New York Motorcycle Injury Lawyers
Finkelstein & Partners, LLP
Newburgh, NY, 12550
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Finkelstein & Partners, LLP – Winning Serious Injury Lawsuits Since 1959
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys, Information and Resources
Whether riding along the Hudson River in the Capital District or cruising through the rolling hills and mountains of Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, motorcycling is an enjoyable hobby for many, especially in the warm summer months.
For others, motorcycles are economical and serve as a primary mode of transportation. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is not the safest way to get around, primarily because of other drivers. Even the safest bikers risk injury and death at the hands of negligent motorists who break traffic laws and do not watch out for motorcycles.
If you have suffered injuries in a New York motorcycle accident, state law entitles you to seek compensation for losses related to the accident and your injuries. Motorcycle accidents cause economic hardship and emotional distress on top of the physical pain of injury for many victims. Do not suffer financially because a careless motorist or another negligent party caused the accident that led to your injuries.
The skilled New York motorcycle accident attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners have advocated for injured accident victims, including those injured in motorcycle accidents, for over six decades. Consult our team so we can evaluate your accident injury claim. Once we confirm you have a viable claim, we can help you seek compensation for damages while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
Why Choose Finkelstein & Partners to Handle Your Claim
Our firm has over 60 years of experience negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury claims, including those involving motorcycle accident injuries. Additionally, prestigious publications, like Super Lawyers, have recognized Finkelstein & Partners for their professional excellence. Many firm members also belong to the elite Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our commitment to individualized service and client advocacy has led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars in damages from jury verdicts and settlement agreements.
Examples of recent results in motorcycle accident cases include:
- A $5.9 million settlement for a client who required multiple surgeries after injuring lower extremities as a passenger in a motorcycle accident.
- A $1.5 million settlement after a biker hit an unmarked dumpster left in an unlighted area on a public road and had two surgeries to repair his broken leg.
- A $1.25 million insurance policy payout after our client underwent surgery for multiple fractures due to a driver running a stop sign and striking him while he was on his motorcycle.
- A $1 million insurance policy payout for a client with several broken bones who needed multiple surgeries after a driver pulled out in front of him while our client rode his motorcycle.
Motorcycle accident victims need to focus on recovering from their injuries, which are often serious. If you have sustained motorcycle accident injuries, a skilled New York motorcycle accident attorney from Finkelstein & Partners can handle your claim.
We serve injured accident victims throughout New York from our various offices located in:
- Wappingers Falls
- White Plains
Contact us for a free case evaluation to discuss the circumstances of your New York motorcycle accident, your injuries, and the way they have affected your life. We would love to meet you in person, but we understand this is not always possible. If you cannot physically visit one of our locations, we also offer convenient virtual meetings. Finkelstein & Partners is here to help whenever and wherever you need us.
Get The Facts:
- According to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2015 a total of 4,693 motorcyclists died and 88,000 were injured in the U.S.
- Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all deaths due to motor vehicle crashes in 2015 in the USA.
- 27 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were operating without a valid driver’s license.
- 41 percent of motorcyclist deaths in 2015 occurred in single-vehicle
- 30 percent of the fatally injured motorcyclists in 2015 were younger than 30 years of age.
- 47 percent of fatally injured motorcycle drivers were not using a helmet.
- 91 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2015 in the US were males.
Motorcycle Safety Tips:
- Attend a Motorcycle Training Course: If you are a new rider, it’s important to understand how to operate a motorcycle before getting on one. In fact, more than half of all motorcycle crashes involve riders with fewer than five months of experience. Even if you are an experienced rider, it’s important to brush up on your safety tips and there are even some perks involved! Did you know some insurance providers offer a discount on motorcycle insurance after completion of a certified motorcycle safety course? This discount can range from 5 – 20% depending on your provider! In addition to discounts, many states will waive a section of your motorcycle exam if you have taken and successfully completed one of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training courses. Take a course today by visiting: http://msf-usa.org
- Never Ride Without a Helmet: Purchase a helmet with the DOT logo to ensure that it complies with DOT requirements. Helmets should be worn even in states where it is legal to not wear one! Helmet safety is important for ATV riders too.
- Keep Your Distance: Give the other vehicles on the road room to make quick decisions. They may not see you right away if you follow too closely. If you see a car swerving, never try to pass them.
- Never Ride Between Lanes or Side-By-Side With Another Motorcyclist: Did you know it is illegal to ride between lanes? Always ride in a separate lane or at a safe distance away from the other motorcyclist.
- Wear the Proper Protective Clothing: Basic personal protective gear includes: a high, close collar, insulated suit or windproof outer layer, thermal undershirt or layered clothing, insulated gauntlet gloves or heavy gloves with liners, heavy boots with insulation. Reflective gear such as bright colored clothing should also be worn.
- Always Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Make sure you check the weather and road conditions before heading out. Slippery roads make stopping quickly difficult for motorcycles and you run the risk of your back tire sliding out if you stop suddenly. Keep your distance from other vehicles. Construction areas are also culprits for lose gravel and stones on roadways. Go slow in construction zones.
- Learn the Proper Use of Your Brakes: Did you know there is a brake ratio of 70% braking effort on the front wheel (which uses the hand lever on the right grip), and 30% to the rear (which is operated by the right foot pedal)? This ratio can vary by the type of bike, however. Front brakes require more effort because weight transfer from slowing down will shift the bike’s balance from the rear wheel to the front, enabling the front tire to handle more load. When there is less down force on the rear tire, it becomes much easier to lockup and slide that wheel, resulting in loss of control. The front is much less likely to slip because of the weight that is transferred to that end.
- Know Basic Maintenance Tips: Learn basic maintenance tips so you can conduct a safety check on your bike on a regular basis. A motorcycle needs to be maintained and checked for safety more often than a car.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident due to another drivers negligence or a defective part, please contact our experienced personal injury accident attorneys for a free consultation.
About Motorcycle Accidents in New York
According to New York State traffic statistics, more than 4,500 motorcycle accidents happen annually in the state. Seventy-five percent of those accidents result in injuries, with nearly a quarter of those injuries classified as severe.
Injuries New York Motorcycle Accidents Cause
Injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents tend to be extremely serious due to the vehicle’s lack of protective features such as airbags, seat belts, metal frames, and the size discrepancy between the motorcycle and other vehicles. Because of these vulnerabilities, motorcyclists are 28 percent more likely to die of the injuries they incur in traffic accidents than motorists are.
All motorcycle riders and passengers in New York must wear a helmet and protective eyewear when riding on public roadways. Helmets provide some protection against traumatic brain injuries, which are one of the most debilitating injuries that a person can sustain. Some motorcyclists suffer brain injuries even when using a helmet.
Other injuries from New York motorcycle accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries. Like the brain, the spinal cord only has a limited ability to heal from injury, which will most likely result in permanent paralysis. Injuries to the brain or spinal cord are often called catastrophic injuries because they affect the ability to earn an income.
- Lower extremity injuries, such as broken bones in the hips, pelvis, legs, or feet. The rider’s legs are the point of impact in a broadside collision. A bike tipping over can also cause these injuries.
- Broken arms and wrists. Humans have an instinctual urge to outstretch their arms to catch themselves when falling. This instinct can result in serious arm injuries.
- Road rash refers to deep skin abrasions from contact with rough surfaces such as roadways. This is one of the most common injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. While most road rash heals within a few weeks, individuals can experience complications from the injury, such as scarring and infection.
- Burns due to contact with flames, hot surfaces, or caustic chemicals. Often in a motorcycle accident, the vehicle’s gas tank will rupture, resulting in fire or dousing the rider with gasoline.
- Internal injuries due to the force of the collision or the impact of ejection. Damage to the internal organs can be dangerous as it often involves bleeding that cannot be seen externally but can result in organ failure or even death.
The Big Deadline in New York Motorcycle Accident Claims
Every personal injury claim has an important deadline: the statute of limitations. This is the time you have to file your claim in court. The statute of limitations in most New York motorcycle accident cases is three years from the accident’s date.
You must file your claim before the statute of limitations expires because failing to do so causes you to lose your right to use the court system to seek compensation for your injuries. Without that ability, you will likely find that the insurance provider will not take your claim seriously, as there is no legal recourse if they don’t pay it.
Hiring an Attorney
Personal injury attorneys spend many years obtaining the education and training to assist their clients in navigating the complex personal injury claims process. They not only bring experience to your claim but also an awareness of the tactics insurance companies use to reduce or eliminate payouts on personal injury claims and how to gather the evidence needed to prove your claim.
The success of your motorcycle accident claim depends on two things: the ability to prove that someone else was liable for causing your injury and the ability to show the expenses you have incurred to justify the value of your claim. One of the first services your attorney will perform for you is the determination of all sources of liability and the type of insurance resources they have to provide compensation.
Lawyers prove liability by showing:
- The driver had a duty to obey New York traffic laws and operate their vehicle safely to protect others from being harmed.
- The driver took illegal or unsafe actions, breaching their legal duty.
- The breach resulted in a motorcycle accident that injured you.
- Your injuries resulted in expenses and impacts on your quality of life.
Valuing the Claim
How much insurance the at-fault party has is one factor that determines the value of your claim, as liability insurance policies limit how much is available to be paid out.
Other factors that affect your claim’s value include:
- The severity of your injuries. More severe injuries generally result in a higher level of compensation due to increased medical expenses and time away from work, as well as more apparent impacts on your quality of life.
- Your income before the accident. Income, the ability to earn it, and the loss of it due to injuries can factor in the value of your claim, particularly if you lost earning capacity, your compensation should replace the income you would have earned through the duration of your career if the accident had not injured you.
- Property damage you sustained, such as damage to your motorcycle and gear. In addition to compensating you for the expenses and impacts of the injury, your motorcycle accident claim can also include compensation for property damage.,
Negotiating a Settlement
Settlement is the most common way of resolving motorcycle accident claims. The insurance provider will generally offer a low settlement, to begin with, and your attorney will work to get them to improve the offer until it is enough to compensate you fairly. While the attorney handles the negotiation, they are also responsible for providing guidance and information to you because the decision to accept a settlement is yours to make.
What Happens When You File a New York Car Accident Lawsuit?
When you file a car accident lawsuit, the ability to settle your claim out of court does not go away. The filing of the lawsuit often causes the insurance provider to take the matter of making a fair offer more seriously, as they generally wish to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.
While only a small portion of motorcycle accident claims remain unresolved by the time the trial begins, there is no guarantee that your claim will settle out of court. You need a legal team with ample litigation experience and that is comfortable representing you in court.
Receiving Your Compensation
After you’ve entered into a settlement agreement or the court has decided in your favor, the insurance provider will process your payment and send the check to your attorney. Personal injury attorneys are not paid for their services until there is a positive resolution to the claim. At this time, the attorney will receive their payment, satisfy any medical liens against your settlement, and release the remainder of the funds to you.
New York Motorcycle Accident Compensation
Each New York motorcycle accident has different facts and circumstances that add to or detract from the amount of compensation a victim might receive. Various factors also impact the type of damages a victim might recover.
Examples of damages commonly awarded in New York accident injury claims include compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, surgery, hospitalization, radiology, lab testing, prescription medication, follow-up care
- Travel expenses to and from the doctor and clinic or hospital
- Rehabilitation expenses, including specialized treatment with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists who help motorcycle accident victims cope with the physical and mental trauma from their injuries
- Estimated future medical costs when a motorcycle accident victim sustains a serious injury requiring ongoing care and treatment
- Lost wages from time away from work due to the motorcycle accident and rehabilitation
- Estimated lost future wages for motorcycle accident victims who cannot work because of their injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
Factors that impact the amount of compensation you could receive if you win your motorcycle accident claim include:
- Scope and severity of your motorcycle accident injuries
- Total time missed from work due to injuries
- Total economic loss incurred due to injuries
- Likelihood of making a complete recovery
The New York motorcycle accident lawyers at Finkelstein & Partners can evaluate your case, gather necessary evidence and documents, advise you on which damages you can seek, and place a fair value on your claim. We strive to help all clients recover the maximum compensation possible for their injuries.
Statute of Limitations for New York Motorcycle Accident Claims
Under New York law, motorcycle accident victims have three years to take legal action to recover damages related to the accident and their injuries. In the tragic case of death, surviving family members have two years to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the motorcycle accident that killed their loved one. The statute of limitations time clock begins running from the date of injury or death, depending on the situation.
If you fail to meet the three-year statute of limitations deadline for your motorcycle accident, it’s doubtful a New York court will hear your case. This also means you lose your leverage to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. The law allows for some rare exceptions. It’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss the opportunity to recover damages. Finkelstein & Partners can evaluate your New York motorcycle accident case and help you meet all necessary deadlines.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Bikers have little protection when riding compared to motorists in passenger vehicles, making motorcycle accidents especially dangerous. Even the safest bikers who follow the rules of the road and strictly adhere to New York’s helmet law face the risk of serious injury. Motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries and more likely to die of fatal injuries.
Types of injuries often associated with motorcycle accidents include:
- Broken arms and wrists. Bikers have an instinct to brace themselves with their arms to break a fall when an accident occurs. This often leads to serious injuries in one or more of the major bones in the arm, the elbow, and wrists.
- Broken legs and other lower extremity injuries. A biker’s legs are the point of impact in many motorcycle accidents, leading to various injuries from the waist down. Motorcyclists sometimes break hips, pelvis, legs, and feet upon impact.
- Road rash. Skin abrasions from motorcycle accidents are among the most common motorcycle accident injuries. They occur when a biker’s body skids along the road after a collision. Road rash often heals but sometimes comes with permanent scars and/or infection.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. The impact of a motorcycle accident can contort the body into various unnatural positions, causing broken vertebrae, herniated discs, and dangerous spinal cord injuries. Most spinal cord damage is permanent, leaving victims to experience some level of paralysis.
- Burns. Motorcycle crashes often result in ruptured gas tanks. Even if the crash does not cause an immediate explosion or fire, bikers sometimes get gasoline on their body. Flames and hot surfaces can cause severe burns that leave permanent scars, even after corrective surgery.
- Internal injuries. During a collision, bikers can suffer damage to their internal organs, often involving internal bleeding. Left untreated, many internal injuries lead to organ failure and death.
Fighting the Insurance Company After a New York Motorcycle Accident
Insurance companies look for every possible way to protect profits, including denying and devaluing motorcycle accident claims even when they are certain their policyholder is liable. You can expect the insurance carrier will want to speak with you soon after their policyholder files a claim. The company will assign an adjuster or another representative to investigate the accident and decide whether to approve the claim.
The adjuster will gather as much documentation, information, and other evidence for their investigation. Their goal is to find a reason to deny the claim or ensure they do not have to make a large payout. In many cases, insurance companies request claimants to give a recorded statement and release their medical records.
Let a lawyer handle all communications with the insurance carrier to protect the value of your New York motorcycle accident claim. Your lawyer will not provide more information than necessary. For example, you do not have to give them a recorded statement and you only need to provide medical documentation of injuries related to the motorcycle accident.
One strategy insurance carriers commonly use to reduce their potential financial liability is to make a quick settlement offer soon after a motorcycle accident, especially when they know their policyholder caused the accident and accompanying injuries. These predatory offers aim to tempt accident victims facing financial struggles to settle the claim.
However, these early offers are typically far lower than the value of a claim. This reduces the company’s payout and prevents them from paying more compensation later on. Once you accept a settlement agreement, you must also waive your right to bring a lawsuit for more compensation for the same event and injuries.
The largest issue in accepting an early settlement offer from an insurance company is that most injured accident victims do not know the full scope of their injuries and their chances for a full recovery. Accepting an offer too soon can leave people without the money to pay for additional surgeries or other medical treatment.
Additionally, if an injury prevents someone from returning to work or seeking future employment they miss out on compensation for future lost wages, potentially leaving their household in a financial bind because they do not have money for monthly expenses, food, and transportation.
Motorcycle accident lawyers have experience communicating and negotiating with insurance companies. They foresee the strategies insurance carriers will use to avoid financial liability. Finkelstein & Partners help their clients through the insurance claims process, evaluate all settlement offers, and always advocate for maximum compensation.
What to Do After a New York Motorcycle Accident
You need to protect the value of your motorcycle accident claim after a crash occurs.
These guidelines can prevent insurance carriers from denying a claim and give victims of negligence the best chance of receiving full and fair compensation for their injuries.
- Follow doctor’s orders and do not miss any appointments, including physical therapy and other specialized treatment.
- Keep meticulous records to prove economic loss related to your motorcycle accident injuries, including medical bills, pay stubs, and receipts.
- Obtain a copy of the official police report from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Write your physical, emotional, and financial challenges in a daily journal.
When you contact Finkelstein & Partners for a free consultation, bring all your saved information and provide your attorney with any witness contact information, photos, or videos related to your motorcycle accident and/or your injuries. Your attorney can evaluate your information and advise you on what to save for your case.
Contact a New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered injuries in a New York motorcycle accident, you need a skilled lawyer in your corner to advocate for you to recover damages for your losses. The compassionate team at Finkelstein & Partners has the knowledge and resources to fight for you. Contact us today at (518) 452-2813 to discuss your motorcycle accident injuries and how they have affected your life, or submit your case for review online.