There are 4,000 bicyclists injured and killed by a car every year in New York City. Most cyclists injured by a motor vehicle avoid getting treated for their injuries because they don’t want to pay the medical bills or ambulance fees, but cyclists are covered under the driver’s insurance for up to $50,000 in medical bills and $10,000 in property damage. There is a law called “No-Fault” insurance law, a powerful and under-publicized piece of legislation that aims to keep cyclists and pedestrians in good medical care after an accident, no matter who is at fault. If you or a loved one is a cyclist and is ever hit by a motor vehicle, follow these tips on what to do next to make sure you are taking full advantage of the benefits you deserve:
- Dial 911 and talk to a witness: the process begins at the moment of the accident. Stay prone and relaxed until medical assistance arrives. Ask if any witnesses at the scene would mind giving you their phone number and name so they can be contacted by the NYPD at a later time. Make sure the driver remains at the scene so they can share their insurance information with the NYPD.
- Get the accident report: Once the police arrive, get the name of the officers investigating the scene and ask for their cards. Ask for a copy or the police report. This is crucial for future litigation beyond insurance claims.
- Go to the hospital: You’ve just been hit by a car. Your injuries may not seem bad now but could potentially get much worse or you could be more hurt than you think because your adrenaline is running. Your hospital visit is covered until New York State law. The “No-Fault” law also covers lost time at work.
- Inform the driver’s insurance company: Find the insurance code of the driver (located on the accident report) to look up which insurance company they use. Send a certified letter to the insurance company that there has been an accident and include the driver’s name and policy number. Send the letter within 30 days. Make sure your phone number and email address are on the letter. If you send the letter after 30 days, the insurance company could dispute your “no-fault” claim.
- Get your medical bills covered: property damage might be your biggest problem, if you’re lucky. It is the hardest thing to prove to the insurance company. The easiest thing and the most important thing, is that your medical bills and treatment are covered. Once the insurance company receives your letter, they will either call or email to provide you with a claim number. You can begin filling out medical bills to be forwarded to the insurance company once you have that number. Medical bills must be sent in within 45 days of treatment or services rendered.
- Lost earnings: “No-fault” insurance also includes reimbursement of lost earnings, use of paid leave while injured, or even the cost of hiring “substitute help” to assist you in running your own business while injured. Reimbursement is usually limited to $2,000 a month.
- Personal injury claim: if you or a loved one was a cyclist that was seriously injured by a motorist, contact the experienced attorneys of Jacoby & Meyers. We have been winning cases since 1972 and offer free consultations 24/7. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.