Driving A Motorcycle

Compensation for New York Motorcycle Accidents

Many New Yorkers enjoy riding motorcycles in the warmer months. Whether for pleasure or transportation, motorcycles can be a fun way to get around. They can also be dangerous. Motorcycles are much smaller than the other vehicles on the road — other drivers may not keep a lookout for motorcycles, or may incorrectly gauge their distance from them. 

Over half the reported motorcycle crashes in New York State involve another vehicle. If another’s negligence caused your motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to several different categories of compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.  

Recovering Medical Expenses for Motorcycle Injuries

Unlike cars, motorcycles offer the operator no protection in an accident. Even if a motorcycle rider is wearing protective gear and a helmet, there is no airbag or steel structure to protect them from being thrown onto the road. As a result, motorcycle accidents can be severe, even if the operator was driving at a slow speed. Motorcycle accidents commonly cause:

  • Disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Road burn
  • Paralysis
  • Neck and spine damage
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Death

Medical treatment for motorcycle accidents can require emergency room care, hospital stays, office visits, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, physical therapy, and diagnostic testing as recommended by your doctor. Since no-fault insurance coverage does not apply, the costs for medical care associated with New York motorcycle accident injuries can be costly and quickly add up — especially if you only maintain the minimum required liability insurance coverage for motorcycles.

If you received medical treatment due to motorcycle accident injuries resulting from another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for any out-of-pocket costs. In a personal injury action, you may recover unreimbursed medical expenses and future medical expenses.    

Time Lost from Work

If your motorcycle crash resulted in severe injuries for which you needed extensive medical treatment, you likely took time off work and lost wages. In a personal injury action, you may be able to recover lost wages, and future lost earnings due to the negligent party’s actions.    

Pain and Suffering

Motorcycle accident victims are entitled to recover for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of their accident. New York courts allow financial recovery for pain and suffering without a cap. This category of damages recognizes the physical and mental pain and loss of enjoyment of life felt by a motorcycle accident victim. Unlike economic damages that can be easily calculated based on financial loss, pain and suffering is more complicated. Generally, the more severe the injury is, the higher the amount awarded.

Pain and suffering damages can be determined by one of two methods recognized in New York. The multiplier method will consider the severity of the injury and multiply it by the economic damages incurred. The per diem method may also be used, which multiplies the number of days of injury by a daily rate — usually determined by lost wages.   

Loss of Consortium

Motorcycle injuries can affect not only the victim but their loved ones as well. Your spouse may be entitled to recover damages for loss of consortium if your injuries affect certain aspects of your marital relationship.   

Punitive Damages

If another driver on the road acted egregiously or with reckless disregard for your safety, a New York court may award punitive damages to a motorcycle accident victim. These damages are not intended to compensate you for your injuries, but serve to punish the negligent party.  

Wrongful Death

According to statistics released by the New York Department of Health, 166 deaths occur each year on average as a result of motorcycle crashes. In cases that involve the death of a loved one, the family may be entitled to financial compensation. The estate of a motorcycle accident victim can bring an action for wrongful death. In a wrongful death action, the survivors can recover for the decedent’s medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, lost wages, loss of value of services, and lost inheritance.   

Contact a New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating, and the resulting injuries are often severe. If you’ve been injured in a New York motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you obtain the maximum compensation available. 

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a free consultation.

John P. Dearie

John P. Dearie is a graduate of Regis High School, The University of Notre Dame, and St. John’s University School of Law. After working at a corporate law firm in New York City for two years following law school graduation, he joined The Dearie Law Firm in 2011.

John represents injured New Yorkers in third-party negligence litigations, as well as first responders, workers, volunteers and residents in claims to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.