En Español
Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C Logo

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.

Motorcycle Safety

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.

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 212-285-3300 or fill out this contact form.