Many of Massachusetts’ residents ride motorcycles. They are an economical way to get to work and family gathering and a joyride can be relaxing. However, these vehicle’s small size and lack of safety features makes them prone to injurious or even fatal accidents. Those who ride motorcycles should be aware of their legal rights so that, should they find themselves in such a situation, they know how to act to protect their interests and those of other motorcyclists on the road.

A recent motorcycle accident in Pittsfield helps serve as an illustration. There, a 49-year-old man was killed when his bike slammed into a vehicle that was turning left. Though the exact cause of the accident remains under investigation, the deceased’s family members may want to be prepared to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Unfortunately, motorists often fail to accurately gauge the speed of an oncoming motorcycle, or they fail to see the bike at all, and thus fail to yield to it. Such a failure to yield typically causes a high-speed accident and, all too often, a fatal motorcycle crash. Surviving family members of a victim may then be faced with seemingly insurmountable emotional and financial loss. Those who survive such an accident may also face extreme loss. Yet, if a car or truck’s driver can be shown to have been negligent, then victims may be able to find relief.

Victims and their families should know that they can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in an attempt to recover their losses. Though a successful claim cannot bring a loved one back, it might help cover medical and funeral costs, as well as lost wages. Additionally, a winning claim punishes a negligent driver and raises awareness of motorcycle safety, thereby helping protect future motorcyclists from the errant behaviors of others. Filing such a lawsuit can be daunting during a time of mourning, but a Massachusetts attorney can assist a victim or his or her family take confident steps toward protecting their best interests. This means establishing negligence and causation which, if the facts and the law warrant, can be established by an aggressive attorney.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Pittsfield Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash,” July 16, 2014