Every year, thousands of New Yorkers look forward to the beginning of summer so that they can pull their motorcycles out of storage and get on the road. Unfortunately, the enjoyment of riding can be shattered in an instant if you are involved in a collision. For three decades, we have helped clients from Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn to recover millions of dollars in damages in personal injury lawsuits, and we can help you.
Schedule your free consultation when you call us at 718-441-5050 today.
Motorcycling is a popular pastime, and, judging by motorcycle sales records, its popularity is increasing. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV), as of 2011, there were over 655,000 New Yorkers holding motorcycle licenses, and over 340,000 registered motorcycles—a 28% increase in licenses and a 76% increase in registered motorcycles from the previous decade. This increase has in turn led to a significant increase in the presence of motorcycles on the road.
Of course, with this increase comes a corresponding increase in motorcycle accidents—and in motorcycle rider fatalities and injuries. NYDMV records for 2012 show that there were 5,916 motorcycle accidents in New York resulting in 164 fatalities and over 5,000 injuries to motorcyclists and their passengers. More than half of these injuries were classified as severe to moderate.
The basic vulnerability of motorcyclists has always been that their bodies have little protection from the worst effects of an impact, even with the best helmets and leathers. But motorcyclists also share another vulnerability: motorcycles are harder to see than other vehicles. Of the 5,916 accidents that occurred, over 3,700 involved one or more other vehicles.
A study compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that nearly 40% of accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle were caused by the car turning left in front of a motorcycle. Other common accident scenarios included motorists coming out of a side street or driveway into the path of an oncoming motorcycle, and vehicles making a lane change broadside to a motorcycle.
When a motorcycle operator has obeyed all of the traffic laws but is nevertheless involved in a multi-vehicle crash not caused by environmental conditions or equipment failures or defects, chances are that the accident has been caused by the driver of the other vehicle. A negligent driver is a motor vehicle operator who: 1) has a duty to other road users to use proper care; 2) breaches that duty; and (3) causes an injury that (4) results in damages. A negligent driver may be held civilly liable to the injured party in a negligence claim.
If a motorcycle accident victim can prove that he has been injured by a negligent driver, he may be entitled to compensation from that driver for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical costs (past and future);
- Lost income (past and future);
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Physical disfigurement;
- Disability; and/or
- Any other available damages.
Damage awards can be substantial. However, it should be noted that under Georgia’s comparative fault rule, damages may be limited if a plaintiff bears some fault. For example, a jury may determine that a motorist who made an illegal turn is 80% responsible for the accident, but the motorcyclist, who was speeding, is responsible for 20%. In such a case, any damage award would be reduced by 20%.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident involving another vehicle, you should speak with a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury attorney who has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases as soon as possible: personal injury claims must be brought within two years of the accident, and important evidence can be forgotten or lost with delay.
For 30 years, the Queens motorcycle accident lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm have been helping motorcycle riders and others who have been injured in accidents caused by negligent drivers to obtain all of the damages to which they are legally entitled.
To set up your free consultation and find out if damages may be available to you, call 718-441-5050, or use our online form.