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Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Safety Series: Speeding & Driver Behavior Debunked

SpeedingA favorite pastime for both New Hampshire and Massachusetts residents is riding their motorcycle and enjoying the beautiful New England scenery on the go. As much fun as this can be, motorcycles are unfortunately more dangerous than other types of motor vehicles in terms of motorcycle collision injuries and death.

We’re looking at four of the top motorcycle safety factors – helmets, driver behavior, riding clothes, and road conditions.

Let’s talk about driver behavior.

Myths About Motorcycle Training

Learning how to ride a motorcycle is much more challenging than riding a bicycle, however, a surprising amount of motorcycle owners have never had any type of operation or safety guidance. How you learn to operate your motorcycle plays a significant role in your overall driver behavior, even years after the fact.

Some myths about motorcycle classes include:

Formal Training Doesn’t Exist for Motorcycles

Many people think that it’s not possible to be formally trained on how to ride a motorcycle. After all, driver’s education for traditional motor vehicles is arguably lacking. However, quite the opposite is true. You are likely to find motorcycle training courses through your local motorcycle dealership, and some classes may even be free and operated by volunteers.

Formal Training Isn’t Necessary to Ride a Motorcycle

By far the most common myth about motorcycle training is that it’s not necessary. Formal training is rarely provided to motorcyclists if they know how to drive a car, although the two do not operate in the same way at all. Specific training on how to safely operate a motorcycle and avoid the common causes of a motorcycle accident is incredibly important.

Motorcycle Riding Do’s and Don’ts

These do’s and don’ts when you’re on your bike can help you avoid a catastrophic and even deadly motorcycle accident:

Do’s

  • Suit up. Make sure you’re wearing the proper protective gear before riding, including a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
  • Obey traffic laws. Be aware of the traffic laws in the area you’re riding in and follow them.
  • Drive cautiously. Many car and truck drivers don’t look for motorcycles when operating their vehicles. It’s never a bad idea to be extra cautious when on your bike.

Don’ts

  • Drink and drive. Drinking and operating a motorcycle is equally or even more dangerous than driving a car while intoxicated.
  • The faster you’re traveling at the time of your motorcycle accident, the more likely you are to sustain serious or even fatal injuries.
  • Drive recklessly. Motorcycle riders will often try to weave in and out of traffic to get by because their vehicle is small, or they may pass someone going slowly on the right if the left lane is full. However, these actions are highly likely to cause an accident.

I Was in a Motorcycle Collision and Was Partly at Fault. Can I Still Get Compensation?

If you are considered partially at fault for your motorcycle accident, you may be subject to comparative negligence laws. This means that the amount of your settlement award may be reduced by a percentage related to how much you contributed to the collision.

Are You or a Loved One a Motorcycle Accident Victim? Mazow | McCullough, PC Are Here for You

Don’t wait to get legal help in Massachusetts or New Hampshire if you or a family member were involved in a motorcycle collision through no fault of your own.

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have a track record of success representing motorcycle accident victims and their families. Contact us now for your consultation at 855-693-9084 or locally in Salem, MA at (978) 744-8000.

Motorcycle Safety Series: Road Conditions Debunked

Motorcycle SafetyRiding a motorcycle can be a great way to unwind and enjoy an entirely new driving experience. That said, motorcycles tend to be more dangerous than cars and trucks because they expose their riders to not only the elements, but the full force of a motorcycle accident should one occur.

We’re looking at four of the top motorcycle safety factors – helmets, riding clothes, road conditions, and driver behavior.

Let’s talk about road conditions.

Myths About Road Conditions

Road conditions play an important role in the safety of all motor vehicle drivers. Poor road conditions, either caused by rain and ice or construction, can easily cause a motorcycle rider to lose control over their bike.

Unfortunately, not as many motorcyclists take road conditions as seriously as they should. People often believe:

The Only Problem with Inclement Weather is Getting Wet

There’s more to riding a motorcycle in inclement weather than the inconvenience of getting wet. The truth is, how well a motorcyclist is able to operate their bike in bad weather has less to do with how skilled the motorcyclist is and more to do with how poorly a motorcycle is suited to rain, snow, ice, and sleet.

Their Motorcycle Can Handle Roads Under Construction

Even the most souped-up bike won’t function as well as a traditional vehicle when it comes to rough roads. Loose gravel, for example, can easily cause a motorcycle to lose traction and skid. If road construction forces you to stop suddenly, you could lose control over the vehicle and fishtail, be forced to lay your bike down, or even be thrown from it.

Common Ways Road Conditions Cause Motorcycle Accidents

Here are some of the most common ways road conditions cause motorcycle collisions:

  • Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose their grip on a wet road and ride on top of the water instead.
  • Road construction. Road construction often causes unexpected rough terrain, which a motorcycle or its operator may not be prepared for.
  • Debris on the road. If a utility truck, for example, spills debris like dirt or gravel on the road, this could cause a motorcycle rider to skid.

How to Avoid Accidents Caused by Poor Road Conditions

Here are some ways to avoid motorcycle collisions caused by road conditions:

  • Watch the weather in your area. Plan for riding days when inclement weather is not in the forecast.
  • Cancel rides and use another form of transportation when the weather is bad. Ride the bus, use a ridesharing service, or get a ride from a friend if the weather is bad and you don’t have access to another vehicle other than your motorcycle.
  • Avoid areas you know are under construction. Make a point to ride around areas of your city or town that are under construction and may have uneven pavement or other road defects that could cause a wreck.

Who Is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Poor Road Conditions?

Some people make the mistake of believing that no one can be held liable for a motorcycle collision caused by road conditions. While this may be true in cases where inclement weather was the only factor, there may be a liable party in cases where an accident was caused or exacerbated by poor road conditions related to city or state maintenance.

Were You the Victim of a Motorcycle Accident? Mazow | McCullough, PC Are Ready to Assist You

If you or someone you love were injured in a motorcycle accident, experienced attorneys Mazow | McCullough, PC can help. Contact us now for your consultation at 855-693-9084 or locally in Salem, MA at (978) 744-8000.

Motorcycle Safety Series: Riding Clothes Debunked

Riding ClothesMotorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, but they’re also one of the riskiest vehicles to operate. A motorcycle lacks the same protective metal cage as a car or truck, meaning the motorcycle rider’s body is exposed to the force of a collision should one occur.

It’s critical for motorcycle riders to take safety into their own hands and be proactive about decreasing the risk of life-threatening injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident.

We’re looking at four of the top motorcycle safety factors – helmets, riding clothes, road conditions, and driver behavior.

Let’s talk about motorcycle riding clothes.

Myths About Riding Clothes

Many people have misconceptions about the value of protective clothing when riding a motorcycle. They may assume:

Protective Clothing Is Only Necessary in the Rain

While waterproof protective motorcycle gear can help you stay dry, its primary purpose is to offer a layer of protection between your body and an accident and should be worn every time you ride.

It Doesn’t Matter What You Wear When You Ride

Science Direct published a study in Accident Analysis & Prevention that compared the medical records of accident victims who were and were not wearing protective motorcycle safety gear.

The results showed that motorcyclists who were wearing protective clothing at the time of their accident were less likely to be admitted to the hospital, and that specially-designed body armor is more effective at reducing injury severity than traditional leather jackets and pants.

There Aren’t Any Good Options for Summer Motorcycle Safety Gear

Thick jackets, gloves, and pants can be hard to wear in the summer months. Many people mistakenly assume that the same type of riding gear exists for all seasons and choose not to wear protective clothing as much or at all when it’s hot outside.

However, many manufacturers of protective clothing for motorcyclists offer breathable, lightweight jackets and other clothing options with armor in just the right places.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries That Can Be Prevented with Riding Clothes

  • Friction burns on exposed skin (also known as road rash)
  • Hand and foot injuries
  • Bleeding
  • Limb injuries
  • Other soft tissue injuries
  • Wrongful death

How to Choose Quality Riding Clothes

Riding clothes can be stylish and fun to wear, but the most important aspect is how well they protect you in the event of a motorcycle crash. Look for these safety features when selecting quality riding clothes:

  • Armored protection, particularly at the knees, elbows, and hips
  • A proper fit; clothing should not be too loose but should allow you to move comfortably
  • Reflective features that help other drivers on the road see you, especially at night
  • Water resistance
  • Good breathability

Remember that the first and most important part of your motorcycle safety gear is a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.

I Was in a Motorcycle Collision and Wasn’t Wearing Protective Clothing. Will My Lawsuit Be Affected?

If you weren’t wearing protective clothing at the time of your motorcycle collision, the other side’s lawyers are likely to try to place blame on you for injuries that clothing may have helped prevent, like road rash and hand injuries.

However, if the other driver was determined to be responsible for causing the accident, you should still be able to pursue compensation for the full amount of the damages you incurred. Only if you are also partially responsible for the accident would your settlement award be reduced.

Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident? Mazow | McCullough, PC Can Help You & Your Family

Mazow | McCullough, PC are seasoned motorcycle accident lawyers who practice in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us now for your consultation at 855-693-9084 or locally in Salem, MA at (978) 744-8000.

Motorcycle Safety Series: Motorcycle Helmets Debunked

Motorcycle HelmetsMotorcycles are among the most dangerous types of vehicles to drive, but also one of the most enjoyable. They offer little to no protection from outside forces, leaving drivers extremely vulnerable in accidents.

It’s up to the driver to take as many safety precautions as possible to reduce their risk of being seriously hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident.

We’re looking at four of the top motorcycle safety factors – helmets, riding clothes, road conditions, and driver behavior.

Let’s talk about motorcycle helmets.

Myths About Motorcycle Helmets

Not all motorcycle riders are enthusiastic about wearing a helmet. They might think:

It’s Harder to See When Wearing a Helmet

If you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT), your visual field should not be impacted. You may need more time to become accustomed to a new helmet, or you may have problems with your vision unrelated to your helmet.

It’s Harder to Hear When Wearing a Helmet

Three-quarter and full-face motorcycle helmets reduce wind noise, meaning they can actually improve your hearing on the road.

It’s Not Necessary to Wear a Helmet in Massachusetts or New Hampshire

Massachusetts law requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear a state-approved helmet when riding a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire has yet to pass progressive helmet safety laws and does not require helmet use by motorcyclists or their passengers.

Motorcycle Helmet Statistics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Motorcycle helmets reduce the chances of a motorcycle accident being fatal by 37%.
  • Helmets reduce the risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by 69%.
  • In 2016, helmets saved approximately 1,859 lives.
  • If all motorcyclists chose to wear a DOT-approved helmet that year, 802 additional lives would have been saved.
  • If all motorcyclists chose to wear a DOT approved helmet, the U.S. would save roughly $1 billion annually.

How to Choose a Good Motorcycle Helmet

Selecting a motorcycle helmet tends to be more involved than shopping for a bicycle helmet. Ideally, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of styles, shapes, and sizes and someone will be able to help you take measurements or answer questions.

What to Look For

  • A high DOT rating
  • A good fit
  • Comfort over time

After you find the right helmet, be sure to look at options for quality riding clothes – another often overlooked type of motorcycle safety gear.

I Was in a Motorcycle Crash and Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet. Will My Lawsuit Be Affected?

If you were in a motorcycle collision and were not wearing a helmet, the other side’s attorneys will likely try to pin any head, face, and neck injuries on you.

However, if the other driver’s negligence caused the accident, they can be usually be held legally responsible for all the damages that arose from it. If you are determined to also be partially at fault for the cause of the accident though, your settlement may be reduced by the percentage of your fault.

Involved in a Motorcycle Accident? Mazow | McCullough, PC Are the Experienced Injury Attorneys You Need

Mazow, McCullough, PC are experienced motorcycle accident attorneys who are committed to serving injured victims and their families in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Contact us now for your consultation at 855-693-9084 or locally in Salem, MA at (978) 744-8000.

Preventing Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle AccidentsYou may be wondering what would happen if you are involved in a motorcycle wreck in New Hampshire or Massachusetts during this unprecedented time. If you are hurt, it may be harder to receive medical care. Fortunately, the following advice from Mazow | McCullough, PC can help you prevent motorcycle accidents.

Tips to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

What can you do to protect yourself, your loved ones and those you share the road with from the dangers of motorcycle accidents? There are a few safety provisions that you should remember:

  • Maintain your motorcycle and make sure that it is always in good working condition. Do regular check-ups to ensure that nothing needs a tune-up. Get professional repair help if needed.
  • Avoid riding with passengers if you know that they may distract you on the road, especially during this unusual time.
  • Do not ride your bike in inclement weather or when other hazardous conditions are present. Checking weather and traffic conditions before you head out on the road can help you safely prepare for your ride – you can do so online.
  • Stay alert when riding your motorcycle. Scan your surroundings for hazards and always stay aware of what your fellow motorists are doing on the road.
  • Avoid using a cell phone or any other electronic device while riding, which is now illegal in the state of Massachusetts. GPS devices and other necessities should be set in order before you begin your ride.
  • Take a motorcycle safety training course. Education can truly save a life, especially if you are a new rider or have not brushed up on your safety knowledge for a long time.

These tips are important to remember – not only during this challenging time, but forever. Making a note of them now and taking them seriously for the rest of your life can help you make the roads safer for everyone, including yourself.

A Word on Drinking and Biking

It is also important to remember that you must never drink before riding your motorcycle, which is illegal as well as extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, many motorists are involved in alcohol-related crashes each year in the United States.

If you know you will be drinking, plan ahead. Enlist the aid of a trusted friend or family member to transport you or allow you to spend a night at their home as needed.

Motorcycle Accidents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire: Where to Get Help

Knowing how to help protect yourself and others during this challenging period can help you feel greater control over your life and safety. However, if you or a loved one has already faced a motorcycle accident, contact Mazow | McCullough, PC. We are still here to help you find justice for pain and suffering as a result of motorcycle accidents.

Wrongful Death in Motorcycle Accidents (Podcast)

From helmets to obeying the rules of the road, there are many factors that could contribute to a wrongful death in a motorcycle accident. Personal injury attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough discuss what to do if a loved one dies as a result of a motorcycle accident. Listen or read more to learn more.

John Maher: Hey, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow McCullough, the personal injury law firm with offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Today, we’re talking about wrongful death involving motorcycle accidents. Robert and Kevin, welcome.

Robert Mazow: Thanks, John.

Kevin McCullough: Thank you, John.

John: So, what causes a motorcycle accident? What are some of the most common causes, and why are so many of them fatal?

Kevin: We see a number of different reasons that motorcycle collisions occur or causes for motorcycle collisions, ranging from drivers of motorcycles and/or motor vehicles just simply not paying attention to speed issues or going beyond the speed limit, not paying attention to traffic signals, not being aware of their surroundings or how close they are to other vehicles, whether it’s on a highway and a car is changing lanes and they just don’t see that motorcycle in the blind spot. But, here in the northeast part of the country, there are so many other reasons why we see them. In the winter months when the roads are slippery and we’re seeing salt and sand placed on the roadways to make the road safe, that’s a very dangerous hazardous condition for someone driving a motorcycle, whether they pull it out on a nice a winter day when it’s not too cold out or those early rides in the spring season when there’s still a lot of sand and debris on the roadway, it can be very dangerous out there.

So, in addition to the typical reasons that somebody might think about for motorcycle collisions, we also have some extra hazards and factors here in this part of the country that we have to deal with.

John: Okay. And then of course, with a motorcycle as compared to a car or a truck, you just have so much less protection as a driver, that you’re bound to get thrown onto the road, and that’s going to be potentially fatal.

Robert: Right. Well, we certainly see a lot more likelihood of a death if a motorcycle is involved than if two cars are involved. Motorcyclists clearly are not protected with steel barriers like a person in a car is protected. I mean, a motorcyclist — a smart motorcyclist — will wear their leathers, they’ll wear their helmet. But we know that many motorcyclists — certainly, New Hampshire motorcyclists — there’s no requirement that they wear a helmet. Unfortunately, we see some pretty terrible injuries when a motorcycle is struck by a vehicle, and sometimes, it leads to death.

Helmet Laws in New Hampshire and Massachusetts

John: You bring up a good point, which is that in New Hampshire, there is no helmet law, but in Massachusetts there is. How does that make things different in terms of how you approach the case, you know, involving somebody who has been killed, maybe in Massachusetts when maybe they haven’t been wearing their helmet like they’re required to?

Robert: I think as far as the liability part of the case, the what happened, who was at fault, whether a person was wearing a helmet or not, it doesn’t make a difference. If a driver of the vehicle is texting and they strike a motorcyclist and the motorcyclist has done nothing wrong, yet the motorcyclist isn’t wearing his helmet, it doesn’t mean it’s the motorcyclists fault. Now, if the motorcyclist dies as a result, strictly of a head injury, the smart defense attorney, the person defending the vehicle that was at fault, will certainly raise, and we’ll get an expert to say, “Had the motorcyclist been wearing a helmet, they would not have died.” Of course, there may be another expert on the other side that will possibly say, “It doesn’t matter if they were wearing a helmet or not. The severity of the impact was large enough that would have caused death anyway.”

So, if the law says to wear a helmet, we certainly encourage you to wear a helmet, but it’s not necessarily going to be a deciding factor if there’s a crash.

Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident

John: Okay. How do you determine fault in a motorcycle accident? Is it different than a normal car accident?

Kevin: It’s pretty similar, John, in that there are rules of the roadway, there are traffic signals, traffic signs, speed limits. The driver of a motorcycle and a motor vehicle are both obligated to follow those rules of the road to obey the traffic signals, to obey the speed limit. Those are the typical reasons that collisions may occur, whether someone’s speeding or just not paying attention. But, as I mentioned earlier, when you’re driving a motorcycle, there are so many different factors involved. Being exposed to the elements, whether it’s weather or the roads being slick, but just, you know, not being seen by people driving a motor vehicle. Those are a number of different reasons of why these things occur and going to the extent of the damages of when you’re exposed.

John: Are there any other aspects of motorcycle accident wrongful death lawsuits that make them different from other types of lawsuits?

Robert: As far as the lawsuit is concerned, they’re pretty straight-forward. If it’s determined that a motor vehicle causes a crash that leads to the death of a motorcyclist, a lawsuit would be filed. It would include claims for negligence. It would include claims for possibly reckless driving, gross negligence. But they’re fairly similar to other types of motor vehicle lawsuits.

John: Okay. That’s great information. Rob and Kevin, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thanks, John.

Kevin: Thank you, John.

John: For more information on personal injury cases, visit the firm’s website at helpinginjured.com or call 855-693-9084.

Motorcycle Accidents and Insurance Coverage (Podcast)

There are many ins and outs when dealing with motorcycle insurance coverage. Attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of Mazow McCullough law offices discuss what motorcyclists need to know to stay fully insured. Listen or read more to find out what you need to know.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the law office of Mazow McCullough, a personal injury law firm with offices in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Today we’re talking about motorcycle accidents and insurance coverage. Rob and Kevin, welcome.

Robert Mazow: Thank you.

Kevin McCullough: Thank you, John.

John: How is insurance coverage different in a motorcycle accident versus a car accident?

Kevin: John, the coverages that come into play for a motorcycle collision or incident or injury can be much different than the coverages that come into play for a car accident. Just like when you’re insuring your motor vehicle, you want to sit down with your insurance agent and go over the different potential scenarios to make sure that you have the proper coverage in place. You certainly want to do that with a motorcycle.

And the reason why it’s so important to do that with a motorcycle is, here in Massachusetts, when you insure your car, you are required to have a certain line of coverage to have your car lawfully on the road. And that coverage is called personal injury protection benefits. Those benefits will protect you if you’re injured in a car accident and provide some coverage to you for medical bills and lost wages. But, that personal injury protection coverage is just not available to you as a motorcyclist. Whether you want it or not, you just can’t get it.

When you are an owner of a motorcycle and you go to insure the motorcycle, step one, you want to make sure you get the right coverage and you let your insurance agent know that. And what we suggest or recommend to our clients who operate or drive motorcycles is to be sure to get what’s called medical payments coverage. And that will protect you as a motorcyclist if you’re injured in a motorcycle collision, whether it’s with a motor vehicle or some other object. It’s a layer of coverage that’s there for you to provide coverage to you for medical bills or medical treatment.

And, oftentimes, clients may not know that unless they’re involved in an incident or a collision and they start to have medical bills adding up and they’re just not sure what to do, and they assumed that certain coverage was in place. So, we have health insurance requirements and even if you have health insurance, it’s great to have a benefit of protection to pay for medical bills and treatment. But, here in Massachusetts it’s heavily regulated and you’re obligated to have medical bills from a car accident processed a certain way. And just like with a motorcycle, you’re obligated to have medical bills processed a certain way.

Those coverages — and how they interplay with each other — can be tricky and you want to make sure you start to answer those questions before there’s an incident.

Motorcycle vs. Auto Insurance in an Accident

John: Okay. And then how does the motorcyclists own insurance and the car driver’s insurance, if there’s an accident between them come into play in the relationship between those two different insurance companies?

Robert: Well, I think to answer that question, let’s assume that the motorcycle was not at-fault for the crash . . . that it was the fault of the car. Let’s say it struck the motorcyclist. Kevin said there’s no personal injury protection available to the motorcyclist, so the motorcyclist’s medical bills have to be taken care of, hopefully by their own health insurance. The insurance of the vehicle that struck them would be responsible for compensation for pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity — the sort of special damages that we see in those instances.

Now, just to drill down a little bit about what Kevin said. Sometimes a motorcyclist might be struck by a vehicle that doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover for what could be a very substantial injury or a death. Among the other coverages that would be important for motorcyclists to have would be a high option of bodily injury coverage, which would allow them to have a high under insurance motorist coverage, which would provide an extra layer of protection if the vehicle that strikes them does not have enough insurance coverage.

John: Okay. That’s all really great information Rob and Kevin thanks again for speaking with me today.

Kevin: Thank you, John.

Robert: Thanks, John.

John: And for more information on personal injury cases and motorcycle accidents, visit the firm’s website at helpinginjured.com or call 855-693-9084.

Insurance for Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Insurance

In most cases, the insurance coverage for motorcycles is very similar to the coverage you get for cars or trucks. However, there are some differences. To ensure you’re protected from the financial effects of a motorcycle accident, you may want the following types of coverage.

Bodily Injury Liability

Most, if not all states require you to have liability coverage on your motorcycle. This coverage kicks in and pays for the other driver’s bodily injuries if you are at fault for an accident.. That includes medical costs, but it can also include lost wages due to the injuries and psychological suffering.

In Massachusetts, you are required to have at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage for your motorcycle. New Hampshire doesn’t require motorcycle owners to have any liability coverage, but to be on the safe side, you should get coverage anyway.

However, if any of the following things happen in New Hampshire, you will need to get coverage and register an SR-22 liability policy with the state:

  • Being in an accident
  • Getting charged with driving under the influence
  • Facing multiple reckless driving charges
  • Dealing with any traffic violation that may trigger the DMV to look at your situation

In New Hampshire, your SR-22 must include at least $25,000 liability coverage per person for injuries or death, up to $50,000 liability coverage per accident, and up to $25,000 for property damage.

Property Damage Liability

Like bodily injury liability, property damage liability also covers situations when you are responsible for the accident. This type of coverage applies to damage to the other driver’s vehicle or other property damage.

In Massachusetts, you must have at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage for your motorcycle. As long as you have this and your bodily injury coverage, that is all you are legally required to have, but you may want to add additional coverage to your motorcycle to protect yourself financially. As indicated above, you only need property damage liability coverage in New Hampshire, if you’ve been ordered to obtain an SR-22 policy.

Collision Coverage

Keep in mind that liability coverage only covers damage sustained by the other driver. If you just have liability coverage and you get into an accident that’s your fault, your insurance won’t cover any of your expenses. To prevent that from happening, you need collision coverage. That helps to pay for your motorcycle repair and replacement costs.

Coverage for Custom Parts

Do you have any custom parts on your motorcycle? If so, those parts may increase the value of your motorcycle beyond the average value for that make and model of bike. To ensure everything is covered, talk with your agent about extra coverage for specific custom parts.

Medical Payments

Unfortunately, collision coverage usually only extends to costs related directly to the motorcycle. If you’re injured in the accident, you have to use your health insurance to cover your bodily injuries or you have to pay out of pocket. Alternatively, medical payments coverage can step in to help with these bills. Note that if you tend to ride with a passenger on your bike, you should get medical payments coverage for at least two people. This coverage is usually calculated on a per-person basis.

Towing Coverage

Towing coverage is very specific, and it tends to be quite affordable. If you get in an accident, this covers the cost of towing your motorcycle to the repair shop.

Rental Car Coverage

People often forget to even consider rental car coverage on their motorcycle policies, and if your motorcycle is just for weekend drives, you probably don’t need this type of coverage. However, if your motorcycle is your main vehicle, you should consider adding this coverage to your policy. If you’re in a motorcycle accident and you can’t drive your motorcycle, this covers the cost of renting a vehicle to get around.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

Unfortunately, not all drivers are responsible enough to insure themselves adequately, and still others don’t have insurance at all. Usually, when another driver causes an accident, their insurance covers the damage, but if they have too little coverage or no insurance at all, their policy won’t cover your damages. In this situation, you need under or uninsured motorist coverage. Generally, there are two types of coverage to protect yourself from un and underinsured motorists in a motorcycle accident: bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured bodily injury coverage covers your medical bills, physical therapy, and similar costs related to your accident in situations where the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance. If you don’t have comprehensive health insurance, you may want to get this type of coverage to be on the safe side.

Uninsured/Underinsured Property Damage Coverage

This coverage helps with any property damage that occurs as the result of an accident with an un or underinsured driver. For instance, if an uninsured driver runs over your motorcycle and completely destroys it, this type of coverage kicks in. Arguably, if you already have health insurance, this type of coverage is even more essential than bodily injury coverage.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you can’t always rely on motorcycle insurance to cover the damages, and that’s where we come in. At Mazow | McCullough, P.C., we can help you get the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident. For a free case evaluation, contact us today at (978) 744-8000.

Why PTSD Is a Real Issue After a Motorcycle Wreck

PTSDAfter experiencing trauma, people may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD involves intense psychological and emotional distress, physical pain, depression, and anxiety. And after a motorcycle accident, PTSD can be a very real and serious issue.

Who Gets PTSD After A Motorcycle Wreck?

About 25% of people or more involved in motorcycle accidents develop PTSD. No one is immune. You can develop the condition regardless of your age, education, or marital status. PTSD can occur after both severe or minor injuries, and it can also occur in cases where someone died as well as in accidents where everyone survived.

Your risk of PTSD increases in the following situations:

  • You had a violent injury in the past
  • You feel some guilt regarding the accident
  • A person died in the crash
  • You are female
  • You have a history of depression

Even if you weren’t directly involved in the motorcycle accident, you may develop PTSD if you were:

  • A passenger on the motorcycle that crashed, even if you had no physical injuries
  • The occupant of a vehicle involved in the wreck
  • A witness to the accident
  • A person who saw severely or fatally injured people
  • A bystander who gave assistance to people hurt or killed
  • A loved one dealing with the aftermath of a family member’s motorcycle crash

How PTSD Affects Your Life

The American Psychiatric Association states that the disturbing feelings and thoughts associated with PTSD can linger for a long time, potentially for the rest of your life. This can contribute to the possibility of depression, job loss, divorce, substance abuse, and a whole host of other mental health challenges.

After an accident, the PTSD symptoms that survivors are most likely to experience include the following:

  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Nightmares
  • A feeling of numbness
  • Avoidance of places, people, and/or situations that remind you of the accident
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Anxiety over and fear of riding a motorcycle
  • Questioning your ability to make effective decisions

Occasionally, you may have several PTSD symptoms after an accident, but your symptoms may not be severe enough to get a PTSD diagnosis. In these cases, you may still benefit from psychological treatment or medical help. If you have been in an accident, you should visit with a mental health professional to determine if you might have PTSD or even just a few symptoms.

PTSD Can Affect Your Legal Settlement

Medical experts agree that PTSD is a real issue that can completely change a person’s life, and not for the better. PTSD damages can be a mix of economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages can include the cost of PTSD treatment, lost wages, and a drop in earning potential. Non-economic damages may include mental anguish and emotional distress. In fact, if PTSD prevents you from riding a motorcycle again, you may even be able to collect damages for your loss of enjoyment of life.

Linking PTSD to Your Accident Can Be Difficult

Usually, the symptoms of PTSD become evident within three to six months after the accident. But in some cases, PTSD symptoms can take longer to develop, and that can make it hard to prove that the PTSD was linked to the accident. However, a motorcycle accident attorney can work with your treatment team, and together, they can find the most effective records and expert testimony to establish your case.

A motorcycle accident attorney can also help to assess the value of your injury based on direct economic costs as well as indirect costs. If you believe that you may be suffering from PTSD due to a motorcycle accident, we can help. To learn more, contact us for a free case evaluation. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have helped many motorcycle accident victims get the justice they deserve, and we can help you too.

Most Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcycle InjuriesWhen you’re in a motorcycle accident, injuries are fairly inevitable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, less than 5% of motorcyclists walk away unscathed after an accident. About 75% suffer minor or moderate injuries, while 20% face serious, severe, or critical injuries. Here’s a look at the most common injuries after an accident.

Injuries to Extremities

When the NHTSA examined the medical records of 43,423 motorcyclists, they found that the most common injuries were in the upper and lower extremities. Injuries in this category included everything from bruises and scrapes to broken bones and amputated limbs.

Road Rash

External injuries, such as road rash, happen in about 25% of accidents. Road rash occurs when your skin rubs against the road during a motorcycle accident. This causes large scrapes, abrasions, and the loss of skin. Although there may not be excessive bleeding with road rash, the injuries can look very severe, and if not treated properly, there can be a risk of infection.

Road rash treatment typically involves applying antiseptic creams and bandaging the wounds. As the skin starts to heal, you need to apply moisturizers, and if no complications arise, these motorcycle accident injuries can heal within two weeks. However, you need to watch the wounds for signs of infection, such as swelling, pus, or flu-like symptoms.

Burns

Burns can happen if you contact a hot part of your bike or if you are exposed to chemicals during the accident. In some cases, severe road rash can even lead to third degree burns. In one situation, a motorcyclist suffered burns due to a driver flicking a cigarette out of their car.

With burns, the treatment process is roughly the same as you receive for road rash, but in severe cases, you may need skin grafts. The healing also takes a lot longer.

Facial Injuries and Fractures

Facial injuries can also be common after a motorcycle accident. Approximately 20% of riders received minor or moderate facial injuries after their motorcycle accidents. Another 6.4% of motorcyclists faced serious, severe, or critical injuries in this area. This includes bruises, scrapes, fractures, and even facial disfigurement. The treatment process and the healing time varies based on the type of injury.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

In the majority of cases, traumatic brain injuries are not diagnosed, but 4.1% of victims suffer potential or mild TBI. Another 7.4% of riders experience moderate TBI, and 5.8% have severe brain injuries. With riders don’t wear a helmet, the risks of TBI are much higher. Overall, 15.3% of riders without helmets suffered from mild to severe TBI, while only 11.7% of helmeted riders faced those issues.

Immediately after the accident, you may feel confused or disoriented if you have a brain injury. However, even if there are no symptoms, you should still seek medical treatment. They can help you rule out any issues. If you have a brain injury and you go home without treatment, the results can be disastrous. If you fall asleep, you may never wake up.

With severe TBI, motorcyclists experience cognitive and behavioral impairments, and they often go into comas. Depending on the extent of the injury, the victim may experience loss of basic functions, seizures, and mental health issues. A TBI may require surgery to reduce pressure and make sure the brain is receiving oxygen. Then, you may need monitoring and testing to keep tabs on the condition. As you recover, you may need physical and/or occupational therapy.

Spinal Cord Injuries

These injuries occur in about 11.2% of motorcycle accidents. When your spinal cord is injured, you may lose feeling in your limbs or be completely paralyzed. In this situation, it can be essential to bring a case against the at-fault driver because your long-term care and inability to work can be extremely expensive.

Death

Approximately 4% of motorcyclists die after a crash. About 56% of these deaths involve a motorcycle and another vehicle, and often, the other driver is at fault. The majority of the time (78%), the driver hits the motorcycle from behind; rear-end accidents only account for about 5% of these accidents. If a loved one has died in a motor cycle accident, and the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death suit.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or if you have lost a loved one in an accident, we may be able to help. To learn more, contact us at (855) 693-9084 today. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have extensive experience helping people who’ve been in motorcycle accidents or faced other personal injury issues.

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