Motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous. They can even be fatal. When motorcycles crash, the effects can be devastating. There’s nothing standing between the rider and road. Whether you hit another vehicle or skid, you’re going to sustain serious injuries. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, you need a Boston motorcycle accident lawyer.
Like it or not, many motorists don’t like sharing the road with motorcycles. Most car drivers think motorcycle riders drive too fast and weave in and out of traffic. Motorcycles cause anxiety and many riders disregard the safety of other drivers. This causes a lot of motorcycle accidents in Massachusetts. Many drivers don’t look out for motorcycles the way they should. Truck drivers have to be especially careful in sharing the road with motorcycle riders one bad move with either the motorcycle or the truck and you could have a major truck accident with a motorcycle rider. Although it may seem careless, from a legal perspective, the main question is whether or not it’s negligent. Boston motorcycle accident lawyers are well aware of the issues plaguing motorcycle drivers.
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you’ll have to prove that you weren’t at fault. Call Soto Law at 617-618-5560 to learn how we can help you get compensation. The other driver is going to claim that you were speeding or driving negligently. Like it or not, most juries will side with the car driver. This is why you should have an experienced motorcycle lawyer by your side in Boston, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
What Steps Should I Take After A Motorcycle Accident?
The first thing you should do after a motorcycle accident would be to contact the police and seek medical attention immediately. If you have to record a statement, give the statement to the police and not just anyone on the scene. You also shouldn’t admit to any fault or liability on your side.
Next, you’ll need to gather as much information as possible from the accident scene. Things such as phone numbers, addresses, and names of eyewitnesses would come in handy in such a situation. Remember to collect this type of information even before the police arrive. The police might not be as successful in getting such info.
Consider taking photos of the accident scene. You could use your camera phone to take the pictures or a short video clip of the same. Be sure to focus on visible evidence such as tire marks, debris, and gouge marks. If possible, take photos of injuries sustained from the accident and over their healing period.
Keep a journal of daily experiences as you recover from the accident. These journals might be required to give your personal injury lawyer or insurance company an idea of what you went through after the accident.
Inform the insurance company about the accident as soon as it happens. They too might want to collect information and evidence from the accident scene. You shouldn’t, however, disclose too much info (recorded or written) to the insurance company until the accident attorney is present. Our attorneys are always available whenever you need them.
Should A Medical Expert Be Consulted After the Accident?
Although you might feel ‘OK’ a few minutes after the accident, only a certified and experienced medical practitioner can be able to determine if you are hurt or not. That said, it would be wise to seek professional medical attention soon after the accident. Do not let the adrenaline rush deceive you into believing you are ok. In addition to this, you’ll need the medical records and receipts to prove you were indeed injured (from the accident) in court.
The best thing about seeing a doctor after an accident is that he/she will run a series of tests to see if you sustained internal injuries. It is through these tests that your attorney will be able to confirm that you were involved in the accident and sustained specific injuries. This also includes psychological trauma.
What Compensation Can I Get After A Motorcycle Accident?
Unlike motor vehicle drivers, a cyclist is more likely to get serious injuries even from a minor accident. This is despite the motorcyclist having headgear and eyewear, among other forms of body protection. Car drivers are always protected in an enclosed area with safety features such as automatic airbags. A motorcycle rider doesn’t get such kind of protection hence more likely to get head and body injuries. That said, it is possible to file for full compensation for injuries and damages from another driver/rider’s negligence.
Some of the compensations that can be claimed include:
This mainly consists of costs incurred when seeking treatment. If the accident led to a loss of income because you couldn’t return to work, or had to be confined in a room in order to recover, then the accident attorney should include these in the compensation claim. The attorney will, however, need all the medical records and accompanying receipts, salary, and employment records for this to stand.
You will likely miss a significant amount of time from work if you’re in a motorcycle accident. It’s also going to take weeks or months to recover from your injuries. We are going to need to document this time missed. Make sure you keep your paystubs or timesheets to prove how much time you missed due to the accident.
It’s not hard to prove your medical bills. You should have receipts for any tests or co-pays You may even have an explanation of benefits forms for your hospital stay and emergency room visit. Make sure you give all of this paperwork to your lawyer. He’s going to have to prove your medical bills. The best way to do that is to keep accurate records.
You’ll also have a claim for future medical bills. If your doctor thinks you’re going to need future medical care, it can be expensive. Your lawyer will demand that you be compensated for this. He’ll hire an expert to testify as to how much your medical care will cost.
Your motorcycle is likely going to be damaged or destroyed in the accident. Our car accident lawyers will demand that this is covered.
Lost Future Earnings
Many motorcycle accident victims end up permanently disabled. If this is the case, you’ll be entitled to damages. Your lawyer will prove how much more you would’ve earned had you not gotten hurt. He’ll rely on tax records to prove what your annual income was prior to the accident. He’ll then multiply this amount by the number of years you would have continued to work. Usually, the court uses the age of 65 to come to this number.
Pain and Suffering
One of the most important types of damages in a motorcycle case is pain and suffering. In Massachusetts, you have to experience at least $2,000 in actual damages to qualify for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be for thousands of dollars. Or it can be for millions. It depends on how bad your injuries are. If you’re left paralyzed, chances are, your pain and suffering will be very high. Juries are very sympathetic to these types of injuries.
Although most people will only include financial losses in the claims, non-economic damages such as becoming facially disfigured, losing a limp, or even sliding into a coma can be included in the claim. This is particularly important if the third-party’s negligence caused this. You’ll, however, require the expertise of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to quantify all these.
This comes in the play where the accident as a result of malicious intent. You can however only claim this compensation if you suffered severe emotional or physical damage, factors that could lead to lifelong impairment. In such a case, the attorney will have to collect enough evidence to prove this, as well as defend you in court. The evidence produced should however show that the accident was due to negligence or malicious intent by the other driver.
The severity of the injuries should also be taking into account when computing the cost of the damages. It is also worth noting that, there’s a specific timeframe within which you can file a claim for punitive damages.
How Can A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help with Compensation Claims?
A good motorcycle accident lawyer will not only advise you on the best course to take (in terms of litigation and settlement) but also outline the advantages and disadvantages of the same. He/she will also help with filing compensation claims according to the deadline. This is as per Georgia state regulations.
According to the law and regulations in the city of Boston, one has a maximum of 2 years to report or file a compensation claim from a motorcycle accident. The deadline might extend to up to 4 years of there was property damage when the accident occurred. A reasonable attorney should inform you of these deadlines when you meet, just to make sure you don’t wait for too long.
Although you might want to sit with the at-fault’s insurance provider to discuss the compensation claim, it would only be advisable to do so in the presence of a certified and experienced legal attorney. You might however still sit with them if conversant with Georgia’s comparative negligence rules. You, however, should have a motorcycle accident attorney present, especially if you were partly to blame for the accident. It is only fair to discuss the claims and compensation with a reputable, knowledgeable, and experienced lawyer on your side.
You stand a better chance of fair compensation if the attorney can obtain adequate evidence to prove your case. He/she should be able to access the evidence from police reports (from the accident) and legal documents provided. The attorney may also want/have to visit the accident scene to collect more information and evidence. A good attorney will speak to eyewitnesses, consider the positioning of specific street signs, review marks on the pavement, as well as collect video footage of the same (if any) to be able to compile useful evidence for the case.
The attorney may also be able to offer emotional support and especially where recovery and rehabilitation are required. These are some of the benefits that come with having the right attorney by your side.
What Is the Value of a Compensation Claim?
No compensation claim is identical to another. Each claim is unique in many ways. A number of factors have to be put into consideration to be able to put a number on the compensation claim. These factors include:
- Cost of all medical expenses
- Type and severity of sustained injuries
- The total amount of income lost
- The recovery periods
- Available insurance coverage for the claims
- Contribution of the at-fault rider
- Injuries, permanent impairment, scarring, or disfigurement
- If the accident was as a result of reckless or drunk driving
Without specific details of the accident, an untrained person might find it almost impossible to compute the right value for the claim. Available insurance cover lost income, and medical costs play a vital role in calculating compensation claims. The level/amount of insurance cover that the rider had is critical to making the case. Unlike motor vehicle accidents, motorcyclists are at the highest risk of severe injuries, some of which might exceed the amount the insurance cover can provide. For this reason, insurance companies recommend increasing your insurance coverage whenever possible. You can contact our accident lawyers to advise you more on this.
How Long Does It Take for A Claim to Be Settled?
Many compensation claims will take an average of around 5 and 8 months to be settled fully. Some claims may be resolved within a matter of weeks, while others can take years before the settlement can be made. The prolonged period mostly happens if the court has to be involved. This happens when both parties are unable to come to an agreement or are at a deadlock. Although each compensation claim may be unique in so many ways, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer should be able to bring you up to speed on what is required of you, and legal proceedings involved. It is through sharing even the most critical information with our clients that a settlement can be reached on time. You, too, need to be open with the lawyer to make his/her work more manageable.
How Much Does A Motorcycle Accident Attorney Charge?
Most motorcycle accident attorneys will only charge a contingency fee. This is to say, they can only collect a payment (a certain percentage) once the compensation claim is successful and paid in full. The fee is, therefore, part of the settlement or compensation received. It’s worth noting that, the attorney won’t demand any amount if the claim isn’t successful. Many accident attorneys do not charge upfront fees either. You therefore never have to worry not having money to pay the attorney on time. It would, however, be advisable to talk to your attorney and discuss their terms of payment, and what percentage they’ll chuck from the compensation once the case is successful.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
One thing any good motorcycle accident will tell you is to always seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, you need to get checked out. You could have internal injuries. You also need to document your injuries for your lawsuit. If the insurance company refuses to pay your claim, you’ll have to go to court.
Some of the injuries you may sustain in a motorcycle accident include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A severe blow to the head will cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) Symptoms of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Vision loss
- Hearing damage
- Permanent disability
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, we’d be surprised if you didn’t suffer back injuries. Whether you’re thrown from your bike or just crash into a car, your body is going to be crushed. You may suffer herniated or bulging discs. You could even suffer a spinal cord injury. For back injuries like this, you need a Boston motorcycle accident lawyer to get you the compensation you deserve.
In some accidents, you’ll suffer minor neck injuries such as whiplash. In a motorcycle accident, that would be a blessing. Unfortunately, many riders break their necks in motorcycle accidents. This can cause death or paralysis. Your Boston motorcycle accident lawyer will make sure you are compensated for these lost wages.
We will do what it takes to get you the compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
if you’ve have received injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need to call a Massachusetts motorcycle accident attorney today. Your attorney can answer any questions you may have. He can review your case and let you know what it may be worth.
The personal injury attorneys at the Jon Soto Law Firm have years of experience handling motorcycle accident cases. Any injury attorney will know what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. Call 617-618-5560 today and schedule your free initial consultation. And remember – you pay nothing until you settle your case.