There are few things more freeing than riding a motorcycle. But even though it can be a lot of fun, being a motorcyclist can also be incredibly dangerous. In an average year in New York, 141 people die, 1,558 people are hospitalized and 4,458 people visit the emergency department for injuries associated with motorcycle accidents.
If you are hurt in a motorcycle crash in White Plains or the surrounding areas, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Through this type of lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation for all of your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our law firm can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan represent motorcycle riders and their families in personal injury lawsuits. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, fighting to get them top dollar for their losses. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a White Plains car accident lawyer, give us a call.
What Should You Do If You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly scary. In the aftermath, you may not know what to do. The first and most important step that you can take is to seek medical treatment. Being seen by a doctor or going to the hospital will help you get the right treatment. It will also establish a link between your accident and the injuries that you suffered.
While you are still at the accident scene, you can also do some other things to build your case if you are able to do so. This includes getting contact information for the other driver and any witnesses. You can also take photos and videos of the scene and your injuries.
You should not admit fault to the other driver or to anyone else, such as a law enforcement officer who responds to the scene. Stick to the facts and be as straightforward as possible. Similarly, you should not talk to the insurance company, give a statement to an adjuster, or sign any paperwork until you have had a chance to talk to a personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Their goal in this type of case isn’t to make sure that you get the most possible compensation – it is to resolve the case for as little money as possible. Anything that you say to an insurance adjuster could be used to undermine your case.
Motorcycle accident lawyers offer free initial consultations to prospective clients. During this meeting, you will get a chance to tell your story and get legal advice about your rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, they will not charge a fee unless they recover money for you.
When Can You File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Motorcycle accidents can have any number of causes, from another driver’s failure to yield to drunk driving to poor road conditions to a faulty or defective part. If your motorcycle wreck was caused by someone else’s negligence – or carelessness – then you may be able to file a claim for your losses. This may be true even if it was a single-vehicle accident.
Negligence is a legal term that means that the at-fault party failed to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. Negligence has four elements:
- Duty: the other party (defendant) owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: the defendant breached that duty in some way.
- Causation: this violation was the proximate or but for cause of your crash
- Damages: you suffered losses as a result.
For example, consider a situation where a motorcycle rider was driving down a road in White Plains when a motorist suddenly pulled out in front of them. The motorcyclist has to quickly apply the brakes to avoid a collision, and in doing so, crashes. In this situation, the at-fault driver’s failure to look before entering the roadway could be considered negligent.
Negligence can occur in other ways as well. If a city or town fails to properly maintain its roads and a motorcyclist crashes after hitting a pothole, they could file a claim against the municipality. Similarly, if the brakes fail on a motorcycle, it may be possible to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of the brakes.
The question of negligence can be complicated, and may not always be clear-cut. There may even be situations where more than one person – including the motorcycle accident victim – is responsible for the collision. A skilled White Plains personal injury lawyer can analyze your case and help you decide how to move forward.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
In any personal injury case, you may be entitled to three separate types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Both economic and non-economic damages fall into the category of compensatory damages because they compensate an injury victim for their losses. By comparison, punitive damages are designed to punish someone who acted intentionally or recklessly.
Economic damages cover direct financial losses. This may include things such as lost wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, medical bills, and future medical treatment. It is usually fairly easy to prove economic damages with pay stubs, invoices, medical bills, and other documentation.
Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses. New York law recognizes that a person may suffer from emotional injuries in an accident as well as physical injuries. Non-economic damages provide compensation for losses such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and/or disfigurement.
Punitive damages are not awarded in most personal injury claims. However, if a White Plains motorcycle accident was caused by intentional or reckless conduct – such as drunk driving – then the injury victim may seek punitive damages.
Most personal injury cases are resolved through settlement, rather than in court. It may still be necessary to file a lawsuit to preserve your rights. Specifically, New York has a 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. For this reason, your Westchester County motorcycle accident lawyer may recommend filing a formal lawsuit in order to continue negotiations with the insurance company.
The best way to get full compensation for your injuries is by working with a skilled personal injury lawyer. An attorney will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case, put together a strong claim for damages, and advocate for you with the insurance company. If necessary, they will make arguments, present evidence, and question witnesses at trial before asking a jury to return a verdict in your favor.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan are dedicated to helping our clients get the money that they deserve for their injuries. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you.
Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident? We’re Here for You.
When you are injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you get a highly skilled attorney to fight for your rights. In White Plains and throughout Westchester County, our law firm will work with you to get you top dollar for your claim.
With offices throughout the state, including White Plains, the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan is well-equipped to represent accident victims. We have a track record of success, and won’t hesitate to take on the biggest insurance companies. To learn more, give our law firm a call at 914-220-1086 or fill out our online contact form.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If you were in a motorcycle accident, you should hire a White Plains personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This is true even if you were involved in a single-vehicle crash, as there may have been factors outside of your control that led to the accident.
A lawyer will thoroughly investigate your claim to find the underlying cause. If another person was responsible for the crash, then they will pursue an insurance claim to help you get fair compensation for your losses. Reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule a free consultation with a New York personal injury attorney.
What Is the Value of My Motorcycle Accident Case?
The value of any personal injury claim depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the insurance policy limits, and whether the victim is expected to make a full recovery. For example, a person who suffers broken bones in a motorcycle accident will probably recover less than a person who is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is expected to be permanently disabled.
During a free consultation, a White Plains motorcycle accident lawyer can give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your case. They will then work to help you get full compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan today to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for a Motorcycle Accident?
New York follows the comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you were partially responsible for a motorcycle accident, you can still pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Your total recovery will then be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault.
For example, if you suffered $100,000 worth of losses in a motorcycle crash and a jury finds that you were 15% at fault for the accident, then you would recover $85,000 for your injuries. In this way, you can still get justice for your losses even if you were somewhat to blame for the collision. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a White Plains, NY motorcycle accident attorney.