People often think bike riding is something to do for fun in your spare time. For many, a bicycle is an important piece of transportation equipment, and it might be their only way of getting around town.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible. Many bike accidents are caused by negligent drivers who have trouble sharing the road, and you can sue the driver or drivers that caused the collision. If those drivers were employees on duty – like a taxi driver – you can often sue their employer as well. To win your case, you must have evidence to support your claims. Photos, videos, witness statements, and more are all helpful.
Bike accident survivors are often severely injured and left with expensive medical bills and other damages. Our Newark, NJ bicycle accident lawyers can help you get compensation so you can recover in peace. For a free case evaluation, call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.
Typical Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Newark, NJ
Negligent drivers commonly cause bicycle accidents in a few different ways.
Not Looking Out for Bikes
Drivers are required to share the road with bike riders, but they often disregard them. This makes drivers who fail to look out for bike riders a common cause of bike accidents. Bicycles are small and easily hidden in a driver’s blind spot. If a driver fails to check for bike riders when making a turn or changing lanes, they might cause a collision.
Another common cause of bike accidents is distracted driving. It is a driver’s legal duty to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances, which implies being attentive. Distractions like cell phones, radios, and passengers can lead to dangerous bicycle accidents.
Dooring accidents tend to happen when bicycle lanes run alongside parking lanes or when cars parked in a bike lane force bikers to go around them. For example, a driver stopped in a parking lane might throw their car door open to exit their vehicle without checking if anyone is in the bike lane next to them. Sometimes, this causes bike riders to crash into the open door.
Not Sharing the Road
In other cases, bike accidents happen because drivers refuse to share the road. Drivers sometimes become frustrated with bike riders because they are slower than cars. Drivers sometimes try to pass bike riders quickly but end up sideswiping them or crashing into them. This is more common on roads with no bike lane where cars must share lanes with bike riders.
Who You Can Sue After a Bicycle Accident in Newark, NJ
A significant detail in your bike accident lawsuit is deciding whom to sue. This is a simple decision for many plaintiffs, especially if only one driver was involved in the collision. For others, the identity of the defendant might be less clear. In any case, our Newark, NJ bicycle accident lawyers can help you file your case against the correct defendant.
Of course, you can sue the driver of the car that hit you. After an accident, drivers should immediately stop, call for help, and exchange information with the person they hit. As such, many bike riders already have the name and information of their defendant before they file their lawsuit. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the law. If you were struck in a hit and run accident, you might not know the defendant’s identity. In such a case, we must wait for the police to investigate and hopefully turn up the defendant so we can sue.
In bike accidents involving heavy traffic, there might be multiple drivers responsible for the accident. For example, if Driver A rear-ends Driver B, causing Driver B to lurch forward and hit you while you were stopped at a red light, both drivers can be named as defendants. Responsibility for the accident might not be evenly split, but all responsible parties must pay their share of compensation.
You can even sue a drivers’ employer in some cases. If the defendant was driving as part of their job, like a bus or taxi driver, you can often sue their employer for the employee’s negligence. However, this is not always possible if the driver was correctly deemed an independent contractor because independent contractors are not legally considered employees. For example, Uber and Lyft drivers are not considered “employees” of the ridesharing companies, so you usually sue the driver instead of Uber or Lyft.
Evidence Needed for a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Newark, NJ
Building a solid case requires evidence. Your evidence will depend on the circumstances of your case, such as where and how your bicycle accident occurred. Our Newark, NJ bicycle accident lawyers can help you identify pertinent evidence and use it to your advantage.
Photos and videos recorded immediately after the accident can help reconstruct the scene for a judge and jury. Photographic evidence can be especially helpful because accidents scenes are often cleaned up rather quickly. While you could describe the accident scene to the jury, it is more effective to show it.
Your bike can also be used as a piece of physical evidence. If there are discrepancies between your story of events and the defendant’s, your bike can shed some light on the situation. By examining the damage to your bike, we can more effectively show the accident’s severity and how the crash occurred. A mangled bicycle helps show a jury that your accident was very serious, especially when the defendant is downplaying the situation.
Even without physical or photographic evidence, we can rely on witness statements and testimony. People who saw the accident happen, such as other drivers on the road or pedestrians walking by, can testify about what they saw. If you are unsure if there were any witnesses to your accident, we can check the police report. The police might have spoken to witnesses during their investigation of the accident and included their information in the report.
Contact Our Newark, NJ Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Assistance
After a bicycle accident, you might be in for a long road to recovery. Meanwhile, the costs of your accident continue to mount. Our Newark, NJ bicycle accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Call Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769 for a free case review.