Accident Injuries to Motorcycle Passengers & Driver Liability

When in an accident, injuries to motorcycle passengers can be significant. Passengers may hold the negligent driver liable – whether that’s the motorcyclist or another driver who caused the accident. Liability will depend on the cause of the crash, and Long Island motorcycle accident attorneys can help sort through the details and evaluate evidence from the motorcycle accident to determine who is at fault. 

Liability for the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents 

There are a variety of reasons that a motorcycle crash can happen. When considering causes based on motorcyclist or driver negligence, one example is alcohol impairment. 

In some cases, taking unnecessary risks may accompany drunk driving. For instance, an impaired driver may be more likely to speed or take risks such as weaving in and out of traffic.  

Even without the alcohol factor, driving too fast is another common cause for motorcycle crashes. It could be the driver is going too fast for weather conditions or exceeding the posted speed limit. 

Other possible causes include failing to yield, turning left in front of a vehicle, losing control of the bike and not using a turn signal. 

Whether the motorcyclist or another driver was guilty of these infractions, passengers who are injured may seek to recover compensation through a claim filed against the at-fault party. The types of damages and amount of compensation sought will depend largely on the type of injuries suffered. 

Common Types of Accident Injuries to Motorcycle Passengers 

Those who are injured while on a bike have a significant risk of being severely injured. Although helmets can reduce the chance of a head injury and save lives, passengers can still suffer brain trauma. Of course, this is especially true if no helmet is worn. 

Common head injuries include: 

  • lacerations;
  • skull fractures;
  • concussions; and
  • brain damage, such as a traumatic brain injury, ranging from mild to severe. 

Spinal cord injuries, meanwhile, are another type of accident injury motorcycle passengers may suffer in a severe accident. This can cause nerve damage or even paralysis. 

Broken bones are not uncommon in these accidents. Virtually any part of the body can suffer fractures, including the face, arms, legs, back and pelvis. Along with this, skin that is scraped on the ground can result in road rash. 

Recourse against a Negligent Motorcyclist or Other Driver 

Whether accident liability lies with the motorcyclist or another driver, motorcycle passengers may have a couple of options in seeking recourse for the damages incurred. One is through the at-fault driver’s insurance. 

In the state of New York, drivers and motorcyclists are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 (per individual)/$50,000 (per accident) of bodily injury liability, along with personal injury protection coverage of at least $50,000. 

Passengers may be covered through PIP coverage up to the limits of the policy, while bodily injury liability coverage provides coverage to individuals injured by the other driver. 

Another option is to file a lawsuit against the motorcyclist or other driver. This may be a better choice in some situations. This may be the case if the motorcyclist does not have enough insurance to cover the losses. 

If the medical bills alone totaled at $70,000 and the driver carried the minimum amount of insurance, this still leaves the injured passenger with a big gap in bills. 

Is it necessary to contact an attorney if I was injured as a passenger on a motorcycle? 

When accident injuries affect motorcycle passengers, they can address losses and expenses by pursuing legal option with help from Long Island motorcycle accident attorneys. 

The law firm of Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help passengers handle their claims and determine accident liability. We can evaluate the circumstances surrounding an injured passenger’s crash and explain the options that may be available following the accident if injuries to the motorcycle passenger causes significant damages.

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