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Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents: Who’s at Fault?
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Proner and Proner, through our appellate practice, has established the law in New York State regarding motorcycle accidents. With our knowledge of the law as it applies to motorcycle accidents in New York State in particular, and the appellate decisions by New York’s highest courts after cases were appealed and we successfully argued, it is now the law in New York State that when a left-turn motorcycle accident occurs, it is very rarely the fault of the motorcyclist. In New York City, these accidents are especially prevalent due to the extremely congested city streets.
The problem is that there is a lot of prejudice out there against motorcycle riders, which means that motorcyclists often end up with the short end of the stick when filing a motorcycle accident claim in New York. Because of this, it is especially important to contact Proner & Proner after a left-turn motorcycle accident in NYC. You should make sure that you get the best representation possible and the maximum compensation you deserve.
The most relevant law that is important to note for left-turn motorcycle accidents in New York City is NYS VTL § 1141. This law states, “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.”
Other relevant laws for motorcycle accidents in NYC include:
§ 1163: Turning Movements: (a) No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection… or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course… unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety…”
§ 4-03(a)(1)(i): “Vehicular traffic facing such signals (green) may proceed straight through or turn right or left… But vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles within the intersection at the time the signal is exhibited.”
Using these laws and a few others, a knowledgeable NYC motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to more easily determine who was at fault in your left-turn accident. However, it is not always that cut and dry. The important thing to remember is this: If you were struck by another motorist making a left turn (even when you made contact with the rear of the left-turning car), it is very rarely you who has made the mistake. This means that there may be compensation to be collected.
The main cause of these kinds of left-turn motorcycle accidents is the fact that motorcycles are a lot smaller than cars and trucks and are more difficult to see on the road. Naturally, larger objects on the road are easier to detect.
The second-most common cause of left-turn motorcycle accidents in NYC is a driver who was trying to beat traffic and thought they were clear to go.
The third-most common cause of NY left-turn motorcycle accidents is a motorist who runs a red light. Many times, when a light is turning yellow, the motorist simply assumes they have the time to make the left turn.
Insurance companies in New York use a special formula to decide the level of liability for each party in a left-turn accident. This formula involves the exact point of contact between the motorcycle and the other vehicle. The closer to the rear of the other vehicle the motorcyclist strikes, the more at fault the rider of the motorcycle is.
Unfortunately, it is never quite as simple as one person being more at fault than the other based on a front or back bumper collision point. This simplified system of liability ignores many basic physics concepts and other important factors, including whether the motorcyclist was also turning, how fast the other vehicle was going compared to the motorcyclist, how many lanes there were, etc. In fact, most left-turn accidents in New York City involve the motorcyclist striking the other vehicle, not the other way around. With that in mind, the motorcyclist is still almost always the victim in the accident, not the one at fault.
With a lot of bias against motorcyclists and wonky formulas used by insurance companies, it is crucial that you seek expert legal representation for your New York left-turn motorcycle accident case. There is no better law firm to go to than Proner & Proner, where the attorneys specialize in motorcycle accidents in NYC and have a track record of positive verdicts and excellent settlements for their clients.
You deserve to be compensated for your injuries and property damage sustained in a New York City left-turn motorcycle accident. Get the best motorcycle accident attorney in New York on your side by contacting Proner & Proner now! We are available 24 hours a day, and we are always ready to help you with a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Verdicts & Settlements
We understand motorcyclists because we ride. And we understand that when things go wrong on a motorcycle, often it’s not the motorcyclist’s fault. Here are some of our successes in getting compensation for riders.
Female, 35: Motorcyclist hit by oncoming traffic
Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle going south when the defendant heading north made a left hand turn in front of the client, causing the accident.
Injuries: Fractured left leg which required surgery
Male, 47: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was hit by a car pulling into the roadway.
Injuries: Two broken legs
Male, 52: Wrongful death
Our client was killed in an intersection accident.
Injuries: Wrongful death
Male, 23: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was hit by a right turning car.
Injuries: Broken wrist
Male: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
The defendant made a left turn into the path of our client, who was riding a motorcycle
Injuries: Broken ankle
Male, 36: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
The defendant’s vehicle collided with our client’s motorcycle.
Injuries: Surgery to the client’s leg, 20 stitches on his right foot
Male, 48: Motorcyclist loss of control
Our client was driving his motorcycle on the BQE and crashed into a HOV lane divider that did not have adequate warnings in front of it.
Injuries: Intracranial skull fracture; multiple facial fractures, multiple rib fractures
Male, 32: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was riding his motorcycle when he was cut off by a car making a left hand turn.
Injuries: Fractured right ankle, road rash
Female, 40: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was on a motorcycle, about to overtake legally, when a car made a U-turn and stuck the client.
Injuries: Mild traumatic brain injury, compression fracture in spine, permanent scarring
Male, 26: Motorcyclist loss of control
Our client was on his motorcycle where he went over a metal plate which had dirt and gravel on it - causing his bike to slip out from under him.
Injuries: Fractured left ankle requiring surgery
Male, 24: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was going straight on through a green light on his motorcycle when he was struck by a car coming from the opposite side making a left turn.
Injuries: Fractured right femur, ruptured testicle that had to be removed
Male, 34: Motorcyclist hit by vehicle
Our client was side swiped by 81-year-old defendant driver.
Injuries: Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome
Male, 24: Motorcyclist loss of control
Our client laid down his motorcycle after he claimed the car being driven by the defendant went through a stop sign.
Injuries: Shoulder injury
Road Rage Incident
Mitchell Proner spoke in support of NYC motorcycle riders and called on NY lawmakers and police not to overreact to a highly publicized road rage incident or to let that incident cast all motorcyclists in a bad light.
Hit and Run
Attorney Mitchell Proner was on hand when the motorist accused of hitting a female jogger on a road in Central Islip appeared in a New York courtroom to answer charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Attorney Mitchell Proner, an expert on maritime law, spoke about the similarities between the Costa Concordia ferry disaster and the recent Indonesian ferry accident that killed at least 24 people.