While overall motor vehicle accident injuries and deaths have declined over the last several decades, those incurred by motorcyclists have increased.
Fluctuations in ridership are attributed to seasonal variations, gas prices and weather. On a larger scale, though, more people are riding than ever before, and a growing percentage of those riders are older.
The National Highway Safety Administration reported 36 motorcycle fatalities were reported in 2011 in Massachusetts. Hundreds more people sustained injuries, and many of those are life-threatening. By comparison the following year - the latest for which statistics are available - 47 people were killed in motorcycle wrecks.
That represents a 30.5 percent increase in a single year, while the national increase for that year averaged out to 7 percent.
Between 2003 and 2012, the agency reports motorcyclist deaths jumped by 33 percent, with fatalities among the 40-and-older subset climbing by 63 percent over that decade. Where the average motorcycle accident victim in 2003 was 38, that figure crept up to 43 by 2012.
Our attorneys at The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone can help recover damages for injuries and losses for families that lose a loved one to a motorcycle collision or for motorcyclists who survive a collision. The exact amount to which you are entitled is going to depend on a host of factors including the type and amount of insurance that the operator has (or that you have), as well as the kind of insurance policies held by the other at-fault driver.
In Massachusetts, all drivers are required to carry liability insurance that includes $20,000 for personal injury liability to a single individual, $40,000 for total per-crash bodily injuries and $5,000 to cover property damage.
While it's true some drivers make the unfortunate choice to travel without insurance, in Massachusetts, the estimated percentage of uninsured drivers is less than 4 percent. (In other states, it's as high as 24 percent!) In the event you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, you may have the option of collecting from your own uninsured motorist policy.
In addition to uninsured motorist coverage, there is something called underinsured motorist coverage, which will provide additional protection in the event the at-fault driver's insurance is insufficient to cover all of your expenses, which may include medical expenses, but also lost wages and pain and suffering.
These options are to be explored when another driver is at-fault.
Following a motorcycle accident, you can make no-fault injury claims under your own Medical Payments (MedPay coverage). This is what is known as a "first-party claim," which you make against your own insurer. (Claims made with someone else's insurance company are referred to as "third-party claims.")
MedPay is a type of additional insurance coverage motorcyclists and other drivers can purchase to cover you, your passengers and any pedestrians or non-occupants. It may also cover you in the event you are injured while riding as a passenger on someone else's motorcycle, but usually in that situation, the law will consider the operator's coverage as primary, meaning that policy will need to be exhausted first.
MedPay coverage isn't a substitute for your regular health insurance coverage because it's only triggered by injuries sustained in a crash. The good news is you won't have to pay any deductibles on that coverage, the way you would with health insurance.
These cases can be difficult to navigate on your own, which is why it's advisable to contact an experienced Boston personal injury attorney.
Contact the Boston injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.