Nassau County Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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A bicycle on its side in the middle of a road after an accident with a car.Despite being part of a state known for car culture, cycling continues to thrive in Nassau County as both a form of transportation and a form of recreation. This not only helps people reach their destinations but also allows them to stay fit while doing so.

However, with over 780,000 cyclists and 8.8 million registered vehicles sharing the roads in New York State, the odds of tragedy are never at zero. One moment, you could be enjoying the outdoors, and the next, you could be swerving into the curb, avoiding a distracted driver.

Worst case scenario, the driver actually hits you, and you sustain injuries that, at most, might be serious enough to end your life on two wheels, if not your life entirely. Broken bones, road rash, TBIs, and spinal injuries can all pile on each other, pushing your medical bills through the roof.

Further complicating things, your injuries may force you to take time off of work. In addition to losing your regular income, you may miss out on potentially important meetings and opportunities for vertical movement in your career.

Add to that any lost and damaged property you had on you at the time of the accident, and that’s just the cherry on top of this already sad cake.

Thankfully, there is hope. If you’ve been hurt on your bicycle, our Nassau County bicycle accident lawyers at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm stand ready to serve as your advocates in pursuit of compensation.

When you need justice for the harm you suffered in an accident, call the CEO Lawyer at (516) 689-1132.

When Do I Need a Nassau County Bicycle Accident Attorney?

Not every accident needs an attorney; in fact, not every accident even leads to damages. That said, there are times when the situation calls for an expert Nassau County personal injury attorney on your side.

Generally speaking, the greater the damages involved in an accident, the more likely a bicycle accident attorney will come in handy.

This is because insurance companies are, first and foremost, businesses looking out for their growth. The more they have to pay out to cover damages sustained in an accident victim’s claim, the greater the losses they incur on the victim’s behalf.

This means that insurers will often try to devalue a claim to protect their interests. They may attempt to assign blame to you, make lowballed first offers, or even search for any way to interpret evidence to make it seem your claim is invalid.

Common Injuries Involved in Bicycle Accidents

Medical bills often make the bulk of a personal injury claim, and bicycle accidents are rarely an exception. Damage to the body sustained in an accident can range from minor bruises to life-altering fractures.

In some cases, injuries can be fatal without medical treatment. This is especially the case when a car or other vehicle is involved, where as recently as 2021, 853 bicyclists across the country perished in motor vehicle crashes.

Here are some common injuries in bicycle accident cases.

Head Injuries

Wounds and contusions to the head are some of the most frequent injuries in bicycle accidents, especially when the rider does not have a helmet. The most common form of head injury, however, is a concussion, which is the mildest form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Concussions are essentially bruises to the brain that temporarily affect its ability to function. These TBIs manifest symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

Particularly serious concussions can also result in impaired cognition and judgment and loss of consciousness.

Road Rash

Road rash is the term used for friction burns typically caused by pressure and abrasion against a rough surface. The condition got its name from its prevalence in road accidents, usually involving motorcyclists.

Cyclists usually suffer road rash after being thrown off their bikes. Even a low-speed collision with a car or obstacle or a momentary loss of control of a bike can be enough to cause large abrasions through clothing.

While often considered a minor injury, road rash tends to be extremely painful due to the fact damage usually reaches the highly innervated dermis layer of the skin.

Fractures

Fractures are breaks in the structure of bone tissue. This type of damage can range anywhere from a microscopic crack to a full break, sometimes into multiple pieces.

There are different ways to classify fractures; some are complex and comprehensive, such as the OTA/AO Classification (Orthopaedic Trauma Association/Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen), though one of the more common and easier-to-understand systems is classification by soft-tissue involvement, which divides fractures into closed (simple) fractures or open (compound) fractures.

In a closed fracture, there is damage to the bone but none to the overlying skin. Open fractures, therefore, involve exposed bones due to the break piercing the skin.

Compound fractures can further be divided into clean fractures or contaminated fractures, indicating whether or not foreign material invades the injured tissue. As can be expected, compound fractures have a much higher infection rate (30%) than simple ones (1%).

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are two common soft-tissue injuries most often associated with sudden stretching or twisting motions. Mechanisms are generally similar for both types of injuries, meaning the major difference between the two is the tissue affected.

Sprains are injuries to the ligaments, which connect bones together. Forcing bones to move at the joints beyond their normal limits can weaken or tear these tissues, leading to pain and limited mobility.

The ankle tends to be the most commonly sprained joint in a bicycle accident (and in general, really) owing to the fact the entire purpose of the feet is to support weight, though other body parts, such as the wrist or thumb, can also suffer a sprain in a bicycle accident, especially when a victim tries to catch themselves with their hands when falling.

A strain, on the other hand, is a soft-tissue injury that affects muscles and tendons. As with a sprain, it is caused by stretching the tissue beyond normal ranges of motion and can result in pain and a hindrance to motion in the area.

In the event of a car accident, strains tend to result from the sheer forces involved in the event. That said, it is possible for an accident victim to cause a strain through their own actions in a crisis.

Human bodies have safety mechanisms that prevent our muscles from exerting enough force to damage our own internal organs. However, in an emergency, our bodies shut off these limiting factors through our fight-or-flight response, giving temporary strength and speed intended to preserve the odds of survival.

This allows us to make it through dangerous situations such as bicycle accidents, but as a side effect, it can result in straining and tearing muscle fibers.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Damage to the spinal cord is often one of the most dangerous consequences of any accident.

As the body’s information superhighway, the spinal cord delivers messages between the brain and the rest of the body. As a result, even the smallest spinal cord injury (SCI) can prevent large areas of the body from functioning.

There are two main types of SCIs: complete and incomplete.

Complete SCIs are the less common of the two and involve a total loss of feeling and movement below the injury. If a complete SCI occurs in the lower spine, for example, a patient may be unable to move their legs, while if it occurs in the neck, there is a risk of complete paralysis unless the damage can be repaired.

An Incomplete SCI is the opposite, where some level of function below the injury is preserved. Incomplete SCIs are generally, though not always, easier to treat than complete SCIs, though the key here is “generally,” as there are instances where a patient may suffer an untreatable and chronic reduction in feeling and movement.

In either case, an SCI is always one of the greatest threats to quality of life for accident victims.

Fault and Bicycle Accidents in New York

New York State follows a no-fault system, which means, for the most part, accident victims will turn to their own insurance providers for compensation. This means that regardless of fault, you typically cannot seek damages from other parties until you have first expended the limits of your personal injury protection (PIP).

The upside of this is that it encourages people to be responsible for their own safety and protection while also speeding up the claims process, as victims will be able to make a claim without the delay of an investigation into fault. The state requires a minimum of $50,000 in PIP coverage for all drivers, the protection from which applies even when you are not in your motor vehicle.

This means if you have PIP as required by law and are injured on your bicycle, you can still make a claim.

However, the downside is that not all cyclists are motor vehicle owners, and so not all cyclists are insured with PIP. In these cases, accident victims will have to turn to other avenues of compensation, such as the following:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: If a motor vehicle was involved in the accident that led to your injuries, you can seek compensation through the driver’s liability insurance policy. These policies have the following minimums for harm to the victim:
    • Bodily Injury (BI): $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
    • Property Damage (PD): $10,000 per accident.
  • Premises Liability Accidents: If you are injured while legally cycling on someone else’s property, it might be possible to make a premises liability claim. Assuming it can be proven that the person/parties who own the premises failed to ensure the property is safe for those entering it, they may be deemed legally liable for any harm you suffered.

However, keep in mind that if you do have to step outside the no-fault system, New York State’s pure comparative negligence system comes into play. This means that fault will have to be determined, and any amount of damages you are owed will be reduced by your degree of fault as per section 1411 of New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules.

This can be a problem, particularly if you have severe injuries that need treatment. The driver’s insurance provider is unlikely to be willing to give you a large payout, first because this hurts the company’s bottom line and second because this might end up raising their client’s premiums.

Thankfully, a Nassau County personal injury lawyer can help you get fair compensation regardless of whether or not you have to step outside the no-fault system. With an attorney from the CEO Lawyer on your side, you will have an advocate with the knowledge to guide you toward the fairest avenue of compensation for your case and the skills to fight for it.

The Statute of Limitations for a Nassau County Bicycle Accident Case

Every state imposes a time frame after an injury (and property damage), after which no action can be taken. This is known as the statute of limitations and serves to encourage people to take action for damages promptly and prevent frivolous lawsuits and litigation abuse.

In New York, this statute of limitations is set to three years. This means that within that time period, you have to balance your life recovering from your injuries as well as handling the necessary paperwork and procedures to get the compensation you need.

That sounds daunting, and if you are already hindered by the burden of physical harm, it definitely can be. Hiring our Nassau County personal injury law firm, however, means you won’t have to face this alone.

Work With Our Nassau County Bicycle Accident Law Firm Today

At the CEO Lawyer, we understand the struggles of any client whose life was thrown off-balance by a bicycle accident. We know the difficulty and expense of getting back on track, and we want to help.

Our firm is comprised of only the best lawyers we can find, all with trial experience, all driven by a passion for service and dedication to winning. Lead Attorney Ali Awad personally directs our team at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm to excel for our clients because we know that a win for you is a win for us.

Let us fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (516) 689-1132.

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