State Motorcycle Laws in Massachusetts
Boston Lawyers Dedicated to Helping Accident Victims Assert Their Rights
Each state has its own laws regarding the way that motorcycle riders must operate their vehicles, including helmet laws and licensing requirements. The busier an area is, the more difficult it may be for motorists to see nearby motorcyclists. This is why it is critical for motorcyclists to obey all traffic laws, including state motorcycle laws. Even if you are abiding by applicable traffic laws, you may still be involved in an intersection collision or another accident with a careless driver who was failing to pay adequate attention. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to investigate your case and to help you pursue the judgment or settlement that you deserve.
State Motorcycle Laws and Their Impact on Personal Injury Claims
There are several traffic laws that are specific to the operation of a motorcycle in Massachusetts. A rider must have a motorcycle license or an endorsement for the motorcycle on their driver’s license. It is illegal to operate a motorcycle without the appropriate licensing. Also, the state requires riders to wear a helmet that has been approved by the Department of Transportation. If you are not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and you suffer head injuries, the defendant may argue that your failure to abide by this law was the primary contributing factor to the injuries that you sustained.
Similar to the helmet law, riders must also wear goggles, eyeglasses, or a protective shield over their face. If the motorcycle has a windshield or windscreen, you are not required to wear protective eyewear. There are some styles of motorcycles that feature tall handlebars. Massachusetts sees these as an impediment to the safe operation of a motorcycle and requires handlebars to be no taller than the riders’ shoulders when the rider is seated. Other required safety equipment includes brakes, rearview mirrors, mufflers, fenders, and appropriate lighting.
Unfortunately, many accidents would have happened regardless of whether the rider was complying with the law. If you were injured due to a distracted or otherwise careless driver, you can bring a personal injury action against him or her to recover compensation for your damages. In the lawsuit, your attorney will need to demonstrate that the other driver did not operate his or her vehicle with adequate care at the time of the crash.
After showing that the other driver’s conduct violated this standard, your injury lawyer must prove that the lack of adequate care was the cause of the injuries that you suffered. Massachusetts follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which looks at whether the plaintiff acted negligently at the time of the crash and whether this negligence was part of the reason why the plaintiff got hurt. If the defendant can show that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for the crash, the defendant will not be required to compensate the plaintiff. For instance, the defendant can use evidence of the plaintiff’s violation of a state motorcycle law to help show that the plaintiff was negligent. Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer on your side can help you determine whether this may be an issue in your claim and address it head-on if needed.
Meet with a Diligent Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in the Boston Area
If you are a motorcyclist who was recently involved in a broadside collision or another type of crash, you are likely suffering from serious injuries. There are many issues associated with an accident, and most of them can cause disruptions to a victim’s life. One of these is the financial burden associated with the medical expenses and lost income that you are likely facing. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston lawyers can help you take this burden off your shoulders. We have investigated claims and tried lawsuits on behalf of many Massachusetts motorcycle accident victims. We also serve people in cities such as Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online.