The NYC Bicyclist Landscape
New York City has a lot of bicyclists and a lot of bicyclist accidents. A City Traffic Report says 793,000 people are regular bicyclists, and there are 493,000 bike rides every day. More people seem to be riding their bikes since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Between March 9 and March 15, bike injuries increased 43% according to Streetsblog, and NYPD's own stats tell us that between August 24 and August 30 there were 584 bike accidents. Some of these accidents were the result of colliding with an MTA bus. On September 3rd, ABC7 Eyewitness News reported a cyclist was killed after being hit and dragged a whole block before the bus driver stopped the vehicle.
How Do Cyclist Accidents Happen?
They may result from the cyclist own actions. In the ABC7 report, it seems the cyclist ran a red light, but in many instances the fault lies with the bus driver or the MTA itself. Common reasons for the cause of these accidents include:
- Distracted, or tired driver.
- Unsafe driver actions such as speeding.
- Poorly trained driver who does not handle the vehicle well.
- Vehicle problems.
- Hazardous driving conditions.
- A third party action where both the bus driver and cyclist are involved through no fault of their own.
What Should You Do if You Are Involved in an Accident With an MTA Bus?
If you are able to, you should:
- Remain at the Scene until police or other first responders arrive, then follow their instructions.
- Document everything as soon as you are able.
- Take driver and bus id details.
- Photograph as much as possible, the impact site, property damage, etc.
- Seek eye-witness accounts, record them, and collect witness contact details
- If witnesses will permit you to, video record their statement on your phone.
- Give a detailed account of what happened to the police officer who attends the scene of the accident.
- Tell the officer you will visit an ER for a physical assessment unless an ambulance on the scene makes that decision for you. Always seek a medical examination. Adrenalin runs high and it may suppress and feeling of pain, etc.
What Are the Legal Practicalities of an Accident with an MTA Bus?
The City has a duty of care to the public, it is responsible, therefore, for training its drivers properly, assuring their safe and legal performance on the streets, and for properly repairing and maintaining their bus fleet. If you believe you may have a claim against the MTA, there are steps to follow and standards to work to. Because of this it is always advisable to seek legal advice for an experienced and successful NYC law firm. Simply speaking, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will investigate. You, the victim, should arrange for your own investigation to prepare for the legal case. Victims:
- Are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, property damage, medical bills, lost income, emotional distress, future care needs, etc.
- Must show the driver or the MTA, itself, is at fault in some way.
- Must follow all legal protocols and submit a correct and detailed claim within 90 days.
- Wait for the MTA's response, which it will do within the next 30 days.
- Arrange for a pre-lawsuit hearing if appropriate.
- Arrange for legal representation should the case go to court.
A bicyclist/MTA bus accident may have minor, serious or lethal results. The claim process is well established and the protocols must be followed. For this reason it is essential to seek legal advice from an experienced law firm. If you would like to contact us to ask questions or to arrange an initial consultation, please click here.