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How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident?

As a motorcycle rider, you know that gas in the tank is good for only a specific amount of time. If you try to use the gas after letting it sit too long, no good can come of it. In some ways, the Massachusetts legal system can be likened to the gas in a motorcycle.

When pursuing legal restitution after a motorcycle accident, the law that enables you to obtain compensation is only good for a limited amount of time. Just as you can’t drive a motorcycle with old, unused gas in it, if you wait too long to pursue your rights, you may run out of time to get the justice you deserve for your car accident.

Act now before it’s too late. Get in touch with the personal injury lawyers of Kiley Law Group, many of whom ride motorcycles themselves. Call 888-437-2584 anytime day or night to reach our representatives and schedule a free consultation.

The Statute of Limitations That Limits Your Time

The maximum amount of time that the law allows for a person to file a lawsuit is legally referred to as the statute of limitations. In the State of Massachusetts, the statute of limitations (AKA deadline), in nearly all circumstances is 3 years. This time period is applicable to the driver of the motorcycle, the driver of the vehicle, or a passenger.

If a claim has not been closed towards the end of that period, then a lawsuit should be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Otherwise, you lose your right to receive compensation.

Past the final date, you can lose all legal rights to pursue and receive compensation for injuries and damages resulting from the accident. Typically, all persons in Massachusetts need to settle the claim or file a lawsuit within 3 years.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Collisions involving motorcycles can happen without warning and instantaneously. The results can be catastrophic and even fatal. Let us address what commonly causes motorcycle accidents.

Driver error

Oftentimes, either deliberate disregard or carelessness on the part of a nearby driver is at the root of a crash. In particular, common forms of aggressive driving or inattention on the part of a nearby driver are the following factors:

  • Failing to make a full stop at a stop sign or while preparing to turn right at a red stoplight
  • Failing to pay attention to, or ignoring, a stop sign or red light
  • Driving distracted, perhaps using a mobile phone or talking with a passenger
  • Driving inattentively while texting, reading, or composing some other type of digital message
  • Rushing or being aggressive and failing to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist
  • Failing to sufficiently check the area around the vehicle when changing lanes
  • Driving the vehicle at dangerous speeds for current conditions
  • Failing to allow a sufficient distance between the car and the motorcyclist
  • Neglecting to check blind spots before repositioning the vehicle

These are only some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Many other unique factors can contribute to a crash or collision.

Extenuating circumstances

These could be unusual circumstances involving:

  • Road debris
  • Road work
  • Poor road conditions
  • Inclement weather
  • Heavy traffic
  • Pets
  • Leaves, grass, bushes, trees

To be certain that the cause of your accident is correctly determined, speak with a Kiley Law Group motorcycle attorney. All our lawyers are well equipped to help you identify the negligent party before the time limit to file a lawsuit has passed.

Common Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident

The freedom motorcyclists can feel as they travel the open road is unparalleled. However, this freedom comes at the cost of greater susceptibility to danger. Motorcyclists generally have less protection in the event of an accident.

If a lawsuit is filed or a settlement is reached before the statutes of limitations, compensation for both minor and severe injuries can be obtained.

Among the most common types of injuries a motorcyclist might experience in an accident are the following:

  • Burns: The engine parts of a motorcycle can be extremely hot. Contact with the skin can result in second- or third-degree burns.
  • Fractures: Among the most common injuries are fractures. Bones can break upon impact with the road, another vehicle, or other objects during a collision.
  • Head trauma: A motorcyclist’s head is especially susceptible and must be protected while riding. A collision or crash can cause a fractured skull, concussion, or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Internal injuries: Even if a motorcyclist seems to have no apparent injuries, it is crucial to be examined by a medical professional directly. This is because injuries to the organs such as the lungs, spleen, and kidneys can easily occur and result in internal bleeding or other serious complications.
  • Neck and spine injuries: Paralysis, herniated discs, or cracked vertebrae can result from a motorcycle accident. These injuries stem from the neck or spine.
  • Road rash: A motorcyclist’s arms, legs, and other exposed body parts can suffer scrapes or abrasions if the body drags along the road surface in any way.
  • Soft tissue injuries: Impact with another object or the road can cause sprains, strains, and injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

What Compensation is Available After a Motorcycle Accident?

A motorcycle accident claim, or lawsuit, can include compensation for various damages related to the crash or collision. These damages can include coverage of medical bills as well as pain and suffering.

There are additional common damages and losses motorcyclists can receive in reparation for a lawsuit or settlement that is met before the statutes of limitations are reached. These include:

  • Property damage: When property like the motorcycle and other personal items were damaged in the accident
  • Lost past wages: When a person recovering from injuries may be unable to work, he or she could obtain compensation for lost wages or employment
  • Future wages: In the case that your injuries do not allow you to return to work permanently, financial restitution for those unattainable future wages could be obtained
  • Medical expenses: You can obtain payment for these initial treatment expenses as well as medical costs that accumulate during your recovery, possibly recovering surgeries, medication bills, hospital stays, and physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering: Acute mental distress and emotional discomfort that you feel can also be addressed
  • Long-term conditions: When an injured motorcyclist is disabled permanently or disfigured, lifelong care may be required and even covered
  • Wrongful death: Funeral and burial expenses, as well as the loss of companionship, can also be included among other awarded damages

Most motorcyclists who are injured in a collision are bound to face medical expenses and pain and suffering. Even if your injuries are minor, you could be compensated as well. Don’t lose out on receiving a fair amount for your motorcycle accident. Instead, consult Kiley Law Group right away.

Important Massachusetts Motorcycle Laws for Your Case

Massachusetts state laws exist to benefit and protect the rights of motorcyclists. There are factors related to the motorcyclist that should be considered when analyzing a motorcycle accident settlement or lawsuit before reaching the statutes of limitations.

It is important to ensure that the motorcyclist has adhered to the following Massachusetts motorcycle laws:

  1. While within Massachusetts, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation; this law applies to passengers and individuals in a sidecar
  2. Eye protection must be used by the motorcycle operator and can be in the form of goggles or a protective face shield but is not necessary if a windshield or windscreen is on the motorcycle
  3.  A Massachusetts Class M motorcycle license is required for motorcyclists
  4.  The motorcycle must have functioning brakes, rearview mirrors, fenders, mufflers, lights, and a seat that is secured
  5. The handlebars of the motorcycle cannot be higher than the shoulders of the operator once properly seated

If you are unsure whether your motorcycle or your actions as a motorcyclist meet all of the above requirements, a motorcycle attorney with Kiley Law Group can explain your rights to you.

Work With Motorcycle Attorneys Who Understand the Law and What It Means to Be a Rider

Tom Kiley, Sr., has practiced law for more than four decades, and his passion for motorcycles started even earlier. He uses his wisdom and comprehension of the law to help his fellow motorcycle riders, who are more than clients to him. They are his fellow motorcyclists who belong to the community that he understands and appreciates.

Our lawyers know that there is a limited amount of time to help motorcycle accident victims. With our assistance, the statute of limitations does not have to be a stressful expiration date. We can help you do what is required before this deadline.

Kiley Law Group wants to see you get the just compensation you deserve. Call us at 888-437-2584 to find out how we can accomplish this for you. 

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