Bronx Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Your motorcycle represents an important part of your life. You use it for transportation, decreasing your gas costs. You use it for leisure. You love the feeling of freedom that comes from riding with the wind blowing around you.
Unfortunately, a motorcycle does not offer protection from the other vehicles around you. When you get in an accident with a larger vehicle, as a motorcycle rider, you may face serious injuries, especially at high rates of speed. Motorcycle riders face more serious hazards from other drivers due to their smaller size; many drivers fail to recognize the presence of a motorcycle, especially while changing lanes or making a turn. While you do your best to avoid accidents, you cannot always prevent the actions of other drivers.
If you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can help you seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries. Contact our experienced Bronx personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today to schedule your free consultation.
Jacoby & Meyers: Your Bronx Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we have worked with clients who suffered serious injuries in a variety of collisions, including motorcycle accidents. While our past results cannot guarantee future successes, the same team that worked on these claims will also help handle your motorcycle accident claim:
- $536,000 awarded to the victim of a motorcycle accident
- $525,000 to a motorcyclist T-boned in an accident
“I’d recommend Jacoby & Meyers to anyone in need of a great attorney and personal injury law firm.” -Ron S.
The Aftermath of Motorcycle Accidents: Common Injuries
Wearing protective gear, including helmets and protective clothing to help prevent the risk of road rash and burns, can make a big difference in a motorcycle accident. Wearing a helmet, for example, can decrease the risk of a serious head injury by as much as 69 percent. That does not mean, however, that motorcycle accident victims can walk away unscathed. In many cases, motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries, including injuries that can complicate the rest of the victim’s life.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Helmet use may decrease the risk of head injury, but it does not eliminate it entirely. In a motorcycle accident, the victim’s head often faces substantial force as it crashes directly into the vehicle responsible for the accident or into the street or an obstacle in the street. A traumatic brain injury often has serious implications for the victim:
- Loss of long-term memories
- Short-term memory problems, including difficulty remembering where the victim placed an object, why he walked into a room, or what someone just told him
- Mood swings
- Ringing in the ears
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Concentration and focus issues
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can linger. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with symptoms that continue to impact daily life years after the accident. More serious injuries can leave the victim struggling for the rest of his life.
Spinal Cord Injury
Each year, approximately 17,700 people suffer spinal cord injury in serious accidents, many of those auto accidents. Spinal cord injuries frequently cause lifelong mobility concerns for their victims. Spinal cord injuries often restrict mobility below the site of the injury; that is, patients who suffer an injury low in the back may face paralysis from the waist down, while victims with damage closer to the neck may lose mobility in the hands and arms.
While victims with incomplete spinal cord damage may regain some mobility, especially in the first six months after the accident, victims with complete spinal cord damage may never recover much function in the impacted area.
For motorcycle riders, especially those who ride without substantial protection, road rash can pose a serious obstacle in the journey to recovery. Many victims with road rash have extensive abrasions across their bodies. Foreign matter, including dirt and debris from the road or fibers from the victim’s clothing, can contribute to infection in the affected area. Road rash may cause significant scarring that permanently alters the victim’s appearance or may require skin grafts to help repair the damage. Deep or extensive road rash can also leave scars that restrict mobility around joints.
In accidents, motorcycle riders suffer a high percentage of lower extremity injuries, including leg amputations. Losing a leg can cause an amputee to require a prosthesis to help increase mobility and independence. Riders who lose arms may also require prosthetic devices to increase overall independence. Amputations may occur due to direct trauma at the scene or some time after the accident as decreased blood flow causes the tissue in the impacted limb to die after crushing damage.
When a motorcycle is involved in a car accident, the car often strikes the rider’s lower body with extreme force. The rider may also lay the motorcycle over, either due to the force of the accident or in an attempt to avoid the accident. This places the weight of the motorcycle on top of the rider’s legs, which can result in broken bones. Broken bones may cause long-term mobility issues, especially with severe crushing damage due to the accident. The victim may also notice pain long after the injury heals.
Soft Tissue Damage
Torn ligaments and tendons occur frequently in motorcycle accidents, since the high degree of force can injure limbs directly or cause them to twist in directions they simply do not go under normal circumstances. Soft tissue damage can cause limitations after a motorcycle accident, preventing mobility or causing ongoing pain. Many people find that torn ligaments and tendons cause more long-term limitations to their physical activities than outright breaking a limb.
Seeking Compensation After Your Motorcycle Accident
When you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may notice your medical bills increasing rapidly. You may need assistance paying for those bills. In New York, your personal injury protection insurance will take care of the first portion of your medical bills and even provide compensation for lost wages due to your accident.
In many cases, however, your motorcycle accident injuries may exceed the coverage offered by your personal injury protection insurance policy. When your policy does not cover your full cost, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the party that caused your accident.
Finding the Responsible Party
Many factors can contribute to a motorcycle accident. Normally, the person that caused the accident bears primary responsibility, and you will turn to that party’s insurance to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. In some cases, however, other factors may contribute to your motorcycle accident. You should speak with an attorney to identify all of these factors and file a personal injury claim against any responsible parties in your accident, since it can increase the compensation you receive.
- Mechanical failures. If a motorcycle tire blows out, you may struggle to control your vehicle at all. A motorcycle’s lighter size makes it much more difficult to control if the tire blows forcefully. Other mechanical failures may cause serious hazards on the road, especially with a motorcycle’s smaller size and lesser protection. Mechanical failures in vehicles around you can also lead to accidents before you have time to react. In some cases, mechanical failures may rest at the feet of the manufacturer; for example, if a tire blowout on a new tire that you did not overload or bounce across an obstacle in the road causes an accident, the tire manufacturer may share responsibility for the accident.
- Drunk drivers. While drunk drivers bear primary responsibility for making smart choices and staying off the road while inebriated, if a drunk driver overindulged at a bar or restaurant before getting on the road, that facility may bear some responsibility for your motorcycle accident.
- Professional drivers, like commercial truckers or rideshare drivers. Many companies, especially during busy seasons or around the holidays, may push their drivers to the limits, requiring them to drive too many hours or in dangerous conditions. If the company’s actions cause an unsafe driver to take to the road, ultimately causing an accident, that company may share liability for the accident.
Bronx Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Bronx motorcyclists face a wide variety of dangers riding on city streets. Bikers injured in Bronx motorcycle accidents, and families of riders tragically killed in crashes, frequently have lots of questions about their legal rights. Below we answer some of the most common of those queries. If you have specific questions about a Bronx motorcycle wreck that left you or a loved one injured, then contact our experienced Bronx motorcycle accident injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
I got badly hurt in a motorcycle wreck. Can I sue?
You probably can, but we would need to know more about your accident to be sure.
Generally speaking, victims of Bronx motorcycle accidents have the right to seek compensation from anyone whose dangerous decisions or actions led to a crash and its resulting injuries. Obviously, whether any individual or corporate entity engaged in wrongful conduct that led to your crash will depend on the particular facts and circumstances involved. Working with an experienced motorcycle accident injury attorney is the most reliable way to figure that out.
Who am I allowed to sue?
It really all depends on how the accident happened and what kinds of harm it caused. As most motorcyclists know, a significant number of motorcycle wrecks result from the careless, reckless, or even intentional actions of car and truck drivers who fail (or refuse) to yield the right of way to riders. Those drivers who, for example, turn left across the path of an oncoming motorcycle, or who run a motorcyclist off the road by changing lanes into the motorcycle’s path, could face legal liability for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
Car and truck drivers do not constitute the only parties an injured biker could potentially sue for damages after a Bronx motorcycle accident, however.
Multiple parties can share liability for a crash, and in the typical bike wreck those might include:
- A car or truck driver’s employer, if the driver caused the motorcycle accident while driving for work. New York employers generally have legal liability for the actions of their employees.
- A motorcycle manufacturer, if the rider’s bike suffered a mechanical failure caused by a defective part, which led to the accident. Manufacturers have a legal obligation not to sell products that pose an unreasonable danger for users.
- Local government, which could face legal liability for a Bronx motorcycle crash if it unreasonably failed to correct, or warn motorcyclists about, a dangerous street condition that led to the crash and/or the rider’s resulting injuries and losses.
These are just some examples of who might have legal liability for your Bronx motorcycle crash. Every case is different. To make sure you identify all individuals or entities who owe you money damages for the harm you suffer in a Bronx motorcycle wreck, work only with an experienced attorney who understands how to investigate and litigate motorcycle accident cases.
What is my Bronx motorcycle accident case worth?
As above, it really all depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some motorcycle accident cases involved tens of thousands of dollars in claims. Others involve millions. To figure out the range of potential values of your specific claim, speak with an experienced attorney.
Generally speaking, injured Bronx motorcycle riders can seek compensation from the parties who caused a crash to pay for:
- Medical treatment needed for crash injuries, including the costs for ambulance transportation, hospital stays, doctor appointments, prescriptions, medical devices, and long-term therapies;
- Services and other expenditures necessitated by living with crash injuries, such as in-home help to manage daily activities while recovering from an injury;
- Lost income stemming from the crash victim missing work while recuperating, or from the victim’s inability to return to work because of the long-term effects of crash injuries;
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and quality of life impacts resulting from the crash and any injuries it caused, such as when an injury prevents a motorcyclist from ever riding again;
- Punitive (or exemplary) damages that aim to punish the legally-liable individual or entity for particularly outrageous, extreme conduct.
No one can guarantee that you will recover damages for all, or even any, of these categories of damages. However, changes are good you have the right to at least some compensation for your Bronx motorcycle accident.
Will I get the full value of my claim?
It depends. Sometimes riders can recover 100 percent of the money the law entitles them to receive. Sometimes the recovery is only a fraction of that. And, of course, in some situations—particularly when they do not have experienced lawyers advising them—victims can end up with nothing at all.
The factors that influence how much of your damages claim you will actually receive can include:
- Whether legally liable parties have the ability to pay. Unfair as it may seem, sometimes the amount of money you can actually recover for your claim depends on whose actions harmed you, how much insurance they carry, or how many assets they have. We consider it a glitch in our civil justice system, but the hard fact is that if an underinsured or uninsured driver causes your Bronx motorcycle wreck, you may recover far less than if a commercial driver employed by a large, well-insured company causes your crash.
- How many parties owe you damages? As a rule of thumb, the more legally-liable parties your lawyer can identify and pursue, the better your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
- Whether your claim is clear-cut. The more the disagreement between the parties over who has legal liability to you, and how much money you deserve to receive, the wider the potential variation between what you should get and what you can get.
- Your patience. Often (although not always), your ability to hold out for a maximum financial recovery can affect how much money you receive. Most (but not all) Bronx motorcycle accident cases settle through negotiations between your attorney and the at-fault parties. Having patience as those negotiations to run their course can give your attorney leverage to drive the best possible deal.
To learn more about the prospects for recovering the maximum amount of money in your Bronx motorcycle crash case, work with a seasoned attorney.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of my crash. Does that matter?
Maybe, but don’t let that stop you from speaking with an experienced Bronx motorcycle accident injury attorney about your right to compensation.
All motorcyclists in New York State must wear a motorcycle helmet. Not all states have a law mandating helmets, but New York does.
We encourage all of our Bronx readers to wear helmets when they ride, not just because the law says they must, but also because motorcycle helmets save lives. Wearing a helmet could, literally, mean the difference between walking away from a wreck, and suffering a catastrophic traumatic brain injury.
Still, failing to wear your helmet does not let people off the hook for dangerous decisions and actions that harm you. The law still holds those people liable for injuries they caused you, so call us now to see if you have a good case against the liable party.
How can I (or my family) protect my rights after a Bronx motorcycle accident?
Follow these tips to protect yourself after a Bronx motorcycle crash.
Seek medical care. Seeking and following appropriate medical care constitutes the single most important thing a motorcyclist can do after a Bronx crash. Many motorcycle accidents leave riders badly injured, which means they will likely receive emergency medical care by default. However, even if you are one of the fortunate few Bronx motorcyclists to escape a wreck without obvious, severe injuries, you must still make sure to get medical care right away, if not in the closest hospital emergency room, then through an appointment with your regular doctor or at an urgent care clinic within 24 hours of your crash.
Seeking and following medical care serves two purposes. First, obviously, it protects your health. Some severe, life-threatening motorcycle crash injuries do not necessarily display symptoms right away, such as brain trauma or internal bleeding. Going to the doctor ensures you catch any conditions like that as soon as possible, to minimize the damage they can do. Second, seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a Bronx motorcycle accident ensures you have records of any injuries you sustained in the crash. These records can serve as important evidence to prove someone else’s liability to you for damages.
Hold off on fixing your bike. Your wrecked motorcycle constitutes potentially-critical evidence for proving how your accident happened and who should have legal liability to you. Keep that evidence safe by not getting your ride fixed or sending it to the junk heap. Your attorney may want to have an expert look it over to determine whether it offers clues useful to proving your case.
Call a lawyer right away. Do not wait to speak with an experienced Bronx motorcycle accident injury lawyer about your accident and injuries. The sooner you put an attorney to work representing your interests and handling communications with defense lawyers and insurance companies, the better your chances of recovering every penny of compensation you deserve.
Hiring a good lawyer sounds expensive. Is it?
No. Our skilled Bronx motorcycle crash injury attorneys offer free initial case evaluations. If you agree to have the lawyer represent you, the lawyer will virtually always work on a contingent fee basis. This means you and the lawyer agree on a percentage cut the lawyer will receive out of any money the lawyer’s efforts obtain for you. That percentage represents the lawyer’s fee. If the lawyer fails to secure money on your behalf, the lawyer does not get paid. Through this arrangement, you get access to a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney, and the attorney has a strong incentive to get you maximum compensation.
How long will it take to get paid?
It all depends on the facts of your Bronx motorcycle crash. Some cases take just a few months. Others take a year or more. The factors that influence the timeline of a motorcycle accident case match the factors that go into determining how much money you might recover: the number of parties, the degree of dispute, and the severity of your injuries.
Keep in mind, too, that there are no guarantees. Not every Bronx motorcycle crash case results in monetary compensation. You can give yourself the best chance of recovering the maximum dollar amount possible, however, by hiring an experienced Bronx motorcycle accident injury lawyer.
Can’t I just settle my case on my own?
No, you really can’t. Sometimes people try, but in our experience it always ends badly for them.
First of all, never, ever, take someone up on an offer to settle things “just between us” right there at the accident scene. Doing so may violate the law, and at the very least it will put your legal right to receive compensation at serious risk.
Next, never agree to a settlement offered by someone else’s insurance company directly to you. Insurance companies reach out to accident victims for one reason only: to limit their financial exposure to an accident in which they know their customer has legal liability to you. Any offer an insurance company makes to a person not represented by a lawyer will always represent far less money than the person deserves to receive. Do not fall for this tactic. Leave communications with insurance companies to your attorney.
If a Bronx-area motorcycle wreck harmed you or a loved one, seek legal help immediately. Contact the experienced Bronx motorcycle accident injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation.
Claiming Compensation: How Much Can You Expect After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, the compensation you receive will vary based on the insurance policy held by the responsible party. However, most people claim several common elements in their motorcycle accident claims.
Medical expenses. You may have significant medical expenses after your motorcycle accident. Even a minor collision will probably result in a trip to the emergency room. More severe injuries may result in mounting expenses. Consult with an attorney to gain a full understanding of both the current medical expenses you should include in your claim and the future medical expenses you may expect to face. You may want to include:
- Your initial visit to the emergency room, including ambulance transport if needed
- Scans and tests
- Follow-up appointments
- Treatment, including surgical treatment
- Durable medical equipment, including braces, crutches, and wheelchairs as well as items that may make your life easier, like a hospital bed at home
- Modifications to your home to accommodate your injuries
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy to help you relearn how to perform common tasks
- Psychological therapy, if needed to help you cope with your new limitations
Lost wages. In many cases, your motorcycle accident may make it difficult for you to return to work. Serious injuries may make it very difficult for you to complete your job responsibilities, especially if you require pain medications. Even after your initial return to work, you may need to miss time at work for:
- Follow-up appointments with your doctor
- Therapy appointments
- Future procedures
You may also need to make modifications to your schedule due to continuing pain or weakness following the accident. Once your lost wages combined with your medical expenses exceed the value of your personal injury protection policy, you may choose to include it as part of your personal injury claim.
Lost earning potential. In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from returning to work at all: if you suffer spinal cord injuries, for example, you might not have the capacity to return to a manual labor position, while if you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you might not longer have the ability to focus on desk work. If you file for lost earning potential, you may receive funds to help you return to school or seek certifications that can help you get a new job.
Pain and suffering. Your motorcycle accident may cause significant pain and suffering, including injuries that cause pain for the rest of your life. You may also find that you suffer extreme emotional and mental anguish as your injuries limit your hobbies and your social activities. You might, for example, have to give up riding your motorcycle or engaging in sports due to your injuries. Consult with your attorney to learn more about how to quantify and include your pain and suffering in your claim.
Motorcycle Injury Accident Statistics in Bronx, NY
Should You Take the Insurance Company’s Initial Settlement Offer?
After a motorcycle accident, many insurance companies will get in touch with you as soon as possible after the accident to issue a settlement offer. Often, however, that settlement offer reflects only a fraction of your medical bills and other expenses after the accident—and, therefore, only a fraction of the compensation you deserve. If you accept that offer, you relieve the insurance company of further financial obligation, which may prevent you from getting the funds you really deserve for your injuries.
Consult Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, before accepting that offer. We offer a free case evaluation to give you a better idea of the funds you should expect following a motorcycle accident.
Call Our Bronx Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a Bronx motorcycle accident, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, can help you seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries. We aggressively pursue compensation for our clients after a wide range of serious injuries, including motorcycle injuries.
Contact us today at (718) 294-0813 or send us a message using our confidential contact form to learn more about our services and to speak with an experienced member of our legal team. Our attorneys can help you defend your rights and maximize your compensation.
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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