When a driver breaks traffic laws or drives carelessly, they can easily cause a collision or even a single-vehicle crash for a nearby motorcycle rider. New York laws allow motorcycle accident victims to hold a motorist liable for the injuries they suffered if that motorist caused their crash. This is often the best way to pay your medical bills, cover lost wages, and repair or replace your bike after a Long Island motorcycle accident.
The skilled motorcycle accident team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., can help you understand what caused your crash, identify any liable parties, and help you recover the compensation you need. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to set up a meeting with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Sayville, Long Island. Our case reviews are free and you pay us nothing unless we recover money for you.
How Does New York’s No-Fault Auto Insurance Law Apply to Motorcyclists?
New York State follows a no-fault auto insurance scheme, meaning drivers who suffer injuries in car accidents must depend on their personal injury protection (PIP) policy to cover their medical care and lost wages—unless they meet a strict “serious injury” threshold. However, motorcyclists are not eligible to purchase this type of PIP policy. The no-fault laws do not apply when another driver causes an accident involving a motorcycle.
This means you do not have to worry about meeting the serious injury threshold. We can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver no matter the severity of your injuries. Of course, because of the very nature of motorcycle accidents, many riders’ injuries are serious enough to meet this threshold anyway.
In most motorcycle accident cases, we can recover the compensation you deserve for your damages by filing a third-party insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance provider. After filing this claim and providing documentation to prove the full value of your losses, we can often negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If this is not possible, we are not afraid to litigate your case. We will take the insurance company and the at-fault driver to court and ask a judge to grant a monetary award in your case.
What If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet at the Time of the Crash?
All too often, we see clients who were not wearing a helmet at the time of their Long Island motorcycle accident. New York has universal helmet laws, making it illegal to ride without a helmet and protective eyewear. If you fail to follow this law, the insurance company will likely push back on our claim, alleging you caused or contributed to your own injuries. This may also occur if there is proof you broke another traffic law or otherwise acted negligently.
This is not a situation you want to find yourself in. However, we can fight these allegations and work to mitigate the damage they do to your claim. Under New York’s pure comparative negligence rule, we can still collect compensation even if you did cause or contribute to your injuries. However, this can drastically reduce the amount of money we can win in your case. How much depends on how much you contributed to your own accident injuries. If you suffered serious head injuries and were not wearing a helmet, this could be affect a large portion of your payout.
Imagine this scenario: You suffered a broken leg and minor lacerations to your head in a crash where you were not wearing a helmet. The helmet would not have prevented your leg injury, so the court decides you only contributed 10 percent to your injuries. If your damages total $10,000, you will only be eligible to collect $9,000 from the insurance company.
Is There a Time Limit on How Long I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
New York has a three-year statute of limitations on motorcycle accident lawsuits and other personal injury tort. However, it is important that we launch an investigation into the cause of your accident as soon as possible. We need to collect evidence that may disappear within days. Then, we need to work with our accident reconstruction specialists and other experts to understand how your crash occurred and who caused it. Only then can we consider filing a third-party liability insurance claim to collect compensation.
While this deadline only applies to filing a lawsuit in civil court, it also plays a key role in an insurance claim based on a motorcycle accident. Knowing there is a chance we will take them to court provides motivation for the insurance company to pay us a fair settlement and avoid the extra cost and hassle of a trial. For this reason, it is paramount that we file your insurance claim with plenty of time left before the deadline.
What Type of Damages Can I Expect From My Sayville Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Before we ask the at-fault driver’s insurance company to offer compensation, we must collect evidence to document your related losses and calculate their full value. This is the only way to ensure we recover a fair settlement for you. Some of the damages we consider when estimating the value of your case include:
- Ambulance transportation from the scene;
- Hospitalization, surgical costs, and other inpatient care;
- Any outpatient medical care;
- Rehabilitation and therapy;
- Prescription drug costs;
- Future medical expenses or ongoing care costs;
- Lost wages, both current and future;
- Repair or replacement of your motorcycle;
- Property damage to other items, such as your helmet; and
- Pain and suffering and other emotional damages.
While we generally settle these cases out of court, we can also collect these damages and more if we need to litigate your case. In addition, judges have discretion to order at-fault motorists to pay punitive damages if the evidence supports it. This usually occurs when they were behaving in a particularly reckless way at the time of the crash.
How Can I Reach a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Sayville, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our skilled team of motorcycle accident attorneys gives you the best chance of recovering the full value of your damages. We will fight for the compensation you deserve, even if that means taking your case to court. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free case review and learn more about your legal options.