The diverse, picturesque squares and neighborhoods of Somerville can make an enjoyable backdrop for a motorcycle ride. Unfortunately, the high density of traffic can make riding dangerous as well.
In a motorcycle accident, the rider lacks the protections enjoyed by those in other vehicles and is therefore more likely to suffer serious injuries. When an accident is caused by the reckless or negligent conduct of another, it is only fair to hold them accountable for the results.
A Somerville motorcycle accident lawyer could help you recover compensation if you suffered injuries in a collision. You may be entitled to damages to help meet future needs and offset the pain and suffering endured. A personal injury attorney who understands motorcycle accidents could review your case and explain your options for recovery.
Comparative Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
In many motorcycle accident cases, the driver responsible, or their insurance company, will argue that the motorcycle rider committed some type of negligent behavior that caused the accident, and therefore others cannot be held to blame. Under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, §85, an accident victim’s negligence contributing to the cause of an accident will only prevent them from recovering damages if that negligence is “greater than the total amount of negligence attributable to the person or persons against whom recovery is sought.” Unless the victim bears more than 50 percent of the responsibility for causing the accident, they may still recover damages.
In situations where the motorcycle accident victim’s conduct contributed toward causation, the court would determine the percentage of fault for each party. Then the amount recovered by the victim would be reduced by the amount corresponding to that person’s fault.
A Somerville motorcycle accident lawyer could explain how the comparative fault rule might operate in a particular case. For instance, if a court found that a rider was 20 percent at fault for failing to signal a turn soon enough, the amount awarded to the rider would decrease by 20 percent. An award of $100,000 would therefore be reduced to $80,000.
Factors That Make Motorcycle Accidents Unique
Motorcycle accident cases often differ substantially from cases involving cars and other motor vehicles. Differences may be related to the vehicle, the specialized laws governing operation, and other factors.
First, since riders are unprotected, the injuries they suffer may be more severe than those in other accidents. Additionally, the two-wheel configuration of a motorcycle makes it less visible to other drivers and more susceptible to certain types of accidents.
Motorcyclists also face increased danger from hazardous road conditions. If a truck spills oil on the road, for example, it may cause only minor slipping for a heavy four-wheeled vehicle but could cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash.
Accidents involving motorcycles can also differ from other types of accidents because of the specialized motorcycle laws. Motorcycles are permitted to operate in ways that other vehicles are not, but motorcyclists are also required to comply with specific requirements such as helmet laws.
Contact a Somerville Motorcycle Accident Attorney
To recover compensation to make up for factors such as lost wages, medical expenses, pain, and emotional anguish, an injured motorcyclist will need evidence to demonstrate that another person’s conduct caused their injury. The best time to collect evidence is shortly after the accident.
An experienced Somerville motorcycle accident lawyer could work to preserve evidence to build a strong case for recovery. In addition, an attorney could handle questions from and negotiations with insurance companies and other parties, leaving you free to focus on rebuilding your life after the accident. To learn how a motorcycle accident lawyer could help in your situation, call now.