The Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC has handled hundreds of motorcycle accidents. Most motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries (no protection on a motorcycle). The Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC has handled motorcycle cases with loss of limbs and serious road rash, fractures and permanent scarring.
New York State’s laws are against motorcycle drivers. The Legislature has passed laws that do not provide no-fault coverage to motorcycles. Unlike when you are in an automobile or truck and have an accident with injuries, all your medical bills for your injuries are paid automatically by no-fault insurance up to $50,000.00. Not so with a motorcycle. If you are on a motorcycle and are injured, no medical bills are paid by your motorcycle insurance coverage. The injured motorcyclist must pay their own medical bills with their private health insurance or with your own money.
1. Motorcycles are susceptible to dangers from roadway defects and poorly maintained roadways in New York State. Potholes, drainage and improperly banked roads all which have a profound effect on motorcycles.
2. Since motorcycles are exempt from the definition of a motor vehicle, a motorcyclist is not a covered person under the no-fault law. Therefore, motorcyclists' injured in a motor vehicle accident are not subject to the "serious injury" threshold under New York No-Fault Law. This enables a motorcyclist to bring a claim against another negligent driver even for minor injuries that would not pass the no-fault threshold.
There is also a built in public bias against motorcyclists. People have seen and heard motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic and an assumption the motorcycle driver belongs to a gang therefore, finding against the motorcyclist . The attorney must identify and overcome these biases.
The result of having no medical coverage (no-fault), the injured parties private health insurance pays the medical bills but they normally place a lien for those medical bills to be paid back if you collect from a third-party tortfeasor (the other vehicle that hit the motorcycle). Thus, the motorcyclist is punished by not having medical coverage and in most cases, has to repay their health insurance carrier from the money they collected from the tortfeasor.
There are many cases when a vehicle with a limited policy of $25,000 hits a motorcyclist and all the coverage goes for medical bills and the motorcyclist ends up collecting zero for their pain and suffering. The Legislature also punishes the motorcyclist by disallowing Underinsured/Uninsured coverage from the motorcyclist’s auto insurance policy. Thus, only coverage left to collect from is a limit of $25,000 policy.
This law firm once had a case where a woman in her 80’s made a wide turn over the line and wiped out the motorcyclist. He sustained serious fractures to his leg, road rash and scarring. The motorcyclist had no private medical insurance and his bills reached $100,000. The vehicle that hit him only had a $100,000 policy limit. Fortunately for the client, the woman who hit him had assets. An asset check was performed and it was discovered that the elderly woman had $300,000 in the bank and owned a house with no mortgage. Our client, (not to wipe out all of the elderly lady’s assets) settled the case with the woman paying $100,000 out of her own pocket and taking the $100,000 insurance policy. Our client was fortunate that the tortfeasor (the elderly woman) had personal assets.
If you are a motorcyclist involved in an accident, contact the Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC to protect your right to collect enough money from the automobile that hit you to pay for all you medical bills and pain and suffering.