Motorcycle accidents are not the same as other types of motor vehicle accidents. The risks involved with operating a motorcycle, causes of motorcycle accidents, injuries sustained, and liability issues all place motorcycle accidents into a unique category.
Motorcycle Accidents – The Deadliest of All Motor Vehicle Accidents
In 2013, there were over 5,000 motorcycle accidents throughout New York, resulting in 164 fatalities per the New York DMV. There are a number of factors that add to the risk of operating a motorcycle safely, including but not limited to:
- Limited visibility to other motor vehicle drivers
- Road hazards such as debris
- Potholes, rocks, mud, and sand;
- Decreased stability
According to a 2009 report by the Department of Transportation (DOT), fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents are approximately 40 times higher than fatalities caused by car accidents.
How Negligence Is Proven in a Long Island Motorcycle Accident
In order to seek compensation, you must be able to prove one of two things: that the other driver intentionally hit you, or that they acted negligently. Road rage and aggressive driving are common, and although most drivers wouldn’t run over a motorcyclist purposely, they may intentionally cut off or brake check (shortstop) motorcyclists, causing them to lose control and suffer severe injuries.
For most accidents, the root of the cause is negligence. Though “being negligent” is a common phrase, it has a legal definition. When a person acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t, and their actions are the cause of injury to another person, they are said to be negligent. There are four general elements of negligence in a motorcycle accident case, and they all must be proven in order to have a successful lawsuit.
1. Duty of Care
Drivers and others on the road have a duty of care to follow all safety and traffic laws and regulations on the road. It’s important for both drivers and motorcyclists alike to know Long Island’s traffic laws. For instance, it’s illegal for motorcyclists to split lanes. Drivers are forbidden from holding their phones at all while driving. Some of these laws are specific to New York and even Nassau or Suffolk County, but of course, there are traffic laws that are common across the country, such as stopping at red lights.
2. Breach of Duty of Care
If a driver fails to uphold their duty of care, they are said to have breached it. In some cases, vehicle manufacturers can be said to have breached their duty of care if there is a malfunction. However, for anyone to be said to have breached their duty of care, the incident must have been foreseeable. For instance, if a tree falls suddenly in the road, and a car hits a motorcyclist while they’re swerving to avoid the tree, they might not be held liable.
Third, the actions of the negligent person must be proven as the direct cause of your injury. This is often provable with supporting medical records from your treating medical providers. For instance, if the driver hits your motorcycle, and you are injured in the wreck, their actions could be said to have caused the injuries. However, if there is an accident on the other side of the road, and you take your eyes off the road causing you to strike another vehicle or object, it will be nearly impossible to hold someone else accountable.
Finally, you must be able to be compensated monetarily. This typically requires extensive evidence of your injuries and other losses. Personal injury, unpaid medical bills, lost wages, and property damage can fall under this category.
You Have a Right to Compensation
Our compassionate team of attorneys understands the financial needs of our clients following a motorcycle accident. We are here to help you recover from your injury and your losses and will aggressively seek the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys at TonaLaw believe all victims have the right to obtain full compensation for their injuries.
Below is a list of frequently reported injuries our clients have suffered during motorcycle accidents:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck disc injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Our Suffolk County, New York-based law firm will fight for you and your loved ones! Our firm has a reputation of uncompromising ethics throughout Long Island, New York City, and New York State. We utilize our extensive legal experience and litigation acumen to represent personal injury clients aggressively, always seeking all remedies available to our clients under the law.
The TonaLaw Advantage
At TonaLaw, we are a client first practice. Our attorneys and support staff utilize our extensive legal experience and litigation acumen to represent personal injury clients aggressively, always seeking all remedies available to our clients under the law.
Resources for New York Motorcyclists:
ABATE New York
Yonkers Motorcycle Club
Iron Order Motorcycle Club
Empire City Motorcycle Club
Sirens Motorcycle Club of New York City
New Breed Motorcycle Club
City Cruisers Motorcycle Club
New York City Fire Riders
Redrum Motorcycle Club
TonaLaw is a no-fee Long Island Personal Injury law firm – We get paid when we win your case!
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury sustained during a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another, contact us today at (631) 780-5355 or toll-free at 1-833-TONALAW or by filling in the form below, for a free case evaluation.