If you have a passion for motorcycling, you likely already know the risks that come with riding. However, if you ever get into an accident, it is important to understand your rights.
Negligent drivers often cause, or at least contribute, to motorcycle accidents. Because New York’s no-fault insurance system does not cover motorcyclists and their passengers, the negligent party to a crash is responsible for paying the injured person’s losses.
A local personal injury attorney could explain the claims process for injured bikers. For help in presenting the strongest possible case for damages, contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLP and speak with a Nyack motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your crash.
Motorcyclists must have liability coverage under New York law. If a motorcyclist hits a pedestrian or causes an injury to someone, the motorcyclist’s no-fault coverage will reimburse the injured person. However, motorcyclists and passengers cannot turn to the no-fault system when they themselves get hurt in an accident. New York Insurance Law § 5102f excludes motorcycle riders from no-fault coverage.
Instead, an injured biker or passenger must pursue the negligent parties in court. The no-fault system generally bars people who sustained injuries in vehicle accidents from suing unless their injuries are severe. However, because the statute excludes motorcycle riders from no-fault coverage, the restriction on suing only in cases of severe injury does not apply. A Nyack motorcycle accident lawyer from StolzenbergCortelli, LLP could explain in more detail how the claims process works for motorcycle riders involved in vehicle accidents.
Negligence means not using the care that a responsible person would have used in the same circumstances. Most accidents result from someone’s negligence, and when it comes to motorcycle crashes, the negligent party is often another driver.
Although drivers have a legal duty to be attentive to their surroundings, they often do not look for motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents might happen when a vehicle merges into a biker’s lane, rear-ends a biker stopped in traffic, cuts off a motorcycle, or does not yield when the biker has the right-of-way. At StolzenbergCortelli, LLP a Nyack attorney could investigate whether a mechanical failure contributed to the motorcycle crash, making the manufacturer potentially liable. If road conditions were a factor, the local government might bear some responsibility for the injured biker’s damages.
Sometimes a motorcyclist’s negligent conduct contributes to a crash, such as if the biker was not wearing a helmet as the law requires, or they were lane-splitting when the accident happened. In that case, the law limits the damages a biker could collect. Only the portion attributed to other parties could be recoverable.
Motorcyclists often suffer significant injuries in crashes. They can incur ruinous medical bills and may require weeks or months of rehabilitation before they can return to work. Sometimes the injuries are permanently disabling, and the biker can never resume their former employment.
Damages from the parties responsible for the crash could cover these expenses and the motorcyclist’s lost income. Damages also compensate for a biker’s disfigurement, physical pain, disability, lost enjoyment of life, emotional suffering, and other non-economic losses associated with the accident.
In rare cases when a party’s conduct is especially outrageous, a court might force a responsible party to pay punitive damages. Courts typically do not award punitive damages in personal injury cases but might do so if circumstances warrant. For example, a court might order punitive damages if a driver intentionally harassed a motorcycle rider and caused an accident.
The claims process for motorcycle accidents in New York is much different than for car accident claims. Do not try to navigate it without assistance from a knowledgeable professional.
To ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, seek help from a Nyack motorcycle accident lawyer at StolzenbergCortelli, LLP. Reach out today to speak with a member of our team.
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