If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in RI, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, scarring (if applicable), lost income and pain and suffering. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys charge no fee until you receive a settlement or award. Call us toll free 24/7 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Settlements:
Assuming the other driver was at fault, you should be able to recover from the other driver’s insurance company, money in a settlement for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage to your motorcycle
- Scarring (if applicable)
- Loss of consortium (if married and it is a very serious injury)
Insurance Companies WANT to give you the lowest possible settlement:
It is important to always remember that the overall goal of an insurance company is PROFIT. The best way to maximize that goal is to do what it takes to ensure the smallest settlement possible is paid out. In order to reduce the amount an insurance company pays out for a motorcycle accident, they will usually attempt to prove that the motorcyclist was, to some degree, at fault in the accident. Prompt and thorough investigation of motorcycle accidents is imperative to helping injured riders combat an insurance company looking to hold them at least partially at fault by way of their own contributory negligence. However, it has been statistically proven that, on average, people who hire attorneys receive nearly 3 times more on their settlements than those who choose to handle everything on their own. Also, if it comes down to a lawsuit, those who choose to represent themselves must deal with the costs of litigation, which may be thousands or even millions of dollars.
Common Causes of Accidents:
- Rear-end collisions
- Drivers failing to use turn signals before changing lanes
- Vehicles turning in front of motorcyclists without paying attention or respect to the rider
- Motor vehicles forcing motorcycles into guard rails on the side of the roadway
- Drivers failing to stop for red lights or at stop signs
- Failure to obey posted speed limits
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Additional Non-Motorist Causes of Crashes:
- Unleashed pets running out into the street where motorcyclists are driving (In this case a claim could be brought against the owner of the dog possibly)
- Debris or obstructions in the roadway (In this case a claim could be brought against the person or company who dropped the debris)
- Poor visibility caused by landscaping (In this case a claim could be brought against the landscaping company)
Common Injuries Seen By RI Lawyers:
- Head injuries: traumatic brain injury, concussion, brain damage, and so on
- Spinal cord injuries rendering the injured a quadriplegic or a paraplegic
- Broken bones, especially to the joints (elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, pelvis, etc.)
- Road rash
- Scarring and disfigurement with the potential of requiring significant skin graft repairs
- Internal bleeding
- Injuries requiring amputation of the affected limb
- Soft tissue injuries
Defective Bike Parts:
Before each ride on a motorcycle, operators should perform a thorough inspection of the bike. Like any vehicle, motorcycles must be properly maintained. Owners should be careful to keep the engine in good working condition, inspect tires, lights, brakes, and other equipment on the vehicle to make sure it will perform properly and reliably on the roadways. Even for those operators who take care and precautions to ride safely, motorcycle manufacturer defects are not unheard of. Riders are wise to keep their eyes and ears out for recalls issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. Some examples of motorcycle defects or motorcycle part defects may include:
- Handlebar defects
- Tire defects
- Fuel line defects
- Wiring defects
- Brake defects
- Headlight, taillight, or turning signal defects
- Among others…
In these instances, injured riders should speak to their motorcycle accident attorney about whether the manufacturer of the bike, the manufacturer of a defective part, or even the garage where the vehicle most recently received service or maintenance can be held liable to you for damages.
What should you do if you have been involved in an Accident?
Though the moments after a motorcycle accident can be very traumatic, keep in mind that your actions immediately following the accident have a direct bearing on how much compensation you will recover:
- Never flee the scene. Wait until you exchange information with all of the individuals involved and assess the damages prior to leaving the scene of the accident.
- Get to safety. Nothing is more important – if any parties have sustained injury, seek appropriate medical attention.
- Do not apologize or discuss fault. Any apologetic or accusatory statements may be used against you when you seek compensation later on.
- Call 911 to report the accident. You may be in shock and not realize that you and anyone else involved may need immediate medical attention. Calling 911 will ensure that medical help is on the way. Phoning 911 will also ensure police protection. When officers arrive, everything will be documented. The officers will document the crash scene and take witness statements. This is MUCH stronger evidence than the typical “he-said, she-said” evidence that results from a lack of independent observation.
- Call for legal help. Contact a qualified Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident attorney at 1-800-992-6878. As soon as you call our office, we will send a professional motorcycle wreck investigator to the scene. This means that you immediately have someone on your side, looking out for your best interests. Feel free to call at any time of day or night, even holidays. Our investigators gather and preserve the evidence that you need to prove your case and our lawyers will fight to get the financial compensation you need and deserve.
- Obtain personal contact information from any witnesses. If there were any bystanders who witnessed the accident, obtain their personal contact information, as they could be useful witnesses later who may be able to provide valuable testimony on your behalf.
- Take pictures to document the scene. If you can take photographs without putting yourself in harm’s way, you should remember to do so. The scene should be documented whenever possible so that the photographs can serve as proof indicating: damage to vehicles, road conditions, street signs, weather conditions, and injuries.
- Be careful who you speak with. Particularly if you are contacted by an insurance company – have your Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident lawyer speak with other parties’ agents.
How Do I Choose The Right Lawyer?
First of all, if you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck, it is important to look for an attorney who is both licensed in your state and focuses his or her legal practice on personal injury law or injury law. Our personal injury lawyers are licensed and have locations in BOTH Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Next, you should focus on finding a personal injury lawyer with plenty of relevant experience. Experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents is imperative because the issues are different than in dealing just with auto accidents. Our personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in representing bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. We help people like you. The best way to find a qualified attorney is to get a good referral from family or friends.
Once you have narrowed down your search, give the attorney a call. Speak with the attorney or someone within his or her office. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation. We will answer your questions and analyze your individual situation to determine whether you have a case.
You are welcome to communicate with us in the manner you are most comfortable. Our team of professionals is available by telephone or online, so contact us today for your free legal consultation.
Working With Your Attorney:
The first, and perhaps most important, key to working with your motorcycle accident lawyer is to act as soon as possible. Like much else, as time passes, physical evidence is destroyed or disappears, and witnesses’ memories become distorted and fade. Contacting an attorney immediately is your best bet to ensure you are fully compensated for all your injuries.
Our motorcycle accident professionals begin to gather evidence as soon as you hire us.
Calling us right after you contact the police ensures that our professional motorcycle accident investigator goes to the crash scene. The investigator will gather and document the information needed to later help prove your case and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Acting quickly also ensures that you meet the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations bars the late filing of legal claims. Thus, if you do not act quickly, you run the risk of your claim being barred forever. If you do not meet the statute of limitations, you will never receive the compensation you may deserve.
Contacting us promptly ensures that if you have a claim, it will not be filed late.
We will tell you exactly what information to provide so there is no guessing; we take care of all of the paperwork and we will deal with the legal, insurance, and medical systems so that you do not have to.
Fatalities and Wrongful Death Claims:
While deaths caused by motorcycle accidents nationwide declined in 2009 and 2010, the Rhode Island statistics have been more erratic. With an average of over 14 deaths between 2006 and 2007, RI fatalities declined to 7 in 2008. Deaths rose again to an average of 17 deaths in 2009 and 2010. Apart from the low numbers in 2008, nearly 69% of those killed on a motorcycle were not wearing helmets. National statistics indicate that more than 72 out of every 100,000 motorcycles end up in fatal accidents (compare to only about 13 out of every 100,000 passenger cars). Motorcycles represent approximately 5% of all highway fatalities each year. Motorcycles themselves provide virtually no protection in a crash, so these accidents are especially likely to result in severe injury or death.
In unfortunate circumstances where motorcycle accidents are fatal, the deceased rider’s survivors may have a valid wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims may entitle surviving family members to various types of compensation, such as: lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of relationship with the spouse, children, or parents left behind following the rider’s death. To determine the value of lost income, experts are typically called to calculate the deceased’s would-have-been earning capacity for the rest of their life. Survivors may also be entitled to collect hospital expenses accrued from the time of injury up until the deceased’s passing, damages associated with the deceased’s pain and suffering prior to death, and with loss of consortium, money to cover the emotional costs of losing your loved one.
RI Motorcycle Accident Statistics:
As part of the Highway Safety Performance Plan for 2012, the State of Rhode Island released a series of statistics about motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities. The full report can be found here.
- Wear an approved, full-face helmet
- Wear motorcycle-specific protective apparel (i.e. leather jacket, reinforced denim/textile pants)
- Ensure your apparel is high-visibility (bright colors, adorned with reflective strips)
- Use motorcycle headlights
- Use motorcycle turn signals
- Complete Motorcycle Safety Foundation standardized curriculum trainings
Where to Get Legal Help if You Have Been Injured:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in either Rhode Island or Massachusetts, our experienced and qualified motorcycle accident attorneys are poised and ready to help you. You are invited to call us on our toll free, 24-hour number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form.