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Legally Reviewed by:

Sameer Chopra
Sameer Chopra, managing partner and personal injury attorney at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP in Garden City, NY

Sameer Chopra is a founding partner at our firm and a successful trial lawyer with 17 years of experience standing up to large corporations, government entities, and wealthy landlords on behalf of injured individuals. He is a true New Yorker and recognized as one of the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. 

He was recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2017-2019 and then became a Super Lawyer from 2020 to present. He was also recognized as the 2021 Attorney of the Year by Top 100 Lawyers and was selected by Top Attorneys in North America as a distinguished Exclusive Presidents Circle Attorney for his continued excellence within the legal community.  Sameer has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, including significant verdicts against the City of New York and/or their affiliated agencies, and independent insurance carriers.

Content Last Updated:   July 16, 2024

Cruising on your motorcycle is a great way to enjoy the scenery of New York. On the other hand, motorcycle crashes are among the most catastrophic we see in our personal injury practice. Unlike enclosed passenger vehicles, motorcycles don’t have airbags, seatbelts, and a protective outer shell to insulate their riders from the full impact of a crash. This lack of protection means that even a slow-moving crash can result in serious injuries and losses. In worst-case scenarios, motorcycle accidents are fatal.

If you were injured while riding your motorcycle, you may be entitled to significant compensation from the party responsible for your accident. Unfortunately, defendants and their insurers will try to diminish the value of your claim or deny it altogether by pinning the blame on you.

Our knowledgeable New York motorcycle accident lawyers at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, can ensure you know your full legal rights and push back against these unfair tactics. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out our online form.

Why Hire the New York Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP?

At Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, we are dedicated to providing compassionate legal counsel to our clients and fighting aggressively for the full and fair compensation they are entitled to when injured at little to no fault of their own. Our attorneys proudly serve our community by ensuring injury victims do not lack the excellent legal representation they deserve. We set ourselves apart from the rest through our passion for helping folks in their hour of need and by treating our clients like family.

Our all-star legal team is made up of real New Yorkers, and we are the exclusive personal injury law firm of the New York Mets. We have many years of experience representing injury victims throughout the five boroughs and beyond. In that time, we have developed deep knowledge of the personal injury laws in our state. Let us put that knowledge and experience to work for you.

Our attorneys have helped hundreds of victims handle the legal aftermath of auto accidents. We have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our many satisfied clients, including those struggling with New York motorcycle accident injuries.

Our award-winning legal team will gather all available evidence in your case, as well as witness and expert testimony, to build a strong claim on your behalf. We will then negotiate aggressively with the insurers responsible for compensating you. If they refuse to compensate you fairly for your injuries and losses, we are ready to go to bat for you in court.

We are a full-service personal injury law firm with the skills and resources needed to handle your case from start to finish. From your free initial consultation to representing you in court, you can count on us to stand by your side.

Understanding New York Motorcycle Laws

Failing to wear a motorcycle helmet significantly increases the risk of serious injury. For example, protecting your head with a helmet can ultimately spare you from suffering a life-altering traumatic brain injury.

On January 1, 1967, New York became the first state in the U.S. to implement a universal helmet law. You can still pursue compensation if you weren’t wearing a helmet during your motorcycle accident. However, your compensation may be reduced if you disobey the universal helmet law. Why? Because insurers might argue that any head or brain injuries caused by your motorcycle accident could have been prevented if you had worn a helmet.

New York also requires motorcyclists to use protective eyewear, even if their motorcycles are equipped with windshields. This gear may include protective goggles or a face shield on your helmet. Whatever you choose must conform to regulations set by the American National Standard Institute.

Aside from helmets, New York requires all motorcyclists to hold a Class M or Class MJ license. Additionally, motorcyclists must have their motorcycles inspected once every 12 months at an approved station and carry liability insurance.

Exchanging Information After a New York Motorcycle Accident

New York is a no-fault insurance state, and its personal injury protection (PIP) law requires most drivers to carry minimum levels of insurance to cover them if they get into an accident. Regardless of who is at fault, PIP insurance provides up to $50,000 per person for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic expenses associated with an accident. This insurance is designed to restore injured folks to health and productivity without having to resort to a lawsuit.

However, motorcyclists aren’t covered under New York’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance law. Therefore, injured motorcyclists must normally seek compensation through the at-fault party’s liability insurance. That is why it is important to exchange insurance and contact information after being involved in a motorcycle accident, as this information will be used to file your claim.

Furthermore, under New York law, you cannot leave the scene of an accident until you have exchanged information with other drivers involved in the crash. This rule applies to all motorists, including motorcyclists. If the accident resulted in injuries, fatalities, or damage to the property of another person who cannot be located, you must also immediately report the incident to the police. However, you do not have to report the accident if property damage is the only result.

Determining Fault in a New York Motorcycle Accident

Pinpointing the at-fault party in a New York motorcycle accident requires an in-depth investigation to gather and evaluate all available evidence. For example, footage from surveillance, traffic, and dash cameras often turn the tide of a case.

It is also important to remember that multiple parties can be at fault for a motorcycle accident. For instance, some accidents are entirely caused by the defendant’s negligence, while others might be the result of both the motorcyclist’s and the driver’s actions.

In other cases, neither party is at fault. Instead, a third party may take on liability. For example, suppose the driver who hit you failed to stop because their car was equipped with defective brakes. The maker or distributor of the faulty part could be found liable for a manufacturing flaw, poor design, or failure to warn consumers of their product’s risks.

Comparative Negligence in New York Motorcycle Accidents

Because of New York’s comparative negligence law, determining liability for an accident can be a tricky process, and enlisting the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is vital. Your lawyer can help you sift through the evidence available in your case to build a strong claim.

Fortunately, you can recover compensation even if you were partly responsible at fault for an accident. However, your damages will diminish in proportion to your percentage of the blame.

For example, suppose you were 20 percent responsible for the underlying cause of an accident in which you suffered $1 million in damages. In this scenario, your compensable damages would be reduced to $800,000.

New York Motorcycle Accident Statistics

In 2023, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee warned of a dramatic increase in accident numbers among motorcyclists. Fatal motorcycle crashes have increased in New York by 52 percent since 2019, from 132 to 201. In 2021, motorcycle fatalities represented over 18 percent of all deaths in fatal motor vehicle accidents in New York.

Speeding is the number one cause of these accidents, while left-hand turns and alcohol consumption trail close behind. These statistics showcase the unnerving frequency of New York motorcycle accidents and underscore the importance of taking safety precautions, including:

  • Wearing a DOT-approved helmet
  • Wearing reflective gear
  • Remaining alert, particularly at intersections
  • Proper motorcycle maintenance
  • Observing and obeying all traffic laws, signs, and signals

Unfortunately, the risk of accidents cannot be reduced to zero. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, our knowledgeable and compassionate New York motorcycle accident lawyers can help you determine your legal options.

FAQs About New York Motorcycle Accident Claims

Between New York’s comparative negligence laws, insurance requirements, and the complexities of the legal system, navigating a motorcycle accident claim can raise numerous questions. We have answered some of the most common questions we receive below. If you have any remaining questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.

1. How Much Are My Motorcycle Accident Injuries Worth?

The monetary value of your motorcycle accident claim in New York will vary based on factors unique to your case, including the severity of your injuries and the likelihood of a full recovery. The precise value is difficult to predict without a close look at the facts, and it is impossible to guarantee. That said, our skilled New York motorcycle accident lawyers at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, can give you a good idea of what your case may be worth in your free consultation.

With Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket costs to pursue motorcycle accident compensation in New York. We work on a contingency basis, which means that you pay nothing unless we win your case. Again, we also offer free consultations, so there is no downside to having your case reviewed by one of our skilled attorneys.

Though it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident before exchanging information with the other driver, some drivers still flee. When this happens, report the incident to the police immediately. If the at-fault driver cannot be found, you may be able to seek compensation through your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Various factors can come together to give rise to a motorcycle accident, including:

  • Speeding – Excessive speed shortens the amount of time you have to react in the moments leading up to an accident. It also raises the risk of losing control of your vehicle.
  • Distracted driving – Using a phone, tinkering with the radio, or focusing on any other distraction while driving can leave motorists unaware of changing conditions around them, potentially resulting in an accident.
  • Mechanical failures – When faulty or defective vehicle parts lead to accidents, manufacturers and distributors can take on product liability.
  • Driving under the influence – Alcohol and mind-altering drugs can affect your reaction time and decrease motor coordination, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way – Failing to yield the right-of-way, especially when making left-hand turns, is a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
  • Drivers opening car doors – Drivers suddenly opening their car doors when parked along city streets can cause a motorcycle accident, as unsuspecting motorcyclists may not have time to react.
  • Reckless driving – This includes things like speeding, racing, and weaving in and out of traffic. All drivers should remember that they have a duty to ride safely and can take on liability when their failure to do so leads to accidents.
  • Hazardous road conditions – Motorcycle tires have less contact with roads than cars. This means that they can more easily lose traction when facing adverse road conditions, including gravel on pavement, wet or icy roads, and potholes.
  • Lane splitting – Weaving between stopped or slowly moving traffic, sometimes referred to as “lane splitting,” is a common cause of motorcycle accidents.
  • Unsafe lane changes – Unsafe lane changes are another common cause of accidents. Motorcyclists and other motorists should signal before switching lanes and make sure they have enough time to make it over without being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Again, because motorcyclists have minimal protection from the full impact of an accident, they are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries, including:

  • Broken and fractured bones – Broken legs, arms, collar bones, and pelvic bones are common results of motorcycle accidents. The most commonly impacted bones in motorcycle accidents include those of the lower extremities. Broken ribs are also very common and can impact the ability to breathe comfortably.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – These typically result from a violent blow to the head, although they can also result from an object penetrating the skull.
  • Neck and back injuries – Herniated discs, pinched nerves, spinal cord injuries, and similar damage to areas of the neck and back often occur in motorcycle accidents. Spinal cord injuries are particularly dangerous, as they can lead to full or partial paralysis below the point of injury.
  • Burns – Mild to severe burns can result from fires caused by a collision, as well as from the skin rubbing against an abrasive surface like pavement. Burn injuries can be incredibly painful and are notoriously difficult to treat.
  • Cuts and puncture wounds – These range from small lacerations to gaping wounds.
  • Hemorrhaging – This refers to an outpouring of blood that can occur inside or outside of the body. Immediate medical treatment is required to stem the flow before the accident victim eventually dies from lack of oxygen being delivered to important organs.
  • Abdominal trauma – The abdomen houses vital internal organs, including the stomach, liver, and intestines. Injuries to these parts of the body can be life-threatening, especially when they involve extensive hemorrhaging.
  • Chest trauma – The chest cavity houses vital organs like the lungs and heart. Damage to these organs impairs your body’s ability to supply oxygen to itself. Further, broken chest plates and ribs can be extremely painful and impact your ability to breathe by constraining your lungs.

Motorcycle Accident Claim Success Stories

We’re honored to represent the people of New York who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. That is why we boast our client testimonials and verdicts. We want everyone to know that if they have been catastrophically injured, there is hope for recovery. 

Client Testimonials

  • “I highly recommend this law firm. The attorneys and staff are professional, knowledgeable, very thorough and compassionate. They truly work hard to get the best outcome for their clients. You will not be pressured to take an offer when they know you deserve more for your injuries. I am truly blessed to have been referred to Chopra & Nocerino.” — Deborah, Google
  • “I was injured when I was hit by an SUV and a friend recommended I seek assistance from Chopra & Nocerino. They were kind, compassionate and professional. They brought my case to a favorable resolution quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend them.” — Barbara, Google
  • “Amazing team, very responsive, case was closed in a quick, timely fashion. Highly recommend!!! It was a pleasure working with Mr. Chopra & Mr. Ma!” — Shuana, Google

True Case Results

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Chopra & Nocerino have decades of combined experience fighting for our deserving clients. We’ve secured millions in verdicts and settlements over the years. Below are just a few examples of cases we’ve settled. 

  • $2 Million – A 40-year-old female suffered a spinal injury sustained when she was hit in a Brooklyn intersection.
  • $2.25 Million – Settlement while engaged at trial – A 33-year-old male who was a passenger in a vehicle was struck by a truck.
  • $1.225 Million – Awarded to a motorcyclist who was involved in an accident with a car. After the motorcyclist was ejected from his vehicle, he suffered a severe injury to his leg as it was ran over by a bus.

Get Expert Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Case

Motorcycle accidents tend to result in more serious injuries than other kinds of auto accidents. In many cases, they are fatal. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to consult with an attorney. Our experienced New York motorcycle accident lawyers at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, are here to help.

Personal injury cases are our field of play. When you’re hurt, we step up to the plate. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out our online form.


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