A 52-year-old motorcyclist traveling north on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg struck a Volkswagen Jetta. The Volkswagen Jetta was traveling west on Flushing Avenue. The crash happened at about 7:30 p.m. on August 21, 2020.

Allegedly the motorcyclist ran a red light. He then slammed into the side of the Jetta, according to the driver of the Jetta. 

The driver of the Jetta said the motorcyclist then “got tangled up” with two bicycles. The bicyclists were heading north on Bedford Avenue.

Emergency medical services transported the motorcyclist to Methodist Hospital in critical condition from body and head trauma. Emergency responders treated the two bicyclists at the accident scene for minor injuries. The driver and passengers in the Jetta were not injured.

Head and Body Trauma are Common in Motorcycle Accidents

The report does not indicate whether the motorcyclist was wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the crash. Under New York laws, all riders must wear a motorcycle helmet while riding in New York.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet has been shown to reduce the risk of death and injury in a motorcycle crash. According to the CDC, wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces a rider’s risk of death by 37 percent. Wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 69 percent.

Even though a rider wears a helmet, head and body trauma are common in motorcycle accidents. The rider’s body takes the brunt of the collision because the motorcycle does not offer protection from the crash like the frame of a car. The rider is often thrown from the motorcycle or crushed between or underneath a vehicle. 

Common motorcycle injuries include:

Motorcyclists are often transported to the hospital with critical or severe injuries. Many riders sustain life-threatening injuries or permanent disabilities because of a motorcycle crash.

Who is Responsible for Damages in a Motorcycle Accident?

The person who causes the crash is generally liable for damages that result from the crash. In the story above, the motorcyclist allegedly caused the traffic accident. If that is true, the motorcyclist would be responsible for any damages other victims sustained because of the accident.

Damages in a motorcycle accident can include:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Personal care costs
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional distress 
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Scarring, disfigurement, and disabling conditions
  • Future damages for ongoing care and decreases in earning capacity

If a motorcyclist causes a traffic accident, the other accident victims can file claims against the motorcyclist’s insurance coverage. They may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the rider.

However, the rider’s liability insurance does not compensate the rider for his or her damages caused by the motorcycle crash. If the motorcyclist does not have no-fault insurance coverage, such as PIP or MEDPay, the rider is responsible for all of the rider’s financial losses caused by the accident.

Motorcyclists and other motorists may want to consider purchasing private disability insurance and other forms of insurance coverage. If the person is injured in a traffic accident that they cause, they have insurance coverage to help pay some of the bills related to the accident.

Get Legal Advice Before Accepting Blame for a Motorcycle Accident

It is common for accident victims to blame each other for causing a traffic accident. No one wants their insurance premiums to increase or to be sued for damages caused by a motor vehicle accident. Therefore, they blame each other for causing the crash.

Some insurance providers blame the victims of an accident to avoid paying claims. If the insurance provider can shift at least some of the blame on the other driver, it can save money by undervaluing the insurance claim.

Motorcyclists can be easy targets for insurance companies and other drivers. Stereotypes of motorcycle riders paint the riders as reckless or dangerous. An insurance company may try to take advantage of that untrue stereotype.

Therefore, motorcycle riders should never accept blame for an accident without talking to a motorcycle accident lawyer. Until the accident investigation is complete, the rider cannot know for sure whether he contributed to the cause of the accident. Even after the police complete the accident investigation, the police could come up with the wrong conclusion.

A motorcycle accident lawyer conducts an independent investigation to determine how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Before talking to an insurance claims adjuster or accepting fault for a crash, talk with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to learn about your legal rights.