New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle crashes often result in severe injuries due to the impact with larger vehicles and the rider’s likely contact with the road. Drivers are legally obligated to watch for motorcyclists. The New York motorcycle accident lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm can help injured riders recover significant financial compensation.

New York motorcyclists experienced 3,429 injury crashes and 181 fatal crashes in 2020, representing 18 percent of all traffic fatalities in New York, according to statistics compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research. These accidents often occur due to the failure by other drivers to watch for motorcycles.

The New York personal injury lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm help injured motorcyclists recover compensation when they are seriously injured because of the negligence of others.

The Lanier Law Firm Gets Results for New York Motorcycle Accident Victims

During our 32 years of fighting for justice for motorcycle accident victims, we have built a nationwide reputation as one of the law firms most feared by insurance companies and other large companies liable for harm to individuals.

Our reputation is the result of nearly $20 billion in verdicts and settlements for our deserving clients. Because we know how to win, insurance companies are often eager to offer a reasonable settlement to avoid facing us at trial.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42 percent of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes are caused by a left-turning driver failing to see a motorcycle that is going straight or overtaking a vehicle.

Due to motorcycles’ narrow profile and smaller size, drivers that fail to consciously watch for them may look right at a motorcycle and fail to see it. But motorcyclists have a legal right to use New York roadways, and drivers are obligated to watch for them.

Other causes of motorcycle accidents include the following:

  • Drunk drivers
  • Distracted drivers
  • Speeding
  • Failure of a driver to yield
  • Drivers opening car doors in front of motorcycles
  • Poorly maintained roads
  • Debris in the road
  • Defective tires

Motorcycle Accident Injuries

According to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash. Those who survive are more likely to sustain catastrophic injuries because they lack many of the crash-protective features available on passenger vehicles.

Catastrophic injuries that are common in motorcycle accidents include:

Spinal cord injuries

Severe burns, including road rash

Traumatic brain injuries

Multiple broken bones

Organ damage

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Does New York have a mandatory helmet law?

New York law requires all riders to wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets. Failure to wear a helmet can adversely affect compensation after an accident. The at-fault party can claim your injuries would not have occurred had you worn a helmet.

Helmets are 37 percent effective at preventing head injuries. Since they are significantly less than 100 percent effective, our attorneys may be able to prove that you would have suffered similar injuries with or without the helmet.

What should I do after a motorcycle accident in New York?

The actions you should take after a motorcycle accident are similar to those you would take after a car accident, including documenting the scene, collecting witness information, and filing a police report.

As soon as practical after attending to your well-being, you should perform the following steps to ensure you remain in compliance with New York law and protect your personal injury case:

  1. Take photos of the accident and the surrounding scene.
  2. Prepare a detailed, written account of the accident as soon as possible while small details are fresh in your memory.
  3. Obtain the insurance information of the driver.
  4. Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses at the scene.
  5. File an accident report with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and request a copy.
  6. Contact a New York motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Does no-fault insurance cover motorcycle accidents?

Although New York is a no-fault state, motorcyclists are excluded from the no-fault system. When you have been injured in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence, you must file a claim with the driver’s liability insurance.

Who is liable for my motorcycle accident?

Establishing liability in a motorcycle accident requires a forensic analysis of the accident that is more thorough than that offered by the responding law enforcement agency. Our law firm works with leading accident reconstructionists who often identify multiple liable parties in a single accident, such the following:

  • The driver
  • The owner of the vehicle
  • An employer
  • A municipality
  • A premises owner
  • A motorcycle or automobile mechanic
  • A motorcycle or automobile manufacturer

What if I am partially at fault for the accident?

New York’s contributory negligence law allows you to recover damages in an accident as long as you are less than 100 percent at fault. However, your compensation will be reduced proportionately.

For example, if you are 20 percent at fault and your damages equal $100,000, your compensation will be reduced to $80,000. If fault has been attributed to you in the accident, The Lanier Law Firm can help you refute this.

How much is my motorcycle accident worth?

The only accurate method to calculate the value of a case is to look at your specific circumstances, which will almost certainly differ from any other case.

Factors That Impact Compensation

  • The number of liable parties
  • The available insurance coverage
  • The collectible assets of the liable parties
  • Your degree of fault
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The cost of your medical care
  • Your earnings before the accident
  • Your potential earnings after the accident

Types of Damages

The types of damages that may be available after a New York motorcycle accident are economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages cover your monetary losses that can be verified. This includes the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Domestic services
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Property damage

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages cover the subjective non-monetary losses precipitated by the crash, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of life activities
  • Loss of society

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded not for the purpose of providing compensation but to punish the liable party and deter others from similar conduct. Punitive damages are awarded only in cases when the defendant’s conduct was deliberate or grossly negligent, as in the case of drunk drivers.

What if my family member was killed in a motorcycle accident in New York?

After the tragic death of a family member in a motorcycle accident, your family’s personal representative may file a wrongful death lawsuit on your family’s behalf. Your family may be able to recover damages for the following:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses of the deceased
  • Lost wages of the deceased
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of guidance
  • Punitive damages


The Lanier Law Firm handles wrongful death cases with compassion and personalized support.

How can a New York personal injury lawyer help?

The Lanier Law Firm is dedicated to helping motorcycle accident victims recover the maximum compensation available. We accomplish this by doing the following:

  • Identifying all liable parties
  • Investigating your accident
  • Skillfully negotiating a fair and just settlement
  • Filing your lawsuit
  • Providing vigorous advocacy
  • Calculating your case value
  • Keeping you informed of all the developments in your case

What is the upfront cost for a
personal injury lawyer?

The Lanier Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no upfront cost. In fact, when The Lanier Law Firm handles your case, we advance your case costs for you and bear all the associated risks. If we lose, you owe us nothing.

When should I contact a New York City motorcycle accident lawyer?

The state of New York imposes strict deadlines for filing civil lawsuits. Before your attorney can file your lawsuit, they need to build your case. Our motorcycle accident attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm’s New York office will perform a detailed forensic investigation of your accident, retrieve your medical records, and meet with consultants, such as life care planners and expert witnesses.

Contacting us as soon as possible will ensure that we have ample time to complete these important case tasks ahead of the deadline. The initial consultation is free. Contact us today to talk to a New York City motorcycle accident attorney.

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