If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, Boston motorcycle accident lawyer Michael O. Smith can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Mr. Smith focuses his practice on representing the injured and disabled. He has counseled and advocated for the rights of his clients for the last 15 years. With his significant courtroom experience, Mr. Smith can effectively fight for your interests, whether it is at trial or during settlement negotiations. Call us today if a motorcycle accident caused your injuries.The Severity of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists often suffer serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries when they are involved in an accident. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that motorcycle fatalities accounted for 15 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths in 2012. Approximately 93,000 motorcycle occupants were injured in accidents that year. In Massachusetts, 51 motorcyclists died in accidents in 2012.
Although Massachusetts requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets, they do not always prevent death or catastrophic injuries in crashes. Motorcycles do not have the structural protections that prevent some car accident victims from serious injuries. As a result, motorcyclists are more likely to suffer life-altering injuries, including severe head trauma, fractures, and paralysis.Liability for Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries
If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, you can potentially hold the motorist that caused the collision responsible for your injuries. A negligent driver in Massachusetts can be held accountable if the plaintiff in a personal injury suit can establish the following elements:
- A duty of care owed to the plaintiff by the defendant;
- Breach of the duty (for example, if the driver was distracted and failed to see the motorcyclist);
- A causal connection between the breach and the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- Actual damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the injuries (such as medical bills).
In some cases, a motorcyclist may be struck by more than one vehicle. For example, a victim may be thrown off the motorcycle into oncoming traffic and then struck by another car or truck. In cases where more than one party may be liable, Massachusetts allows a plaintiff to hold defendants jointly and severally liable. This means that you can recover the full amount of damages for your injuries from either party, regardless of their proportion of fault. If you are able to recover damages from one party, it then becomes his or her responsibility to seek contribution from anyone else who is responsible for your injuries.
If you partially contributed to the accident, you may still recover damages, but only to the extent you are not at fault for your injuries. Some states allow a plaintiff to recover regardless of their degree of fault. This is not, however, the case in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a comparative fault state, which means that a plaintiff will only be allowed to recover if his or her degree of fault is not more than that of the defendants.Recovering Damages in Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Motorcycle accident victims can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. This includes both past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. The relatives of a motorcycle accident victim can recover damages from the liable parties through a wrongful death claim. Recoverable damages include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium. Massachusetts has a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. Prompt action on your claim will help build a strong case and preserve your rights under Massachusetts law.Experienced, Reliable Representation
Boston motorcycle accident attorney Michael O. Smith can provide you with the legal guidance and advocacy you need to get results in your motorcycle accident matter. Mr. Smith personally handles each case, so your case will get the attention and experienced representation it deserves. He will review the facts of your case, discuss the legal options available to you, and answer any of your questions. If there is a mutual agreement to move forward, you can depend on Mr. Smith’s extensive advocacy skills to pursue the best possible outcome for your case. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, call our office today at 617-263-0060 or reach us via our online form for a free initial consultation.