Manhattan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Each year, approximately 5,000 people die in motorcycle accidents. Even more suffer serious injuries, many of which have lifelong implications that can damage the rider’s ability to work, enjoy the activities that he or she once enjoyed, or even engage in healthy relationships with friends and family members.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Your Experienced Manhattan Motorcycle Accident Attorney
When you face serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident, you want an attorney with experience in the Manhattan area—ideally one who has achieved successful results in previous motorcycle accident cases. In one notable case, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, obtained $536,000 for the victim of a motorcycle crash who had a car door opened into him, causing serious injuries. In another, a motorcycle rider who experienced a T-bone accident settled for $525,000.
Having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side can make a big difference in your claim. When you work with an attorney, you will have an advocate on your side every step of the way: one who will keep your best interests at the forefront and work to maximize your compensation. From your demand package to the negotiation or even taking your claim to court, if necessary, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, will work with you to protect your interests and raise your odds of achieving a great outcome for your claim.
By working with us, you get:
- Clear advice about the compensation you really deserve for your injuries.
- Assistance putting together your demand package.
- Aid identifying all individuals or entities responsible for your motorcycle accident so that you can claim compensation from everyone who contributed to your accident.
- Advice about negotiation, including when to accept a settlement offer and when to continue fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Many people worry about the cost associated with hiring a personal injury attorney: “How much will it really cost me to hire a personal injury attorney?” “Can I afford a personal injury attorney?” At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we work to make our services as affordable as possible. We start by offering a free consultation for our clients to discuss their motorcycle accident, their claim, and whether they have grounds for a personal injury claim. Then, we accept personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis.
In reality, you should ask, “Can I afford not to hire a personal injury attorney to help handle my claim?”
In many cases, our clients find that having a personal injury attorney on their side helps maximize their compensation, even when accounting for legal expenses associated with the claim.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Their Impacts
Many motorcycle accidents leave their victims suffering from substantial injuries, including injuries that can impact every area of their lives. These common motorcycle accident injuries can leave victims with substantial medical bills and ongoing pain and suffering that transforms their lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 69 percent. It does not, however, eliminate it completely, especially in the case of serious accidents. Many victims of traumatic brain injury find that it impacts every part of their lives.
They may struggle with:
- Changes in sensory perception, including tunnel vision or ringing in the ears
- Ongoing headaches
- Changed sleep patterns: consistent insomnia or sleeping excessively
- Memory difficulties, including problems with both short-term and long-term memory
- Difficulty with cognitive processes
- Trouble regulating emotions
The cost of recovering from a traumatic brain injury can quickly skyrocket, especially when victims face severe traumatic brain injury with impacts that last for the rest of their lives. During the course of a lifetime, victims can expect to pay between $85,000 and $3 million in traumatic brain injury medical costs.
Spinal Cord Damage
Because a motorcycle offers no protection between the victim and the road or the other vehicle, spinal cord damage often occurs during motorcycle accidents. Victims may experience partial spinal cord injury, in which the injury fails to completely sever the spinal cord, or full spinal cord injury, in which the spinal cord severs completely.
While victims of partial spinal cord injuries may recover some mobility in the first few months following the accident, victims of severe spinal cord injuries usually suffer paralysis, including loss of feeling below the site of the injury. Spinal cord injury costs can range up to $1 million in the first year after the accident. Many victims cannot return to work in their former professions after a spinal cord injury. They may also require substantial alterations to their homes and vehicles to allow them as much independence as possible.
Victims of motorcycle accidents may suffer amputations due to the force of the accident itself or due to crushing damage and extreme trauma from the accident. Sometimes, the tissue dies from lack of blood flow, leading to needed amputations weeks after the accident itself. After losing a limb, many people find their dexterity or motor skills compromised. A prosthetic device can make it easier to take care of daily self-care tasks or perform responsibilities.
Many victims must replace prosthetic devices regularly: the average device lasts between three and five years, though many victims, especially athletes or active individuals, must replace them more often. Prosthetic devices must also often be replaced less than a year after creation, since the shape of the stump may change dramatically following the initial fitting.
During a motorcycle accident, many victims have their skin scraped across the pavement, resulting in a severe case of road rash. At its most minor, road rash can impact only the top layer of skin. More severe cases, however, may grind across deeper layers of skin, even grating across muscle and exposing bone. Road rash can cause substantial pain during the initial recovery and often leaves serious scarring behind it, especially on sensitive areas of skin or skin often exposed to the sun. Many victims of road rash choose plastic surgery to help restore a normal appearance. Plastic surgery, however, can quickly add to the cost of recovering from a serious motorcycle accident.
Even a single broken bone makes it hard to get around and complete normal job responsibilities or self-care tasks. After a motorcycle accident, many victims may have multiple broken bones, which can make it extremely difficult for victims to take care of themselves. Not only that, broken bones can leave you with significant medical bills to pay: non-surgical repair of a broken limb costs an average of around $2,500, while surgical repair can cause costs to skyrocket to between $17,000 and $35,000 for that single broken bone alone.
While helmet use can reduce facial injuries as well as head injuries, some motorcycle accident victims suffer facial fractures, many of which can lead to permanent disfigurement. Plastic surgery can, in some cases, help accident victims resume their normal appearance. Many victims, however, find that even with plastic surgery, they never entirely restore their appearance from before the accident.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Statistics in Manhattan, NY
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Many riders enjoy the freedom and thrill they experience while riding their motorcycles. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often have devastating consequences. Collisions involving motorcycles frequently result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. After a motorcycle accident on the streets of Manhattan, you may have many questions about filing a personal injury claim.
You may wonder if you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Our experience has helped many injured victims receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Who is responsible for the medical bills resulting from a motorcycle accident in Manhattan?
Ultimately, you will be responsible for paying your medical bills after an accident, including a motorcycle accident. You may, however, have a legal right to seek compensation for any accident-related expenses.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might seek compensation from the following sources:
- Your personal injury protection insurance. In New York, policymakers set in place a no-fault system for motor vehicle insurance. In the event of an accident, regardless of who caused the accident, each driver’s personal injury protection covers the first portion of their medical bills and income from lost time at work. Your personal injury protection insurance may also extend to a passenger on your motorcycle who suffered injuries in the accident, if that passenger is uninsured.
- The liable entity’s insurance policy. You may receive compensation for your medical expenses and lost income as well as your pain and suffering, from the responsible entity’s insurance company. In some cases, the responsible entity may reimburse your expenses directly.
- Your medical insurance.Your medical insurance will help pay for expenses that exceed the coverage provided by your personal injury protection insurance. In addition, medical insurance will cover expenses not covered by the liable party.
How much compensation do I deserve after a Manhattan motorcycle accident?
Injured victims deserve compensation for the injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. However, the amount of compensation an injured victim may be entitled to receive depends on several factors. First, the other driver’s insurance policy coverage limits may reduce the amount of compensation that an injured victim is entitled to receive. New York requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury protection for individuals injured in accidents that the driver causes. The policy will only provide up to $25,000 of compensation for any accident-related injuries. In many cases, the costs of victims’ medical expenses exceed the amount of coverage provided in a minimum coverage insurance policy.
The extent of your injuries will also influence the amount of compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle accident. More severe injuries will undoubtedly have higher medical expenses. As a result, those who suffer more serious injuries will be entitled to a greater amount of compensation. Depending on the circumstances, injured victims may be permitted to seek compensation for:
Medical expenses. Following a motorcycle accident, medical costs can quickly become significant. You should consult with a lawyer to get more information about the specific medical expenses you may include in your claim for compensation.
Some common medical expenses include:
- Emergency care
- Hospitalization or a stay in a long-term treatment facility
- Durable medical equipment
- Procedures, including diagnostic tests and surgeries
- Physical, occupational, and psychological therapy
- Home modifications, including bathroom modifications, widened doorways, or wheelchair ramps
Lost income. When seeking compensation for lost income, injured victims may include income from missed time at work, as well as tips or commissions they may have missed out on.
Pain and suffering. In addition to substantial physical pain after a motorcycle accident, you may suffer considerable emotional anguish. Motorcycle accidents are often traumatic experiences for everyone involved. Some physical injuries may cause limitations that lead to embarrassment or social isolation. Severe injuries may leave victims totally dependent on others for day-to-day care. Discuss the full extent of suffering you have endured as a result of your accident with an attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney regularly assists injured victims in calculating the costs associated with pain and suffering.
I wasn’t wearing a motorcycle helmet during my accident. Does that reduce the compensation I can receive for my injuries?
In New York, all motorcycle riders, including both drivers and passengers, are required to wear a helmet by law. Appropriate helmet use can offer critical protection for a rider’s head and fact in the event of a motorcycle accident. Wearing a helmet may reduce the risk of severe head injury, including traumatic brain injury, by as much as 67 percent. However, a rider’s failure to wear a helmet or other protective gear does not impact the amount of compensation they may be entitled to recover.
How long does it take to get compensation for my injuries after a motorcycle accident?
The length of time that it takes for injured victims to receive full compensation for their injuries depends on many factors. In some cases, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you soon after the accident to extend a settlement offer. Many accident victims mistakenly accept those offers without having an attorney evaluate the actual value of their claim. Unfortunately, these early settlement offers usually do not reflect the full amount of compensation that an injured victim is entitled to. Many insurance adjusters prioritize protecting the company’s financial interests over providing injured victims the compensation they deserve. As a result, initial settlement offers are typically much lower than the actual value of an injured victim’s claim.
Some factors that may influence the amount of time it takes an injured victim to receive compensation include:
- The severity of the injuries.Because riders are unprotected and vulnerable, motorcycle accidents often cause serious injuries. Some common motorcycle accident injuries include traumatic brain injuries, severe road rash, broken bones, amputations, and spinal cord damage. The more severe the injuries sustained, the more significant the medical expenses will be. However, claims for high amounts of compensation typically require extensive negotiations and usually take longer to resolve.
- Your willingness to negotiate. Some motorcycle accident victims may prioritize getting a fast settlement over getting the largest settlement possible. Agreeing to accept a fast settlement offer can put funds in your hands sooner, but it may minimize the funds you can receive after your accident.
- Your progress toward recovery. In the initial weeks and even months after your accident, it may be hard to predict how you will ultimately recover. Many factors can influence the outcome of your recovery, including unexpected complications along the way. It may take several months before physicians can accurately predict how victims will recover from their injuries. Depending on the specific facts of your case, an attorney may advise you to wait to file a claim until your injuries are more fully healed.
- How long you waited to file your motorcycle accident claim. Following an accident, injured victims typically have many responsibilities demanding their attention. Accidents are never anticipated and they can seriously complicate many aspects of your life. Unsurprisingly, many accident victims forget to file a personal injury claim immediately after an accident. You may also need time to recover before you can even begin thinking about filing a claim. The statute of limitations in New York determines the period of time following an accident that injured victims are permitted to file a claim. If you believe your claim may be untimely, you should consider consulting with an attorney. There are exceptions to the statute of limitations that may allow you to bring your claim at a later time. Nonetheless, waiting to file your claim may potentially hinder your ability to gather evidence to strengthen your claim. Ultimately, the longer you wait, the longer it may take to finalize your claim.
Who bears liability for my motorcycle accident?
The driver who caused the motorcycle accident may be primarily liable for any accident-related damages. In some cases, however, other factors may have contributed to causing the accident. You may receive more compensation for your injuries if you identify all the entities responsible for causing your accident. Injured victims may file a separate personal injury claim against each liable entity. An attorney can help you identify all individuals who may share liability in the accident. This may include:
The driver. A full evaluation of the accident, including security footage, can help you identify whether other drivers contributed to the accident.
The company that employs the driver. A driver on the clock at the time of a motorcycle accident is primarily responsible for anything that happens behind the wheel. However, the employer may share liability if:
- The company forced the driver to drive in unsafe conditions, including inclement weather conditions or driving while ill or inebriated.
- The company required a truck driver to exceed the maximum number of hours truck drivers are permitted to drive on each shift.
- The company failed to properly maintain the vehicle, and improper maintenance led to the accident.
A mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle. A mechanic who works on a vehicle must evaluate potential problems with the vehicle and identify risks that could lead to an accident. A mechanic may bear liability for your motorcycle accident if:
- They failed to properly fix the problem with the vehicle;
- They neglected to identify a problem he should reasonably have noted while fixing something else with the vehicle; or
- They caused damage to the vehicle while making repairs.
The manufacturer of the vehicle or any component parts that failed, if such failure caused an accident. Vehicle manufacturers must produce vehicles that do not pose a hazard to the driver, passengers, or others on the road. A manufacturer that provides a dangerous product to consumers may bear liability for an accident caused by that vehicle.
Motorcycle accidents often occur due to the inattention of the other driver. Drivers distracted by cell phones, changing the stations on the radio, or other passengers in the vehicle may substantially increase the risk of an accident, especially for motorcycle riders.
What should I do to protect myself after a motorcycle accident?
The steps you take immediately after your motorcycle accident matter for both your physical health and the protection of your legal rights. Make sure that you:
Remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, unless you must leave to seek medical care or avoid danger.Wait for the police to arrive, and file a report about the accident. You may face criminal charges of leaving the scene of the accident if you choose to leave before emergency personnel arrive. A police report can also provide vital evidence to support your personal injury claim. Speak honestly with the police, but do not make any statements that could potentially lead someone to believe the accident was your fault.
If you can, consider collecting additional evidence from the scene. For example, photos of the accident scene and contact information of any witnesses may be helpful if you pursue a personal injury claim. However, do not attempt to collect evidence if the circumstances make it dangerous to do so.
Make sure to get insurance information from the liable driver. It is important to gather contact and insurance information from other drivers involved in the accident.
Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you believe you may have only suffered minor injuries, you should always seek an evaluation by a medical professional. Medical attention can:
- Help identify any injuries. Often, the adrenaline from your accident can prevent you from feeling pain immediately after the accident. Sometimes, you can miss even serious injuries, including broken bones or spinal cord damage. Medical professionals can identify any injuries that may not be displaying immediate symptoms.
- Provide full treatment for your injuries. Attempting to self-diagnose and treat your injuries can increase the risks of complications in your recovery.
- Provide evidence that will prove the extent of your injuries and where they occurred. You may need this support for your personal injury claim.
Write down or record your statement about the accident as soon as possible. Your memory of your motorcycle accident may fade quickly. Record a statement about anything and everything you can remember about the accident. Your statement should be factually accurate while avoiding any statements that could be perceived as indicating that you were at fault for the accident.
Contact an attorney as soon as you are able after your accident. You may choose to wait to file your personal injury claim until you have made some progress toward full recovery. However, that does not mean that you should wait to speak with an attorney. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help answer questions about your potential to recover compensation for your injuries. When appropriate, an attorney may also provide advice about how to communicate and negotiate with insurance company representatives.
Who Caused Your Motorcycle Accident?
Many motorcycle accidents have fairly straightforward chains of legal liability: the other driver failed to notice the motorcycle and pulled over on top of it or pulled out without waiting for you to safely pass by. In some cases, however, other individuals or entities may share liability for your accident.
The accident occurred due to mechanical failure. Mechanical failure in a vehicle can quickly prevent the driver from controlling the vehicle, leaving the accident outside the driver’s control. A tire blowout, for example, can make it impossible to steer, while a brake failure can prevent the driver from slowing down or stopping even if he sees you coming.
If mechanical failure causes your accident, legal liability may rest with:
- The manufacturer of the faulty vehicle or part, including a faulty part on your motorcycle. While the driver bears responsibility for maintaining his vehicle, when defects occur outside of the driver’s ability to prevent them, the manufacturer may bear legal liability for the accident.
- A mechanic who recently examined the vehicle. If the mechanic failed to repair the vehicle properly but deemed it road-worthy, he may share liability for the accident. The mechanic may also share liability if he failed to notice a potential problem with parts he repaired before setting the vehicle back on the road.
- The owner of the vehicle. If the driver does not own the vehicle, the owner may bear legal liability for an accident that occurs due to a lack of vehicle maintenance.
A driver on the clock for his employer caused your accident. Ultimately, in most cases, drivers bear liability for their own actions behind the wheel. In some cases, however, those drivers may share liability with their employers.
- The employer forced the driver, especially a truck driver, to exceed the legal limits concerning the number of hours he can drive each day.
- The employer required the driver to continue driving in spite of conditions the driver believed unsafe, including excessively poor weather conditions, a vehicle in need of repairs, or a driver unable to safely continue operating the vehicle due to illness.
- The employer failed to provide adequate maintenance for the vehicle, leading to an accident.
Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, Your Manhattan Motorcycle Accident Lawyers, Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a Manhattan motorcycle accident, do not attempt to seek compensation on your own. Instead, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today at (212) 445-7000 for your free case evaluation.
“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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