Motorcycling has always been popular on Long Island, especially during the warmer summer months. Nonetheless, sharing the road with cars, trucks and other vehicles poses serious risks to motorcycle riders. While other drivers are protected by the cage of a vehicle, seat belts, and airbags, motorcyclists are exposed to the elements. This is why a car accident between a motorcycle and another vehicle can result in devastating injuries to a rider. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to know your rights.
The Law Offices of Robert Purzak has extensive experience handling motorcycle accident cases in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Well-versed in the applicable motorcycle insurance and liability laws, we are committed to keeping the roads and highways safe for motorcycle enthusiasts. In spite of the public bias against motorcycle riders as being reckless, we know how to hold negligent motorists accountable. When you work with our personal injury lawyers, you can rest easy knowing that we fight to win.
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Leading Causes of a Motorcycle Accident
The majority of motorcycle collisions involving other vehicles are the result of driver errors, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Improper turning
- Unsafe lane changes
- Failing to yield
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
In particular, motorcycle accidents are frequently caused by drivers making left-hand turns or those who fail to yield at intersections. Nonetheless, all motorists on Long Island have a duty of care to drive in a safe manner and avoid causing injuries to others. A driver who breaches this duty can be held liable for a motorcycle accident that is directly responsible for a rider’s injuries.
In addition, when motorcycle accidents are caused by road hazards — uneven pavement, debris, oil spills, gravel, and potholes — a lawsuit can be filed against the government agency responsible for road and highway maintenance.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
In an accident, a rider may be thrown from or become trapped beneath the motorcycle. This can result in a wide range of injuries, including:
- Road rash
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries/paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
Very few riders are prepared to handle the emotional, physical, and financial impact of an accident. Most victims must contend with large medical and rehabilitative bills, while other riders may wonder if they will be able to ride again. Although motorcyclists can minimize the risk of injury by wearing protective gear — helmets (mandatory), leather jackets, heavy pants, and boots — motorcycle accidents can still lead to serious injuries. The best way to protect your rights is by working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Purzak.
Motorcycle Insurance and Liability Rules in New York
It is worth noting that insurance and liability rules are not the same for motorcycles and cars.
Under New York’s no-fault system, a motorcycle is not considered to be a motor vehicle and motorcyclists are not covered persons, which means that injured motorcyclists are not eligible for no-fault coverage for medical costs and lost wages.
On the other hand, the “serious injury” provisions of the no-fault law do not apply to motorcycle riders injured in accidents with other vehicles. Therefore, an injury victim can bring a claim against the responsible party — even for minor injuries that do not reach the serious injury threshold.
There are also specific insurance considerations related to motorcycle accidents, including the related motorcycle insurance premiums:
- $25,000 per person injured in any one accident
- $50,000 because of the death of one person in one accident
- $50,000 for two or more persons injured in one accident
- $100,000 for the deaths of two or more persons injured in one accident.
Finally, an injured rider may also be entitled to underinsured (UM) or supplemental underinsured motorist (SUM) coverage. Such coverage allows a motorcycle accident victim to recover damages from his or her insurance company if the other driver is underinsured or uninsured.
Contact Our Long Island Motorcycle Accident Attorney
For over 35 years, the Law Offices of Robert Purzak has provided injured motorcycle riders with aggressive legal representation. Knowing that being injured in a motorcycle accident is an overwhelming experience, we will provide you with aggressive legal representation and caring personal service. Backed by a proven history of holding negligent drivers accountable, we have the skills and resources essential for pursuing successful injury claims.
Our legal team will conduct an intensive investigation of your motorcycle accident by obtaining and reviewing the police report, identifying and interviewing witnesses, and, when necessary, working with accident reconstruction specialists. Above all, we will fight to help you obtain just compensation and make sure you receive the medical care that you need. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be frightened and not know where to turn. Remember, we are here to help. Please contact our office today to set up a free consultation. We help the injured throughout Long Island, including the towns of Brentwood, Coram, Deer Park, Hempstead, Islip, Roosevelt, and Wyandanch.