Steps to Take after a Rhode Island Bike Accident

September 6, 2014

What to do after a bike accident in RIA bike accident in Rhode Island and Massachusetts involving motor vehicles is an all too common occurrence, leading to serious injuries and fatalities. In fact, vehicle accidents involving bicycles are one of the leading causes of death of bicyclists in America.

Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012 show that over 700 bicyclists died in collisions with motor vehicles. In addition to colliding with motorists, bicyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries by coming into contact with hazards and defects on trails and roadways. Many hazards on the roads and trails in RI and MA are caused by the negligence of government agencies in charge of maintaining the nation’s thoroughfares.

Nearly every type of collision of an automobile and cyclists in Rhode Island occurs through negligence of either party, or both. When it is established that the negligence, recklessness or carelessness was on the part of the motorist, the cyclists is entitled to be fully compensated financially for the damages and injuries endured. Because of that, many victims of a bicycle/vehicle collision hire a RI personal injury attorney that specializes in RI and MA bike accidents.

At the Scene of the Rhode Island Accident or Massachusetts crash

Victims involved in a bicycle/vehicle accident need to remain at the scene and wait for law enforcement to respond. This is because an official report must be filed. Document the accident if possible by speaking to witnesses and taking photographs using any camera or smart phone.

When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at the emergency room or urgent care center. Cooperate fully with the medical staff, and keep every follow-up appointment. This helps to best document the injuries endured in the accident and maximize the amount of compensation negotiated in an out-of-court settlement or awarded at trial.

Settling the Claim

Before the claim is settled, never provide any information concerning the accident to the other party, insurance company or claims adjuster. This is because the information can be used to deny the claim altogether. Instead, hire a Providence personal injury attorney to handle the claim. This will ensure that all rights are being protected throughout the entire process.

Negotiating with the insurance company of the motorists usually involves focusing on the degree of negligence involved. Many times, the insurance carrier will go to great lengths to divert some responsibility to the bicyclist in the hope of settling the claim for the lowest amount possible. However, a skilled attorney representing the victim can build a solid case through a variety of tactics including:

• Gathering all pertinent information involved in the accident including police reports and medical records
• Speak directly to eyewitnesses, take depositions and obtain interrogatories
• Hire expert witnesses to provide forensics-based testimony at trial when necessary
• Reconstruct the accident scene to leave no doubt concerning which party is responsible
• Use proven methods to evaluate the injuries, losses and damage to calculate the highest amount of recompense possible

A skilled RI Car accident attorney that specializes in bike accidents will likely file a claim or suit against all responsible parties. This might involve the bicycle manufacturer, government agencies in charge of road maintenance, and negligent drivers causing the accident. If adequate compensation cannot be negotiated with the insurance carrier, the RI negligence attorney can file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim to seek justice and the proper amount of recompense.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.


Traumatic Brain Injury: One of the most serious injuries related to Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents

June 3, 2013

Traumatic Brain Injury in Rhode IslandTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is called the “silent epidemic” because it is not well recognized or often well diagnosed but, yet it is estimated to affect approximately 1,500,000 Americans as well as thousands of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and California Residents every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this results in tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations every year in the U.S. Even cases which are deemed “mild” (clinically defined as a loss of consciousness for anything less than 30 minutes) can have serious long term side effects like memory loss and loss of other cognitive functions.

Why is head trauma one of the most common injuries sustained by bike riders and motorcyclists?

When a person riding a bicycle or motorcycle is struck by a larger motor vehicle such as an automobile, truck or sport utility vehicle, one of the most common scenarios is an ejectment of the biker and a collision of their body with either the vehicle, the pavement or some other fixed object.  Unfortunately, this impact is sustained by the head in many of these instances.  The dynamic from there is that the brain impacts with the skull even in cases where the skull is not fractured.  While helmets lessen the effect of this type of blow to the head, they don’t always prevent concussions.  In fact, recent studies by the U.S. Product Safety Commission indicate that bike-related concussions have actually increased significantly in the past 10 years despite an increased use of bike helmets.  In the case of motorcyclists, the helmets approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, provide a significantly higher rate of protection, however, given the rates of speed and potential for a higher velocity head impact, the incidence of TBI in motorcycle accident cases is even higher.

How does a personal injury attorney obtain evidence of TBI?

If TBI causes major loss of neurological functioning such as loss of speech or movement, this can be easily demonstrated to a jury.  Photographs of the injury or property damage caused by head impact such as blood stains or a shattered windshield are also very powerful, persuasive tools.  However, trying to determine whether or not a client has sustained a mild to moderate brain injury following a bike or motorcycle collision can sometimes be more difficult.  The most common form of medical evidence usually comes in neuropsychological testing to analyze and confirm functional deficits.  This is usually done through an expert retained by the lawyer who will also review the emergency and other records including any diagnostic studies such as head MRI s and heat CT scans. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in MA, RI or California please contact a personal injury Attorney in your state.

Why is it important to seek prompt medical attention and to promptly seek legal assistance following a bike or motorcycle head injury?

A brain injury can cause serious long-term consequences.  This can include the inability to remember things or solve problems, depression, inability to control one’s temper or manage stressful situations and many other emotional distress related symptoms.  This can affect a person’s ability to work and earn income as well as their relationships with children, spouses or other persons.   This is why it is crucial to  seek prompt diagnosis and treatment for head trauma.  If the trauma was caused by a bike or motorcycle accident that was not the fault of the injured party, it is also crucially important to consult with and retain a personal injury attorney promptly following the injury so that they can begin to assist the person with seeking medical help, documenting the incident with photographs of the injury or having the accident or involved vehicles inspected and photos taken, and in compiling all of this evidence for later use to maximize the value of any settlement or jury award.  The longer one waits to seek either medical help or legal help the greater the chances that they will not completely determine the extent of the injury or the amount of money that is reasonable and necessary to compensate the victim for their loss.

Sources: 

Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002–2006. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010
 
Author:  Steven M. Sweat is a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, California.  He has successfully prosecuted hundreds of bike accident claims and motorcycle collision cases over the past 17 years.
This article was  reprinted with permission by Attorney David Slepkow  401-437-1100 who is licensed to practice law in Rhode Island (RI) and Massachusetts (MA)
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court and Mass. Supreme Judicial Court license all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

Injured in a Southeastern MA or Providence Area Vehicle Wreck?

August 23, 2012

Injured in a car, truck or automobile crash? Call  RI Personal Injury Lawyer, David Slepkow 401-437-1100 in the 02915 (RI)- Free Initial Consultations . No Fee unless you win! Member of the United States Supreme Court Bar. Firm Established in 1932. Avvo Superb Rating. Also member of the Mass Bar. Experienced and Aggressive Attorney.

 Personal Injury Law Lawyer


Bike Accident Attorney: Tips to win your Motorcycle Accident case in Rhode Island

July 21, 2012

Article by Negligence Lawyer David Slepkow 401-437-1100

Motorcycles are very liberating and as a result are very dangerous. Even if the Bike driver is wearing a helmet, Motorcycle Accidents can be fatal. If you hire a Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident Attorney, he will help you get the compensation you deserve. The Lawyer will investigate, interview witnesses, review reports and perform an investigation.

The Attorney will attempt to settle the claim with the insurance company. If the case cannot be settled, it will be litigated in Court.

Tips if involved in an accident:

(1)After the accident, get out of the way of other oncoming vehicles as soon as possible.

(2) Obtain all information involving vehicles and motorcycles in the crash as well as all witnesses and people involved in the accident.

(3) Get pictures of the scene of the Bike accident

(4) Get the medical help you need.

Massachusetts Bike Accident Lawyer

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.


RI and MA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog | Bike Accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

September 26, 2009

Rhode Island Motorcycle Accident  and Masssachusetts Bike Accident Posts by RI and MA Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, David Slepkow 401-437-1100

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.