Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. In the United States alone, approximately 5,000 motorcycle riders are killed on the road every year. To put that in perspective, it’s important to understand that motorcycles account for a mere 3% of registered vehicles in the United States, and only 1% of miles traveled.
Despite this, motorcycle riders account for approximately 14% of all traffic fatalities in the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are six times more likely to be injured in motor vehicle accidents than car occupants, and 29 times more likely to be killed in collisions.
New York City’s motorcycle accident statistics are right in line with the rest of the country. According to the New York City Motorcycle Safety Study conducted from 2010-2014 by the New York City Department of Transportation, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all New York City traffic fatalities, despite motorcycles being only 2 percent of registered cars on the road.
Motorcycle Accident Risk is Increasing for Some Groups
The number of registered motorcycles in the United States is climbing. In 2006, there were just over 6.6 million registered motorcycles in the country. By 2015, that number had risen to over 8.6 million, an increase of over 28%. This rise in the number of motorcycles on the road has sadly been accompanied by a 17% increase in fatal motorcycle accidents among riders aged 40 and older.
While the death toll has risen for riders in this age group, it is important to note that the overall number of motorcycle injuries and fatalities has otherwise remained fairly stable.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in NYC
Frontal collisions account for nearly ¾ of two-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles. Most of these accidents occur when another vehicle blocks the path of the motorcycle before the rider has time to stop or avoid the other vehicle. More than 40% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle turning left.
It’s extremely important for motorcyclists to exercise caution when driving. They are already at a greater risk of injury and death than drivers in other vehicles simply because they are less protected from harm. Riders must obey all traffic laws, remain alert and vigilant, ensure they leave adequate space between themselves and other vehicles, and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents, so it’s important to always wear a motorcycle helmet as required by law in New York State.
If you or someone you love was involved in a motorcycle accident in NY, you should get in contact with a qualified motorcycle personal injury attorney.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
You may be entitled to compensation if you were injured in a motorcycle accident in NY and another individual was at fault. There are also instances when you may be entitled to damages even if you were partially at fault.
Injuries that bikers experience from motorcycle accidents can range from road rash and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries that may require lifelong medical care. As such, it is important that you obtain experienced legal advice available on how to proceed in your injury case so that you are not stuck with medical bills that pile up over time and so that you can be compensated for your injuries.
A New York motorcycle accident lawyer c`an review your case and provide you with more information about liability issues and damages relating to your accident. While no two cases are exactly alike, the following are some of the more common types of damages awarded in motorcycle accident cases in greater NY:
- Reimbursement for medical bills
- Compensation for projected future medical expenses
- Past and projected lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (such as the cost of repairs to or replacement of your motorcycle)
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents New York?
In New York, the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident is generally three years from the date of the incident. Failure to file a personal injury lawsuit within that time means the court will likely not allow the case to go forward. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, however, and injury victims should always consult with an attorney to determine their eligibility for filing a civil lawsuit.
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident victims succumb to their injuries. In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit is typically two years from the date of death. Immediate family members, such as the surviving spouse and children, may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Notice of Claim
If the motorcycle accident took place on property owned by a government entity and the government agency or entity was responsible for the crash, or the crash involved a government vehicle, a different standard applies. Under these circumstances, a lawyer can file a Notice of Claim for you. The Notice of Claim requires filing within 90 days of the accident. The plaintiff then has 90 days plus one year to file a lawsuit against the city or town and their agencies.
This document details the:
- Nature of the claim
- Time and place of the accident
- Injuries and damages sustained
However, certain government entities have their own statute of limitations. For example, the Port Authority manages all crossings between New York and New Jersey. That includes the Lincoln Tunnel, George Washington Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, and more. If your motorcycle accident took place on one of these crossings and there is liability on the part of the Port Authority, your lawyer must file a Notice of Claim within 60 days of filing suit and must file suit within one year.
There are some exceptions to the three-year statute of limitations. If the accident victim was a minor at the time of the collision, the three-year timeframe does not start until they reach the age of 18. The same holds true for a person deemed of unsound mind when the motorcycle accident occurred. If the person is later declared of sound mind to understand his or her rights to file a claim, the three-year period begins at that time.
Under New York law, there are a couple of other possible exceptions such as if the person responsible for causing your injuries leaves the state for at least four months after the accident or if the person responsible for your injuries lives in New York but is residing here under a false name. In these circumstances, there is a possibility that the three year period may be extended- but specific criteria must be met for these exceptions to apply.
It is best not to make any assumptions when it comes to where your case stands in relation to the statute of limitations. Therefore, speak with a qualified lawyer as soon as possible to get a professional’s take on the matter and to review all of your legal options moving forward.
Talk to a New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured or lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident in NY? If so, contact an experienced New York motorcycle accident lawyer. You need assistance from someone familiar with the process of pursuing compensation for injury or wrongful death in these cases. Our personal injury lawyers have experience handling injured motorcyclist cases across the entire NY area, with clients coming from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Nassau County and Long Island. Let our legal team handle the details of dealing with insurance companies and adjusters while you focus on getting the medical treatment you need to recover from your serious injury.
Additionally, the Statute of Limitations establishes strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. You could forego your right to compensation if you wait too long to speak with an attorney about your motorcycle accident in NY.
To schedule a consultation, contact our team of New York motorcycle accident lawyers by calling 1-800-624-8888 or completing a free case evaluation form. During the initial FREE consultation, a New York motorcycle accident lawyer at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP will review your case and determine whether you’re entitled to compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we’ll never charge you legal fees unless we succeed in first getting you compensation.