Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcyclists can sustain severe, life-changing injuries in an accident. Our experienced Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyers help victims seek full compensation from insurance companies and negligent parties.

Are Motorcycle Accidents Common In Rhode Island?​

It’s estimated that there are more than 24,833 registered motorcycles in Rhode Island. Riding a motorcycle is a great way to take in all that the Ocean State has to offer, but it’s also dangerous when riders share the road with larger vehicles.

Every year, hundreds of motorcycle accidents are reported across the state. Sadly, Rhode Island averages about 13 fatal motorcycle accidents each year.

Recent data suggests that motorcycle accidents – particularly fatal accidents – are on the rise. Motorcyclist fatalities accounted for about one-third of all auto accident deaths in the first half of 2021, with 10 fatalities reported.

These are just the fatal motorcycle accidents. Every year, many more riders sustain life-changing injuries when they are involved in traffic accidents across Rhode Island.

a man riding a motorcycle in rhode island

What Causes Most Rhode Island Motorcycle Accidents?​

Motorcycle accidents are largely avoidable.

Motorcyclists are required to obtain a special motorcycle license before they can legally operate a motorcycle in Rhode Island. This helps ensure that riders have a comprehensive understanding of Rhode Island motorcycle laws and have practical, hands-on riding experience before hitting the open road.

All motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians must follow state and local traffic laws and ​​exercise reasonable care. When motorcycle accidents happen, it’s generally a consequence of human error or negligence.

Leading causes of motorcycle accidents in Rhode Island include:

  • Unsafe turns
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Rolling stops
  • Speeding up to beat a red or yellow light at an intersection
  • Dangerous road design
  • Road defects

Sometimes, factors outside of a motorist’s control can cause an accident or create a situation where a motorcycle accident is more likely to occur. These might include low lighting, motorcycle defects, or inclement weather such as heavy snow or rain, icy road conditions, or fog.

Understanding Rhode Island Motorcycle Laws​

Is lane splitting legal in Rhode Island?

Lane splitting, the practice of driving between two lanes of traffic, usually done to move past slower traffic, is illegal in the state of Rhode Island. If you ride a motorcycle in Rhode Island, you’re required to maintain your lane of travel.

Are motorcycle helmets required in Rhode Island?

Despite the fact that about 40 percent of all riders killed in motorcycle accidents were not wearing a helmet, Rhode Island does not have a universal motorcycle helmet law. State law only requires helmets for passengers and riders during the first year they have their motorcycle license.

Do motorcyclists have to pass a safety course before getting a license?

Yes, motorcyclists are required to complete and pass a motorcycle safety course provided by the Community College of Rhode Island. Riders cannot obtain an “M” endorsement for their driver’s license without successful completion of this course.

Understanding Liability for Rhode Island Motorcycle Accidents

Rhode Island state law provides that all parties who directly or indirectly contribute to a motorcycle accident can be financially responsible for the consequences.

Once our Rhode Island motorcycle accident attorneys have conducted an in-depth investigation into your accident, we may determine that one or more of the following parties are liable:

  • Negligent motorist, including the driver of a passenger car, truck driver, another motorcyclist, or bus driver
  • Bicyclist
  • Pedestrian
  • Employer of a negligent party
  • Property owner
  • Motorcycle helmet manufacturer
  • Motorcycle manufacturer
  • Government agency responsible for road design, inspection, and maintenance

Our law firm will aggressively pursue compensation from anyone who contributed to your motorcycle accident in Rhode Island. Seeking damages from all liable parties will help you secure all of the money you need to get back on your feet.

Can I still recover compensation if I’m getting blamed for a motorcycle accident?

Yes, but there’s a catch. Rhode Island is one of many states to adopt a pure comparative negligence system. Damages are not automatically prohibited if you share fault, but they are reduced in direct proportion to the degree of fault.

Let’s say you’re in a motorcycle accident in Providence and sustain damages worth $200,000. You’re assigned half of the blame for the wreck. Once shared fault is considered, your financial recovery will be limited to $100,000.

The insurance company involved in your case will be searching for any way to deny your claim or limit your payout. So, don’t be surprised when they attempt to blame you for the accident. Even if there’s no basis for the allegations, they’re hoping that it scares you into accepting a lowball offer or walking away with nothing.

You can protect yourself by turning to our Rhode Island motorcycle accident law firm for help immediately after you get hurt. We’ll be ready to anticipate these tactics and have a strategy in place to defend you at every turn.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable motorists on the road. Unlike occupants of larger vehicles, there’s no large steel frame to protect you in an accident. While motorcycle crash bars, helmets, and other safety gear can minimize the extent of injuries, riders are still susceptible to severe, life-changing trauma in an accident.

At Marasco & Nesselbush, we represent individuals who have sustained even the most common injuries in a motorcycle accident:

  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Nerve damage
  • Injuries to the fingers, hands, and arms
  • Injuries to the feet and legs
  • Joint injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Concussion

Get to the closest hospital in Rhode Island as soon as you can after a motorcycle accident. Prompt medical treatment can help ensure that all of your trauma is diagnosed and treated correctly, limiting the risk of complication, infection, or death. Your medical record will timestamp your injury, which can be helpful in establishing a causal link for your personal injury case.

Motorcycle Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Wearing a motorcycle helmet significantly reduces the risk of sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motorcycle accident.

In fact, the CDC estimates that wearing a motorcycle helmet:

  • Reduces the risk of death by 37 percent and 41 percent for riders and passengers, respectively
  • Reduces the risk of head injury by 69 percent

When a rider is involved in a car accident, the force of impact can throw them from their motorcycle. Many times, the rider’s head makes contact with the vehicle, a fixed object, or the hard asphalt or concrete below. This can cause a closed head injury, where the brain shakes, twists, turns, or moves rapidly inside the skull. Resulting injuries can include hemorrhages, hematomas, contusions, coup-contrecoup brain injuries, and other types of severe trauma.

The force of impact is much less when wearing a helmet, thereby reducing the severity of a potential TBI.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists in Rhode Island

You can reduce the risk of getting into a traffic accident or sustaining injuries in an accident by:

  • Taking a motorcycle safety refresher course
  • Wearing a motorcycle helmet while operating a bike
  • Wearing other protective (and reflective) safety gear, including boots, gloves, riding pants, and a jacket
  • Installing a motorcycle crash bar on your vehicle to help keep you upright in an accident
  • Avoiding lane splitting and maintaining your lane of travel
  • Yielding the right of way to other motorists when appropriate
  • Inspecting your motorcycle for potential hazards, defects, or malfunctions before riding
  • Putting your phone down and focusing on the road
  • Obeying Rhode Island traffic laws and speed limits
  • Maintaining a safe distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles

Defensive riding can give you additional time to react and reduce the chances of colliding with another vehicle.

What Damages Can I Recover If I File A Motorcycle Accident Claim?

When you file an insurance claim or lawsuit after a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island, you can generally recover compensatory damages. Compensatory damages fall into two categories:

  • Economic damages, which are intended to make up for the verifiable financial costs related to your motorcycle accident, including lost wages
  • Non-economic damages, which are paid to compensate for the pain and suffering you experience as an injured rider

Commonly awarded damages include:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages, income, and benefits
  • Lost job opportunities
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Property damage
  • Nursing care
  • Chronic physical pain

Marasco & Nesselbush will rely on the insight of respected motorcycle accident experts and specialists, which will help us determine how your accident happened and how your injuries affect your day-to-day life (and how they’ll affect you in the future). This information will allow us to prepare arguments that accurately reflect what you deserve in financial compensation for your Rhode Island motorcycle accident.

What's The Statue Of Limitations For Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits?

According to Rhode Island’s statute of limitations, You’ll have three years from the date of your motorcycle accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Once the third anniversary of your motorcycle accident arrives, you’ll give up the opportunity to assert your rights and pursue compensation from those responsible.

Don’t let anything stand between you and the compensation you deserve. Contact Marasco & Nesselbush for immediate legal assistance after your Rhode Island motorcycle accident. We can begin working on your case as soon as you ask for our help.


The diligent work of Steve M. And attorney Noah Zimmerman made the process of dealing with doctors, insurance and my injuries seamless. They kept me informed throughout the entire settlement process even when I nagged for details. I would recommend them to anyone dealing with a personal injury claim.

Jonathan B.

How Do I Prove Fault In A Motorcycle Accident Claim?

Unless your accident was caused by a defective motorcycle or piece of safety equipment, your case will probably be based on negligence.

To prove fault in a negligence action, you’ll have to establish:

Rhode Island requires that you prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. Simply put, your argument must be more likely true than not. You’ll need evidence and facts to back up your case, and a motorcycle accident lawyer can help guide you through the evidence collection process.

Evidence that can be helpful in proving fault includes:

Contact the Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today

You don’t want those responsible for your motorcycle accident to walk away without consequence. You deserve compensation, and the Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush are here to help you maximize your recovery.

We’ve been advocating for injured riders in Rhode Island for over 24 years. Let us put our vast resources, decades of experience, and passion for justice to work for you. Call our law office in Rhode Island to arrange a free consultation today.

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