Motorcycle accidents in New York are very common at the start of the riding season in the Spring. The extent of injuries caused by motorcycles is typically much worse than motor vehicle accidents given the lack of protection. Even when wearing the requisite gear, a New York motorcycle accident can result in injuries far worse than road rash.
Many drivers who hit motorcyclists claim that they did not see the motorcyclist.
It is important to understand various elements that apply to motorcycle accidents in New York. Doing so can assist you in protecting your rights while helping you better manage the situation.
New York Motorcycle Accident Statistics
It is general knowledge that motorcycles can be dangerous, and well-trained riding can reduce the chance of an accident. However, even seasoned riders experience freak accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries. The New York motorcycle accident statistics are shocking.
The New York State Department of Health's website lists a few interesting statistics related to motorcycle accidents:
- People aged 20 and 24 years old have the highest death rate
- 166 people die from motorcycle accidents in New York each year
- Motorcycle accidents account for nearly $250 million in medical costs
- New York hospitals treat 1,600 injured motorcyclists each year
- Motorcycles are 36 times more likely to die in an accident than a passenger vehicle
- 16 percent of fatal New York accidents are motorcycle-related
- Unsafe speed was the single most significant contributing factor to motorcycle accidents
Motorcycle accidents can cause severe injuries or death. There are laws in place that are designed to protect you and others. While these numbers are scary, the most practical thing you can do is ride your motorcycle safely, wear proper safety equipment, and follow all applicable traffic laws in your city, county or state.
New York Motorcycle Laws
New York recognizes a no-fault insurance system for most vehicle accidents. This means that an insurance company will pay for your medical expenses as a result of a vehicle accident – regardless of which driver was at fault.
However, these statutory rules do not apply to motorcycle accident injury cases due to the state's stance on motorcycles being inherently dangerous vehicles. Consequently, motorcycle owners must purchase a separate policy. This policy will protect you from medical costs associated with an accident and will pay your medical costs if you are in an accident.
At the same time, motorcyclists are not subject to the injury limitation or threshold that applies to motor vehicle drivers. Under New York law, car or truck accident victims are limited in seeking damages, meaning, they can only sue for damages if they suffered a “serious” injury. However, motorcycle riders are not subject to such a limitation and can sue even for less serious or minor injuries.
New York Motorcycle Accident Causes
While motorcycles are considered to be dangerous, the factors that cause them can be mitigated. Consider taking a motorcycle riding and safety course. Also make sure the bike is always in good repair and routinely maintenance properly. The goal is to enjoy the ride and come back home safely.
Here are five common causes of New York motorcycle accidents:
- Inadequate operator training
- Poor or low visibility
- Riding in severe weather conditions
- Aggressive riding
In fact, nearly half of all fatal accidents involve an unlicensed driver. Avoid rushing through the process of riding your motorcycle until you get a New York motorcycle license. It could save your life or help you get insurance benefits.
New York Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle injuries tend to be more severe since there is less protection for the driver. For every ride, it is wise to wear a helmet, eye protection, jacket, gloves, riding pants, and boots at a minimum. This gear can provide an extra layer of protection that mitigates some of your injuries.
Here are five common types of New York motorcycle injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Fractures and broken bones
- Road rash
- Spinal cord damage
- Face injuries
Several elements play a role in every motorcycle accident. The most critical step you can take is getting medical help immediately and then focus on your physical recovery. You must also obtain the police report after an accident. You can hire a New York motorcycle accident lawyer to look after your legal affairs, handle the negotiations with the insurance company, or file a lawsuit if needed.
New York Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
Like all personal injury matters, there is a statute of limitations that applies to New York motorcycle accident injuries. If you miss New York's statute of limitations, you cannot file a civil court lawsuit to seek damages.
In New York, the general personal injury statute of limitations is three (3) years after the date of your accident. Wrongful death cases are shorter and must be filed within two (2) years from the date of your family member's death.
There are a few exceptions to this civil law. However, these exceptions are reserved for exceptional circumstances. Simply put, get started on the claim process as soon as possible following a motorcycle accident to avoid missing your chance at compensation.
New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you are severely injured in a motorcycle accident, obtaining compensation for your losses can be challenging. A New York motorcycle accident lawyer will help you navigate the legal process while protecting your rights and negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf.
In addition to protection, your motorcycle accident attorney will:
- Provide ongoing documentation of your injuries
- Conduct a thorough investigation and analysis of your accident
- Handle telephone calls and written communications on your behalf
- Preserve evidence and documentation that speaks to the facts and circumstances of your case
- Take your case to civil court if the option is available
Insurance companies can also use your actions against you during the claim process. Ensure that you are focusing on your health and recovery so that they cannot allege that you made your injuries worse. Then, hire a New York motorcycle accident lawyer to fight for the money you deserve.
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