Motorcycle Accidents, Hazards and Insurance in New York
In Buffalo and Western New York we have short summers and a limited amount of time to enjoy riding a motorcycle. Far too many motorcycle crashes occur when the motorcycle operator is using caution and obeying all traffic laws. Even though the motorcycle operator may be using extreme caution and driving defensive, there are still many motorcycle crashes in a short period of time in Western New York. Almost every week there is a news story of a motorcycle crash. A Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada man was recently charged after an investigation into a fatal crash that took place in July. A Buffalo man was killed in when he crashed his motorcycle on the Kensington Expressway, Route 33.
Recently, In Chautauqua County a vehicle driver was ticketed for failing to yield the right of way after backing out of a driveway, into the traffic lane, as a motorcyclist was about to drive past, the distance was so close the motorcycle operator had no time to stop. The vehicle operator backing into the roadway needlessly caused an avoidable collision. The driver of the motorcycle died. In Wheatfield, Niagara County, New York, a motorcyclist was ejected from his bike , suffering multiple injuries after a recent crash. Also, in Niagara County, New York, a head on collision with an SUV and motorcycle resulted in the death of the motorcycle operator. In that case, according to the Sheriff’s office, the driver of the SUV crossed the center line causing the head on crash. There are many more motorcycle accidents that do not make the news; the examples above are all from this summer.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles offers tips for a safe ride. One way to reduce the likelihood of a crash is to be a defensive driver. Using a helmet is very effective in saving lives of motorcyclists. In New York, almost all motorcycle operators wear helmets. This is a very good thing, considering the statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 41% of fatalities in 2013 involving motorcycles involved accidents where the motorcyclists did not wear a helmet. In 2016, 13% of all motor vehicle crash deaths were motorcycle crashes. New York State has a universal helmet law, requiring all motorcyclists to use a helmet. New York State is one of 19 states, and the District of Columbia, that has a universal helmet law.
If you are in a motorcycle accident it is important to know that there are different laws than car crashes. In New York State insurance laws for cars are much different than insurance laws for motorcycles. A motorcycle operator is not considered a covered person, under New York State’s No-Fault Law. Under New York No-Fault, insurance companies are required by law to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs regardless of who is responsible for the crash. This insurance coverage is provided for those in or structure by a car or a truck. However, unfortunately, New York law does not provide this coverage for motorcycle operators. Even if it is not their fault, motorcycle riders can be without insurance coverage to pay their medical bills, and without no-fault wage payments, causing tremendous hardship on people who are injured through no fault of their own and left with huge debts due to injuries such as broken bones, internal injuries, spine injuries preventing the ability to work for some period.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. You should call a lawyer with experience in motorcycle accident cases, such as Feroleto Law with any questions you have. At Feroleto Law, we have represented many injured r motorcycle drivers, riders and their family members after a crash. Call us at 716 854 0700 for a free consultation. If we accept your case and there is no recovery there is no legal fee. We will answer questions without obligation. If we accept your case. We work hard with you to see you secure a fair and just recovery for your injuries and financial losses.