Autumn has arrived, leaves coat the road, and days are shorter and colder.
This by no way means that motorcyclists have garaged their bikes for the
year. In fact, many motorcyclists continue to ride their bikes until temperatures
routinely fall below freezing to see the final showing of beautiful Hudson-Valley foliage.
Experienced Kingston motorcycle accident attorneys know that the Autumn season brings unique dangers to riders. And of course
the usual dangers never go away. Quite plainly,
motorcycle accidents are perilous and potentially fatal. Negligent drivers can be held liable
for motorcycle accidents, but even where the rider may be partially at
fault there can be civil recovery for the biker. You should also know
that financial recovery after a motorcycle accident is not bound by the
rules of the New York No-Fault statute. Even though insurance and litigation
can help an injured biker recover from an accident, motorcycle safety
practices are the best way to proactively stay safe.
Serious Injuries and Fatalities in Autumn Motorcycle Accidents:
Certain motorist behaviors that everyone sees daily are excessive speeding,
following another motorist too closely, “cutting off” other
drivers, turning left in front of oncoming traffic, distracted driving,
and the like carry more consequences when the opposing person is on a
These behaviors when targeted at motorcycles can and do cause fatalities
in and around Kingston, New York roadways. If not fatal, the motorcyclist
can be paralyzed, may suffer a traumatic brain injury, and might have
multiple fractured limbs. These injuries are life changing events following a
It is not a bikers fault because he or she chose to ride a two-wheeled,
less protected vehicle. All roadway users are owed the same duty of reasonable
care so that preventable and foreseeable harm is not caused to other roadway users.
Comparative Fault in New York:
Since the duty of reasonable care applies to motorists and motorcyclists,
bikers too can be held accountable by order of negligence if this duty
is breached and harm is caused to others. But riders should not fear suing
a driver if that driver has been negligent too. This is because New York
is a comparative fault jurisdiction that allows a jury to apportion percentages
of fault to each party involved in the accident.
A motorcyclist who is twenty percent responsible for the accident can therefore
still recover eighty percent of damages from the other offending motorist
who is also responsible for the
Motorcycles are Not “Vehicles” Under the New York No-Fault Statute:
Every motor vehicle insurance policy in New York will have a no-fault component.
But this does not apply to motorcycles. This means that injured motorcyclists
are not subject to the maximum no-fault coverage amounts. Nor do injured
motorcyclists have to worry about the short thirty day no-fault claim
rule. Recovering for pain and suffering is also not as hard for victimized
In total, this means that recovering larger amounts of damages is possible
for motorcyclists. One must be thankful for this because the medical costs
that injured bikers face are staggering.
This benefit comes at a cost, however, because motorcyclists will have
to prove that the other driver was at fault. This is why a biker injured
by a negligent driver will need an
experienced Kingston motorcycle accident attorney to handle the claim.
Motorcycle Safety in the Autumn Season:
Riders should practice motorcycle safety in all seasons, but there are
unique challenges in the fall. First, leaves are on the ground. Riders
should be cautious because these leaves can make road hazards such as
pavement cracks and potholes impossible to see. Moreover, leaves are very
slick when wet.
High visibility gear is more crucial in the fall as well. This is because
daylight hours are decreased and riders are more likely to find themselves
out after sunset.