New York Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle Accidents and First Steps to Take After a Crash
Motorcyclists in New York face dangers far beyond other motor vehicle operators. A motorcycle is agile in traffic, and can stop and swerve quickly, but there are situations in which this maneuverability is not enough to avoid an accident. A motorcycle collision, even at a slow speed, often leads to serious or catastrophic injuries such as head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
A motorcycle offers little protection to riders. In the event of a collision, the risk of the motorcyclist being seriously injured is extremely high.
A common reason for motorcycle accidents is other drivers not watching out for motorcycle riders. The vehicle driver often simply fails to observe that they are sharing the street with motorcyclists when changing lanes or approaching a stoplight or stop sign.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
It is important that you take the right steps after a motorcycle accident. In many instances, the other driver will be held liable for what occurred. But there must be evidence of negligent driving to support your claim or lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
Follow these steps.
- In cases of serious injury, the primary concern is the health and life of the victim, and emergency services must be contacted immediately and the injured motorist transported to hospital.
- Call the police.
- Try to be calm and do not engage in any altercation with the motorist who was involved in the accident. Be extremely mindful of what you say, and it is crucial that you do not admit fault. If the other motorist admits fault, ensure that you write down exactly what he or she says.
- If you are physically able, photograph the area in which the accident took place with your cellphone, including your motorcycle’s position, the vehicle position, and any skid marks on the roadway.
- Gather the names, phone numbers and addresses of eyewitnesses to the accident. Witnesses can provide critical testimony to support your claim or lawsuit.
- Get the names and badge numbers of police officers at the scene.
- Take notes about everything that happened as soon as possible after the accident.
- Call your insurance company and report the accident.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to review the facts of the accident and discuss your legal options.
- For families who have a seriously injured loved one, it is crucial that you retain legal counsel to assist with all matters regarding compensation. In cases of loss of life, the immediate family has the right to recover compensation when the accident was caused by a negligent driver. Get legal representation as early as possible.
New York Statistics: Motorcycle Accidents
There were more than 5,100 motorcycle accidents in New York in 2013, according to the N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles. Many riders suffered injuries in the accidents and more than 150 were killed.
Types of Injuries Most Common in Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle crash is a violent event, and motorcyclists are more than five times more likely to be injured in an accident than occupants of cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Many motorcyclists sustain injuries to the arms, legs and head in collisions. The degree and location of injuries can vary, but these cases generally lead to very serious medical conditions that take many months to resolve. Many riders suffer multiple injuries in more serious accidents.
Lower Extremity and Upper Extremity Injuries
Broken bones are common injuries in motorcycle accidents. A broken bone is not a minor injury, particularly a broken femur, which can be exceptionally difficult to repair. Broken arms or legs, shattered knees or elbows or broken hands may require several surgeries followed by a long period of rehabilitation.
A fractured hip is a serious medical condition. It takes great force to break the pelvis and hip. The break will be treated based upon what areas of the joint were affected, as well as the soft tissue surrounding the hip. The femur may be broken as it reaches the hip socket and can have very serious physical consequences, and require months of treatment.
The use of a helmet is the best protection against the risk of a head injury. But riders wearing helmets still are vulnerable to head injuries. A motorcycle accident often involves the rider being thrown into the air upon impact, and landing on their head or neck. The injuries sustained can include permanent brain damage
, with the victim facing both physical and cognitive impairments.
A motorcycle accident often involves secondary impacts. The force of the collision throws the rider off the motorcycle onto the road. Often, another driver cannot avoid hitting the rider in the roadway, breaking ribs or causing internal organ damage, which can lead to death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
With 31% of motorcycle accident injuries affecting the spinal cord
, the risk of permanent impairments is extremely high. The location and severity of the injury will determine the long-term impact on the victim. Generally, when the injury is “complete” there will be no sensory ability below the level of impact. In an “incomplete” spinal injury, there is still some information passing from the brain through the spinal cord and the victim may retain some level of ability to move. These are catastrophic injuries, and will change a life forever.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in New York?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is vital that you get an attorney as early as possible after the accident occurs. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, we have years of experience in motorcycle accident claims, and we have recovered millions in damages for our clients. Our legal team can assist you in seeking compensation for all damages. The first step is to contact us so we can evaluate your legal situation and ensure that the critical evidence is preserved. Call now for help.