Portsmouth, NH Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcyclists are sometimes viewed by the general public as reckless drivers or thrill-seekers. However, it is frequently the negligence of other drivers on the road that cause serious accidents that bring harm to motorcyclists.
As a leading motorcycle accident attorney for the Portsmouth, NH, area, our firm applies more than 24 years of defense experience to help motorcyclists overcome this stigma and recover the much-needed compensation they deserve after a serious accident.
Any incident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle is likely to be serious. With little protection beyond a helmet, motorcyclists are exposed to the sharp metal and force of the crash — whether they are thrown from their bike, pinned between the other vehicle and highway guardrails, or thrown into oncoming traffic. These serious injury cases require compassion, empathy, and a true understanding of the client’s needs.
Having handled many cases involving catastrophic injuries, we have come to know and understand what our clients are enduring when suffering serious injuries like:
- Road rash and severe burns
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Lost limbs or amputation
Since New Hampshire law doesn’t require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, serious head injuries are unfortunately very common. Our law firm frequently handles traumatic brain injury and wrongful death lawsuits arising from serious and fatal motorcycle accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Motorcycle Accidents
Q: What should I do at an accident scene immediately following a motorcycle accident?
A: Ensure your own personal safety and the safety of any passengers on your bike. Do not move your vehicle unless your safety depends on it. Then, if you are physically able to do so, take pictures of the accident scene. Photograph all vehicles involved, weather and road conditions, lighting on the road, any signs or lights near the accident scene, any physical injuries, and any witnesses to the accident including their vehicles and license plates. Taking pictures from different perspectives can also be helpful. Having these pictures can help support your claim.
Q: How do I pay for my medical care?
A: If you are injured, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible following the motorcycle accident. Advise the medical care provider of how you injured yourself so they understand the scope of what happened.
Many times clients ask if they have to pay for their medical care through their own health insurance even if they were not at fault for the accident. The answer can sometimes be complicated and depend upon the different types of insurance that may be available. Generally, however, your health insurance and, if you have it, Medical Payments coverage within a motorcycle insurance policy provides coverage for the medical care you need. If it ultimately is determined that another party is responsible for paying your medical bills, your attorney will work on your behalf to address this issue as part of handling your case.
Q: What if I was injured as a passenger on the bike?
A: When you are injured as a passenger on a motorcycle, there are several potential responsible parties for your injuries and several sources of insurance that might help pay for your medical bills and lost wages. These sources include the driver of the other car or motorcycle, the driver of the motorcycle on which you were a passenger, any third party who may have caused or contributed to the cause of the accident, and your own insurance coverage through potentially applicable uninsured or underinsured policy provisions.
Q: Do I need to consult with a lawyer?
A: Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries which makes it essential that you consult someone knowledgeable regarding the different potential sources of recovery and how they apply. By working with an experienced attorney, you also will have the support necessary to build a strong case so that you can receive your fair and rightful compensation.
The sooner you communicate with an attorney, the better. This is not only to address health treatment issues and insurance, but also because it is often necessary to have an inspection performed on the vehicle to determine if there were any faulty mechanics.
Q: Do I need motorcycle insurance?
A: While not required under New Hampshire law, having insurance is strongly encouraged for anyone operating a motorcycle. It is important to understand that motorcycle insurance is separate and distinct from car insurance.
Damages from a motorcycle accident can be extreme. Not only can you sustain serious injuries, your expensive motorcycle can sustain costly damage. Having this insurance can provide much-needed coverage while you are recovering from injuries or without a mode of transportation.
Q: What can I do if my family member was killed in a motorcycle accident?
A: This an extremely difficult situation with a lot to consider. The law provides many different possible ways to address things including a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Your attorney can work with you to file this claim and help you and your family receive compensation for medical care, funeral costs, loss of future income and benefits, and compensation for emotional distress.
Q: Should I give a statement to insurance adjusters or answer questions from the police?
A: This often depends on the situation. It is advised that you consult with an attorney and obtain his or her assistance and guidance before talking with anyone, other than medical care providers about your injuries, about the accident.
However, this is not always possible, especially when the police are at the scene and trying to gather details about the incident. If you answer questions from the police, you should stick to the facts of what you actually know occurred. If you do not know something or cannot remember something, say “I do not know” or “I cannot recall that.” Do not speculate about what you think may have happened or what you think could have caused the accident.
We recommend that you consult with an attorney before speaking with an insurance company representative – even if they are from your insurance company. This is because insurance company adjusters are trained and skilled in asking questions in a particular way to evoke responses that will help minimize their potential coverage exposure for the accident.
Many times the extent of injuries are not well known immediately after the accident. For this reason, insurance adjusters often call shortly after an accident to elicit a statement from you that helps them at a time when you really do not know the extent of the injuries you may have sustained.
It is common for us to see clients trying to be helpful by responding to questions and advising that they are “doing OK” or that they “are fine” when they really do not know if this is actually true. After the adrenaline from the accident has dissipated, accident victims can experience pain, tightness, and a range of motion problems. Although we always report this to the insurers when it becomes known, invariably the insurers respond that the client advised that he or she was “OK” and therefore deny responsibility for the later identified injuries even when they may be reasonably related to the accident.
In summation, you are best protected by referring your situation to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
Find the Help You Need
Clients can expect Portsmouth, NH, motorcycle accident attorney John P. Sherman to provide the guidance and service they need during this difficult time.
If you have sustained injuries because of a motorcycle accident, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case. We represent motorcycle accident victims and their families in personal injury and wrongful death claims in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.