Motorcycle accidents are among the most serious types of traffic crashes. In a collision between a motorcycle and a larger vehicle (a car, a van, an SUV, a truck, etc.), the motorcycle is practically guaranteed to lose.
You may be entitled to significant compensation if you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. The law firm of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi is committed to protecting the rights of the injured and pursuing justice on their behalf.
Please call (212) 543-1600 today for a free case review with a New York City motorcycle accident lawyer. Our firm serves clients throughout the five boroughs and other areas of New York.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in New York
The New York City Motorcycle Safety Study conducted by the NYC Department of Transportation found a significant disconnect between the number of motorcycles on the road and the percentage of traffic fatalities made up by motorcyclists. Although only 2% of all registered vehicles in New York City are motorcycles, 14% of the city’s deaths in motor vehicle accidents are motorcycle riders.
What’s more, motorcyclists are twice as likely to die in an accident in New York City than they are elsewhere in New York State. Over a period of 5 years, the study recorded the following motorcycle accident fatalities by borough:
- Queens: 66
- Brooklyn: 62
- The Bronx: 27
- Manhattan: 23
- Staten Island: 9
- Total motorcycle accident deaths in NYC (2010-2014): 187
The NYPD releases monthly crash statistics detailing (among other things) the types of vehicles involved in accidents. According to the latest NYPD Motor Vehicle Collision Report (June 2022), 339 motorcycles were involved in collisions in New York City.
I wanted to make sure that you were aware of my extreme gratitude to Chris DiGirolamo, and his law firm, for the work done on my behalf.
As a 33 year licensed motorcyclist in the state of NJ, I have seen a lot of friends/family go through the process of a personal injury suit, and many times the outcome is less than favorable. Let’s face it, there is a lot of bias against bikers out there… So when it was my turn to experience the process first hand, I didn’t hold a lot of hope that I would recover any of what I lost.
Chris DiGirolamo not only got me enough of a settlement to recover what was lost, he got the max available, allowing me to have a little piece of mind for the future as well.
He was patient when I sent endless emails full of questions and kind and understanding with regard to my case. I will ALWAYS refer my friends to this firm, and use them again myself, if the situation ever arises…
Thank you again for all your hard work!
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists have an undeserved reputation as daredevils and risk takers. In reality, the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the driver of another vehicle, not the rider.
Negligence on the part of a driver who causes a motorcycle accident can take many forms. Common causes of motorcycle accidents in New York City include:
- Improper passing: In the aftermath of an accident, drivers often claim that they “didn’t see the motorcycle” when changing lanes or trying to merge. This lack of visibility is often attributable to inattention or carelessness on the part of the motorist.
- Distracted driving: Cell phone use, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, eating and drinking, and other behaviors are all distractions that can lead to motorcycle accidents.
- Excessive speed: Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time and makes it harder to come to a stop. Couple this with the aggressive behavior that often accompanies driving too fast, and it is easy to see why motorcyclists are in danger when other drivers speed.
- Tailgating: Following another vehicle too close is an accident waiting to happen. When the vehicle in front is a motorcycle, however, the outcome can be catastrophic for the rider should a rear-end collision occur.
- Disobeying traffic signs and signals. Intersections are especially dangerous for motorcyclists. Whether a driver runs a red light or stop sign, disregards a yield sign, or violates the right of way, motorcyclists may be at risk whether they are turning or traveling straight.
- Impaired driving: Alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs all adversely affect a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. This increases the risk of an accident with all vehicles, but motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable.
Other issues that can lead to motorcycle accidents include dangerous and poorly maintained roads, as well as mechanical failures stemming from defective motorcycles and parts. It is crucial not to overlook any potential cause, as the factors that led to the crash and the party or parties responsible will determine your legal recourse after a motorcycle accident.
A New York City motorcycle accident lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will investigate the crash thoroughly on your behalf. Our team relies on extensive knowledge, resources, and experience to build strong cases for our clients.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable in the event of a crash. Although all motorcyclists and their passengers are required to wear helmets (see New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 381(6)), even those who are properly equipped can still suffer traumatic brain injuries and other serious harm in collisions with other vehicles.
Common injuries in New York City motorcycle accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries, including damage to the spinal cord
- Broken bones
- Damage to joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue
- Severe lacerations and abrasions, including road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs
Tragically, the injuries suffered by motorcycle riders in crashes often prove fatal. If your loved one is killed in a motorcycle crash, our New York motorcycle accident attorneys can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family.
Who Is At Fault for a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists are often unfairly blamed for collisions. Drivers and insurance companies alike will typically say that the rider was at fault. This can make it difficult for you to recover the compensation you deserve.
At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we thoroughly investigate the motorcycle accident to determine who is at fault. Potential parties in your motorcycle accident claim include:
- The driver of the other vehicle (or multiple drivers if more than one vehicle was involved)
- The employer of a driver operating a vehicle as part of his or her work; this may be a factor when motorcyclists are involved in:
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Train accidents
- Taxi accidents
- The manufacturer of a defective motorcycle or component part
- The government agency responsible for a poorly maintained road or hazards in the roadway
Generally, it is the other driver and/or another party who is at fault for motorcycle accidents – not the motorcyclist. However, you need compelling evidence to overcome the bias that often results in low settlement offers and even denial of legitimate claims. A New York City motorcycle accident lawyer can collect crucial evidence on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What If I Am Partially at Fault for the Motorcycle Accident?
It is important never to admit fault if you have been in a motorcycle crash. However, if the evidence shows that you are partly responsible, this does not mean you are barred completely from recovering damages.
New York has implemented a comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. When the claimant or plaintiff is partially at fault for the accident resulting in injuries, recoverable compensation is diminished in proportion to his or her level of fault (see New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 1411).
So, just because you may have contributed to the motorcycle accident does not mean you are unable to recover damages. This is why it is so important to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer promptly; you shouldn’t have to abide the accusations of the other driver or the insurance company’s denials when you could be owed compensation for your injuries.
Verdicts and Settlements
To a forty five year old motorcyclist who was struck by a rented box truck making a left turn against traffic. Client sustained multiple leg fractures and ruptured Aorta and had multiple leg surgeries.
How Much Is a Motorcycle Accident Worth?
Most auto accident claims in New York are covered solely by no-fault insurance. However, PIP insurance coverage is not available for motorcycles. Therefore, the only option riders have after a motorcycle accident in New York is to bring a claim against the other driver and any other parties responsible.
The compensation you may be due in a motorcycle accident claim will depend on the losses you have suffered. Our New York City motorcycle accident lawyers can pursue the following damages on your behalf:
- Your medical expenses to date
- The cost of future medical care, including surgery, rehabilitation, etc.
- Lost wages to date
- Loss of future wages and earning capacity
- Property damage
- Other out-of-pocket costs, such as home-based medical care, household services, assistive devices, modifications to your home and vehicle, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Once you agree to a settlement, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation for any costs or other issues related to the accident that you experience. Therefore, it is essential to consult a New York City motorcycle accident lawyer to ensure that all damages are accounted for and there is strong evidence to support your claim.
The majority of motorcycle accident claims are resolved via settlement without the need to go to court. However, a motorcycle accident attorney can keep you apprised of settlement negotiations and discuss whether it is necessary to file a lawsuit and prepare for trial to pursue a favorable outcome.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Motorcycle Accident Claim in New York?
In New York, personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations of 3 years (see New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214). You should speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible to maximize the time to collect evidence and build your claim.
Although 3 years might seem like a lot of time, the unfortunate reality is that the evidence of a motorcycle accident doesn’t last long. Debris is cleaned up, vehicles are removed, and witnesses’ memories fade. If you fail to take prompt action in asserting your legal rights, there may not be sufficient evidence to support your motorcycle accident case.
The same applies to cases of wrongful death in motorcycle accidents. Wrongful death claims in New York are subject to a 2-year statute of limitations beginning on the date of the decedent’s death (see the New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law § 5-4.1). Evidence should be gathered as soon as possible so you and your family don’t lose the opportunity to pursue compensation for the loss of your loved one.
How a New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
It is generally in your best interest to consult an attorney after any type of motor vehicle collision. Doing so is especially important in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident due to the complex nature of these cases.
Motorcycle riders are often seriously injured in accidents, making it difficult for them to get started on their case promptly. A motorcycle accident lawyer can take a number of key steps on your behalf, including:
- Collecting all relevant evidence at the scene (photos, measurements, etc.)
- Interviewing witnesses to the motorcycle accident
- Obtaining video footage of the accident (if available)
- Reviewing the crash report
- Evaluating your medical records and talking to your doctors about the severity of your injuries
- Calculating the damages in your motorcycle accident case
- Reviewing your case with expert witnesses
- Negotiating a fair motorcycle accident settlement
- Filing a lawsuit and preparing your motorcycle accident case for trial (if necessary)
The attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have been recognized as the best in our field year after year. All of our partners are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, signaling our commitment to maximizing the compensation we recover for our clients. We have also been selected to Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, and other listings of top attorneys.
Clients who hire Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi get a team of 30 people dedicated not only to the successful resolution of their case but also to providing knowledgeable legal guidance and support. We are with you every step of the way, from your initial consultation to the settlement or trial award.
Motorcyclists face a number of disadvantages in the event of an accident. Serious injuries are highly likely, potentially resulting in lifelong adverse effects for victims and their families. To make matters worse, getting the compensation you deserve as an injured motorcyclist is often an uphill battle.
At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we are driven by justice and the courage to fight for what’s right. Our clients inspire us to take on big insurance companies and other powerful parties. We have achieved millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients who sustained serious injuries or suffered the loss of a loved one in motorcycle accidents and other crashes.
For a free case review, please call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (212) 543-1600 today. Our New York City motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients throughout the five boroughs and other areas of New York.