Motorcycle accident claims can be very complicated and have many moving parts. Motorcycle accidents in White Plains can happen at any time and often cause serious injuries to their victims. Because of their small size, motorcyclists are difficult to see on the road. In fact, the majority of motorcycle accidents are not due to the fault of the rider.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle accident in Westchester County or Manhattan, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at Lever Ecker, so that we can discuss your case. We will take your motorcycle accident seriously, and work to ensure you obtain the compensation that you deserve.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists are entitled to all of the same rights as car and truck drivers while on the road. However, there are cases where a cultural bias seems to exist against them, and they are often cheated out of a fair settlement. Despite the fact the Insurance Information Institute has gathered data suggesting that motorcyclists are commonly victims of motor vehicle accidents, they still face a tough battle in the legal system when seeking compensation. We fight to help motorcyclists against this bias and ensure that we do everything in our power to win their case.
At Lever Ecker, we turn over every rock to understand all aspects of a motorcycle accident. We will stand by our clients and perform the following duties to give us the best chance at winning their case:
Our White Plains Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Will Investigate the Accident and Collect Evidence
The quality of evidence that is collected after a motorcycle accident will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a claim. Because of this, you need an experienced lawyer to collect evidence on your behalf and make sure that your side of the story is told. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will be able to collect important evidence and piece it together to present a compelling case for compensation on your behalf. The personal injury lawyers at Lever Ecker will not accept any untruths from the insurance company and will work hard to prove them wrong.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Experienced in Evaluating Medical Records
One of the most complex aspects of a motorcycle injury claim is the evaluation of applicable medical records. They are important to your case, and you are going to need someone who can decipher them. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have the connections that are necessary for getting a fair assessment of medical records. Once your medical records have been reviewed, we can work with medical experts who will help us present them carefully.
Our Attorneys Know What To Expect Out Of Motorcycle Accident Claims
No one ever expects to be in a motorcycle accident. If you have been involved in one, you’re probably wondering what is coming next. Our personal injury attorneys have dealt with numerous motorcycle accident cases and will be able to guide you throughout the legal process. We will guide you through the entire legal process in a clear and simple manner so that you never have to feel like you are in the dark.
Our White Plains Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Have Your Back
After you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the last thing you want to be burdened with is dealing with your injuries, the legal process, and financial burdens all at once. Our attorneys will make decisions with your best interests in mind, fight for your rights, and leave nothing up for interpretation when it comes to pursuing justice for your case. Our lawyers will do their best to maximize your settlement, so all you have to worry about is getting better.
If your case ends up going to trial, you need an experienced and dependable lawyer on your side. We take pride in treating our clients like family and will go to bat for them when they need us most. Our motorcycle accident lawyers can negotiate outside and inside the courtroom to obtain the settlement you deserve.
Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen in White Plains
Riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous. No matter how experienced a rider is, there is always risk involved. Below, are some of the main reasons why motorcycle accidents occur in White Plains:
A Car Turns Left in Front of a Biker
This is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. In this scenario, a car fails to see a motorcyclist or judges their speed incorrectly while turning in front of them at an intersection. These accidents can usually be blamed on driver inattention, distraction, blind spots and drivers merely seeing the absence of cars and not the presence of a motorcycle.
A Car Changes Lanes and Hits a Biker
Cars will often not see a motorcyclist in their blind spots. If they suddenly change lanes into a space that a motorcycle is occupying, accidents can occur. Motorcycles are much smaller than the rest of the vehicles on the road, and inattentive drivers aren’t always looking for them. These situations can result in deadly side-swipe accidents and other severe injuries.
Accidents involving a motorcyclist and another vehicle account for 56% of deaths that occur in motorcycle accidents. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these deaths are a result of head-on collisions. When they are not fatal, head-on collisions can cause life-altering injuries that require victims to need life-long assistive care.
Lane splitting describes when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly-moving vehicles. Lane splitting is a common cause of motorcycle accidents because:
- The proximity of cars and motorcycles
- Reduction of space that the motorcycle has to maneuver
- Cars can’t anticipate a motorcyclist passing them in stopped traffic
If a lane splitting accident occurs in New York, fault is placed on the rider because it is illegal.
Riding Under the Influence
In 2014, nearly thirty percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involved a rider who was under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol inhibits every essential function that your body needs to operate a motorcycle and when those functions are impaired, catastrophic accidents can occur. It’s no secret that motorcycles provide little to no protection for their riders, so crashes involving alcohol and high speeds are extremely likely to kill or seriously injure the rider.
Close to half of all motorcycle accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused by speeding. This is not the most surprising statistic considering that speeding plays a large role in other motor vehicle accidents as well. Motorcycles are extremely powerful given their weight, which commonly promotes speeding. Because motorcycles do not provide much protection to their rider, accidents that involve speeding are likely to cause serious injury or death.
Motorcycle riders face higher dangers from road hazards than other motor vehicles. Potholes, loose gravel, road debris, trash, roadkill, wet pavement, and uneven lanes can pose serious safety threats to motorcycles because of their smaller size and less stable design.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents and severe injuries are a risk that all riders are aware of. No matter how prepared riders are, accidents can still happen in the blink of an eye. The most common injuries that we see in White Plains motorcycle accidents include:
The brain is one of the most essential parts of the body. If it swells past the barriers of the skull because of trauma, serious consequences can occur. Brain injuries are the second most common injury in motorcycle accidents. They can range from concussions to permanent brain damage, and everything in between. Brain injuries can be severe, debilitating, and sometimes fatal. It is important for riders to protect themselves as much as possible and wear a DOT or SNELL approved helmet.
Road rash is the most common injury that motorcyclists sustain in accidents. Depending on the speed at which the rider is traveling and how much protective gear is being worn, road rash can range from mild to severe. Road rash injuries should be treated immediately by a medical professional to avoid infection. Serious road rash may require surgery depending on the amount of damage that is caused to the muscle tissue.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
When bikers release from their motorcycle during an accident, their bodies encounter tremendous forces that can cause damage to the spinal cord. Injuries like fractured vertebrae, bulging discs, and severed spinal cords can all take place in a motorcycle accident. These injuries require surgeries, expensive rehabilitation, and can leave a person paralyzed for the rest of their life.
Broken bones are frequent in motorcycle accidents. Unlike passengers in motor vehicles, motorcyclists have no outer shell to stop them from flying through the air during an accident. In situations where a biker is thrown from their motorcycle, a common reaction is to try and break their fall. While this is natural, it almost always causes a severe bone break due to the force of impact. Serious bone breaks can cause permanent nerve damage, require surgery, and often require extensive rehabilitation.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The insurance and liability rules governing motorcycle accidents in New York are much different than those of truck and car accidents. A motorcycle is not considered to be a “motor vehicle” under New York’s No-Fault Law. Because motorcycles are exempt from this law, riders are not covered under the No-Fault medical and lost wage benefits of New York.
Motorcyclists who are injured in a motor vehicle accident are not subject to the “serious injury” threshold under New York’s No-Fault Law. This means that a person who is injured in a motorcycle accident can file a claim against the at-fault driver even for injuries that are considered minor that would not otherwise pass the “serious injury” threshold in a motor vehicle accident. Our motorcycle accident lawyers have been able to obtain compensation for many motorcycle accident victims across in White Plains and Manhattan. If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact our personal injury lawyers today for a free initial case evaluation.
FAQs: Recovering Just Compensation After a Motorcycle Accident in New York
What if the driver who hit me isn’t insured?
According to data from the Insurance Information Institute (III), it is estimated that more than one in 20 New York drivers are uninsured. If you were hit by an uninsured driver, this complicates your case, but it does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to secure just compensation.
First, you may be able to file a claim under your uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policy. This is optional coverage in New York, but many riders purchase it just in case they get hit by an uninsured driver. If you have multiple UM policies (i.e., if you have more than one bike), then you may also be able to “stack” your UM coverage in order to increase the total coverage you have available.
Second, you might be able to file what is known as a “third-party” claim. Basically, this is a claim against someone other than the driver who hit you. In motorcycle accident cases, third-party claims against bike manufacturers, car manufacturers, highway authorities, and other entities are all common, and our attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation to determine what claims you can file.
What if my losses exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage?
This is a common issue in motorcycle accident cases, because riders’ injuries will often be severe. If your total losses exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, you have a few options here as well.
You may be able to file an underinsured motorist claim (which is similar to an uninsured motorist claim), and you may have one or more third-party claims as well. Depending on the at-fault driver’s financial circumstances, it may also be worthwhile to sue him or her directly to recover your losses in excess of his or her policy limit.
What if the driver who hit me fled the scene of the accident?
From an insurance perspective, accidents involving drivers who flee the scene are similar to accidents involving uninsured drivers. Basically, since filing a claim under the at-fault driver’s policy isn’t an option, your remaining options are to:
- File a UM claim
- File one or more third-party claims
- File a UM claim and one or more third-party claims.
But, before you write off the possibility of filing a traditional fault-based insurance claim, it is worth trying to track down the hit-and-run driver. There are many ways to do this, and Lever & Ecker, PLLC, can act quickly to collect any evidence that points to the driver who hit you.
What if the other driver didn’t hit me but caused me to lose control?
Legally speaking, this does not have any impact on your claim. If you crashed due to someone else’s negligence, it doesn’t matter whether he or she hit you, forced you to lose control, or simply left you with no place to go. Practically speaking, this might make it more difficult to prove liability. But, the odds are that there will still be sufficient evidence available to prove your claim for just compensation.
How long will it take to get an insurance check?
It depends, and you don’t want to get anxious. While we understand that you want to settle your claim as quickly as possible, we also know that you need to make sure you truly receive just compensation for your losses. If settling quickly is your only priority, you are going to leave money on the table.
What happens if the insurance companies say that I caused the accident?
Unfortunately, with a motorcycle accident, the likelihood of this happening is fairly high. The insurance companies routinely point the finger at injured riders; and, as the claimant, it is up to you to prove your claim for damages. At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we are familiar with the insurance companies’ tactics, and we have experience using the evidence to prove that our clients are entitled to recover their losses.
How can I make sure I receive full compensation for my future medical bills and lost wages?
Recovering compensation for your future losses is one of the most important aspects of a motorcycle accident claim. If you have ongoing medical treatment needs and/or you will be unable to return to work for an extended period of time (or indefinitely), then it is absolutely essential that you recover just compensation for these future losses.
Our attorneys have significant experience in this area. We will work with you, your doctors, and our trusted experts to make sure we seek full compensation on your behalf.
White Plains Personal Injury Lawyers Who Represent a Motorcyclist’s Best Interests
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we turn over every rock to understand every aspect of your motorcycle accident. We will stand by you as insurance companies and opposing parties try to take the compensation that is rightfully yours.
Our motorcycle accident injury lawyers will be prepared to answer all of your questions about your motorcycle accident. We will take your personal injury case very personally, listen to your concerns, and help determine what your case is worth. If you cannot come to us, we would be happy to come to you. Contact us today. Your initial case evaluation is free.