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How Do New York Motorcycle Accidents Differ from Other Vehicle Accidents?

Underlying Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Many factors make motorcycle accidents differ from car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents. Here are a few main differences.

Poor Visibility

Motorcycles are more difficult for other drivers to see than cars, SUVs, trucks and other motor vehicles. For this reason, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) warns that it is vital for motorcyclists to drive defensively.

Most motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. Approximately one third of these accidents happen because motor vehicle drivers turn into the path of the motorcycle. All too often, drivers do not see the motorcycles in time to avoid the crash. As a rule, motorcycle riders should anticipate that a driver turning left might not see them.

Less Structural Protection

Compared with cars, motorcycles are not crashworthy. Bikers are exposed during crashes, and bikes offer little to no protection. Not only do cars weigh more, they also have seat belts, airbags, roofs and door beams that help protect drivers.

It is no wonder NHTSA reports that more than 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death for the biker.

Insurance Law Differences

According Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law, a motorcycle is not a motor vehicle. Consequently, it is not viewed under the same no-fault insurance law as motor vehicles. What does this mean?

There are fewer restrictions when you sue another party for accident damages. You do not have to prove the "serious injury" threshold before being allowed to sue the way you do for motor vehicle accidents covered under no fault law.

Also note that if you are riding a motorcycle and hit a pedestrian, motorcycle insurance would cover the pedestrian's injuries, even though it is not no-fault insurance.

Experienced NY Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

An experienced New York motorcycle accident attorney knows the nuances of the law, how to deal with motorcycle accident cases and the best way to hold an at-fault driver accountable for your injuries. Any biker with serious injuries is wise to at least speak with a lawyer about the prospects of pursuing a case.

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