If you recently sustained injuries in a New York motorcycle accident, you might feel overwhelmed. Questions about medical costs and insurance claims are probably flooding your mind. Take a deep breath; you’re in the right place to find answers. In this blog post, the New York motorcycle accident lawyers at the Mandel Law Firm cover all you need to know about motorcycle accidents and insurance in New York. With this information in hand, you can focus on what truly matters: your recovery.
Do New York Motorcycle Riders Need No-Fault Insurance?
While registered car and truck owners in New York must carry no-fault insurance, the same rule doesn’t apply to motorcycle owners. According to New York law, motorcycles are not classified as “motor vehicles,” and so they are exempt from no-fault insurance requirements. This exemption has both advantages and disadvantages that you should know about.
The Upside: Skip the No-Fault Maze
One of the biggest advantages to being exempt from no-fault insurance laws is avoiding the often-cumbersome process of trying to file a third-party claim when the no-fault insurance claim payout is insufficient for their needs. For car and truck drivers, filing such a third-party claim involves a series of steps to secure reimbursement for things like medical expenses and lost wages. This process can be complicated, time-consuming, and a headache you don’t need in the aftermath of a crash.
The Downside: No Immediate Safety Net
On the flip side, not being required to have no-fault insurance means you won’t have immediate access to benefits like medical payment coverage or reimbursement for lost wages, which are typically available under a no-fault policy. This lack of a safety net can put you in a tight spot, financially and emotionally, following an accident.
Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles in New York
Even though motorcycle riders in New York do not need no-fault insurance, they must carry some insurance to register their vehicle. According to the New York DMV, everyone who owns a motorcycle must have the following minimum coverage to register their vehicle:
- $10,000 in property damage per accident
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and $50,000 in death coverage for a single person involved in an accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage and $100,000 in death coverage if two or more people are injured in an accident
Proving Negligence in a New York Motorcycle Accident Claim
Because motorcycles are not under the no-fault umbrella, the road to compensation is not straightforward. To receive reimbursement for your losses, you must prove that someone else caused the accident and your injuries. Common types of evidence in New York motorcycle accident cases include:
- Medical records
- Photos or video from the crash scene
- Police accident reports
- Eyewitness accounts
- Expert testimony
- Surveillance footage
- Forensic accident reconstructions
Comparative Negligence in New York Motorcycle Accident Cases
In some states, being partly at fault for an accident can bar you from recovering compensation. Not in New York. Under the state’s comparative negligence laws, you can still receive damages even if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident. There’s no cutoff—your degree of fault doesn’t eliminate your opportunity to recover money.
However, if you’re found to be partially responsible for the accident, your compensation is reduced by your degree of fault. For example, let’s say you were in a motorcycle accident and incurred $100,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. After reviewing the evidence, the court determines that you were 20 percent at fault for the accident. In this case, your compensation would be reduced by 20 percent, or $20,000, meaning you would receive $80,000 instead of the full $100,000.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in New York Are Here for You
Understanding your rights and maximizing your compensation after a New York motorcycle accident requires legal experience and insight most people don’t have. The Mandel Law Firm can help protect your rights after a collision and assist you in recovering fair compensation for your injuries. Call (646) 779-1441 now or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.