All motorcycle accidents are dangerous, but with no helmet law in Rhode Island, motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic or fatal. Accident victims may suffer injuries such as broken or crushed bones, amputations, burns, brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. Permanent disability and disfigurement are possible with these types of injuries.
At Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum, Attorneys At Law, Inc., we have represented injury victims and families throughout Rhode Island who have lost loved ones to wrongful death. We understand the serious nature of motorcycle accidents and are prepared to pursue compensation while treating you with compassion.
Read the below sections for more information about what you need to know after a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island:
Please contact us online for a free consultation with a Warwick motorcycle accident attorney serving Providence and statewide.
Types of Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
What sets motorcycle accidents apart from other types of motor vehicle accidents is the potential for significantly worse injuries. This is largely due to the fact that motorcyclists are far more exposed on the road (even when wearing a helmet). Their body is not protected by the metal frame of a car, seat belt or air bag.
Common types of motorcycle injuries include:
- Head trauma and significant brain injuries, including severe concussions, hematoma or coma
- Serious road rash leading to second- and third-degree burns
- Burns, lacerations and permanent scarring
- Broken bones, torn ligaments, dislocations and fractures
- Severed limbs and amputations
- Internal organ damage such as laceration of the lung, liver, kidney or spleen
- Back injuries such as damaged spinal cord leading to paralysis
These are just some of the serious injuries a motorcyclist can sustain in an accident. Many of these injuries cause lifelong damage, and require additional surgeries, ongoing care and rehabilitation. It is important that your lawyer properly valuates the extent of these ongoing medical care costs when seeking damages.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Defective Roads
Collisions with other vehicles are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Car and truck drivers often fail to see motorcycles until a collision is unavoidable. They may hit the motorcycle or force the cyclist to swerve out of the way. In some accidents, another vehicle forces the cyclist off the road. Our firm knows how to bring a successful claim for motorcyclists who were hit by distracted or drunk drivers.
Motorcycle accidents can also be caused by mechanical defects or road defects. Road defects can be the result of a problem with the road, a failure to warn of hazards or objects in the road. Some of the most common dangers include:
- Potholes, rough pavement and other road defects
- Improperly marked road construction zones
- Poorly marked intersections and railroad crossings
- Lack of road signage
- Debris in the road
What can be complicated about defective roads cases is that the lawsuit must involve an entire city, town or local municipality responsible for the road or even a private property owner. These are tough cases because you must prove the city or owner was aware of the defect and did nothing about it. Our attorneys are experienced in these matters and can help you if your accident was caused by a road defect.
Jury Bias for Motorcycle Accidents
One of the difficulties in a motorcycle accident case is jury bias. In Rhode Island, state law does not require a motorcyclist to wear a helmet or any other protective gear while operating their motorcycle. But despite the law not requiring helmets, juries often do not see it that way. If a motorcyclist happens to not wear a helmet at the time of the accident and gets seriously injured, a jury will often have a bias against the victim for not wearing a helmet. This results in your compensation being stripped away from you.
This is a difficult hurdle to overcome in motorcycle accident cases. Compared to car accident cases in which you would never blame him or her for not wearing a helmet, a motorcyclist gets this unfair bias. Having an experienced lawyer help overcome this jury bias is very important to seeking full and fair compensation.
Have You Been Involved In A Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident you need to speak to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help accident victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.