Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents: Who’s at Fault?

Who Is at Fault for Left-Turn Motorcycle Accidents in NY?

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.

New York City Laws Regarding Left Turns

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.

Most Common Causes of Left-Turn Accidents Involving Motorcycles in NYC

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.

How the Insurance Companies Handle Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Claims in NY…and Why They’re Wrong

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.

The Benefits of Fully Proving That the Other Driver Is at Fault for Your NY Left-Turn Motorcycle Crash

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.

Contact an Experienced NYC Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

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.


Last year we recovered over $15 million for our clients. With that money, our clients are able to pay their medical bills. They are getting their lives back on track after serious injuries and they are holding to account the people who wrongfully injured them.


$1,100,000.00 - 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

We understand motorcyclists because we ride


$5,100,000.00 - Female, 43: Cyclist hit by truck

Our client was riding her bicycle when a truck was turning and came up onto the sidewalk. Our client went to back up and the truck struck her.
Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to entire right side of body below the waist resulting in amputation of the right leg and hind quarter; bladder rupture; multiple rib and spinal fractures.

$3,500,000.00 - Female, 33: Serious personal injury

Our client fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious at a New York City
subway station.
Injuries: Fractured skull, subsequent seizure disorder.

$4,300,000.00 - Male, 63: Pedestrian hit by bus

Our client was crossing a street when a bus hit a car and the car spun and hit him.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury; fractured shoulder.

$750,000.00 - Male, 35: Workers' compensation

Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery.