With little protection from the impact of a collision, motorcyclists have a disproportionate risk of being seriously or fatally injured on the road. Motorcycle accident fatalities have increased dramatically, rising 50% in New York since 2019. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, our Rockland County motorcycle accident attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman can advocate for your rights. We proudly serve our local communities in New York and New Jersey.
Understanding NY Motorcycle Laws
Many laws have been enacted to reduce motorcycle accidents. New York motorcycle laws include:
- Helmet wearing
- Eye protection
- Designated passenger seat
- Daytime headlight use
- Handlebars being lower than the shoulders
- Motorcycle license
- No two motorcyclists in the same lane
- No lane splitting
- One headphone per helmet
You can follow all the rules, be a careful, responsible motorcyclist, and still suffer from an accident. Fortunately, our injury lawyers are experts in helping responsible motorcyclists fight for justice and compensation.
What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
In the state of New York, some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Poor training
- Riding unlicensed
- Manufacturing errors
- Reckless driving from other motorists
- Poor visibility and weather
- Left turn accidents
- Poor road conditions
- Lane splitting
Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Common injuries include the following:
- Brain trauma
- Road rash
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
Every personal injury case starts by identifying fault. Any motorcyclist pursuing a claim must have a legal team who can prove that the defendant was negligent, which resulted in the rider’s injuries. While New York state does have a no-fault law for car accidents, this does not apply to motorcycles. Many states, New York included, consider them significantly more dangerous than regular vehicles. However, motorcyclists are no more dangerous than other drivers. In fact, a collision is often caused by motorists driving aggressively, under the influence, or inclement weather.
New York would apply its “comparative fault” rule if you were partially at fault. This means that whatever percentage you were at fault for this accident will be deducted from your settlement. So, if you were responsible for 30% of the accident, that same amount would be reduced from the total. However, any evidence of potentially illegal behavior could be used against you, meaning you must have followed all of New York’s motorcycle laws at the time of the accident. However, your Rockland County motorcycle accident lawyerwill work hard to ensure that you bear little to no fault.
New York’s Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for most negligence actions is three years from the date of the accident. If a claim is to be made against any municipal entity there are notice of claim requirements and reduced periods within which to file suit. If there is a fatality and a “wrongful death” lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
Contact us for a Free Consultation
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we know motorcyclists can find themselves injured through no fault of their own. When you reach out to our office, we do everything in our power to build a winning case that helps you get your life back on track. Contact us today for a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire us afterward. And since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries. We look forward to hearing from you.
FAQ Motorcycle Accident
Q: I was involved in a motorcycle accident. What factors should I consider when determining if I have a viable legal claim?
A: There are several factors that a Rockland County, NY motorcycle accident lawyer may consider when evaluating your claim. Firstly, consider the negligence or fault of the other party involved. Were they responsible for the accident due to actions such as reckless driving, failure to yield, or violating traffic laws? Secondly, assess the extent of your injuries and resulting damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Additionally, determine if there is sufficient evidence to support your claim, such as witness testimonies, police reports, photographs, or surveillance footage. They will provide personalized advice based on the specific circumstances of your accident, guiding you on the legal options available and the potential for pursuing compensation.
Q: What should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident to protect my legal rights?
A: To fully protect your legal rights to the fullest there are key steps you should take. First and foremost, prioritize your health and safety by seeking immediate medical attention. Promptly reporting the accident to the police is crucial for documenting the incident. Gather evidence at the scene, if possible, by taking photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries. Collect contact information from witnesses who can provide testimonies supporting your version of events. Avoid discussing fault or making statements to insurance representatives without first consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer. It is also important to preserve any relevant documents, such as medical records, accident reports, and communications with insurance companies. Seeking legal representation early in the process can ensure that your rights are protected, and crucial evidence is preserved for a potential legal claim.
Q: What types of damages can I recover in a motorcycle accident case?
A: Depending on your circumstances and the extent of your damages, you may be able to receive a large compensation amount, as a Rockland County motorcycle accident lawyer can tell you. Compensatory damages typically fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages aim to reimburse you for quantifiable losses, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, lost wages, and future earning capacity. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are more subjective and compensate for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement. In certain cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious or malicious. Consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer is crucial for assessing the damages applicable to your case and pursuing the full compensation you deserve.
Q: What if I was partially at fault for the motorcycle accident? Can I still pursue a legal claim?
A: When more than one person is at fault, it can make your motorcycle accident case much more complex. The concept of comparative negligence comes into play, which determines the degree of fault assigned to each party involved. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may still be able to pursue a legal claim even if you were partially at fault. However, the amount of compensation you can recover may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault and the total damages awarded are $100,000, you would receive $80,000 (80% of the damages). Understanding the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction is essential, as they may impact your ability to recover compensation. Consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer will provide you with a clear understanding of your legal rights and options in a shared fault scenario.
Q: How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
A: It is crucial to be aware of and adhere to the statute of limitations specific to your location. Failing to file a lawsuit within the prescribed time limit can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation. Statutes of limitations can vary from one to several years, depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the claim. It is advisable to consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you understand the applicable deadline and take appropriate legal action within the required timeframe. Your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, ensure all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and timely, and work diligently to protect your rights and maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you wish to protect your legal rights, do not wait and contact a qualified Rockland County motorcycle accident lawyer from Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. that clients trust now.