The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that about half of all motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. There are many motorcyclist fatalities arising from multi-vehicle intersection collisions. Often, these collisions involve motorcycles hitting a passenger vehicle like a car or a truck. If you are a motorcyclist who has been injured in an intersection accident, you may need extensive medical treatment. You may be able to recover damages from another party at fault for the accident. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Syracuse motorcycle accident attorneys may be able to represent you.Claims Based on Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents may be caused by the drivers of passenger cars and trucks. Many motorcycle intersection accidents happen because other drivers of larger vehicles neither see nor yield to a motorcyclist who has the right of way at an intersection. Many intersection accidents result from a car turning left in front of a motorcyclist who is traveling straight ahead or passing another vehicle. Motorcyclists may find themselves injured even if they were paying close attention to safety concerns and using reasonable care.
Motorcyclists should be especially careful at intersections and drive defensively, anticipating that other drivers may not see them and avoiding riding between vehicles at intersections. It can also help for a motorcyclist to wear bright colors and allow passenger vehicles to pull up to intersections first, since they are more visible. If you are a motorcyclist injured in an intersection accident, you will likely need to establish negligence. This means that your attorney will try to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care, the defendant breached the duty of reasonable care, causation, and actual damages.
Often, another driver's negligence causes an intersection accident. All drivers owe other drivers a duty to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles to avoid injuring others. If, for example, a driver is excessively speeding, and he does not yield to a motorcyclist who has the right of way at an intersection, he may have breached the duty to use reasonable care.
Even when liability is clear, a driver of a larger vehicle may claim that a motorcyclist was comparatively negligent. When the defense of comparative negligence is raised, the jury will evaluate the evidence and arguments and assign a percentage of fault to both the defendant and the plaintiff.
Any damages awarded will be reduced by an amount equal to the plaintiff's percentage of fault. For example, if the damages for your injuries are $1 million, but you are found to be 25% at fault for speeding, and the defendant is 75% at fault for failing to yield when you had the right of way, you can recover $750,000 from the defendant.
Under New York law, motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a helmet that meets federal regulations, irrespective of age or experience. This rule can affect a comparative negligence analysis. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet during an intersection accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, the defendant could argue that it was your failure to wear the helmet as required that resulted in your brain injury. In that case, your damages may be reduced by your percentage of fault for the brain injury. However, our attorneys can anticipate these arguments and present a case that minimizes any fault by a victim in causing an accident.Discuss Your Case with a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer in Syracuse
Intersection accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. In most cases, a motorcyclist does not have a significant buffer to protect them from a larger vehicle, making it likely that they will be seriously injured. If you are a motorcyclist who was injured in an intersection accident, our law firm may be able to help you recover damages from responsible parties. DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represents injured people in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, and Lyons. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.