When the weather is warm, many people ride motorcycles in Albany for recreation. They may even use their bike as a main form of transportation. Unfortunately, motorcycle riding can be dangerous in the region. New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) statistics show that, on average, more than 3,000 people suffer injuries in Albany motorcycle accidents every year.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we know how careless and reckless drivers often cause these accidents. They either don’t know how to share the road safely with motorcycle riders, or they simply refuse to do so. If you have been hurt in a collision with one of these negligent motorists, or if your loved one died in a motorcycle crash, we want to help you to seek the justice you deserve.
U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers has rated Powers & Santola, LLP, as a Tier 1 law firm in personal injury litigation on behalf of plaintiffs in the Albany region – a rating based, in part, on recognition from our peers. Find out how we can put our skill and experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation about your Albany motorcycle accident case.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
Since we started our law firm in 1987, Powers & Santola, LLP, has protected the rights of injured motorcyclists throughout the Albany region. We understand how these crashes often result from careless decisions and actions by motor vehicle drivers such as:
- Following too closely – Drivers often tailgate motorcyclists. A rear-end accident can easily happen when a motorcyclist has to stop or swerve in order to avoid an obstacle in the road like a pothole or gravel.
- Failing to check mirrors and blind spots – A driver can easily fail to see a passing motorcyclist if the driver fails to use his or her mirrors.
- Speeding and reckless driving – If a driver goes too fast, the driver lacks the time and distance to stop on time in order to avoid a motorcycle.
- Misjudging distance before turning left – When a driver turns in front of a motorcyclist, it can force the motorcyclist to “lay down” the bike in order to avoid a head-on collision.
- Failing to use turn signals – Some drivers fail to realize that they must signal their intent to turn or change lanes when a motorcyclist is behind them – just like they would for any other motorist.
- Sharing a lane or passing too closely – Motorcyclists have the right to use the full width of a lane. If a driver tries to “squeeze” past a motorcycle, it can cause the rider to run off the road or hit an object like a sign, tree or guardrail.
As we have seen through the years, the underlying cause of many accidents is distracted driving. A driver who is too busy with texting or talking on a cell phone may not see a motorcyclist on the road. Driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue can also cause collisions between motorcyclists and drivers. In some cases, driver error plays no role. Instead, a motorcycle accident happens because of a defectively designed or manufactured motorcycle part, or it occurs because of a poorly designed or maintained road.
What Are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
When cars and motorcycles collide, motorcycle riders and their passengers typically suffer the most severe injuries. This is true even when they wear helmets and other protective gear. Cars simply weigh more than motorcycles, and motorcycles have no structural protection to absorb the impact. Additionally, motorcyclists frequently get thrown from the bike. Some of the common motorcycle injuries that we see in Albany at Powers & Santola, LLP, are:
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement.
Some of these injuries are unique to motorcycle accidents. For instance, a type of friction burn known as “road rash” can occur when a motorcyclist gets dragged by the bike or skids along the pavement in an accident. Also, “biker’s arm” is a term that refers to nerve damage that motorcyclists can suffer if the motorcycle lands on them in a crash.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we realize how these injuries can be life-changing. We will help you to get the medical care you need after a motorcycle crash, and we will seek a settlement that pays for all of your necessary and related medical care. Our goal is to make a meaningful difference in your life.
How Can Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm Help You?
If you are in a motor vehicle that gets into a crash, your first option in New York is to file a claim for personal injury protection, commonly called “PIP” or “no-fault” benefits. However, New York’s no-fault insurance law does not apply to motorcycles. So, if you are motorcycle rider or passenger who is injured in a crash in our state, your first option would be to file a claim against the at-fault driver and seek compensation through that driver’s liability auto insurance.
Unfortunately, the claims process is rarely easy. Insurance companies are reluctant to pay. When you file an injury claim, you can expect the insurance company to challenge liability, damages or both. In many cases, insurance companies try to pin blame on the motorcyclist for the accident, or they stress that a motorcyclist didn’t wear a helmet at the time of the crash.
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we will aggressively protect your rights and pursue all compensation that you are due. When we take on motorcycle accident cases in Albany, we:
- Conduct thorough investigations – We efficiently gather and analyze evidence that establishes why a motorcycle accident happened and who should be held responsible for it. Photos, accident scene inspections, witness statements, toxicology test results, cell phone records and black box data can all serve as crucial evidence in an investigation.
- Carefully calculate damages – We collect and study medical records, speak with medical experts and gather all other information that we need to determine the full amount of damages that our clients deserve. An injured motorcyclist may be entitled to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning ability, pain, suffering, emotional distress and more. At Powers & Santola, LLP, we also help our clients to pursue a property damage claim that can pay for the repair or replacement of a damaged motorcycle.
- Seek a full and fair settlement – We are experienced negotiators who know how insurance companies operate. We make sure to present thoroughly documented settlement demands, and we never compromise a case for a quick settlement.
- Take cases to trial if necessary – Our attorneys are widely recognized for our skill in the courtroom. We prepare every case is if it is going to trial.
We handle a select number of cases at Powers & Santola, LLP. We take that approach because we want to ensure that we devote the full extent of our attention and resources to each client we serve. When you work with us, you can count on always being able to speak with a member of our legal team who knows your case and can thoughtfully answer your questions. You will never pay any costs or fees unless we recover compensation for you.
How Can You Protect Your Rights after a Motorcycle Crash?
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Albany, you can take a few steps on your own in the immediate aftermath that will help to protect your health and your ability to recover compensation. Four key steps are:
- Get immediate medical attention – You need to get checked for potential injuries, including potentially serious injuries that may not be easily detected such as traumatic brain injury, disc injury or soft-tissue damage.
- Order a copy of your accident report – You can request the report from the agency which responded to your motorcycle crash such as the Albany Police Department, or you can order a copy online.
- Notify your insurance company – You should report your accident to the company which provides your motorcycle insurance. Timely reporting will be important if you need to file a claim with the insurer at a later time.
- Talk to us before you talk with the other driver’s insurance company – Insurance companies can be aggressive when they realize that they could be on the hook for damages. If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you and asks for a recorded statement, requests access to your medical records or even goes so far as to make a settlement offer, you should make sure to talk with Powers & Santola, LLP, first. You don’t want to do anything that could cost you the opportunity to recover full and fair compensation.
Our Albany Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Are Here for You
At Powers & Santola, LLP, we devote all of our skills, experience and resources to handling select cases involving serious injuries. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Albany, or if your loved one died in a crash due to the negligence of another driver, we are here to help you. Contact us today to discuss your case.