Motorcycle accidents have the potential to have devastating consequences. Whether you suffered severe injuries or a family member died or suffered catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident, you deserve compassionate and skillful legal representation to maximize your opportunity to receive a just cash award.
According to the New York Department of Health, injuries suffered in vehicle crashes are the leading contributor to early deaths in the state and are the fourth leading cause of death in Suffolk County. Moreover, the Department of Health concluded that motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents, are the second leading contributor to hospitalizations in Suffolk County.
During the analysis of the statistics cited by the Department of Health (2012-2014), the most significant number of people requiring medical intervention after an accident were occupants of motor vehicles. However, approximately 25% of motorcycle accident victims suffered a traumatic brain injury following a collision.
Traumatic brain injuries require long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Many people who suffered a traumatic brain injury do not make a return to full health. Regrettably, those people need constant healthcare provided by family members and outside agencies. The most severely disabled may not be able to live at home and must reside in a specialized facility instead.
The severity of injuries motorcycle riders may suffer could necessitate lengthy hospitalizations and rehabilitation stays. Accordingly, the hospitalization costs are exorbitant. On average, motorcycle accident victims in Suffolk County accumulated over $120,000 in hospital expenses.
The Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents may inflict a variety of serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Parker Waichman LLP’s New York motorcycle accident attorneys have significant experience representing motorcycle collision victims who experienced long-lasting and even permanent injuries, aside from death, including:
- Broken bones and fractures,
- Joint dislocation,
- Internal injuries and bleeding,
- Friction burns, also known as “road rash,”
- Spinal cord damage,
- Closed head injuries such as a concussion,
- Lacerations, and
Motorcycle collisions endanger riders because of the design of the motorbike. Obviously, there are no doors or roof to prevent ejection from the bike after colliding with another object. The motorcycle operator and passenger also experience secondary and tertiary impacts, which occupants of a car or truck would not suffer. Not only does the initial impact damage the rider, contacting the ground or another object, and then rolling or skidding can inflict severe or mortal injuries. Furthermore, the rider can experience an injury if the 700-pound motorcycle lands on top of him or her.
The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in New York
The New York Department of Health identified several causes of motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents in Suffolk County. Those causes are:
- Refusing to yield the right of way,
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving,
- Ignoring traffic signs,
- Alcohol and drugs,
- Tailgating, and
- Improper lane use, such as weaving, changing lanes carelessly, or careless left or right-hand turns.
Proving Liability in a New York Motorcycle Accident
In New York, motorcycle accident claimants allege negligence as the primary cause of action for legal claims. When pursuing a claim for negligence against another operator, an injured motorcycle operator must prove that the other driver caused the accident by demonstrating that the other driver did not operate his or her vehicle carefully and that the failure to drive carefully was a contributing factor to the motorcyclist’s injuries. The motorcycle operator must also provide evidence that his or her injuries were a natural consequence of the motorcycle accident.
How New York’s No-Fault Law Does Not Apply to Motorcycle Accidents
New York’s no-fault law, described below, does not apply to motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents are not “motor vehicle accidents” for purposes of applying New York’s no-fault law.
New York’s personal injury law and insurance law are complicated. New York employs a strict, no-fault insurance system designed to allow injured motorists to receive coverage for his or her injuries from that person’s auto insurer. Accordingly, the injured driver must seek indemnity for expenses related to a motorcycle accident from the insurance company that provides insurance for that motorcycle. The system was conceived to offer injured motorists in New York with an efficient method of insurance coverage regardless of who might have caused the accident.
New York’s no-fault insurance scheme, however, deprives many people of seeking damages from the offending motorist unless the injured party can claim an exception to the general rule. However, a claimant can file a personal injury claim in New York if he or she satisfies the “serious injury threshold.” The serious injury threshold is met by accumulated so-called “special damages,” i.e., hospital bills and other economic losses exceeding $50,000.00 or by suffering one or more of the following injuries:
- Wrongful death,
- Bone fractures,
- Amputation of a limb,
- Severe disfigurement,
- Permanent loss or limitation of a body part, organ, or system, or
- A temporary injury or impairment that prevents the person from performing the functions of their daily lives for at least 90 days within the first six months after the collision.
Statutes of Limitations in Motorcycle Legal Claims
New York’s statute of limitations for motorcycle injury claims is three years. However, any delay in pursuing legal action will prejudice your chances of obtaining the best result for the injured party and that person’s family. Delays in seeking legal action may result in lost evidence or distortion of the facts due to memory loss from the passage of time that hurts the claimant’s chances of receiving full recovery for damages.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Did you or a loved one suffer an injury due to a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver? Parker Waichman LLP helps victims and families receive justice and full monetary compensation for harm caused by a motorcycle accident. Trust your case with our motorcycle accident lawyers. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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