Queens Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
While riding a motorcycle may be a convenient and quick way to get around, and certainly an option that lends itself to more parking opportunities–a huge consideration in Queens–riding a motorcycle isn’t always a safe option. Indeed, even when a motorcyclist is exercising a high degree of care, it’s impossible to know how others on the road will operate their vehicles and where hazards exist. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, our Queens motorcycle accident lawyers at the law offices of Sullivan & Galleshaw can help you to navigate the claims process. We know how significantly your life has likely changed after a crash – choose our law firm for assistance in recovering the settlement you deserve.
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While there are many more motorists than motorcyclists, the rate of motorcyclist fatality is alarmingly high. In order to recover compensation after a crash–as well as to raise awareness about how to prevent motorcycle crashes and save lives–the root causes of these crashes must be identified. Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Motor vehicle driver negligence. The negligence of a motor vehicle driver can lead to a motorcycle crash. Negligence is the failure to exercise the proper degree of care. In motor vehicle accident situations, negligence usually refers to actions like speeding, drinking while driving, driving aggressively, failing to signal, performing an illegal maneuver, distracted driving, etc.
- Hazardous conditions. Another cause of motorcycle accidents in some cases is that of hazardous conditions, such as road or signage defects. In some cases, the risk of a motorcycle accident may be exacerbated by poor visibility or weather conditions.
- Vehicle defects. While perhaps not as common, some motorcycle accidents are the result of vehicle defects, such as defective brakes or steering equipment.
It’s also important to note that while many motorcycle accidents are the fault of the drivers of passenger cars, some motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclists’ negligence. When a motorcyclist is found to be at-fault for their accident, their recoverable damages amount could be reduced, or they could be barred from recovery altogether.
Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident
Typically more serious than the injuries sustained by the party who is in the passenger car involved in the motorcycle crash, a motorcyclist’s injuries are often tragic. Examples of motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Head, neck, spine injuries;
- Facial and scalp injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Road rash/ road burn injuries;
- Bone fractures;
- Amputation and crush injuries;
- Internal injuries; and
- Psychological injuries.
The Motorcycle Accident Claims Process – Who’s Liable for Damages?
At the office of Sullivan & Galleshaw LLP, we strongly believe that victims of motorcycle accidents in Queens and the surrounding areas deserve to be compensated in full for the losses that they suffer.
Liability for a motorcycle accident depends on fault. After a motorcycle crash, it is critical that an injured motorcyclist seek medical care, file an insurance claim, and collect evidence as early as possible. Types of evidence that can be used to establish fault include photographs of the accident scene and damages, eyewitnesses’ statements, police reports, video/traffic camera footage, vehicle control module data, and more.
Our lawyers will work hard to gather evidence that can be used to prove fault. Additionally, we can calculate damages and determine the value of your claim. After you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and we have determined the value of your damages and who should be held liable for damages, we can file a demand letter against the appropriate insurance company (or another party). We will review any settlement offer you receive and negotiate your claim on your behalf.
As noted above, if you are found to be at fault or partially at fault for your accident your damages could be denied or your settlement could be reduced. This is per New York’s rules on shared fault, which hold that while you can still recover compensation from the other party if you contributed to your own injuries, your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
FAQs About Motorcycle Accidents in Queens
Our Queens motorcycle accident attorneys regularly receive a variety of questions and inquiries from motorcyclists who have been injured in New York. The following are some of those frequently asked questions, followed by our answers to help you.
What Steps Do I Need to Take After a Queens Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents in Queens can result in life-threatening or debilitating injuries, which may limit your ability to do anything immediately following the crash. However, if you can do so, it is important to document the scene where the motorcycle accident occurred. You should use your smartphone to take photos, making sure to capture a variety of angles and distances.
It is also important to obtain witness contact information. Then, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Do I Need to Meet the Serious Injury Threshold to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Queens?
The short answer is no, but our lawyers can explain in more detail. Since New York is a no-fault state, people who are injured in traffic collisions typically must seek compensation initially through their personal injury protection coverage. Then, if a lawsuit is necessary to seek additional compensation, the injured person will need to meet a “serious injury threshold” to be eligible to file a lawsuit.
It is essential to know that the serious injury threshold does not apply to motorcyclist injuries. As such, a motorcyclist who is injured in a collision can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party without needing to prove that they have a serious enough injury to qualify.
How Do I Determine Liability for a Motorcycle Accident in Queens?
Determining liability will depend upon the circumstances of your accident. A lawyer can help you to look at the cause of the accident. Then, from the cause, we can help you to determine which party or parties may be at fault. For example, if the collision resulted from a speeding driver, that driver may be liable, and that driver’s employer also may be liable if the driver was working at the time of the crash.
If a vehicle defect caused the accident, then a designer or manufacturer of the defective party may be liable.
Can My Negligence Affect My Payout?
Yes, but it will not bar you from recovery. New York follows a pure comparative fault rule, which means a plaintiff will recover damages even if they were partially negligent, but their damages award will be diminished by their percentage of fault.
Does It Matter If I Was Wearing a Helmet?
It could. New York law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets regardless of their age or the amount of experience they have. Accordingly, if you sustain a head injury in a collision caused by another driver, your negligence — by failing to wear a helmet — could reduce your compensation.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Queens Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Under New York’s personal injury statute of limitations, most motorcycle accident lawsuits will need to be filed within three years from the date of the accident.
Call Our Queens Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. Our law firm knows the extent of harm you have suffered and the pain you continue to experience – we will work hard for you to improve the outcome of your case and get you the settlement that you deserve. When you hire our Queens motorcycle accident attorneys, you can count on us to handle 100 percent of your case so you can focus on your recovery. Please reach out to us today by phone or online for your free consultation.