Can I Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
Safety is a major concern for motorcyclists everywhere, and even the most cautious of bikers can’t predict the behavior or actions of other motorists on the road. Statistics have repeatedly shown that motorcycle-vehicle crashes often stem from a lack of visibility. Motorists just don’t “see” or register motorcycles as they do other cars, and this makes for a very dangerous situation.
One day you’re enjoying a warm summer breeze on your bike, and the next minute you’re lying flat on your back, having been hit by a car or a truck. The accident was not your fault, or at least you don’t think your actions caused the crash.
In addition to a wrecked motorcycle, you are now facing a pile of medical bills and lost income while you try and recover from your injuries. How will you make ends meet? What if the other driver denies responsibility? Can you sue for damages after a motorcycle accident?
The law affords remedies to those who suffer serious personal injury and property damage due to the negligence of another. New York’s No-Fault laws allow motorcycle riders to recover money damages for their medical care treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering. More importantly, accident victims do not have to meet the “serious injury” threshold to sue for legal damages.
You can give yourself the best chance of recovering fair compensation by speaking to a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, with offices in New York and New Jersey, advocates for victims of motorcycle accidents, and works hard to get the settlement monies you deserve.
Establishing liability in a personal injury claim
The goal of an experienced personal injury lawyer is to ensure that their clients are rightfully compensated for every loss and hardship the motorcycle accident has caused. In order to secure a favorable settlement, they must first demonstrate which party or parties were responsible for the accident.
Experienced attorneys will keep track of all relevant documents, inform the client of anything they need to do or avoid doing, and prepare a settlement request so that the case can avoid going to trial.
Photos taken of the accident scene, eyewitness testimony, police reports and surveillance footage may be utilized to demonstrate liability in the accident. Cell phone records may be subpoenaed if texting or distracted driving is suspected. In many cases, it can be proven that another driver violated traffic laws, by running a stoplight, failing to yield right of way, or making a left turn without looking or signaling first.
If the accident was caused by mechanical failure due to a defective part, a manufacturer or dealer may be sued for damages. In other cases, a state or municipal government may be named defendant if negligent maintenance or poor road design caused the crash.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will safeguard your rights throughout the legal process, and prepare a settlement demand that accurately reflects the true extent of your losses.
Types of damages available to victims
Very few motorcycle accident claims make it to trial, as most will settle out of court. There are various categories of damages for which you can sue, including compensatory damages that are easy to calculate. Compensatory damages include things like lost wages, the cost to repair your motorcycle, medical and hospital bills, and out-of-pocket expenses directly related to your accident.
You may also seek reimbursement for general damages, which are more difficult to prove without veteran legal counsel. These are non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of quality of life.
The biggest factor affecting the value of your claim is the kind of injury you sustained. Traumatic, life-altering injuries like paralysis, loss of limbs, and brain injury will net larger payouts to account for the ongoing medical care and rehabilitation expenses.
Expert legal guidance in Bergen County and Rockland County
For more information about suing after a motorcycle accident in New Jersey or New York, contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman to request a free consultation. After learning the circumstances of your accident, we’ll outline your options and the best strategies moving forward.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by consulting a New York motorcycle accident lawyer with Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman today.