Motorcycle accidents occur at nearly an equal rate to automobile accidents; however, they tend to result in more severe injuries or fatalities. Given that the rider has limited protection compared to a driver in a car, it is fair to state that motorcyclists face an increased safety risk. Our Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyers see how this decreased protection affects injured victims too often.
As a biker, you have the right to seek compensation for injuries or the death of a loved one that is due to the negligent actions of another driver or motorcyclist. At Cellino Law our Buffalo personal injury lawyers have experience in motorcycle accidents and will help you get the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Table of Contents
The Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
All road users, more so the bikers, should be aware of and understand the various causes of motorbike accidents. As a biker, you should know what you can do to avoid collisions and crashes in the future. The following are some of the things that you should be aware of to help you stay safe when on the roads in Buffalo.
Since motorbikes are two-wheeled vehicles that are smaller than cars, they are prone to slip into a blind spot. Therefore, they often go unnoticed by most drivers hence the reason for many of the motorcycle accidents happening that involve cars. Most of them occur at night when it is harder for the driver to see a small bike on their side-view mirrors. As such, drivers should pay a little more attention when checking their blind spot while the riders must be mindful of staying in areas where they cannot be noticed with ease.
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns
A driver intending to make a left-hand turn typically checks for and notices the absence of vehicles, not the presence of any other oncoming object. That is why some fail to see oncoming bikes when making a left turn and collide with the motorcyclists. Drivers are expected to keep in mind that roads also have other users aside from other drivers; they should be on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and bikers. And for the riders, they should be aware of the car that is in front and note its sign that indicates the vehicle is getting ready to make a turn.
Lane splitting is risky, and yet it still is a prevalent thing across many states. It is a dangerous way of driving because close proximity increases the risk of an accident happening. It also leaves little room for safe maneuvering. Moreover, most drivers are caught unawares by other drivers lane splitting. Motorcyclists must pay extra attention to the drivers and ensure they adhere to state laws when it comes to lane splitting while also knowing that it is dangerous and can result in an accident.
People might always not be speeding intentionally; however, this is one of the leading causes of accidents on the streets, roads, and highways across the country. Speeding poses a significant risk of perils for any car, and the dangers as well as the severity of the injuries that can result in a speeding accident increase exponentially for the two-wheeled vehicles. The bikes, though equipped with powerful engines, are less stable and prone to sliding, especially when making a sharp turn, cruising on wet surfaces or rough roads with a lot of loose gravel.
In the cities, most of the motorcycle accidents that occur are attributed to the rider pumping into a car’s open door. Motorcyclists should be more attentive and aware of their surroundings when they are in an area with parked vehicles. They should ensure they leave enough space between the cars and be aware of the parked vehicle in front. Drivers, on the other hand, should use their side-view mirrors to check for oncoming objects before opening their doors.
While these five causes are the most common, there are dozens more that are associated with motorcycle accidents. They can include riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to signal before turning, and even poor road conditions. But whichever the reason for the motorbike collision, such accidents are often dangerous to all who are involved. As a biker, you, therefore, must practice proper road safety and do your best to avoid dangerous situations that can result in accidents.
Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
While motorbike accidents are happening at a worryingly similar rate as automobile accidents, the resulting injuries tend to be more severe. Car and trucks are equipped with safety features such as seat belts, airbags, and the entire thing is but metal cage on wheels. Therefore, the drivers enjoy some relatively better protection than a motorcyclist. The list of possible injuries that a biker can sustain in an accident is long, and some of them are more common than others. Below are the top five injuries attributed to motorcycle crashes and collisions in the United States.
The riders are often thrown off the motorcycles when in a crash or collision, sustaining fractures as the body hits the ground. The ribs, legs, arms, and back are some of the issues addressed in the emergency rooms following a motorbike accident. If the bones break, this can cause further damage to the skin, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.
Contusions or bruises are the other frequent type of injuries, and they can occur on any part of the body. The most serious bruises are those that involve the head and often associated with a traumatic head injury. Such kind of an injury can lead to death or disability. That is why every motorcyclist and their rider in New York is expected to wear a helmet.
Sprains and Strains (13.7%)
When the bikers are thrown off their motorcycles when in an accident, they tend to land awkwardly, damaging their joints. Sprains mostly occur in the wrists, ankles, neck, knees, and fingers. The reason for this is the body is forcefully contorted in an unnatural position that stretches the muscles and tendons beyond their normal limits.
Open Wounds (12.1%)
The open wounds often occur when the body hits the ground at great force, depending on the speeds traveled leading up to the collision. The friction on the skin as the body rolls on the pavement or asphalt rips off portions of it, creating road rash and open wounds that can later result in infection and scarring.
Superficial Injuries (10.7%)
Many of the superficial injuries consist of minor cuts, bruising, and lacerations. They tend to occur in the lower extremities and hands. Superficial wounds might seem less severe than the other mentioned injuries, by they still require adequate medical attention.
Ride a motorbike is a fun and exciting experience, but it also has its fair share of risks. The above injuries are the most common when it comes to motorcycle accidents. They have a small representation of what is an exhaustive list. Hence, riders should be familiar with the risks involved and the kinds of injuries they can sustain if they are involved in an accident.
How Is Blame Determined In NY Motorcycle Accidents?
Who is to blame? That seems always to be the primary underlying question after an accident happens. The victims are quick to point fingers accusing the other parties involved. However, the victims might also shoulder some fault. Knowing who is responsible is essential when it comes to seeking compensation. An experienced Buffalo car accident lawyer can help determine liability before filing the claim case. They can do this based on evidence gathered after investigating the scene and collecting the eyewitness statements as well as your medical report and the police report. They will consider a few common factors when trying to answer the question, “who is responsible for the accident?”
It is the reckless or careless behavior of a motorist when operating a vehicle on the roads. It includes incidents where the driver did not see the biker, did not yield the right of way, was driving under the influence, or was speeding leading up to the accident. It can be on a combination of any of these, and this makes the driver liable for the accident and resulting injuries and losses. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate the matter to prove the other party was negligent in their conduct and failed to operate their vehicle or uphold their duty of care safely.
The incident might have occurred due to a manufacturer’s error in your motorcycle. It can be due to incorrect setup, a malfunctioning part, or any other related reason.
Unsafe Road Conditions
The state owes all road users the right for them to use roads that are safe and in good condition. Unaddressed or excessive wear makes the roads a dangerous place, and it increases the risk of accidents. If collisions and crashes are attributed to unsafe conditions of the road, then the state might be assigned the blame. Such hazardous conditions include unsigned curves and bends, potholes, unevenly paved roads, obstructed traffic lights, overgrown trees, and construction refuse, among other things. People are nonetheless encouraged to contact the appropriate authorities as soon as possible if they come across unsafe conditions on the roads.
At Cellino Law, we understand the seriousness of automobile and motorcycle accident claims. That is why we shall do our best to ensure your case receives the right attention. The attorneys assigned to your case will work to get you the desired outcome irrespective of the would-be causes of your motorbike accident, be it manufacturing errors, motorist negligence, or unsafe road conditions. We always advise people to take as much evidence and information about the incident as they can to help them put together a strong claim case.
Keep in mind that determining who is at fault is never a straightforward affair, but we are committed to making sure that we are fair and confident of our findings when we place the blame on another party.
What Damages Do Motorcycle Accident Claims Cover?
Motorcycle accident victims may end up seriously injured and spend thousands of dollars on medical bills. Why should you have to bear such costs when you are not responsible for the accident that resulted in your injuries? The insurance providers of the parties who are at fault should compensate you for your losses. But dealing with insurance companies can be challenging.
You will face significant opposition as they try to discredit your motorcycle accident claim or offer a lesser settlement. That is why you should let us deal with them as we represent your interests during the negotiations. Our legal professionals will be able to determine the ideal compensation amount to ask for based on your losses as well as present and future medical bills. Some of the compensation that you might be eligible to ask for include:
The costs of medical treatment can be high, depending on the severity of your injuries. Treating a head trauma, for instance, or even a spinal cord injury, can be lengthy, with some lasting the rest of the victim’s life. Our team of experienced attorneys here at Cellino Law will make sure that you are adequately compensated for all medical bills cover both the present and possible future costs of treatment.
Loss of Wages
Severe injuries can leave motorcycle accident victims immobilized and unable to go to work for a long while. The result is the loss of income. The lawyers assigned to your case will deal with the insurance companies to make sure that the compensation amount also covers your lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
The stress and anguish surrounding a motorbike accident can include physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering. While no amount of money can fully cover what you are experienced, it still can go a long way in helping alleviate some of the pain by covering the damages you incurred due to the accident.
The bike might have sustained significant damage in the crash. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will work closely with the insurance companies to determine the rental fees, repair costs, and other expenses you might be facing for the restoration of the motorcycle.
You should not fight the battles alone when you are seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident. Allow us at Cellino Law to help. Our experienced Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyers know every trick the insurance providers try to use to avoid making payments. We shall be fully dedicated to fighting for your interests and will ensure that you receive the reimbursement that you rightly deserve.
You might not know where to start or be feeling intimidated by the insurance companies. However, you should not let that deter you from fighting for your rights. We are more than glad to help you navigate the process. As legal professionals, we will help you understand what your options are and the different policies and laws to follow as you pursue your claim.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) issues statistics reports on motorbike safety and accidents regularly. One of the most recent publications hand the following data:
- The number of motorcycle-related fatalities that happened in the United States in 2010 was 4,502.
- Since 2000, motorcycle accident deaths have increased by 55%.
- In 2010, the injuries and deaths attributed to motorbike crashes cost the United States of American losses amounting to $12 billion in medical costs and productivity.
In a past study that was done between 2001 and 2008 by the CDC showed that more than 34,000 motorcycle accident victims lost their lives, which represented a 55% increase. Furthermore, over 1.22 million people were treated for various non-fatal injuries associated with motorcycle crashes during that period.
According to a survey done by the NHTSA (National Highways Traffic Safety Administration) showed that of the many fatalities that happened in 2010, 706 were avoidable if those involved had worn a helmet. Of the same recorded fatalities, 29% of those accidents that result in deaths involved alcohol intoxication. 35% of the cases included in speeding motorcyclists. Additional data from the NHTSA shows the following statistics:
- Motorbike riders are 35 times likely to die from a crash or collision that drivers in cars.
- More than 10% of road accidents in the U.S. involve bikers.
- Helmets are essential protective wear that can lower accident fatalities by as much as 37%.
What Are The Costs Of Motorcycle Accidents?
The NHTSA states that different factors influence the medical expenses linked to motorbike collisions. For instance, a rider that wears a helmet and suffers head injuries can face an average treatment bill of $14,000 compared to $16,000 for a biker that does put on a helmet.
The hospital bills related to motorcycle accidents account for 6%, while the loss of wages is at 26% and 63% for suffering attributed to the injuries incurred in the accidents.
The information given above should serve as a reminder of why every motorcyclist has a responsibility to uphold the duty of care. The same level of safety is also expected of the drivers. You, nonetheless, should not hesitate to get in touch with our law offices if you are involved in a motorbike collision. Our experienced attorneys are ready to offer you the assistance and advice you need. We know how to deal with insurance providers and are familiar with the complexities surrounding the various processes of determining fault and filing the lawsuit.
What Laws Regulate Motorcycle Riding In New York?
Ney York as clear-cut laws that define what is expected of all bikers when riding on-road or off-road. You must have a good understanding of these rules as you also familiarize yourself with your rights as a motorcyclist. Below are some of the critical regulations that you should be aware of:
- Lane splitting is illegal.
- Headlights are mandatory; they should be on at all times.
- Safety helmets are required.
- Helmet with built-in speakers must only have a single earphone.
- Eye protection is mandatory for all bikers.
- If carrying a passenger, a footrest is a must.
- Handlebars or grips must be equal to or lower than the rider’s shoulders.
- No straight pipes are allowed, only mufflers.
- Motorcyclists can ride two abreast in the same lane.
- Turn signals are required for motorcycles manufactured in or after 1985.
- No sound limits
- Headlights are required after sunset
- Eye protection is not required
- Bikers aged between 10 and 16 years must have rider education certification
How Do You Establish Liability For Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
For the settlement to have substance during negotiations with the insurance companies, we need to prove that the other party was at fault for an motorcycle crash in Buffalo, NY. Proving liability will require that we give the following as evidence:
Duty of Care
The defendant has the burden of care to uphold that would have ensured other road users at not put in harm’s way.
Breach of Duty
The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care by acting unreasonably and irresponsibly regarding enduring the safety of others. The violation of duty might be attributed to reckless conduct like speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, or failing to check for motorcyclists before making a turn or changing lanes.
The breach of duty is what led to the accident and the resulting injuries that you sustained.
You suffered economic and non-economic damages that include physical, mental, emotional, and financial losses due to the motorcycle accident.
We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather enough evidence that we shall use to put together a well-supported personal injury case. Some of the crucial evidence that will be used to establish fault and determine the value of the losses you incurred might include:
- Medical records
- The accident report from the police
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photographs or video surveillance
- Wage records
- Expert opinion and testimony for professionals such as vocational specialists, accident reconstruction specialists, and engineers among others
How Can The Value Of My Motorcycle Accident Case Be Determined?
We will review every type of damage associated with the accident to determine the value of the settlement. Some of the crucial damages that we shall help you pursue include:
- Medical treatment, care, and medication
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Assistive devices required
- Vehicle and home modifications
- Lost income and benefits
- Projected future lost income and associated benefits.
- Other out-of-pocket costs
Besides the damages listed above, you might also be eligible to seek compensation for non-economic damages, which can include:
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
We at Cellino Law have the experience and resources needed to help you pursue a claim for your injuries or wrongful death of a loved one involved in a motorcycle accident on Buffalo, New York. Call our law offices today at 800-555-5555 for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Why Should I Hire A Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Lawyer To Handle My Claim?
From our many years of service to the resident in Buffalo and across the state of New York, we understand how hard things get when trying to pursue a lawsuit seeking compensation while also undergoing treatment and trying to recover from your injuries. That is why hiring an experienced Buffalo motorcycle accident attorney to handle things on your behalf is a wise move. It allows you to focus more on getting better. Moreover, you will have leveled the playing field by having legal representation as you face the insurance companies and their team of lawyers.
Reach out to our highly experienced Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyers at Cellino Law today to know more about your case and how best to proceed. Here is why:
- The insurance providers will put up a valiant effort to discredit your claim. They will have a team of attorneys looking into various loopholes they can use to reduce their losses. We shall be there standing up for you, putting up a tough fight to ensure they are held accountable and compensate you.
- Other parties involved in the motorcycle collision might try to place some blame on you for the accident. We shall do all we can to minimize your liability of the accident and keep such baseless claims from tainting your chances of getting the maximum settlement.
- We will investigate the incident to determine if there are other people or parties held responsible as we investigate what caused the accident. From the information we gather, we can then seek compensation from all liable parties.
- We might bring in various experts in different fields to help us investigate the accident and determine what your case is worth as we pursue the full compensation possible.
Nobody anticipates being in an accident when on the roads, but such events can happen to anyone at any time. The crash can be devastating, but we know that money awarded to you can make a difference in the days that follow the motorcycle accident. That is why our Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyers will be fully dedicated to helping you secure the maximum compensation. As a result, you can direct much of your efforts to getting better.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Motorcycle Accident Claims In Buffalo?
Recovering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can take time. But you cannot wait for that long before you start the process of pursuing your claim. Remember that the law places deadlines (statute of limitations) on when to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. For your motorbike accident claim, you will have three years from the date of the incident to file your case. If you fail to do so within the stipulated period, then your claim will not be valid, and you will lose the right to sue seeking compensation for your injuries.
However, the specific circumstance surrounding our case can influence how much time you have to act. The best action is to contact an experienced Buffalo motorcycle accident attorney to help you. Our legal representatives will review your case and advise you accordingly.
What If A Motorcycle Rider Is Partly To Blame For An Accident?
If that is the case or you believe you might be at fault, you do not need to panic. That fact that you shoulder some blame does not mean you are responsible for the accident. If you are partly liable, then still can recover some compensation for your damages and losses. In the state of New York, the fault is apportioned between the parties responsible for the accident.
The shared blame does not disqualify you from pursuing your injury claim. It only affects the much you can be awarded. The deductions are issues based on your degree or percentage of blame for the accident. That means, if your fault is 25%, the compensation awarded to you will be reduced by 25%.
Given the probability of such instances in your pursuit of justice, you should consider working closely with an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney. Our lawyers will fight for your rights and protect your interests. At Cellino Law, we shall do what we can to lessen your level of liability so that we improve your odds of securing compensation that will cover your lost wages and medical bills. Call our Buffalo injury law firm today at 800-555-5555 for a non-obligatory case review and know how to proceed.