Syracuse, New York, Bicycle Accidents

Jed Dietrich, Esq., Recognized as a Super Lawyer, is Committed to Protecting the Rights of Bicycle Accident Victims Across Syracuse. Since Our Founding in 2005, Jed Dietrich, Esq., Has Helped Our Clients Secure More Than $175 Million in Damages. We Could Help You, too. Our Experienced Team of Bike Crash Attorneys Could Help File a Personal Injury Lawsuit and Make a Compelling Claim for Recovery.

Man helping a woman to stand upSyracuse is steadily improving its bicycle infrastructure. In recent years, the city has started to expand its network of dedicated bicycle paths and lanes beyond Downtown, creating a “Connective Corridor” meant to facilitate healthier and more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Designed by Syracuse University in partnership with Onondaga County officials, the Connective Corridor is intended to make cycling an achievable alternative to conventional, car-centric commuting.

However, even as Syracuse continues to innovate, the Salt City remains a largely car-dependent municipality. Bicycle paths are still scarce in most parts of the city, leaving many cyclists struggling to stay safe amidst fast-moving traffic. Accidents are common, and they happen with alarming regularity.

For survivors, the costs of recovering from a serious bicycle accident are often cost-prohibitive. Even with the right health coverage, some expenses cannot be avoided or deferred. An emergency visit to Central New York Medical Center, or inpatient treatment at St. Joseph’s Hospital, can leave victims feeling trapped by rapidly mounting debt.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. is committed to providing peerless personal injury service. A recognized U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm, we have spent years aggressively advocating for the rights of injured cyclists in Syracuse and across the region. Our experienced team of attorneys could help you investigate the causes of your accident and begin collecting the evidence needed to negotiate a fair settlement. Please send us a message online or call us at 866-529-5334 to speak to a bicycle accident lawyer near Syracuse and schedule your 100% free consultation as soon as possible.

How New York Law Protects the Rights of Syracuse Cyclists

Syracuse is often subject to harsh winters and heavy snowfall, making bicycles a fairly uncommon sight for much of the year. With cyclists most active in spring, summer, and early autumn, some drivers mistakenly think that bicycles are meant for pleasure and need not be accorded the same respect as larger motor vehicles.

However, New York law is unambiguous and traffic laws apply not only to motor vehicles but also to people riding bicycles. In the Empire State, every cyclist riding on a public roadway is entitled to all the same rights as automobile drivers, just as they are subject to many of the same duties.

New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, or VTL, contains some provisions directing cyclists to protect their health, safety, and well-being by doing the following:

  1. Wearing a helmet if they are 14 years of age or younger;
  2. Staying off interstate highways and other high-speed, controlled-access roads; and
  3. Using bicycle lanes whenever and wherever possible.

Other elements of the Vehicle and Traffic Law better explain the unique rights afforded to cyclists. Under state law, drivers must remain aware of the following:

  1. Duty to Exercise Due Care: New York VTL 1146 states that every motorist must exercise due care to avoid colliding with cyclists, pedestrians, and domestic animals. If a driver believes that a collision is imminent, they should use their horn or otherwise try to warn the cyclist of approaching danger.
  2. Safe Passing Laws: Motorists who overtake a bicycle from behind should always pass on the left and at a safe distance. State law makes some exceptions, but only in cases where both the automobile and the bicycle are already traveling in the same direction.
  3. The Risk of Dooring Accidents: Dooring accidents occur when a driver opens their vehicle door while stopped, striking an approaching cyclist. These accidents are very common in urban areas and account for a significant percentage of all reported cycling collisions. However, New York VTL 1214 explicitly forbids motorists from opening the side door of a vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.

Drivers who abrogate these duties could cause a serious and potentially life-altering accident.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. believes that nobody should have to pay the price for another driver’s negligence. Since our founding in 2005, we have helped our clients secure more than $175 million in damages—money that they have used to pay down their medical debt, seek higher-quality care, and begin the difficult task of rebuilding their lives after an unexpected accident. We could help you, too. Please call us at 866-529-5339 to speak to a bicycle accident attorney and begin exploring your options for effective legal relief.

The Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents

Bicycling is an activity that carries an inherent risk. For many enthusiasts, this risk can be mitigated through some combination of awareness and experience.

Nevertheless, bicycle accidents remain a common occurrence, both in New York and across the country. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cycling-related accidents incur the following:

  1. Each year, an estimated 1,000 cyclists die in traffic accidents;
  2. About 130,000 cyclists are injured in collisions annually; and
  3. The overall economic impact of bicycle-related accidents typically exceeds $23 billion per year.

In any event, research suggests that the most significant risk factor for serious injury in bicycle-related accidents is collision with a motor vehicle. Collisions can happen anywhere, in any place, and at any time.

However, the most common types of bicycle accidents include the following:

  1. Right and Left Cross Bicycle Accidents: Right and left cross bicycle accidents happen when a driver turns in front of, or merges into, a cyclist.
  2. Right Hook Crashes: Right hook-type accidents occur when a driver abruptly stops to make a right turn. A cyclist could be injured if they hit the posterior of a stopped vehicle, or if the vehicle moves into the cyclist’s lane.
  3. Rear-End Bike Collisions: If a cyclist is riding on the far right-hand side of a lane, they may be forced to change position due to a parked car or other obstacle. If another vehicle is following the cyclist too closely, they could rear-end the bicycle.
  1. Red Light Bike Accidents: A red light accident could occur if a cyclist comes to a stop at a traffic signal. The cyclist could then be hit by an inattentive motorist moving toward a red signal or be rear-ended after the light turns green.
  2. Dooring Accidents: Doorings are a common type of bicycle accident. They happen when a driver opens their vehicle door into the path of an approaching cyclist. They constitute up to 20% of all bicycle-related accidents.



Obtaining Compensation After a Syracuse Bicycle Crash

New York employs a no-fault insurance system. This coverage is intended to protect anyone who was injured in a collision involving a motor vehicle. In many cases, bicycle accident victims can submit a claim against the at-fault motorist’s policy.

However, no-fault claims have critical limitations. Cyclists must typically submit their complaint within 30 days of the accident, and they may receive compensation only for those expenses the insurer deems necessary and reasonable. For victims who suffered especially serious injuries, a no-fault settlement may prove insufficient.

Fortunately, many survivors have options beyond uncertainty. Under Empire State law, accident victims have a legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person, or party, who caused their injuries.

Depending on the circumstances of your claim, you could receive compensation for damages including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Medical expenses;
  2. Anticipated care;
  3. Physical therapy;
  4. Mental health counseling;
  5. Lost income from work;
  6. Diminished earning potential;
  7. Emotional pain and suffering;
  8. Loss of enjoyment;
  9. Disability; and
  10. Wrongful death.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has spent decades helping bicycle accident victims assert their rights. Our seasoned team of attorneys could help you, or a loved one, begin building the foundations of a strong personal injury claim. However, you must act fast: New York has a strict statute of limitations on all bicycle collision claims. If you wait too long to contact a Syracuse bicycle crash lawyer, your complaint could be dismissed on a technicality.

Do not delay: call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. today at 866-529-5334 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 866-529-5334 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Syracuse, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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