In Rhode Island, there are numerous laws in place to protect motorcyclists, but these legislative pieces can only do so much.
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries with far-reaching implications for the rider and his family.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island, the recovery process can be challenging. From insurance claims to court issues, Gemma Law is your source for immediate legal help.
Even if you don’t think you can afford an attorney, our team works on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything until your case gets settled.
Rhode Island Motorcycle Lawyers
At Gemma Law, our Providence injury lawyers understand that recovering from a motorcycle accident is challenging enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about whether you can afford medical treatment.
Common injuries sustained by riders include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones and/or loss of limb
- Severe injuries to the ankles, knees, and legs
- Organ damage
These injuries often require long-term medical care that can quickly exhaust available insurance coverage. But with an experienced Rhode Island injury lawyer, crash victims can focus on recovery while the law firm handles the rest.
Our Providence motorcycle accident lawyers have helped numerous clients recover the compensation they needed to move forward with their lives.
Compensation Available to Victims
Whether you find yourself with a sprained neck or a much more serious injury, it’s critical you understand what compensation may be available to you.
At Gemma Law, our Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyers can help you recover your insurance claim and medical bills, in addition other relevant damages including:
- Mental Anguish
- Lost Wages/Lost Future Wages
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
Our team of motorcycle accident experts is here to ensure there’s no money left on the table. We’ll fight to secure comprehensive compensation so that you can focus on what really matters: your recovery.
If you have questions about compensation, call our experts at 401-467-2300.
Motorcycle Accidents in Rhode Island
According to Rhode Island State Police, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise.
If you drive a motorcycle, the most important step you can take to protect yourself is to wear a helmet. Rhode Island law, however, only requires passengers and drivers under the age of 21 to wear helmets. This is an important safety precaution, but it leaves many riders vulnerable to severe injury or death.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, wearing a helmet reduces fatal injury by 37 percent, and helmets are 67 percent effective in reducing brain injuries.
Even without a universal helmet law, it’s important to do all you can to protect yourself because not all dangers are within your control. Drivers of other vehicles often overlook motorcycles due to their disproportionate size.
About 75 percent of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with other vehicles, usually a passenger automobile. Of that 75 percent, the driver of the other vehicle is at fault two-thirds of the time.
Get the Representation You Deserve
Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident or uncertain about the next steps, we’re here to help.
We’ve been guiding clients through the Rhode Island legal system for more than 45 years and we can help you too.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Am I eligible for pain and suffering damages?
In Rhode Island, you may be eligible for pain and suffering damages if another party’s negligence caused the accident. First, however, it’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine your case’s specific facts and legal options. They will be able to advise you on the likelihood of recovering damages and assist you in navigating the legal process.
Should I call law enforcement to report an accident?
Yes, calling law enforcement to report a motorcycle accident is important. In Rhode Island, if an accident involves injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500, you must file a report with the local police department within 24 hours of the accident. It’s also important to call emergency services if anyone is injured. Even if the accident is minor, it is still a good idea to call the police and file a report, as it will provide an official record. This can be helpful if you need to file an insurance claim or seek damages in a personal injury case.
How do I obtain an accident report from the police?
In Providence, Rhode Island, you can obtain an accident report from the Providence Police Department by visiting the Records Division at 325 Washington Street in Providence. You can also request the report by mail, and you will need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope and the report fee of $10.00. You can also request an accident report online by visiting the Providence Police Department website, selecting “Online Report Request”, and filling out the form. You may be required to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and accident date. Once your request is processed, you will receive a copy of the accident report via mail or email.
It’s worth noting that accident reports may take several days to process, and you may need to provide a valid ID when requesting a report.
When should I contact my insurance company?
It is generally advisable to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. This is because insurance policies typically require policyholders to report accidents promptly. If you fail to notify your insurance company of the accident within a reasonable period, your claim may be denied, or your coverage may be affected. When you contact your insurance company, you should provide them with all the accident details, including the date, time, location, and the names and contact information of any other parties involved. It is also essential to record the claim number and the name of the claims adjuster assigned to your case.
It’s important to note that you should not admit fault or provide a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company without first consulting with your own insurance company or a personal injury attorney.
How should I deal with an insurance adjuster after a motorcycle accident?
When dealing with an insurance adjuster after a motorcycle accident, you should be cautious and protect your rights. Here are a few tips on how to handle insurance adjusters:
- Keep detailed records: Keep a detailed record of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. This will help you to document your losses and support your claim accurately.
- Don’t rush to settle: Insurance adjusters may try to settle quickly and for a low amount. You should not rush to accept a settlement offer before you fully understand your damages and the value of your claim.
- Don’t admit fault: Do not admit fault for the accident or accept any blame. Instead, let the insurance adjuster know you must review the evidence before making a statement.
- Be honest: Be honest and provide accurate information to the insurance adjuster. Providing false or misleading information can harm your case.
- Get a second opinion: Before accepting a settlement offer, it is recommended to get a second opinion from a personal injury attorney or another expert to ensure the offer is fair and reasonable.
- Remember that insurance adjusters are not your friends: Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster’s job is to settle claims for the least amount possible. They work for the insurance company, not you.
Work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process of dealing with insurance adjusters and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Should I hire a lawyer after a minor collision?
Hiring a lawyer after a minor collision is not always necessary, but it can be a good idea in some cases. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to hire a lawyer:
- Severity of injuries: If you or someone else involved in the accident has sustained serious injuries, it may be in your best interest to hire a lawyer.
- Complexity of the case: If a complex set of circumstances caused the accident or if there are multiple parties involved, it can be beneficial to have a lawyer help navigate the legal process.
- Difficulty with the insurance company: If the insurance company is not cooperating or you’re not satisfied with the settlement offer, hiring a lawyer to represent your interests may be a good idea.
- Long-term effects: If the accident has resulted in long-term consequences such as chronic pain, lost income, or other damages that are likely to continue, it may be helpful to have a lawyer evaluate your case for potential long-term compensation.
- Difficulty in proving your case: If you need help proving your case to the insurance company or in court, it is a good idea to have a lawyer’s help.
Keep in mind that hiring a lawyer will not guarantee a favorable outcome, but it can give you the peace of mind that your rights and interests are being protected. If you decide to hire a lawyer, choose one with experience in handling personal injury cases and a good track record of success.
Can an injured passenger sue a negligent motorcycle driver?
Yes, an injured passenger in a motorcycle accident may be able to sue the negligent motorcycle driver for damages. Under personal injury law, passengers can seek compensation for their injuries if the driver’s negligence caused the accident. The injured passenger would have to prove that the driver failed to exercise reasonable care and that this failure caused the accident and the passenger’s injuries.
The passenger would have to show that the driver was responsible for the accident by breaking traffic laws, driving while impaired, or by some other act of negligence. If the driver is found to be at fault, the passenger may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
In some cases, the driver of the motorcycle may not have insurance or may not have enough insurance to cover the damages; in this case, the passenger can still sue the driver, but it may be challenging to collect the compensation. A personal injury attorney can help navigate the legal process and will help to ensure that the passenger receives fair compensation.
What should I do if injuries show up after a motorcycle accident?
If injuries show up after a motorcycle accident, take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may not show up for hours or even days later. It is essential to document any injuries you have sustained due to the accident.
- Notify your insurance company: Inform your insurance company of your injuries as soon as possible. They may need to open a new claim or add the new injuries to your existing claim.
- Keep records: Keep records of all medical treatments and expenses related to the accident, including doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and prescription costs.
- Document the injury: Take photos of any visible injuries and note any physical limitations or pain you experience.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney: An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you through seeking compensation for your injuries.
- Don’t wait to take action: In Rhode Island, there is a statute of limitation of three years for personal injury cases, which means you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
It’s important to remember that even minor injuries can have long-term effects, and you deserve compensation for the damages you have sustained. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your injuries’ long-term impact and guide you through the legal process.
What happens if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured?
If the at-fault driver in a motorcycle accident does not have insurance or is underinsured, it can make it more difficult for you to recover compensation for your damages. However, there are still options available to you:
- File a claim with your insurance: If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company. This type of coverage can help cover your damages if the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks enough insurance to compensate you for your losses fully.
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver: Even if the at-fault driver does not have insurance or assets, you can still file a lawsuit against them. However, collecting the damages awarded in a judgment may be hard if the driver doesn’t have the means to pay.
- Seek compensation from other sources: In some cases, you may be able to seek compensation from other sources, such as your health insurance, disability insurance, or workers’ compensation.
Consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options, guide you through seeking compensation from the at-fault driver, and identify other potential payment sources.
How will my motorcycle accident affect my insurance rate?
Your insurance rate will likely be affected if you are found to be at fault in a motorcycle accident. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine your premium, and an accident on your record can be a significant factor in determining your rate. They will also take into account the severity of the accident and the extent of the damages.
The impact on your insurance rate will vary depending on your insurance company and the state where you live. For example, some states have laws limiting insurance companies’ ability to raise rates after an accident, but in others, the insurance company has more freedom to raise rates.
You should contact your insurance company and ask how the accident will affect your rate. Also, shopping around and comparing rates from different insurance companies is important to find the best coverage at the most reasonable cost.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company for a more favorable settlement, which can help mitigate the accident’s impact on your insurance rate.
What should I do if I’ve lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, take time to grieve and process your loss. Here are some ways to help cope with your loss:
- Reach out to friends and family for support; they can provide comfort and understanding during this difficult time.
- Consider seeking professional counseling or therapy. This can provide a safe space to express your feelings and work through your grief.
- Participate in activities that bring you peace and comfort, such as exercise, meditation, or creative outlets like writing or art.
- Make sure to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Grief can be hard on the body and mind.
- Connect with support groups or organizations that can provide additional support and understanding.
- If the loss was due to negligence or malpractice, seek legal advice to understand your options.
It’s also important to know that the healing process can take time, and taking things at your own pace is okay.
What should I do if bad roads caused my motorcycle accident?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by bad road conditions, you can take certain steps to protect your rights. Some things you should do include:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel okay, get checked out by a doctor to rule out any potential injuries.
- Report the accident to the authorities. File a police report and make sure the accident is documented.
- Gather evidence of the accident. This can include photos of the accident scene, witness contact information, and any other relevant information that can help establish the cause of the accident.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident and start the claims process.
- Record any expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages.
- Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process.
- Keep in mind that if poor road conditions caused the accident, it might be the government agency responsible for maintaining the road that is liable.
It’s necessary to clearly understand the cause of the accident to determine who may be liable for your injuries and damages. A personal injury attorney can help investigate the accident and determine who is responsible for the bad road conditions that caused the accident.
What are the insurance requirements for a Rhode Island motorcyclist?
In the state of Rhode Island, motorcyclists are required to have liability insurance in order to operate their motorcycles on public roads. Liability insurance covers any damages or injuries that you may cause to another person or their property while operating your motorcycle.
The minimum liability insurance requirements in Rhode Island are as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for total bodily injury or death of multiple people in an accident
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident
These minimums may not be sufficient to cover the costs of a severe accident fully, so consider purchasing more than the minimum amount of coverage.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that Rhode Island requires all drivers, including motorcyclists, to have uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will protect you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. The minimum requirement for uninsured motorist coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
It’s advisable to check with your insurance company to know the exact details of your policy and ensure that you have the right coverage.
Why hire a Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer?
Hiring a Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer can be beneficial for several reasons if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident. Some of the reasons include the following:
- Experience: A motorcycle accident lawyer will have experience handling these types of cases specifically and will understand the unique challenges and issues of motorcycle accidents.
- Knowledge of the law: A motorcycle accident lawyer will be familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to motorcycle accidents in Rhode Island and can use this knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Investigate and collect evidence: A lawyer will have the resources to investigate the accident and gather evidence to prove the negligence or fault of the other party.
- Representation in court: If the case goes to court, a motorcycle accident lawyer can represent you and advocate for your rights and interests.
- Maximize compensation: A lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Deal with paperwork: A lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and deal with the paperwork, which can be overwhelming, especially when you are recovering from an accident.
- Help you understand your rights: A lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and options and guide you on how to proceed with your case.
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can give you the support and representation you need to navigate the legal process and recover the compensation you deserve.
What are the common types of motorcycle accident injuries?
Typical injuries from motorcycle accidents include road rash, fractures, head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal injuries, loss of limbs, dislocations, lacerations and contusions, and burns. These types of injuries can have severe and long-lasting effects on the health and well-being of motorcycle accident victims.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents:
Cars Making Left-Hand Turns: A significant number of accidents occur when cars make left-hand turns in front of motorcycles.
Speeding: Accidents frequently happen when motorcyclists or drivers of other vehicles speed, especially in poor weather conditions or around curves.
Lane Splitting: Accidents can occur when motorcyclists ride between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, particularly in traffic jams.
Drunk Driving: Both motorcyclists and other drivers cause accidents by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Distracted Driving: Accidents can be caused by any activity that diverts attention from driving, including using mobile phones, eating, or using in-car technologies like navigation systems.
Sudden Stops: Motorcycles are particularly vulnerable to rear-end collisions resulting from sudden stops, especially in heavy traffic conditions.
Inexperienced Drivers: Accidents can be caused by drivers lacking the necessary experience to handle certain road conditions or situations.
Poor Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads, such as those with potholes, debris, or uneven lanes, can lead to accidents.
Motorcyclists can reduce the risk of accidents by wearing a helmet, maintaining their motorcycle, and practicing defensive driving. If an accident occurs, it’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, like Gemma Law Associates, to understand your rights.