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Buffalo Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

  • 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 1400
  • Buffalo, New York 14202
  • (716) 703-0000

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.

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Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

  1. After an accident, the responsible party's insurance company may try to reduce the claim amount. Commonly, insurance adjusters are trained to get information from the injured to assist in reducing the claim. Though some insurers are less guilty of this practice than others, it is important to realize that insurance companies are profit-oriented corporations and reducing claims results in increased profits for shareholders. This can create a situation for the injured in which they are offered a settlement that does not truly reflect the damages suffered. If you accept this settlement, you lose the ability to get more money should your injuries require further medical treatments. It is critical that victims get legal assistance in any personal injury case, and The Doan Law Firm is prepared to fight relentlessly for your rights.
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