Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P. has created this guide to motorcycle accident liability to educate New York motorcyclists about this important topic.

Motorcycle Accident Liability

If you ride a motorcycle, you are probably aware that being a motorcyclist is statistically more dangerous than driving a car. Motorcycle riders are four times more likely to sustain an injury in a collision and 28 times more likely to die in a fatal crash than motorists. Motorcyclists also made up 14% of New York City traffic fatalities between 2010 and 2014, despite making up only 2% of NYC’s registered vehicles at that time. If you ride a motorcycle, these types of statistics are an unfortunate reality to keep in mind. The increased risk posed by riding a motorcycle also makes it critical for motorcyclists to understand the nuances of NY State motorcycle accident liability law. Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P. has created this guide to motorcycle accident liability to educate New York motorcyclists about this important topic.

New York State Motorcycle Accident Liability Law

The first thing to note about New York State motorcycle accident liability regulations is that the “No-Fault” New York Insurance Law that governs New York automobile accidents does not cover motorcycle crashes. Article 51 of that law exempts motorcyclists from coverage, and consequently, motorcyclists do not receive no-fault insurance benefits in New York.  However, injured motorcyclists can still file a claim to recover compensation for their injuries, if another party’s negligence caused their accident. If negligence is proven, compensation can be awarded for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.

It is also important to note that under New York State motorcycle accident liability regulations, more than one party can be held accountable for a percentage of fault for a crash. In other words, an injured motorcyclist can often recover partial compensation for damages, even if they are found to be partially at fault for their injuries. For instance, a motorcyclist who is hit by a distracted driver while engaging in the dangerous behavior of “lane splitting,” could be awarded 55% of a settlement, despite being found to be 45% at fault for the accident. Sometimes neither the motorcyclist nor the driver involved in an accident is found to be at fault. In some cases, the negligence of a third party like a motorcycle manufacturer, or even the local/state government, can be found to have caused an accident. 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Although motorcyclists are often stereotyped as reckless “adrenaline jockeys,” most motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Many motorcycle accidents can be traced back to the fact that motorcycles are small, and easily overlooked by irresponsible drivers. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving, road rage, and ignoring traffic laws on the part of both drivers and motorcyclists. Other causes of motorcycle accidents include government entities failing to correct unsafe road conditions by filling potholes and installing road signage and the presence of defective parts on a motorcycle. Determining the cause of an accident is important for determining motorcycle accident liability. 

As previously mentioned, if a motorcyclist is involved in an accident, they are also more likely to suffer serious injuries and/or loss of life than the driver of an automobile. Motorcycle accidents are more inherently dangerous than automobile accidents because motorcycles lack common car safety features like airbags, seat belts, windshields, and more. To help protect yourself while riding your motorcycle, always follow NY State law and wear your helmet. 

Contact Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P.

If you are ever involved in a motorcycle accident you should reach out to Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson, L.L.P. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have secured millions of dollars in compensation for motorcycle injury victims throughout our state. Schedule a free consultation today!