Motorcycle Accidents

New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcyclists that get into serious motor vehicle accidents have a higher risk of receiving a life-threatening injury. This is mainly because motorcycles are much smaller vehicles that don’t have a carriage to protect the driver, unlike cars. In 2019 alone, 5,014 motorcyclists died in accidents due to car crashes. After a collision in New York, a motorcyclist could be dealing with severe injuries that take months, or even years, to recover from. 

When the motorcyclist isn’t at fault for their accident, the accident victim needs to receive proper representation from motorcycle accident attorneys who have the resources and skills required to obtain fair compensation from the responsible party. Proving that the other party is responsible for the motorcycle accident in New York, requires experience, a proven success rate, and reliable evidence. To find out more about how an NYC motorcycle accident lawyer can help you obtain a fair settlement, reach out to a driven team that can provide guidance. For a free consultation, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP in New York City. 

Motorcycle accident

How Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Occur?

There are several ways an accident caused by another driver can cause serious injuries. Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents in New York: 

Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes 

When drivers make a left turn at a green light, they may accidentally miss a motorcyclist approaching from oncoming traffic and collide with them. Motorcycles are much smaller vehicles than cars and are sometimes hard to see for drivers. In this case, the driver would be at fault for hitting the motorcycle even if they were following  New York traffic laws. 

Head-On Collision Motorcycle Crashes

Drivers can hit a motorcyclist head-on, so the front of the car strikes the bike at speed. This can cause the motorcyclist to get thrown off their bike, hitting the car’s windshield. After the initial impact with the car, motorcyclists can hit the pavement and suffer catastrophic injuries. 

Blind Spot Motorcycle Crashes 

It is easy for a motorcyclist to get in a blind spot and go unnoticed by a driver. Because cars and trucks are much larger vehicles, drivers might not see a motorcycle if it is in their blind spot. This can cause problems when the car switches lanes, as it could hit an unsuspecting motorcyclist. The driver may not even signal, leaving the motorcyclist little time to slow down or stop before they get hit. 

Side Impact Motorcycle Crash

Also known as side-impact collisions, t-bone accidents happen when a car smashes into a motorcycle from the side. This type of accident commonly occurs when the driver runs a red light or heads into an intersection when they don’t have the right of way. Common injuries that occur because of this type of crash include broken bones or fractures in the motorcyclist’s legs.

Sideswipe Motorcycle Crash

Another way New York car accidents happen is when a motorcyclist and driver are side-by-side and collide. When merging into a new lane, a driver may not notice that the biker is in the lane beside them. This can cause the biker to bump into the car and cause the motorcyclist to lose balance and control. 

Rear-End Motorcycle Crash 

When a car drives too close to the back of a motorcycle, it can rear-end the rider. This can force the biker to lose control of their motorcycle or knock them off their vehicle. Drivers rear-end motorcyclists when they’re speeding, driving aggressively, or not paying attention in heavy New York traffic. 

In general, a majority of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections due to poor attentiveness. Around 70% of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections because a driver doesn’t give a rider the right of way. 

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in New York City

Motorcyclists are at risk of severe injuries that can be debilitating and life-changing. That is why you should always get immediate medical treatment for your injuries to make sure your condition doesn’t worsen. Your medical bills are proof of your damages and can be used as evidence in your settlement claim. You must also follow the doctor’s recommendations after your medical treatment. Here are some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries riders can experience in New York City: 

Spinal Cord Injuries

A rider could suffer severe injuries to their spine after being struck by a car or being thrown to the ground. Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious and could have a lengthy recovery period. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, such as hemiplegia or paraplegia, based on the part of the spinal cord that was injured. Additionally, the victim could suffer radiating pain down their leg due to sciatica, which is caused by a pinched nerve caused by spinal cord bone compression. In addition to pinched nerves, victims could suffer from slipped or herniated discs. 

Back Injuries

During an accident, you could fall hard on your side or your back, causing muscle tension and strain. The back muscles may become injured and cause chronic back pain for many months, requiring you to take time off work. These injuries could require physical therapy and other treatments to help you recover. 

Traumatic Brain Injury

Other serious wounds include traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, hemorrhages, hematomas, and penetrating injuries. When motorcycle riders don’t wear helmets, they are at greater risk of TBIs. Even with a helmet, a motorcyclist could suffer a serious head injury in an accident.

Broken Bones And Fractures 

A heavy impact from a vehicle or the ground can cause bones to break or fracture, resulting in partial to full disability for a long time. Broken bones take time to mend, and even a small hairline fracture can cause a lot of swelling, soreness, and pain. If you have broken bones, you may need a cast, braces, and crutches. 

Burn Injuries

In some circumstances, the victim might suffer burns when a vehicle bursts into flames. While first-degree burns are not as serious, second and third-degree burns can result in permanent scarring. Third-degree burns can be so severe that they result in death to motorcycle accident victims.  

Internal Organ Injuries 

Organs can get penetrated by an object or get damaged from a heavy impact. Broken ribs could also puncture the organs, causing internal bleeding. Issues such as pneumothorax can happen if the lungs get injured, which can result in the death of accident victims.

Whiplash

Even small bumps to a motorcycle can result in neck injuries like whiplash. The sprain and strain caused by a jolt can whip you forward and back, which can cause your neck muscles to suffer from chronic pain for weeks. 

Road Rash

Another common injury occurs when the skin grazes the pavement, resulting in a wound that looks a lot like a rash. Although road rash is superficial in nature, it can result in swelling, severe pain, and discomfort while it heals. It can also leave scar tissue and in severe cases, could require a skin graft. 

There are many other devastating injuries that can occur because of a motorcycle accident, which is why victims need healthcare treatment. Victims should visit a doctor for a full diagnosis and the appropriate treatment plans. 

Will Insurance Cover My Motorcycle Injuries? 

If you were injured in a New York motorcycle accident that was caused by negligence, the other party’s insurance company should compensate you for your injuries. However, you shouldn’t speak to the insurance company yourself because your attorney will do this on your behalf. This prevents them from taking advantage of you by offering too small a settlement for your damages. Your attorney can help you calculate the worth of your motorcycle accident damages and prove how the other party is liable for causing them. The damages an injured motorcyclist will be able to claim include the following:

Lost Wages

You may be unable to work for a long time while you heal. Lost wages are damages that you can claim because you would have been receiving income had you not been harmed. Your lost income can include the amount of salary or income you would have made during your recovery period, as well as any future time off you may require. 

Property Damage

Your motorcycle insurance company may be able to cover most or all of your property damages and bodily injury coverage; however, this may not always be the case. In some instances, the damage to your motorcycle may have been so severe that you have to replace the whole vehicle. In situations like this, you can seek property damages from the other party to replace an irreparable vehicle instead of depending on your insurance company. 

Medical Expenses

Medical bills are some of the most costly damages because a motorcycle injury could take a long time to recover from and require extensive treatments. Those treatments include surgery and physical therapy, which may be required if you need to regain your ability to perform normal tasks. Just receiving an imaging scan to find out if you have broken bones or fractures is costly. Your medical bills can be included in your damages, even if they are ongoing and may require follow-up visits and transportation.

Non-Economic Damages 

Not many people realize that emotional turmoil is also considered a form of damages. Victims might struggle with depression, grief, shame, anxiety, PTSD, and other negative emotions. Attorneys and insurance adjusters can calculate how much non-economic damages are worth even though they don’t have a tangible value. 

Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death damages are compensation for when the victim dies due to fatal injuries. Typically, the eligible surviving family members obtain wrongful death damages if the victim passed away. Damages unique to this circumstance include funeral costs, burial fees, the cost of the service, the loss of companionship, and other expenses. There are other damages for motorcycle accident claims that involve death. For example, the surviving family members could claim a loss of consortium and loss of earning capacity. You can discover additional financial compensation caused by motorcycle fatalities with the help of your motorcycle accident lawyer.

Motorcycle Laws In New York City

All motorcyclists must follow the required New York City laws:

  • Only two motorcycles can travel side by side in one lane.
  • Daytime headlights are required.
  • The passenger seat of a motorcycle requires a footrest if there is a passenger.
  • All motorcyclists must wear eye protection.
  • Helmet speakers must only have one active earphone.
  • All motorcyclists must wear a helmet.
  • Motorcyclists must have one red rear reflector, working brakes, directional signals, headlights, tailights, license plate lamps, turn signals, a rearview mirror, a horn, handlebars, and a muffler.

NYC Motorcycle Statistics

NYC Motorcycle Statistics Chart
Source: https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nyc-motorcycle-safety-study.pdf

Only 2% of registered vehicles in NYC are motorcycles; however, they account for up to 14% of all traffic fatalities. The crash rate of motorcycles in NYC is twice that of other vehicles in New York State. Almost all motorcycle fatalities were caused by males, and 56% were below the age of 35. Those who were not properly licensed made up 43% of fatal cases. An increase in motorcycle crashes was seen in 2020 when a total of 179 people were killed in that year alone, compared to 133 in 2019. Most of those accidents were due to distracted driving and reckless behavior. 

NYC Motorcycle Safety Banner
Source: https://www.bikersrights.com/best-motorcycle-helmet-under-100/

Common FAQs for Personal Injury Victims

How Do I Know I’m Not At Fault?

Depending on the circumstances, it can be difficult to tell whether you are completely or partially at fault for your motorcycle crash. There can be many factors that make it confusing to know who is liable for the accident. Typically, if the driver was negligent, then they should be held liable. This happens when they perform a traffic violation, are distracted while driving, or are intoxicated. Our New York motorcycle accident attorneys can help explain how this works. 

What If Someone Other Than a Driver Is At Fault?

In some circumstances, motorcycle accidents may not be the driver’s fault. For example, poor maintenance of the roads could be a problem, or a construction company could cause a hazardous condition. To find out for sure who you should seek a settlement from, speak to a trustworthy motorcycle accident attorney who can provide reliable advice. 

What If I’m Partly To Blame?

You may have suffered a serious injury because you didn’t give the other driver the right of way, or you were speeding. However, a driver could be partially at fault also. This means you can still receive compensation for your injuries even if you contributed to the accident. 

Speak to a knowledgeable New York attorney to discover if you are partially at fault and if you are still owed compensation based on the circumstances of your motorcycle accident. 

Your attorney can estimate how much you should receive based on your percentage of fault for the New York motorcycle accident. They perform an investigation and review any events that led up to your motor vehicle collision. The court will ultimately decide your percentage of fault that will affect your settlement after your New York motorcycle accident. 

How Can A New York City Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me? 

Even if you are dealing with minor injuries, it can be helpful to have a motorcycle accident lawyer representing you. Your personal injury attorney should have experience with motorcycle accident cases that they use to help you get a fair settlement. They have plenty of experience in personal injury claims and representing accident victims. 

Our law firm in New York City will provide reliable services and calculate how much you should receive in compensation. Doing this on your own could be difficult while you are suffering from serious injuries. Plus, the other party’s insurance company may try to get you to accept a lower settlement.

Your motorcycle accident lawyer makes sure to properly calculate how much you are owed and will ensure that you are treated fairly. Get advice today and learn more from an educated motorcycle accident law firm in New York City. Contact RMFW LAW for a free consultation.