New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
We are Here for You after Your Motorcycle Accident in NYC
Motorcycles make up a small percentage of registered vehicles in the city—around two percent. However, they make up about 14 percent of all fatalities, which is a testament to how dangerous it is to ride a bike around Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and other boroughs. In fact, the city’s fatal crash rate is about double the rate of the rest of the state.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a motorcycle crash, you might be entitled to compensation. Reach out to one of our New York City motorcycle accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman for a free consultation to learn about your rights.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In recent years, the city performed a motorcycle safety study, which comprehensively looked at motorcycle safety in the five boroughs. The city’s Department of Transportation also gathered information for the report, which had good news—the city had its fewest number of fatalities per year since 1998.
The report’s authors also found some obvious risk factors for getting into a crash:
- Licensed operators: 43 percent of fatalities involved a rider who did not have a proper motorcycle license
- Age:about 56 percent of fatalities were riders under the age of 35
- Sex: Virtually all of those killed in a crash were male
Crashes are also more likely to occur in the evening or afternoon, as well as on the weekends. The number of accidents also increased significantly in the summer, which should not be surprising, as the warmer weather is more conducive to riding a motorcycle.
How Motorcycle Accidents Happen
A motorcyclist can get struck by a truck or car in a variety of situations, such as:
- Head-on collisions.These accidents often occur when a driver is illegally passing or turns into traffic. Many motorcyclists end up killed in these types of collisions.
- Left-turn accidents.A driver can strike a motorcyclist when trying to turn in an intersection. The driver often fails to see the motorcyclist or misjudges his speed, causing a crash.
- Open door collisions.A passenger in a parked car might open a door without checking to see if any motorcycles or bicycles are approaching. As a result, the motorcyclist can strike the door or be forced into traffic, where it might collide with another vehicle.
- Road hazards.A motorcycle will react different to potholes, uneven lanes, and slick pavement than a passenger sedan will. Often, road conditions can cause a motorcyclist to lose control.
No matter how the accident unfolded, try to document it as best you can. For example, take pictures of damage to your bicycle and any vehicles involved. Also, identify eyewitnesses who can testify later about who is responsible for the wreck.
New York law requires that all riders on a motorcycle wear a helmet that has been approved by the Department of Transportation. This is because helmets have been proven to dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious head injury, though they cannot prevent 100 percent of head injuries.
Many bikers complain that a helmet will reduce visibility or the ability to hear, but studies have not justified these complaints. Instead, the studies have found that motorcyclists can make up for any restriction on their vision by simply turning their head more. Furthermore, a helmet should not appreciably reduce your ability to hear.
New York also requires that you have a motorcycle license before you can operate a bike. Given the statistics mentioned above, this requirement is also sensible. With over 40 percent of those killed in bicycle accidents lacking a license, this requirement should hopefully save lives.
Motorcyclists should also think about what they can do to make their bikes stand out while on the road. Many motorists complain that dark motorcycles blend in with the road or with other vehicles on the highway, so they can’t see them. It is therefore not surprising if drivers crash directly into you.
To increase your visibility, you can:
- Apply reflective tape to your bicycle, clothing, or helmet
- Wear a vest in a color that stands out, such as neon green or bright pink
- Paint your bike a color that stands out
- Use a light on the front of your motorcycle, even during the day
By making yourself visible, you can minimize the chances of another motorist carelessly slamming into you and causing serious injuries.
What You Must Prove to Receive Compensation
Most motorcycle claims are brought on the legal theory of negligence, which has four elements you must prove:
- Duty of care:You must show that the vehicle that struck you owed you a duty to operate its vehicle with reasonable care. Often, this is easy. If you were on the road with the vehicle, then the operator should have been careful.
- Breach of the duty:You must show that the driver did something a careful driver would not do.
- Damages:You must have suffered an injury that the law allows you to receive compensation for. If you suffered a bodily injury, then you satisfy this element.
- Causation: The driver’s breach must have been the cause of your injury. For example, you might really have injured your back in a ski accident over Christmas. In that case, the car accident isn’t to blame. Usually, causation flows pretty directly from a collision.
Of the elements above, breach of duty is usually the hardest to prove. Generally, motorists breach their duty of care by being too careless or reckless, including:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Not looking out for motorcycles or other vehicles
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to yield
- Illegally passing
- Failing to check the blind spot before passing
Each case is different, but your NYC motorcycle accident attorney can help you find the evidence necessary to prove negligence.
New York City Motorcycle Accident FAQs
What are NYC motorcycle accident statistics?
According to 2020 estimates, New York City has a population of approximately 8,804,190 million people. With so many people living in the city, it's unsurprising that there are many accidents each year. Below we have briefly touched on a few of the NYC motorcycle accident statistics you should know if you live in the city or frequently visit.
- Out of the registered vehicles in New York City, approximately 2% are registered motorcyclists. Yet, over a recent five-year period, 14% of all traffic fatalities in New York City were motorcyclists.
- In NYC, the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents occur on city streets and not highways.
- Almost 100% of fatal motorcycle accidents in NYC involve men.
- It's estimated that around 4,000 New York residents require emergency room treatment for injuries sustained while operating a motorcycle every year.
What are common injuries from motorcycle accidents?
Motorcyclists in New York City suffer a few common injuries. Have a quick look below to learn more about the types of injuries commonly seen in hospital emergency rooms. If you know about the different types of injuries, you will have a better chance of determining if you should seek counsel from an attorney to try and obtain compensation.
- Facial injuries.
- Torn ligaments.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Road rash, lacerations, and bruises.
- Broken bones and fractures.
What causes motorcycle crashes in NYC?
In NYC, there are a few common causes of motorcycle accidents. If you're curious about the common causes, then the information we have found should be of interest to you.
- The consumption of alcohol and illicit substances.
- Lane splitting.
- Speeding and distracted driving.
- Road hazards such as debris.
- Left-hand turns.
What to do after a motorcycle accident?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in NYC, you're likely wondering what you need to do. If you follow the steps outlined below, you will have a better chance of obtaining compensation for any injuries or damages you sustained in the accident.
- Make sure you get yourself to safety if you're able to do so. Additionally, if you can, you should try to move your motorcycle out of the way to prevent another accident from occurring.
- Once you are safe, you need to call law enforcement and 911 to send an ambulance and police unit to assess your injuries and the accident.
- After you have contacted emergency personnel, wait for their arrival without removing your helmet or safety gear. It will demonstrate that you were wearing the appropriate safety gear at the time of the accident.
- If you are not too severely injured, you need to try and collect as much information as you can from witnesses and the other driver/s involved in the accident. This will include contact information, pictures, video footage, and statements.
- After being seen by the first responders and the police, seek out medical treatment even if you have been cleared. Seeking medical attention will prove that the injuries you sustained were caused by the motorcycle accident you were in.
- You will need to contact an attorney to discuss your case if you want to obtain compensation for any damages or injuries you suffered during a motorcycle accident.
Contact a New York City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman has built its reputation over the decades by providing top-shelf legal representation to those injured in motorcycle collisions. We have helped fight for compensation to cover medical bills, bike damage, lost income, and pain and suffering.
To schedule a free, confidential meeting with one of our lawyers, please call us at 917-893-3514 or fill out this contact form.