There is a prevailing myth that motorcyclists drive recklessly and cause accidents, but the truth is that many motorcyclists suffer injuries every year because of careless or negligent drivers. Under New York State auto insurance laws, motorcyclists who suffer injuries in a crash caused by another motorist can hold the at-fault driver financially responsible for the injuries and losses they suffered.
If you have sustained injuries in a wreck with another motorist, a motorcycle accident attorney in Oakdale, Long Island can help you identify the party or parties responsible for causing your accident and explain your options for recovering the compensation you deserve. Call the attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a free case review.
Does New York State’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Law Apply to Motorcycles?
When the driver of a car suffers injuries in an accident, they usually have to first turn to their no-fault auto insurance policy to recover compensation for their property damage and to cover their medical care. However, this is not the case for motorcyclists. These personal injury protection policies are not available to motorcyclists, and the state’s no-fault auto insurance scheme does not apply to these accidents.
If you suffer injuries in an Oakdale motorcycle crash, you can file a third-party auto insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s coverage. This is true no matter if you suffer only minor injuries or if you require ongoing care for permanent injuries.
Usually, we can help our clients recover the compensation they deserve by filing an insurance claim and negotiating a fair settlement based on their accident-related damages. Only occasionally do we need to file a personal injury lawsuit and ask a judge to award you damages based on the evidence we present in court. However, we are not afraid to take this step if it is in your best interests.
What If I Contributed to My Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
If there is evidence to show you broke a traffic law or made another negligent mistake, you may be partially at fault for your injuries. This includes breaking the state’s universal helmet laws. These helmet laws require all riders to wear a helmet and protective eyewear.
Because of New York State’s pure comparative negligence law, it is likely the insurance company will attempt to deny our claim or reduce the value of our payout if they can show you contributed to your injuries. This puts us in a defensive position, fighting for the maximum compensation possible despite the facts in your case.
We can still recover compensation on your behalf if you contributed to your accident injuries. However, unless we can counter these accusations, it may significantly reduce the value of your case. The amount we can recover will decrease based on the percentage of fault you hold in causing the accident.
For example, imagine you suffered a head injury and a broken arm in the accident. The insurance company notes you were not wearing a helmet, which could have prevented your head injury. If your total losses equal $10,000, you might only collect the money related to your broken arm. This could reduce your payout by 40 to 50 percent.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
There is a three-year statute of limitations on motorcycle accident lawsuits in Long Island. New York State laws put this deadline in all personal injury cases. This deadline only applies to filing a personal injury lawsuit, but it also plays an important role in auto insurance claims. If we do not file and settle your third-party liability claim before this deadline, there will be little incentive for the insurance company to work with us and offer a fair settlement.
It is also important to act quickly after a Long Island motorcycle accident for another reason: Collecting all available evidence to prove our case requires acting quickly. Some evidence disappears within days of the crash. We also need to enlist the help of experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists. This takes time and is a necessary step in proving your claim.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
To understand how much your case may be worth, we must collect evidence to prove your financial losses and use them to calculate your noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. This allows us to know the range where a “fair settlement” would fall before negotiating with the insurance company.
When we collect evidence of your damages, we include:
- The cost of emergency transportation from the scene
- Bills from the hospital, surgery, and other inpatient care
- Any outpatient medical care costs
- Rehabilitation and therapy bills
- Prescription drug costs
- Any necessary future medical expenses or ongoing care costs
- Current lost wages and future missed work
- The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle
- Property damage to other items, such as your helmet and smartphone
- Pain and suffering
Most motorcycle accident cases settle during the insurance claims process or settle out of court. However, punitive damages may also apply if we need to litigate your case. Punitive damages are rare, but the courts have the discretion to order them if necessary to punish a particularly negligent driver.
How Can I Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Oakdale, Long Island?
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can handle your insurance claim, negotiate a settlement, or take your case to court if necessary. Call our Long Island office today at 631-600-0000 for a free case evaluation and pay nothing until we collect the compensation you deserve.