Representing Clients Injured in Motorcycle Crashes in Providence and Throughout Rhode Island
Although motorcycles provide an enjoyable means of transportation, motorcyclists are at significant risk of injury or fatality in the event of a crash. The lack of safety features and the difference in size and weight between a motorcycle and most other vehicles often compound the seriousness of these accidents.
If you have been seriously hurt or a loved one was gravely injured or killed in a motorcycle crash, you need expert legal guidance and compassionate support. Our experienced accident lawyers can help you pursue the compensation you and your family deserve.
Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has been serving clients in Providence and throughout Rhode Island for over 40 years. Please call (401) 273-8330 today for a free case review.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
After a motorcycle crash, your top priority should be to recover from your injuries and rebuild your life. You may assume that you will be fairly compensated by insurers, especially if the other driver was clearly at fault.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accident claims are often not this simple. Recovering from injuries after a motorcycle crash is often a lengthy and demanding process. The insurance company may deny your claim or offer you a low settlement with the hope that you are unaware how much your case is worth. You also have a limited time to pursue compensation: 3 years.
For all of these reasons, it is important to contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash. Without qualified legal assistance, you may encounter a number of issues with your case, including:
- The evidence does not speak for itself: Due to the misconception that people who ride motorcycles are careless, injured motorcyclists often face an uphill battle for fair compensation. Our attorneys perform a full investigation of the accident to determine how it happened and who is at fault. This process is crucial for overcoming claims by the at-fault party and insurer that you caused the crash.
- Your injuries may be severe: For motorcyclists, even fairly minor collisions can result in serious injuries. As you begin your recovery, you will have a limited understanding of how the injury will affect your life and what costs you may face long-term. An experienced lawyer will work with your doctors and other experts to get a comprehensive picture of the nature and seriousness of your injuries.
- You may leave money on the table: Medical bills and other losses with a verifiable dollar amount often represent only a portion of the damages in a motorcycle accident claim. By gathering evidence and enlisting expert testimony, our lawyers can account for all of your losses, and thus what compensation you may be entitled to in your claim.
- The insurance company is not your ally: Most injured people have little to no experience dealing with insurance companies. An experienced attorney will protect your rights and handle all communications with the insurer on your behalf.
- Litigation may be necessary: Many motorcycle accident claims are settled via negotiations between the attorney for the injured party and the insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, however, you need a lawyer who can effectively prepare your case for trial and pursue a favorable result in court.
Insurers will often try to limit what they pay for motorcycle accident claims, especially those involving catastrophic injury or death. At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, we focus our legal practice on helping clients who suffer serious and catastrophic injuries, as well as wrongful death claims.
Our team has advanced knowledge of the medicine behind catastrophic injuries, as well as access to leading medical experts. Combined with our experience representing clients in vehicle accident claims, we have helped many injured motorcyclists and their families recover fair compensation.
Rhode Island Motorcycle Laws
When riding your motorcycle in Rhode Island, it is important to follow the rules of the road. In some instances, it may be worth going beyond the letter of the law to ensure your safety:
- Helmet use: Motorcyclists under the age of 21 and riders with less than one year of experience operating a motorcycle are required to wear helmets. Beyond these groups, however, there is no law in Rhode Island requiring those who operate motorcycles to wear a helmet.
- Nonetheless, a helmet can mean the difference between a mild head injury and severe or fatal trauma to the head. For your safety, we encourage you to wear a helmet on every ride!
- All passengers of motorcycles are required to wear a helmet.
- Lane splitting: The practice of riding a motorcycle in between lanes of traffic (known as lane splitting) is illegal in Rhode Island.
- Eye protection: All motorcyclists in Rhode Island are required by law to use protective eyewear, such as goggles, safety glasses, or a face shield.
- Licensing: Rhode Island law requires motorcyclists to complete classroom education, road training, and an examination to qualify for a motorcycle license.
- Height of handlebars: Handlebars may be no more than 15 inches higher than the top of the seat for motorcycles operated on a highway or in a parking lot.
In the event of a crash, the at-fault party and/or the insurance company may point to violations of the motorcycle laws as a factor in causing the accident or contributing to the seriousness of your injuries. With this in mind, it is important for all motorcyclists in Rhode Island to obey the law and take precautions for their safety.
What Is the Biggest Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle crashes happen for a wide variety of reasons. Our lawyers will fully investigate to determine why the accident occurred and who is at fault.
Carelessness on the part of those driving a passenger vehicle, rather than that of a motorcyclist, is at the heart of many collisions involving motorcycles. Types of driver negligence that may result in a crash include:
- Failure to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Errors when turning left in front of a motorcycle
- Following a motorcycle too closely
- Excess speed
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Aggressive driving
- Open-door accidents (occurs when the occupant of a parked vehicle opens the door into the path of a motorcyclist)
Drivers have an obligation to share the road safely with motorcyclists. When they fail in this duty, motorcyclists may be seriously injured or killed in the event of a crash.
Other potential causes of motorcycle accidents include:
Errors in the design and manufacture of a motorcycle may increase the likelihood of a crash. Defects in the following parts and systems can make the bike more difficult to control, as well as result in more serious injuries in the event of an accident:
- Handlebars and steering
- Fuel tank and fuel system
The malfunction or failure of these and other component parts may cause the motorcyclist to crash (a single-vehicle accident) or collide with another vehicle. Our lawyers will examine your motorcycle after the crash to determine if a defect was a factor.
While cars and other vehicles may be able to pass over many road hazards with minimal problems, motorcyclists are significantly more likely to crash due to issues with the road surface. Road hazards that may result in a motorcycle accident include:
- Fissures in pavement
- Uneven lanes
- Loose gravel and other debris
- Faded lane striping
- Damaged guardrails and barrier
- Buildup of water caused by improper drainage
Errors in the road design may also put motorcyclists in danger. For example, blind curves may put a motorcycle directly in the path of an oncoming vehicle (or vice versa). Such issues may be compounded by a lack of proper road signs warning drivers and motorcyclists of these dangers.
Who Is Liable for My Motorcycle Accident?
Given the varied causes of motorcycle crashes, it is important to take into account the negligence of multiple parties in building a motorcycle accident claim. Our attorneys will investigate all potentially liable parties, including:
- The driver of another vehicle
- In cases involving drunk drivers, the Rhode Island dram shop law allows accident victims to sue the establishment where the intoxicated individual was overserved
- Some motorcycle accidents occur without a collision between the motorcycle and another vehicle; if another driver’s carelessness caused a “near-miss” accident that forced you to crash your bike, you may be entitled to damages
- The manufacturer of a defective product
- Companies involved in the design, assembly, or distribution of a faulty part may also be liable
- A government entity that fails to maintain the safety of a road
- A business that employs a negligent driver
- This may be a factor in crashes involving “common carriers,” such as truck accidents and other collisions where a driver is transporting people or goods
No law firm goes further than Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd in investigating clients’ cases. If you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you deserve a legal team that thoroughly gathers evidence, identifies all liable parties, and pursues full compensation on your behalf.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists have little to no protection in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, this means that serious or catastrophic injuries are the rule rather than the exception in motorcycle accident claims.
Our lawyers have helped clients and their families pursue compensation for motorcycle accident injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): TBIs can often be prevented or minimized by wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, with no universal helmet law for motorcycle operators, the incidence of severe head trauma among motorcyclists in Rhode Island is higher than in other states with more stringent safety regulations.
- Neck and back injuries: Injuries to the back and neck in a motorcycle accident may include herniated and ruptured discs and fractures of vertebrae in the cervical, thoracic, and/or lumbar spine.
- Spinal cord injury: The spinal cord is a network of nerves and tissue that controls movement and functions throughout the body. Damage to the spinal cord may result in loss of feeling and function, up to and including paralysis.
- Bone fractures: Whether they occur due to impact with the road or collision with another vehicle, broken bones are common in motorcycle crashes. Any part of the body may be affected, including the arms, legs, chest, and pelvis.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage: The severe trauma of a motorcycle collision can damage blood vessels, tissues, and vital organs. Uncontrolled bleeding and/or damage to internal organs and other structures must be treated urgently to avoid life-threatening complications.
- Road rash: Motorcycle accidents are a leading cause of road rash, a severe abrasion to the skin that occurs when striking the surface of the road.
- Burn injuries: Severe burns may occur when exposed skin comes into contact with hot metal parts on a wrecked motorcycle. In more extreme cases, the fuel tank may be damaged or defective, resulting in a fire or explosion.
- Loss of a limb: Amputation injuries may occur as a result of the crash, or amputation may be medically necessary as a result of the injuries sustained to an extremity.
Tragically, some of these injuries may prove instantly fatal or be too extreme for emergency medical care to overcome. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family.
What to Do If You Have a Motorcycle Accident
Given the seriousness of the injuries motorcyclists typically suffer in a crash, your first priority after the accident is to call 911. Unless you are in immediate danger, you should also refrain from moving as much as possible.
The paramedics will assess your injuries at the scene. They may recommend that you be taken to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment. It is important to comply with the direction of any emergency personnel.
Once your injuries are treated, consider contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer. If you suffer mobility issues as a result of your injuries, members of our team will come to you.
During your free consultation, our goal is to understand how the accident occurred and how it has affected your life. We will also review any documents you have pertaining to the crash, such as medical bills, letters from the insurance company, etc.
Should you choose Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd to handle your claim, our attorneys and staff will get started on your case immediately. Our clients feel a sense of relief knowing they have an experienced and determined team on their side.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
The losses you suffer as a result of your motorcycle accident will affect how much compensation you may be entitled to in your claim. Our lawyers will gather evidence to identify all of the parties at fault for the crash, then pursue full compensation on behalf of you and your family.
You may be entitled to compensation for damages such as:
- Medical bills: In addition to compensation for medical expenses you have already incurred for treatment of your injuries, our attorneys will work with medical experts to assess what costs you may have in the future for additional treatments, rehabilitation, medications, and more.
- Lost income: If you are unable to work after a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you have lost.
- Loss of earning capacity: For injuries that limit your ability to work or prevent you from working in the future, our lawyers will enlist economic and vocational experts to determine how much you may be able to recover for the loss of future wages and benefits.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: If the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not have to shoulder the financial burden of paying for home, vehicle, and lifestyle modifications, as well as traveling to and from medical appointments.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering compensate you for the physical, mental, and emotional hardships of living with a serious injury.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: In cases of catastrophic injury or disability, you may be entitled to compensation for the inconvenience, embarrassment, and inability to perform tasks and activities you enjoyed prior to the accident.
- Scarring and disfigurement: Physical injuries you sustain in a motorcycle accident may leave scars and deformities that result in emotional distress. You may be entitled to compensation for the effect on your appearance and your self-image.
- Loss of consortium: Depending on how your family is affected by your injuries, compensation may be recovered for loss of spousal services and intimacy, loss of parental guidance, and more.
- Punitive damages: The court may award punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is deemed to be extremely reckless, callous, or malicious.
Compensation in a wrongful death claim for the damages your family sustains as a result of a fatal motorcycle accident may include loss of income and support, medical expenses prior to your loved one’s passing, loss of society and companionship, expenses for funeral and burial (or cremation), and more. As with the personal injury damages outlined above, it is important to consult an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to understand the full value of your wrongful death claim.
How Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been hurt or a family member was killed in a motorcycle accident, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd is here to help. We have been repeatedly recognized by other attorneys as one of the best personal injury law firms in the nation.
Our team draws upon decades of experience, unparalleled expertise in serious and catastrophic injury litigation, and the personal connection we forge with each client to assist you with all aspects of your motorcycle accident claim:
- Investigating the crash: We immediately visit the accident scene to examine and document the conditions, locate and interview witnesses, request a copy of the police report, examine the vehicles involved, and take additional steps to gather as much crucial evidence as possible.
- Assessing your injuries: Our knowledge of catastrophic injuries exceeds that of most personal injury attorneys. As a result, we are able to communicate effectively with your medical team and other experts to understand the full scope of your injuries and their current and projected effects.
- Handling the insurance company: With a thorough assessment of your injuries and losses, we can recognize when the insurance company is making a low offer or unjustly denying your claim. Your attorney will also communicate with the insurance carrier on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes that could sink your claim.
- Negotiating a settlement: Insurance companies tend to take claims more seriously when an attorney is involved. Our lawyers negotiate with insurers on your behalf to secure a settlement that fairly compensates you for the losses you have suffered.
- Taking your case to trial: If the opposing party or parties won’t agree to a fair settlement, our attorneys will not hesitate to take your motorcycle accident case to court. Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has extensive courtroom experience, earning more million-dollar and multi-million-dollar trial results than any other law firm in Rhode Island.
Throughout the course of your claim, our lawyers will treat you and your family with empathy, honesty, and respect. We will discuss all of your legal options, return your calls and emails promptly, and provide strength and guidance when you need it the most.
Contact Our Providence Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
Motorcycle accidents often result in extensive injuries and losses. For injured motorcyclists and their families, it is often difficult to know where to turn.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, we handle all cases with a No Fee Promise. Our firm handles the upfront costs, and you don’t pay fees unless we achieve a favorable result in your case.
For a free case review, please call (401) 273-8330 today. Our motorcycle accident lawyers serve clients in Providence and throughout Rhode Island.