While motorcycle accidents are not as common in the city as car accidents, bikers often have more serious injuries in accidents than do people in passenger vehicle crashes.
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle crash, to focus on healing from your injuries, but at the same time, medical bills may be piling up. Less money may be coming in, as you may be unable to work or unable to work at all. Procedures to treat your injuries may be both time-consuming and expensive. You may be in pain and unable to enjoy life the way you did before.
The personal injury lawyers at The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm want to help. Motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering. We have the experience and knowledge to fight to get you what you deserve.
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Insurance Laws Are Different For Motorcyclists And Car Drivers In New York
New York State has no-fault laws that apply to motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, or taxis. If you were a motorist involved in a car accident, insurance companies would typically pay for your injury claims no matter who was at fault. Motorcyclists don’t get this benefit, this law does not apply to motorcycle accidents or crashes.
However, motorcyclists do have one advantage over car drivers under the state’s no-fault laws. Motorcyclists can sue other drivers to get compensation for their personal injuries, whether those injuries were minor or major. Car drivers in New York are only allowed to sue if their injuries are considered serious.
To find out more about how this works, talk to an experienced New York motorcycle accident lawyer at The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm. If the other driver or drivers involved in your accident were negligent, you may be able to get the compensation you need to help get your life back on track.
Reasons Why Motorcyclists Are Prone To Severe Injuries In A Crash
There are several reasons why someone injured in a New York City motorcycle accident is more likely to suffer severe injuries than a driver or rider in a car, SUV, or truck.
- In a collision, a motorcyclist is exposed to a direct impact without the protection of the metal frame of a car or other enclosed vehicle.
- Riding on two wheels is less stable than riding on four.
- Because a motorcycle is so much smaller and lighter than a car, even a small impact may do substantial damage.
- Drivers in cars and trucks may have difficulty seeing motorcycles on the road until it is too late.
Ways To Avoid A Motorcycle Accident
By paying more attention to motorcycle safety, you can reduce the chances that you or your passengers will get hurt in a motorcycle accident.
- Never drive your motorcycle when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Don’t get distracted. Don’t use your phone while you are driving. Give your full attention to the road.
- Follow the New York State laws about wearing a helmet and eye protection, using a headlamp, and getting the required motorcycle inspections.
- Follow all New York State traffic laws and, if you plan to drive out of state, review the traffic laws for the states you are passing through.
- Be sure that you are properly trained to drive your motorcycle and, if you need to, practice on a course before driving on the road.
- Wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible to other drivers.
- Be extra alert in intersections, on curves, and when driving in unfamiliar areas.
NYC Motorcycle Safety Laws
If you ride a motorcycle on any public roads or highways in New York City, you are subject to the motorcycle laws of New York State. These laws include requirements that:
- The driver must have a Class M or MJ license or learner’s permit.
- Drivers and passengers must wear motorcycle helmets that meet federal standards. If the helmet has speakers, it can have only one earphone.
- Drivers and passengers must wear protective eyewear.
- If a passenger rides on the bike, the bike must have a passenger seat and footrest.
- The bike must have a working headlight, taillight, red rear reflector, license plate lamp, stop lamp, horn or bell, muffler, and at least one rearview mirror. You must use the headlight during the day. Handlebars can’t be higher than shoulder height.
- Depending on when your bike was manufactured, you may also need turn signals, directional signals, and brakes on both wheels.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Depending on your injuries, you may need assistance from many types of medical specialists, including emergency room doctors, surgeons, and therapists. Accident victims may need medication and assistive devices. Recovery may take a long time. Some injuries are permanent or fatal. Common injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injury. The most important thing you can do to prevent a traumatic brain injury is to always wear a helmet and insist that your passengers wear helmets too. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can be mild, moderate, or severe. Accident victims with severe brain injuries may have seizures and serious problems with thinking and communicating. The result may be permanent physical or mental disability, requiring lifelong care, or death. TBI victims may need surgery, multiple types of medication, and various kinds of rehabilitation therapy.
Injuries to Arms or Legs. Limb injuries are common if motorcyclists or passengers are thrown from their bikes in an accident. Common injuries include broken bones, muscle damage, and nerve damage. People with these injuries may lose income and need long stays in the hospital, physical therapy, and/or home aides.
Injuries to the Spine. The spinal cords of motorcycle drivers and motorcycle riders are not protected and are vulnerable to injury in an accident. People suffering from serious spinal injuries may need therapy or other treatment for the rest of their lives. In addition to the ongoing medical expenses and long-term income loss, these accident victims may also require surgery, special equipment, modifications to their homes, and medication.
Skin Injuries. When people are thrown from bikes in a collision, their skin can be scraped away where it gets rubbed against the road. Road rash is a common injury that is painful and may lead to infections and require extended treatment. Degloving, also known as avulsion, may also happen as a result of a motorcycle crash. This is a very serious problem where the skin and underlying tissue are severed from the muscle, connective tissue, or bone. Degloving can be fatal. It usually requires long-term physical therapy and may also require skin grafts and even amputation. Burns and other skin injuries can cause scarring or other permanent disfigurements, which may cause the injured motorcyclist to suffer emotional trauma.
Types Of Motorcycle Accident Cases Our Firm Handles
The personal injury attorneys at our law firm handle many kinds of motorcycle injury cases, including injuries arising from these types of accidents:
Head-On Collisions. These collisions are, unfortunately, a common type of motorcycle accident. They can cause severe injuries.
Lane Splitting. Motorcyclists who drive between lanes of cars and trucks in traffic jams put themselves at risk.
Speeding. Going over the speed limit or going too fast for road conditions are common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Impaired Driving. Motorcycle drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have a higher risk of fatal accidents.
Distracted Driving. Using a cell phone while driving is a common cause of accidents. Eating, drinking, and talking while driving may also be dangerously distracting.
Potholes and Other Road Hazards. Potholes are all too common throughout New York City and are a hazard that can cause motorcycle accidents. A map of the city’s pothole work orders shows that potholes aren’t confined to Manhattan but are also found in almost every neighborhood in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Wet roads, loose gravel, leaves, and various objects also present dangers to motorcyclists.
Cars Turning Left. When cars and other enclosed vehicles make left-hand turns, they may not see a motorcycle that is in their path.
Call Us For A Free Consultation With A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to deal with it by yourself. The motorcycle accident legal team at the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm wants to help.
We have more than 40 years of experience helping our clients get the justice they need. We view every one of our clients as an individual, with his or her unique story and needs. The best part of our jobs is being able to use our knowledge and experience to relieve some of our clients’ burdens.
We would be happy to meet with you and do a free, no-obligation case evaluation. That will also be a chance for you to learn what your options are and what is likely to happen if you decide to file a personal injury claim. If a loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash or died later from injuries sustained in the crash, you will learn more about filing a wrongful death suit. The deadline, or statute of limitations, for filing a claim for a motorcycle accident injury is three years after the accident. To make an appointment for a free consultation, call us at 212-869-3500 or contact us online today.