In New York, most motorcyclists have to put their bikes away for the winter and eagerly wait for spring so they can ride again. However, for those who have been in a motorcycle accident, the wait for the next ride is often much longer. Some may never ride again.
You have a limited time to file a motorcycle accident claim if you were injured in a wreck. Not only does the law bar your recovery after a certain amount of time passes, but your case may become more difficult to prove if you wait.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC investigate your case promptly and take action on your behalf in a timely fashion. Please call (845) 303-8777 today for a free consultation. Our lawyers serve clients in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims?
Motorcycle accidents fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
The statute of limitations is different in cases of wrongful death. If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Three years might seem like plenty of time to take legal action after being hurt in a motorcycle accident. In reality, though, time is against you after the crash.
You may have time to file a claim under the law, but there are a number of reasons to get started on your claim sooner rather than later. It is in your best interest to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you with the following:
Investigating the Motorcycle Accident
Many motorcyclists suffer serious injuries in accidents. They often need to be taken to the hospital immediately, giving them no time to exchange information with the at-fault driver or take other steps to start building their case.
Key evidence at the scene (including the damaged vehicles and any debris) will be removed quickly, either by the elements or by rescue workers who responded to the scene. Witnesses to the accident will also move along and go about their lives; for them, the memories of the accident will fade with time.
The loss of vital evidence may limit your ability to recover damages for the motorcycle accident. An experienced lawyer can act quickly on your behalf to investigate the scene, identify the driver(s), interview witnesses, examine the vehicles involved, and more.
Identifying the Liable Parties
Most motorcycle accident claims are relatively straightforward. One or both parties may be at fault in a collision between a biker and another vehicle.
However, motorcycle accidents may have a number of different causes. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, the following parties may be liable for your injuries:
- A product manufacturer, if a defect in your motorcycle or one its parts resulted in the accident
- A government authority, if the accident was caused by a dangerous or defective road
- In a “near-miss” accident, another motorist – a careless driver who forces you to crash may be liable even if the vehicle doesn’t physically collide with your bike
To recover the compensation you deserve, it is crucial to identify all of the liable parties. It is in your best interest to act quickly so any evidence of negligence is preserved. Your attorney will investigate the accident, assess the evidence, and advise you of your legal options.
Handling the Insurance Company
After a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. (Motorcycle accidents are exempt from the no-fault insurance laws in New York that apply in other types of auto accidents.) The insurance company may offer to settle your claim, or it may deny your claim.
Generally, insurance settlements do not accurately reflect the losses you suffer in a crash. If the insurer offers you a “low-ball” settlement, your motorcycle accident attorney will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. Settlement negotiations can take time, especially in cases involving serious injuries and extensive damages.
If the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement, your motorcycle accident lawyer may need to take your case to trial to recover the compensation you deserve. Preparing to go to court is a time-consuming process. With this in mind, it is important to start working with an attorney as soon as possible.
Get Started on Your Motorcycle Accident Claim Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, there really is no time to lose. An experienced attorney can act on your behalf to investigate the crash, negotiate with the insurance company, and pursue the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at O’Connor & Partners, PLLC have more than 150 years of combined experience serving clients in the Hudson Valley. We have recovered millions on behalf of injured motorcyclists.
For a free case review, please call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC at (845) 303-8777 today. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.