Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it is not without risk. Drivers of other vehicles often fail to provide motorcyclists with appropriate space on roadways and negligently strike motorcyclists. If you suffered injuries in a crash, you should speak with a New Hampshire motorcycle accident lawyer about the details of your case. The skilled attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have more than 60 years of collective experience assisting victims injured in motorcycle accidents in the pursuit of compensation. Below you will find general answers to questions that victims often ask in the aftermath of an accident.
- Can I Recover Damages if I was not Wearing a Helmet?
- How Long do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
- What are the Specific New Hampshire Rules for Motorcycles?
- What if My Accident Happened While I was Lane Splitting or Sharing a Lane?
- How Long can I Wait to Bring a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?
- How can I Tell if a Settlement is Fair After a Motorcycle Accident?
New Hampshire does not have a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders who are 18 or older. Helmets are only required for drivers and passengers of motorcycles who are under the age of 18. While helmets are not mandatory for adult motorcyclists, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident while riding a motorcycle without a helmet, and you subsequently pursue a claim against a driver involved in the accident, he or she may argue that you were negligent for failing to wear a helmet. Thus, failing to wear a helmet will not preclude you from pursuing a claim but may limit your damages.
Under New Hampshire law, an injured person has three years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit against the party that caused the accident. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, it is prudent to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident, however, since you may need to take certain steps to preserve evidence related to your case.
To obtain a New Hampshire motorcycle license, an applicant must possess a valid New Hampshire driver’s license. He or she must also pass a vision test and pass either a motorcycle basic rider class or a DMV motorcycle skills test. An applicant must be at least 16 years old to obtain a motorcycle license, and any applicant who is less than 18 years old must complete the motorcycle basic rider class and provide proof of parental consent.
New Hampshire has specific laws regarding the manner in which motorcyclists can drive on roads laned for traffic. While two motorcyclists are permitted to ride side by side in a single lane, three or more motorcyclists are not allowed to travel next to one another in a single lane. Additionally, motorcyclists are not allowed to lane split, or ride between lanes of traffic or between lines or rows of vehicles. An injured person’s failure to abide by the laws regarding the operation of motorcycles may be introduced as evidence of the injured person’s negligence, but it does not automatically preclude the injured person’s right to recover damages following an accident. Instead, as long as the injured person’s fault in causing the accident is not greater than the fault of the other driver, the injured person may still be able to recover damages.
The statute of limitations for bringing any type of personal injury or wrongful death claim in New Hampshire is three years. This means that you absolutely must bring a claim within three years of a motorcycle accident, since there are very few exceptions to this rule. If you do not comply with the statute of limitations, a court will dismiss your case without even reviewing its substance. Realistically, a victim should take legal action well before the statute of limitations expires. Evidence related to the crash may decay over time, and the memories of witnesses may fade. This can affect the strength of your case and the amount of damages that you receive.
You should ask an attorney to review any settlement that you are offered. Once you agree to a settlement, you will not be able to bring further claims based on the same accident, even if your injuries turn out to be more severe than you anticipated, or even if you require additional forms of treatment. Your settlement should take into account all of the reasonable medical costs, lost income, and property damage related to your injuries, as well as providing reasonable amounts for items like pain and suffering and lost earning capacity. You should retain an attorney who is ready to go to trial on your behalf if the defendant or their insurer fails to offer a fair settlement.
Motorcycle accidents typically result in severe injuries and significant property damage. If you were harmed in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates will vigorously pursue any compensation that you may be owed. Our tenacious advocacy has allowed us to maintain a record of successful outcomes. We have offices in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, and we represent victims throughout New Hampshire. We can be contacted at 800.804.2004 or through the online form to set up a consultation.