The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is negligence. In some cases, this is the negligence of the motorcyclist. This could include drinking, drug use, distractions, reckless driving, driving beyond their experience level, or violating traffic laws.
However, the negligence of other drivers sharing the roads is also a major concern. When a driver fails to detect a motorcycle and consider its position when turning, proceeding through an intersection, or changing lanes, it can be impossible for even the most careful motorcyclist to avoid a collision. Motorists in passenger cars may miss a motorcycle because they are not looking for a smaller vehicle, their view is obstructed, or they simply fail to recognize it.
Not Seeing a Motorcycle Leads to Failure to Yield Collisions
The most common direct cause of motorcycle accidents in intersections is most likely failure to yield. This plays into the theory that many passenger car drivers simply fail to see motorcycles and other smaller vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than a third of all motorcycle and car collisions involve failure to yield the right of way to a motorcycle. This includes accidents that occur when:
- A driver pulls out from a parking lot or driveway in front of traffic.
- A driver makes a left turn at a green light without a turn arrow and without stopping for oncoming traffic.
- A motorist makes a U-turn without stopping for approaching traffic.
In most cases, the driver of the car is turning while the motorcycle is going straight. When this occurs, the motorcycle has the right of way, and the other motorist has an obligation to stop. When they fail to do so, and it causes an accident, that motorist is liable for the accident and injuries.
Other Common Ways Drivers of Cars Cause Motorcycle Accidents
Not seeing a motorcycle or misjudging its speed also causes other types of accidents. This could include sideswipe or merge accidents and head-on collisions.
Head-on collisions occur when a motorist is trying to pass slower traffic on a two-lane road. The driver does not see an approaching motorcycle and moves into its lane to pass another vehicle. This also causes accidents when the driver moves back into their lane without seeing a motorcycle in it.
Sideswipe and merge accidents occur when a motorist fails to maintain their lane or when passing. They are most common on highways and interstates with multiple lanes. They occur when the driver of the car does not check to ensure the adjacent lane is clear or fails to see the motorcycle in that lane before moving into it.
Seeking Damages with a New York Motorcycle Accident Claim
Under New York Insurance (ISC) §5102(d), victims of traffic accidents generally need to suffer injuries the law categorizes as “serious” or meet other exceptions to the state’s no-fault law. However, this statute does not apply to motorcyclists. This means you are allowed to seek damages in your accident case no matter the severity of your injuries. Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. is here to help.
When we take on a motorcycle collision claim, our team will do the following for our client:
- Keep you updated on your case
- Identify liable parties
- Communicate with all parties for you
- Gather evidence
- Determine a value for your case
- Fight relentlessly to win the best possible case outcome for you
We will seek compensation for the damages our client suffered because of the accident. This includes expenses, financial losses, and intangible damages such as the pain and suffering you experienced.
If your loved one passed away as a result of motorcycle accident injuries, please accept our heartfelt condolences. Our compassionate team members will build a wrongful death case to hold the at-fault parties responsible. When we represent the survivors of motorcycle accident wrongful death victims, we are determined to win the compensation you need and the justice your departed loved one deserves.
Per New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214, there is a time limit on filing motorcycle accident lawsuits in New York. However, we also need to get to work gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, collecting video or photographs from the scene, and taking other steps to build a strong case for you. The sooner you contact us, the greater our opportunity to build the strongest case possible for you.
Speak with a Team Member About Your New York Motorcycle Accident
The Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. motorcycle accident team members are passionate advocates for the injured. We will speak with you on Long Island or in any New York City borough to discuss your accident and case. Our multilingual staff will also help you understand your options and case in Spanish, Greek, Bengali, Tamil, or Kannada.
You can talk to a team member from Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. in a free case consultation today. Call (516) 932-0400 to get started. We work with clients on a contingency-fee-basis.