Find a Top Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New York
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in New York that was caused by the negligence of another, you deserve full compensation for your injuries, property, and other damages. The compassionate personal injury lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP recognize that no amount of money can truly make up for your pain and suffering, but we also know that financial compensation can make a difficult time easier by easing the burden of mounting medical bills, especially if you have been unable to work because of your injuries.
In our decades of personal injury practice, the attorneys at Parker Waichman have secured more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Our law firm has the knowledge and resources to secure the results you need, and we’ll fight hard for your legal rights. Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll put our talented team to work on your case. Just call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER to see what we can do for you.
Troubling New York Motorcycle Accident Statistics
New York offers motorcycle riders numerous options for scenic, relaxing rides not far from the city. But as Parker Waichman’s attorneys have discovered in our years of experience, motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of injury than other drivers traveling on New York’s roads.
Recent estimates indicate that a person is killed in a vehicle accident every 12 minutes in the United States. And vehicular accidents, including motorcycle accidents, are the leading cause of death for people under age 30 living in New York City. When these accidents involve motorcycle riders, the chances of severe injury to the rider are extremely high. National reports show that motorcycle riders are about 25 times more likely to endure fatal collision injuries than those traveling in a passenger car. On a local level, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, approximately 4,500 to 5,000 motorcycle accidents occur every year in New York. Of those accidents, about one-fourth involve serious injuries or death.
If this happens to you, hiring a top New York City motorcycle accident attorney is your best chance for receiving the compensation you’re owed. Our seasoned personal injury litigators know the laws applicable to these accidents in New York and are ready to help you and your family recover from your injuries.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The two wheels on a motorcycle and its open design leave riders far more vulnerable to serious injuries when accidents occur. Even when wearing a helmet, riders can experience extreme harm to the head and body. They can suffer a direct body hit or skid along the road after a collision without the protection of a vehicle exterior. Parker Waichman’s motorcycle accident attorneys in New York City have experience with motorcycle cases involving:
- Head and/or neck injuries
- Joint dislocation
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Brain injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
With the potential for such serious injuries to occur, motorists need to take every precaution to not collide with motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, a majority of the motorcycle accidents we have seen at our personal injury practice have involved preventable automobile driver conduct.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in New York
Drivers of automobiles are often the cause of accidents with motorcycle riders. When drivers on the road don’t respect riders’ space or fail to pay attention at the wheel, they run the risk of running into a motorcyclist and causing significant injuries or death.
A few of the most common reasons for motorcycle crashes we see in New York are:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Unsafe passing
- Distracted driving (text messaging, eating, emails, etc.)
- Tailgating or following too close
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Dangerous driving in inclement weather
- Failure to stop at traffic lights or stop signs
When drivers make poor decisions on the road, they can end up causing serious accidents with motorcycle riders. Many of the motorcycle accident cases in New York that we’ve worked on have involved:
- Skidding on road debris
- Opening a car door without looking
- Turn accidents
- Lane-change accidents
Motorcycle accident and injury cases can be quite complicated to pursue, but with the best motorcycle accident lawyer in New York on your side, you can rest assured that your claim is in good hands.
Establishing Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
After a motorcycle crash in New York, a motorcycle accident attorney will typically file a claim for damages against the wrongdoer based on negligence. When you bring a negligence claim in New York, you are required to prove four things in court:
- The wrongdoer had a duty.
- The wrongdoer breached that duty.
- You suffered harm.
- Your harm was caused by the wrongdoer’s breach of duty.
A Duty Existed
When we set forth evidence to prove that a duty existed, we use what’s called a “reasonable care” standard. Under the circumstances, did the defendant have a duty to use reasonable care? Everyone has a general duty to use care on the road. In motorcycle cases, other motorists on the road have a duty to use reasonable care to look out for riders so as not to injure them.
A Breach of Duty
Breach of duty means that the defendant failed to use the level of reasonable care required under the circumstances. The court will look at what the defendant did versus what a reasonable person would have done. For instance, if the defendant did not look before changing lanes, the court will likely decide that a reasonable person would have looked and used caution before changing lanes.
We also have to prove that you suffered an injury. This might seem straightforward, but some injuries are difficult to prove. If you have suffered a brain injury, expert testimony may be required to demonstrate exactly how it has affected you and how it will continue to affect your life. A head injury isn’t always evident to a jury, so we have to ensure that we have the proper experts to prove the case. Injuries are also not limited to bodily injuries. A New York City motorcycle accident lawyer might also hire experts to testify about the full extent of your economic losses, like medical bills and lost wages.
Lastly, a capable motorcycle accident lawyer in New York must prove that your injury was caused by the negligent conduct of the defendant. If we cannot link the two, your case will not prevail. This can sometimes be the most difficult element of a case to prove, but we have access to experts who can help us prove your case with ease.
The Doctrine of “Negligence Per Se”
In rare cases, if a motorcycle accident occurs due to an automobile driver violating a traffic law, you might be able to seek compensation for your injuries using the doctrine of “negligence per se” (pronounced “per say”). Negligence per se is a legal term that means that if a defendant violated the law, that defendant will be automatically deemed negligent by the courts. In other words, the injured plaintiff no longer needs to prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care or failed to use care.
That’s not to say that you will automatically win your case. Even with a finding of negligence per se, you must prove that a violation of law has taken place, the violation caused your accident, and that you were also injured as a result. This can be a difficult process, particularly when an accident occurs in an area with no cameras or objective witnesses.
Statutes of Limitations on New York Motorcycle Accident Claims
Whatever legal allegations you advance, you must be sure to file your lawsuit within the appropriate period of time set by New York law. The time limit for filing motorcycle accident cases is called a statute of limitations, and in New York, it’s typically three years from the date of the accident. If you don’t file your accident claim within this period, you’ll likely lose your right to pursue your case and get compensation, no matter how strong your claim is or why you missed the deadline. That’s one reason why it’s so important to work with a skilled motorcycle accident attorney in New York who can make sure that your claim is timely.
Such a strict time limit might seem unfair, but the limitation is intended to help preserve the integrity of evidence to be presented at trial. When you file sooner, you will be able to more easily access medical records and reports related to your case, and your witnesses’ memories will be fresher. You will also be able to receive compensation more quickly.
Sometimes, in complex cases, it’s difficult to determine when the clock started running on the statute of limitations, so it’s extremely important to hire experienced lawyers to be sure that you do not miss your time window to file. An incorrect calculation can endanger your legal rights. When you hire a skilled lawyer at Parker Waichman, we’ll begin investigating your personal injury action immediately to be certain we have enough time to build a strong case and file it with the right court.
New York’s No-Fault Law in Motorcycle Accidents
Another important reason why you need a knowledgeable attorney for your motorcycle accident claim in New York is that they must understand that the state’s no-fault law, which applies to most collision cases, does not apply to motorcyclists.
Typically, when you’re injured in a vehicle crash in New York, you’ll need to turn to your own insurance carrier for reimbursement for your economic losses, like medical bills and lost wages. To be able to pursue a claim for non-economic loses like pain and suffering, you’ll have to meet the “serious injury” threshold of the no-fault law. A serious injury is one of the following:
- Bone fracture
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- A significant limitation of use of a body function or body system
- Permanent limitation of use of a body organ or body part
- Full or substantial disability for at least 90 days in the 180 days following the accident
However, the no-fault law does not apply to New York motorcycle claims. For purposes of the no-fault law, motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles. This means that your New York motorcycle accident lawyer can advocate for every possible type of recovery to which you might be entitled. You are not subject to the same insurance processes, and you do not need to meet the serious injury threshold.
When you trust Parker Waichman with your case, you’ll be able to work with a motorcycle accident attorney in New York who understands the ways state laws do and do not apply to your case and can skillfully handle even the most complex claims. Contact our firm today for a free case evaluation with no obligation and learn about what we can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About New York Motorcycle Accidents
When clients call us about their potential motorcycle accident cases, they often have questions about the claims and the litigation process. Here are some of the questions we hear most often, along with our answers.
What Type of Settlement Award Can I Receive?
It’s important to understand that settlements and jury awards can’t be guaranteed. What we can guarantee is that we’ll fight aggressively to secure the highest level of compensation possible. This may include:
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost wages (current and future)
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages (if appropriate)
We recognize that your accident injuries have significantly affected your life, and we will fight for your right to recover damages for all of the ways you have been harmed.
Do I Need to Pay You When I Sign Up?
You never need to pay us out of your pocket at all. We offer free consultations, and once we take your case, we’ll do so on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we only get paid when you do. When you receive a settlement or jury award, we’ll take our fees and expenses out of that. But should you be unsuccessful in obtaining compensation, we will not receive any reimbursement for our out-of-pocket expenses or any fees. You will never need to worry about receiving a bill from us. We take on the financial risk ourselves because we firmly believe in making justice accessible for everyone.
How Long Will My Case Take?
We hear this question a lot, but it’s very difficult to answer. If your case is complex, involving multiple parties and insurance companies, it might require more investigation and preparation than a simpler case, which will cause it to take longer.
If we proceed to filing your case, we will usually receive a trial assignment and scheduling order from the court, which will give us an idea of the potential litigation timeline. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that even the court’s schedule can change depending on the judge’s availability, the progress of your case leading to trial, and the potential obstacles we might face. But rest assured that our legal team will always keep you updated about your case, including what we have done, what we plan to do next, and how long it might take.
What Are the Next Steps?
The first step you need to take to start protecting your legal rights is to contact our firm. You can call our New York office or use our convenient online form. When you contact us, you’ll be able to speak with a compassionate member of our staff and get a free consultation with one of our professional personal injury attorneys. We’ll listen to your story and take down information about your potential claim. If it sounds like we might be able to help, we’ll ask you to fill out some simple paperwork that will allow us to begin our investigation of your case. This will include gathering documents and ordering records. The process can take a little time, but we will keep you informed of our progress and how we think we can move forward with your potential case.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
When you choose Parker Waichman, your experienced lawyer will build your case by doing all of the following on your behalf:
- Documenting exactly how you were injured and by whom
- Drafting a list of potential witnesses and contacting them for interviews
- Obtaining medical records that document the injuries you have suffered and the treatment you have received
- Gathering police reports, accidents reports, and any other pertinent documents from the day of your accident or injury
- Identifying the proper statute of limitations for your claim (the state-determined time during which you must file your lawsuit)
- Consulting with experienced and trustworthy medical experts and industry-specific experts to obtain support for your claim
- Determining where your case should be filed
- Drafting and preparing a petition for filing
These are just some of the steps we will take at the outset of your case, and a lot of the harder work will begin after filing. It’s vital that you have the best legal representation for your claim to make sure that your case receives the attention it deserves.
Why Choose Parker Waichman for Your Motorcycle Accident Injury Case?
At Parker Waichman, we know that you and your family have enough to worry about after an accident, and we aim to relieve some of that stress by capably handling your case and getting you the financial recovery you deserve. Our experienced attorneys have recovered more than $2 billion for our clients, and we’ve built a reputation for success that’s earned notice from judges as well as our peers. We’re known for our dedication, professionalism, and commitment to client advocacy, and we’ve earned numerous honors for our work, including a near-perfect 9.8 rating from AVVO and Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted “AV Preeminent” rating, their highest peer-review rating.
When you choose Parker Waichman, you can feel confident that you have talented lawyers on your side who care about you and who will fight hard for you every step of the way. Call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our online form today and let us give you a free case evaluation. With our help, you can stand up for your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Get My Police Report in Manhattan?
In the hours following an accident or arrest, a police report is generated by the investigating Manhattan police officer. Once the report has been generated a "public portion" of the report is available immediately. The public portion of the police report withholds information until the case is completely closed. Once the case has wrapped up, you or your attorney can talk to your local Manhattan police precinct to obtain a copy of the full police report. How you are able to get your report varies depending on the preference of the precinct. Some prefer to do it electronically, others via mail, and others in person. Regardless, there may be a waiting period and your precinct may charge a fee to request a copy of the police report. When it comes to help in getting a police report under New York personal injury law, Manhattan, NY, residents should know that Parker Waichman is here to help you make the most of your case. Our law firm is recognized nationally for our care of clients and skill in gathering evidence to get you the compensation you deserve.
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