No-Fault Rules for Motorcycles

Injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents are often much more severe than those incurred in car accidents because a motorcyclist’s body often receives the direct impact of an accident, whereas in a car accident or truck accident, the vehicle itself will absorb at least some of the impact. Despite the harsh reality that motorcycle accidents often produce extremely serious injuries, the State of New York has declined to provide no-fault insurance coverage for injured motorcyclists in almost all circumstances. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in the Bronx or New York City, our team of expert Bronx motorcycle accident lawyers will teach you what your rights to compensation and no-fault insurance coverage are, and can help you avoid financial ruin from the huge medical costs associated with serious motorcycle accident injuries.

Are My Motorcycle Accident Injuries Covered by No-Fault Insurance?

If you are injured while operating or riding on a motorcycle, the short answer to this question is generally “no.” This is because, under Article 51 of the New York State Insurance Law (also known as the “No-Fault Law”), motorcyclists and their passengers are generally excluded from coverage under no-fault insurance. Generally, the No-Fault Law requires that no-fault insurance be available to all drivers, passengers and pedestrians that are involved in motor vehicle accidents. However, Section 5102(f) of the No-Fault Law specifically excludes motorcycles from the definition of a “motor vehicle” for purposes of determining coverage requirements under the No-Fault Law. Thus, if you are injured in a Bronx motorcycle accident and were either driving or riding on the motorcycle at the time of the accident, you will not be able to obtain no-fault insurance coverage to pay for your medical bills, or to compensate you for any lost wages incurred due to being too badly injured to work, no matter how severe your injuries may be.

However, if you are injured in a Bronx motorcycle accident and were either a pedestrian, or an operator or passenger in a car or a truck, you will be entitled to obtain no-fault insurance coverage if you are injured. If you are a Bronx pedestrian accident victim and are injured due to the negligence of a motorcycle operator, you will be entitled to obtain no-fault insurance coverage from the motorcycle’s insurance carrier directly, or from your own insurance carrier (assuming you own an insured vehicle at the time of the accident) if the motorcyclist either does not carry no-fault insurance at all or you happen to have purchased additional no-fault insurance coverage beyond the amount provided by the motorcyclist’s insurance policy. If you are injured in a motorcycle crash while driving or riding in another vehicle, you will be able to obtain no-fault insurance coverage from the insurance carrier that covers the vehicle in which you were traveling when the motorcycle accident occurred.

Generally, no-fault insurance will provide covered Bronx motorcycle accident victims (in accordance with the limitations to motorcycle accidents as explained above) with the following minimum insurance benefits: (i) $50,000.00 to pay for accident-related medical and rehabilitation bills; (ii) $2,000.00 per month in lost wages coverage for up to three years from the date of the accident for anyone injured and unable to work; (iii) $25.00 a day to pay for other reasonable and necessary costs (such as taxi fares to transport an accident victim to and from doctor’s appointments) for up to a year post-accident; and (iv) $2,000.00 in a lump-sum “death benefit” payment which will be provided to the heirs of anyone who is covered by the no-fault policy in question and who died in an accident involving the covered motor vehicle. These benefits are provided for by law and without regard to fault in causing a Bronx motorcycle accident, car accident or truck accident.

Beyond these minimum items of no-fault insurance coverage, additional coverage can be purchased to supplement these benefits, which are often insufficient to cover the costs of very serious injuries. Greater policy limits to pay for medical bills, higher lost earnings coverage limits, and other additional protections are available if the policyholder wants to pay for them. If you or a loved one are injured in a Bronx motorcycle accident, our team of top New York City motorcycle accident lawyers will help you determine whether you are entitled to no-fault benefits beyond the legal minimum requirements. Contact us today at (718) 354-8000 to learn about your rights to no-fault insurance coverage if you are injured in a Bronx motorcycle accident.

If I was Injured in a Bronx Motorcycle Crash, Can I Sue for Compensation in Court? What if I Have Sustained Only Minor Injuries?

If you suffer any injury at all – even minor or superficial injuries – in a Bronx motorcycle accident, you are able to sue for compensation. This is because the “Serious Injury” threshold requirement under Section 5102(d) of the No-Fault Law does not apply to motorcyclists or their passengers when they sue for compensation in court. Specifically, Section 5102(a) of the No-Fault Law exempts motorcyclists and their passengers from the “Serious Injury” requirement. This is the trade-off for the exclusion of injured motorcyclists and their passengers from entitlement to the benefits of no-fault insurance under the No-Fault Law.

Contact our firm today at (718) 354-8000 to speak directly with an expert Bronx motorcycle accident lawyer who will teach you about your rights to compensation if you are injured in a motorcycle crash anywhere in the Bronx or elsewhere in New York City.

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