What to do if You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident in NYC

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Thursday, Oct 26, 2023

A motorcycle accident in NYC can be catastrophic. The combination of a vulnerable rider with some of the nations’ busiest roads means fatality rates in the city are almost double what they are elsewhere in New York State.

Put simply, motorcycle riders here in NYC face more risks than virtually any other motor vehicle user.

Here, we’ll explain what happens in motorcycle accident cases - including why motorcycle accidents are often more complex than other road traffic accidents, the kind of motorcycle accident injuries people seek financial compensation for, and what your next steps should be if you’re ever involved in an incident.

NYC motorcycle accident statistics

The most recent New York City Motorcycle Safety Study shows an average of nearly 4,500 emergency room visits for motorcyclists each year - with over 1,500 of those people having to remain in the hospital for treatment.

Sadly, an average of 141 motorcyclists are pronounced dead as a result of accidents on the road each year too - and those figures are moving on an upward trend.

Perhaps most shockingly of all, despite only 2% of vehicles in NYC are motorcycles - motorcyclists annually make up around 14% of all road accident fatalities.

The consequences of a motorcycle accident

As these statistics show, your chance of being serious incapacitated - or worse - is significant as a motorcycle rider. However, that’s only part of the picture when you consider the implications of an accident.

Serious injuries are more likely when you’re a motorcyclist involved in an accident - and as such, you’re more likely to face time in hospital with medical bills to pay. Naturally, this means more time where you’re unable to work - and there’s a chance that lasting injuries from an NYC motorcycle accident could leave you unable to work for the rest of your life.

While minor injuries will hopefully heal in time, a personal injury that leaves you unable to work could have dire financial consequences for years to come.

Increasing your chances of a successful lawsuit

There are specific rules that apply to motorcycle riders in New York City - and they’re designed to protect the rider and other road users.

For instance, a rider must not:

  • Ride without a helmet
  • Carry passengers on a motorcycle designed for just a single rider
  • Carry anything that compromises their control of the vehicle
  • Ride in any position that obstructs control of the vehicle

Clearly, these are not the only rules that apply to riding a motorcycle - but they are some of the most commonly broken rules.

While this guide is about what you should do after an accident, it’s important to remember that even if another motorist is at fault for the accident you’ve been in, not following the law yourself is likely to significantly reduce your chances of a successful lawsuit. Remember, with the rest of your life - or the life of your loved ones - potentially at stake, keeping yourself protected is of the utmost importance.

What to do after a New York motorcycle accident

Even the best-prepared rider with full safety equipment and flawless motorcycle handling skills can still find themselves in an accident. If you do, make sure you follow these steps:

Seek medical attention

Your first step should always be seeking proper medical attention. This means going to the accident room or seeing a doctor as a matter of urgency.

Even serious injuries are often not apparent until the shock of your accident has worn off. For your own health and to make sure you don’t compromise the chance of an insurance claim or personal injury claim, get checked over as soon as possible.

Contact the police

NYC law states that any road traffic accident that results in death, injury, or more than $1,000 of property damage must be reported within 10 days.

Don’t be tempted to put this off. Get in touch with the police even if you’re not sure that you’re injured. It’s better to do this now than find the time has passed and you’ve missed your chance.

Collect evidence

The police may or may not attend the scene of the accident. Either way, you need to make sure you collect as much evidence as possible.

  • Try your very best to record:
  • The location of the accident
  • Pictures of the accident and the surrounding area - including weather conditions
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the other driver or drivers
  • Insurance information for everyone involved
  • Vehicle information - including license plates, vehicle identification numbers, and make, model and year info
  • Name and contact details of anyone who has witnessed the incident

Speak to your insurance company

You might not need to make a claim immediately - but reporting your accident to your insurance company is important.

Don’t worry; a report isn’t the same as a claim. Call your insurer and let them know about what’s happened - even if you think you might be at fault.

Insurance companies might try to avoid a later claim if the accident wasn’t reported.

Talk to an NYC motorcycle accident lawyer

The final - and most crucial - step is talking to an NYC personal injury lawyer that has experience in handling motorcycle claims.

In the aftermath of an accident, you need someone who can walk you through exactly what you need to do. You’re going to come up against issues that don’t occur in car accidents - so you give yourself the very best chance of a successful claim if you work with a team who understand the complexities of dealing with motorcycle accident cases.

Motorcycle accidents are more complex than other New York vehicle accidents

You might be surprised to hear that motorcycle accident cases are more complex than car accidents. Unfortunately, this is down to a bias that occurs with motorcycle accidents - drivers, witnesses, attorneys, and even police officers can incorrectly assume that a motorcyclist is at fault when they’re not.

A big part of the reason why comes down to non-motorcycle riders not understanding how motorbikes can be ridden on the road. Manoeuvring a motorcycle can be very different to manoeuvring a car - and the differences can be perceived as errors by those not in the know.

You need an experienced New York motorcycle accident lawyer on your side

When you work with a law firm whose practice areas include dealing with motorcycle crash claims, you give yourself the very best chance of winning your lawsuit.

Remember, even minor injuries can have an impact on your ability to work - leaving you potentially unable to earn, pay your medical bills, and support your family. In the worst cases, motorcycle accident injuries can leave people unable to work ever again - so a lawsuit could be your only way of protecting your future.

If you’ve been involved an accident, book a free consultation to talk to our team today. Even if you haven’t followed the steps we’ve outlined above, the law is there to protect you - so we’ll do everything we can to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Get the advice and guidance you and your family need

You do not have to go through this alone.

At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

We Have Recovered Over $2 Billion for Our Clients.

The attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros have obtained verdicts and settlements of over $1 Million for hundreds of our individual clients. Since all New York personal injury law firms generally charge the same legal fee why not hire an experienced law firm with a proven track record?

When you retain the New York City accident lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, you will always work directly with your lawyer, and not with a paralegal or secretary. We will always be available to you! Our hundreds of positive client reviews and testimonials speak for themselves.

Experience and a track record of results

Contact the attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros for a free legal consultation regarding your rights and your legal options. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis so that you don’t have to worry about any upfront costs.

Contact us today for a free consultation

Picture of Abraham Jaros

You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at ajaros@lawjaros.com. Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.