Bronx Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycles are one of the more energy-efficient methods of transportation and they can also be a lot easier to park than a standard motor vehicle. Unfortunately, motorcycle operators and passengers are at significantly higher risk for injury and death if they are involved in an accident. In the Bronx, I have seen some devastating injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents and in those cases, my goal is to ensure that victims are compensated for their injuries.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
During 2013, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reported there were nearly 5,000 accidents involving motorcycles on New York roadways. The causes of motorcycle accidents, like those of auto accidents are varied and can involve other motorcycles, automobiles and pedestrians. Some of the most common causes of accidents include:
- Driver Errors – Failure to yield the right of way is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents accounting for nearly 900 accidents. Other significant causes include involve distracted driving and traveling at unsafe speeds.
- Vehicle Issues – More than 200 accidents involved vehicular factors such as defective brakes or tire failure. In more than one-half of these accidents, the problem with the vehicle was unidentified.
- Environmental Issues – Animals are the leading cause of the more than 800 motorcycle accidents that involved environmental factors. Defective roadways and slippery pavements combined account for nearly 200 motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Slightly more than 2,000 motorcycle accidents involved only one vehicle while nearly 3,000 involved two vehicles and slightly more than 200 involved more than three vehicles. There were a total of 164 fatalities on New York roadways of which 157 were motorcycle operators. Five pedestrians also lost their lives as a result of a motorcycle accident.
Injuries varied among victims including nearly 1,000 that were considered serious, nearly 1,400 considered moderate and nearly 1,800 that were considered minor. In addition, almost 700 accidents resulted in property damage. If you have had your property damaged or you were one of the thousands injured in motorcycle accident, a lawyer can help you recover financially from your losses.
Determining Who Bears Responsibility
Proving fault is the cornerstone of personal injury lawsuits. Since those involved in an accident will be required to file a police report, your lawyer will review the reports, your medical reports and speak to witnesses who may have seen the accident or know about the road conditions that may have caused the accident. Since New York has a no-fault insurance plan, we can often help you file the necessary paperwork, due within 30 days of an accident to recover immediate medical costs and lost wages.
It is also important to note that New York has a shared responsibility clause that means that if you are found partially responsible for an accident, any award lawyer may secure on your behalf may be reduced by a percentage if you are found to be partially responsible. An example of this is if you are the motorcycle operator and you fail to use a signal and are struck by a vehicle, you may be found to be 10 percent responsible. Therefore, an award of $100,000 would be reduced to $90,000.
There are some significant injuries that victims can suffer after a motorcycle accident. I have seen victims with broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and crushing injuries. Unfortunately, I have also worked with the families of victims who have lost their lives. When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the first thing you should do is make sure you get immediate medical attention.
Bronx Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
What rights do motorcycle operators have in the Bronx?
According to N.Y. VTL § 125, motorcycles qualify as motor vehicles in the Bronx (excluding electric-powered bicycles and scooters).
Riders have the same general rights and responsibilities as drivers in New York under VTL § 1250, with the following notable additions:
- Operators must sit astride a regular seat facing forward with one leg on each side of the bike
- Motorcycles may only carry one person per designated seat
- Bikers may not carry packages, bundles, or persons that prevent them from keeping both hands on the handlebars
- Motorcyclists must have a clear view of their surroundings
- Riders may not attach motorcycles to other vehicles, excluding sidecars
- Riders may operate two abreast in one lane of traffic
Importantly, VTL § 1252 states that motorcyclists have full use of the lanes in which they operate, and other drivers may not deprive any rider of this right. Likewise, riders may not overtake and pass other cars or trucks in the same lane of traffic or operate in the gaps between lanes. Motorcyclists injured by negligent drivers in the Bronx might have reduced financial compensation if they violated these traffic provisions. Still, insurance adjusters often unlawfully use these regulations as grounds for denying injured riders just compensation.
What types of motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries?
Any accident involving a motorcycle may result in serious bodily damage to the rider. However, the following accidents cause the majority of rider injures in the Bronx:
- Road hazards – Serious roadway dangers, such as potholes, road debris, and misplaced construction tools, may easily throw riders off their motorcycles
- Left-hand turns – Drivers sometimes struggle to see a rider signal a left-hand turn and run directly into the back or side of turning motorcyclists
- Head-on collisions – Many rider fatalities result from distracted or drunk drivers running red-lights, making wrong turns, or swerving directly into the front of a bike
- Run-overs – The most serious injuries often occur when one of the above accidents forces a rider in front of another moving vehicle, causing the unexpected driver to hit or run over the rider
Motorcycles may also fall onto riders after an accident, causing additional burns, fractures, and lacerations. The negligent driver responsible for setting the accident in motion typically bears primary responsibility for these chain-reaction damages. State or local highway departments might also carry liability for creating hazardous roadway conditions resulting in motorcycle crashes.
What injuries do bikers commonly suffer in Bronx motorcycle crashes?
Even seemingly minor rear-end accidents on the Major Deegan usually injure motorcycle riders more than motor vehicle occupants.
The simple weight differential between cars and motorcycles often results in fatalities and the following serious injuries:
- Paralysis/spine damage – Most motorcycle accidents result in riders landing on a hard surface or suffering from several impacts and damaging their spines
- Head trauma – Concussions and similar traumatic brain injuries, often combined with neck trauma, may forever change a rider’s life
- Disc herniations – Even a relatively minor impact with concrete may dislodge spinal discs resulting in nerve damage, pain, and difficulty standing, sitting, sleeping, or walking
- Fractures – Complete fractures, including compound and comminuted fractures, often occur when negligent drivers knock riders off their bikes or propel them into the path of moving vehicles
- Friction burns – Sliding on rough terrain frequently results in painful friction burns causing permanent scarring and disfigurement
Once you have done that, contact Bronx attorney Ivan M. Diamond at 877-960-1702 for a free consultation. My job is to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve including payment of your medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages and in some cases, for pain and suffering. Motorcycle accident victims often suffer far more serious injuries than those who are injured in a car accident, call me for help; I am committed to getting you the compensation you deserve.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond888 Grand Concourse #1L Bronx, NY 10451 Phone: (718) 588-2000 Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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