New York is one of the states that have the "No-Fault" Law, which offers basic coverage to motorists that pays for medical costs, lost earnings and other related expenses. Each state is different, carrying different rules and limits on what is covered. However, the question we present in this article is: How does this work for someone driving a motorcycle? We will explain more about this specific topic below.

Is Motorcycle Accident Injuries Covered by New York No-Fault Insurance?

Because a motorcyclist's body frequently absorbs the brunt of the impact of an accident, injuries sustained during motorcycle accidents are routinely more severe than those sustained in car accidents. In contrast, the vehicle itself will at least partially absorb the impact when it is involved in either a car accident or truck accident. Because of this generality, New York State has opted not to grant no-fault insurance coverage to someone injured while driving a motorcycle, despite the stark truth that motorcycle accidents often result in very traumatic injuries.

The quick answer to the question is "no". As laid out in Article 51 of the New York State Insurance Law – otherwise referred to as "No-Fault Law" – motorcyclists and/or any passengers are usually not covered by no-fault insurance. Motorcycles are specifically excluded from the classification of "motor vehicle" in Section 5102(f). This means that anyone injured, whether it be the operator or a passenger, cannot recover compensation related to no-fault benefits. They can, however, file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.

Motorcycle Injury Claims

If you were driving a motorcycle and injured in an accident in New York, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. In many cases, the vehicle driver may bear some responsibility and thus liability for the accident. In this case, you may be able to file an injury claim to recover financial compensation for medical bills, missed income and other losses. It’s in your best interest to consult with a New York personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your options.

Vehicle Drivers, Passengers & Pedestrians

You will be eligible for no-fault insurance if you were a pedestrian, the driver or a passenger in a vehicle or a truck that was involved in a New York motorcycle accident. If you were simply a pedestrian who was a victim in a motorcycle accident, where the motorcyclist is at-fault, you have the right to receive no-fault insurance coverage from the motorcyclist's insurer directly or you own car insurance if the other party does not have no-fault insurance at all. As a passenger, the insurance company that insures the vehicle in which you were riding when the motorcycle accident occurred will provide no-fault insurance coverage if you sustain injuries.

Keeping the restrictions laid out above in mind, for the individuals eligible for New York no-fault insurance, below are the limitations of coverage available:

  • $50,000 to cover accident-related medical costs and/or rehab
  • $2,000/month (for a maximum of three years after the accident) in lost wages
  • $25/day for other necessary costs, such as transportation after the accident
  • $2,000 (one-time) payment for a death, paid to the heir of the deceased

Fortunately, these benefits are mandated by law and available regardless of who is at fault. Unfortunately, as specified above, those on the motorcycle (driver and passenger) will not have these benefits.

Additional coverage may be needed if no-fault insurance benefits are inadequate to pay for extreme injuries. This is generally an extra cost an insured motorist will pay for. This option can increase coverage limits for medical and lost wages.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Motorcycle Accident?

Whether you are a motorcyclist or a driver of a car or truck that has been involved in a motorcycle accident in New York, the very first thing you should do is call the police. You want to make sure there is a police report being filed. Second, get medical help right away. And finally, speak with a motorcycle accident attorney about your case.

Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law immediately. He and our team of attorneys are knowledgeable New York accident attorneys, with in-depth understanding of personal injury laws. We have successfully handled a broad range of injury claims, from motorcycle accidents to personal injury cases. We offer free consultations, so call us to ask questions, address concerns and tell us the specifics of your case so we can help.


Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:41

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