If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Wakefield, the law protects your right to compensation from the at fault party. This may cover medical expenses, damaged property, and lost wages related to your accident. The insurance company may try to take advantage of you and settle your claim for much less than it’s worth. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Wakefield can represent you every step of the way, ensuring you get the highest possible payout for your losses. Call us today to discuss your case for free. If you decide to work with us, there will be no up front fees and if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us.
Wakefield Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration there may be as many as 15 fatal motorcycle accidents per year in Rhode Island alone.
A look at the statistics reveals some worrying trends when it comes to the driving habits of motorcycle riders in our state. For example, motorcycle fatalities in Rhode Island tend to constitute a higher percentage of all traffic deaths than is the case for New England or the country as a whole. One of the reasons for that may be our absense of a universal helmet law.
Motorcycle accidents that result in injury to the rider occur more often due to negligence on the part of the driver of the other vehicle rather than on the part of the motorcyclist. Motorcycles may be more dificult to notice than other vehicles since they are smaller – which puts riders at particular risk from distracted drivers.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in or near Wakefield, you are likely facing painful injuries, costly medical treatment and exhausting rehabilitation. You may feel tested to the very limits of your physical and mental strength. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you. We want to make your physical and financial recuperation as easy as possible and we can help you get compensation for all of your losses.
You may be able to obtain compensation for the costs of your treatment and rehabilitation as well as lost wages from being unable to work. Your claim may also include other types of compensation such as pain and suffering damages or emotional distress. Contact our personal injury attorney firm. We are experienced in handling claims related to motorcycle accidents and can give you the best advice on how to proceed in your case.
Here are some of the things we can help you with:
- gathering evidence and proving fault
- dealing with at-fault parties and insurance companies
- understanding the full scope of your injuries and damage sustained
- assessing how much compensation is due to cover all of your losses
- organizing medical records
- representing you in court, if needed
Motorcycle Safety Issues
While fun and economical, riding a motorcycle is also inherently more dangerous than driving any other type of vehicle. The sections below contain useful information on how to reduce typical risks and avoid dangerous situations.
Keep Your Bike Properly Maintained and Serviced
You should perform a safety check and routine maintenance on your bike before riding season each year and also whenever your motorcycle’s performance raises your suspicions. A standard motorcycle maintenance round should include:
- Tires – according to a 2015 report prepared by the National Transportation Safety Board, only 20% of defective tires in the U.S. are recalled and about 19,000 drivers a year are injured in tire-related crashes. This highlights the importance of making sure your tires are ready for the riding season. First, look for any mechanical damage, like punctures, and then make sure that the tires are inflated to the proper PSI.
- Fluids – you probably won’t forget about checking if you have enough fuel for your next ride, but checking oil levels and brake fluid is just as important. Changing engine oil at the beginning of the season may also be a good idea – even though it does not necessarily have a direct effect on your safety, doing so will prolong the lifespan of your engine.
- Mirrors, lights, and windshield – make sure that all the lights are working since they are an essential safety feature. Clean the mirrors and the windshield of dirt, check for any cracks and replace if needed.
- Gas – at the beginning of the riding season you need to fill up your tank with fresh gas, as the residue fuel from the previous season may clog the system and make it difficult to start the engine. For the same reason, you should properly drain the tank before storing your motorcycle for winter or at least use some fuel stabilizer.
Rider Inexperience Causes Accidents
More than 50% of riders involved in accidents have less than 5 months of experience with handling a motorcycle. New riders often overestimate their own skills and underestimate the external dangers. They may also forget that riding a motorcycle is a very physical activity, requiring much more physical strength and stamina than driving other vehicles. If you ride, here are some ways you can stay safe:
- Don’t buy a motorcycle you can’t handle – this means that your first bike should not be too powerful, as making use of that power may be tempting and maneuvering a motorcycle at great speeds takes considerable skill and experience. In addition, you should make sure that your motorcycle is well-adjusted to your physical size and strength
- Practice defensive driving – according to one study, in a much as 60% of all motorcycle-related collisions, the driver of the other vehicle involved is at fault. Stay focused on the traffic at all times, and maintain a safe distance between your motorcycle and the vehicle in front of you. And always be aware that other vehicles may not notice you.
- Take a safety course – The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers courses that help riders hone the skills that they already have and develop more advanced riding techniques. Completing a safety course may also earn you a better insurance rate.
- Don’t ride in bad weather – if you ride your motorcycle when weather conditions are less than optimal, you are exposing yourself to a host of factors that make riding a bike even more risky. Rain not only reduces road visibility but also makes oil residues come to the surface of the road decreasing traction. If you need to ride in bad weather, remember to adjust your speed accordingly and avoid abrupt maneuvers.
- Don’t buy discount bin safety gear – read the section below for the tips on choosing appropriate protective clothing
Wear The Right Safety Gear
If you do find yourself in an accident, wearing appropriate safety gear is often what makes the difference between sustaining minor injuries and experiencing life-threatening, bodily damage. Choosing and wearing protective clothing is as essential to a motorcyclist’s safety as good driving habits or proper motorcycle maintenance.
When choosing wearable protective gear like your helmet, gloves, and jacket, you should consider both the level of protection offered and how comfortable it is. Uncomfortable gear can be distracting and may become painful, especially during longer rides.
Another factor to take into consideration is whether the gear you buy will make you more visible on the ride. Loud clothing can call attention to yourself and make other drivers more aware of your presence. While wearing bright or fluorescent colors may not aline with your style, it will make you less likely to be overlooked. If you often ride in the dark, your clothing should have reflective elements.
- Helmet – possibly the most essential piece of a motorcyclist’s safety gear as it protects the most important part of your body – your brain. Yet, it has been found that only about a half of all motorcycle riders use helmets, and only 40% of riders involved in an accident were wearing one at the time of the collision. Choosing the right helmet can save your life so make sure that it fits comfortably and snugly without any irritating tightness or pressure spots and that it does not move around your head. Remember that a poorly fitting helmet won’t offer the same protection in the event of a crash. In addition, you should stay away from used helmets. While it may be tempting to go for a competitively priced second-hand item that looks good on the outside, you can never be sure if the helmet’s internal structure has been damaged. Another thing to take into consideration is whether the helmet is noisy. Helmets producing unnecessary noise will quickly become a nuisance and a distraction, making it more difficult to focus on the road and becoming a safety hazard.
- Gloves – while they may not seem essential at first, the importance of wearing protective gloves becomes crystal-clear when you realize that in an accident, your first instinct is to protect your head with your hands. Thus, without appropriate protection, a motorcyclist’s hands can sustain injuries that may prove debilitating. You will need different gloves for summer and winter. In summer, you need a pair made of lightweight material but resistant enough to protect you from abrasion injuries. In winter, your gloves need to keep your hands warm and dry, as cold can quickly become a distraction. Again, a good fit which allows you to feel and grip the handlebars well, is essential.
- Boots – lower leg injuries, especially fractures of the bones of the ankle or foot, can get really complicated to treat and often warrant a long stay in a hospital and months of rehabilitation. Boots that rise above the ankle and are made of good quality leather with strong soles will protect your feet from being crushed.
- Jacket and pants – when it comes to protection and comfort, good quality leather is hard to beat, but you can find jackets and pants for motorcyclists made of other materials too. Again, you should remember that different types of clothing for different seasons may be necessary. To maximize the protection to your back and spine, you should look for jacket with full body armour or at least consider buying a back protector. Being comfortable is essential to safety so try on anything you are thinking of using and make sure it is comfortable before making the decision to buy.
Typical, motorcycle-accident related injuries may include:
- Head injuries, concussions
- Base of skull fractures
- Broken or crushed bones or fractures
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Crash
Apart from getting proper medical care and finding good therapists to help you recuperate from your injuries, one of the most important steps on the road to full recovery is the decision to contact a motorcycle accident attorney. Your recovery is our priority and your case will be given the attention it needs to succeed. Call our motorcycle accident attorneys in Wakefield today to get on the road to financial recovery.