Motorcycling is popular across the U.S., and Massachusetts is no exception, boasting hundreds of miles of roads and scenic byways to travel. But it can be dangerous. With every ride, bikers face significant risks of serious bodily harm or death in traffic accidents.
Survivors can face intensive emergency medical treatment and years of painful therapy and rehabilitation to regain functionality lost in a crash caused by a negligent motorist.
How Motorcycle Accidents Happen
Most motorcycle riders operate their vehicles under a fundamental safety rule: when you're on two wheels, you're invisible to other drivers, so always be aware of your surroundings and have an escape plan for any complicated situation.
Unfortunately, even this level of hyper-aware riding isn’t always enough to escape an accident. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Distracted drivers. Automobile drivers don’t always pay attention to the road as well as they should. Any task that takes their eyes away from the road at a critical moment may result in a crash. This includes texting, talking on the phone or to passengers, eating or drinking, and operating the stereo, navigation system, or in-dash display.
- Operator errors. Motorists may make bad judgment calls when it comes to sharing the road with motorcyclists by failing to yield when merging or stopping, misjudging distance when changing lanes near a motorcyclist, or making tight turns without clearance.
- Speeding. When a car exceeds the speed limit, there may not be time to stop for a motorcyclist ahead, causing a potentially lethal rear-end collision with the bike.
- Aggressive driving. Not everyone on the road respects the rights of others. Aggressive drivers may duck and weave between lanes, follow motorcycles too closely, or cut riders off and stop short, intentionally or otherwise—any of which leads to a greatly increased chance of a dangerous crash.
Drunk, drugged, or drowsy drivers also present significant risks to motorcyclists. All of these conditions lead to greatly increased reaction times; poor judgment of speed, time, and distance; reduced visibility; and decreased focus on the road. These impairments can be disastrous for a motorcyclist in the way.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Though many motorcyclists practice “all the gear, all the time” as a way of life, even the best riding gear in the world can’t offer the same protection as the metal frame of a car. Riders are vulnerable to many severe injuries in an accident situation, including the risk of:
- Traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Road rash, a severe type of friction burn from scraping or sliding on pavement
- Broken bones, particularly arms, legs, ribs, vertebrae, and hips
- Traumatic amputation of fingers and toes or partial or total limb loss
- Facial wounds, including broken jaws, lost teeth, and extensive scarring
- Eye injuries, which may cause temporary or permanent changes to vision
The risks of a motorcycle accident don’t just stop on the road, either. With road grit and accident debris, the chance of a post-accident infection that complicates recovery can mean additional treatment, surgery, and long delays in healing time.
Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists injured by a careless driver, pedestrian, or even another biker can seek financial compensation in a court of law with a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit allows victims to pursue recovery from the person or parties responsible for the accident in the form of damages, including:
- Ambulance costs, emergency medical treatment, hospital bills, and surgeries
- Doctor visits and other follow-up care related to the injury
- Physical or occupational therapy or rehabilitation
- Repair or replacement of your motorcycle and personal property, such as riding gear
- Compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the accident
In rare cases, punitive damage awards (typically designed to punish egregious behavior) may also be available.
Get Legal Help After Motorcycle Accident
If you suffered a severe injury in a motorcycle accident, Spada Law Group, LLC is ready to help protect your legal rights. We have offices in Salem and Chelsea for your convenience, and we proudly serve the entire state of Massachusetts. Reach out to us by phone, email, or the brief contact form on this page for a free consultation about your accident situation.