Motorcycle crashes commonly occur in urban areas. However, that’s not the only location. Motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere. They often involve other vehicles, such as passenger cars and trucks. The violent nature of these collisions can produce significant forces on impact and lead to severe injuries and death.
Common Places Where Motorcycle Crashes Happen in New York
Some areas are more dangerous for motorcycle riders than others. These locations present an increased risk of accidents due to road conditions, visibility issues, congestion, and other factors. Drivers often cannot see nearby motorcycles or ignore riders traveling near their vehicles.
Below are the most common locations for motorcycle collisions.
Intersections require drivers, motorcyclists, and pedestrians to follow all traffic signs and signals and yield the right of way when necessary. However, some people violate traffic laws and proceed through intersections without paying attention to the people and vehicles around them.
Motorcycle accidents can occur in intersections when drivers engage in careless behavior, such as:
- Quickly merging into the next lane, sideswiping a motorcyclist in their blind spot
- Turning left in front of an approaching motorcycle rider
- Speeding up to beat a red light but crashing into the back of a motorcyclist who stops
Anyone can get hurt in a collision at an intersection. However, these accidents are typically deadlier for motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists don’t have seatbelts restraining them to their seats. Any amount of force can eject them from their bikes or knock them onto the ground. Injuries can be severe even when crashes occur at low speeds.
Vehicles travel closely to oncoming traffic on two-lane highways. If someone gets distracted, they can drift into the other lane and collide with a motorcyclist head-on. The rider can sustain debilitating injuries after getting ejected from the motorcycle. Subsequent injuries can occur from a car running them over or flying debris striking them.
Freeways and interstates are other common areas where motorcycle crashes can happen. They can result from circumstances such as:
- Debris, such as a blown-out tire or trash, creates obstacles for riders
- A driver merging into the lane without looking for bikers
- A motorist speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, losing control and crashing into a motorcyclist
Interstates and freeways contain more traffic than other areas. Many people also exceed the speed limit. That increases the dangers motorcycle riders encounter. High-speed collisions can be fatal for anyone involved, especially motorcyclists.
How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in New York?
According to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), deadly motorcycle accidents in New York soared by 50% in 2021 from two years prior.
Although accidents can cause anyone’s death, fatal motor vehicle crashes seem to affect motorcyclists more than others. Motorcyclist fatalities represented more than 18% of all deaths in New York in 2021.
The data showed 204 people died in 198 fatal collisions that year. In the first several weeks of riding season last year, statistics found over 220 reported injuries and nine fatalities.
What Is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Driver error is a common factor in motorcycle crashes. Some people focus on other tasks besides driving or allow distractions to pull their attention away from the road ahead. When that happens, seeing motorcyclists who cross their path is nearly impossible. By the time a driver notices the dangerous situation, it is often too late to brake or swerve out of the way.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle collisions include:
- Failing to check blind spots
- Driving around a sharp curve or bend too fast
- Quickly changing lanes
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
Compensation Available After a Motorcycle Accident
In New York, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance pays medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses after someone gets hurt in an accident. They must file a claim with their own insurance carrier to recover compensation regardless of who is at fault. However, PIP doesn’t apply to motorcycles.
You can file a claim with the negligent driver’s auto insurance company if they cause your injuries in a crash. State law requires everyone who registers a vehicle in New York to obtain liability coverage with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits.
You could file a lawsuit if the required timeframe hasn’t passed. There is a statute of limitations in New York that allows a three-year timeframe for filing suit. That means you must initiate your lawsuit against the negligent motorist within three years of the crash date.
The money you receive in a claim or lawsuit might compensate you for your:
- Emotional distress
- Hospital stays, imaging tests, surgeries, and other medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Scarring or permanent loss of limb
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Motorcycle accidents can be catastrophic and lead to deaths. If your family member died in a collision someone else caused, you could recover compensation in a wrongful death case.
However, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations allows a two-year timeframe for filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for someone’s death.
Although the personal representative pursues the case, they seek compensation for the surviving family, such as a spouse or child, and the estate. The financial award might cover losses such as:
- Any financial support the deceased would have given to family members if they survived
- Conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent due to their fatal injury
- Funeral and burial costs
- Reasonable healthcare expenses related to the fatal injury
- Surviving relatives’ lost inheritance
- The value of parental guidance, nurturing, and care to surviving children
- The value of services and support the decedent would have provided to their family
Fight for the Compensation You Deserve with Finz & Finz, P.C.
You shouldn’t be financially responsible for your accident-related expenses, regardless of where the crash occurred. Finz & Finz, P.C. can help you seek justice and hold the negligent driver liable.