A cyclist traveling in the bike lane on Greenpoint Avenue in Queens was struck and injured by a speeding grey van, that veered directly into the bike lane, rear-ending the cyclist, throwing him onto the roadway, as reported by the Daily News. The driver of the van, rather than stopping and rendering aid, chose to drive off, leaving the cyclist injured and screaming in pain on the road. The entire incident was captured on a GoPro, clearly revealing the careless, reckless, and uncaring actions of the driver of the grey van. Another cyclist stopped and rendered aid to the injured victim.
The driver of the van was so out of control that several vehicles were hit before rear-ending the cyclist, and several more when the driver was fleeing the scene of the accident. One of the factors in this accident was the fact that the bike lane, rather than being at the side, was between two lanes of traffic – a very dangerous situation at the best of times. Cyclists are known to complain that this particular bike lane, sandwiched between two driving lanes, is a death trap.
Bike riders in the NYC area are well aware of the dangers inherent in cycling, as New York’s staggering number of bicycle accidents have been extensively reported in the media. The cycling deaths in NYC have doubled in a year. While city leaders and planners are working on making the streets safer for cyclists, the problem is unresolved – of particular concern since the numbers of cyclists continue to rise.
Hit and Run Accidents and Cyclists – What About Liability?
While in this case, it is clear who is at fault – the hit and run driver. An injured cyclist would ordinarily have the option to seek compensation from the responsible driver, but when the driver flees the scene, what can be done? In many cases, drivers who illegally flee the scene of an accident do so because they are drunk, drug-impaired, or have committed another crime, are in possession of drugs, and want to avoid being questioned by police.
It may appear to be impossible to recover damages in such a case, but there are options to help you seek compensation for damages to cover your losses. Under New York law, all drivers are required to carry some level of PIP (personal injury protection) coverage. If you were injured by a hit and run driver while riding a bike, this coverage might help you pay for the costs of medical treatment and care.
Apprehending the Negligent Driver
Law enforcement will be aggressively seeking the driver of the grey van, who may, in the end, be identified and arrested. If that driver was insured, a claim can be filed to seek to recover damages.
Another aspect that may be fruitful is looking into the safety of the street or bike lane. In the current case, the bike lane is particularly dangerous for cyclists, as it was put between two lanes of moving vehicular traffic. In some cases, it is possible to file a claim against the city, county, or state agency responsible for maintaining safe roadways. The bicyclist, in this case, was unlucky enough to be legally riding in the bike lane but sharing the road with a vehicle operator who hit several vehicles both before and after injuring the cyclist, and who was obviously out of control.
Talk to a Lawyer, Fast.
If you or a loved one was injured by a motorist while riding a bike in NYC, you need immediate legal help. The team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP has ten firm members listed as Super Lawyers, and the firm has achieved a reputation for excellence in personal injury law. Call (212) 986-7353 to connect with us – we take our duty to our clients very seriously and will pursue every avenue through which compensation could be recovered in a bicycle hit and run.