The Hidden Danger for Cyclists on NYC Streets

If you’re a dedicated cyclist in New York City, you’ve no doubt worried about car doors swinging open unexpectedly or car and truck drivers drifting into your bike lane without looking.

And you’re right to worry about such scenarios, as they are some of the most common ways local cyclists get hurt or even killed.

Yet there is another area of concern that all local cyclists should consider — a danger that is low to the ground, and not always high profile: Damaged and streets in disrepair.

The Hidden Risks of the Road

Damaged and roadway disrepair come in many forms. They may feature treacherous potholes, loose grates or manhole covers, misaligned or crumbling paving, construction debris and more. If a cyclist is riding along at 15 or 20 MPH, striking a pothole head on can lead to a violent accident, with the cyclist being flung over the handlebars and the front wheel crumpling.

If you’ve been injured in such circumstances, it may be possible to be compensated through the legal system. For this reason, it’s important that you know the law.

How the Law Apples to Damaged Street Injuries

If you’re injured in a pothole scenario such as the one we’ve outlined above, you may be able to successfully sue for your injuries and any property damages that occurred. Doing so, however, typically requires that you establish that the city had prior knowledge of the defect or that the city “affirmatively” caused and created the hazardous condition.

In cases where a utility or a private company is responsible for the road or the road hazard, different legal analysis and criteria may apply. For example, under New York rules and regulations, utilities, private companies and quasi-governmental bodies may have mandated duties for the proper maintenance of roads and construction equipment.

Should a private company or utility fail to adhere to local code regulating the placement and maintenance of street gratings, plates or other hardware, they may be deemed to have breached their duty of care and it may be possible to sue for damages if an accident occurs as a result of the breach of duty.

Why an Experienced Attorney is Important

The rules and codes governing street hardware are quite complex. This means that it is essential for an injured party to consult with an experienced attorney.

At the Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of injured persons for more than 40 years. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (212) 888-5100 or at All plaintiff accident and injury cases which are accepted for representation are on a contingency basis which means that there will be no attorneys fee unless successful. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we can arrange for a free consultation by Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Please feel free to give us a call.

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