Motorcycle Accidents — Informative Facts From Las Vegas Injury LawyersFiled under Personal Injury
According to the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), “Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway.” While that might seem like an obvious statement, motorcyclists are often placed in danger by aggressive automobile drivers who fail to adhere to the rules of the road. A motorcyclist that is victimized by a drunk driver, a texting driver or a negligent driver can suffer significant and serious injuries that far exceed what might be experienced in a normal car accident.
While most states, including Nevada, require motorcyclists to wear helmets, there are still significant dangers that any motorcyclist needs to be aware of. For example, consider the fact that, according to the NHTSA, only 13 cars out of every 100,000 ended up in a fatal crash compared to the rate of 72 out of every 100,000 registered motorcycles. While some people might be inclined to conclude that the fault lies with motorcyclists, the dangers facing motorcyclists are far too often created by automobile drivers who fail to yield right of way to motorcyclists or engage in aggressive driving that causes unnecessary accidents. The simple fact is this: a motorcyclist’s risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car.
Five Things To Do Following An Accident
If you’re the unfortunate victim of a motorcycle accident, there are a number of things you can do to address the harm. Here are five:
1. Step Away From The Accident: Don’t leave the scene of the accident or for that matter move the motorcycle since a police officer will be in a better position to determine the fault of the automobile driver if he can see where the motorcycle is located in proximity to the car. However, make sure you step away from the motorcycle for a safe distance since almost 65% of all motorcycle accidents involve fuel spillage or leaks. Obviously a motorcycle is a smaller and more fragile vehicle than a car so there is a greater chance of engine combustion which can result in an explosion. Step away from the danger!
2. Receive Appropriate Medical Attention: You might think you’re fine but you won’t know until you receive appropriate medical attention. A helmet can only provide so much safety. The direct impact with the road and a car can result in much greater damage to the body than might otherwise result in a normal car crash. Since head and chest injuries are the leading causes of death among motorcyclists, following a serious accident you need to receive prompt medical attention to ensure there are no cardiovascular or neurological issues following an accident.
3. Call The Police: Unless you’re incapacitated, call the police so that an officer can make a traffic report. Sadly, there is a bias and perception among car drivers that motorcyclists place themselves in dangerous situations by simply driving a motorcycle. This is obviously not accurate nor is it supported by statistics. In fact, in far too many situations, it is the automobile driver that is at fault. Indeed, approximately 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by automobile drivers who fail to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist. Whether the cause of an accident is based upon the car driver’s failure to check a blind spot, misjudging the speed of the motorcyclist or tailgating a motorcyclist, a police officer will take down the important facts that will later be useful to the motorcyclist in filing an appropriate claim.
4. Call A Lawyer: Following a motorcycle accident, it is crucial to contact a reputable, aggressive and competent personal injury lawyer. There are complexities to motorcycle accidents that require a good lawyer who can conduct a proper investigation. Waiting too long can result in evidence being lost or destroyed and memories of what exactly occurred fading. A good personal injury lawyer will help right the wrong.
Damages That Can Be Recovered Following A Motorcycle Accident
There are different types of damages a motorcyclist can sue for following a motorcycle
accident. These include the following:
1. Medical Costs: Anyone that has had to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses knows that the cost of health care is rising every day. Following a motorcycle accident, a person with serious injuries can expect astronomical medical bills. For example, hospitalization following a head injury can easily exceed $50,000! An experienced motorcycle crash lawyer can help you deal with the medical bills and seek compensation to address the costs of the accident.
2. Pain and Suffering: A motorcycle accident can cause serious neuorological, cardiovascular, spinal and skeletal/muscular injuries. This in turn can cause tremendous pain and suffering. The law allows an accident victim to recover not only the costs of medical bills but also to receive compensation for pain and suffering. Again, this is where having an experienced motorcycle crash attorney on your side can be invaluable.
3. Wage Loss: If your motorcycle accident keeps you from working or from attending your job, you have a right to recover lost wages. Even if you used sick leave or vacation time while recovering from injuries, you can receive compensation for wage loss. In some sad cases, a motorcyclist can become permanently disabled. Having an experienced motorcycle crash lawyer on your side can make the difference between receiving some compensation and the right amount of compensation. A good lawyer will employ an economist that can determine the wage loss effect of being permanently or even temporarily disabled so that the best possible recovery can be obtained.
Some Final Thoughts
There are few things more enjoyable that riding a motorcycle. Indeed, motorcycles are as American as apple pie and baseball. People that regularly ride motorcycles are part of a subculture that is often stereotyped and misunderstood. The most common and ignorant stereotype is that motorcyclists bring “the danger” on themselves. This is patently ridiculous. Having said that, every motorcyclist must recognize that car drivers far too often fail to follow the “rules of the road” which can lead to dangerous situations. If you’re a motorcyclist that has been victimized in an accident, you need to not only seek out aggressive representation but you also need to be fully compensated for your injuries. American law protects you and your right to ride a motorcycle without being victimized by an automobile driver. Therefore, if you’ve been injured “don’t get mad, get legal!“