New Hampshire Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are often more severe than auto accidents, as motorcycles offer riders much less protection in a collision. Unfortunately, you may become the victim of a motorcycle accident even when riding properly and following all traffic laws. If you have been involved in a collision as a motorcycle rider, you should look for an attorney who understands the legal considerations inherent in such complex cases. This includes an in depth understanding of the obstacles that you will likely need to overcome, as well as the ability to secure the compensation needed to recover from your motorcycle injuries.
Attorney Teale is an avid motorcycle rider himself, and therefore has an excellent understanding of the many scenarios riders may find themselves in with other motorists. Attorney Teale has the experience you need to help get you the compensation you deserve. Call Teale Law today at 603-935-7425 to arrange for a free confidential consultation.
Common questions after a motorcycle accident
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you are likely feeling very stressed and overwhelmed.
- What should your next steps be?
- Do you really need an attorney?
- How do you recover enough money to cover all of your expenses?
With the assistance of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Teale Law, you will maximize your compensation as allowed by law.
The elements of a motorcycle claim
Motorcycle accident claims are a type of negligence case. In a negligence case, the victim must prove three things:
- The at-fault person owed the victim a duty;
- The duty was breached because of negligence; and
- Due to this breach, the victim suffered damages.
In a motorcycle accident claim, the duty is the duty to operate your vehicle in a manner that is reasonable under the circumstances. Obeying traffic laws is an example of being reasonable under the circumstances.
There are many ways that the duty to safely and reasonably operate a motor vehicle may be breached. For example, texting while driving is certainly not a safe behavior. Speeding, failing to pay attention to traffic signals, and driving under the influence are all examples of negligent driving.
In a legal claim, the purpose of awarding damages is to make the victim “whole” again after an accident. Depending on the facts of a case, the damages in a case may range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
Some of the damages a victim may claim include:
- Medical expenses, such as surgery bills, physical therapy bills, hospital bills, and other costs
- The predicted cost of any future medical care that may be required
- Lost wages and lost employment benefits if the victim was out of work while recovering from accident-related injuries
- Pain and suffering, which compensates victims for the physical pain they have endured
- Emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological conditions that stem from the accident
- Spouses of accident victims may claim loss of consortium damages, which compensates them for the damage the accident has caused their relationship
- The costs of remodeling a residence to accommodate an injury, such as installing wheelchair ramps and hand rails
- If a death was caused by the accident, surviving family members may be able to claim funeral and burial costs, in addition to the deceased’s predicted future earnings
This list is not exhaustive, as it may be possible to claim other types of damages, depending on the facts of the case.
Improve your chances of success in a legal claim
Learning to ride properly, defensively, and within the letter of the law improves your odds of avoiding collisions while riding your motorcycle. However, some motorcycle accidents are simply not avoidable. Therefore, another significant advantage of learning to ride defensively is to be sure you are not the liable party in a motorcycle accident. Furthermore, New Hampshire is a “modified comparative fault” state. This means that if a jury in a personal injury lawsuit that you are the plaintiff in finds that you were partly to blame for the motorcycle accident or damages, then your recovery for pain & suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other monetary damages may be reduced (or precluded altogether) if the jury believes that you were more at fault than the other motorist. By using defensive motorcycle riding techniques and avoiding illegal or risky behaviors (I.E. drunk riding, speeding, lane-splitting, etc.) not only will you stay safe, but in the event you are involved in a motorcycle crash, the better your chances will be of receiving a settlement or a jury award that will compensate you for your injuries and the damage to your motorcycle and other property.
Defensive riding reduces the risk of a motorcycle accident
A common cause of motorcycle accidents is another motorist’s (usually a car) failure to observe the motorcycle. In is extremely important to learn and use defensive riding techniques when you are operating your motorcycle. Many motorcycle accidents can be avoided with common sense defensive driving techniques. However, many cannot. Cars may rear-end motorcyclists. Cars may cause a head-on collision with a motorcyclist. And often, cars will pull out in front of riders as riders are proceeding through intersections. About two out of every five motorcycle/car collisions happen when cars execute left-hand turns in front of motorcycle riders who are proceeding through intersections. Regardless of whether a motorist observed you or not, they may be at fault. If you have been the victim of a motorcycle accident Teale Law will immediately go on the offensive, investigating the cause of the collision, work with law enforcement, and holding the responsible motorist and their insurance responsible for your injuries, including your medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering.
It is safe to say that no amount of defensive driver training will substantially improve car drivers’ ability to see you on a motorcycle. Accordingly, to avoid accidents you must learn proper riding techniques and the major risk factors and common causes of motorcycle accidents when on the roadways (particularly when you are traversing an intersection).
Other ways to reduce your risk of being in a motorcycle crash include using common-sense preventative measures. Unfortunately, many riders do not use the following (or, for a variety of reasons, are unable to):
- Wear a helmet: When involved in a motorcycle accident your chances of survival and of avoiding a serious bodily injury (such as a traumatic brain injury) are greatly improved when properly using a helmet. Statistically, riders who consume alcohol prior to riding are much less likely to be wearing a helmet. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, regardless of whether you were using a helmet, Teale Law will aggressively pursue your case and hold the liable party responsible for your damages.
- Avoid excessive speed: Your ability to react to other vehicles, road hazards, and traffic conditions in a timely manner is a key component to avoiding injury while enjoying your motorcycle. By reducing your speed and following speed limits you may be able to see and avoid accidents before they happen. This is particularly true in the event that another motorist negligently fails to observe you on your motorcycle.
- Don’t engage in lane-splitting/white-lining: Pursuant to RSA 265:121, lane-splitting or white-lining is illegal in New Hampshire. Lane splitting significantly increases your risk of being struck by a car or truck. Simply, you have much less room to maneuver when you are threading between vehicles, and you are much less likely to be observed by other motorists until it is too late.
- Learn how to ride safely and legally: About 25 percent of motorcyclists who are involved in accidents are riding their motorcycles without a proper motorcycle license (or any license at all). Training programs exist to help motorcycle riders become safer riders and to ride within the laws. Take advantage of them, and reduce your odds of being involved in a motorcycle accident.
What are some of the most commonly cited motorcycle injuries?
Motorcycle accidents may result in especially serious injuries in New Hampshire, as the state does not ask those over the age of 18 to wear helmets. The matter is certainly a controversial one, with supporters of helmet laws arguing that they save lives and opponents arguing that they offer little protection.
Motorcycle accident victims often suffer serious, traumatic injuries. Unlike passengers in a vehicle, motorcyclists are exposed to the elements as they travel. If they are thrown from a bike in an accident, there is little they can do to protect their bodies.
The most commonly cited injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments and muscles
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Loss of a limb
- Spinal cord injuries
These injuries may cause permanent, lifelong disability in some riders.
How long do I have to file a motorcycle accident claim in New Hampshire?
All legal claims have a deadline. If an individual does not file a claim by the applicable deadline, that claimant may not be able to pursue damages from the defendant driver. The claimant may be solely responsible for all of the financial losses he has incurred because of the accident. Clearly, it is very important to file a case by this deadline, which is called the statute of limitations.
In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident claims is three years. Though this may seem like a generous amount of time, many are surprised how quickly the deadline approaches. Many clients treat their injuries for many months, and some may not realize that they have the right to pursue a claim. Accordingly, if you have been harmed in a motorcycle accident, you should seek the advice of an excellent personal injury lawyer as quickly as you can.
Do I really need to hire an attorney for my motorcycle accident claim?
Hiring a New Hampshire personal injury attorney ensures that your legal rights are protected throughout your claim. With no attorney on your side, you may be unfamiliar with filing deadlines, how to submit evidence of your claim, how to negotiate a favorable settlement, or what your claim is actually worth. Personal injury attorneys are experienced in discussing claims with insurance adjusters and other attorneys to maximize their clients’ compensation. Further, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to identify all sources of insurance available to you that you may not have been aware of or may have overlooked. If necessary, these attorneys go to court on behalf of their clients and present arguments. The area of personal injury law can be quite nuanced, and it is important to hire an attorney with experience in these claims to represent your legal interests.
Without the assistance of a personal injury attorney, you may not be aware of all of the damages you are entitled to. For example, if you had to forfeit a vacation because the accident occurred the day before you were scheduled to leave, you may be able to claim the cost of the vacation in your damages. Most accident victims are shocked to discover that they may claim the expense of future medical care in their damages as well. An experienced personal injury attorney ensures all avenues of recovery are pursued in a motorcycle accident claim.
Experience. Integrity. Results.
It is important to obtain the services of an experienced lawyer immediately if you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another. Call Teale Law today at 603-935-7425 to schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth, and throughout New Hampshire.
Charles C Teale:
For locals residing in Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth, N.H in need of a personal injury attorney, feel free to contact Teale Law whose experience and expertise in personal injury law have helped many individuals to seek justice by receiving more-than-adequate compensation from their personal injury cases. You pay no Fees unless Teale wins