Motorcycle accidents have been known to produce critical and life-threatening injuries. If you have suffered financial, emotional, or psychological trauma as a result of your collision, you may have the right to bring the culpable party to justice.
Consider your legal options for financial recovery with a Massachusetts motorcycle accident lawyer at GED Lawyers. You can learn about getting the most out of your claim during a free consultation.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Massachusetts
Motorcycle accidents cause some of the most severe, life-threatening, and fatal injuries drivers endure. Without the surrounding protection that other vehicles have, motorcyclists are far more likely to succumb to debilitating injuries.
With that in mind, you should note that your injuries do not need to be critical or life-threatening for you to have grounds for a motorcycle accident claim. What one person might consider a minor injury, another might consider impactful.
For this reason, it is important to consider how your injuries have affected your life when it comes to your legal options. With that in mind, there are some types of injuries we see more frequently in Massachusetts motorcycle accident claims than others. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries(TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Emotional injuries
If you are unsure whether you have the right to move forward with a motorcycle accident claim, our personal injury team is here to discuss your legal options during a complimentary consultation.
Proving Liability and Negligence in Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Claims
Massachusetts motorcycle accident cases need to be proven based on a preponderance of the evidence. If you hope to recover compensation for your damages, your attorney will need to show that someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts were the cause of your motorcycle accident injuries.
The elements of negligence that need to be met are as follows:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
There are countless parties that could be at fault for your motorcycle accident based on the specific details of your case. In many motorcycle accident claims, negligent driving contributes to the collision. Some examples of unsafe driving practices include:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Failure to yield
- Making illegal turns
- Failure to stop
- Drunk driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Driving while fatigued
- Road rage
- Following too closely
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
However, there are also cases where malfunctioning vehicle parts and hazardous roads cause motorcycle accidents. Other parties who could share liability for your injuries, such as:
- Government agencies and officials
- Organizations responsible for road safety and maintenance
- Auto parts designers and producers
- Auto parts distributors and suppliers
- Safety inspectors and maintenance technicians
- Other third parties
Once your lawyer has a better idea of who is responsible for causing your injuries, you can begin the process of filing your insurance and civil claims.
What Happens When You are Partially At Fault
Far too many motorcycle accident victims are under the impression that if they are partially at fault for their injuries, they are not entitled to compensation for their damages. However, on the contrary, Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence system.
You can still recover compensation despite sharing fault. Instead, the civil courts will hold you accountable by reducing your injury settlement proportion to your liability percentage. There is a 51% threshold in Massachusetts. If your portion of liability exceeds that, you will lose your chance to recover compensation for your damages.
When Comparative Negligence Applies
For example, if you were not wearing the appropriate motorcycle safety equipment when struck by a distracted driver, the judge might find you 15% at fault for your injuries. If the jury awarded you $1 million for your damages, your million-dollar injury settlement would be reduced by 15%. This would leave you with a final motorcycle accident settlement of $850,000.
As you can see, the impact Massachusetts shared fault laws could have on your claim is significant. For this reason, you will want to be sure that your potential liability is evaluated accurately in your case.
What to Expect From the Motorcycle Accident Claims Process
If you are hesitant about moving forward with your Massachusetts motorcycle accident claim, you are not alone. In fact, many injury victims are concerned that the claims process will be exhausting and a waste of time.
However, once you better understand what to expect, you may feel more confident in moving forward with your case. With that in mind, here is a general idea of what you can expect from the motorcycle accident claims process in MA:
- You hire an attorney
- Your attorney investigates
- Your attorney gathers evidence to support your case
- You go over your damages to calculate the value of your claim
- You file a claim with the insurance company
- If insurance negotiations fail, you bring your case the court
You should note that every case is different. Some people may be able to find resolution through an insurance settlement. Others will need to file a civil lawsuit to maximize their compensation. You can find out more about how to best approach your case when you talk to your attorney.
Types of Compensation You May Recover After a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident
Because you are largely unprotected in a motorcycle collision, you can sustain serious, even life-threatening, injuries. Your injuries can leave you with mounting medical bills at the same time that they prevent you from working to support yourself and your family. Our law firm will help your family recover:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Accident-related loss of income
- Property damage or destruction
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages, if applicable
These costs can be recovered from the at-fault driver, rather than create financial hardship for victims of motorcycle accidents and their families. Our legal team will create a detailed list of your post-accident costs and fight hard for the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Put Our Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Work on Your Case Sooner Rather Than Later
You generally have three years from the date of the accident to file your personal injury lawsuit, per Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260 § 2A. Your family generally has three years from the date of the loss of a loved one to file its wrongful death lawsuit, according to Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 229, § 2.
These filing deadlines can be difficult to meet since they can fluctuate based on a number of factors. When you trust our law firm to handle your case, we work hard to file your lawsuit within the allotted time and avoid the costly consequences of filing too late.
How Motorcycle Accident Claims are Paid Out in Massachusetts
Motorcycle accident claims are paid out through insurance settlements or trial verdicts. Massachusetts is a no-fault state for auto insurance, so when you are involved in an accident, you can file a claim with your insurance company.
Your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will protect you no matter who is at fault for the accident. But keep in mind that motorcyclists are not required to carry PIP in Massachusetts. If your insurance settlement does not cover your damages, you may choose to bring your case to court. Your attorney will then present your case to a jury.
Reach Out To a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Massachusetts for Help
The motorcycle accident claims process does not need to be intimidating. When you are ready to hold the liable party accountable but are unsure how to get started on your case, our firm is here to help.
A Massachusetts motorcycle accident lawyer at GED Lawyers can get to work on your case today. Call us for your no-cost, risk-free consultation. One of our dedicated team members can help you find out how much your claim is worth.