Staten Island Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is a favorite hobby for many New Yorkers. Whether you are riding for fun or as an alternative to owning a car, you are vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash. The O’Connor Law Firm assists motorcycle victims and their families receive compensation following a wreck. Contact us to learn more. The sooner we hear from you, the stronger your case.
Motorcyclists Face Many Hazards
Riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than riding in a passenger sedan. The statistics bear this out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to suffer a fatal crash than the occupant of a car. They are also 4 times as likely to be injured.
Some of the hazards bikers face include:
- Careless drivers who are not looking for motorcyclists and often pull directly in front of them.
- Dangerous and aggressive drivers who do not believe they need to share the road with motorcyclists and cut them off or pass too closely.
- Potholes and other road defects which a car would drive over but which might upend a bike.
- Lack of protection so that bikers often suffer horrifying injuries in a collision.
All these hazards conspire to make riding a dangerous activity. We are not surprised by the high number of accidents.
Common Factors Which Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Accidents can happen anywhere in Staten Island, but here are some common situations:
- Left-hand turn collisions. Often, a motorist is hanging out in an intersection to make a left-hand turn once oncoming traffic passes through. However, the motorist doesn’t notice a motorcyclist bringing up the rear and crashes into them.
- Rear end collisions. A motorcyclist stopped at an intersection or in the parking lot can be struck from behind by a motorist who fails to brake in time.
- Sideswipes. A motorist might pass too closely because they are in a hurry. Unfortunately, they clip a motorcyclist, which sends them off the road.
Accidents are often caused by:
- Illegal lane changes
- Driver distraction
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to follow traffic laws
- Failing to yield
Additionally, many road hazards make riding a motorcycle risky. Potholes, road debris, and unplowed snow can send a biker tumbling when they strike the hazard.
Serious Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Getting into a crash while riding a motorcycle is a terrifying experience. Many accident victims suffer serious injuries, such as:
- Road rash
- Degloving injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Compressed nerves
- Organ damage
- Back injuries
- Spinal column injuries
These injuries require immediate treatment at the hospital. If you don’t have insurance, then you will need to pay out of pocket or find a doctor willing to treat you in exchange for a lien on your settlement. Whatever you do, please avoid delay. Many injuries worsen without treatment. This is true of back and spinal column injuries. Contact a Staten Island motorcycle accident lawyer if you need assistance finding appropriate medical care. The faster you get on a treatment plan, the stronger your odds of successfully healing.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
We strive to obtain the maximum compensation for our motorcycle accident clients. This money can help relieve financial stress caused by high medical bills and lost income. Accident victims deserve compensation when someone else is to blame for their injuries.
We have sought damages for:
- Medical care, including future medical care
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
- Lost income and wages
- Motorcycle repairs
- Other property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Generally, motorcycle accident victims receive more compensation than other accident victims because your injuries are so severe. However, there are many factors which go into determining the size of a settlement, including whether you contributed to your accident and the size of a defendant’s insurance policy. For example, you might have been speeding when you were struck by a car, or you could have been weaving in your lane. Either could make you partially at fault for an accident. The compensation you receive will be reduced by your proportion of blame. Thus, if you are 40% at fault, you’ll get only 60% of the compensation you would have received otherwise.
Who is Responsible for Your Motorcycle Injuries
The O’Connor Law Firm understands the importance of compensation. Without it, many injured motorcyclists would be unable to pay their bills or get their bikes fixed. They need money to cover their rent, mortgage, or other living expenses, and without this money they cannot support their family.
Fortunately, New York law allows you to sue anyone responsible for the crash. These parties can include:
- Other motorists on the road. The driver of a car or truck could strike you or force you off the road because they were negligent or reckless.
- Commercial employers. If a trucker, delivery driver, or taxi driver caused an accident, you can usually sue their employer. They are automatically liable under the legal concept of “respondeat superior.”
- Mechanics. A mechanic might have done poor repairs on your bike. For example, the brakes might fail because he did not put the brake pads on correctly. A mechanic is liable when their negligence contributes to a crash.
- Municipalities. The government agency responsible for the road will be liable if a road defect or hazard contributed to your collision.
- Motorcycle manufacturers. Your bike might have a defect which causes a crash. We can often sue the manufacturer or the manufacturer of a competent part that fails.
Identifying the correct entity to sue takes legal knowledge and a close attention to detail. Our legal team can fully investigate a crash and talk to people who witnessed the event.
Steps to Take following a Staten Island Motorcycle Accident
After your bike flips, your entire world might be turned upside down. Someone with traumatic injuries might need to wait for an ambulance to pick them up and take them to the hospital. Others might be knocked unconscious and lie helplessly in the road for a Good Samaritan to come along.
But if you are conscious and can move around, we recommend the following.
- Obtain information from the driver who caused your crash: name, contact information, license, registration, and insurance information. Share your own information in turn.
- Speak to witnesses. Get name and contact information for each. They might testify later as to what happened.
- Take pictures of the vehicles involved, along with anything else that’s relevant, like a pothole or road debris. These pictures are helpful at recreating the accident later.
- Call the police to come out to the accident scene. An officer should file a crash report, which is a helpful document for your case.
- Report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible. They can open a claim.
- Go to the hospital shortly after the accident. Tell the doctor you were involved in a motorcycle accident.
- Avoid giving a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without talking to a lawyer first. These adjusters might ask vague or confusing questions, and your answers need to be precise and accurate.
You will significantly improve your odds of success if you follow these steps.
Contact a Staten Island Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Brian J. O’Connor is an experienced personal injury attorney representing Staten Island accident victims. He’s helped many motorcyclists with the claims process and can step in to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Instead of trying to juggle your case in between doctor’s appointments, rely on our firm’s deep experience in this area. If necessary, we can bring a lawsuit in a timely manner to protect your right to compensation.
Call The O’Connor Law Firm today to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.