Citi Bike has become a popular way to get around the five boroughs of New York City. Unfortunately, as the use of Citi Bikes becomes more common, the number of accidents in connection with this form of transportation is increasing. If you were injured in a Citi Bike accident, it’s important to be aware that you may be entitled to recover compensation for your monetary losses and pain and suffering by filing a personal injury action.
Liability in Citi Bike Accidents
Determining liability in a Citi Bike accident depends upon the specific facts and circumstances of the case. Critically, to recover compensation for your injuries, another party’s negligence must have caused them. In most bicycle crashes, there are a few parties whom you might be able to name in a personal injury lawsuit. Potentially liable parties can include the following:
- Citi Bike — Citi Bike is typically not responsible for accidents involving their bicycles unless it arose due to a defect in the equipment or a faulty part. If the bicycle Citi Bike rented to you wasn’t safe or in good working order, the company may be liable for your injuries.
- A motorist — In most bicycle accidents, the motorist who struck the victim is the party who should be held accountable for any resulting injuries. For instance, if a driver hit a cyclist because they were texting, distracted, or driving under the influence, they may be held liable for their negligence.
- The City of New York — The City does not own or operate Citi Bike. It only grants an exclusive franchise to the company and would not be liable for most accidents involving the use of the bikes. However, if the accident was caused by a hazard or defect in the road that the City had notice of and failed to remedy, it may be held accountable for the victim’s injuries.
- A pedestrian — Sometimes, a pedestrian might be to blame for a Citi Bike accident. If they did not have the right of way or weren’t paying attention to where they were walking, a cyclist may have to swerve unexpectedly to avoid them. If they are injured as a result, the pedestrian may be sued in a personal injury lawsuit for their negligence.
A defendant in a Citi Bike accident might attempt to shift the blame to the victim in an attempt to avoid liability. Importantly, New York follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this rule, a plaintiff in a personal injury case can recover their damages whether they were 99% at fault or were not to blame at all. The amount of compensation would be reduced in proportion with their percentage of negligence.
Compensation for Citi Bike Accidents
A bicycle crash can be a serious matter — and your injuries may require extensive medical treatment and time out of work. No-fault insurance may cover up to $50,000 of your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. However, this usually isn’t adequate to cover the full extent of your injuries. In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. In doing so, you may be entitled to recover your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are meant to compensate for things such as unreimbursed medical expenses, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs incurred by the accident. Non-economic damages (which are also referred to as pain and suffering damages) are meant to compensate for the physical pain, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life suffered by a victim.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident while riding a Citi Bike, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney immediately who can fight for your right for compensation. A skilled personal injury attorney can help ensure you obtain the maximum amount of monetary recovery available for your injuries. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in bicycle accidents and securing substantial verdicts and settlements in their cases.
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, Rockland County, and on Long Island in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Contact us for a consultation.