Aggressive Legal Representation from a Suffolk County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Is What You Need
Anyone who has been in a motorcycle accident can allude to the way one can turn your life upside down. Destruction of your motorcycle is one thing, but there is also the part where you must attend to the medical expenses, as well as other costs that come with such an ordeal.
Financial recovery is often incredibly difficult and it can lead to co-occurring challenges such as depression. There is no reason you should be made to deal with all this, provided the negligence of a third party is to blame for the ordeal.
Motorcycle accident lawyers in Suffolk County are here to assist clients through these times. Get the fair compensation you deserve by getting a legal team to fight on your behalf for an appropriate settlement.
If you want an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side, reach out to the Law Office of Carl Maltese. Call (631) 857-3703 to schedule a free consultation. No commitment is required!
Negligence and Its Components
Negligence tends to be one of the centerpieces of motorcycle accident cases in Suffolk County and beyond. Put simply, the principle speaks to a failure to take reasonable steps to prevent an injury. Of course, the negligent person must be in a position where doing so is both possible and required.
As clear-cut as it may sound, proving that negligence resulted in a motorcycle accident injury is often more difficult than expected. This is why personal injury cases should always be handled by expert attorneys.
Duty of Care
This is the first element of negligence in a motorcycle accident case. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers aim to show that the other party had a duty of care that mandates safely operating a motor vehicle.
Breach of Duty
Accidents involving motorcycles typically occur because drivers were not exercising the aforementioned duty effectively. Therefore, the legal team representing injured motorcyclists aims to demonstrate that the negligent party took an action that demonstrates a breach.
Negligence is very common on the roads of New York. Realistically, not every example will result in a motorcycle crash. Therefore, it's incumbent on a Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer to establish the link between the action of negligence in question and the accident that would have occurred.
An auto accident can occur that results in no property damage or injuries. Therefore, another requirement is for a motorcycle accidents lawyer to prove that the motorcycle accident did indeed directly result in damages that must be compensated.
These damages can take numerous forms, such as medical bills and lost wages, which you will see below. Apart from running this legal gauntlet, motorcycle accident lawyers are also required to assign a value to your case, which would be reflected in the claim request.
The numbers are not set in stone as they are typically governed by the circumstances at hand. For example, catastrophic injuries will incur greater medical expenses, which means that the percentage of the settlement based on medical bills will be higher.
Motorcycle Accidents Are Especially Sensitive
One of the biggest problems motorcycle riders deal with is the extent to which they are unprotected. While it is true that car drivers also often deal with severe injuries, the natural exposure that is synonymous with riders means that motorcycle collisions are a lot more dangerous for them.
If a rider realizes that a crash is unavoidable, it becomes a manner of skillful maneuvering to minimize the potential for serious injury. Unfortunately, this is often not enough to prevent broken bones and other forms of bodily harm from occurring.
This is why you find that paraplegia, quadriplegia, and death have a higher percentage of occurrence in motorcycle accidents than in other kinds of crashes. There are also a few design elements that make motorcycle safety a huge concern.
As indicated before, motorcycle riders are unprotected. This is because the design is frameless, which puts the body in an unfortunate position of consistent exposure. The challenge, of course, is the direct impact of a car or truck against a body.
A two-wheeled design provides a lot less stability than a four-wheeled one. Therefore, road defects, weather, sudden stops, etc., affect motorcycles way more than they do other vehicles. They often end up tipping because of this, which creates numerous challenges.
This is one of the core reasons for the amount of physical damage following a motorcycle accident. Naturally, when a larger, heavier object collides with a smaller, lighter one, the latter will take the brunt of the damage.
Some motorcycle accidents occur because drivers don't see them coming. While negligence often has a part to play, sometimes it is a matter of the profile of a motorcycle, which makes them difficult to see.
Typical Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents in Suffolk County
Motorcycle accident cases in Long Island are more routine than you would think. Trend analysis has revealed that some reasons for this are more common than others.
Unfortunately, motorcycle injury victims continue to be made to suffer because of the sheer negligence that so many drivers continue to demonstrate. If nothing else, this indicates that meant motorcycle accidents that happen are completely preventable, but still manage to occur because the required level of care on roads is not exercised.
This problem can take different forms such as distracted driving, attempting to beat traffic lights before they become read, willfully ignoring traffic signs, etc. Motorcycle operators must be incredibly careful and maintain consistently high awareness to avoid collisions with drivers as much as possible.
The only saving grace is that New York law typically puts the car driver at fault provided that the motorcycle operator was doing everything necessary to operate the vehicle safely.
Lane splitting is another huge challenge that has contributed to its fair share of motorcycle crashes in Suffolk County. It's essential to point out that this is an illegal practice throughout the entire state of New York.
The concept refers to a maneuver that sees motorcyclists ride between vehicular lanes. Typically, they do this because they don't want to wait in traffic, and of course, they notice that the motorcycles are narrow enough to fit in the narrow space.
If you file a personal injury claim for compensation after you were lane splitting, it is very unlikely that you are going to be successful. For this reason and considering general safety, it is strongly advised that you avoid engaging in this practice.
While it can be annoying to deal with traffic, violating the law is not the way forward. If you do, you throw away the rights you would've had if a motorcycle accident is to occur.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Admittedly, some of the roads in Suffolk County are not as pristine as their users would like. As indicated before, the way a motorcycle is built means that it is way more susceptible to tipping.
A motorcycle accidents lawyer is crucial here as a claim may need to be filed against the municipality. These constitute some of the most difficult personal injury cases, as the approach must be calculated, efficient, and expertly handled.
Blind Spot Challenges
Even outside the context of a motorcycle accident, vehicles naturally have blind spots. Even with proper mirror use, there are areas, such as the rear passenger side of a vehicle that a driver cannot see at a glance.
The problem is the composition of a motorcycle combined with this means it's very likely that a driver simply isn't going to see one there. As a motorcycle rider, you need to bear this in mind for your safety. Getting an understanding of where a blind spot is and avoiding it is essential to keeping yourself safe.
Motorcycle accident cases are not the only ones that often occur because of speeding. The greater the speed, the more difficult it is to bring a vehicle to a stop. Motorcycle riders especially need to bear this in mind as the two-wheeled design compounds this problem.
What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcycle accident victims tend to experience a variety of mild to serious injuries in the aftermath of the crash. As indicated before, the nature of a motorcycle means that the injuries are more likely to reside on the severe end of the spectrum.
While bones have a strong composition, the sudden, violent impact is enough to cause them to break. Motorcycle crashes present two distinct possibilities for this phenomenon to occur. First, there's the actual impact of the vehicle on the human body. That kind of force is often a lot more than enough to cause severe bone damage.
Next, bikers are often flung from their motorcycles after being hit. Of course, this means a harsh landing against the payment or any other hard surface. This impact can also be the reason for bones getting fractured or breaking.
While not as common as some of the other motorcycle accident injury types, strains and sprains are known to happen after crashes too. Like broken bones, strains and sprains are often the results of the awkward landings that follow being flung from a motorcycle.
Areas such as the neck, wrists, fingers, ankles, and knees, are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries also often occur and present an incredibly high cause for concern following motorcycle accidents. Damage to the spine can leave injury victims dealing with temporary or permanent paralysis. In the worst cases, victims become paraplegic, losing feeling and function below the neck.
Another of the common injuries that riders face is a brain injury. There are two typical ways in which these occur. First. there may be a violent and sudden shaking motion. The shock to the brain of being jerked around in the head can lead to cognitive and other challenges going forward.
Alternatively, blunt force trauma to the head may occur, which leads to a similar outcome. medical treatment is often not enough to address these incidents.
Road Rash/Open Wounds
Hitting the ground at high speeds often leads to portions of the skin being forcefully rubbed away. Such a situation sometimes results in permanent damage or infection if proper treatment is not administered in time.
The motorcycle accident injuries are along the more mild end of the spectrum. They include cuts, minor lacerations, and other marks. Hands and lower extremities tend to feature these.
Fatal injuries are synonymous with motorcycle accidents. Sometimes, the impact is too much and the rider passes away either immediately or later on.
Motorcycle Design Features that Pose a Risk of Serious Injuries
Typically, riders want to ensure that they are selecting crash-worthy motorcycles. While no one wants to be involved in a motorcycle accident, it helps to at least be prepared if it happens. However, even the most well-engineered designs have flaws to their name such as:
Large windshields that affect the rider's line of sight
High tire pressure requirements can cause explosions, which translate to road hazards
The front positioning of the fuel tank presents a pelvic injury hazard
How Are Damages Calculated for Motorcycle Accidents?
Your Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer will begin to assess the value of your claim, even at the free case evaluation stage. The legal team would have a long history of combined personal injury experience, which means a lot of expertise goes into getting you the maximum compensation possible. The damages that you can claim fall under economic and non-economic sub-categories.
In a personal injury claim, these refer to the damages that can be accurately calculated because of the presence of an identifiable cost center. All your medical bills, potential future medical treatment, repair or replacement costs for your motorcycle, lost wages, etc., fall under this category.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer is also going to seek a payout for damages that represent a reduction in quality of life. This can speak to the loss of consortium, physical pain, emotional distress, PTSD, etc.
How Motorcycle Accident Victims Should Handle the Ordeal
When motorcycle collisions happen, it can be an overwhelming time. Since the whole incident is so sudden and impactful, it often leads to suboptimal decision-making, which can hurt your chances of getting the financial compensation you deserve.
While Long Island motorcycle accident lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal waters, you mustn't do anything that could potentially jeopardize your case. Pay attention to the information below so you don't become one of the accident victims who s unable to seek compensation.
Financial recovery after a motorcycle accident heavily depends on the extent to which your motorcycle accident lawyer can prove that the other party was at fault, you were injured because of it, and you ended up suffering injuries and other damages.
The attorney will do some investigation and evidence compilation to help build your case, but you also need to play your part. If you can as soon as the accident occurs, begin to collect data from the scene.
Skid marks, road rash photos, vehicle registration document images, the contact information of involved parties and witnesses, skid marks, vehicular and motorcycle damage photos, etc provide a great start.
Medical Care for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Medical care is non-negotiable. Sometimes injured people feel fine after motorcycle accidents and neglect to seek treatment, only to end up in a dire situation later on. Some of the most catastrophic injuries show no immediate external signs sometimes.
Motorcycle riders are encouraged to visit a medical facility as soon as possible after a crash. Beyond ensuring that all is well physically, the medical records generated provide more leverage for your Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer to use on your behalf.
Not only is it an indication that you needed and received treatment, but it's also a record of the medical bills you incurred while getting it.
Many motorcycle crash cases hinge on the presence or lack thereof of a police report. Ensure to call for a police officer to come to the scene of the crash. If this does not happen, visit the police station as soon as possible to complete it. The last thing you want to happen is that law enforcement has no record of your accident happening.
Contact Your Suffolk County Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Your Long Island motorcycle accident lawyer is very important here. Even before you talk to your own insurance company, you want to reach out to your attorney. Apart from providing you with further guidance on how to navigate the situation, the attorney takes the burden of legal knowledge requirements off your plate.
The Best Time to File a Claim
Sometimes, motorcycle riders wait to file their claims after a crash. There could be different reasons for choosing to go this route, but it is an incredibly ill-advised move. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for the motorcycle accident case to end with a desirable outcome.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in New York is three years. Only extenuating circumstances will see you get to file a claim after that period has passed. Still, you don't want to be waiting around that long. Call your Suffolk County motorcycle accident attorney in the shortest possible order.
Why You Should Hire a Long Island Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
It's been said repeatedly so far. You need a Long Island personal injury attorney. The question is, what value does the lawyer bring? Here are a few points to consider:
Your lawyer negotiates with the insurance provider on your behalf, which increases the likelihood of your getting a fair settlement
Attorneys handle all relevant paperwork and communication on your behalf, allowing you to focus more on recovering from your injury.
Free consultations are offered and they require no commitment on your part while allowing you to understand your legal position better.
The agreement with the accident lawyer is characterized by a contingency fee, meaning no payment is required from you until you have won the case
The lawyer will be attempting to get you a settlement without going to trial, but will represent you during court appearances, should they be required
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Suffolk County Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
After a Long Island motorcycle accident, you are likely in the market for an attorney to assist you through the legal process. However, selecting the right lawyer is a key factor in maximizing your chances of getting the financial compensation you deserve.
The question, therefore, is how do you go about ensuring that the accident lawyer you choose is the right fit?
You cannot discount the importance of having a solid reputation. Thankfully, you can also use it as a measure of the service that a motorcycle accident lawyer has provided to clients in the past. Ascertaining a law firm's reputation often comes in the form of evaluating existing reviews about the service delivery level.
Of course, the views of others are not enough to tell you exactly what your experience will be, but you can at least ascertain if you're dealing with a trusted law firm or not.
During your free legal consultation, it's a good idea to pay attention to the flow of communication and the general feel you get as you discuss your motorcycle crash case. This is a very good indicator of what the attorney-client relationship will look like in the future.
If it feels off at the onset, then that's a good indicator that your time would be best spent elsewhere.
This goes hand in hand with the kind of reputation a law firm has established. What kind of experience dealing with other cases like yours does the motorcycle accident lawyer have? What do prior results look like?
Relevant experience is key here. Remember that there are different arms of the law. What you want is a personal injury attorney who has demonstrated experience dealing with motorcycle accidents.
While it may not be finalized, your free consultation typically sees the attorney communicate some form of an action plan. It's not formal, so it probably takes the form of an explanation of how the attorney would approach the case if hired. This shows a grasp of the challenges and ideas that need to be considered.
Most At-risk Groups for Motorcycle Accidents
Technically speaking, all motorcyclists are at risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. It's one of the realities that come with operating a two-wheeled vehicle on the road. However, there are some groups of people in the United States who are at an increased risk. These are:
Riders who neglect to wear a helmet
Cyclists who ride at excessive speed and ignore traffic laws
Motorcyclists without a helmet
License and Insurance Requirements Under New York Law
Motorcycles are never to be ridden without an adequate license and registration. By law, you require an operator's motorcycle license. Additionally, you must either pass the New York Motorcycle Safety Program or submit to and pass a motorcycle road test.
Additionally, motorcyclists are required to register and title their vehicles in the state. Alongside the requirement for full licensing, the state also requires adequate motorcycle liability coverage, which includes:
Property damage coverage of at least $10,000
Bodily injury coverage of no less than $25,000
In accidents that cause multiple injuries, the minimum coverage is $50,000
Death coverage of at least $50,000
In accidents that cause multiple deaths, the minimum coverage is $100,000
While these figures may look substantial, the reality often paints a much different and very unfortunate picture. Motorcycle crashes are synonymous with excessive damages and injuries.
Therefore, the coverage figures mandated at a minimum are often not enough. It's not much of a concern when the accident isn't too severe. However, when the severity is higher, then it becomes a huge cause for concern.
Nevertheless, you often find that motorcycle accident lawyers can assist you in receiving fair compensation to cover the lost wages, medical bills, and other costs that you may incur.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Suffolk County Today!
Motorcyclists are an incredibly risky subset of road users who often face serious injuries and even death whenever accidents occur. When they do survive, they find that maintaining a normal life after the accident is often very difficult. Apart from the physical discomfort and mental worries such as PTSD, the aftermath of an accident is financially draining.
Why suffer when you were not at fault? An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Suffolk County can provide you with the legal aid and representation you need to receive the maximum compensation from the insurance company representing the at-fault party.
The Law Office of Carl Maltese has assisted numerous clients in this regard and the same can be done for you. However, it begins with understanding the parameters of your case and evaluating your legal position.
This can be done during a free initial consultation. Call (631) 857-3703 to schedule your appointment today!
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Frequently Asked Questions
There are many ambiguous areas of the legal system where motorcycle accidents are concerned. This leads to many questions, some of which are repeatedly posed by potential clients. Here are five of these and their associated responses.
What if I Can't Afford a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
The financial burden of retaining a Long Island personal injury attorney is not something you need to concern yourself with. Motorcycle accident cases are taken on a contingency fee agreement.
This means that there's no need to worry about making an upfront payment to secure the lawyer's services. Instead, you don't pay until you've won your case. If you don't win, then there's no payment required.
Following a victory, your legal fees are calculated as a percentage of the settlement that you are awarded.
How Are Victims of Motorcycle Crashes Who Are Partially At Fault Treated?
New York is one of many states that practice the comparative fault rule. This means that any party involved is liable for the proportion of fault they have in the equation. For example, a driver may have hit a rider after being distracted and running a red light.
Under normal circumstances, such a situation would mean that the driver is fully liable for any injuries caused to the motorcyclist. However, if the biker were not wearing a helmet, this would also be a display of negligence, which means recovering full compensation is impossible.
The Negligent Party's Insurance Company Called Me with a Good Settlement. Do I Take It?
No matter what, an insurance company is never on your side. You may get that feeling because of the verbiage being used, but the intention is always to minimize the payout.
Often, when early settlement offers are made, there are clauses that prevent any further damage claims. An insurance company is well aware that the extent of your injuries is unknown early on. Additionally, your being shaken up presents the perfect time to get you to slip up.
Deny speaking to any insurance company without your lawyer present, even if you are yet to retain the services of one.
The Accident Victim Was a Family Member of Mine Who Died in the Incident. Can I Make the Claim on the Person's Behalf?
Yes, a loved one can pursue compensation after a motorcycle accident has claimed the life of a rider. A wrongful death claim would be applicable here and, depending on the circumstances, may consist of both economic and non-economic damages. It's best to reach out to an attorney for a consultation to fully understand the situation.
How Can I Ensure That the Law Firm I'm Choosing Is Licensed to Practice Motorcycle Accident Law?
You can reach out to the state bar association to verify the legitimacy of the practice. You are encouraged to do so just as you are advised to get a feel for the reputation of the law firm you intend to hire before you make any commitments.