If you’re involved in an auto accident in New York and you were injured, you will file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. This is because New York is a no-fault state for drivers. This is true whether you were injured as a driver, pedestrian, or a bike rider. However, motorcycles are considered separate vehicles from trucks, cars, and buses, which means that the no-fault laws don’t apply to them. Read on to learn how this distinction can greatly impact the compensation that you can receive after you’ve been in a New York motorcycle accident.
The Differences between Car Accidents and Motorcycle Accidents
For a car accident, the injured person must file an accident claim with their own insurance policy. And in order to receive compensation under that policy, they must meet the “Serious Injury” Threshold. The “Serious Injury” Threshold is met if your accident results in one of the following:
- Fetus loss
- Medically determined non-permanent impairment or injury that impacts the injured person’s daily activities
- Permanent loss of the use of body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of the use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of the use of a body function or system
In contrast, the motorcyclist is not covered under New York’s No-Fault Laws. Because the no-fault laws don’t apply, it’s important to determine liability in your motorcycle accident to recover damages to pay the costs of any lost earnings, and your health care and any expenses for your long-term treatment.
Your own insurance policy and the other drivers’ policy both might be relevant regarding your claim and your potential settlement. A significant aspect of many New York motorcycle insurance policies is whether they contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It isn’t automatically a part of many policies, which means the cyclist would be responsible for their own health care costs. However, some of the motorcycle policies have “med-pay,” which at times does provide payment for medical bills. Although cyclists must carry the same minimum liability insurance as motorists, they don’t have to meet the “Serious Injury” Threshold to receive compensation.
However, there are other barriers for motorcycle accident victims. Numerous factors, including unsafe speed, the presence of drugs or alcohol, or reckless lane changes may make it appear to be less likely to recover damages and can make it difficult to prevail. There is a negative perception about motorcycles and about the people that ride them, which is based on the belief that motorcycles are ultrahazardous. Even insurance adjustors might have this view, which can affect a rider’s ability to file a claim. The adjustor might offer you an obscenely low settlement or blame you for your own injuries, even when the other driver is at fault.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident and you try to file a personal injury claim on your own, you may have trouble with the adjustor taking you seriously and offering you a decent settlement. That’s why it’s in your best interests to seek out legal help. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you with increasing your settlement offer, so that you can get the compensation that you deserve. The New York personal injury lawyers at MOWK Law understand the complexity of New York insurance policies and respect the difficulties that motorcyclists endure. To learn about your options, contact us today.