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Motorcycle Accidents

What Insurance Coverage is Available for Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle InsuranceIn 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 Insurance for Motorcycle Accidents

All states require you to have liability coverage. Liability is when you’re responsible for the motorcycle accident, and when that happens, this coverage kicks in and pays for the other driver’s bodily injuries. 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, which is a certificate of proof of liability insurance, 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, you must have 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 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.

Personal Injury Protection

If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, you may face more expenses than just medical costs and motorcycle repairs. If you can’t work, you may lose wages, and you may also need to pay for extra help around the house. Personal injury protection covers those expenses as well as funeral expenses if needed.

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.

Top Safety Necessities for Motorcycle Riders

Ride a motorcycle long enough and one thing comes to mind with each ride – you are vulnerable. Part of the thrill of motorcycle riding is not being encased in a steel cage and instead, coexisting with the speed and elements of the road.

However, motorcycles are harder to see than cars and trucks and not every motorist is careful to look out for you. One motorcycle accident could mean months of recovery and time away from your beloved bike. While the hope is to never be hit by a careless motorist, it is best to be prepared just in case. Here’s the safety equipment you should wear with each ride and a pre-ride checklist to ensure your motorcycle is safe.

Safety Equipment

Start with making good decisions regarding the clothing you wear on every ride. Conventional jeans and flip-flops are just asking for fractures and road rash should the worst-case scenario occur. Instead, make the investment for good-fitting protective gear,

Your most essential safety items include:

  • Helmet. You only have one head, so protect it. Try on several DOT approved helmets and find the right fit for you. A helmet greatly decreases your chance of death in the event of a collision.
  • Jacket. A good motorcycle jacket protects you from road rash and can even reduce the chance of fractures. Thick leather is often enough, but you can also add extra protection with long sleeves underneath.
  • Gloves. Inclement weather and insects can affect your grip, making gloves essential. Gloves also protect your hands should you take a tumble and need to catch yourself.
  • Boots. Motorcycle boots do not normally have laces, but if you wear heavy laced boots, be sure you tuck the laces in to prevent them from getting caught in the chassis as you ride. Thick soles help you balance your bike at stops and protect your feet in case of an accident.
  • Chaps or Pants. Thick riding jeans may be adequate in most collisions, but specialized motorcycle pants or chaps offer better protection. You will enjoy being shielded from the elements as well as the road if anything unfortunate occurs.
  • Eye Protection. Many riders find the visor on their helmets adequate. If you want more protection from debris and UV rays, or your helmet does not have a visor, look into a good pair of motorcycle goggles.

Other items you may consider include ear plugs, safety vests, chest armor, and extra knee and elbow padding. Ear plugs and other hearing protection is becoming a bigger priority among riders, especially those who like loud engine models. If you decide to invest in extra armor and padding beyond your jacket, buy for a good fit so you can still maneuver your motorcycle effectively.

Before Your Ride

Motorcycle accidents can often occur due to issues with the bike itself. A bike malfunction can easily cause an accident, or you may be hit by another vehicle while you are broken down on the side of the road.

One way to avoid these types of crashes is to check your bike thoroughly before every ride. You should check:

  • Tire inflation;
  • Fluid levels;
  • Fuel system;
  • Electrical systems;
  • Valves; and
  • Bulbs, especially your head and taillights.

If anything seems off with your motorcycle, it is likely a good day to avoid a ride. Finish any needed service instead so you can take a safer ride at another time.

However, even the most conscientious and experienced riders may overlook something important. If despite your best efforts, you still face a breakdown, you reduce your chances of accidents and injuries if you do not stay immobile for too long.

In addition to wearing the right gear, you should also carry emergency equipment. A tire-plug kit can resolve tire issues in the short term and a mobile device with GPS can help roadside assistance find you faster. Headlamps, flashlights, hazard lights, and even duct tape can also prove to be vital if you face a dangerous situation.

If you perform your own mechanical work, do not forget your tools. A quick repair can be a lifesaver if it gets you off the shoulder of a highway in a timely manner.

Motorcycle accidents frequently result in severe injuries and to make matters worse, insurance coverage often does not handle these instances the same way as auto accidents. Mazow | McCullough, PC understands these differences and is ready to help you secure compensation for motorcycle accident injuries or wrongful death.

Call us today for an appointment learn more about motorcycle accident compensation at (855) 693-9084.

Coping with Wrongful Death After a Motorcycle Accident

An accident with a motorcycle. traffic accidents with skid marks on road. photo icon.

Losing a loved one unexpectedly takes its toll. Grief is a mixture of shock, anger, and a host of other complex emotions that seem to occur all at once. These feelings often intensify if the death occurred due to the negligence of another.

If you lost a spouse, child, friend or family member in a motorcycle accident, it is essential that you take care of yourself and allow yourself to process the grief. Many times, this is not a journey to take on your own and you need support. Here are national and local resources that can help you cope with this tremendous loss.

The Compassionate Friends Program

If you lost a child in a motorcycle accident, Compassionate Friends is there for you. This support group exists for parents who lost a child. It does not matter if your child was a minor or adult, the resources will help you all the same.

You can visit their website to order a bereavement packet and check for a chapter near you so you can spend time with others who are similarly situated. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone is enough.

The Good Grief Program

If you lost a spouse in a motorcycle accident and you have children, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of managing your own grief as well as that of your children.

This is a case where help and guidance can be highly beneficial. The Good Grief Program through Boston Medical Center offers resources to help children, and the adults in their lives, deal with grief. You can also find counseling services and additional support.

While not directly affiliated with the Good Grief Program, there are also bereavement camps available for children. That gives them the chance to meet other children in the same situation and feel less alone.

Local Support Groups

Grief can be overwhelming and it is often a good idea to hire a counselor–especially if you decide to file a wrongful death case. Sometimes, in addition to a one-on-one relationship with a mental health professional, people also like support groups.

Often, local support programs are run by clinics and not managed by national groups. Some of them are general and accept people from many types of situations, including losing a loved one due to wrongful death.

Mazow | McCullough P.C. represents those who lost loved ones in motorcycle accidents. While money in no way replaces the loved one you are missing, it can help you cover unexpected current and future expenses, as well as ensure that justice is served to the person(s) responsible for the collision. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by calling toll free at (855) 693-9084.

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Why Motorcycle Accidents Are Almost Always More Serious Than Car Accidents

Motorcycle AccidentsMotorcycle accidents often result in critical injury or death, both in single-motorcycle accidents and motorcycle-vehicle accidents. While some car accidents can be equally devastating, motorcycle accidents are generally more serious than car accidents. Here’s why.

Motorcycle Riders Are Less Protected

Wearing a helmet is crucial to protecting yourself against traumatic brain injury when involved in a motorcycle accident. However, even with a helmet, a motorcycle rider is much more exposed to the force of a crash than a person driving or riding in a passenger vehicle. A motorcycle rider’s body is directly subjected to a crash, while a vehicle absorbs some or even all of the impact of a collision before reaching the driver. This means that apart from TBI’s, motorcycle accidents result in more bodily injury, including broken bones, loss of limb, and soft tissue injuries.

Speeding

Speeding is a significant factor in both passenger vehicle crashes and motorcycle collisions. However, speeding tends to be more of an issue for motorcyclists, either because they are speeding around vehicles, or vehicles are speeding around them. Drivers of passenger cars often refuse to acknowledge the rights to the road that a motorcyclist has and treats them as a nuisance versus treating them like drivers who have equal share of the road. Unfortunately, speeding is known to result in more serious injuries than collisions where speeding isn’t a factor.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a concern for anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle, be it a motorcycle or a traditional passenger car, or even a truck. However, alcohol is a factor in more deadly motorcycle accidents than car accidents. Nearly half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol, while in 2015, only a third of deadly car crashes could be attributed to alcohol. These statistics include accidents where the motorcycle rider was found to have been driving while intoxicated, so it’s absolutely critical that motorcycle riders avoid drinking before getting on their bike.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC Today

If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle accident, or you’ve unfortunately lost a loved one to a motorcycle crash, it’s important that you obtain legal representation. There’s a strong chance that negligence of some form attributed to the collision that injured you or killed your loved one, and you may be able to obtain justice and fair compensation for the damages you and your family have incurred.

Contact us today for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case at (855) 693-9084.

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Should You Lay Your Bike Down to Avoid an Accident?

Many motorcyclists believe that the best course of action is to lay down their bike — and themselves — when an accident is imminent. The theory is that this action helps to avoid a full-on collision with another vehicle. While laying a bike down used to be taught as a safety measure in the early days of motorcycle enthusiasm, it’s no longer a wise choice. In fact, it may result in more serious injuries. Here’s what you need to know.

Injuries Caused by Laying Your Bike Down

If you lay your bike down to try to avoid an accident, you may avoid one collision, but face an equally significant problem. You could be left with a totaled motorcycle and serious or critical injuries like:

  • Broken bones
  • Amputated limbs
  • Road rash or severe friction burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries, especially if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet
  • Neck injuries

If such serious injuries can occur from laying a bike down before an accident, why was it recommended as a safety measure and still encouraged by many motorcyclists today?

Improved Motorcycle Technology

Over the years, motorcycle technology has improved exponentially. Today’s motorcycles have safety features that make swerving to avoid a collision possible, as well as:

  • Anti-lock braking systems
  • Improved tires with increased traction
  • Improved mirror technology that allows for motorcyclists to see to the side and back of them
  • Better steering and maneuverability

This technology allows motorcyclists to avoid accidents more easily, and when coupled with motorcycle safety techniques like always wearing a DOT approved helmet, it’s no longer necessary – or advised – to lay your bike down to avoid a collision.

When to Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member were hurt in a motorcycle accident, or if your loved one died in a crash, don’t wait to get the help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. The insurance company’s job is to save as much money as they can on the claim, and they’ll often attempt to offer you a settlement much lower than you deserve for the damages you incurred. With the help of a lawyer, you can put pressure on the insurance company and pursue litigation if necessary in order to ensure that medical bills, lost wages, emotional suffering and other damages related to the accident are covered.

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we are committed to providing victims of motorcycle accidents and their families with zealous legal representation. We will examine every facet of the incident to determine who may be held legally liable for injuries to you or a loved one. Call us now for an appointment to learn more about your legal rights after a motorcycle crash at (855) 693-9084.

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3 Top Causes of Motorcycle Deaths

Motorcycle DeathsMotorcycle accidents occur often on the roads of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, especially when the weather is warm and conducive to riding. However, motorcycles can be dangerous vehicles and riders are far more at risk for fatalities if an accident occurs than the driver of a car. Here are three top causes of motorcycle deaths and what you can do if you’ve lost a loved one due to a wrongful death caused by a motorcycle accident.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is the number one cause of motorcycle accident deaths. While a motorcycle helmet greatly decreases the chances of a fatal TBI, those who get into a wreck without a helmet are at a much higher risk for a brain injury that leads to death.

Helmet laws differ from state to state, and Massachusetts and New Hampshire both have different helmet laws. In Massachusetts, you must wear a helmet at all times if you are riding a motorcycle or are in a sidecar. In New Hampshire, however, you are only required to wear a helmet if you are under the age of 18. Regardless of the law, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can save lives.

Crush Injuries

Motorcycle accidents often involve a rider and potentially his or her motorcycle to be crushed in between two objects, e.g. the vehicle that hit the rider and another stationary object, such as a tree. Even at low speeds, crush injuries such as this have a high probability of ending in a fatality.

Blood Loss

Whether due to internal injuries sustained in the accident or a severe open wound, blood loss can account for many motorcycle accident deaths. If the bleeding is internal, the motorcyclist or even physicians at the hospital may not know until it is too late.

Understanding how a motorcycle accident victim came to pass away as a result of a collision is crucial in proving fault, so it’s important to establish not only the cause of the accident itself, but the cause of death as well. Medical records are an especially important part of a motorcycle case that ended in a fatality.

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we understand how devastating it is to lose a loved one after a motorcycle crash. We know that life will never be the same for you and your family, and we’re committed to providing you with comprehensive, compassionate legal help during this difficult time. We can help you not only to recover compensation for the financial burdens you’ve had to face after your loved one’s passing, but also help hold responsible the person whose negligence or carelessness caused the accident. Contact us today for a consultation by calling 855-693-9084 or 978-744-8000.

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How to Stay Safe When Riding a Motorcycle

While motorcycles can be a lot of fun to ride, there’s no ignoring that they can also be dangerous. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that in 2015, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than a passenger car per mile traveled, and nearly 5 times more likely to be critically injured. Taking safety precautions whenever possible is crucial to reducing the risk of a serious injury or fatality in the event of an accident.

Riding a Motorcycle

Here’s how you can stay safer when engaging in the activity you enjoy.

Wear a Helmet

In Massachusetts, the helmet law requires all person(s) riding a bicycle or motorcycle to wear a DOT approved helmet. However, in New Hampshire, a helmet is only a requirement for individuals under the age of 18.

Regardless of the law, a helmet can save your life in the event of a motorcycle accident. In fact, the same NHTSA report suggested that as many as 1,772 lives were saved by a helmet in 2015. Statistics show that a helmet is 37% effective at preventing a fatality to a motorcycle driver and 41% effective at preventing a fatality to a motorcycle passenger. Always ride your motorcycle with a helmet to reduce the risk of death or serious injury if you should get into an accident.

Dress for the Slide, Not the Ride

Because most motorcycle riding occurs when the weather is nice, it can be tempting to dress for the ride in light clothing such as t-shirts and shorts. However, should you get in an accident, your skin being exposed can cause you to incur severe friction burns and soft tissue injuries that are not only extremely painful but may cause you to become disabled or even threaten your life.

A recent study conducted by a Turkish hospital noted that while protective clothing like jackets, pants, and shoes did not reduce the incident of broken bones or systemic injuries, it did reduce the incident of soft tissue injuries, including but not limited to friction burns.

Always “dress for the slide, not the ride” and protect your arms, legs, and body from soft tissue injuries that can occur in even minor motorcycle accidents.

Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? We Can Help

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we understand how challenging it can be to be the victim or the caregiver of a victim who was injured in a motorcycle crash. If you or a loved one were hurt in a collision, you may be eligible for financial compensation for the damages that you incurred as a result of the accident. Contact us today for a consultation by calling 855-693-9084 or 978-744-8000.

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Why Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney after being involved in a collision can have significant benefits for you and your family, and may afford you compensation for damages you incurred.

John: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough of the Law Office of Mazow | McCullough. Today, our topic is “why do I need a motorcycle accident attorney?” Welcome, Robert and Kevin.

Kevin: Thank you John.

Robert: Thank you John.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

John: What are the most common reasons that motorcycle collisions occur?

Kevin: Similar to motor vehicle collisions, the most common reasons that motorcycle collisions occur – in my experience, John – involve lack of driver attention, speeding, texting, [and] not paying attention to the roadway. However, having been involved in numerous lawsuits and cases involving motorcycle collisions, there’s also the extra element of sometimes, even when people are trying to pay attention when they’re driving a motor vehicle, [accidents still occur]. It’s hard to see a motorcyclist at certain angles as they’re driving on the roadway or driving on the highway.

Often times, a driver may be paying attention and may be looking in the side mirror or the rear-view mirror. Based upon the size of the motorcycle, they just genuinely don’t see the motorcyclist. Only if they turn ahead to the left or to the right, would they actually see the motorcyclist. Another thing that comes up in those types of cases is, again, a driver who’s driving a car [and] paying attention, it’s harder to judge speed if you’re pulling away from stop sign and you looked to your left and you see a motorcyclist that you estimate to be a few hundred feet away and you try to pull out. [It may be closer]. It’s harder for a motorist or anyone in general to have that depth perception when you’re on the roadway.

In addition to the common reasons that collisions occur are lack of attention [or] failure to pay attention. There are people who are driving motor vehicles who are not doing anything wrong, but they’re not taking the extra steps and the extra precautions that are necessary to see motorcyclist on the roadway, especially highways.

John: Right. Because we see so many more cars on the road, we get used to looking out for other cars. Like you said, you’re looking in the side mirror of your vehicle and you’re looking for another car, you’re not really thinking, “Oh, there might be a motorcycle next to me.” When you don’t see in your normal vision where you would normally see a car, you just assume, “Oh, there’s nothing there,” rather than taking that extra time to turn around and look to make sure there’s nothing smaller like a motorcycle.

Kevin: We see that on highways. A driver could be driving a vehicle and looks in their rear-view mirror [and] they don’t see anyone behind them. A few moments later, they go to get in the left lane or the right lane and there is a collision with a motorcyclist. They just didn’t see the motorcyclist approaching from the rear. They didn’t know that they were passing on either the left or the right. Again, the driver who thinks that they’re doing everything that they need to do to be safe causes that collision and may ultimately be responsible for the injuries that result from that motorcycle collision.

Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident

John: Right. Robert, is it harder to prove negligence in a motorcycle accident?

Robert: We see a bias against motorcyclists, the bias coming from the insurance company and also from juries. You could have a motorcyclist who’s got 20 [or] 30 years of experience, who is an excellent and safe driver. Never been in an accident before, [and is doing] everything absolutely right. The jury might feel based upon their own experience in dealing with motorcyclists that this person must have been negligent. This person must have been reckless. They drive a motorcycle for Lord’s sake, they have to want to drive fast.

The truth of the matter is the motorcyclists that we’ve represented are some of the safest drivers that are out on the road. But initially when we present a claim to an insurance company for medical bills and payment for pain and suffering, their first reaction is, “Well, wait a minute, the motorcyclist must have some comparative fault [or] must have some comparative negligence.” The insurance company tries to reduce the payment.

Motorcyclists are faced with insurance bias in that they can’t even get Personal Injury Protection coverage on their policies in Massachusetts. Because the legislature has been convinced by the insurance industry that there are just too many accidents involved with motorcyclists and they’re not going to pay for their medical bills through the PIP coverage.

Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities

John: Interesting. Kevin, are fatalities more common in motorcycle accidents?

Kevin: Unfortunately, John, they are. What we see in our practice handling motorcycle collisions in Massachusetts and Hampshire, [is] that yes, statistically those sorts of incidents in collisions do involve fatalities at a higher frequency. It’s based upon just the lack of the protection to the rider or passenger. In New Hampshire, you’re not required to wear helmet while driving the motorcycle. Even if you’re the safest motorcyclist in the world, traveling on a beautiful sunny day on Route 16 in New Hampshire, within the speed limit, within your designated lane, you never know when someone’s going to pull from a side street or hit you as an oncoming motorist.

When incidents like that occur when you’re driving a motorcycle with or without a helmet, often times, those head injuries or those internal injuries are severe enough that the motorcyclists won’t survive that collision.

Motorcycle Insurance vs. Motor Vehicle Insurance

John: Robert, you started talking a little bit about insurance coverage and then the insurance bias against motorcycle drivers. What is the difference in motorcycle insurance coverage versus car insurance?

Robert: I think the most significant difference is that when you have a car in Massachusetts on the road, you are required to have Personal Injury Protection coverage, which pays for yourself and your passengers’ medical bills up to a certain amount. It could be $2,000 or it could be $8,000. Motorcyclists aren’t even allowed that option, they are not allowed to have that Personal Injury Protection. Now, the smart motorcyclists will buy additional coverage to protect themselves because they know that they can’t get Personal Injury Protection.

They might buy medical payments coverage, although, some of them make sure that they have some form of health insurance to pay for any potential injury. They’ll hopefully increase the limits of their motorcycle liability under an uninsured motor’s protection, in case they’re hurt by an at-fault driver that does not have enough insurance coverage.

John: Okay. That’s really good information. Robert and Kevin, thanks again for speaking with me today.

Robert: Thank you John.

Kevin: Thank you John.

John: For more information, visit helpinginjured.com or call (978) 744-8000. 

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