East Meadow Bicycle Accident Attorney
In a bicycle accident, the victim has little protection from the pavement or other obstacles. As a result, a bicycle accident victim may suffer more severe injuries than a passenger in a larger vehicle. Worse, the victim’s limbs could get tangled in the bicycle during the collision, causing further damage. When you suffer serious injuries in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party in East Meadow, you may have grounds for a claim.
Working closely with an experienced East Meadow bicycle accident attorney can help. Contact the attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 565-2993 to learn more about your legal rights following a serious bicycle accident.
How Our East Meadow Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help You
After your accident, you may wonder if you should contact an attorney. After all, an attorney sounds expensive. In reality, however, failing to hire an attorney often costs more than having an attorney to partner with you as you manage your claim.
Our experienced East Meadow personal injury attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can help your case. Not only do many people find that having an experienced attorney on their side can help increase the compensation they ultimately receive, an attorney can also provide peace of mind during an incredibly difficult time in your life.
Assistance Collecting Evidence
Immediately after your accident, collecting evidence might not have appeared at the top of your priority list.
Whether you remembered to take pictures and collect witness information at the scene of the accident or needed to focus on medical attention, however, an attorney can help collect the evidence you need to help prove who caused your accident, including:
- Checking over any photos of the accident scene
- Visiting the scene of the accident to evaluate any factors that may have contributed to the accident
- Going over any video footage, including dashcam footage or footage from traffic or security cameras
- Collecting and evaluating witness statements
- Connecting with an expert witness who can help recreate the conditions that led to the accident
Clear, Valuable Legal Advice
Following your bicycle accident, the insurance company may contact you to offer a settlement offer. In fact, many insurance companies will try to get in touch with you shortly after the accident, before you have a chance to start working with an attorney. The adjuster may try to convince you to make a fast decision about your settlement: one that will allow you to get money in your hands quickly.
Unfortunately, that offer may not include the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
An attorney can help you evaluate the insurance policy carried by the individual or entity that caused your accident, compare it to the offer, and determine whether you should accept that offer or negotiate for further compensation.
An East Meadow bicycle accident attorney can also provide legal advice as you manage other aspects of your claim, including seeking medical care, communicating with the insurance company, and even managing your social media posts.
Legal Representation You Can Trust
When you file your bicycle accident claim, you can leave your claim in the hands of the attorney. Instead of having to handle those negotiations yourself, you can allow your attorney to handle those communications while you focus on recovery. If you do have to take your claim to court, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can provide valuable representation that will help you seek the compensation you deserve.
How Much Money Can You Get for Your East Meadow Bicycle Accident Injuries?
If you prevail in your bicycle accident claim, the amount of money you receive for your injuries could range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands to a million or more. The amount you can receive depends on multiple factors. First, your lawyer would value your claim, and so would the insurance company. It is highly unlikely for both sides to reach the same value; the insurance carrier generally values a claim to be lower. If you reach a settlement agreement, the money you receive might be less than the full value of your claim.
Factors that impact the value of a bicycle accident claim and how much money you might receive include:
- Your total amount of economic loss, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries
- The nature and scope of injuries
- Your long-term prognosis
- The ways the injuries have impacted your life
- Insurance policy limits
Your East Meadow bicycle accident attorney can review your case and give you a range of potential outcomes for your claim.
What Kinds of Compensation Can You Receive for Your East Meadow Bicycle Accident Injuries?
If you prevail in your bicycle accident claim, you could receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses related to the accident and your injuries. Economic losses refer to things you can add up and easily quantify; non-economic damages refer to the intangible impact your injuries have had on your life.
Examples of losses (which are legally referred to as damages) you could receive compensation for include:
- Medical treatment costs, including ambulance and emergency services, doctor visits, surgery, lab tests, X-rays, medication, and transportation to and from the hospital.
- Estimated future medical costs when a bicycle accident causes a permanent injury or condition that requires ongoing treatment or care.
- Long-term healthcare expenses for bicycle accident victims who require around-the-clock nursing care at home or in a facility.
- Lost wages and benefits.
- Estimated future lost wages for those who suffer catastrophic bicycle accident injuries.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
- Diminished quality of life.
- Loss of consortium.
- Scarring and disfigurement.
- Punitive damages when bicycle accident injuries occur due to intentional harm or reckless disregard for the law.
Managing East Meadow Bicycle Accident Injuries: Common Symptoms and Challenges
After an East Meadow bicycle accident, you may find yourself dealing with substantial injuries, including injuries that may cause long-term severe symptoms and overall limitations in your life. Common injuries may include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Though helmet use can substantially reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury, it does not eliminate it. Riders should, however, still wear their helmets any time they ride a bicycle, especially if they ride on the street. Traumatic brain injury often causes long-lasting impacts in every area of a victim’s life. Even victims with mild to moderate traumatic brain injury may report symptoms more than a year after the injury. Victims with severe traumatic brain injury may never fully recover normal functions.
Symptoms may include:
- Tunnel vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Challenges with focus and concentration
- Long-term memory loss
- Short-term memory challenges
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
Spinal Cord Injury
In a bicycle accident, the victim can suffer spinal cord damage due to direct contact with the striking vehicle or due to force from striking the road or an obstacle. Complete spinal cord injuries, in which the spinal cord severs completely, usually result in complete paralysis below the site of the injury.
Victims may also note some loss of organ function. While incomplete spinal cord injury may not result in a complete loss of function, it may lead to decreased mobility. Many victims need to use crutches and braces or a walker to get around, while others may find a wheelchair more comfortable. While incomplete spinal cord injuries can show some signs of healing and improvement after the accident, victims with complete spinal cord injuries rarely regain significant movement.
Most often, amputations in bicycle accidents occur due to severe crushing damage: a wheel running over a limb directly, for example. Often, the limb will take such severe damage that the doctors cannot repair it. Sometimes, decreased blood flow to the injured limb may cause the tissue to die, eventually leading to necrotic tissue and potentially sepsis. At that point, doctors must remove the limb to save the victim’s life.
Frequently, amputees decide to use prosthetic devices, either to aid in mobility—usually following a leg amputation—or to improve appearance and independence following the amputation of the arm. Prosthetic devices, while they do aid in independence and mobility, also lead to considerable expense in the victim’s life, since they require regular replacement.
Road Rash and Burns
Severe road rash from a bicycle accident can have many of the same symptoms as a severe burn. In a bicycle accident that causes severe road rash, the skin and the flesh beneath get scraped away from the body. If road rash occurs over a large percentage of the body, it can lead to shock. The skin also provides a vital protective layer that helps prevent infection from entering the body.
Since road rash removes a large portion of that skin, the victim may suffer a high rate of infection. Road rash, since it occurs as the victim’s skin scrapes across the pavement, may also result in a larger amount of foreign matter in the wound, further increasing the rate of infection. Road rash often causes severe scarring, which can lead to psychological complications. If road rash occurs around a joint, it can also lead to a substantial decrease in mobility.
Even with protective gear, bicycle riders have little protection against broken bones in an accident. Broken bones often occur in the hands and arms, as the victim attempts to stop the fall and ends up causing further injury to himself in the process. Victims may also break bones in the legs or break ribs during the accident. Broken bones, especially severe ones, may require surgical treatment. Typically, the victim’s healing process begins after the surgery, rather than after the bone gets broken. Multiple broken bones can make it incredibly difficult for the victim to get around or to care for himself after the accident.
Locating the Liable Party in an East Meadow Bicycle Accident
Following an East Meadow bicycle accident, contact an attorney to learn more about identifying the liable party for your accident. You may know that the driver that hit you bears liability for the accident, especially if that driver chose to drive while distracted or inebriated. However, numerous other factors can also contribute to the accident. Identifying other individuals who may share liability can increase the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries.
A Mechanic Who Recently Worked on the Vehicle (Or Your Bicycle)
When you take a vehicle to a mechanic, once the mechanic completes their work, they certify the vehicle as road-worthy: that they have completed needed repairs or that the vehicle no longer has any problems that could cause an accident on the road. Sometimes, however, the mechanic may miss an associated problem, fail to repair the problem correctly, or even cause damage to the vehicle while conducting the repairs. In those cases, the mechanic may share liability for an accident caused by mechanical failure.
The Driver’s Employer
A driver who drives for a living, and who was engaged in those activities at the time of your accident, may share liability with their employer. An employer who works with drivers regularly must ensure that the driver drives safely and does not pose an undue danger to others around him. They must also adhere to safe driving practices.
The employer should also carefully monitor the driver’s driving history to ensure that the driver does not have a regular history of causing accidents. In addition, if the employer provides the vehicle, the employer must keep up with maintenance and repairs on that vehicle. Trucking companies and other employers who have their drivers haul large vehicles must also adhere to federal regulations involving those drivers and the time they can legally spend behind the wheel.
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Did an error in the vehicle’s design or construction lead to your accident? Major recalls on vehicles happen regularly. Those recalls often occur because the vehicle has such serious mechanical concerns that it has caused multiple accidents. The manufacturer must construct a vehicle that travels safely on the road and does not pose an undue danger to others on the road.
If the manufacturer fails to adhere to these safety standards or allows vehicles to remain on the road even once a problem comes to light, the manufacturer may share liability for the accident. Likewise, if the manufacturer of your bicycle committed a design error that led to your accident, that manufacturer may share liability for the accident.
Compensation Following Your East Meadow Bicycle Accident
For many people who need to file a bicycle accident injury claim following an East Meadow bicycle accident, the amount they can receive in compensation for their injuries proves critical. Compensation through an East Meadow bicycle accident claim can make it easier for you to pay your medical bills, handle any travel needed for treatment, and take care of your regular expenses while you recover. An attorney cannot guarantee the compensation you will receive for your claim. However, compensation often falls into one of several key categories.
Your medical expenses include any expenses related to your medical care following the accident. You can include emergency treatment in the emergency room or at an urgent care center as well as the ongoing costs of care. You may also choose to include future anticipated medical expenses as part of your claim.
Did your accident cause you to lose time at work? Some employees can go back to their usual job duties quickly after an accident, but others may miss more time and, therefore, see a dip in their income during an already-difficult period. An attorney can help you determine how to include compensation for those lost wages as part of your claim.
Pain and Suffering
You may have intangible losses related to your accident as well as physical, definable financial losses. An attorney can help give you a better idea of how pain and suffering will impact your claim.
East Meadow Bicycle Accident FAQ
Bicycle accidents often lead to more severe injuries than other types of traffic collisions. Cyclists have less protection during impact. The physical and financial consequences of bicycle accident injuries can cause severe economic hardship for victims and their families. If you have recently suffered injuries in a bicycle accident in East Meadow or while cycling in other Long Island locations, you might be uncertain about what you should do next.
New York law permits you to take action against the motorist or other party who caused the bicycle accident. An experienced East Meadow bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate your case and guide you on the best path to recover compensation for your injuries. Until you have the opportunity to take advantage of a free case review, the answers to these frequently asked questions about East Meadow bicycle accidents offer introductory information about the legal process of recouping losses related to the accident and injuries.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Lawsuit After an East Meadow Bicycle Accident?
Under New York law, plaintiffs have a three-year statute of limitations for lawsuits that emerge from East Meadow bicycle accidents. In most cases, you have three years from the date of an accident to bring a lawsuit. Suing the State of New York or Nassau County for poorly maintained roads is one major exception. You must give notice within 90 days and bring a lawsuit within a year of the 90-day notice. Failure to take action before the applicable deadline puts you at risk of missing the opportunity to recover compensation for your bicycle accident injuries.
The law does allow for pausing the statute of the limitations time clock in rare situations. For example, if the person who caused the bicycle accident flees the state, and you cannot serve papers, you might have grounds to request an extension. However, it is always best to contact an attorney and learn about your legal options as soon as possible. The strength of evidence to support a claim weakens over time. In addition, witnesses forget facts or move away, making it important to begin the claims process as soon as possible.
Does My Mandatory New York Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage Apply to My Bicycle Accident?
All drivers who register a vehicle in New York must carry a minimum of $50,000 in PIP coverage as part of the state’s no-fault insurance laws. PIP coverage provides benefits for policyholders regardless of fault. It pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and reasonable expenses associated with injuries. If you have PIP coverage for your vehicle, it extends to you if another vehicle strikes you while cycling. Once you exhaust your PIP coverage, you could step outside the no-fault system to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If you do not have PIP coverage, you would have to file a claim against the driver’s bodily injury coverage. Your bicycle accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action for your situation.
What Should I Do If an Uninsured Driver Hit Me on My Bicycle in East Meadow?
Under New York law, you must purchase at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per event coverage for uninsured motorists (UM). If the driver who hit you does not have insurance, and you have UM coverage for your automobile, you can file a claim for your bicycle accident to recoup losses up to your policy limit. If you do not have UM coverage under an auto insurance policy, you have to absorb losses from your bicycle accident unless you choose to bring a lawsuit directly against the motorist who hit you.
What Should I Do If the Motorist Who Hit Me Left the Scene of the Accident?
If you have a registered vehicle, New York law requires you to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If you get in a bicycle accident while cruising around East Meadow and the driver leaves the scene of the accident, your UM coverage will generally kick in to cover your losses. If you do not have a vehicle, or you have not complied with the law, you would absorb the losses you face in the aftermath of a bicycle accident.
It is in your best interest to file a police report as soon as possible. It is difficult for hit-and-run drivers to get away with their crimes, especially when the police have as much information as possible to track down the driver. An experienced East Meadow bicycle accident attorney can help you track down eyewitnesses, who can also give details to the police to help them find the driver who hit you. If the police locate the driver, you have more legal options to recover compensation.
Can I Take Legal Action Against the Driver if My Child Died in an East Meadow Bicycle Accident?
Under New York law, surviving family members can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the bicycle accident. A representative of the estate of the deceased, usually a parent in the case of a child, must bring the lawsuit. Surviving parents cannot recover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or grief from the loss of a child. However, you could recover economic damages, including medical treatment costs, lost wages for caring for an injured child, funeral expenses, and costs for burial or cremation. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can handle the details of your case and guide you through this difficult time.
Can I Receive Compensation if I Was Not Wearing a Helmet When the Bike Accident Occurred?
You could still file a claim and receive compensation even if you were not wearing a helmet. However, you might not receive the full value of your claim. Under New York law, helmets are optional for those over age 14, so you would not be breaking the law by riding without a helmet. Yet, if you suffered a head or brain injury, you can expect the insurance company or defense legal team to argue your injuries are worse because you were not wearing a helmet. They may attempt to shift the blame and devalue your claim. It is best to let a skilled East Meadow bicycle accident lawyer review the facts of your case to help ensure you have a viable claim.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the Driver’s Insurance Carrier?
Many insurance companies stay in business by going the extra mile to deny claims, devalue claims, and avoid hefty payouts. If a carrier is fairly certain their policyholder is liable for damages after a bicycle accident, they might make a settlement offer soon after the accident. These predatory offers intend to tempt bicycle accident victims, especially those who are suffering financial hardship. However, they may not include fair compensation.
You should always consult with an attorney before settling with an insurance company. In fact, it is better to let a lawyer negotiate for you, giving you the best chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Once you accept an offer, you waive your right to seek further compensation. You likely do not know the full scope of your injuries and might come up short if you need money to pay for more medical expenses.
How Long Will it Take to Resolve My East Meadow Bicycle Accident Claim?
A resolution to your bicycle accident case could take months or years. The timeline depends on a wide range of factors. Liability plays a large role in whether you can settle your case without going to trial. When liability is clear, it is more likely you will reach an agreement with the insurance carrier. On the other hand, if the other side vehemently disputes liability, it is more likely that you will have to go to trial, adding a significant amount of time to resolving your claim.
The severity of your injuries is the other major factor that can increase the time you need to wait to resolve your claim. Your lawyer needs to know the full scope of your injuries before they can value the claim. Bicycle accident victims who suffer permanent injuries have higher value claims. It is doubtful a doctor will make a long-term prognosis within the first year after someone suffers accident injuries, especially if they are severe. You likely will have to wait at least a year, but maybe longer, to resolve your claim. Less severe injuries might lead to a quick settlement offer within a few months. Your attorney can review your case and advise you on any challenges that might increase your timeline.
Will My East Meadow Bicycle Accident Case Go to Trial?
It is less likely that your case will go to trial, but it might happen. Most traffic accident claims, including those involving bicycle accidents, settle long before litigation. Going to trial is an expense that both sides typically want to avoid. However, settlement negotiations can fail, so you should be prepared for the possibility that your case will go to trial, and you will have to testify.
Can I Afford to Hire an East Meadow Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Hiring an East Meadow bicycle accident lawyer provides an advantage by ensuring insurance companies take your claim seriously. Still, some accident victims fear contacting a lawyer for help, or they assume they cannot afford to get the legal help they deserve. However, it is easier to afford our bicycle accident lawyers than many people think.
We accept new clients on contingency. If you choose to hire us after your initial case review, you do not have to pay an out-of-pocket, upfront retainer to hire a bicycle accident lawyer. Instead, your lawyer will deduct attorney fees and other costs of representation from any compensation you receive for your bicycle accident injuries in the form of a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. If you were injured after a bicycle accident, contact us today to discuss your legal options.
Do You Need an East Meadow Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident in East Meadow due to the negligence of another driver, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can help. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (877) 565-2993 to learn more about your legal rights following a bicycle accident.
East Meadow Office
90 Merrick Avenue, Suite 601
East Meadow, NY 11554
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