By their nature, motorcycles are less crash-worthy than passenger vehicles. They are less visible to other motorists and pedestrians, weigh less, and are less stable than four-wheeled vehicles. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to road and weather hazards. They lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash.
In New York, on average, 1,558 hospitalizations and 4,458 emergency room visits result from motorcycle accidents each year. Many crashes are caused by the negligence of other drivers. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, your best course of action is to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Common Causes of New York Motorcycle Accidents
Driver negligence is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in New York. Driving behavior that causes crashes can occur in many different forms, including:
- Distracted driving: Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, or talking with passengers are not paying careful attention to the road. They are more likely to miss seeing or fail to register a motorcycle on the roadway.
- Tailgating: Following too closely is dangerous under any circumstances, but particularly when following a motorcyclist. Tailgating greatly increases the risk of a deadly rear-end collision if a motorcyclist should need to brake suddenly.
- Speeding: For more than 20 years, speeding has been a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This negligent driving behavior killed 9,378 people in a recent year. With speeding comes higher risk of loss of control of the vehicle, increased stopping distance, and greater force of impact in a crash.
- Running red lights and stop signs: Drivers who ignore stop signs or run red lights put other motorists at risk.
- Driving under the influence: Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs puts everyone on the roadway in danger. Motorcycles are more difficult to spot than larger passenger vehicles, which makes the risk of a crash caused by an impaired driver even greater.
- Negligent left-hand turns: This is one of the most common ways in which motorcycle accidents occur. A driver turning left against oncoming traffic may be focused on executing the turn and fail to notice a motorcycle traveling straight through the intersection from the opposite direction.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
In a study involving all injured motorcyclists hospitalized in another state during a five-year period, researchers compared injuries sustained by motorcyclists age 40 or older (with and without helmets) to injuries suffered by motorcyclists under the age of 40 (with and without helmets). This study was conducted by the Association for Advancement of Automotive Medicine. The most seriously injured body regions researchers found in both age groups, in order, were:
- Lower extremities
- Upper extremities
- Face and neck
Recovering Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries in New York
Insurance in New York is different for motorcycles than for cars. Motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles under the state’s no-fault law, and injured motorcyclists are not entitled to those medical and lost wage benefits.
However, motorcyclists are also not subject to the serious injury threshold under the no-fault law. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may bring a claim against the at-fault party for injuries that would not be considered serious enough to pass the no-fault threshold in a car accident case.
Get Legal Help From a New York Personal Injury Attorney
After a motorcycle crash with injuries, our New York personal injury attorneys at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP can handle your claim for compensation, while you focus on your recovery. Call The Case Handler team today at 212-608-3734 to get a dedicated legal advocate on your side after a serious motorcycle accident.