If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident, We Can Help
A motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to die and 5 times more likely to be injured in a vehicle crash than an occupant of a passenger car. Motorcycles give people the opportunity to use a form of transportation that is convenient, cheaper to fuel and easier to park than other types of vehicles. However, motorcyclists are also much more vulnerable to crashes and injuries than other motorists, a fact which highlights the need for safe driving on behalf of motorcyclists and the drivers they share the road with.
A motorcycle accident lawyer at Kaplan Lawyers PC can help you take the next step if you’ve been the victim of another driver’s negligence.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience handling claims ranging from road rash to wrongful death, and we are here to help you maximize your recovery and get the medical attention that you need.
Motorcycle Crashes are Different Than Other Types of Accidents
When two passenger vehicles collide, the occupants are often shielded from much of the impact. Motorcyclists are far more vulnerable to the force of a serious crash. Motorcyclists are often directly impacted by another vehicle and the concrete. That’s why the fatality rates for motorcycle crashes are so much higher than for occupants of passenger vehicles.
The injuries that bikers suffer in serious crashes are not only severe, they are also costly and debilitating. A motorcyclist’s injuries can greatly reduce their ability to earn an income and perform routine tasks. In other words, the stakes are often high for an injured motorcyclist, and their legal representative needs to know what they’re doing.
Understanding the Process
While each case is different, there are some common processes that you can expect when filing a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident.
- Meeting with an Attorney – First, you’ll meet with an attorney to discuss your case. You’ll review the accident, talk about your injuries and how they’ve affected you and your loved ones. If you decide to move forward, you’ll learn how your attorney plans to proceed with your case.
- Preparing and Filing the Claim – Your attorney will get to work on your behalf, conducting investigations, interviewing witnesses, consulting experts and preparing materials to present your case. This phase of filing a claim involves many routine procedures that your attorney will handle. You will be informed about the progress of your claim and all your questions will be addressed.
- Settlement vs. Trial – A claim generally has one of two outcomes. A settlement occurs when the two sides of a claim come to an agreement on how much the injured motorcyclist will be paid. If no agreement is reached, the matter will go to trial where both sides will present their cases before a judge and a jury.
Many claims are settled before they need to go to trial. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we approach each case with the intention of taking it all the way to court, if necessary. We want to be sure that even if a claim results in a settlement, the other side knows that we are prepared to see our client’s case through to the end. The choice to proceed to trial is yours, and we will make sure that you have all the information you need to make a decision you feel comfortable with.
Frequently Asked Questions for Motorcycle Accidents
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
Does Fault Matter in New York Motorcycle Accidents?
What Expenses Can a Motorcyclist Recover in a Personal Injury Claim?
How long do I have to bring a claim?
Can I bring a claim even if the other driver wasn’t 100% at fault?
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
How much is my case worth?
How long will it take to settle my case?
How will my medical bills get paid?
How will I get my motorcycle repaired?
Can anyone sue to collect for pain and suffering if they were in a car accident while riding a motorcycle?
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
There are some steps that motorcyclists can take to make their rides a safe one:
- Wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet.
- Wear lightweight, breathable material that has heavy-duty armor panels along the spine, torso, shoulders, and elbows.
- Ride defensively, assume that the drivers of the cars around you have not seen you.
- Provide a safe distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles on the road.
Unfortunately, not all accidents can be avoided. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another driver or because of a roadway defect, you should call an experienced New York motorcycle accident lawyer at Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our legal team has been helping injured riders for decades, and we are here to help you as well. If your motorcycle insurance will not pay for your medical bills or associated expenses, it is imperative that you contact us immediately so we can investigate and confirm who was responsible for your accident and hold those parties accountable. The consultation is free, and we charge no legal fee unless we win your case.
Safety Tips for Those Sharing the Road with Motorcyclists
Reducing the number of motorcycle crashes will also require the efforts of other drivers, too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be mindful of blind spots and always use a turn signal when making turns in the vicinity of motorcyclists. Around 40 percent of collisions involving a motorcycle and another vehicle occur when the other vehicle is making a left turn.
- Allow motorcyclists a full lane to drive in.
- Allow plenty of space when driving behind motorcyclists, especially when road conditions are even slightly hazardous.
- Always assume that a motorcycle is closer than it appears when you are at an intersection. Because they are smaller in size, it can be more difficult to judge their distance and speed.
Helmet laws in New York
New York law requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets. The law also requires riders of motorcycles to wear protective eyewear. The helmets must meet the Department of Transportation and Consumer Product Safety Commission Standards. Many “novelty” helmets do not meet these requirements. Most of the helmets you purchase from credible retailers meet the guidelines, but it’s always best to double-check when purchasing a helmet.
Studies suggest that motorcycle helmets are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries and 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcyclists. Head injuries are the leading cause of motorcyclist death.
Injuries and Fatalities in Motorcycle Injuries
As we can see, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the serious injuries that occur in vehicle crashes. These injuries can come in many forms and are often suffered in conjunction with one another. A few examples include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Bones (such as Ankle and Wrist Fractures)
- Organ Damage
- Road Rash
- Wrongful Death.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should contact 911 immediately. If you are injured, or even if you suspect that you might be injured, request an ambulance. After a crash, people are often more injured than they realize, simply because our adrenaline spikes and masks the extent of our injuries. When the police arrive at the scene, answer their questions and cooperate to the best of your ability. The police will later file a report, which will be reviewed by you, your attorney and insurance companies.
After seeking medical attention, be sure to follow all of your doctor’s advice. Don’t try to fight through the pain to go to work or do anything else that might jeopardize your health or impede your recovery. Keep copies of bills or any other documents related to your medical care.
Keep track of any other bills, letters or documents you receive related to the crash. This includes motorcycle repair bills and letters from insurance companies. These documents will help your attorney determine how much money you should seek in a claim.
Consider contacting a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Some people wait until there is a dispute with an insurance company or until it becomes obvious that the other driver was at fault for the accident. While it’s okay to contact an attorney after it becomes clear that legal action is necessary, there’s nothing wrong with contacting an attorney right after a crash. An attorney will be able to walk you through the process, explore your options and help you avoid any pitfalls that you might encounter without the aid of a legal professional.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Like most crashes, motorcycle accidents are usually the result of human error. Human error comes in many forms, though in many motorcycle crashes, it includes…
- Driver distraction
- Driver impairment
- Driver fatigue
- Failure to give a motorcyclist adequate space
- Failure to signal when changing lanes or making a turn
- Failure to follow traffic signs and signals
- Failure to adjust driving for bad weather or heavy traffic.
Drivers have a responsibility to share the road safely with motorcyclists. If a driver acts without regard to the safety of their fellow motorists, they can be held accountable for the harm their careless driving has caused.
Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident?
What to Look for in a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Ideally, you want an attorney with a track record of successfully handling motorcycle accidents. Don’t be shy about asking a potential attorney about their experience with these types of crashes. They’ll be able to tell you what they’ve achieved on behalf of their clients and how they can use that experience to maximize your chances of a successful claim.
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney knows that each case is different and requires a great deal of research and preparation to get maximum results. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ll investigate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine who was responsible for your injuries, how much you should seek in a claim, and we’ll build your case to ensure you get payment that reflects the damages you’ve encountered.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Crash
The majority of all vehicle crashes are due to human error. It is often the driver of the other vehicle, and not the motorcyclist, who was responsible for a multi-vehicle crash. Whether due to driver distraction, impaired driving or reckless driving practices such as speeding or failing to notice another vehicle when changing lanes, there can be a number of contributing factors that lead to one single crash. Determining fault in a motorcycle crash means examining and investigating many different aspects of the incident. An New York experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to investigate the facts of a case and determine who was at fault in the crash.
The Costs of Filing a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Claim
How much you’ll spend filing a claim depends on the firm you choose to work with. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if we don’t win your case, you owe use nothing. We know how important your case is, and we know the costs of a serious injury can be substantial. Our team wants to ensure that you don’t face financial repercussions if your claim is unsuccessful.
We also offer free consultations to help you better understand your legal options. If you are on the fence about filing a claim, then feel free to reach out to our firm and schedule a consultation. You are not obligated to proceed with a claim if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. If you do choose to file a claim, know that if you don’t get paid, we don’t either.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]