What Are Your Rights as a Motorcyclist in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts motorcycle riders have certain rights on the road, many of which are the same as any other motorist. When passenger vehicle drivers disregard these rights, other through reckless driving, it can lead to serious motorcycle accidents. If a negligent driver caused your motorcycle crash, one of the most important rights you have is the ability to file a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver.
Massachusetts Laws Pertaining to Motorcycles
In addition to the rights to drive safely, motorcyclists also have responsibilities. If you are a motorcycle rider in Massachusetts, you should be aware of the following state laws pertaining to motorcyclists:
- Prohibition on lane splitting: The practice of lane splitting, or lane sharing, occurs when motorcyclists ride between lanes of stopped or slow-moving vehicles. While it may make a commute easier, lane splitting is prohibited under Massachusetts law.
- Helmets required: Under Massachusetts General Law, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, Section 7, motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear safety helmets at all times.
- Compulsory insurance: All motorcycles in Massachusetts are required to have the mandatory minimum of liability insurance coverage in order to be registered for use. This includes bodily injury coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 in total for each accident, personal coverage of $8,000 for medical expenses and lost wages, and $5,000 for property damage. The law also requires motorcyclists to carry $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage.
Obeying these laws is not only necessary to avoid government fines or to prevent serious medical injuries, they also help maximize the amount of compensation you can receive. Massachusetts is an at-fault state, which means that motorcyclists can lose a portion of their compensation if they in any way contributed to their accident or injuries. By following the law to the letter and practicing safe driving techniques, you can minimize the fault that is attributed to you and increase the amount of damages you are awarded in a personal injury claim.
Recovering Damages in a Motorcycle Crash
If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the same right to file a personal injury claim as a passenger vehicle occupant. Damages you may be entitled to claim may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitative services
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, and other non-economic damages
Damages for medical expenses after a serious motorcycle crash can be significant. Depending on the severity of your injuries, these damages may include ambulance service, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, follow-up office visits, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive devices, and in-home services. Pain and suffering damages include the physical pain you have suffered, and the emotional trauma in the aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident.
Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle wreck caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney, for the best chance of recovering the full compensation you need and deserve. Our Massachusetts motorcycle injury lawyer at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. has handled devastating accidents in the past and seen first-hand the effects of negligent drivers. If you have suffered serious motorcycle accident injuries in a crash that was not your fault, contact us at (978) 327-5140 to schedule a free consultation.