A motorcycle accident can cause serious or even deadly injuries. Even when a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet and the proper gear, they lack the protection an automobile offers. Plus, without no-fault coverage, bikers may not have the coverage they need to pay for medical care and lost wages after a crash. Here, the motorcycle accident attorneys at James Alexander Law explain how fault is determined in collisions and accidents involving motorcycles.
Motorcycle Accident Liability
No-fault insurance, also known as personal injury protection (PIP), covers the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred by someone who is injured in a car accident. Because New York is a no-fault state, after a car crash, victims can only sue for losses that exceed their no-fault benefits or certain types of non-economic damages. However, motorcycles are excluded from NY’s no-fault laws. Bikers who are injured in a crash are not covered by these basic insurance benefits that automobile drivers and passengers can receive.
In a motorcycle crash, more than one party or entity may be held liable. This may include the driver of a car that collides with a motorcycle, the motorcycle manufacturer, or even government agencies. Many different factors are evaluated to determine fault, such as:
- Police report of the crash
- Road conditions and weather
- Eyewitness accounts at the scene
- Both drivers’ actions
What to Do if You Are in an Accident
A motorcycle accident can be traumatic, so it is important to try to stay calm and think clearly. Immediately after an accident, you should:
- Get medical attention: Call 911, even if it seems like you or the other party has not been hurt. Injuries are not always visible right away.
- Contact the authorities: Call the police so that an officer can be present on the scene and collect information for an accident report. Cooperate with the police but do not admit fault.
- Get insurance information: Exchange insurance information with any other parties involved in the crash. You may also want to take a picture of the other vehicle’s license plate.
- Contact your insurance company: Call your motorcycle insurance provider promptly to report the accident.
If you wish to contact a lawyer for a motorcycle accident, it is helpful to do so as soon as possible while the details of the crash are still fresh in your mind.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that dictates how much time a party has to initiate legal proceedings after an incident such as a crash. In most cases, a motorcyclist who wishes to file a personal injury lawsuit has three years from the date of the accident to do so. Wrongful death cases, in contrast, must be filed within two years.
Paying for an Attorney
Personal injury attorneys like James Alexander Law accept cases under what is known as a contingency fee arrangement. This means that instead of charging an hourly rate or a flat fee, the lawyer receives a percentage of the money that the client recovers. There is no initial charge, and the attorney only collects a fee if they win the client’s case.
Get in Touch with James Alexander Law
After a motorcycle crash, time is of the essence. If you or someone you love wishes to file a personal injury claim, the dedicated attorneys at James Alexander Law can provide a case evaluation free of charge. We are a family-owned, local firm, and we’ve worked with thousands of clients in NY. Our experienced attorneys are known for their success at trial and in settlements out of court.
James Alexander Law works with clients throughout Central New York, Rochester, the Southern Tier, and the North Country areas. Our offices are conveniently located in East Syracuse and Rochester, NY. In addition to motorcycle accident cases, our practice areas include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Wrongful death
- Premise liability
- Worksite Injuries
- Dog bites
To learn more or request a consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney, contact us today.
The content of this blog was prepared by James Alexander Law for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and James Alexander Law. Client relationships can only be created by written contract.