Brockton, MA: Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Even when bikers wear proper safety gear, including helmets, motorcycle accidents can still cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. When the collision ejects riders from their bikes, the riders may suffer from additional injuries beyond the crash impact if they slide into a guardrail, tree, or another vehicle. In personal injury cases that stem from these types of crashes, vehicle drivers often try to place the blame on the motorcyclist, which can make it difficult for bikers to collect damages for their injuries.
Additionally, Massachusetts personal injury protection insurance does not cover motorcycle riders. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should always retain an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to assist you. Your ability to prove that the other driver caused your injuries is essential if you hope to recover compensation.
Don’t Attempt to Negotiate With Insurance Companies on Your Own
Massachusetts law places the burden of proof of the party seeking damages in personal injury cases, which makes personal injury cases particularly difficult to manage on your own if you don’t know the law. Keep in mind that insurance companies are always looking out for their bottom line. Even if they actually agree that the other driver caused your accident, they will try to pay out the least amount possible for every claim.
On the other hand, when you retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, the insurance company must deal with someone who not only knows the law but also knows what amount of compensation the insurance company should pay. Furthermore, if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, a motorcycle accident lawyer with litigation experience will not hesitate to take your case to trial.
You can minimize your risk of sustaining many of the most common motorcycle accident injuries if you practice good motorcycle safety. Most importantly, always wear the proper safety gear—avoid flip flops, shorts, and short-sleeve shirts. You should wear gloves while riding; consider investing in breathable leathers that you can wear during the warmer months.
Watch for Traffic
Because motorcycles are difficult to see, even with the headlight on, you should always drive defensively and remain aware of any approaching cars. Learn how to anticipate what other drivers are going to do by reading their actions. If a vehicle is coming up to a stop sign quickly, you should realize that it may not stop. Even a rolling stop through a stop sign can cause serious injury to you if the vehicle collides with your bike.
Make Sure Your Bike Is the Right Size
If you’re considering buying a motorcycle, make sure that when you are on the bike, you can put both feet on the ground. If you cannot but only need an additional inch or two, you can probably change the seat out for a lower seat. With your feet flat on the ground, you have better control over the bike at a stop, especially if the roads are wet or you happen to put your feet down in an oil slick.
Always make sure that all of your bike’s equipment is working properly. Before you go out for a ride, check the taillights, brake lights, signals, headlights, and horn. Repair any damaged safety equipment before you ride. Also, check the brakes to make sure that they are working properly. The front brake on a bike has most of the stopping power, but you also need the rear brake to help control the bike. If you use only the front brake, you could find yourself going over the handlebars. And, if you use only the rear brake, you’ll need a longer distance to stop.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because bikers don’t have the benefit of a car frame and body around them, airbags, and other similar safety equipment, motorcycle accident injuries are usually more serious than accidents that involve regular cars. Massachusetts suffered 51 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017. According to the National Safety Council, 5,172 people died in motorcycle crashes across the United States in that same year.
Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries that we see include:
- Abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Strains, sprains, and dislocations
- Pulled or torn muscles
- Fractured bones
- Compound fractures
- Internal injuries, including injured organs
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
Types of Damages
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may recover three types of damages: (1) economic, (2) non-economic, and (3) punitive damages. Economic damages are intended to reimburse your actual costs associated with the accident, such as medical costs and property repairs. Non-economic damages are awarded for those things that you can’t put a price on, such as the amount of pain and suffering that you experience as a result of your injuries. Punitive damages are rare; courts only award them if a defendant’s actions qualify as grossly negligent or if a defendant acted with malicious intent.
Following a motorcycle accident, a court may award you economic damages, which often include the following:
- Current medical costs
- Future medical costs, including additional surgeries, future doctors’ appointments, and physical, occupational, and psychological therapies
- Prescription medication, including for psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Current loss of wages
- Future loss of wages if you cannot work because of long-term or permanent injuries
- Replacement or repair of your property, including the bike and anything on the bike or in the saddlebags
Courts award non-economic damages for losses that do not have specific costs attached to them, including the following:
- Pain and suffering. You may receive compensation for your pain and suffering if you have long-term injuries that continue to cause pain, such as some spine injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
- Loss of comfort. A court may award you compensation if you can no longer engage in activities that you normally would do, such as cooking, cleaning, hiking, and other activities that you might enjoy doing with your family.
- Loss of consortium. A court may award you compensation if you are unable to enjoy a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of a limb. A court may compensate you for the loss of a limb, especially if the loss prevents you from enjoying life or necessitates a career change.
Contact the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan After a Brockton Motorcycle Crash
If you have sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident, call the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan at (508) 588-0422, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation with a qualified member of our legal team.