Peter Thompson
Peter Thompson

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Right of Way Violations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that nearly 62,000 motorcycle riders died in motorcycle crashes involving multiple vehicles over a 30 year period. Of that group of fatalities, 56,000 motorcycle riders died as a result of a two-vehicle crash. One of the most comprehensive reports, the Hurt Report, issued in 1981, discovered that the most common site of motorcycle accidents occurred in intersections due to right of way violations. Motorcyclists in New Hampshire who are injured as a result of a right of way violations should contact Peter Thompson & Associates for a free consultation and possible representation. Our experienced New Hampshire motorcycle accident attorneys will be able to investigate and determine which parties should be held responsible for your injuries, and bring forth a lawsuit on your behalf if appropriate.

Right-of-Way Law

Title XXI of the New Hampshire statutes, Chapter 265, outlines the various rules of the road that New Hampshire motorists are required to follow. It seems fairly obvious that if a driver fails to observe a rule of the road—especially a right of way—and causes an accident, the driver will be found at fault and will be responsible for payment of compensation and other damages to those injured due to his/her negligence. What many people who are in an accident do not know is that, based on our experience, more often than not, the other driver who was in an accident (the defendant) will either claim that they had the right of way and/or that our client did something that caused them to believe they had time to, for example, make a left-hand turn in front of our client. The excuse we have heard in hundreds of motorcycle accident cases is that our client was driving at an excessive rate of speed.

When confronted with these types of excuses, we have found that witness statements are, more often than not, crucial to determining who is telling the truth. That said, witnesses often have very different recollections of what happened immediately before an accident, partly due to the fallability of memory and partly due to the fact that witnesses often only see (or hear) bits and pieces of the events leading up to an accident, so their ability to accurately describe what occurred is necessarily limited. Yet another problem we encounter when dealing with differing witness accounts of how an accident happened is the fact that, unintentially, the human brain will attempt to piece together information in a way that ostensibly makes sense, even if it is not accurate. As a result, a witness to an accident may honestly believe their recollection of what happened prior to an accident despite considerable evidence that their recollection could not possibly be accurate. Again, this is not an effort on their part to be dishonest; their inaccurate recollection is simply due to inherent limitations in memory caused by the way our minds record and process information.

Our office has successfully resolved hundreds of cases involving disputed witness statements about which driver had the right of way prior to an motorcycle/car accident. One key to success in this type of case is to carefully reconstruct the accident scene using both photos of the accident scene itself (generally taken by the investigating officer) and aerial and ground-level photography, measurements of the intersection, positioning of the vehicles from accident scene photos, vehicle damage photographs and repair reports, and skid marks and accident-related debris on the road. By reconstructing the accident with this information, it is often possible to accurately determine where our client and the defendant were located at the critical moment when decisions were being made concerning who had the right of way. Through this evidence, we are also frequently able to determine the speed of the vehicles immediately prior to the collision, information/evidence that can also be helpful in rebutting an assertion by the defendant that our client was operating their motorcycle at an excessive rate of speed.

If this evidence is not sufficient to persuade the defendant’s insurance company to resolve the matter through negotiation, our firm is ready and willing to pursue your case to court. Our attorneys have tried over 100 jury trials and have litigated thousands more cases that did not end up going to trial and are extremely skilled at getting the truth out of defendants. Our excellent track record of success is ample evidence that we work tenaciously to make sure our clients come out on the winning end—even if someone who injured them is willing to lie to about who had the right-of-way and try to avoid accepting responsiblity for an accident.

Retain an Experienced New Hampshire Intersection Accident Attorney

If you are injured in a collision caused by another driver’s failure to yield to your right of way, we urge you to retain a trustworthy New Hampshire motorcycle injury attorney in order to help obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. We can work to figure out what caused the accident and join all responsible parties to your lawsuit. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800-804-2004 for a free consultation, or via our online form.