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One moment you’re riding your bike in Newark, and the next moment, everything has changed. A bicycle accident is a trauma that can wreck a lot more than your bike: your health, your finances, and even your life.
It may not seem like it right now, when you’re in pain and unsure what to do, but things will get better. Having a Newark bicycle accident lawyer on your side, at no upfront cost, can help you start getting your life back.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Call (862) 229-1137 today for a free consultation with an experienced team member of our Newark bicycle accident law firm.
After a bicycle accident, thinking calmly about what to do is almost impossible. Your heart is racing, your adrenaline is pumping, and you’re scared and in pain.
Under the circumstances, no reasonable person would blame you for panicking. But any mistakes you make now could come back to haunt you if you need to pursue a bicycle accident claim.
Let us walk you through what to do after a bicycle accident in Newark.
The first thing you should do after a bicycle accident with a car is call 9-1-1. Calling for emergency help accomplishes two important things: getting immediate medical help on the scene and documenting the bike crash with the authorities.
A bicycle collision that involves a motor vehicle should be reported to the police, just as a crash between two cars would. To file a car-bicycle accident report, remain on the scene of the crash — but in a safe place where you won’t come to any further harm — until the police arrive on the scene. (The only exception is if an ambulance reaches the accident scene first and takes you immediately to the hospital. In this case, you should speak to the police, or have a loved one do so, as soon as possible.)
When the police arrive, you should tell them of any erratic behavior you noticed on the part of the driver as well as explaining where you were and what you were doing at the time the collision occurred. If you were making a turn, for example, you might explain where and which way you were turning and what steps you were taking to execute a safe turn when the not-so-cautious motorist struck you.
While you’re waiting for first responders to arrive, it’s a good time to gather the information and evidence that you might rely on as you prepare to pursue an injury claim.
If possible, take photos – safely – of the scene of the accident, the damage to your bike and the vehicle that hit you, any debris left behind, and any visible injuries you sustained.
Try to take notes, even if you have to type them into your phone, about what happened and where exactly the crash occurred. If anyone witnessed the collision, ask them for their name, contact information, and a statement about what they saw right away.
Because a cyclist is so much more vulnerable to the devastating forces caused by a collision, any emergency medical personnel arriving on the scene will likely tend to you immediately. Giving bicycle accident first aid is critical when a crash victim has a potentially life-threatening injury – but it’s far from the only medical care you need.
Treating your injuries and working toward true rehabilitation takes time. Whether or not a paramedic or EMT provides care at the scene, you should see a doctor – at the emergency room, an urgent care clinic, or a doctor’s office – to perform a more in-depth examination.
Remember, emergency medical workers’ job is to stabilize the injured person and get them to a hospital if needed, not to formulate a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. For that, you will need a doctor or other healthcare professional who is dedicated to your care.
A bicycle accident that leaves you with life-changing injuries is a big deal. This isn’t the kind of small legal matter that you might think about handling yourself. If your injuries are severe, tens of thousands of dollars – if not more – are on the line. Without that money, your odds of ever reaching your fullest possible recovery are low.
Don’t let the myth that hiring an accident attorney costs too much stand in the way of getting help. The law firm of Console & Associates offers a free consultation, so it costs you nothing to speak to a professional about your situation.
If we find that you have the grounds for a case, you’re entitled to the no-win, no-fee representation we offer all of our clients. There’s nothing to qualify for – you get experienced legal representation at no upfront cost automatically. We even cover the upfront expenses of pursuing your claim for you. If your case isn’t successful, you pay nothing.
Worldwide, cyclists accounted for 4 percent of road accident deaths in 2015, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). By the time the WHO’s 2018 report came out, the percentage of fatal accident victims who were cyclists at the time of the crash had dropped to 3 percent. Still, tens of thousands of cyclists across the globe lose their lives in bicycle accidents every year, according to the reference website Infoplease.
In the United States alone, 857 cyclists died in traffic accidents in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). An additional 47,000 pedalcyclists sustained injuries, the NHTSA reported. In New Jersey,18 of the state’s 564 traffic fatalities that occurred in 2018 – 3.2 percent – were pedalcyclists, according to the NHTSA.
Unfortunately, serious and fatal bicycle crashes – and motor vehicle accidents in general – are all too common in Newark, NJ. From 2015 through 2019, 117 fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred within the city limits of Newark, according to the New Jersey State Police. Collisions in Newark accounted for around 65 percent of all fatal crashes in Essex County during that five-year period, a trend that continued in 2020.
Although this overall fatality rate includes more than bicycle accident deaths, it’s a stark reminder that Newark streets and intersections can be dangerous places.
Generally, the more traffic there is, the greater the chance of a traffic accident. Newark, New Jersey, sees more than its fair share of traffic on roads of all kinds, from interstate highways to cramped city streets. Statistically, some of these roadways are a lot more accident-prone than others.
From 2015 through 2020, fatal motor vehicle collisions happened on the following Newark Roadways:
Many of these streets weren’t designed with the safety of cyclists in mind. Serious bicycle accidents are particularly common when streets lack safe infrastructure, such as designated bike lanes and high-visibility signage.
When you have been in a Newark, NJ bike crash, you need to get medical care right away. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to get help. There are four hospitals right inside the city limits of Newark and more than half a dozen more medical centers across Essex County.
Our Newark bicycle accident lawyers routinely assist victims who were treated at hospitals like the following:
In the immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident, we’re fully prepared to:
Under statute 39:4, the state of New Jersey outlines bicycle regulations, including the following:
New Jersey law, under statute 39:4-14.1, establishes that a person riding a bicycle in NJ has all the same rights and duties as a person operating a motor vehicle. This means you have just as much right to use the roadway as cars and trucks weighing thousands, or even tens of thousands, of pounds. However, it also means that you must follow applicable traffic safety laws.
Operating regulations for cyclists in NJ state that the pedalcyclist should ride their bike “as near to the right roadside as practicable,” although there will obviously be times when you can’t keep right, such as if you need to avoid debris or a stopped car or to make a left-hand turn. You should always ride the bicycle in the same direction as vehicular traffic on the road and should ride single file in most instances.
Of particular importance is the rule that New Jersey bicyclists “must obey all state and local automobile driving laws.”
New Jersey’s bicycle helmet law is encapsulated in a statute known as Title 39:4-10.1. Generally, you must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in NJ if you are under 17 years old. The state does not mandate helmet usage for bicycle riders and passengers aged 17 and older, although wearing a helmet is a wise choice regardless of your age.
Under this statute, the helmet worn should be a model that meets the criteria set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1999. It should be worn properly fitted to the size of the wearer’s head and fully fastened and secured.
There are some exceptions to NJ’s helmet law, such as if the victim was riding on a road closed to motor traffic or on a trail established specifically for pedalcyclists (and separated from motor vehicle traffic).
What happens in the event of a bicycle accident with no helmet? For one thing, the risk of head injury, especially severe head injury, is higher. The fact that you were not wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle – even if you were under age 17 – does not necessarily mean that you don’t have the grounds for a claim.
A Newark bicycle accident attorney can help you understand how courts in Essex County, NJ handle bicycle accident injury lawsuits and what rules they follow when it comes to allowing evidence of helmet non-usage in a trial. If you hire us to represent you, we will work tirelessly to build and present on your behalf as strong a case as possible to prove that you deserve compensation for your bicycle accident, helmet or no helmet.
When you’re in an accident while driving a car, you turn to your auto insurance. Although there is such a thing as bicycle insurance, it generally covers issues of property damage or loss, not the serious physical injuries that are your chief concern after a bicycle accident.
How does insurance for a bicycle accident work? Who pays for your injuries? The answer is complicated because it depends on the unique facts involved in your claim.
In any of these cases, you can still pursue a bicycle accident insurance claim against the driver who hit you, as long as your attorney can show that this motorist was at fault for the crash.
In a bicycle accident, who is at fault? This depends on the facts, which are unique to each claim.
Drivers, obviously, are required to obey the rules of the road as part of the privilege of having a driver’s license. However, since the state of New Jersey grants bicyclists the same rights and duties as motor vehicle drivers, pedalcyclists also have to follow traffic safety rules.
If the driver who hit you violated the law and you did not – and you can prove it, such as through the statements of witnesses who saw the crash – then that driver will be considered liable, or legally at fault, for your injuries. Sometimes another party will also share some responsibility, depending on the facts.
Different parties can share liability for the crash. That includes the cyclist.
Under New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, fault for an auto accident is awarded on a percentage-based scale. A victim who is partially at fault can seek damages from another party as long as that individual is less at fault than the party from which they are pursuing compensation. That means that you may still have a bicycle accident claim even if you were partly at fault, as long as you were less at fault than the driver who hit you.
Establishing liability is a crucial part of pursuing a Newark, New Jersey bicycle accident. To be liable, a defendant – whether an individual or a company – must have been negligent in some fashion. Essentially, you have to show that this entity owed you a duty of care and failed to meet that duty. Most often, this duty of care is the duty to drive safely and follow traffic regulations, which all motorists owe to others on the roadway.
The driver negligence that leads to bike accidents can take many different forms. Some of the most common bicycle accident causes include:
A driver who causes a bicycle accident through any of these actions or omissions can be argued to have acted negligently. An investigation by an experienced Newark bicycle accident lawyer can reveal proof of this negligence. In complex cases, attorneys may turn to expert witnesses, such as forensic engineers who specialize in bicycle accident reconstruction, to uncover evidence of the negligence that led to the crash.
Bicycle accident compensation depends on a number of factors. Because collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles often leave the cyclist with serious injuries, the bicycle accident claim payouts our attorneys get clients often reach the six-figure range, as long as there is enough insurance coverage available.
Over the course of our personal injury law firm’s history, we have recovered multiple bicycle accident settlements of $100,000 or more, including a $635,000 settlement for the teen victim of a hit and run.
One thing you should know about the average compensation for a bicycle accident is that, statistically, you are likely to wind up with a lot more money if you have a lawyer on your side. Research has shown that attorneys get their client 3.5 times more money, on average, than claimants without legal representation get for themselves.
The one step you could take that is most likely to boost your compensation for bicycle accident injuries is to hire an attorney to fight for you.
Whether or not you have an attorney, your compensation for a bike accident isn’t just a random number. It’s based on your damages, the harms and losses you suffer that can be economic or non-economic in nature. Some types of damages that commonly arise in a bicycle accident injury claim include:
The economic damages for which you can seek compensation must be documented, and the non-economic damages are calculated based on your story of how the accident has affected your life. Having an experienced Newark bicycle accident lawyer on your side can help you maximize your claim for both types of damages.
Bicycle accident injuries can be catastrophic, but they may also be severe even if they’re not life-threatening. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries our attorneys have seen in our decades of practice include:
Getting top-notch medical care from the get-go allows you the best chance to make the best possible recovery from your injuries. When you have an attorney fighting for your rights, you can rest assured that you will have access to the care you need.
It’s always a good idea to have professional legal help when dealing with a legal matter. That includes bicycle accident injury claims.
Even in cases where insurance coverage is fairly straightforward, bicycle accident victims often have a hard time getting the money they deserve on their own. Insurance companies benefit from paying as little on claims as possible.
Having an attorney makes sure insurance companies take your claim seriously. Our rigorous claim preparation maximizes your payout by showing – with evidence – how severely your injuries have impacted your life. There’s a reason why attorneys get their clients 3.5 times more money, on average, than claimants without an attorney get for themselves.
For more than 25 years, our team of attorneys has practiced bicycle accident law and other types of personal injury law. In fact, we handle personal injury matters exclusively, allowing us to concentrate on cases like yours – so we have plenty of experience anticipating the challenges that could arise in your claim and finding ways to solve them.
When choosing an attorney for a bicycle accident claim, results matter. We have successfully recovered more than $100 million for our clients, so you can rest assured that we will fight for maximum compensation for your claim.
We handle every claim on a no-win, no-fee basis, so there’s never a risk to you. If you don’t get financial compensation through a settlement or award, you owe nothing for our work on your case or the time we put into it. When you do win your case, you will only ever pay a percentage of the money we got for you.
How do you move forward with your bicycle accident claim? It’s as simple as making a phone call.
Getting legal representation starts with a free consultation. You’ll discuss the details of your claim with a knowledgeable legal professional and have the chance to ask any questions you may have. If your case is something we can help with, we will walk you through the paperwork required to officially retain us as your legal representation.
Then we take care of everything: interacting with the insurance companies, gathering your medical records, investigating the accident, filing all legal documents, and more. All you have to do is focus on getting better.
Dealing with a bicycle accident injury is far from easy, but having someone on your side who’s willing to advocate for you and handle the hassle of the legal matter makes it a lot easier.
For your free consultation, call (862) 229-1137 today.
From the moment you hire our Newark bicycle accident lawyers, we get to work. Here’s what you can expect your attorney to do for you:
Whenever you have questions about your legal matter or concerns about your physical recovery and how the accident has affected your life, we’re here to help. Our vast experience handling claims like yours makes us familiar with the range of problems that can arise for bicycle accident victims. Together, we can find solutions to whatever problems are troubling you.
In most situations, bicycle accident victims in NJ have two years to file a lawsuit. This rule is called the statute of limitations.
In some cases, the deadline may be longer – but it can also be a lot shorter.
For minors injured in a bicycle accident, the two-year statute of limitations typically does not begin to run until their 18th birthday. This means they must file their lawsuit by their 20th birthday.
However, if you are suing a government entity, such as a driver who was operating a government vehicle as an employee of the Newark municipal government, your time to take action may be as little as 90 days.
Since the amount of time you have to file a claim isn’t always straightforward – and since it’s easier to conduct a thorough investigation of the crash when the evidence is still fresh – you should make contacting a Newark personal injury lawyer a priority. The sooner you have an attorney advocating for you, the better. Contact Console and Associates P.C. for a free consultation today.
Our Newark, NJ Law office is located at:
Console and Associates, P.C.
494 Broad Street, #208B
Newark, NJ 07102