for your injuries.
While many recreational activities have been curtailed during these anxious times, bicycling is still a pursuit that New Jersey families can enjoy together. Unfortunately, no matter how safely you ride, collisions between bikes and motor vehicles remain a real danger. Aretsky Law Group P.C. has protected the rights of Bergen County bicyclists injured in bike accidents for decades.
Under New Jersey law (39:4-14.1-14.2), cyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists to obey the rules of the road. Helmets are required for kids under age 17. Bicycles must be equipped with proper night reflectors and other safety gear.
However, motorists often do not look out for cyclists, and collisions can cause catastrophic damage and injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, 857 people were killed in crashes between bikes and vehicles nationwide. Almost 75 percent of fatal bike accidents occur in urban areas, and almost 80 percent of victims are male.
According to the New Jersey Department of Public Safety, head injury is the most common cause of serious injury and death for bicyclists.
Compounding your trauma as a survivor of a bike accident, you often have to deal with a motorist’s insurance company, which will try to foist the blame for the collision on you or pressure you into a lowball settlement.Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
- Dooring accidents - when a driver opens their door into the path of an oncoming bicycle, causing the cyclist to swerve and be struck be another driver.
- Failure to yield - when a cyclist has the right of way but a driver fails to see them or yield to them, often when making a left turn.
- Right-turn collisions - when a cyclist is traveling on the right side of a vehicle and the vehicle makes a right turn, colliding with the cyclist
If you are involved in an accident with a vehicle and are physically able to, you should file a police report as soon as possible. Try to get the vehicle’s license plate number if possible and contact information of any witnesses.
Other information you should try to gather after a bike accident:
- Photos of the accident scene, including weather and road conditions and street signs
- Receipts for medical bills and damage to your bike
- Proof of your income (to recover lost wages for time lost from work)
- Any details you can remember about the accident
Once you receive proper medical attention, you should contact a qualified personal injury law firm that can preserve your right to receive financial recovery. Potential defendants that can be pursued in a New Jersey bike accident case include the motorist and their insurer, the motorist’s employer if they were on the job at the time (under the vicarious liability doctrine), or the bike’s manufacturer in the case of defective parts or flawed product design.Compensation Available to New Jersey Bike Accident Victims
You can seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, bike damage, pain and suffering, and in certain cases, punitive damages following an accident caused by another’s negligence. You can also seek recovery for intangible losses, which include pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of normal life.
What if you were partly at fault for your bicycle accident? New Jersey is a comparative fault state, which means you are allowed to recover partial compensation for injuries you sustained as long as you are not found to be more than 50-percent responsible for the accident.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bike accident, speak to an experienced Bergen County bike accident lawyer that has successfully resolved hundreds of cases for injured New Jersey cyclists. Aretsky Law Group P.C. offers a free, no-obligation case consultation. We can deal with insurance companies and lawyers on your behalf so you can focus on getting on with your life.