I received an email from a motorcyclist who was hit by another car in the Bronx. The other driver was on her cell phone and not paying attention when she turned into the man. The accident sent the man flying over her car and his motorcycle skidded into a guard rail. He wanted to know if he could qualify for No-Fault insurance coverage so he could pay his medical bills and if he could sue the other driver for damages.
New York No-Fault and Motorcycles
New York State No-Fault insurance does not apply to motorcycles and motorcycle accidents. Therefore, New York No-Fault will not pay for medical care for motorcycle drivers and their passengers. The man’s motorcycle insurance will not pay for his medical bills and the other driver’s insurance will not pay unless they are forced to do so by bringing a suit. Pedestrians hurt by a motorcycle are covered by No-Fault. To receive care, the man will need to rely on his own health insurance or arrange to receive free care or pay for care out of his pocket. This may not be right, but it is how the New York No-Fault Insurance Law works.
Seeking Compensation for Medical Bills and Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
To receive reimbursement for his medical care, the man will have to pursue a claim against the other driver. The man can also seek additional compensation from the other driver. Because the No-Fault Law does not apply to motorcycle cases, the serious injury threshold also does not apply, which makes it easier to pursue a lawsuit.
To win the suit, the motorcycle rider will need to do two things:
- Prove that the accident occurred because of the other driver’s negligence and recklessness. It sounds as if the man has evidence to prove that claim, especially if we could prove that she was on the phone when she hit him.
- Prove that he suffered damages because of her negligence. The normal threshold requirements of a serious injury do not apply.
How does one pursue such a case? I can share the steps that I follow in motorcycle and other motor vehicle accident cases:
- I would immediately file a claim against the other driver
- I would conduct an investigation into the case. The investigation would include taking photographs, identifying and speaking to witnesses, gathering records, including police and medical records and learning as much about the accident as possible.
- Assuming that the investigation supported the motorcycle rider’s version of events, I would approach the defense about an early settlement. Given the man’s need for medical coverage, an early settlement could be very important to him.
- If the defense is not willing to settle or does not offer a sufficient settlement payment, then we would proceed to file a lawsuit and vigorously prosecute the case against the driver that injured the motorcycle rider.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident, car accident or other motor vehicle accident, you may want to consult a New York personal injury attorney experienced with motor vehicle accidents. I will be glad to answer your questions and assist you. You can call me at 1-800-660-1466 or email me. You can also visit my website or read more on my blog, New York Law Thoughts.
Carol L. Schlitt
New York Personal Injury Attorney
This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney.