Boston is an exciting city with a great motorcycle riding culture… and roads that were not designed for them. As such, there can be some tricky traffic dynamics, and collisions, unfortunately, happen frequently in the city on a hill. Luckily, if you are smart about where you find your legal representation, you can ride stress-free knowing that should something happen, your motorcycle accident lawyer will have your back.
In this guide, we’ll go over what you should be looking for when trying to hire a motorcycle attorney in Boston. While it’s not fun to think about the worst-case scenarios, being adequately prepared and knowledgeable can save you thousands of dollars, tons of time, and get you entirely different case results.
When to Hire a Motorcycle Lawyer in Boston
Even the safest motorcycle riders are at risk of incidents occurring while out on the road. Regardless of how a motorcycle accident develops or who you believe is at fault, there will typically be legal follow-up necessary. You need to know what information to document at the scene of the incident to present to a lawyer or insurance agent and take every precaution possible. The right legal experts will help you be prepared for this scenario beforehand.
Even if both parties agree on fault at the scene of the crash, we recommend making sure you have proper representation and documentation. Oftentimes, insurance companies will manipulate cases to minimize payouts, or make it difficult to collect money should the other party be at fault but have insufficient evidence in their eyes. Similarly, it is important to mitigate damages from claims should you be blamed for the accident.
In any case, having legal representation familiar with Boston and Massachusetts motorcycle laws will go a long way in getting the best possible outcome legally and financially.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many variables that can contribute to motorcycle accidents, especially in a big city like Boston. Here are some of the most common ones to watch out for:
Another Driver Turning Left
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is another motorist cutting you off while making a left-hand turn across lanes. It is estimated that anywhere between 36-42 percent of all motorcycle accidents are caused by this, so you should always be on your guard while making a left-hand turn.
Slick road conditions and inclement weather are some of the leading causes of all crashes, and increase single-vehicle incidents for riders significantly. Make sure to avoid bad weather if possible, and to learn how your bike handles the road during less-than-ideal conditions if you must.
Driving Under the Influence
Another unfortunately high percentage of single-vehicle crashes for motorcyclists are caused by DUI. We’ll put it simply: do not drink before riding your motorcycle, and be careful of cars driving erratically that may be being operated under the influence.
Motorcycles are much smaller and lighter than most cars on the road, and often get hidden because they are hard to see in blind spots. We recommend not staying at a static speed near vehicles to your left or right if possible, as you might not be visible to the driver. Defensive driving in traffic can be a life-saver, especially when it comes to lane protection.
Because motorcycles are small, light, and less protected, a rear-end collision is much more dangerous than when driving a car. The same principles as blind spots apply – try to make sure that you are in the line of vision for the cars around you. Lane splitting is not legal in Massachusetts, but we recommend moving to the driver’s side of your lane if you think someone may not be paying close attention behind you.
Any sort of distraction on the road can cause an accident, so always take your riding seriously. Boston has many tight turns and busy intersections, so while it can be fun to navigate the bustling streets, we recommend focusing on safety first.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
In the event of an accident, first make sure that you and all other people are safe and do not need immediate medical treatment.
Things that often contribute to clear fault are speeding, breaking any road sign laws, impaired or tired driving, or vehicle standards negligence. When it comes to determining fault in an accident, insurance companies and lawyers will be looking for witnesses, dashcam or security camera footage, and police reports to create a claim.
When to File a Claim
If you believe that another vehicle is at fault in a motorcycle accident, you will need to file a claim with your insurance provider or with the police. After all, you shouldn’t be accountable for damages to your vehicle, medical expenses, or lost wages due to a circumstance you were not responsible for.
It is important to know that most motorcycle case claims must be filed within three years of the date of the crash in order to receive damages. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a case, reach out to an attorney for a free case evaluation and get their expert opinion on the matter.
Once you have filed a claim with the proper authority, insurance or a court case will determine what damages you are eligible for. The most common forms of damages include:
- Disability from injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
There are many different classes of economic and non-economic damages available via legal action. This is where it is important to have the best representation from lawyers who are knowledgeable about the nuance of each potential claim. Ultimately, most successful cases will settle before trial, so make sure to ask your motorcycle accident lawyer* about their settlement rates.
Massachusetts Helmet Laws
Helmets are required in Massachusetts, and we recommend wearing one whenever you are riding regardless of legality.
While no one wants to have their freedoms imposed on, the safety in a physical and legal sense makes wearing a helmet and face shield a no-brainer while riding in Boston.
Ride Safe With The Law Tigers
If you are a motorcycle rider in Boston, Law Tigers is ready to represent you should an accident occur. Whether you are looking for a settlement or looking for a proper insurance payout, our team of experienced legal experts will be there to give you the best chance of success.
At Law Tigers, we’re riders just like you. We’ve had multiple decades of representing our community, and we want to keep you safe and on the road.