Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC can help. Motorcycles provide freedom to riders, but with that freedom comes risk. Motorcyclists are exposed to not only the elements, but also have little to no protections against other drivers.

According to the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to get killed in a traffic accident than someone in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists are four times more likely to suffer traffic accident injuries than passenger vehicle occupants.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Western New York

Motorcycle accidents happen often. Across Erie, Monroe, and Onondaga Counties, accidents kill about 20 motorcyclists every year. Another 700 motorcyclists are injured, and approximately 200 of these injured motorcyclists require hospitalization.

Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Buffalo NY Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford

In Erie County, your risk of hospitalization for a motorcycle accident is nearly seven times higher than your risk of hospitalization for a car accident.

The Dangers of Motorcycling

Motorcyclists are at greater risk of accidents and suffering severe injuries due to several factors, including: lack of protection, lack of visibility and lack of stability.

Less Protection

New York has a universal helmet law that requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a helmet. But even with a helmet, motorcyclists remain exposed in a motorcycle accident. By contrast, a ton or more of steel protects motorists in a car accident.

Less Visible

Recognition errors constitute some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Complacent motorists become accustomed to looking for passenger vehicles rather than motorcycles. The small size of motorcycles allows them to escape notice by careless drivers.

Less Stable

Motorcycles require a different set of skills to operate than passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists must have balance and physical fitness to operate a motorcycle safely. Anything that disrupts a motorcycle’s balance, such as road conditions, can lead to a severe accident.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accidents result in a variety of injuries. These range from road rash to catastrophic injuries like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Some common motorcycle accident injuries include: abrasions, fractures, back injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.


During a motorcycle accident,  the road can abrade any exposed skin. Road rash can breach the body’s protection against infection. It can even cause permanent disfigurement as road debris becomes embedded in the skin.

Depending on  speed, the rough surface of the road can abrade more than skin. Pavement can tear flesh, such as muscle, blood vessels, and nerves. In severe cases, doctors might need to amputate due to the severe soft tissue damage.


Motorcycle accidents commonly result in fractures.

Back and Neck Injuries

Even with a helment, motorcyclist’s backs and necks remain unprotected. The bending and twisting forces experienced in a motorcycle accident can strain muscles, fracture vertebrae, and compress discs.

Spinal Cord Injuries

If the discs or vertebrae sever the spinal cord, the injured motorcyclist can suffer permanent paralysis or death. If the discs or vertebrae compress the spinal cord, the injured motorcyclist could experience:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of coordination
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

In many cases, spinal cord injuries require extensive medical treatment and months or years of physical therapy.

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can happen even with a helmet. Concussions occur when forces on your head cause your brain to slosh inside the skull. The pressure of the fluid that surrounds the brain causes minor but widespread bruising, bleeding, and swelling.

A contusion occurs when the brain moves so violently that it hits the inside of the  skull. The impact causes bleeding and swelling. Brain tissue might get starved of oxygen due to blood loss and constriction of the blood vessels. The injured motorcyclist might suffer a coma or death.

Some symptoms of a brain injury include:

  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Blurred vision or seeing stars
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Changes in behavior
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Sleep disorders

The symptoms of a minor brain injury, such as a concussion, can clear up in a few months. Symptoms of a severe brain injury might become chronic or recurring.

Common Motorcycle Accident Scenarios

  • Drivers running a stop sign
  • Drivers running a red light
  • Drivers changing lanes
  • Drivers failing to check blind spots
  • Drivers failing to yield right of way
  • Drivers turning at the wrong time
  • Drivers failing to notice motorcycles

Collisions at Intersections

Collisions at intersections account for about one-third of all motorcycle accidents. The most common motorcycle accident scenario happens when a motorcyclist travels through an intersection and a vehicle driver turns left into, or in front of, the motorcyclist.

Another common scenario happens when a vehicle driver makes a right turn in front of a motorcycle traveling through an intersection.

These accidents usually happen because the driver fails to see the motorcyclist or misjudges the distance or speed of the motorcycle. Since the motorcycle in these scenarios had the right-of-way, the vehicle driver usually bears liability for the motorcyclist’s injuries.

Collisions on Highways

Highway collisions typically happen when a vehicle moves into the lane occupied by the motorcycle. The driver might fail to check their blind spots, move into the lane without leaving enough space after passing the motorcycle, or drift into the motorcyclist’s lane. In any of these cases, the motorist typically bears the blame for the accident.

Poor Visibility

Darkness, glare, and inclement weather can obscure a motorcyclist. Most motorists do not expect to see a motorcycle and poor visibility can cause them to collide with a motorcycle. But poor visibility will not necessarily shield the motorist from liability. If the motorist was negligent in looking out for other vehicles, including motorcycles, the motorist might bear responsibility for the crash.

Damages Recoverable After a Motorcycle Accident

Injured motorcyclists might be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries if someone was at fault. . New York law exempts motorcyclists from the no-fault insurance system. This means that your insurer will not automatically pay the first $50,000 of your economic losses like it would for an automobile owner.

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, we can help you to claim all relevant damages after a motorcycle accident, including:

Economic Damages

Your economic damages include the financial impact of your injuries. In a typical injury case, your economic damages will account for:

Medical Expenses

Your damages can include your past and future costs for treatment, therapy, and medication.

Lost Income

You can claim any income you lost while receiving treatment or therapy for your injuries. You can also include the income you lost if your doctor recommended that you miss work or take light duty while you recovered from your injuries.

Diminished Earning Capacity

If you suffered a permanent disability, you might need to change jobs or retire from your work.

For example, suppose that you suffered a catastrophic brain injury and cannot continue to perform your work. Your damages can include the difference in pay between your former job and your current job.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate you for the ways your injuries diminished your quality of life.

Some examples of non-economic losses include:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of activities
  • Loss of sexual relations

Some injuries might justify both economic and non-economic damages.

The Role of Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries by:

  • Evaluating the merits of your case
  • Negotiating with insurers to settle your case
  • Filing a lawsuit if the insurer refuses to settle
  • Presenting your case to a jury

Our motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience to document and present your case to an insurer or a jury to get the best possible outcome under the law. We have the skills to negotiate with a claims adjuster or advocate on your behalf before a jury.

Whether your case settles, or you need to seek a damage award in court, our motorcycle accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to fight for the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Buffalo, Rochester, or Syracuse, please contact us for a free and confidential evaluation.

Recent Review

There are surely many excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys and John Comerford and Zach Woods rank as those. What sets John and Zach apart from those other excellent, smart, and hard-working attorneys are two factors. The first factor is passion. They truly care about what they do and they truly are in it to help people. The money they make (which is substantial) is a result of that passion and not the root of what drives them. The second factor is, for lack of a better phrase, simply “customer service.” If you call or email John or Zach, they will either pick up right away or, if they are busy, they respond quickly that “hey, we will get right back to you.” And then they get actually back to you. So if you have suffered a substantial, life-changing, catastrophic injury, the burden of that injury is enough. You shouldn’t also contend with passionless and aloof attorneys – and that is why you should choose John and Zach. – Justin C.