New York Bicycle Accident Lawyer


For over 50 years, our tenacious and knowledgeable attorneys at Spar & Bernstein have been representing clients in personal injury cases, including bicycle accidents, to secure fair compensation, offer legal expertise and provide emotional support.


If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a bike accident, our New York bicycle accident lawyers will research your case, identify the liable parties, negotiate economic or non-economic damages and if needed, represent you in court.

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The most common accidents involving bicycles include:

  • Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles, such as a bus or a truck
  • Bicycle accidents involving other cyclists
  • E-bike accidents
  • Hit-and-run accidents
  • Car door accidents
  • Sideswipe accidents


New York Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations defines that after a bicycle accident in New York, you have three (3) years to submit a personal injury claim. After this period, you are no longer eligible to seek compensation for your bike accident injuries.

If you are filing a claim against a municipality or a government agency, you must do so within one year and 90 days from the date of the bicycle accident. The first step in this process is to submit a Notice of a Claim within 90 days after the accident.

Comparative Negligence

The Comparative Negligence Law in New York states that everyone can seek compensation for a bicycle accident injury, regardless of the extent to which they contributed to the accident. If they are found at fault, their compensation will be decreased by the percentage of their fault.

Opening And Closing Vehicle Doors (NY Veh & Traf L § 1214)

This law states that motor vehicle drivers or passengers must check for approaching cyclists and pedestrians before opening vehicle doors, to minimize the risk of hurting them.

Drivers to Exercise Due Care (NY Veh & Traf L § 1146)

This law states that drivers must drive safely to avoid colliding with cyclists and use their horn to signal their presence. Typically, this means giving a cyclist the right of way to prevent an accident. Disobeying this law and causing an injury to a cyclist can result in a fine, jail time or driver’s license suspension.

NY Veh & Traf L § 1120 & NY Veh & Traf L § 1122

These laws state that all motorists must drive on the right side of the road. If a motorist wants to pass a cyclist, the motorist must move to the left. If safe, the motorist must also increase their speed to pass the cyclist, ensuring enough distance between the two.


The parties that can be held responsible for this bike accident include negligent drivers, negligent drivers’ employers, transit companies, manufacturers of faulty vehicle or bike components, government agencies or pedestrians.


New York is a no-fault state. This means that if an accident occurs, your medical bills, lost wages and in-house help expenses will be covered by your auto insurance or homeowner policies.

In addition, after a bike accident, you can seek compensation for different types of damages, such as:

Pain And Suffering

You can file a claim or launch a lawsuit against the driver who caused your injuries, in order to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.

Property Damage

If your bike was damaged as a result of the accident, you can seek compensation for property damage.

Wrongful Death

You have the right to file a claim and seek compensation for wrongful death if the bicycle accident resulted in the loss of a loved one.

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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In New York?

The most common causes of bicycle accidents in New York include: 

  • Speeding 
  • Running a stop sign 
  • Being distracted while driving 
  • Being drunk while driving 
  • Taking an unsafe turn 
  • Opening a car door in the way of a cyclist 
  • Failure to leave enough distance between the vehicle and the bicycle 
  • Failure to yield the right of way 
  • Crossing an intersection at a yellow light 
  • Cycling against the traffic 
  • Cycling at night 
  • Road defects 
  • Missing bike infrastructure, such as bike lanes or barriers 

What Are The Most Common Types Of Bicycle Accident Cases In New York?

The most common types of bicycle accident cases in New York include: 

What Is A Dooring Accident?

A dooring accident, also known as car dooring or simply dooring, occurs when a driver or a passenger opens the door of a motor vehicle and hits a cyclist. 

What Are The Most Common Injuries In A Bicycle Accident?

The most common injuries in a bicycle accident include: 

  • Fractures 
  • Back and neck injuries 
  • Chest injuries 
  • Head injuries and concussions 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 
  • Spinal cord injuries 
  • Soft tissue injuries 
  • Organ damage 
  • Amputations 
  • Paralysis 
  • Wrongful death 

What Compensation Can I File For After A Bicycle Accident Injury?

After a bicycle accident injury, you can claim compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Household services expenses
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage

Can I Insure My Bicycle In New York?

Bike insurance can keep you covered against theft of or damage to your bike or bike equipment. However, in most cases this insurance policy does not cover the physical injuries you may suffer as a result of an accident with a motor vehicle or another cyclist. 

Talk to our experienced bicycle attorneys at Spar & Bernstein to determine what compensation you can claim under: 

  • Your auto insurance 
  • Your homeowner’s policy 
  • Your additional bike insurance 

What Should I Do After A Bicycle Accident?

After a bicycle accident in New York: 

  • Call 911 to seek medical attention 
  • Unless you need to be urgently transported to the hospital, do not leave the accident area until the police arrive 
  • If your condition allows, take pictures and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, the damage to the property and the position of the vehicles  
  • Collect information about the precinct and the police officers on the scene and make sure you get a copy of the accident report 
  • Collect the insurance details of the parties involved in the accident 
  • Write down the contact details of witnesses 
  • Refrain from posting information about the accident on social media, as this can harm your case 
  • Speak to a knowledgeable bicycle attorney 

Is It Mandatory To Wear A Helmet When Cycling In New York?

According to the New York Department of Transportation: 

  • Adults are not mandated to wear a helmet when cycling 
  • Riders and bike passengers under the age of 14 must wear safety certified bicycle helmets  
  • Children between 1 and 4 years of age must be transported in child safety seats specifically designed for bicycles and wear a helmet 
  • Children under 1 year of age must not be transported by bike 

Parents or guardians who break these laws risk a fine of $50. 

Note that certain New York communities require all cyclists, regardless of their age, to wear a helmet. 

What Should I Do If I Was Involved In A Hit-And-Run Accident While Riding A Bike?

If you suffered injuries on a bike in a hit-and-run accident: 

  • Write down the license plate number of the vehicle that hit you 
  • Call 911 and provide as much information as you are able to remember, including details about the accident location, the driver and the vehicle  
  • Check whether you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) liability coverage to cover your medical bills if police are unable to locate or identify the driver responsible for the accident 
  • Contact the knowledgeable bicycle accident attorneys at Spar & Bernstein 

Do I Need To File A Lawsuit After A Bike Accident?

It is up to you to decide if you want to file a lawsuit. Typically, the majority of bicycle accidents claims are resolved without the need for a trial, with your personal injury attorney negotiating fair compensation with the insurance company of the other party. 

Contact our bicycle attorneys at Spar & Bernstein to schedule a free initial consultation and discuss your case.  

How Soon After A Bicycle Accident Should I File A Lawsuit Against The Municipality Or A Government Agency In New York?

To file a lawsuit against the municipality or a government agency after a bicycle accident in New York, you must: 

  • Submit a Notice of Claim within 90 days after the accident 
  • File a lawsuit within one year and 90 days after the accident 

Does The Statute Of Limitations Apply To Me If I Suffered A Bicycle Accident As A Minor?

If you were a minor when your bicycle accident occurred, the statute of limitations applies only after you turn 18. 

Are Bicycle Accidents Common In New York?

With 773,000 New Yorkers riding a bike several times a month, 530,000 cycling trips daily and 1,375 lane miles of bike lanes, bicycle accidents are quite common in the city. In 2018 alone, there were 18,718 bicycle accidents in New York. 

How Can I Minimize The Chance Of A Bicycle Accident When Riding A Bike?

To minimize the chance of a bicycle accident while riding your bike: 

  • Ensure your bicycle is the right size for your height 
  • Check your brakes 
  • Use lights during the day and a headlight during the night 
  • Wear a helmet regardless of whether the law allows you to ride a bike without one 
  • Hold the handlebars with both hands 
  • Don’t speed 
  • Don’t wear headphones that may impact your perception of traffic noise, approaching vehicles, sirens, traffic horns or people yelling 
Experienced Leader in Immigration and Injury Law

Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.

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