Motorcycle accidents are occurring at an alarmingly high rate and are almost equal to the number of automobile accidents that occur annually. Unlike car accidents, motorcycle accidents tend to cause more severe injuries and often result in fatalities. Since motorbike riders have limited protection compared to car drivers, it’s fair to say that motorcyclists face increased safety risks.
If, as a biker, you have suffered injuries due to the negligent actions of another road user, you have right the right to seek compensation injuries caused. The same applies to a loved one who’s been injured or has died as a result of another person’s negligence. Navigating the claims process can be difficult though and you may need the help of a Rochester, NY motorcycle accident lawyer. At Cellino Law, we have dedicated and experienced attorneys that have who are willing to help you get maximum compensation for your losses and injuries. Call our Rochester, NY injury law firm today at (800) 555-5555.
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What Are Some of the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
All road users, and especially bikers, should know and have a good understanding of the various things that lead to motorbike accidents. As a bike rider, you must know how to handle yourself while on the road to avoid crashes and collisions. Below is a list of things you should be aware of if you want to stay safe on the road.
Considering that motorcycles are two-wheeled vehicles and are smaller than cars, they’re prone to slipping into blind spots. As a result, they often end up going unnoticed by many drivers, which is one of the main reasons why many motorbike accidents involve cars. A majority of motorbike accidents occur at night when it’s harder for drivers to spot them on their side-view mirrors.
To avoid causing accidents, drivers need to be aware of their blind spots and should pay more attention when checking them. Riders, on the other hand, need to be more mindful and should always ensure that they stay in areas where they can be easily noticed.
Drivers Making Left-Hand Turns
Drivers making left-hand turns typically check for and generally notice the absence of other vehicles, not other oncoming objects. This is why many drivers fail to see an oncoming bike when making a left-hand turn and end up colliding with the motorcycle. Sadly, many drivers forget that, apart from them and other drivers, other people are using the road and that they should look out for cyclists, bikers, and pedestrians. Nevertheless, bike riders also need to be aware of the vehicles in front of them and should always watch out for signs indicating that a vehicle is about to make a turn.
While lane splitting is very risky, it still is quite prevalent in many states. Lane splitting is a dangerous driving habit because driving so close to other road users increases the chances of an accident occurring, considering that it leaves very little room for the road user to maneuver safely.
At the same time, lane splitting catches most drivers unawares since they never were expecting another vehicle so close to them. As a biker, always pay extra attention to such drivers and always make sure you adhere to state laws when lane splitting – but keep in mind that it’s dangerous and lead to an accident.
While most road users don’t speed intentionally, over speeding is one of the leading causes of crashes on highways, streets, and roads in America. Speeding poses significant risks for any vehicle. However, the perils, as well as the severity of injuries that could result in speeding accidents, increase ten-fold when it comes to two-wheeled vehicles.
While bikes are equipped with powerful engines, they aren’t as stable as four-wheeled vehicles and are more prone to sliding, especially when cruising on wet surfaces, making a sharp turn, or moving on a rough road with loose gravel.
In urban settings like in towns and cities, most of the bike accidents that happen are attributed to riders bumping into a vehicle’s open door. Bikers need to be attentive and more aware of their surroundings when riding in parking lots or near the side of the street. As a biker, always make sure you leave enough space between you and cars and make sure you always keep an eye on parked vehicles in front of you. Conversely, drivers should make sure that they use their side-view mirrors to see if there are any oncoming objects or vehicles before opening their doors.
While these five issues are notorious for causing motorcycle accidents, there are still other scenarios that have the potential to cause nasty bike accidents like riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, poor road conditions, and failure to signal before turning. However, irrespective of what caused the accident, collisions or crashes involving bikes are often dangerous to all people involved. If you ride a bike, practice proper road safety at all times and always do your best to avoid situations that pose a danger to your wellbeing.
Common Motorbike Accident Injuries
While the rate at which motorcycle accidents is almost catching up with that of car accidents, the sad thing is that motorbike accident-related injuries tend to be more severe. Since trucks and cars are equipped with safety features like airbags and seat belts (not forgetting that the entire thing is basically a moving metal cage), people driving them have more protection than motorcyclists.
The list of injuries a biker can sustain in a motorbike crash is quite long, with some injuries being more common than others. Here is a look at the five most common motorcycle crash and collision-related injuries in America.
A majority of superficial injuries consist of lacerations, minor cuts, and bruising. These injuries tend to occur on the hands and lower extremities. While superficial wounds seem less severe, they still require some level of medical care.
Riders often suffer open wounds when their bodies hit the ground at a considerable force, depending on how fast they were traveling before the collision. The friction the skin experiences as the body rolls on the asphalt or pavement is what causes it to rip off in some places, creating open wounds and road rashes that can later result in scarring and infection if not treated in time.
Strains and Sprains
When a biker is thrown off their bike during a collision, they tend to land hard and awkwardly, damaging some of their joints. Most riders end up spraining their fingers, knees, neck, and wrists. How? The force with which they hit the ground forces the body to contort awkwardly in unnatural positions that stretch tendons and muscles before their limits.
Bruises/contusions are another type of injury that many riders experience after an accident and can occur on any part of a rider’s body. The most serious contusions involve the head and are often associated with traumatic head injuries. Head contusions are so serious that they can lead to disability or even death, which is why every motorbike rider in New York is required to have a helmet on when riding. If you plan on carrying another person, they too should wear a helmet.
During a motorbike collision, most riders get thrown off their bikes, breaking a few bones when their bodies hit the ground. Broken backs, arms, legs, and ribs are some of the most commonly address issues in emergency rooms following a bike accident. Furthermore, as bones break, they could potentially cause further damage to nerves, tendons, ligaments, and skin.
While riding a motorcycle is an exciting and fun thing to do, it has its fair share of risks. When it comes to motorcycle accidents, the injuries mentioned above are the most common and represent a tiny portion of a very long and exhaustive list. It is, therefore, imperative that riders familiarize themselves with the risks involved and the different types of injuries they can sustain should they get involved in an accident.
Who’s Held Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?
Who’s to blame? This, in most cases, always seems to be the primary query after an accident has occurred. In most scenarios, those involved are quick to point fingers accusing the other party. While one of the parties might be nursing injuries, chances are they also are at fault to some extent. Identifying who’s responsible is crucial, especially if one of the parties is seeking compensation.
A professional attorney can help you, the victim, determine liability before filing a claim. To do so, they use evidence gathered during the investigation of the scene, information received from eyewitnesses as well as the police report and your medical report. With all of this information, it becomes easier for them to determine who’s responsible for the crash.
Motorist negligence is when a driver acts carelessly or recklessly while operating their vehicle. It includes instances where the motorist didn’t see the biker, was speeding hence causing the accident, was driving under the influence, didn’t yield right of way, or a combination of these. In such cases, the driver is held liable for the accident, which resulted in losses and injuries. Our attorneys are professionals with experience when it comes to investigating such matters and proving the other party’s negligence while operating their vehicle.
There is a chance the accident occurred because of a slight or serious manufacturer’s error in your bike. This can be due to a malfunctioning part, incorrect setup, or any other reason.
Unsafe Road Conditions
New York owes all road users in the state the right to use roads that are in good condition and which are safe. Excessive and unaddressed wear makes roads dangerous, increasing the chances of accidents happening. If crashes and collisions are attributed to unsafe road conditions, then the state is, in most cases, held responsible. Hazardous road conditions include potholes, unsigned bends and curves, overgrown trees, obstructed traffic lights, construction refuse, and unevenly paved roads, amongst other things. Nevertheless, road users are encouraged to notify the proper authorities whenever they come across unsafe road conditions.
At Cellino Law, understand the seriousness of motorcycle and car accident claims, which is why we always do our best to ensure our clients’ cases receive the right attention. When you choose us to represent you, we assign lawyers to your case and have them work on how we’ll get you the right outcome regardless of the causes of your motorcycle accident, be it unsafe road conditions, manufacturing error, or motorist negligence. We always advise our clients to take as much information and evidence as they can concerning the accident as that can help us put together a watertight case.
How Will a Rochester Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help My Claim?
While determining who’s at fault isn’t that simple, we do our best to ensure that we are confident of our findings and that we are fair when placing blame on the other party.
Dealing With Insurers After an Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating. If, after the accident, you have suffered injuries, you might find yourself having to spend thousands of dollars on settling medical bills. If you aren’t responsible for the crash that resulted in you getting injured, you shouldn’t be the one to bear these costs. In such an instance, the responsible party’s insurance provider should be the one to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
However, dealing insurers can be quite challenging since most insurance companies will do all they can to ensure that they offer a lesser settlement or discredit your claim. For a better shot at getting compensated, we recommend that you hire our services and let us handle them as we represent your best interests during negotiations. Our team of lawyers is able to determine what compensation amount to demand based on your injuries and losses as well as current and future bills. Some of the claims that you are eligible to demand compensation for include:
The cost of treatment can be quite high, depending on how serious you were injured during the accident. For instance, treating head or spinal cord injuries can take time, with some injuries lasting a lifetime. The lawyers at Cellino Law can help ensure that your medical bills are well compensated – and that includes both present future costs.
Loss of Wages
Some injuries can leave victims immobilized and unable to work for a prolonged period. The result? Loss of income. The attorneys assigned to your claim will do everything they can to ensure that the other party’s insurance provider compensates you for lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
The anguish and stress surrounding motorbike accidents can include emotional, physical, and mental pain and suffering. While no amount of money can cover what you experienced, the compensation you receive can still help alleviate some of your sufferings by covering the losses and damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Since chances are your bike sustained significant damages during the crash, our attorneys can help ensure that the insurance companies handle the repair costs, rental fees, and any other expense that might crop up during the restoration of your bike.
Seeking compensation after you’ve been involved in a motorbike accident is a battle that you shouldn’t fight alone. Give us at Cellino Law a chance to help you. Our experienced and professional attorneys know all the tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying claims. Our professionals are fully dedicated to fighting for the interests of our clients and will do their best to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
The thought of fighting insurance companies for companies might leave you feeling intimidated. Where or how do you even start? However, this shouldn’t deter you from seeking out your rights for compensation. Cellino Law is here to help you navigate through the process. As legal professionals, we’ll help you better understand your options and which laws and policies you should follow as you pursue compensation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues motorbike safety, and accident statistics reports regularly. According to one of their publications:
- In 2010, the number of motorbike-related fatalities in America was 4,502.
- Since 2000, motorbike accident-related deaths have increased by a whopping 55 percent.
- In 2010, deaths and injuries attributed to motorcycle accidents cost the U.S. losses amounting to about $12billion in productivity and medical costs.
A CDC study conducted between 2001 and 2008 showed that over 34,000 motorcycle owners died as the result of being involved in an accident – a 55 percent increase in the number of fatalities. Additionally, over 1.2 million Americans were treated for a variety of non-fatal motorcycle accident-related injuries during the same period.
According to a National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey of the fatalities that occurred in 2010, well over 700 deaths would have been avoided had the riders been wearing a helmet. Of these fatalities, 29 percent of the accidents that resulted in death involved intoxicated riders, while 35 percent of the cases involved speeding. According to the NHTSA:
- Motorcycle riders, compared to car drivers, are 35 times more likely to die from a collision or crash.
- Over 10 percent of road accidents in America involve bikers.
- Helmets are vital protective gear and can lower fatalities by as much 37 percent.
How Much Do Motorcycle Accidents Cost?
According to NHTSA, several factors influence motorcycle accident-related medical expenses. For instance, for riders who suffer head injuries despite having a helmet on, the average treatment bill is about $14,000 – that is compared to $16,000 for those without one.
The cost of treatment for people involved in motorbike collisions accounts for 6%, while the loss of wages stands in at 26 percent. Sixty-three percent is for suffering attributed to damages and injuries incurred during the accident.
This information should serve as a stark reminder of why each motorcycle user has their part to play when it comes to duty of care. The same is also expected of motorists. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Cellino law if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. Our professional and experienced injury lawyers are ready to off you all the help and advice you need. We understand how insurers work and can help you handle them. At the same time, we are familiar with the different complexities that surround the processes of determining who is at fault and filing lawsuits.
As a Motorcyclist in New York, What Are My Rights?
New York’s laws on the use of motorcycles are clear-cut and define what is expected of you as a biker when riding both off-road and on-road. As a motorbike owner, it is imperative that you understand these rules and know your rights as a biker. Here is a look at some critical regulations that you need to be aware of as a motorcyclist:
- Headlights are compulsory and should be on at all times.
- Lane splitting is illegal.
- Have a safety helmet at all times.
- Helmets with speakers in them must have one earphone only.
- If you carry passengers from time to time, a footrest is mandatory.
- Eye protection is compulsory.
- Straight pipes are illegal; only mufflers are allowed.
- Grips and handlebars must be lower than or at the same level as the rider’s shoulders.
- Turn signals are a must on motorbikes manufactured from 1985.
- Riders can ride two abreast on one lane.
- Headlights must be turned on after sunset.
- No sound limits.
- Riders between the ages of 10 and 15 must be rider’s education certified.
- Eye protection isn’t mandatory.
How Does One Establish Liability for Motorbike Accident-Related Injuries?
For a settlement to have weight during negotiations with insurers, we have to prove that the accident resulted from the other party’s negligence. To establish liability, we have to prove the following:
Duty of Care
The responsible party had the burden of care to uphold to ensure the safety of other road users.
Breach of Duty
The responsible party failed to uphold their duty of care by acting irresponsibly and unreasonably towards the safety of other road users. Their violation of duty can be attributed to their reckless conduct (drunk driving, failing to check for riders before changing lanes or making a turn, texting while driving, or speeding.)
The defendant’s negligent behavior is what led to the crash, and the resulting damages/injuries suffered.
As the victim, you suffered both economic and non-economic damages that include financial, mental, emotional, and physical losses as a result of the accident.
The attorneys at Cellino Law conduct thorough investigations and gather sufficient evidence to ensure they put together watertight and well-supported compensation claims. Some of the evidence we use to establish fault and value your losses include:
- The police accident report
- Video or photograph surveillance
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Wage records
- Expert testimony and opinion by industry specialists like accident reconstruction specialists, engineers, vocational specialists, etc.
How is the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Determined?
To determine the value of a motorbike accident claim, we generally review all the damages related to the crash. Some of the damages we help our clients pursue include:
- Lost income and benefits
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical treatment and care
- Projected future lost income and related benefits
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Cost of purchasing assistive devices if required
- Other out-of-pocket costs
Apart from these, you also are eligible (depending on your losses and damages) to seek recompense for non-economic damages like:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
At Cellino Law, we have the resources and experience needed to help you successfully pursue compensation for injuries suffered after being involved in a motorbike accident in Rochester, New York. For free case evaluation and consultation, call the law offices of Cellino Law today by dialing (800) 555-5555.
Why Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Cellino Law has provided the residents of Rochester, New York, and its environs, with professional legal services for many years now and we understand that things can get tough when trying to pursue a claim while undergoing treatment or recovering from injuries suffered. If you are the survivor of a motorbike accident, hiring the services of an experienced lawyer and having them handle things for is the best thing to do. With a professional handling your case, you will have more time to focus on getting better. At the same time, having legal professionals representing your interests levels the playing field when it comes to handling insurers and their legal teams.
Reach out the highly-experienced team of motorbike accident lawyers at Cellino Law now to learn more about your claim and the right course of action to take. Here’s why you really need to consider working with us:
Insurers will put up a fight trying to discredit your compensation claim. You can rest assured that they’ll have a team of lawyers and agents looking for different loopholes and ways to reduce losses. In all of this, we’ll be there, representing you and your interests to ensure that they’re held liable and that they compensate you.
Some of the people involved in the accident might try to place the blame on you. As your counsel, we shall do everything we can to ensure your liability for the accident is minimized and that such baseless claims do not taint your chances of getting maximum compensation.
We’ll have our professionals investigate the accident to determine if there’s a chance other parties or people were involved as we investigate the cause of the crash. What we gather from our investigations will help us determine if there are other parties to pursue.
If need be, we will bring in professionals from various fields to help us investigate your crash and determine how much your case is worth as we pursue maximum compensation.
No road user anticipates getting involved in an accident while on the road, though accidents happen all the time. While motorbike crashes are especially devastating, the cash awarded to you as compensation can make a world of difference in the days following your accident. This is why our attorneys are fully committed to helping victims, like you, secure maximum compensation for their injuries, allowing them to direct most of their efforts to recover.
Statute of Limitations for Motorbike Accident Cases in New York
Recovering from motorcycle accident-related injuries can take time. While that is the case, you can’t afford to wait too long before starting the process of pursuing your compensation claim. It is worth keeping in mind that there are statutes of limitations on when one can file a personal injury claim suit. When it comes to motorcycle accident claims, victims have three years from the day of the accident to file a suit. If this period passes without you having filed your case, then your claim for compensation won’t be valid, and you’ll lose your right to pursue compensation for injuries suffered.
Nevertheless, some of the conditions surrounding your case can have some influence over the amount of time you have to act. For a better shot at filing a claim on time, consider reaching out to an attorney with experience handling motorcycle accidents as soon as you can for a case review and professional legal counsel.
Can I File a Claim If I’m Partly at Fault for a Motorcycle Accident in New York?
If you think you are partly to be blamed for the accident, don’t panic. Just because you shoulder some of the blame doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for the crash. If part of the blame falls on you, you still are viable to recover some compensation for losses and damages. In New York, ‘fault’ is shared between both parties if they are both to blame.
Shared blame doesn’t disqualify you from pursuing a claim for compensation; it only affects the amount of money you’ll be awarded as compensation. In such instances, deductions are issued based on your percentage or degree of blame for the crash. So, if your fault is 15%, the compensation you will get awarded will be reduced by 15%
Considering that there is a possibility for such an instance to occur during your pursuit of justice, you really should contemplate working with a professional, reputable, and experienced Rochester personal injury lawyer. An attorney will fight for your best interest to ensure that you get compensated for your troubles.
At Cellino Law, we do our best to ensure that your level of liability is lessened for improved chances of securing a compensation amount that covers your medical bills and lost wages. Give us a call today for a non-obligatory case review and more on how to proceed. Call (800) 555-5555 now!