Practice Areas

Bicycle Accidents


Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you have come to this site, you most likely have had a bicycle accident in New York City. You have questions and need answers. In any type of litigation, one wants to know if they actually have a case. The Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Joel J. Turney specializes in personal injury litigation. We always consider it a privilege to represent a client and our goal is to provide the best guidance and representation possible. If we take a case, we are with you step by step through the process. We are small enough to provide our clients with the day to day counsel they need during the entire legal procedure from the start to an actual settlement, resolution or trial. Our many years of experience with the Courts of New York City and with insurance companies give us the understanding necessary to realistically evaluate, pursue and resolve any bicycle accident case we undertake.

Riding a bicycle in New York City is a fact of life. People not only ride bicycles as a form of exercise but as an attractive method to commuting to work or actually a part of their job throughout the day. Comparatively speaking it can be the most economical means of transportation short of walking in New York City. Furthermore, bicycle sharing has come to New York City. In March 2013, the Transportation Department has said the program will begin with 7,000 bikes at 420 stations with a goal of 10,000 bikes. New York City will have a bicycle-share system which other world class cities already provide.

Whenever there is an increase in a form of transportation there is generally an increase in accidents. Unfortunately, there is already an increase in bicycle related accidents in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island). For instance, 754 crashes involving bicycles and motor vehicles occurred in the last three months of 2011 according to a Department of Transportation Report collected by the NYPD. Jennifer Fermino reported these facts in a June 9, 2012 article in the New York Post. These statistics accounted for 755 cyclist injuries and three cyclist fatalities. Of this data, Brooklyn had the most bicycle accidents reported (285) followed by Manhattan with 229.

Remember, these statistics involve reported accidents for just a three month period.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wants bicycle accidents to be viewed like any other traffic accident or crime and to be documented, not with a short information card but with a full accident report.

The requirement reflects that a bicycle accident victim should receive the same degree of attention that any motor vehicle accident would receive by the responding authorities.

A bicycle accident can be caused from contact with a motor vehicle (being actually hit by the motor vehicle or just colliding with a door being opened by an inattentive passenger or driver); bicycle accidents arise from negligent maintenance of public roadways or negligent maintenance of private property; and finally some accidents arise from a product defect or negligence in the maintenace of the bicycle.

If you or a family member has been involved in a bicycle accident in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island), please contact the Bicycle Accident Law Firm of Joel J. Turney to seek advice and to find out your rights under the Law. Mr. Turney has been in the business of litigation since 1996. He will advise you of the course of action that you should pursue. The clock is always ticking when an bicycle accident occurs. Take a moment to call the office or E-mail for a quick and honest response. You can be assured that you will get the best advice and counsel. There is no fee unless you recover compensation.


New York City is making efforts to make cycling a more user friendly experience. Despite the concerted effort of increased bicycle lanes, and law enforcement in favor to the protection of cyclists, the risk of serious injury navigating the streets of New York unfortunately remains high.

Our firm is committed to representing, protecting and advancing the interests of cyclists that have sustained injury through the negligence of another. Those who have braved the streets of NYC by way of bicycle, all of contributes to making NYC a better place, deserve every protection the law affords.


The most common form of bicycle accident in New York City is motor vehicle related. (hyperlink – Bicycle – Car Crash). Bicycle – Car Crash accidents arise from contact with a moving vehicle or doors being suddenly opened into the path of travel. In a motor vehicle related accident, the cyclist has two potential claims, the first is a No-Fault claim, and the second is a liability bodily injury claim.

The No-Fault claim is a statutory required portion of coverage that the motor vehicles in New York State must provide. No-fault coverage covers necessary medical treatment arising from the accident and a portion of lost earnings.

The bodily injury claim is conditioned upon proving fault, i.e. either a statutory violation that was a substantial factor in the cause of the accident or what is known as common law negligence, which is the failure to exercise reasonable care in the operation of the motor vehicle.

In a bicycle-car crash accident, the cyclist must also prove a serious injury as defined by the No-Fault law. This is commonly known as the “threshold” requirement.

There are also bicycle accidents that arise from involvement of uninsured motor vehicles or hit and run accidents, where there is physical contact with the vehicle and the vehicle flees the scene of the accident and remains unidentified. (Hyperlink – Bicycle – Hit and Run Accident).


Another category of bicycle accident in New York City arises from defective and dangerous conditions in the roadway. (Hyperlink – Defective Roadway Accidents). The City of New York is generally responsible for the maintenance of the roadways. In order to have a valid claim against the City of New York for a defective roadway type of accident, the cyclist must prove that there was an unreasonably dangerous condition that was a cause of the accident, and that the City, by its agents actually created the condition or had what is known as prior written notice of the condition (at least 15 days prior to the occurrence).

Other defective roadway type of accidents arise from the negligence of entities other than the City of New York in the maintenance of “special uses” of the roadway, such as manhole covers, gratings or other structural uses of the roadway. In this type of case, there is an affirmative obligation to maintain the area immediately surrounding the “special use.” Other common type of roadway accidents are caused by the negligent placement of construction plates, either significant gaps, or the failure to properly ramp the edges, both of which can cause serious bicycle accidents.

When involved in a defective roadway type of accident, there is no first party medical coverage such as No-Fault benefits. Therefore, medical bills would have to be covered by whatever first party medical insurance that the cyclist may have. Due to the fact that the bicyclist did not have the benefit of No-Fault coverage, there is no corresponding serious injury requirement for the liability bodily injury claim.


Needless to say, cyclist traveling faster than pedestrians and not having the surrounding protection of a motor vehicle, are very much exposed to the multiple dangers and corresponding risk of injury.

Unfortunately, there is a degree of prejudice that insurance companies as well as juries often attempt to assign to a cyclist in a claim involving injury. This is the simple fact that few adjusters and for that matter few jurors that actually preside over a case ride bicycles in New York City. This has changed over time and the public perception has improved. Even though the doctrine of assumption of risk does not apply to bicycle accidents, this is a prejudice that an attorney representing a cyclist must appreciate and make all efforts to remove in the successful handling of bicycle injury related case.


Bicycle Accident Lawyer

The first and obvious thing to do is to get your self to a point of safety. Try and obtain an assessment of the extent of your injuries. Have someone call 911 for emergency assistance, which should include the police and an ambulance if necessary. Ask people around to see if there are any witnesses. If so, please try and obtain their name and phone number. Do not engage in significant conversations with the other person involved. Do try to obtain relevant photos.

It is imperative that the police arrive to document the occurrence, obtain the proper insurance information and respective versions of the accident. Even in a roadway defect accident it is important for the police to document the cause and location of the accident.

We had a recent case in our office involving a metal plate that was not properly secured. Due to the fact that the police were called to the scene and the particular police report documented the condition that was the cause of the accident in a rather detailed manner, we were able to settle the case in the very early stages as soon as the client reached maximum medical improvement. Otherwise, without the police report, the case (still would have been a case without the report) would have to have been taken through full discovery including depositions of all parties in order for the carrier to have a basis for liability assessment.

Obtain emergency room treatment to make sure that all injuries are treated and stable. Very often in a bicycle crash, the rider is in a state of shock with significant amounts of adrenalin running though their system. This often makes it difficult to determine the extent of injury.

After receiving Emergency Room treatment it is important to follow up with a qualified and appropriate medical personnel to treat your injuries and document the problems that you are experiencing.

Often times, especially in a motor vehicle related bicycle crash, the insurance company for the vehicle involved will contact you to try and obtain your version of events. The adjusters or investigators from the insurance company are working to get a favorable version or often times spin of the facts of the occurrence in their favor in an effort to minimize their financial exposure.

You are better off not speaking with the insurance company until you have at least sought the advice of counsel.

After you have stabilized your injury, this is often the best time to reach out for representation.

Our firm will make sure that all your questions are answered. We will make sure that you have a complete understanding of how your medical bills will be paid. We will make an appointment to come to you at a time that is convenient for you. We will contact the insurance company on your behalf. We will conduct the initial investigation into the cause of the occurrence. We will gather your medical records directly from your providers and commence your case as soon as beneficial to your particular situation.



Be assured that the Law Office of Joel J. Turney values each and every case that is accepted and we will pursue our client’s best interest with diligence, honesty and without compromise.

Our firm is committed to representing, protecting and advancing the interests of anyone who has sustained significant injury arising from a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another.

Please contact our office to learn all the aspects involved in your situation. There is no obligation, and of course the consultation is free. Do not hesitate to call.

What is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth?

Contact The Law Office of Joel J. Turney, LLC today and find out what your case is worth. Call (212) 840-7000 or submit this form for a FREE case evaluation.