‘Watch For Motorcycles,’ the typical United States yard signs read when the weather starts getting nice again, but what happens when a motorist doesn’t see the motorcycle rider and a serious motorcycle accident occurs?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has reported extensively on motorcycle crashes for many years in their countless public files, and in 2018 motorcycle safety saw slight improvements in fatal crashes with 4,985 fatalities in the United States.
If you have been injured in an accident, finding an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is essential. Peter Ventura has over 30 years of experience representing victims of motorcycle accidents from all over Massachusetts and will fight for the compensation you deserve.
In many cases, Peter Ventura was able to settle the motorcycle accident injury case for the maximum amount allowed by the insurance company.
Working with a personal injury attorney that has successfully supported motorcycle crash victims, and has a solid reputation with insurance companies, will always go a very long way in terms of bolstering your standing no matter what the scenario was with your vehicle crash.
Call us at 508-755-7535 to learn about your rights, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can better understand the circumstances of your unique accident scene and hold any negligent passenger car drivers accountable for their negligence.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents in Massachusetts
The best way to protect yourself from the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is to prevent the accident from occurring in the first place. Serious motorcycle accidents will always carry a lot more consequences than typical car accidents, so it’s always crucial for motorcycle riders to be extra vigilant in terms of maintaining proper precautions while out on public roads. To reduce the risk of accidents and fatal crashes on the road, motorcyclists should do the following:
- Know the rules of the road: Knowing your innate responsibilities as a motorcyclist sharing the highway with other passenger cars is absolutely crucial in terms of maintaining motorcycle safety. Always follow traffic regulations while riding to avoid causing an accident, including taking proper precautions with left-hand turns and other routine traffic maneuvers.
- Always wear a helmet: Wearing a helmet has been shown to reduce the risk of serious injury during a motorcycle crash. It is also required under Massachusetts law. In addition, wear properly fitted and functional protective gear and reflective or other visible clothing at night so you can be more easily seen by other motorists.
- Be a defensive rider: Many motorcycle accidents are caused by the drivers of other passenger cars and large pickup trucks. Many of these drivers simply don’t know how to properly watch out for motorcyclists, or they may simply be driving with distractions. Pay attention to the other vehicles around you so that you can anticipate and react to potential dangers.
How Motorists Can Prevent Motorcycle Accidents in Massachusetts
Motorists, for their part, should be aware of motorcyclists and be sure to give cyclists extra room on the roadway. A motorist who tailgates a motorcyclist and then hits the cyclist when he or she stops suddenly, or who switches lanes without looking and seeing if the lane is clear of cyclists, can find themselves liable if the cyclists suffer catastrophic injuries as the result of a crash.
Motorists should also refrain from driving drunk, driving under the influence of drugs, texting while driving, or engaging in any other behavior that takes their attention away from the road.
There’s no denying that passenger car operators are many times the at-fault party in serious motorcycle accidents, and these accidents typically will leave the motorcyclist dealing with head injuries or can even leave an innocent man killed. Experienced injury lawyers will know how to prove the negligence within motorcycle crashes, which is sometimes a lot easier said than done!
Understanding the Severity of Massachusetts Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists in Massachusetts have all of the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, they are more likely to be the victims of accidents and injuries than drivers of other vehicles.
Because motorcycles don’t provide as much protection as a larger vehicle, these accidents tend to result in more severe physical injuries, as well as significant emotional trauma. In the worst accidents, riders may even die as a result of their injuries.
Even if the rider is able to recover, he or she is likely to require ongoing medical treatment.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Massachusetts
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you may be able to recover damages intended to compensate you for some of the expenses related to the accident. Expenses that may be compensated include medical bills, lost wages/earning capacity, non-economic damages, and much more.
If you were disfigured in the accident, or if the accident affected your quality of life, you may receive additional damages. Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the victim died and there was gross negligence by another driver.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Massachusetts
Following a motorcycle accident, take these steps to protect your right to compensation:
- Seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, you may have injuries that aren’t immediately obvious, so you need to be evaluated by a medical professional.
- If you are injured, keep detailed documentation for future reference. Getting the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the motorcycle crash can be very beneficial in corroborating your side of the story in terms of how the accident occurred. This can be even more important in the case of a hit-and-run accident, which is somewhat more common than most motorcyclists would think!
Contact an accident lawyer to determine whether you have a case. All motorcycle accidents in Massachusetts are subject to a statute of limitations, which means that you must file a claim within a specific amount of time in order to recover compensation.
Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident FAQs
1. How common are motorcycle accidents in Massachusetts?
In 2012, there were a total of 108,379 automobile crashes in the state of Massachusetts. This resulted in 4,384 injuries and 349 deaths. Of the people who were injured and/or killed in crashes, 51 were motorcyclists.
2. What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Some of the most common factors that contribute to motorcycle crashes include:
- Distracted driving,
- Failure to yield to a motorcycle,
- Mechanical failures,
- Speeding, and/or
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
3. Can I file a lawsuit even if I am at fault for the accident in Worcester, Massachusetts?
In the state of Massachusetts, you may be entitled to compensation if you are less than 50 percent at fault for your motorcycle accident. However, the amount of compensation you receive will depend on your level of fault.
4. How do I file a lawsuit?
Before you file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your accident, you must first make sure that you have a legitimate case. You must also make sure that you are filing the lawsuit against the proper party.
For example, if the driver of another vehicle struck your motorcycle because he wasn’t paying attention, that driver is at fault. However, if he hit you because his brakes weren’t working properly, the manufacturer may be at fault.
To make sure that you have a viable personal injury case and that you are naming the proper defendant, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for guidance.
5. Do I have to file my lawsuit right away?
After a motorcycle accident, you have up to three years to file your lawsuit in the state of Massachusetts. However, you should not hesitate if you believe you are entitled to compensation.
The sooner you file your lawsuit, the sooner you will receive the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, replace your lost wages and repair your motorcycle.
6. Shouldn’t I just take the insurance company’s settlement offer?
In many cases, the defendant’s insurance company or legal team will offer a settlement to the victim in a motorcycle crash. However, you should not accept this settlement offer without consulting a qualified personal injury attorney.
An experienced lawyer will be able to review the settlement offer and make sure that it provides enough money for you to cover your expenses and get on with your life after the accident.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer After a Motorcycle Crash
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Peter Ventura to learn more about filing a lawsuit.
Image via flickr