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People drive on the roads and highways every day. There is rarely a time when the roads are empty, especially in high traffic areas around Westchester close to New York City. Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable because their bikes are smaller than cars, and riders are not protected by an enclosed vehicle. The laws surrounding motorcycle accidents also differ.
Motorcycle riders are not covered by no-fault insurance like drivers of standard cars or trucks are. While other drivers are compensated by their own insurance with no proof of fault required, motorcycle riders are not. Riders without medical insurance may have to pay costly hospital bills out of pocket. A personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in your collision may be necessary to get compensation for your injuries and damages.
After a motorcycle accident, your injuries could be very serious, and you might have no way to cover your expenses. Our Westchester motorcycle accident lawyers can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or people responsible for your accident. Contact The Martello Law Firm to discuss your case in a free legal consultation. Call us today at (646) 396-0236.
How No-Fault Insurance Laws Affect Motorcycle Accidents in Westchester?
In accidents involving more standard vehicles like cars and trucks, drivers are protected by New York’s no-fault insurance laws. These laws allow drivers to be paid by their own insurance providers up to a certain limit, usually $50,000. There are also no requirements that drivers prove another person was at fault for the accident, which can help expedite the insurance payout process. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are exempt from no-fault insurance laws.
According to I.S.C. Law § 5103(a)(1), motorcycles are not included in the state’s no-fault insurance system. This means that motorcycle riders cannot receive quick payouts from their own insurance companies after an accident. Instead, motorcycle riders must file a claim with their insurance and demonstrate fault. Alternatively, riders can sue the other driver or drivers involved in the crash for damages.
Motorcycle riders are usually at a disadvantage when it comes to filing insurance claims or a personal injury lawsuit. For insurance claims, your insurance provider might deny your claim or refuse to cover certain damages like lost wages. In personal injury lawsuits, even if you are successful, you must wait until the end of the case before seeing any money, which may mean paying for all your expenses out of your own pocket until you can be reimbursed. Our Westchester motorcycle accident attorneys can help you file a personal injury claim and get the compensation you need as quickly as possible.
How to Get Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident in Westchester, New York
Getting compensation for a motorcycle accident may require filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver. The defendant driver will likely be defended by and rely on their own insurance provider. If you are successful, the defendant’s insurance may cover your damages. However, we must assert all the damages you want covered and make legal arguments why they should be covered.
Filing a lawsuit requires you to name a defendant. A motorcycle rider will name the other driver involved in the crash as a defendant in most cases. However, this is not always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, collisions and accidents involve multiple vehicles. Multi-vehicle accidents are complicated because it may be unclear who is responsible. It is not unusual for several drivers to share blame of varying degrees. Our Westchester, New York motorcycle accident lawyers can help you identify all possible defendants for your lawsuit.
You also must consider whether the other driver is a person, business, or municipality. Many drivers are individual people whom you could personally sue for damages. However, professional drivers might be working for larger private companies that can cover the costs of your injuries. It is important to name not just the driver but also their employer as defendants in these cases.
Some drivers do not work for private companies but instead for cities, towns, or other municipalities. For example, if your accident involved a public bus, you might have to sue the relevant town or city for damages. Suing a government entity follows different procedures than private entities.
Once you have identified your defendants, you must file a formal complaint in the necessary court and serve it upon your defendants to kickstart your lawsuit. The complaint will contain your version of the accident and any damages you want covered. From there, your lawsuit will begin.
Proving Liability for a Motorcycle Accident in Westchester, NY
In any lawsuit, it is not enough to explain your side of the story. Even if you are a trustworthy and believable witness, courts want something more before reaching a verdict. Evidence is needed to back up your claims and arguments. The type of evidence you need may vary depending on how your accident happened and who your defendant is.
Any vehicles involved in the crash, including your motorcycle, can be used as physical evidence. The damage to the vehicles may support your version of the crash or contradict your opposing party’s story. Additionally, any photos or videos of the accident scene will be very helpful to your case. Your medical records can also paint a picture of your physical injuries for a court.
When arguing about liability, the defendant will likely assert that your own negligence caused the crash, not theirs. This is important to think about because New York follows a comparative negligence rule according to C.V.P. Law § 1411, you will not be barred from recovering damages if you are found partially responsible for your accident. However, your damages may be reduced in proportion to your negligence.
Call Our Westchester Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
You might feel overwhelmed by the expenses related to a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle riders cannot take advantage of no-fault insurance laws, but our Westchester, New York motorcycle accident attorneys can help you file a lawsuit to get your damages covered. Call The Martello Law Firm at (646) 396-0236 for a free legal consultation.