Getting Injured Bikers (and Their Families) the Money They Deserve
If you, like many New Yorkers, love the thrill and freedom of driving a motorcycle, getting into an accident has probably been one of your worst nightmares for a long time.
So what do you do when that worst nightmare comes true?
Motorcycle accidents are extremely common. In fact, bikers are at a higher risk of serious injury or death in a traffic accident than any other motorist.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your motorcycle out on the road. You have the same right to be there as every other driver, and they each owe you a duty of care.
Unfortunately, people don’t always look out for motorcycles like they should. In fact, the majority of motorcycle accidents in New York are caused by other people’s careless driving.
If you or a loved has been injured or killed in one of these terrible crashes, you may be entitled to substantial financial compensation from the at-fault drivers and/or their insurance companies.
O’Connor & Partners is a Hudson Valley personal injury law firm with extensive and specific experience in New York motorcycle injury claims, from negotiating an out-of-court settlement with insurance companies to litigating before judge and jury at trial.
In fact, our Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully negotiated multi-million-dollar settlements for injured bikers right here in the Hudson Valley.
We have helped many motorcyclists and their families get meaningful financial compensation — even after the insurance companies initially tried to give them far less money than they deserved.
When you hire O’Connor & Partners, we bring more than 150 years of combined legal experience to the table, not to mention a long track record of results.
So before you accept an offer from an insurance company, give our office a call. We’ll give you a free and confidential case consultation with absolutely no obligations — and if we think we can help you get more money, we can take your case on a contingency basis, meaning it won’t cost you one penny up front and you’ll only have to pay us a fee if we succeed. Contact O’Connor & Partners today.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Usually Happen?
Some motorcycle accidents are caused by the same kinds of everyday driver negligence as ordinary vehicle crashes:
- Distraction / Texting while driving
- Drugged or drunk driving
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
- Running red lights or stop signs
But there are also certain bad habits by other drivers that put motorcyclists at special risk. These include:
- Making left turns in front of oncoming motorcycles (studies show that drivers have a harder time judging a motorcycle’s distance and traveling speed)
- Opening a parked car door into a motorcycle’s path without first checking the mirror
- Changing lanes abruptly without checking blind spots (because motorcycles often travel in blind spots)
- Displaying road rage toward bikers (the result of a bad attitude that many drivers feel toward motorcyclists)
Defects in the motorcycle itself, or negligent maintenance by a mechanic, might also be to blame.
There is no excuse for any of these things. O’Connor & Partners can help you get to the bottom of what caused your crash and whether someone else’s negligence played a role. Our attorneys can even work with accident investigation specialists to uncover key details that might make a decisive difference in your case. Please contact us to talk about the circumstances of your situation.
What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Injuries in New York?
Common injuries in Hudson Valley motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Concussions / traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Whiplash / soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Disfigurement, disability, or paralysis
Will Insurance Cover Me? What is New York No-Fault Insurance and SUM Insurance for Motorcyclists?
New York is one of a handful of states with a no-fault insurance rule for auto accidents. Essentially, this means that regardless of who causes a crash, your auto insurance provider will handle your medical bills for any personal injuries, as well as your lost wages due to time away from work. (No-fault insurance does not apply to property or vehicle damage.)
But what many people do not realize is that your insurance company only has to cover you within your policy limits. For motorcyclists in New York, that often means only $25,000 per claim. Serious injuries can cost far more than that.
So what do you do if your injuries exceed your policy limit? If the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance and/or significant financial assets, you may be able to recover from them directly. But if they don’t, one option is to buy Supplemental Underinsured Motorist coverage (SUM insurance) before a motorcycle accident happens.
SUM insurance is affordable — usually only about $50 to $75 a year — and can give you the coverage you need in the not-unlikely event of a severe motorcycle accident. We have many close personal friends who are ardent motorcycle enthusiasts, and we strongly advise all of them to carry SUM insurance. We think you should too.
Even if you aren’t able to sue the at-fault driver directly and you didn’t have SUM insurance, there may still be additional avenues for compensation, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. For example, there may be third parties that share in the liability. We encourage you to contact our Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys to learn more about any options you might have.
I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet. Can I Still Recover? Am I Considered “At Fault”?
New York motorcycle law requires all motorcyclists and their passengers to wear a federally compliant safety helmet at all times. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, it might be considered negligence on your part. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recover compensation.
That’s because New York follows a rule called comparative negligence. It means that, even if you were partially at fault for your accident, you wouldn’t be barred from recovering money. Instead, the court will assign you a percentage of the fault and then reduce your total recovery by that percentage.
So if you suffer $100,000 in damages, for example, and are found to be 55% at fault, you can still recover $45,000. (If you settle your claim out of court, the attorneys will negotiate the appropriate percentage of fault without going to trial.)
This rule of comparative negligence applies if you were negligent in other ways too — for example, if you were partially at fault because you were speeding or following too closely.
Wrongful Death in New York Motorcycle Accidents
Sadly, fatalities are not uncommon in motorcycle crashes. If your family is grieving the loss of a loved one after an unexpected accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to significant financial recovery under New York wrongful death law.
The Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys at O’Connor & Partners have extensive experience in handling these sensitive and challenging claims. We offer support, compassion, and a thorough command of the law. Let us shoulder the burden of fighting for meaningful justice for your loved one so that you can focus on grieving, healing, and spending time with your family.
Schedule a Free Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim Review
O’Connor & Partners is a law firm determined to win. We fight hard to get our clients’ real justice. We don’t look for the fastest, easiest way out of a case. On the contrary, our mission is clear: demand full compensation, explore every effective legal strategy, pursue your claim aggressively, maximize your recovery, and get you every penny possible.
Let us fight for you and your family. Remember: we will not charge a fee unless we get you money first. Get started with a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. Simply contact us online or call (845) 303-8777 today.