Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents in New York are fairly common. According to a 2020 study completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 4 times more likely to be injured in a collision than passenger vehicle occupants and 28 times more likely to pass away as a result of their injuries sustained.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be catastrophic in many cases, as any part of the body is exposed and can be injured in the crash. The following are some of the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries that occur:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: In a study conducted by the NHTSA, 15% of helmeted and 21% of un-helmeted motorcyclists suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a motorcycle accident. While 17% of all hospital-admitted motorcyclists had TBI, they account for 54% of admitted riders who did not survive.
Spinal Cord Injuries: When the spinal cord is injured from the impact of a collision, it can often lead to a catastrophic injury like paraplegia or quadriplegia. This type of injury can cause permanent or semi-permanent disability.
Whiplash: As one of the most common injuries in all motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents, whiplash occurs when a person’s head is violently and suddenly jerked back and forth. This rapid movement causes muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck to overextend.
Internal Injuries: Damage to the internal organs or internal bleeding is usually caused by blunt-force trauma (an injury that does not break skin) or penetration trauma (an injury that occurs when debris or a sharp object penetrates the skin) after an accident.
Lower Extremity Injuries: An NHTSA study concluded that lower extremity injuries — more specifically, the legs, tailbone and pelvis — are sustained more frequently than any other type of injury after a motorcycle accident.
Upper Extremity Injuries: These types of injuries occur when the head, neck, face, ribs, or arms are impacted as a result of an accident. Motorcycle riders over the age of 40 typically experience these types of injuries, specifically broken ribs, more than younger riders.
Fractures: When a motorcycle crash happens, the motorcycle will more than likely tip over to one side, pinning the rider’s leg under the bike. Wrists and arms can also sustain fractures in these types of accidents when riders try to break their fall.
Road Rash: When a motorcyclist makes contact with asphalt during a crash, serious abrasions called “road rash” can occur. These types of injuries can range from mild to severe, which will require prompt medical attention as they are highly susceptible to infection and scarring.
When to Seek Legal Help for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If your motorcycle accident injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you are able to file a personal injury claim against that driver within 3 years of the original accident under New York State Law.
Unfortunately, New York’s No-Fault insurance coverage usually does not extend to motorcyclists. While New York State requires that both motorcyclists and motorists alike carry bodily injury liability coverage at up to $25,000 for injury and $50,000 for death as well as property damage liability coverage at up to $10,000 for a single accident, this coverage only applies if the motorcyclist is at fault and a claim is brought against them for the accident. This coverage does not cover the motorcyclist’s medical expense or lost wages.
This means that a motorcyclist injured in an accident has to rely on their own private health insurance or government benefit program such as Medicaid or Medicare to pay for any medical bills. Should there be no health insurance or other government program, the motorcyclist will have to pay for the medical bills out of pocket. If the motorcyclist is not at fault for the accident, a claim can later be brought against the at-fault person to recover for any medical expenses paid and lost wages along with pain and suffering.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to help you navigate the complexities of filing a claim against the negligent party’s insurance company for medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering. At Cellino Law, our team of knowledgeable motorcycle injury attorneys can help you obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free case consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 800-555-5555.