Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Zachary D. Clayton Explains Crash Risks
Motorcycle riders face a serious risk of injury or even death when collisions occur. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) motorcyclists are around 27 times more likely to die when a collision happens than people involved in crashes while in other types of vehicles.
Motorcycle riders could also suffer permanent, severe injuries, including loss of limbs, paralysis, or traumatic brain injury if they suffer a collision but manage to survive.
The injuries from motorcycle accidents can be expensive to treat and victims could be left unable to work to support themselves and their families. This is why it is so imperative for victims of motorcycle accidents to get legal help from a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in the Sin City
Motorcycle accidents can occur for many reasons, including:
- Speeding drivers or motorcycle riders that travel too fast
- Intoxicated motorists or intoxicated motorcycle riders who have used drugs or alcohol
- Drivers who fail to see motorcycle riders before turning or before changing lanes
- Drivers who underestimate the speed at which a motorcyclist is traveling
- Drivers who pass motorcycle riders unsafely
- Motorists who don’t know how to share the road with motorcycle riders
- Motorcyclists who weave in-and-out of lanes
- Road defects or unsafe road design
- Manufacturing defects or problems with motorcycles or motorcycle helmets
- Failure to properly maintain a motorcycle or vehicle
It is imperative that the cause of a motorcycle accident is determined. All-too-often, it is the negligence of a driver that causes a motorcycle crash to occur — and it is a motorcycle rider who pays the price in the form of serious or fatal injuries.
Who is Responsible When a Motorcycle Accident Occurs?
When a motorcycle accident occurs in Las Vegas, the person whose negligence caused the accident is considered to be responsible for the crash. In some cases, responsibility is shared between a motorcyclist and a driver who was behaving in an unsafe way.
If a driver was negligent and was wholly or partially responsible for causing the motorcycle collision to occur, a motorcyclist can pursue a claim for compensation against the driver. If the driver was working for an employer at the time of the accident, the motorcyclist can pursue a claim against the driver’s employer. This can occur, for example, when a truck driver causes a motorcycle accident to happen.
A motorcyclist who wishes to pursue a claim against a driver for causing an accident would need to be able to prove that the driver was unreasonably careless, in compared to the way in which a normal average driver would have behaved on the roads. Proving negligence can be a challenge, but motorcyclists who make a claim for compensation need to show that a motorist failed to fulfill his basic obligation not to put others in harm’s way through unsafe driving decisions on Nevada roads.
A motorcyclist could also prove that a driver violated the rules of the road in a way that led to the crash. This creates a presumption that the driver was negligent and should be held accountable for a resulting accident that occurred.
It is a good idea for a motorcycle rider to contact Las Vegas Metro Police Department to come to the scene of an accident. The police can conduct an investigation and may issue the driver a ticket for violating the rules of the road. A law enforcement official will also prepare an accident report that details the suspected cause of the motor vehicle collision. The police report, along with evidence collected at the scene of the motorcycle accident, could help a collision victim to make sure that a driver is held responsible for causing harm.
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Motorcycle riders injured in an accident should also obtain the contact information of the driver involved in the crash, as well as contact information for any witnesses who observed the accident occurring. And, photos from the crash scene, along with medical records from the immediate aftermath of the accident can also be used to help prove a driver was to blame for a serious motorcycle accident occurring.
When the Driver is Not to Blame?
Of course, it is not always drivers who are to blame for causing an accident. If a motorcyclist was involved in a collision because of a defect with the bike, then the manufacturer of the motorcycle may be to blame. Or, if a motorcycle helmet malfunctioned and failed to provide expected protection and the motorcyclist suffered more serious injury because of it, this is an example of a case where the motorcycle rider may have a claim against the helmet manufacturer.
If the motorcyclist was involved in an accident or sustained more serious injuries because of a defect with the motorcycle, with the helmet, or with other motorcycle parts, then the collision victim will need to pursue a product liability claim. LV Personal Injury Lawyers can provide help taking action against the manufacturer of the product under these circumstances.
When a victim makes a claim under product liability laws, there is no need to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Manufacturers are held strictly liable for losses, which means a motorcycle rider would only need to show that the accident or injuries were caused or exacerbated by a defect in the bike, helmet, or parts when the motorcycle and helmet were being used for their intended purpose in Las Vegas.
Others who could be held responsible — besides the driver — also include road designers and those responsible for road maintenance. A different set of laws applies in these circumstances as well. This is especially true in circumstances where it was a government entity responsible for road maintenance or road design.
There are sovereign immunity rules that provide protection for the government and limit circumstances in which government officials or agencies are able to be sued by victims. It’s important that motorcycle riders who suspect they were hurt due to problems with the road contact Zachary D. Clayton, Esq. – a Vegas motorcycle accident injury lawyer who knows how to pursue a claim against government entities for failure to fulfill their basic obligations to provide a safe road space for motorcycle riders.
Whoever was responsible for causing your accident, our goal is to make sure you get the compensation for the crash that you deserve. Do not assume you have no options for recovering compensation just because your crash was a single-vehicle accident.
Let LV Personal injury Lawyers firm help you to explore all possible options for pursuing a claim against a third party who may have been wholly or partly liable for causing your injuries to occur.
Obtaining Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
Victims injured in a motorcycle accident have a number of options for pursuing claims against other drivers, motorcycle manufacturers, or those responsible for defective road design or maintenance.
One option is to make a personal injury claim in a Nevada court. If this is the case, the victim or surviving family members of the victim who are pursuing the claim will need to prove their claim by a preponderance of the evidence. This would mean showing that more likely than not the defendant (the driver, manufacturer, or road designer) failed to live up to his obligations. The victim would also have to show the extent of damages for which compensation is deserved.
Another option is to negotiate a settlement outside of Las Vegas court. This would involve negotiating a payout to the accident victim for compensation. Those who are actually responsible for causing accidents are almost always represented by insurers, so it would be the insurance company negotiating the settlement with the injured victims in a personal injury case or with surviving family members with a potential wrongful death claim.
A victim or surviving family members who accept an out-of-court settlement will not have the option to change their mind once they have accepted the money. As part of accepting a settlement, the injured party will need to sign a release of liability and will be unable to sue for any damages resulting from the same accident for which financial recovery has been provided.
As such, it is important not to settle until you know the full extent of the injury and not to settle unless or until a reasonable settlement offer has been made.
Whether you go to court to pursue a claim or you settle a case, compensation should be provided to injured victims or surviving family members for both economic losses — or actual money lost because of the accident — as well as for non-economic loss including damage that cannot easily be measured in dollars.
Some of the types of financial compensation that Las Vegas motorcycle accident victims should be entitled to receive include:
- Compensation for medical bills incurred up to the time of the settlement: Any medical care costs should be paid for, including payment for adaptive medical devices, healthcare at home made necessary by the accident, and pain management care.
- Compensation for expected future medical expenditures: Because injuries in motorcycle crashes are so often permanent, victims are rarely done paying medical expenses at the time of the settlement or when a court case is resolved. As a result, victims should be compensated by the responsible party for expected future medical expenditures. Expert witnesses can provide information on how much money a victim is likely to spend coping with his or her condition over the course of his life.
- Compensation for loss of income: Victims should be compensated for any time they have had to miss from their work. If they took off time including vacation or sick days that were paid, the victim should be compensated.
- Compensation for future lost earnings: In many circumstances, permanent injuries prevent a victim from ever working again or limit the amount of compensation the victim can earn in the future. In these circumstances, the injured party should be compensated for a lifetime of lost earning potential. Loss of wages should also be compensated in wrongful death claims, as family members of the deceased should be compensated for the loss of earnings that would have been provided by the deceased to their household if the untimely death had not occurred. Expert witnesses can also provide insight into how much a victim would’ve earned during his life if the motorcycle crash had not been fatal.
- Compensation for pain and suffering: When you experience physical pain and lost quality of life because of a motorcycle accident, you should be provided with compensation. It can be difficult to determine the value of pain and suffering, although some insurers use a per diem rate or a multiple of economic damages.
- Emotional distress: The accident and its aftermath can cause emotional issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. If you can prove you’ve experienced emotional distress, you should be paid compensation for this loss.
- Lost companionship: This is part of the wrongful death damages that surviving family members of motorcycle accidents can obtain.
You may also be entitled to compensation for other losses, depending upon your situation. It is a good idea to get legal help to find out what options you have for pursuing a claim for compensation for damages you have endured due to a motorcycle accident.
Getting Help From a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
LV Personal Injury Lawyers firm is here to provide you with help and support as you fight for full and fair compensation for motorcycle accident injuries. Give us a call today to find out about how our legal team can help you to pursue a claim in court or negotiate a settlement that compensates you fairly when a motorcycle crash has occurred.
Our Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney Zachary D. Clayton will fight to get you the money you need to move on with your life, so call now to get started.