Motorcycle Accidents

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Motorcycle Accidents

Many New York City residents rely on motorcycles as their personal mode of transportation or as a part of their jobs. In New York City all motorized vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, vans, and large commercial trucks, have to share the same roads and obey the same traffic laws. When an accident occurs, the party or parties who can be proven to have caused the accident may be held liable for any damage or injuries that might occur.

It is perhaps an irony of our age that the main reason people love riding motorcycles in the first place is the primary reason motorcycle accidents are so often devastating. While the feeling of rocketing down the street and feeling free is why many people ride motorcycles in the first place, the lack of a car’s “cage” makes the motorcycle rider quite vulnerable in an accident.

How Motorcycle Accidents Happen

According to a number of studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve two vehicles, with the second vehicle usually being a car or truck. In almost all cases, the motorcycle fares worse.

According to the NHTSA, the most common factors in motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Alcohol and/or drugs
  • Distracted driving (texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking r playing with the radio, for example)
  • Failing to signal a turn
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Tailgating
  • Lane splitting
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Unexpected obstacles
  • Under-cornering
  • Over-braking
  • Vehicle defects
  • Road defects (potholes, broken asphalt)
  • Harassment and road rage
  • Failing to wear protective gear (helmet, leather)

The High Cost of Motorcycle Accidents

In most accidents, the front of the motorcycle is hit. And, unfortunately, this is the point of impact that results in the most devastating injuries or fatalities.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, then you may already have a pretty accurate assessment of its potential cost. There is always a lot of physical and emotional pain, expensive medical bills, lost wages and property damage. 

After a motorcycle accident, it is necessary to investigate everything thoroughly because that is the only way to determine who is at fault and to understand which potential factors in the accident are important and who is financially responsible. 

Fault can be a complex question on which you, the other driver, police and emergency responders, and insurance companies do not always agree. It is even further complicated if there were equipment failures, poor road conditions, public vehicles, or obstacles involved. 

Damages Following a Motorcycle Accident

Anyone who has been injured in an accident that was caused by the negligent actions of another has the right to be compensated for those injuries. For the most part, accident victims are entitled to any expenses the accident victim incurred only because the accident happened. These “damages” are subject to recovery in a lawsuit.

Generally speaking, there are two types of damages in accidents; damage to personal property and personal injuries sustained in an accident. In brief, damages can include compensation for:

  • Current and anticipated medical expenses
  • Lost wages or other income
  • Replacement or repair of personal property
  • Psychological trauma
  • Disruptions to family life

These are in no way the only damages available to motorcycle accident victims, which is why everyone who is the victim of a motorcycle accident should discuss the issues with an experienced New York City motorcycle accident lawyer.

New York Helmet Law and Comparative Negligence

 Anyone riding a motorcycle in New York must wear a helmet. The fact that you were not wearing a helmet does not prevent you from claiming damages after a motorcycle accident. However, it can reduce any damages that you may have been awarded had you been wearing a helmet.

 New York is a “pure comparative negligence state,” which means, if a jury hearing your case determines that your own negligence contributed to your accident and injury, the jury may reduce the amount of damages it awards you by the percentage representing your level of negligence. For example, if you are found to be 30 percent liable for your injuries because you weren’t wearing a helmet, they can reduce your award by that much. That means, if the jury decides the accident is worth $200,000, but you were 30 percent responsible, instead of rewarded $200,000, you will be entitled to a maximum of 70 percent of that amount, or $140,000.

Free Evaluation

For over 25 years, we have helped injured individuals suffering from car accidents, truck accidents, workplace accidents and other injuries get the financial reparations they deserve. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.

Free Evaluation

For over 25 years, we have helped injured individuals suffering from car accidents, truck accidents, workplace accidents and other injuries get the financial reparations they deserve. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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