Can I Sue if I Was Partially at Fault for My Bicycle Accident?
You can still sue if you were partially at fault for your bicycle accident because New York operates under the pure comparative negligence doctrine. Under this, you can file a lawsuit to collect damages for a bicycle accident as long as you were not 100 percent at fault. In other words, even if you were 99 percent responsible for the crash, you can still file a claim and receive financial compensation.
The total amount of damages you incur will be reduced in proportion to your fault in the accident. If you file a lawsuit and it goes all the way to trial, then the judge or jury will decide how to allocate fault. For example, if you suffer $1 million worth of damages due to the injuries you incurred in the accident, but you were found 25 percent responsible for the crash, then you would receive $750,000. Similarly, if you were found to be 90 percent at fault in that same accident, you would still collect $100,000. As you can see, it is still very much worth consulting with an attorney and considering pursuing a claim even if you shared some– or even most of– the responsibility for the crash.
In bicycle accident cases where both parties may share some of the blame, our attorneys at Douglas and London strongly advise that you consult with an experienced NYC bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. They will immediately begin investigating your case, ensuring that you meet all deadlines, speaking to potential eyewitnesses or experts regarding the details of your accident and injuries. Further, they will communicate on your behalf with the insurance company and opposing counsel.
Bicycle accident victims who decide to go it alone find that– especially because they may have been partially responsible– any settlement offers they receive from the insurance company are much lower than what their case may be worth. The insurance company’s primary objective is to minimize the amount of your financial recovery.
However, by hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in New York, you send a clear message to the insurance company that lowball settlement offers will be a waste of time. They will also understand that you are now prepared to take your case to trial to achieve a fair outcome. Because of that, the insurance company will become much more likely to extend a fair settlement offer to you.
Injuries resulting from bicycle accidents are often serious. There are a number of potential causes for bicycle crashes, but here are some of the common ones:
- Intersection accidents, which are often caused by motor vehicles drivers who did not see the bicyclist.
- Getting “doored,” which is when motor vehicle occupants negligently open their doors and hit you while you ride your bicycle next to parked cars.
- When automobile drivers fail to respect bike lanes by using them to pass another vehicle, they may accidentally strike you or cause you to crash in the process.
- Accidents in parking lots where motor vehicles are conditioned to watch out for other vehicles but may not look as carefully for bicycles.
At Douglas and London, our attorneys have been fighting for justice for injured victims for nearly two decades. We refuse to let the insurance company push our clients around and have recovered more than $18 billion on behalf of our clients.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident where you may have been partially responsible, call Douglas and London today to book a zero-cost case review. We will not charge you anything unless you win your case.