Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 1400
Buffalo, New York 14202
As bike riders know, the Buffalo / Lake Erie corridor offers some of the
best recreational motorcycling scenery in the northeast. Unfortunately,
the harsh winter weather limits the opportunity for comfortable riding
to only seven or eight months of the year. This means that the motorists
who share the roads with cyclists are not always alert to the presence
of motorcycles and that accidents will occur. On this page, the Buffalo
motorcycle accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm will discuss issues that
could easily become important to bike riders in the Buffalo area if they
are involved in an accident.
Accidents Involving Canadian Nationals Visiting the Buffalo Area
Buffalo and its suburbs are favorites of many Canadian citizens as shopping
and recreational destinations. This also means that there is a possibility
of being involved in an accident with a driver who is Canadian national
and whose auto insurance was issued in Canada rather than in New York.
Fortunately, the insurance laws of both the Province of Ontario (where
most Canadian drivers will live) and the State of New York are similar.
Like New York, Ontario is a “no fault” state, meaning that
any motor vehicle insurance policy sold to an Ontario resident must provide
for payment of property damage and personal injury claims to the policy-holder
regardless of who was determined to be “at fault” (liable)
in an accident. In order to protect themselves from some of the finer
issues of insurance law, bike riders who have been in an accident involving
a Canadian citizen should contact a Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyer
to discuss their options in these cases.
New York’s Universal Helmet Law
New York has what is known as a “universal” helmet law. This
means that anyone on a motorcycle, driver and passenger, must wear both
an approved helmet and protective eye-wear and that failure to do so can
result in receiving a traffic ticket. However, the fact that a cyclist
or passenger was not wearing a helmet does not prevent them from filing
a motorcycle accident lawsuit. The reasoning behind this fact of law is
actually quite simple.
If an accident occurs due to the negligence of another driver, that negligence
is not likely to have been affected by what a cyclist was or was not wearing,
even if the cyclist was in violation of the state mandatory helmet law
at the time. The at-fault driver can, however, claim that the non-helmeted
cyclist’s injury was compounded by the absence of a helmet and that
any damages awarded should be reduced consistent with percentage to which
the cyclist’s failure to wear a helmet contributed to the extent
of his or her injury. This is known as
contributory negligence and has been a part of New York civil law for some time.
As an example of contributory negligence, assume that a bike rider is involved
in an accident and is awarded damages of $10,000 but is also judged to
have been 30% responsible for his or her injuries by not wearing a helmet.
The damages awarded would be reduced by 30% (by $3,000) and the rider
would receive $7,000 as compensation.
Time Limits and Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuits
Under the provisions of the New York Civil Code, time limits known as the
statutes of limitations require that lawsuits arising from a motorcycle accident be filed within
a certain period of time. The statutes of limitations that apply most
directly to motorcycle accidents include:
- Wrongful death: within 2 years of the date of death
- Personal injury (non-fatal): within 3 years of the date the injury occurred
- Damage to property: within 3 years of the date of damage
- Other negligence not involving a motor vehicle but resulting in personal
injury or property damage: within 3 years of the incident
These statutes of limitations are the creation of the state legislature
and are therefore subject to change by that body and have been changed
in the past. The current length of these statutes should be confirmed
by a Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyer.
Why You Need Our Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
From the brief discussion presented here, you can see how a Buffalo motorcycle
accident case could lead to difficult to answer questions in even what
appears to be a “cut and dried” case. For this reason alone,
anyone injured in such an accident should contact an experienced personal
injury lawyer as soon as possible after their accident.
When you contact the Buffalo motorcycle accident lawyer at the Doan Law
Firm, your initial consultation is always free of charge and does not
obligate you to use our firm should you decide to pursue a lawsuit. Should
you decide that we should manage your personal injury claim, we will be
glad to work with you on a no “up-front” charges basis. This
means that we will assume all monetary responsibility for preparing your
case in exchange for a percentage of the final settlement that we will
win for you.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in the Buffalo area, you owe
it to yourself to contact the Doan Law Firm to discuss your options for
getting the compensation you deserve.
The Doan Law Firm
50 Fountain Plaza Suite 1400
Buffalo, New York 14202
Local: (716) 703-0000
National: (800) 349-0000