Motorcycles are a common sight on the back roads and highways of Rhode Island. Whether it is a biker gang full of Harley Davidson motorcycles or young, fearless adults on the latest Ducati, Americans ride their motorcycles millions of miles a year. Over the last fifty years, technological advances have made motorcycles much faster and the inherent risks of driving them has increased significantly.
Motorcyclists often are seen weaving in and out of traffic, leading many drivers to assume all bikers are reckless. Drivers of other vehicles on the road often fail to recognize the vulnerability of unprotected bikers to sudden lane changes or rear-end collisions. A momentary lapse of concentration that would cause only a minor accident between two ordinary vehicles can be life-threatening when the victim is on a motorcycle.
There are over 35,000 fatalities involving motorcyclists each year, significantly higher than the number of ordinary car accident fatalities. This difference is clearly the result of the far greater risks inherent in operating a motorcycle. Although bikers obey the same traffic laws as all other vehicles like buses, trucks, and compact cars, they are vulnerable to greater injuries in an accident.
Most bikers take care when riding and maintain close awareness of their surroundings. However, accidents are sometimes inevitable. Even the most careful motorcyclist cannot control for all variables or avoid every possible hazard. Add in distracted drivers whose attention is commanded by music, phone calls, or passengers, and serious accidents are all too common. The situation is made even worse by drivers who operate vehicles while texting or while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Questions After an Accident.
“What do I do after a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island?” The most critical step any biker can take in the moments following a collision is to get medical treatment for injuries. After an accident, adrenaline is running high and significant injuries may not be immediately apparent. Even seemingly small bruises or minor soreness can hide critical injuries that demand medical attention.
“Who is to blame in a motorcycle accident?” Rhode Island is considered a comparative negligence state, meaning that the question of fault is not always the biggest element of a case. Even if a biker contributed to the accident, there is still a chance of recovery. As a result, no injured motorcyclists should ever avoid seeking legal representation just because they think they may be partially to blame.
“Should I talk to insurance companies?” The insurance company is not on your side. Claims adjusters know that motorcycle accidents can involve serious, lifelong injuries and cost plaintiffs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost income. Their one goal is to get you to settle your case as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Avoid speaking to any insurance company — even your own — without an attorney, and never consent to a recorded statement unless specifically instructed to do so by your lawyer.
“Do I need to call the police?” Having an authoritative account of the accident details from a law enforcement officer can be critical element in proving your case in court. If you leave the scene of the accident without getting the other driver’s contact information, you could be left with no recourse. Worse yet, if you leave and the driver stays, the other driver will be able to give a completely one-sided story to the police when they do arrive.
Finding the Best Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer in Rhode Island is an important decision. The best attorneys are able to evaluate your case quickly and provide advice so you can make an informed decision. No attorney should ever pretend to know the exact value of your case in advance, and you should never pay for an initial consultation. The law office of Louis W. Grande handles motorcycle cases on “contingency” contracts, meaning that you never pay unless we win your case.