If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, our experienced New York City motorcycle accident lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can help. For more than three generations we have been serving people who have been injured by the negligence of others.
We have significant experience representing injured motorcyclists and understand how important securing fair compensation is after a serious injury. Our New York City personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP recently won a $5.1 million judgment for a motorcycle rider who was injured in a crash. Altogether, we have recovered more than one billion dollars for our clients.
When a motorcyclist incurs injuries in an accident, one of the most common questions asked is, “Who will pay for my medical bills?” Because motorcycle accidents often lead to injuries requiring intensive care, victims often incur large bills. Knowing how to obtain compensation following a motorcycle accident can help motorcycle accident victims and their families achieve peace of mind.
New York is one of a handful of states that observes a no-fault system for insurance matters. When you sustain injuries in an accident, your own insurance policy will provide reimbursement for damages, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. You may be eligible to receive compensation up to the limits outlined in your policy.
Exceptions to this rule exist, however. Injured motorcyclists may step outside of the no-fault system and file a traditional fault claim, even after only sustaining minor injuries. Motorcyclists enjoy exceptions to the no-fault system under New York state law. When an at-fault driver does not have enough coverage to pay for a victim’s injuries, motorcyclists may also obtain compensation under their underinsured/uninsured motorist policy.
Filing a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance company requires the guidance of an NYC motorcycle accident attorney. A lawyer can help determine what a claim is worth and demand fair compensation. In fact, getting an attorney involved early in the process can cause an insurance company to take a claim more seriously.
All registered motorcycles in the state of New York must be insured. Minimum coverage requirements for motorcycle insurance are:
These are only the minimum requirements. Given the higher risk of serious injury in motorcycle accidents, it may be wise to consider higher limits for greater protection, as well as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in case of an accident caused by a driver with insufficient or no insurance.
As reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), fatality rates for motorcyclists per mile driven were 26 times that of passenger vehicle occupants in a recent year.
Although they comprise only three percent of all registered vehicles and less than one percent of vehicle miles traveled, motorcycles account for close to 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. Sadly, many motorcycle collisions are caused by drivers of other vehicles.
Regardless of the type of motorcycle, motorcyclists face a higher risk of injury than occupants of other vehicles. Motorcycle accidents can occur in many different ways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016:
Under state insurance and liability laws, motorcycles are treated differently than cars and other passenger vehicles. Within the meaning of no-fault insurance laws, a motorcycle is not considered a motor vehicle. A motorcyclist is not covered or entitled to receive medical and lost wage benefits under the no-fault law.
However, injured motorcyclists can bring a claim against the responsible party to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. As they are not subject to the no-fault threshold, even motorcyclists with less serious injuries are eligible to file a claim.
A motorcycle injury claim may depend on many factors, including the laws that govern motorcycle use in the city. In general, motorcycle operators need to follow the same rules of the road as other motorists regarding, for example, speed, driver distraction, and yielding the right of way.
In order to operate a vehicle in the state of New York, a driver must possess a Class M or MJ Operator’s license. This requires passing a driver’s test and a road test. Operators over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license and a motorcycle operator learner’s permit will be exempt from taking the road test.
Once a motorcycle operator obtains a valid license, he or she will have to observe all the rules for riding on New York State roadways.
Additionally, all motorcycles registered in the state of New York must also have the following minimum equipment:
New York also has laws that pertain to sharing the road; no more than two motorcycles may operate side by side at one time. Additionally, New York law prohibits the practice of lane splitting, or going in between lanes to pass cars.
Even when a rider takes all the required precautions and follows the letter of the law, he or she can still sustain injuries in an accident. Unfortunately, most motorcycle crashes lead to some sort of injury, ranging from minor to catastrophic and permanently disabling.
Motorcyclists have an equal right to use the roadway, but sometimes motorists simply don’t notice them. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t as attuned to motorcycles as they are other cars. This can create a dangerous situation for riders that often results in accidents. Motorcycle accidents have a variety of causes, many stemming from driver negligence.
If you were injured in a New York City motorcycle accident, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, LLP to schedule a consultation. Our attorneys will fight tenaciously for the compensation you deserve.