Thanks to beautiful weather, open highways, and plenty of scenic areas to explore, it should come as no surprise that Nevada has nearly 75,000 registered motorcycles. The personal injury lawyers at Pacific West Injury Law are all too familiar with the number of motorcycle accidents annually, which can result in severe injury and, too often, death.
What Happens After a Motorcycle Accident
In the moments following a motorcycle accident, completing tasks can be difficult. However, several actions may be essential in providing you with the evidence and information you will need to build a strong motorcycle accident case in the future. After you have assessed your physical and mental status and moved safely out of traffic, try to complete these steps:
- Obtain names, numbers, and insurance information of the other parties involved. The first thing to do in a crash, after ensuring your own safety and that of others, is to obtain the names, numbers, and insurance information of other parties involved in the wreck.
- Report the accident to the police. A formal police report is a vital piece of evidence in a motorcycle accident case. It is essential to begin the process of submitting and obtaining this report for your case.
- Obtain contact information of eyewitnesses. Eyewitness testimony is one of the most essential pieces of information in a case. Try to obtain good contact information for these individuals, so that your attorney can contact them later.
- Document the crash scene. Try to take pictures of the crash scene to preserve the damage and positioning of the motorcycle and other vehicles or objects. This information is difficult to recreate after the fact.
- Save the expenses from your medical visits and damaged property. The amount of compensation you can receive from the settlement largely hinges on your expenses occurring as a result of this accident. Be sure to save receipts or documentation of services needed because of the accident.
It is also vital that you find a motorcycle accident attorney near you. Finding an experienced local accident attorney or personal injury attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents can help you build the best case possible. You shouldn’t have to navigate this difficult process on your own, especially while you are recovering from a serious injury.
Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Expensive
A 2012 AutoBlog report related that motorcycle accidents usually cost between $2,500 and $1.4 million. This number depends on the severity of the rider’s injuries and the length of their stay in medical facilities. For the average individual, this is an unmanageable expense. You will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to guide you through the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries, property loss, and medical expenses.
What Is “Partial Fault” in Motorcycle Accidents
Nevada is a “partial negligence” state, which means that if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, you will not be able to recover the total amount of the settlement. This law is based on a percentage of fault; if you are found to be 10% at fault for the accident, your settlement payout will be reduced by 10%. Your attorney can help you estimate your percentage of fault and argue for a reduced burden of fault on your behalf.
How to Build a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When you contact a personal injury lawyer, they will help you build a motorcycle accident claim or a personal injury claim. You can be compensated to cover or assist in covering the damages you sustain in the wreck and as a result of the wreck. You may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages, current, and future
- Costs associated with rehabilitation
- Costs associated with home modifications, if needed
- Pain and suffering
At Pacific Law, we work tirelessly to assist you in getting the maximum compensation for your injuries. Talk to one of the experienced injury attorneys at Pacific West Injury Law before you accept any settlement from an insurer.
Determining fault following a motorcycle accident can be complicated. Crashes often occur in areas where there are multiple traffic lanes meaning the vehicles are moved from the specific location of the accident to ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. Speed, blind spots, distracted drivers, and many other factors can result in serious crashes.
Determining fault usually involves an investigation. Witnesses, police reports, and other drivers can be helpful when attempting to figure out which driver caused an accident resulting in injuries.
When you are injured in a Nevada motorcycle accident, you have the right to be compensated for the damages caused during the crash. Contacting a motorcycle accident attorney following medical treatment can help ensure you are treated fairly. A thorough investigation of your claim will be essential to determining fault for the accident which caused your injuries.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the more than 300 fatalities on Nevada roads in 2019, nearly 60 were motorcycle operators. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Lane Changing and Turning — when a driver fails to check blind spots or use proper signals when making a lane change, it could result in a serious injury or death to a motorcyclist. Left turns are also a problem since, frequently, a driver does not properly judge the distance they have to make the turn safely.
- Driver Error — drunk driving, tailgating, which results in a sudden stop, and speeding can have deadly consequences when a motorcycle is the victim of poor decision-making on the part of another driver. Speed is always a concern, but when a driver is under the influence and traveling too fast for road conditions, the behavior can be considered negligent because it puts others at risk.
- Road Conditions — motorcycle operators face more hazards on the roadway. Uneven pavement, potholes, debris, and other issues can mean a rider loses control of the motorcycle and results in an accident.
- Other Accidents — motorcycle operators are often injured because an experienced driver lacks the knowledge to verify they can move safely, which puts everyone at risk. Motorcycle operators and passengers also need to be aware of parked vehicles.
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A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
The most important thing you can do following a motorcycle crash is to ensure you get safely out of the roadway. Victims of an accident should always seek immediate medical attention. Motorcycle operators should be thoroughly checked out for hidden back, neck, and head trauma.
Once you are certain your medical status is stable, you will have to deal with filing an accident report and an insurance claim, as well as determining the extent of your financial losses. This is when it may be a good idea to speak with a motorcycle accident attorney from Pacific West Injury Law. Insurance claims are complicated, and the insurance company is as interested in protecting their bottom line as they are in settling your claim.
There are several reasons why it is beneficial to have a personal injury attorney helping you following an accident.
When you hire an experienced Nevada motorcycle attorney, they will handle the evidence gathering. This may include contacting witnesses, making sure the reports from accident recreation are available, and reviewing the police report. In some cases, an accident may occur where there are videotapes available — near casinos, ATMs, and other businesses — which may help determine who is at fault.
A personal injury lawyer can help ensure this type of evidence is preserved.
Filing Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
When filing a motorcycle crash claim following an accident in which you suffered an injury, you will be dealing with two adjusters. One adjuster will handle the claim associated with the damages to your motorcycle, while the other will handle the claim associated with your injuries. This gets confusing — it is also time-consuming.
When working with a motorcycle injury attorney at Pacific West Injury Law, they will handle all negotiations on your behalf, ensuring your file is filed correctly and ensuring the insurance company takes your claim seriously. The insurance company will likely make a quick offer to settle — remember, their goal in offering a fast settlement is to ensure they are not liable for any future costs you incur due to your injuries. We will carefully review any settlement offers and work to make sure you are fully compensated for damages.
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Motorcyclist Rights and Responsibilities
The rules that apply to a motorcyclist on Nevada roadways are the same as those for vehicle operators. However, they also have some additional responsibilities and rights that you should be aware of before taking to the road.
- Responsibilities — wearing helmets, using goggles without a screen on the bike, traveling safely in their own lane, obeying traffic signals, and taking the appropriate safety and licensing courses. Operators of a motorcycle should also be aware lane splitting is illegal.
- Rights — a motorcycle operator has the same rights which apply to other drivers, including the right to travel in their lane on a multi-lane roadway.
You can learn more about other important information by reviewing the Motorcycle Operator Manual, which is published by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Drivers of Other Vehicles
Motorcycles are at a disadvantage on roadways simply because they do not offer the safety that cars, sports utility vehicles, and trucks offer. Drivers operating these vehicles must use extra caution at intersections to verify there is not a motorcycle in their blind spot. Drivers must also be aware of the distance they need to stop their vehicle if there is a motorcycle in front of them since a rear-end collision can result in serious injury or death of a motorcyclist.
Every motorist must ensure they know what other vehicles are on the roadway and be particularly aware of a motorcycle. Keep in mind that a motorcycle operator may have to swerve to avoid items in the roadway, such as tire debris, branches, or uneven areas which a car or truck may travel over safely. Being aware of others on the roadway should always be important.
Let Us Settle Your Case
Pacific West Injury Law has years of experience handling various accident injury cases. If you are a victim of a Nevada motorcycle accident or a family member who lost their loved one in a motorcycle crash, contact Pacific West Injury Law today and learn about your rights and your options. We will help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your losses.