When New Yorkers cross the street, they are usually on the lookout for cars, taxis, trucks, motorcycles, and even other pedestrians. Nevertheless, bicycles, having exploded in popularity in big cities like NYC over the past decade, are also a cause for concern, as bicycle-related accidents have surged in recent years. Adding to the alarm is that, whether on the road, the sidewalk, subway platform, or someplace else, these kinds of accidents are always dangerous and can be deadly. As well, bicycle accidents can occur between bicyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and bicyclists and motor vehicles like cars and trucks.

And while these accidents often result in serious injury and/or damaged property, many New Yorkers still aren’t sure whether they need a bicycle accident lawyer, particularly if the accident doesn’t seem all that serious at first.

To learn more about the intricacies of your specific case, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at (516) 342-2200 today.

Alternatively, you can continue reading to determine: (1) whether you need a bicycle accident lawyer on your side; (2) what to do immediately after an accident occurs.

The Potential Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Bike accidents are unfortunately very common in New York City. In fact, 2018 saw 4,688 bicycle accidents reported in that year alone, which averages out to around 390 bicycle accidents each month.

What’s the cause of these bicycle accidents when car accidents are so much more common? Bicycle accidents can be caused by factors including but not limited to:

  • Distracted bicycling or driving, such as riding a bike or driving a car while on the phone.
  • Automobile drivers speeding.
  • Automobile drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to a legal bicyclist. Similarly, bicyclists may not yield the right-of-way to a car and impact the vehicle as a result.
  • Automobile drivers driving too close to a bicyclist on cramped New York roadways.
  • Bicyclists not riding their bikes with helmets or other appropriate safety gear.
  • Riding a bicycle at night or in unsafe conditions, such as inclement weather.
  • Riding against the regular flow of traffic.
  • A bicyclist or automobile driver making an illegal or unsafe turn.

Ultimately, bicycle accidents can be caused by many of the same reasons as auto accidents. However, bicycle accidents are often more dangerous than auto accidents because bicyclists are less protected against other bicyclists,cars, and trucks.

For more on this subject, speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers bicycle accident specialist at (516) 342-2200 today. Your consultation will be free and the advice we give you may prove invaluable to your claim.

When Might You Need a Bike Accident Lawyer?

After a bicycle accident, you might think that you can exchange insurance information with the other bicyclist or automobile driver and then go on your way. No matter the circumstances of your accident, however, it is always a wise move to consult with a bicycle accident lawyer for the following reasons.

Your Injury Claim Is Devalued

Firstly, your insurance company may try to deny or devalue your injury claim in order to avoid having to pay for your medical bills, property repairs, and/or other damages.

This is an all too common occurrence, and many bicyclists don’t know how to fight back against predatory insurance companies properly. That said, skilled bicycle accident lawyers will know how to negotiate on your behalf and can help ensure that you receive a payout as high as your maximum insurance policy allows when needed.

Others Try To Blame You for the Accident

The other party involved in a bicycle accident may try to blame you for the accident. Their goal will be to have the liability assigned to you; and if they’re successful, you could find yourself on the hook for their medical expenses, broken property, and more.

In situations like this, the best move is to present an active defense with your legal team. Because, if you weren’t responsible for a New York City bicycle accident, there’s no reason why you should be held legally and financially liable for any damages caused.

Elite bicycle accident attorneys will help you gather the right evidence as well as argue your defense effectively and even show that another party was ultimately responsible for the accident and related injuries.

You Don’t Know Who’s Liable for the Accident

What if you know that someone was responsible for the accident but don’t know who is ultimately liable? Remember: The clock is ticking and your medical bills will need to be paid.

To answer correctly, you should know that many different parties can be liable for a bicycle accident, including:

  • The drivers of any involved motor vehicles
  • You or other bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Transit companies (if a transit vehicle like a bus was involved in the accident)
  • Government agencies or organizations, particularly if you are injured because of environmental hazards (such as incomplete structures)
  • Companies for car parts or bicycles. For example, if your bicycle was involved in an accident because of a malfunctioning part, the company that manufactured the part could have some or most of the liability for the accident.

Experienced New York City bicycle accident attorneys can help you determine liability by:

  • Examining the different parties involved
  • Breaking down New York City accident laws
  • Exploring different lawsuit options based on their success possibilities and compensation amounts

It can be more challenging than you think to determine liability for a bike accident. For example, if you, a pedestrian, and a motorist are all involved in a collective accident, how can you tell who is ultimately responsible or mostly responsible for the injuries caused?

You may all share some amount of blame for the accident, but one party may be more responsible than the others and thus owe extra compensation. Indeed, many New York bicycle accident cases are settled by determining what percentage of the fault lies with each involved party. Bicycle accident lawyers can help you navigate this difficult process, as well as protect you from being assigned the majority of blame if you are not mostly responsible for an accident.

You Need as Much Monetary Compensation as Possible

Lastly, bicycle accident lawyers can help you receive the maximum monetary compensation possible to pay for your medical bills, destroyed property, and other damages.

Bicycle accidents can often cause serious medical injuries, including but not limited to:

  • Lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal injuries or paralysis
  • Death

Any of these injuries and more could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical bills. But these exorbitant bills don’t necessarily need to come out of your pocket or personal insurance policy. Someone else may be liable for the injuries and, as such, should help you pay for any accident-related costs as well as lost income if you can’t go back to work right away.

That said, it can be difficult to recover maximum compensation for a bicycle accident without legal help. The best bicycle accident lawyers will put together a strong lawsuit for your benefit and support you throughout the lawsuit process.

What To Do After a Bicycle Accident

Although contacting legal professionals is important, it should never be your first step after a bicycle accident. Your health and safety are too important.

Get Medical Help and Get to Safety

Instead, you should immediately seek out medical help for yourself and anyone else injured in a bicycle accident. As noted above, bike accidents can be very dangerous and even deadly. Therefore, your first priority should be to call 911 and get emergency authorities to the scene.

This might be necessary even if you and another party are involved in a minor fender-bender-type accident. If you discover that you are injured later, you may lose your chance to get a police report and strengthen your lawsuit case.

Once you have ensured that any injuries are being cared for, make sure you get off the road and move to safety.

Call 911 and Document the Accident

Even if everyone at the scene appears to be uninjured, it is best to call the police. This ensures that the accident is on record.

You should also document as much of the accident as possible, including taking pictures or videos of any damage. You should also get the information of anyone present at the scene, including official personnel, those involved in the accident, and any potential witnesses.

Get Legal Assistance

It’s always wise to contact bicycle accident lawyers, even if your injuries are minor. Bike accident lawyers can provide unbiased legal counsel, help you navigate the intricacies and avoid the pitfalls of insurance claims, and make sure that the other party involved doesn’t try to sue you unnecessarily.

You can think of hiring a bicycle accident lawyer as a form of insurance. With the right legal team, you won’t have to pay extra for your bike accident or injuries, and you won’t find yourself surprisingly being sued for an accident that wasn’t your fault.


Bicycle accidents might be common throughout New York City, but your lawsuit is still supremely important. We understand that your case is unique and has circumstances, factors, and other elements that may make it especially challenging.

That’s why you need the best bicycle accident lawyers in New York City: Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Not only have we handled hundreds of bicycle accident cases in the past, but we are also experienced and well-prepared for cases in the areas of auto accidents, personal injury law, and more.

When it comes to securing maximum compensation, negotiating with other lawyers or other parties in a lawsuit, or simply navigating the legal system efficiently, Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. can help. Contact us today at (516) 342-2200 for a free consultation and more information.


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You™™

Bicycle Crash Data Report | NYC.gov

Bicycle Safety | NHTSA

Safe Bicycling in New York City | NYC.gov

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