While there are many causes of motorcycle accidents, one common factor among all of them is human error. At Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., we have represented riders seriously injured in accidents including reckless driving, speeding, distracted driving, and impaired driving.
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Primary Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
In their most recent report, Traffic Safety Facts, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 33% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding. They also reported that in the same year, 29% of motorcycle riders killed in crashes were alcohol-impaired. This makes speeding and impaired riding the leading causes of fatal motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Thousands of reported motorcycle crashes result in fatalities each year, making it a serious concern for riders and road safety authorities. According to the NHTSA, there were a reported 5,932 motorcyclists killed in 2021. Despite motorcycles only making up 3.5% of registered vehicles in the U.S., motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic fatalities in that same year.
New York Fatal Crash Increase
In a recent press release by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), riders are encouraged to ride safely and to wear proper protective gear including a helmet because there has been a significant 52% increase in fatal crashes across the state.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Common types of motorcycle accidents that are caused by human error, speeding, or impaired riding include:
- Single-vehicle accidents: These are crashes where the motorcycle is the only vehicle involved. Additional factors that contribute to these accidents can be road hazards, loss of control, lane splitting, or mechanical failure.
- Collisions with other vehicles: Many motorcycle accidents occur when a motorcycle collides with another larger vehicle such as a car or truck. This is often caused when other drivers don’t see the motorcyclist or don’t give them enough space on the road causing them to lose control of their bike. Head-on collisions and left turn accidents are common and often cause life-changing injuries or loss of life.
Liability in a Motorcycle Crash
When it comes to determining liability in a motorcycle wreck, the same rules of the road apply as they do for any other motor vehicle accident. New York no-fault insurance will cover some medical bills and lost wages, but once the damages exceed this coverage, negligent vehicle drivers can be held responsible for damages and injuries caused by their actions.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, they could be held responsible. Driver negligence may include:
- Distracted driving (e.g., texting while driving, eating and drinking)
- Failing to follow traffic laws (e.g., speeding, running a red light)
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving (e.g., weaving in and out of lanes, tailgating)
Occasionally, when a municipality negligently leaves a hazard in the road, resulting in a motorcyclist’s crash, they may be held liable for the rider’s injuries. Similarly, if a mechanic fails to diligently service a motorcycle, leading to a crash, they could be considered a liable party.
Serious Injuries in Motorcycle Collisions
Due to the lack of physical protection and size difference between motorcycles and other vehicles on the road, motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries for riders compared to a typical car accident. These can include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Broken bones/fractures
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Amputations/loss of limb
Many of these injuries can have life-altering consequences and require extensive medical treatment, resulting in significant financial burden for the injured rider.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Motorcyclists involved in collisions are at a high risk of experiencing head injuries such as a traumatic brain injury, which can result in significant cognitive and physical impairment. Helmets are legally required in the state of New York and for good reason. They have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of TBIs in motorcycle crashes, making it essential for riders to wear proper protective gear.
Long Term Impact
Motorcycle wrecks often cause significant health challenges for injured riders. Riders who have experienced a TBI or other serious injury may undergo a substantial decline in their overall quality of life and require extensive rehabilitation. Motorcycle operators who have suffered catastrophic injuries may not be able to resume their previous occupation or work at the same level of capacity as before the accident.
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Defending Your Rights After a Motorcycle Collision
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not believe you have any injuries. Some injuries may not be apparent right away, and seeking prompt medical care can ensure proper documentation of any harm caused by the accident.
It is also important to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can counsel you on your rights, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. In the case of fatal accidents, an attorney can help surviving family members seek justice for the loss of their loved one.
Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. May Be Able to Represent You
At Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., we understand the unique challenges and risks faced by motorcycle riders on the road. Our team has decades of combined experience representing individuals who have been injured riding motorcycles on Long Island. We provide aggressive representation and real results for injury victims on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you won’t have to make any upfront payments.
We are a Long Island personal injury law firm committed to fighting for your rights and seeking compensation for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Call today for a free consultation.