How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You with your Claim in NY

Posted by Edward LemmoMay 10, 20240 Comments

In the aftermath of a New York City  motorcycle accident, you will want to spend your time focusing on your recovery rather than dealing with insurance adjusters. Since insurance companies will do whatever they can to minimize payouts–and maximize their profits, you'll need Manhattan New York City personal injury lawyers that are willing and able to take on the insurers and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Motorcycle attorneys with several years of experience dealing with insurance companies on your behalf is who you want in your corner. When you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you in a New York City motorcycle accident case near you, you can expect the following to be conducted by your legal representation:

  • Investigate the accident, gather evidence, and evaluate all of the strengths and weaknesses of your case
  • Identify all negligent parties so they can be held responsible
  • Obtain your police report
  • Investigate if you have supplemental insurance for your claim through your insurance company 
  • Argue your claim and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf so that you receive a fair settlement offer
  • Advise you at every step of the way so you can make informed choices about your case

Motorcycle accidents are quite serious and common in a heavy-traffic city like NYC, so you'll want to hire an attorney who is serious about your case. To put things in perspective, we have also included some important information about motorcycle accidents in New York. 

NYC  Motorcycle Accident Statistics

New York City's fatal crash rate for motorcyclists (89 per 100,000 registered motorcycles) is nearly twice the fatal crash rate for New York State motorcyclists outside New York City (46 per 100,000 registered motorcyclists) and significantly higher than the national rate (56 out of every 100,000. 

NYC  Motorcycle Accident Injuries

The majority of motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries. The most common motorcycle injury is a lower limb fracture. Traumatic brain injuries are also common in motorcycle accidents. They also cause the highest number of motorcycle accident fatalities. 

Causes of  NYC  Motorcycle Crashes

The most common cause of motorcycle crashes involve a driver losing control of the bike. Other frequently cited causes are:

  • Following too closely
  • Speeding
  • Hitting an object or animal
  • DUIs

Alcohol use is often highlighted as a major issue contributing to motorcycle fatalities
nationwide. In 2014, 30 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders in the U.S. had
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levers over the legal limit of .08.11.

In New York City, only about 14 percent of motorcycle rider fatalities who were tested
had a BAC over the legal limit of .08, and about 17 percent had a BAC greater than or
equal to .05. Motor vehicle rider fatalities that were tested over the same period had a
BAC over the legal limit in 39 percent of cases. 12 This data shows that, while alcohol
consumption is a contributing factor for motorcycle rider fatalities, the problem appears
to be a less prominent contributing factor than in other parts of the U.S., and less of a
factor than in other fatality cases in New York City.

NYCDOT also examined the presence of helmets in motorcycle fatality cases.
According to NHTSA, helmets are estimated to be about 37 percent effective in
preventing fatal injuries for motorcycle riders and 41 percent effective for motorcycle

Where data was known for New York City fatality cases, 93 percent of motorcycle rider
fatalities were wearing a helmet. However, of these, 25 percent were not wearing a
USDOT approved helmet or did not have the helmet properly fastened. In 29 percent of
all cases, the data was “unknown” or not recorded.13 The percent of motorcyclists
involved in fatal crashes on a national level who were wearing helmets is considerably
lower. According to NHTSA, only 62 percent of motorcycle riders in 2014 (where data
was known) were wearing helmets at the time of a fatal collision.

Along with the data analysis which contributed to this report, NYCDOT conducted a
number of field surveys. These observations allowed for better understanding of how
12 motorcycles and other motorized two-wheelers are used on a daily basis on New York
City streets.

Sample Counts were conducted at the following locations:

∙ Williamsburg Bridge, EB and WB approaches
∙ Brooklyn Bridge, EB and WB approaches
∙ 10th Avenue, Manhattan (between West 17th & West 18th St)

DOT observed a number of characteristics during these surveys. The New York City Motorcycle Safety Study is a comprehensive study which examines the state of motorcycle safety within the five boroughs. The New York City Department of Transportation (“DOT”) carefully examined the available data to determine the who, when, where and how of motorcycle crashes in New York City. The report authors worked closely with partner agencies and DOT staff to craft a set of goals and recommendations aimed at increasing safety and reducing the number of serious
injuries and fatalities resulting from motorcycle crashes.

In 2015, New York City recorded its fewest number of motorcyclist fatalities since 1998. However, DOT believes more can be done to understand the causes behind motorcycle deaths, and to increase safety for motorcyclists and other users on New York City streets.

A review of motorcycle crash data in New York City, in addition to a review of literature and an examination of recent fatal motorcycle crashes reveals that:

Motorcyclists in New York City are at disproportionate risk of death

∙ Only 2 percent of registered vehicles in New York City are motorcycles, yet from 2010-14, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of traffic fatalities in New York City.

∙ New York City's fatal crash rate for motorcyclists is nearly twice rate for New York State motorcyclists.


∙ 43 percent of fatality cases involved a motorcycle rider who was not properly licensed to operate the vehicle.

∙ 56 percent of motorcycle rider fatalities were under the age of 35.

∙ Nearly 100 percent of motorcycle fatalities are male riders.


∙ Motorcycle injury crashes are more likely to occur during afternoon or evening hours, and on weekends.

∙ The number of motorcycle injury crashes increases dramatically during summer months.

∙ Excessive alcohol use was less prevalent in motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes than in most motor vehicle driver fatalities in New York City, or in national motorcycle rider fatalities.


∙ Unlike pedestrian and motor vehicle KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) crashes, motorcycle KSI crashes reveal few crash “hotspots.”

∙ The majority of motorcycle fatality crashes occur on city streets, rather than


∙ Motorcycle injury crashes are likely to involve another vehicle, not only the motorcycle rider.

∙ The collision types most often cited in motorcycle injury crashes indicate that visibility is an issue for motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers.

How to Bring a Lawsuit Based on Negligence

If you would like to sue someone for injuries you sustained in a motorcycle accident near you, in most cases you must prove that they acted negligently. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the circumstances.

For example, if you were hit by a driver that was texting while driving, this would likely be considered negligent behavior. This is because texting behind the wheel is not something a reasonable driver would be doing.

Once you establish that a driver acted negligently, you would then need to prove that their negligence caused your injury. Now, if we take the same set of facts from above, it would be difficult to prove causation if, for example, a bus lost control of its brakes and collided with the texting driver's car from behind.

Let's say their car was pushed into the intersection that you were lawfully crossing, leading to a collision with your motorcycle. In this case, it would be difficult to say that the driver's negligence in texting while driving was the cause of the accident.

Finding Fault When Both Drivers Are to Blame

Under  New York  you can bring an accident claim for damages. The jury has the right to assign a percentage of fault up to 100 % as  long as the total percentage of fault of both drivers  equals 100  percent. In addition, your motorcycle must be legal for the road, which requires:

  • Working turn signals
  • Handlebars not exceeding 25” above the operator's seat
  • Functioning headlights/taillights that are illuminated at all times, and
  • Mirrors.

In  New York City, lane-splitting, which involves a motorcyclist riding on the white line to drive between cars, is illegal. Further, it's against the law to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that impair your ability to operate a vehicle. This would include the use of prescription medications.

A qualified  New York motorcycle accident attorney can help evaluate your case and advise you on how best to proceed.

Damages Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims in New York City 

If you can prove that someone was at fault for your motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation in the form of a damages award. Damages include amounts that can be calculated including:

  • Expenses for medical treatment,
  • Wages you lost due to the injury
  • Reimbursement amounts for property damage to your motorcycle or gear

You may also be entitled to amounts for things that can't be so easily calculated. This may include money for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may also be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. This option is typically available for a spouse and/or any dependent children.

Wrongful death amounts may cover lost wages that account for what the deceased person would have earned in their lifetime. It can also include financial expenses like medical bills and funeral or burial costs. Finally, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of your loved one's care and companionship.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Manhattan NYC Today

Note that under New York Law, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, you'll want to move forward with your case as soon as possible. This will ensure that important evidence stays accessible and witnesses remain available. Call Lemmo Law at 646-522- 9082. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions!