Consider the following trends in fatal motorcycle crashes in the state of New York and be sure you’re aware of the risks that bikers face when they hit the road. Ride your motorcycle safely to avoid becoming a victim. Some drivers may act negligently around bikers and may cause an accident that leads to a wrongful death. A claim may be filed by the victim’s family in these cases.
Trends in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes in New York
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatal motorcycle crashes increased in New York from 2009 to 2010. There were 155 fatalities in 2009 and 184 in 2010.
The rate of fatalities also went up by about eight fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles in the state. Since 2006, though, the rate has dropped from roughly 95 fatalities per 100,000 registered bikes to about 52 per 100,000 registered bikes in 2010.
The 184 deaths in 2010 accounted for 15 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the state:
- 162 of the motorcyclists were wearing a helmet;
- 16 were not wearing a helmet; and
- six cases are unknown whether the rider was wearing a helmet.
In the state of New York, the law requires all riders wear a helmet regardless of age or experience.
The age ranges for motorcycle accident deaths in 2010 were:
- 20 – 29 years old: 60 deaths;
- 30 – 39 years old: 40 deaths;
- 40- 49 years old: 36 deaths;
- 50 – 59 years old: 31 deaths;
- 20 years old and under: 10 deaths; and
- seven of the deaths involved an individual older than 59.
Another interesting trend is the counties in New York with the highest incidences of fatal motorcycle crashes. In 2010, Queens and Suffolk Counties had the most at 12 apiece, followed by Kings County with 11. Next were Erie, Nassau and Westchester Counties with 10 each. Cattaraugus County had the highest rate at 8.73 fatalities per 100,000 people.
While not all fatalities warrant a wrongful death claim on behalf of a surviving family member, those that do may allow the victim’s family to recover damages like medical bills and lost wages stemming from another’s negligence.
Risks to Motorcyclists
There are numerous risks that motorcyclists face when they are on a bike. This is what makes them much more dangerous than driving a passenger car. For instance, road debris or uneven surfaces may not impact a car. But these obstacles may cause a motorcyclist to lose control and wreck.
There is also a lot less stability on a bike than a car. This is especially true when a motorcyclist has to swerve to avoid something or suddenly hit the brakes. It’s also important to consider that if a bike crashes, the motorcyclist isn’t protected from hitting another object or the ground.
While there are many reasons fatal motorcycle crashes might happen, sometimes they are caused by another individual’s negligence. Drivers who don’t respect motorcyclists’ right to the road, don’t see the bike or otherwise act in a careless or reckless manner could be held liable in a wrongful death claim.
Recovering Damages for a Wrongful Death Accident
Losing someone you love is especially difficult when you learn it was a preventable death. If you believe that your loved one’s motorcycle accident was the result of someone else’s negligent actions, compensation could be available.
You may be able to recover compensation for medical bills resulting from injuries, along with reasonable burial and funeral expenses and other damages. If you depended on your loved one’s income, his or her earning potential may be included in your claim.
Beyond the financial aspect, families suffer emotionally. Damages could address pain and suffering, loss of companionship, parental guidance and more. To learn more about the legal options you may have available, contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates in New York. Call us today at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) to discuss filing a wrongful death claim following a fatal motorcycle crash.