New Hampshire Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcycle accident occurs, the operator of the motorcycle has a significantly higher chance of incurring fatal or life threatening injuries than motorists who are safely ensconced in a car, truck, or sports utility vehicle. This increased risk is primarily due to the fact that motorcycles are not equipped with protective safety features, such as steel frames, side and front airbags, windshields, and seat belts. As a result, when an accident happens, the rider is placed in a very vulnerable position.
The most frequent types of injuries that motorcycle riders suffer from include brain and head injuries. The state of New Hampshire only requires riders and passengers under the age of 18 to wear helmets.
The Impact and Injuries of NH Motorcycle Accidents
Just a few of the most common catastrophic injuries that motorcycle riders suffer from include:
Because many of these types of injuries tend to have a permanent impact on the human body, it can significantly affect the quality of life for those who suffer from them. Nationwide, the mean average for the majority of motorcycle fatalities is the mid-30’s. At this stage in life, many riders have families to support. An inability to support one’s family can have significant ramifications for those who are left behind.
Even if a motorcycle motorist was to survive an accident, the loss of the ability to earn an income, future medical bills, and a number of other elements can impact the victim’s ability to provide for their family. If a significant amount of medical care is required for their injuries, then it can become a serious financial burden on their families. If the individual who caused the accident does not have adequate insurance, then this increases the amount of money that the victim must pay out of pocket for their medical care.
National Statistics For Motorcycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a compilation of statistics on motorcycle crashes that occurred between 1993 and 2003. In 1993, the mean average of a victim who died in a motorcycle accident was 32. By 2003, the mean age average had increased to 38. According to the 2007 publication of this data, approximately 71% of motorcycle crashes occur between the months of May to October. Of all of these accidents that resulted in death, 98.5% of the deaths included the operator of the motorcycle and their passengers (if they were present).
New Hampshire Motorcycle Safety
By 2003, in the state of New Hampshire, the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities more than tripled in number. In order to address these statistics, the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles launched the Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Task Force in 2004. The month of May was officially designated Motorcycle Awareness Month, and in New Hampshire, it precedes the famous annual Laconia Motorcycle Week, which is held each year in June.
The director of the New Hampshire DMV recently stated that more than 30 motorcycle related fatalities have occurred on New Hampshire roadways each year for the last five years. In order to reduce the number of crashes that occur each year as a result of inexperienced drivers, the NH DMV now offers a Motorcycle Rider Program.
Under New Hampshire state law, a motorcycle rider or passenger is only required to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 18 (RSA 265:122). Operators of a motorcycle are required to wear protective eyewear (RSA 265:123), such as goggles or glasses, at all times while the motorcycle is in motion. However, this rule does not apply if the motorcycle has a windshield already attached.
The New Hampshire State Law’s Definition of a Motorcycle
New Hampshire state law (Statute RSA 259:63) defines the term “motorcycle” as "'Motorcycle' shall mean every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding tractors and mopeds. The term shall also include 3-wheel scooters with enclosed cabs."
It should be noted that reversed trikes and motorcycle trikes fall under the state’s legal definition of a motorcycle. For any questions about what vehicles do and do not fall under this legal definition, one should contact the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles.
Have You Been Injured In a Motorcycle Accident?
If you, or one of your loved ones, have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the state of New Hampshire, then the state laws have been designed to afford you protection. In an NH court of law, it must be proven that the at fault party was responsible for more than 50% of the accident; however, if this can be done, then you will be entitled to receive monetary compensation and damages for your injuries. The umbrella terms of “injuries” include pain and suffering, rehabilitation expenses, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, and future lost wages, as well as for your overall decreased quality of life.
Our professional and experienced New Hampshire auto injury attorneys have been successfully handling motorcycle accident claims for decades. Unfortunately, we are familiar with the types of catastrophic injuries these types of accidents can produce. It is our pledge to our clients to exhaust each available resource to prove that the offending party was at fault in the accident. While monetary compensation cannot reduce the amount of suffering that you and your loved ones have experienced as a result of the accident, it can certainly lessen the financial burden that you must bear.
Your initial consultation with our firm is 100% free. We will review each facet of your case and advise you on the appropriate course of action. If you are looking for a New Hampshire motorcycle accident attorney who is truly invested in your needs, please contact us today.
As a motorcycle rider, Attorney Hynes understands what risks we face every time we get on the motorcycle. Too many other drivers are careless and when they don't pay attention can cause great damage. If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you could have suffered serious injury. Our lawyers can help you recover for the loss you suffered. Give our attorneys a call for a consultation to discuss your case.
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