Motorcycle accidents are very common in New York. On average, 1,558 people are hospitalized each year after motorcycle accidents in our state. According to the New York City Motorcycle Safety Study, Queens, NY, has one of the highest rates of motorcycle fatalities per population when compared to the other boroughs.
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in Queens, you’re not alone, but you may wonder if you need a lawyer. The answer is likely, yes.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
There’s no singular cause of motorcycle accidents. However, some factors make motorcycle accidents more likely to happen than other types of collisions.
Lane Splitting & Fast Riding
Lane splitting is illegal in New York. Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist weaves between lanes of slowly moving cars or stopped traffic, or passes a car in the same lane. Lane splitting is dangerous because it can surprise drivers and force proximity. Lane splitting is one of the main reasons that motorcycle accidents happen.
Motorcycles are also smaller and faster than most cars. As a result, it is easier to accelerate and exceed speed limits. Faster speeds also increase the chances of a serious accident.
More Road Hazards
Motorcycles have smaller frames and wheels than cars. This means that they are more sensitive to road hazards and debris. Potholes, gravel in the road, and wet surfaces cause many motorcyclists to crash and lose control when larger cars may not.
Since motorcycles are smaller than most cars, they can be hidden in the blind spot of other drivers. If a driver is not paying special attention to bikers on the road, they may merge or cause an accident when the motorcycle was in their blind spot.
What Makes Motorcycle Accidents Dangerous?
Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars because motorcycles are less stable and have fewer safety features. This means that motorcyclists are more likely to suffer serious injuries after a crash.
Fewer Safety Features
Most motorcycles don’t have the same safety features as cars. In fact, motorcycles are missing important safety features like:
- Protective metal car frame
- Crumple zones
When someone is in a motorcycle accident, they are more likely to experience bodily impact instead of being protected by the exterior of a car.
Serious Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
It is common for motorcyclists to experience catastrophic injuries after an accident like:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Chest injuries
- Amputation and loss of limbs
- Serious burns from skidding
- Permanent disability
These types of injuries can be life-altering and require expensive and ongoing medical treatment.
How Can A Lawyer Help After A Motorcycle Accident?
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you recover money for your injuries after a motorcycle accident. To do this, most lawyers will:
- Collect evidence and interview witnesses
- Calculate your total losses including economic and non-economic damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies (if applicable)
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the person at-fault
- Represent you in court
Many injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to pay them until you recover money. At that point, you’ll pay a percentage of whatever award you receive. This makes it low-risk to hire a lawyer after a motorcycle crash since you’ll know you can afford to pay them.
No-Fault Law Doesn’t Apply To Motorcyclists In New York
Traditionally, New York is a no-fault state. This means that you file a claim with your own insurance company if you are in a car accident, even if you didn’t cause the crash. However, this law does not apply to motorcyclists.
In fact, most motorcycle insurance policies don’t cover personal injury to the motorcyclist, only damage to the bike itself. That’s because insurance companies want to avoid paying out big claims.
If you are riding a motorcycle and get into a crash you will need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. That means going to court, and maybe having a trial. You’ll want a lawyer who understands the law and court procedure to fight on your behalf. Without one, your case may be dismissed.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Queens, NY
We have two convenient locations in New York: