle accidents have the right to pursue civil claims for compensation. They can seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related losses.
To protect their rights and pursue a claim, victims should consult with an experienced New York bicycle accident lawyer who can provide guidance, gather evidence, navigate the legal process, and advocate on behalf of the victim to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.Liability in Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
Determining liability in hit and run bicycle accidents can be complex, but it is not an insurmountable challenge. While identifying the responsible party may initially seem daunting, there are legal avenues available to victims in order to seek justice. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Immediate Action: Following a hit and run bicycle accident, it is vital to take immediate action. Contact the police and emergency medical services, if necessary, to report the incident and seek medical attention. The police report will serve as an official record of the accident, documenting crucial details for further investigation.
- Gathering Evidence: If possible, collect as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. Take photographs of the surroundings, any visible damage to your bicycle, and your injuries. Speak to any witnesses who may have observed the incident and ask for their contact information. Such evidence can be invaluable in building a case and identifying the fleeing driver.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: In New York, bicyclists injured in hit and run accidents can turn to their own insurance policies for coverage. Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage is designed to protect victims when the at-fault party is unknown or lacks insurance coverage. This type of coverage can provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Seeking Legal Representation: Engaging the services of an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in hit and run bicycle accidents is crucial. They possess the knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal complexities of such cases. An attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, gather additional evidence, and work towards identifying the responsible party. They will also handle negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf, aiming to secure fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Statute of Limitations: It is important to be aware of the statute of limitations that applies to hit and run bicycle accident cases in New York. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit, and failure to meet this deadline may result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation. Consulting with an bicycle accident attorney in New York promptly after the incident ensures that your case is handled within the required timeframe.
Hit and run bicycle accidents in New York have severe consequences for victims. From physical injuries to emotional trauma and financial burdens, victims face numerous challenges. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to navigate the complexities of such cases and maximize the chances of obtaining fair compensation. A skilled bicycle accidents attorney serving New York can guide victims through the legal process, advocate for their rights, and work diligently to identify the responsible party. By seeking professional representation, you can focus on your recovery while having the peace of mind that a dedicated advocate is fighting for your best interests. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent injured victims in the following locations: Westchester County, Suffolk County, Staten Island, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, and Queens.