Understanding Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents in New York
When people hear that someone got into a motorcycle accident, they tend to assume that the motorcyclist collided with another motorcycle or a motor vehicle. However, single-vehicle motorcycle accidents are common in New York. Just as the name suggests, single-vehicle accidents are accidents where the motorcyclist crashes, but does not collide with another motorcycle or motor vehicle. In New York and in other parts of the country, single-vehicle motorcycle accidents are often called no contact motorcycle accidents.
Can Other Motorcyclists or Drivers be Held Liable for Causing No Contact Motorcycle Accidents in New York?
While no contact motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle accidents, other motorcyclists or drivers can be held liable for the injuries and property damage a person sustains in said crash. However, this can only occur if the injured person shows that the other motorcyclist or driver acted negligently in the operation of his or her vehicle and this negligence caused the injured person’s no contact motorcycle accident. Negligence, stated plainly, is a person’s failure to use reasonable care in performing or failing to perform a task. In assessing whether someone acts negligently, it is necessary to determine if a reasonably prudent person in the same or similar situation would have acted differently by either performing some additional task to avoid risk to others or by failing to perform a task, which the person should have known would cause injury if it was performed. In New York, if you can prove that another motorcyclist’s or driver’s negligent actions caused you to get into a no contact motorcycle accident, you can successfully bring either a personal injury liability claim with the at-fault person’s insurance carrier or a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault person. This is even the case if you are also partially to blame for the accident because New York follows the pure comparative negligence scheme, a legal concept that allows injured people to recover monetary damages for others who caused the injuries even if the injured people’s actions contributed in some way to the cause of the injuries.
Common Causes of No Contact Motorcycle Accidents
No contact motorcycle accidents occur for a variety of different reasons. Some may be the result of other motorcyclists’ or drivers’ actions while some are the result of the injured motorcyclist’s own actions. Common causes of no contact motorcycle accidents – the liability of which may be attributable to other motorcyclists or drivers – include:
- Failing to check blind spots before merging or changing lanes
- Braking suddenly for no reason
- Failing to signal before turning or changing lanes
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Engaging in distracted driving
- Engaging in road rage or reckless driving
- Failing to otherwise adhere to traffic laws or signals
In cases where the other motorcyclist or driver engage in one or more of the above-listed behaviors, the other motorcyclist or driver will be considered to be operating the motorcycle or motor vehicle negligently. Consequently, if a motorcyclist is around another motorcyclist or a driver who is engaging in one or more of these behaviors and, as a result of these behaviors, has to unexpectedly swerve, causing the motorcyclist to lose control of the motorcycle, or has to lay the motorcycle down to avoid hitting the other motorcyclist or driver, then that other motorcyclist or driver will likely be deemed liable for causing the motorcyclist’s no contact accident.
Common causes of no contact motorcycle accidents, the liability of which may be attributable only to the injured motorcyclist, include:
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Erratic and unsafe lane changes by the motorcyclist
- Riding between vehicles and in between two traffic lanes during periods of traffic
- Riding on the shoulder of a road to pass traffic
- Riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you are the motorcyclist who is involved in the no contact motorcycle accident and you were engaging in one of the above-listed behaviors when the accident occurred, the chances of you being able to prove that another motorcyclist or driver caused the accident decreases as all of the above behaviors constitute negligent actions. Consequently, if you want to file a personal injury insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit against another person for causing your no contact motorcycle accident, but you were engaging in one or more of the above behaviors when the crash occurred, it is prudent to consult an experienced personal injury attorney first because the attorney will be able to assess the likelihood that your claim or lawsuit will be successful.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case in New York
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident in New York? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Proner & Proner represent clients injured because of motorcycle accidents in all of the New York City boroughs, and throughout New York. Call (212) 500-1003 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 60 E. 42nd Street, Suite 1503, New York, New York 10165, as well as offices in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Bethel, Connecticut.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.