New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Legal Representation for Victims of Motorcycle Crashes

The dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, have extensive experience in all types of motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle injury accidents. We work with investigators to obtain photographs, witness statements, and other necessary information. Our attorneys have an excellent understanding of the intricacies of New York no-fault law as well as underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

Motorcyclists Prone to Severe Injury in Collisions

Motorcycles offer less protection to riders and their passengers than most other means of transportation, and motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries: traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, or even death.

There are four main reasons why motorcyclists are more prone to severe injury after a collision than drivers and passengers in other vehicles:

  • Motorcyclists are exposed to direct impact because they do not have the benefit of a large metal frame surrounding them.
  • Because motorcycles typically ride on two wheels and not four, they are much more unstable.
  • Motorcycles and their drivers are lighter and smaller, so even the smallest of impacts can cause a great amount of damage.
  • Other drivers sometimes have a hard time seeing motorcycles because they simply aren't as big as the other vehicles on the road. Because it's harder to see them, drivers often don't notice the motorcycle and fail to yield to it, cut it off, follow it too closely, or open the door of their vehicle directly into it.

In addition to these factors, motorcycles are at greater risk for poor road conditions. The potholes, drainage, and other problems on New York roads might not even be noticeable to other drivers, but for motorcycles, they can be particularly hazardous.

It is crucial that victims of motorcycle collisions obtain representation from attorneys who have the knowledge and experience necessary to properly represent them in court. Even though 80% of all multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles are not the motorcyclist's fault, many people still view motorcyclists as "easy riders" who are reckless, irresponsible and may have even "deserved" their injuries.

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Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

While the specific nature of any accident will dictate the exact injuries that occur, some are more common than others. These include:

  • Road rash. While not as serious as a spinal or head injury, road rash can cause tremendous pain and require extensive treatment. This type of injury occurs when a biker is thrown from a motorcycle and the road scrapes away skin, leaving cuts and surface nerve damage. Infections are quite common due to road rash, so medical treatment and antibiotics are often necessary.
  • Degloving. Despite the seemingly harmless name, degloving refers to an injury in which a large section of skin is completely removed from the tissue beneath it. Such an injury can be fatal or require extensive surgical treatment. Skin grafts may be required, and amputation is necessary in some situations. In almost all cases, long-term physical therapy is prescribed.
  • Spinal cord injuries. Damage to the spinal column can have tremendous, life-long consequences. Depending on where the injury occurs, a motorcyclist can suffer chronic back or neck pain, partial or full-body paralysis, or death. Little protection can be offered to the spine of a motorcyclist, which makes these injuries all too common.
  • Head injuries. While many motorcyclists wear helmets to protect their heads, injuries to the head and brain still happen. These types of injuries are often fatal, or result in loss of sensory perception, brain damage, and time lost to a coma. Wearing a helmet is always the smart choice to minimize potential head injuries in a motorcycle accident.
  • Arm injuries. When a motorcyclist is thrown from his bike, his arms and shoulders take the brunt. In an accident, many bikers try to brace for impact on landing using their arms, which leads to broken bones, nerve damage, and other injuries that can require long-term care and recovery.
  • Leg injuries. In a motorcycle collision, injuries to the hips, knees, and feet are quite common. These can occur at the time of impact or just afterward, especially when a biker is thrown from the motorcycle. Bone fractures, muscle damage, and other trauma can require physical therapy and treatment to recover.

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Treatment, Recovery, and Costs

Different types of injuries require different treatments and costs; but some predictions can be made based on the type of injury.

  • Minor treatment and recovery: Cuts and bruises, minor broken bones, and similar injuries often require only minimal care. Long hospital stays are not required, though additional checkups or appointments may be necessary. This treatment can cost you in medical bills and lost wages due to missed days at work.
  • Long-term care: More serious injuries, such as extensive damage to the limbs or multiple broken bones, can require longer care. These may involve a long hospital stay, the need for in-home care for a few months, and additional expenses. Medical bills, weeks or months of lost salary, and other expenses can all come up with such treatment.
  • Physical therapy: Even after an accident victim’s initial treatment and care, there might be additional long-term requirements like physical therapy. This results in long-term medical costs, loss in immediate salary, and can result in loss of future salary due to changes in lifestyle or missed career opportunities.
  • Lifelong recovery: Injuries that result in paralysis or similar conditions require lifelong therapy or treatment and have tremendous costs. Medical expenses, loss in salary, alterations to your home and vehicle, and other future costs can be difficult to calculate or even imagine on your own. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help relieve you of such burdens.

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We handle all of the details, and are prepared to help our clients get through the hardships and stress created by a crash.

Motorcycle Crashes and Insurance in New York

New York has a no-fault law for car accidents, which means that insurance companies are required to pay for any medical expenses, lost earnings, and incidental costs resulting from a car accident, regardless of who was at fault for the crash. Unfortunately, this law does not apply to New York motorcyclists, because the law sees motorcycles as "inherently dangerous." This means that they lose out on the benefits provided under this law, so it's even more important that riders carry their own private insurance any time they plan on being on their bikes.

However, New York law regarding car accidents also makes some allowances for motorcycle drivers. Because the injuries they may face after even a minor crash are much more severe, motorcycle drivers in New York are not subjected to the "serious injury threshold" other drivers are. This threshold is intended to ensure that New York drivers only make a claim or take a case to court when they have sustained injuries severe enough to warrant it. Because motorcyclists are not subjected to this threshold, they can press charges and bring a lawsuit against another driver even if their injuries are only minor. This can also help motorcyclists get around the no-fault threshold, as they can make a claim after a motorcycle accident.

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New York Motorcycle Laws

New York motorcycle laws are very clear.

  • In order to legally drive a motorcycle in New York, drivers must carry a Class M or Class MJ (junior operator) license. This requires passing both a written and road test.
  • All motorcycles must be properly registered with the State of New York. Motorcycle registration is an annual event, and all motorcycle registrations expire on April 30 annually.
  • Anyone operating a motorcycle in New York must wear a U.S. DOT-approved motorcycle helmet with appropriate eye protection.
  • All motorcycles must be inspected by a certified technician every 12 months.
  • Every motorcycle on the road must have proper liability insurance. The requirements in New York are: $25,000 for bodily injury per person, per accident; $50,000 for total bodily injury per accident; and $10,000 per accident for property damage.

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Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Handling Your NY Injury Case with Care

Even if the law and other drivers don't agree, at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we believe that regardless of your method of transportation, you have the right to be justly compensated for your injuries due to another party's negligence.

As New York personal injury lawyers, we help our clients establish liability, evaluate and prove damages, and collect the highest possible settlement or judgment.

At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we act both as advocates and negotiators on behalf of our clients. We handle personal injury claims on a daily basis, ranging from simple whiplash injuries to wrongful death claims. Contact us at (212) 986-7353 today for a free consultation.

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Additional Information

Motorcycle Accident Verdicts & Settlements

Contact Us: Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the New York personal injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today for a FREE, no obligation consultation today:

The Graybar Building
420 Lexington Ave. Suite 2750 New York, NY 10170
Phone: (212) 986-7353 Fax: (212) 953-4308

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New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm offices located in New York. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of New York, although we have relationships with attorneys and law firms in states throughout the United States.

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