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Motorcycle-Vehicle Collision in Upstate New York Raises Fault Questions

A motorcycle rider and passenger were seriously injured in a Caledonia NY crash.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of Route 5 and Handsome Lake Drive in Caledonia, New York. Authorities stated that the motorcycle rider drove on the right shoulder of Route 5 in order to pass two vehicles. The lead vehicle reportedly attempted to turn right onto Handsome Lake Drive – and the motorcyclist was unable to avoid a crash. Both the rider and the passenger on the bike were later rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

Determining NY Motorcycle Crash Fault

According to the seminal Hurt Report, which is one of the most extensive studies of motorcycle-vehicle crashes ever performed, motorists who fail to yield the right-of-way cause most of these types of collisions. In fact, in most cases, a vehicle pulls directly into the path of the motorcycle, often while attempting to make a turn against traffic.

Lack of visibility is the main issue in these types of motorcycle accidents. The problem is even worse these days because all of the large pickup trucks and SUVs on the road can make it harder for drivers to see. To compensate, some motorcycle riders honk their horns every few blocks or weave slightly in their lanes. But such a tactic should be used judiciously because it risks drawing the ire of motorists who do not particularly like motorcycle riders to begin with.

Contributory Negligence in New York

In most cases, it is illegal to pass a vehicle on the shoulder. However, the other driver still has a duty of reasonable care. So, in these personal injury cases, the jury must often apportion fault between the two parties.

In pure comparative fault states, like New York and a few others, the amount of damages is based solely on the amount of fault. Assume that, in the case of the motorcycle accident mentioned above, the jury determines that the motorcycle rider was 50 percent at fault and the vehicle driver was 50 percent at fault. In New York, the motorcycle rider would still get half of the damages claimed. However, in most other states, the rider would not get anything because the other party was not at least 51 percent at fault.

For prompt assistance with a motorcycle crash claim in New York or anywhere else, contact an experienced Manhattan personal injury attorney today. You only have a limited amount of time to act, so do not hesitate. The skilled motorcycle accident lawyers at Proner & Proner are prepared to assist you.

Case Results

  • $3,300,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $2,000,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $1,100,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $930,000 - Wrongful Death Accident
  • $821,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle
  • $280,000 - Motorcyclist Hit By Vehicle

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