A motorcycle accident can leave victims with severe and sometimes fatal injuries. While riders understand the risks they take, they have the right to use the streets and highways just as any other motorist. If a motorcyclist is injured or killed due to another’s negligent behavior, victims and their families have the right to take legal action.
Our goal at Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. is to help accident victims by putting our experience to work for them. Have you or a loved one been hurt in a motorcycle crash? Find out why so many New York accident victims entrust their legal needs to us.
The Facts About Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Compared with other drivers and passengers, motorcyclists are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident. For one, motorcycles lack the steel frame and other safety features found in automobiles. They are lighter and less stable compared to cars and trucks. Also, due to their smaller size, it’s much more difficult to see a motorcyclist and adjust one’s driving behavior accordingly.
These are a few of the most frequent injuries that motorcyclist accident victims experience:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury
- Injuries to the extremities (e.g. hands and feet)
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
Many accident injuries are fatal. The fatality rate for New York City motorcycle accidents is nearly twice that of accidents that occur outside the city. In the event the motorcyclist dies from his or her injuries, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Why Motorcycle Accident Happens
Victims and family members who pursue legal claims after a motorcycle accident should know the basics of how these lawsuits work. It is up to the plaintiff to prove the necessary facts to establish liability. To that end, it helps to understand common reasons why motorcycle accidents occur. They include:
- Distracted driving: This may be the result of cell phone use, listening to the radio, trying to eat while driving, and more.
- Speeding and reckless driving: A speeding or recklessly driving vehicle is far less likely to see a motorcyclist and stop in time.
- Impaired driving: Driving while impaired is illegal, and impairment can be the result of alcohol or drugs (legal and illegal).
- Unsafe lane changes: The smaller size of a motorcycle means that drivers need to be especially cautious of their blind spots and change lanes safely.
- Road hazards: Poor road conditions can be the result of improper maintenance (e.g. potholes) or inclement weather such as rain.
- Tailgating and other aggressive behaviors: Some motorists tailgate motorcycles or engage in other aggressive actions that are extremely dangerous.
After an accident, it will be essential to document as much as you can about the events leading up to and immediately after the wreck. Establishing the cause of the accident, which may include one of the items listed above, is a good first step. You should also retain any records that document losses or expenses stemming from the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
New York’s insurance rules are not as generous toward motorcyclists as compared to other motorists. The state’s no-fault rule generally requires that victims’ own insurance companies pay for their injuries, regardless of who was at fault. But this law does not apply to motorcyclists because motorcycles are seen as inherently dangerous.
Fortunately, it is relatively easier for motorcycle accident victims to bring legal action against the responsible party. Since riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a vehicle, motorcycle accident victims can sue for injuries that are less severe than those suffered by car and truck accident victims. Therefore, even if your injuries are not devastating, it’s worth talking to an attorney.
Which Damages Can I Seek?
Insurance and liability are complicated matters, but your attorney will help sort out these details so that the responsible parties are held liable. Your lawyer will also work to ensure that your damages are taken care of. These are the expenses and losses that victims suffer as a result of their motorcycle accidents. Examples include:
- Personal injuries: Compensation for your personal injuries such as amputations, broken bones, lacerations resulting in scarring, loss of sight and/or hearing and the like is paramount. Our clients’ life changing injuries are of the utmost importance to us and obtaining the compensation necessary for our clients to resume a meaningful life, obtain the medical care and therapies they need is our focus.
- Pain and suffering: Serious accident injuries can cause pain and suffering to victims, in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder and related problems.
- Medical bills: This broad category covers everything from hospitalization, ambulance services, and surgeries to prescription drug medications, adaptive medical equipment, and physical therapy.
- Lost income and lost future income: While recovering from your injuries, or while visiting your doctor or other medical professional for treatment, you will lose time from work. In addition, you may not be able to return to the same line of work as before your accident.
- Wrongful death: Eligible surviving relatives of a deceased motorcycle accident victim may be able to seek a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. These lawsuits are similar to personal injury claims, albeit with different damages available.
- Property damage: Motorcycles are expensive vehicles, and the liable party can be made to pay for repairs or replacement.
How Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. Can Help
Our attorneys stand by accident victims and represent them from start to finish. Your case is handled by an experienced law firm partner, not a paralegal. We also take calls 24/7 and make home and hospital visits. Our firm will not take a fee if we are not able to recover compensation for you.
You can expect this level of personalized, compassionate service on top of our distinguished legal experience handling motorcycle accident claims. Although we work to resolve cases outside of court with the insurance companies, we don’t accept unfair settlement offers that don’t adequately compensate our clients.
Contact Our New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Suffering a motorcycle accident is frightening, and seeking compensation for your injuries may seem daunting. Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. is here for you. Give us a call today to explore your legal options and get started on your claim.
Miller, Montiel, & Strano, P.C. help clients with their motorcycle accident claims throughout New York including Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, and Brooklyn.