New York City Pedicab Injury Attorneys
Pedicabs can be a fun and interesting way to view the sights and sounds of New York City, and a quick way to move through traffic. The safety of these pedal-powered vehicles has been hotly contested, and only recently have regulations been put into place to help ensure a greater level of safety. However, when pedicabs crash, severe injuries can result.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a pedicab accident, trust the pedicab accident experts at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. to assess your claim and fight for your rights.
What Exactly Is A Pedicab?
A pedicab, also referred to as a cycle rickshaw, is usually a manually-powered tricycle-like vehicle that has a passenger compartment either in front of, or behind, the driver. In New York, pedicabs can hold up to three passengers at a time. Proponents of the pedicab tout it as a greener mode of transportation and a fantastic way to experience the sights and sounds of New York City.
New York Pedicab Regulations
Pedicabs in New York were largely unregulated until 2009. Pedicabs were expected to follow the rules of the road, but nothing more. Safety became a big issue as more and more pedicabs flooded the streets of New York, weaving in and out of traffic. The rise of pedicab accidents gained the attention of state lawmakers, who began drafting pedicab regulations.
New York Law now requires pedicab owners and operators to:
- Obtain a business license through the city;
- Acquire a pedicab drivers’ license from the city;
- Display a DCA-issued pedicab registration plate;
- Provide clearly-visible fare cards on the inside and outside of the pedicab;
- Provide rate cards and a working timer to time the ride;
- Provide all passengers with a Pedicab Information Card;
- Carry no more than three passengers at a time;
- Be equipped with seat belts;
- Refrain from traveling in bike lanes and on bridges and in tunnels; and
- Carry liability insurance on each pedicab that covers injuries, death, and property damage.
Additionally, New York law requires pedicabs to have certain safety equipment, such as:
- Seating for no more than three passengers;
- Less than three wheels;
- Hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes, or drum brakes;
- Emergency braking system;
- Battery-operated headlights capable of projecting a beam of light for a distance of 300 feet;
- Battery-operated taillights visible from 500 feet; and
- Turning lights with an audible signal.
Life carries no guarantees, but the absence of fare cards and licenses may be an indicator to you that the pedicab is not the safest on the road.
New York Pedicab Accidents
Pedicabs are like car/bike hybrids, and as such, have mixed benefits and detriments. Because they’re bike-like, they have the benefit of mobility – unlike cars – while still being able to carry passengers. The downside is that pedicabs have less protection than cars do, while still traveling on the same roads as cars, trucks, and busses.
Pedicab accidents can happen due to a number of factors:
- Road rage between a pedicab driver and another vehicle;
- Excessive pedicab speed;
- Collisions between pedicabs and vehicles;
- Collisions between pedicabs and pedestrians; or
- Collisions between pedicabs and bicyclists.
If a pedicab is involved in an accident in which injuries, death, or property damage occurs, the pedicab operator is required to make a report within 24 hours of the accident.
What To Do If You Are In A Pedicab Accident
The moments after any accident can be confusing and chaotic, and you may be in shock. Take a few breaths and see if you can take these steps to protect yourself and your rights following a pedicab accident:
- Seek medical treatment for you injuries, no matter how minor.
- Obtain police officer information to ensure you receive a copy of the police report.
- Collect witness information including names and phone numbers.
- Ask witnesses to take pictures and videos (if they aren’t already doing so).
- Collect pedicab driver information, such as business and driver’s licenses and owner information.
- Collect information from third parties that may be involved, such as the driver of another vehicle that was involved in the accident.
- Keep an accident diary, recording pain levels, restrictions, healthcare appointments, and recollections of the accident.
- Maintain a separate file for medical records, medical bills, and any evidence of loss of wages.
Pedicab accidents can be traumatic. If you or a loved on has been injured in a pedicab accident, call on the professionals at Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. to help you move forward with your life and ensure your rights are represented. Our experienced New York personal injury attorneys have a proven track record of success in obtaining fair monetary compensation for thousands of clients. Contact us today at 1-800-966-4999 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation. We will fight for you!