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Safety Risks Faced by New York City Delivery Cyclists


Delivery cyclists have some of the most hazardous jobs in New York City. On a daily basis, they face numerous safety risks as they deliver food, documents, and goods on bicycles. Heavy traffic, reckless drivers, poor road conditions, bad weather, and inattentive pedestrians are just a few of the dangers delivery workers and couriers regularly encounter.

Unfortunately, when a delivery cyclist or courier is in an accident, they can suffer catastrophic injuries, or even fatality. Unlike car crash victims, cyclists are not protected by the steel frame of a large vehicle. As a result, these types of accidents often cause lifelong debilitation and disability. 

If you are a delivery worker who has been hurt on the job, you have options. You may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for your economic and non-economic damages.       

Causes of NYC Bike Accidents

There are a wide variety of reasons biking accidents can occur. No matter how safely a courier travels, they cannot control the conditions of the road or the driving behaviors of others. Some of the common causes of NYC delivery cyclist accidents include:

  • Speeding — Delivery cyclists are at risk of being struck by drivers who are speeding in and out of city traffic.
  • Failure to observe — If a driver or pedestrian fails to notice a delivery cyclist on the street or at an intersection, an accident can happen.
  • Dooring — Dooring occurs when a motorist opens a vehicle door in front of an oncoming cyclist.
  • Driver distraction — When a driver is distracted by their cell phone, passengers, eating, or adjusting the radio, the chance of a collision with a delivery worker increases.
  • Failure to yield — Motorists often fail to see cyclists turning or changing lanes, increasing the chances of a collision.
  • Potholes and road defects —Cracks, debris, potholes, and uneven pavement are a few examples of dangerous road conditions that can lead to delivery cyclist accidents.
  • Weather conditions — Ice, rain, and snow can be hazardous for couriers as they make their deliveries.

If another driver’s negligence caused the accident, a delivery cyclist may be entitled to compensation by pursuing a personal injury action. Depending on the circumstances, there can be several parties who may be liable for a delivery worker’s injuries. 

For instance, if the accident arose due to dangerous road conditions, the municipality may be responsible if they knew about the hazard but failed to repair it. In addition, a manufacturer might be held accountable under a theory of product liability if a defect in the bicycle caused the accident.   

Compensation for Delivery Cyclist Injuries

Obtaining compensation for a biking accident can be complex. Generally, delivery cyclists and couriers are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits because they are usually classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Some delivery workers may be offered occupational accident insurance coverage through the app or platform under which they obtain their assignments. Regardless, this may not provide enough monetary recovery in the event of a severe injury.

If a delivery cyclist is injured in an accident, they may be able to obtain compensation for their economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses by filing a personal injury lawsuit. They might also be eligible to secure monetary compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced in connection with the accident.    

Contact a New York Personal Injury Attorney

There are strict statutes of limitation that apply when bringing a personal injury action for a delivery cyclist accident. If a municipality is a party in the lawsuit, that timeframe is even shorter. It’s best to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options. 

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has provided reliable legal services and representation to accident victims in New York for more than three decades. We are here to review the specific facts of your case and talk to you about the most beneficial course of action.

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.