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Buffalo Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycle accidents cause devastating injuries. Bicyclists lack the protection that cars and trucks afford motorists. Instead, bike riders take the full impact of a collision, often experiencing crushing injuries and broken bones.

At Towey Law, PLLC, our Buffalo bicycle accident attorneys understand traumatic injuries can lead to hefty medical expenses and long recovery times. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a biking accident involving a negligent or careless driver, you deserve compensation. Contact Towey Law, PLLC for a free consultation by calling (716) 300-8232.

If the accident has resulted in the death of a loved one, reach out to our wrongful death attorneys in Buffalo today.

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Why Hire A Buffalo Bicycle Accident Lawyer From Towey Law?

After suffering an injury in a Buffalo bicycle accident, consult an attorney who will focus on your every need related to the case:

Do You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Buffalo, New York?

A bicycle accident attorney can impact your case significantly. In many cases, victims of negligence settle their cases far below what they deserve due to pressure from insurance adjusters and mounting financial hardship.

However, bike riders who gain representation:

  • Have experienced, skilled negotiators, protecting their best interests
  • Can focus on recovering while their bike accident lawyer handles the extensive paperwork
  • Have access to medical experts and other resources to support their case

When you need an aggressive advocate to protect your rights, call Towey Law, PLLC.

How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in New York?

New York is a wonderful state to ditch the car and ride a bike. However, the dangers from motorists have increased over the years:

  • Preventable bicycle accident deaths have increased 37 percent in the last 10 years.
  • Preventable injuries from bike riding accidents have increased 7 percent in the last reporting year.
  • Bicycle accident fatalities accounted for 2 percent of all motor vehicle-related deaths.

Why Are So Many Bicycle Accidents Happening on the Road?

It can be intimidating for cyclists to share the road with motor vehicles. Bike riders are exposed to the elements. Cars, large trucks, and commercial trucks are far more protected. Still, many motorists refuse to share the road and can even regard bicyclists as obstacles.

The most common causes of bicycle accidents include:

  • Distracted driving – drivers who are inattentive or distracted may fail to see cyclists before its too late to avoid a collision.
  • Reckless driving, including speeding – in the years following the COVID-19 pandemic, risky driving behaviors have increased across the country.  These behaviors are especially dangerous for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Failure to yield – failure to yield to cyclists with the right of way or failure to obey traffic signs and signals can lead to severe consequences for cyclists.
  • Failing to signal while changing lanes – turn signals let other road users know where a driver is going.  Failure to signal, then abruptly changing lanes or turning puts cyclists at significant risk of being struck.
  • Following cyclists too close – Not all motorists respect cyclists as legal road users.  Whether a result of carelessness or purposefully, not giving cyclists space can lead to serious injuries.
  • Ignoring bike riders or failing to notice – motorists often overlook, miss, or disregard cyclists and bicycle infrastructure.  Given the lack of protection that bicycles provide, this can result in significant injury when a motorist carelessly strikes someone on a bicycle.

Intersections can be especially hazardous for bike riders. Most drivers turning at an intersection are trained to look for other vehicles but may fail to notice a bicyclist. Parking lots also are prone to bicycle accidents due to numerous blind spots. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 846 bicyclists were killed in traffic collisions in the last reporting year.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Bike Riders Sustain?

Unfortunately, bike riders are at a disadvantage when motorists are negligent resulting in a bicycle/car accident. Bicycle accidents can cause devastating damage, including:

If you have been involved in an accident involving a vehicle, please reach out to our Buffalo car accident attorneys today.

Filing a Bike Accident Lawsuit in Buffalo

Most people are not familiar with the process surrounding filing a lawsuit, especially one related to a bicycle accident. That is okay. Your attorney can help you with every aspect of a bicycle accident claim in Buffalo.

In most situations, filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier or with your own insurance carrier will occur first. However, we encourage you to work with an attorney even in these early stages of filing a claim. Your attorney can examine the overall goals, and they will understand how to keep your claim protected. An attorney may need to negotiate with insurance carriers to help you recover a fair settlement, but it may be the case that the other party will not provide the funding that you need.

If the other parties refuse to offer a fair settlement for your losses, it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit in court against the at-fault party. Even though this may sound like an intimidating process, this will be routine for your attorney. After filing a lawsuit, the discovery process will begin, which is when attorneys for both parties will exchange evidence with one another and likely take depositions of potential witnesses.

It is not uncommon for a Buffalo bike accident lawsuit to be resolved with a settlement before a trial becomes necessary. Often, one party or the other examines the evidence and decides it is in their best interest to settle or drop the claim. In the event the claim does not get settled during this phase of the process, the claim will need to move forward to trial. At a trial, a jury will hear evidence and testimony from both sides and then make a decision about whether or not the allegedly negligent party more likely than not caused the injury.

Compensation in Bike Accident Cases

Individuals injured in Buffalo bicycle accidents may be able to recover a variety of compensation types if their claim against another party is successful. Our team works to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of bike crash victims, which can include:

  • Economic damages after a Buffalo bicycle accident. After a bike accident, individuals will likely experience a multitude of calculable losses. By examining receipts, estimates, or invoices that come in after the collision, the following types of economic damages can be requested:
    • Coverage of emergency medical expenses
    • Payment for ongoing medical bills
    • Medical device and prescription medication coverage
    • Property damage expenses
    • Lost income or loss of future earnings
    • Out-of-pocket expenses are rising due to the incident
  • Non-economic damages after a Buffalo bicycle accident. There are various types of losses individuals experience after an injury incident that are not quite as calculable as the damages mentioned above. Non-economic damages revolve around more unseen injuries a person may experience, such as their physical and emotional pain and suffering.

How Much Compensation is Available After a Bike Crash?

There is no exact amount of compensation paid to Buffalo bike accident victims if their claim against another party is successful. Several factors can influence how much compensation an injury victim receives, including the severity of the injuries and the length of the recovery time. If a bike accident victim sustains any short or long-term disability as a result of the incident, this could also affect the overall compensation amount to accommodate long-term costs.

Other factors can certainly influence how much compensation a person receives, including whether or not there was any shared fault with other parties or even the injury victim. Total insurance policy monetary limitations could affect compensation payouts as well, as well as the overall asset picture of the at-fault party.

Statute of Limitations for a Bicycle Accident Claim

Under New York Civil Practice Law & Rules section 214, we can see that the personal injury statute of limitations for the state is three years from the date an injury occurs. This gives bicycle accident victims a three-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. If they fail to do so, they will not be able to recover compensation for their losses.

Please keep in mind that insurance carriers will also have their own, often vague internal deadlines. We encourage you to file your claim with any insurance carrier involved as promptly as possible. An attorney can assist you with the process of filing claims before the deadlines expire.

Comparative Negligence in New York

It is not uncommon for there to be multiple parties at fault for an injury incident in Buffalo or anywhere else in New York. For situations where there is no single clear liable party, the state of New York has a comparative negligence law in place. In this state, we follow what is considered a “pure comparative negligence” system. When we examine New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Chapter 8, Section 1411, we can see the details of this law.

Under a pure comparative negligence system, individuals can recover compensation even if they are partially at fault for causing their own injury. This is true even if they are up to 99% at fault for causing the incident. However, the amount of compensation a person receives will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For a bicycle accident claim in Buffalo, let us suppose a crash victim sustains $100,000 worth of damages (medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.), but let us also suppose a jury determines the bicyclist was 20% responsible for causing the incident.

Under this particular theoretical scenario, the bicycle crash victim will receive $80,000 instead of the complete $100,000 to account for their percentage of fault. If a jury had determined the individual was 60% responsible for causing their own injury, they would receive $40,000 instead of the full 100,000.

In many other states across the country, a modified comparative negligence system is in place that prevents individuals from recovering compensation if they are more than 50% responsible for causing their own injuries. The pure comparative negligence system in New York does offer more opportunity for victims to recover compensation, but comparative negligence can be used against a victim in ways that may not be anticipated.

We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled bicycle accident lawyer who can help push back against any unwarranted accusations of shared fault.

The timeline behind a Buffalo bicycle accident claim can be difficult to understand and hard to explain. No two bicycle accident cases are exactly alike. There are several factors that can influence the overall trajectory and timeline of a bicycle accident lawsuit in Buffalo.

  • Filing the insurance claim. The first step with a bicycle accident case is usually filing an insurance claim with whichever insurance carriers are involved. Filing the insurance claim could happen within a day or so after the incident occurs, but there will most certainly be an investigation by the insurance carrier into the incident before they decide to pay any compensation.
  • Investigation into the incident. The investigation into a bicycle accident could last for some time, particularly if there are issues of shared fault. An insurance carrier could investigate on their own, but we strongly encourage bicycle accident victims to work with an attorney who can look into the case as well. Investigating the incident could take weeks or even months.
  • Negotiation with other parties. Based on an initial investigation, insurance carriers or the at-fault party may offer an initial settlement. It is likely that the first settlement offer will be far below what a bicycle accident victim should actually receive. Negotiations could take weeks or even months.
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit will be filed at the same time as the insurance claim gets filed. However, depending on the circumstances, it may make sense to wait to file a lawsuit until after the at-fault party refuses to offer a fair settlement.
  • The discovery process. After filing a personal injury lawsuit, the discovery process will begin. This is when legal teams for both sides exchange information and take depositions of potential witnesses. The discovery process could take months, and it is likely there will be continued negotiations or even a mediation before a trial is scheduled.
  • The trial. Getting to the point of a trial for a bicycle accident could take years. Most cases are resolved before this point, but if the other party refuses to offer a fair settlement, a jury trial may be the only way to resolve the claim.

Contact a Buffalo Bicycle Accident Attorney

At Towey Law, PLLC, we believe in protecting your best interests. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bicycle crash involving a negligent party, call our skilled and experienced Buffalo injury attorneys today. A Buffalo bicycle accident attorney can help recover the damages you deserve, including:

  • Full coverage of medical expenses
  • Loss of wages if you cannot work
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering damages

Contact Towey Law, PLLC today and schedule a free evaluation of your case by clicking here or calling (716) 300-8232.  Attorney Brian Towey is ready to listen to the facts surrounding your case, thoroughly explain your legal options, and – if you choose to hire us – build a strong case for full and fair compensation.