Over the past decade or so, cities across the US have seen an explosion in cycling popularity. City dwellers have discovered that commuting by bike can save time, money, and help reduce pollution. Many cities have responded by creating special bike lanes for cyclists. However, many drivers in Queens and surrounding boroughs have yet to adjust to this growing trend.
The fast-paced and congested nature of New York City traffic presents several risks for our city’s cyclists. It’s important for all cyclists to respect the rules of the road and keep safety in mind at all times. But even the safest and most responsible cyclists are regularly injured due to the negligence of someone else.
Preventable Cyclist Deaths Plague New York City
NYC cyclist deaths have been on the rise since 2015, with a 25% spike in incidents between 2015-2016. In 2017, this trend has continued.
2 Fatal Cycling Accidents Within One Week In Chelsea
Two separate fatal cycling accidents occurred in Manhattan’s Chelsea district within one week in June of 2017.
The first accident involved a 36-year-old cyclist who was struck by a charter bus at about 8:15 AM, Monday morning. The cyclist was using the bike-share service Citi Bike, and this was the first fatal accident involving this company.
Saturday of the same week, an 80-year-old cyclist was also struck by a charter bus in Chelsea. This case is still being investigated to determine if criminal charges are necessary. This marked the sixth cyclist death in New York City for 2017.
Elderly Cyclist Dies 10 Days After Being Doored
In May of 2017, a 74-year-old cyclist died 10 days after being struck by a car door. The car’s passenger failed to check the rear-view mirror before opening the door, which struck and severely injured the elderly woman.
The woman was brought to Bellevue Hospital, but passed away from her injuries.
The car’s driver received a summons for discharging a passenger in the bike lane.
Husband Of Fatal Cycling Accident Victim Sues The City
In July of 2017, the husband of fatal cycling accident victim Olga Cook filed a lawsuit for failure to address safety issues at the intersection where Cook was killed last year. The husband, Travis Maclean, is suing the Hudson River Park Trust, alleging that the accident was caused by a “lack of proper design, signage, as well as negligent construction, design, installation and maintenance of the roadway and traffic control device” at the intersection where the accident occurred.
16 other cyclists were injured at the same crossing between August 2012 and October 2016. All other victims survived, but the safety issues were never addressed. Following this latest accident, the city’s Department of Transportation has begun planning for safety improvements at the intersection.
How Can Families Seek Justice?
There’s no way to prepare yourself for losing a loved one in a preventable cycling accident. The emotional turmoil can be completely debilitating, and you may feel frustrated or angry with the personal responsible for your loved one’s death. During this difficult time, you may also be facing financial struggles related to the fatal accident.
While criminal charges are sometimes filed for fatal bicycle accidents, the criminal court system does little to compensate the families of victims. This is where the civil court system comes in handy. A wrongful death lawsuit provide the financial assistance your family needs and hold negligent parties responsible for causing the accident.
For those who survived their accident, a personal injury lawsuit can also provide financial compensation and demand accountability from those responsible.
To learn more about your options, contact Lipsig Queens today for a free consultation.