Boston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
On a motorcycle, a minor collision can easily result in life-threatening injuries, because riders have minimal protection from the impact of larger vehicles, other objects, and the roadway. Even the most cautious Boston rider can suffer head injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, amputations, or death due to the carelessness of another driver. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHSTA) has determined that motorcycle riders are 39 times more likely to be killed in an accident than the occupants of a car.
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident and suffered injuries, you need to contact the Boston motorcycle accident lawyers at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Schedule your free consultation, and at our Boston office at 100 Cambridge Street, 14th Floor, you can learn more about the rights of an accident victim. Call (617) 553-1932 today.
In most cases, motorcycle crashes are not caused by the motorcycle rider. Many local police reports state that the driver of a car or truck admitted to not seeing the motorcycle. Though the driver often genuinely regrets causing the accident, a jury could define the driver’s not checking thoroughly before changing lanes or turning into a motorcycle as negligence. Motorcycle accidents in Boston are often caused by:
- Distracted driving: Keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel may seem obvious to most drivers, but modern society has any number of distractions that can result in a motorcycle accident. Split-second decisions to text, make phone calls, eat food, and even heated arguments with passengers can all cause serious injuries to motorcycle riders.
- Drunk or drugged driving: DUI and DWI can significantly impact a driver’s response time. They are less likely to check their blind spots, follow traffic signs, maintain a safe distance from other drivers, and react to adverse weather conditions.
- Speeding: Speed limits provide a clear guideline of the safe speeds a vehicle can travel in specific zones, from fast-paced highways to slow, sharp turns. Breaking the speed limit – and even driving well below it – puts other vehicles at risk, particularly motorcyclists, who do not have the same safety features as other vehicles.
- Left-turn accidents: Left turns accidents are an everyday risk for riders in the United States. Drivers may not check for cross-traffic when they turn or misjudge the speed a motorcycle is going, resulting in serious, often fatal injuries.
- Blind spots: From 18-wheelers to an everyday sedan, every vehicle has blind spots, which is why driving instructors drill regular blind spot checks into new drivers. Motorcyclists are especially at risk in blind spots because they are smaller than most vehicles and quieter, making it harder for other drivers to see them clearly.
- Head-on collisions: The NHSTA reports that 42% of all head-on collisions involving motorcycles and other vehicles in a recent year were fatal. Whether due to drunk or distracted driving, speeding, or other factors, head-on collisions are among the most dangerous types of accidents that can occur.
- Dangerous road conditions: When combined with reckless driving, road conditions like potholes, broken pavement, and road debris can cause a car or truck to move erratically, resulting in collisions with nearby motorcycles.
In other cases, a driver may have been drunk or drugged, distracted, or operating the vehicle in a reckless manner. Regardless of the reason, the result is usually the same -- a driver of another vehicle caused the Boston motorcycle accident.
Approximately 80% of all motorcycle accidents in the U.S. involve serious injuries to the rider. No matter how minor injuries may appear immediately after an accident, a rider should seek medical attention to make certain there are no hidden injuries, such as internal bleeding, which could become life-threatening.
Some of the most common injuries from motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash, where the skin is destroyed due to abrasion from the road
- Facial fractures from impact
- Broken bones from impact
- Burns from the engine of the motorcycle or fluids from other vehicles
- Limb amputations from impact
- Nerve damage from impact or from extensive road rash to the depth of the nerves
- Neck and spinal cord injuries from impact
- Traumatic brain injuries from impact
Because of the serious nature of many injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents, riders often face a lifetime of pain and permanent disabilities. Not only can these injuries leave a rider unable to work and earn a living, but they can also make performing daily tasks difficult or impossible. Lifelong assistance and care are often needed after a rider has been in a serious Boston motorcycle accident.
What Are the Limits of PIP Coverage for Motorcyclists?
Massachusetts requires that all auto insurance policies include personal injury protection (PIP). Regardless of fault, this insurance covers medical expenses, lost earnings, and funeral expenses for insured individuals, up to policy limits. However, state law does not require insurance companies to include this coverage in policies covering motorcycles. Riders may not have PIP insurance to protect them in case of a crash.
What If Another Driver Caused the Collision?
If another driver caused your motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To prevail, you must show that the other driver was negligent. To establish negligence, you must prove that:
- The other driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- The driver breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused the crash.
- The crash resulted in your injuries.
If you have hurt in a motorcycle crash, it is important to speak to an attorney about pursuing maximum compensation for damages. The first thing to do medical attention to treat your injuries. Then take the following steps:
- Report the accident to your insurance company: Let your provider know about the crash as soon as possible. Report the facts but avoid assigning fault to yourself.
- Do not talk to representatives of the other driver’s insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. They can use what you say against you.
- Collect all documents pertaining to the accident. These may include the police report, your insurance documents, and your own documentation of the accident scene.
- Consult with an experienced attorney about your case. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis in personal injury matters.
Each motorcycle claim is unique, and the amount of compensation you can recover will depend on the severity of your injuries and losses, and the percentage of fault assigned to the other driver. For this reason, it is important for an injured rider to speak to a seasoned Boston motorcycle accident lawyer. Do not accept the first settlement offer from an insurance company – leave the negotiating to our firm.
The team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., has worked with many Boston motorcycle accident victims and understands the lifelong impact of injuries. Some forms of compensation we aim to get our clients include:
- Property damage or loss
- Current and future medical expenses
- Compensation for a permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Compensation for future loss of ability to earn a living
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages when the court deems them appropriate for the case
When motorcyclists lose their lives in crashes caused by negligent drivers, their family members can seek compensation for wrongful death, as well as some or all the items above that apply to their situation.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a Boston motorcycle accident, contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C., at (617) 553-1932 as soon as possible. The added stress of negotiating with insurance companies is better left to our Boston accident attorneys while you focus on your healing.