According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,600 people died in motorcycle crashes across the United States each year. Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely than the occupants of a passenger car to die in a crash, and five times more likely to be injured. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 166 fatal motorcycle accidents in New York each year, nearly a thousand motorcycle accidents with serious injury, and another 3,000 or so with less severe injuries. About 16 New Yorkers are treated at a hospital each day as the result of a motorcycle collision, and approximately 16% of all fatal crashes in New York State are motorcycle crashes.

Due to the severity of motorcycle accidents, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced New York motorcycle accident attorney at Talisman, DeLorenz, & Pinnisi, P.C. immediately.

Primary Factors Associated With Motorcycle Accidents

A primary factor in motorcycle accidents is visibility. While drivers of passenger vehicles are accustomed to looking for other automobiles, they are less accustomed to looking out for motorcyclists. In many cases, a car changes lanes, sideswiping the motorcyclist, backs out of a driveway or parking lot without seeing the motorcyclist, or even makes a left-hand turn at an intersection, miscalculating the speed of an oncoming motorcyclist.

The top ten causes of motorcycle crashes involving human factors include:

  • Driving at unsafe speeds, whether on the part of the motorcyclist or the automobile driver;
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way;
  • Distraction or inattention on the part of one or both drivers;
  • Driver inexperience, primarily associated with motorcyclists;
  • Tailgating;
  • Passing improperly;
  • Reaction of uninvolved vehicle;
  • Improper turns;
  • Changing lanes improperly, and
  • The use of alcohol.

Environmental factors involved in motorcycle accidents include slick pavement, animals, debris in the road, obstructed views and defective pavement.

Are New York Motorcycle Laws Like Automobile Laws?

Under New York Law, motorcyclists are afforded the same rights as drivers of automobiles. Under Article 9, New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws, §381, motorcyclists must ensure they have the correct equipment in order to lawfully drive on the public highways of New York. Some of the requirements include:

  • Adequate brakes
  • An adequate horn and signaling devices
  • A red to amber stop light indicator
  • A muffler to prevent unnecessary noise
  • A proper helmet for the motorcyclist
  • Goggles or a face shield


Insurance and liability rules in the state of New York regarding motorcyclists are significantly different than the rules for automobile drivers. In fact, motorcycles are not considered a motor vehicle regarding New York No-Fault Laws. This means motorcyclists are not covered, and are not entitled to crucial lost wage and medical benefits like other motor vehicle drivers. The upside is that the motorcyclist is not subject to the No-fault threshold and can bring a claim against a negligent driver for even minor injuries.

New York law requires all motorcyclists to carry the minimum insurance requirements of $25,000 per person injured and $50,000 for two or more persons injured in an accident. In addition, they are required to carry minimums of $50,000 for one and $100,000 for two or more persons who have been killed in an accident. Uninsured motorist insurance is also available for purchase and highly recommended for all motorcyclists.

The Complexities of Motorcycle Cases

All in all, motorcycle cases are very unique. Your motorcycle accident attorney must be aware of the stereotypical biases against motorcyclists and know how to combat those biases. Many jurors may believe all motorcyclists are daredevils who constantly exceed speed limits and live life on the edge. Even worse, some jurors may even believe that any motorcyclist is a member of a gang—therefore got “what they deserved.” Your attorney must show insurance companies and juries that you operated your motorcycle in a reasonable, safe, legal manner, and that the driver of the automobile was negligent in your accident.

Contact Talisman, DeLorenz, & Pinnisi, Your New York Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in New York, you need an experienced personal injury law firm on your side from the very start. At Talisman, DeLorenz, & Pinnisi, our New York motorcycle attorneys have over 50 years experience representing injured motorcyclists and their families. Call us today at 1-212-422-9000 for a free consultation and review of your case or fill out our confidential online contact form.

You deserve a strong legal advocate in your corner who will look out for your rights and your future.

Call us Talisman, DeLorenz, & Pinnisi, P.C. Members of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Top 100 Trial Lawyers, today at 1-212-422-9000 for a free consultation and review of your case or fill out our confidential online contact form. You deserve a strong legal advocate in your corner who will look out for your rights and your future.