Motorcycle Accidents - Do You Have a Case?
Due to a lack of protective devices such as seat belts and airbags, even a minor motorcycle accident can have serious, long-term consequences to the victim’s health and well being. In fact, according to research by the Nevada Department of Transportation, 259 people lost their lives, and 1,076 were seriously injured in motorcycle-related crashes on Nevada roadways from 2012 to 2016. Click here to read their report on motorcycle accidents. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, representation from a skilled Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney can be essential to helping you get the compensation you need to properly recover.
Determining Fault in a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident
Too often, people blame the victim in a motorcycle accident, even when the incident was caused by another drivers negligence. One of the main jobs of an expert motorcycle accident lawyer is to establish clearly, and conclusively, that the rider was not at fault.
In many cases, this is not a straightforward process as variables such as road conditions, vehicle design and other factors can all play a part ... even in a single vehicle accident.
Many accident victims deny themselves the treatment they need to recover because they feel they don’t have any legal options for seeking compensation. Our creative approach may be able to identify options you didn’t know existed, such as bringing a lawsuit against a bike manufacturer who knowingly released a product with dangerous safety flaws. Let the motorcycle lawyers at G. Dallas Horton & Associates review the facts of the incident with you, and see what we can do for you case!
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits: What’s at Stake if You're in Las Vegas?
In a split second, an accident or injury can have a profound impact on your health, your happiness, and your finances. The long-term consequences of a large hospital bill can severely limit your future, adding to the stress and emotional damages caused by such a traumatic event.
Many accident victims are hesitant to fully explore their legal options, whether it be out of pride or an unwillingness to cause trouble for the other party. It’s important to remember that a personal injury case typically isn't about punishing anyone — it’s simply about ensuring you can have a comfortable recovery that gets your health and life back on track quickly.
Often, a long, drawn-out legal battle is NOT necessary. Our Las Vegas car accident lawyer can represent you at the negotiating table and press the relevant insurance company for a better settlement. If it’s necessary to escalate the matter, however, we will provide aggressive representation that uses every legal tool available. To learn more about your options, contact our office to request a free consultation.
Nevada Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Even if you are an experienced rider, you may be surprised by some of the stats about motorcycles in the state:
- 76 percent of Nevada motorcycle crashes cause an injury
- In 2015, there were 55 motorcycle accident fatalities in Nevada, up from 50 in 2005
- Traffic deaths overall increased 10 percent in Nevada between 2014 and 2015.
Your First Attorney Consultation Is Always Free!
Protect yourself, your family, and your future by meeting with a motorcycle injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work establishing the facts of your case and determining the best way to proceed. With a more than 17-year history of representing clients throughout Las Vegas, Nevada we have been named one of the Top 100 firms in the state by the National Trial Lawyers organization. This means you can count on us for professionalism, discretion and wise counsel every step of the way.
Don’t let a motorcycle accident derail your life. Contact G. Dallas Horton & Associates to learn more about what we can do for you.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Nevada
1. Failure-to-Yield Accidents
One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Nevada is due to passenger car error. Drivers may not see a motorcycle or may fail to yield, meaning riders do not have enough time to respond and can be seriously injured in a slide or crash.
You cannot control what car drivers do, but you can do some things to reduce the risk they post. Always ride defensively, thinking two or three moves ahead. This way, even if a driver pulls in front of you, you may already be aware of where you can safely direct your bike.
Stay visible, make eye contact with drivers and do not assume they notice you. While car drivers should be aware of their surroundings at all times, using extra caution yourself can help you reduce the risk of a collision.
2. DUI Motorcycle Accidents
Between 2003 and 2012, 1,025 individuals in Nevada were killed in fatal collisions involving a drunk driver. This figure includes drunk motorcycle riders and drunk drivers.
You can avoid a DUI by not hopping on your motorcycle after drinking. A good suggestion is to always have a few options for getting home safely. Have someone you can call, bring extra money for a cab and have a backup plan in case your first few options fall through. If you are headed somewhere you know you’ll be drinking, consider leaving your motorcycle at home entirely. You will be less tempted when your judgement may be compromised and you won’t have to worry about picking up your bike the next morning.
Unfortunately, even if you are responsible, you have no way of controlling the drinking habits of other drivers on the road. An inebriated motorist in a car can slam into your motorcycle and cause severe injury to you even if you have been responsible with drinking.
You can reduce the risk by using extra caution, especially when driving late at night, on weekends and on holidays. Keep an eye out for anyone driving erratically and get out of their way. Once you are safe, contact the authorities to let them know about the potential drunk driver.
3. Distracted Driver Collisions
Distracted driving is a serious problem across the country and in Nevada. About 20 percent of all U.S. collisions in 2008 involved distraction, and that year more than 500,000 Americans were injured in distracted-driving crashes. Distraction is a serious problem because it slows response times and means you might not notice what’s right in front of you. In fact, dialing a phone increases your risk of a collision by 2.8 times and even talking on a hands-free device can increase your risk of a crash 1.3 times.
Nevada takes distracted driving seriously. Using a handheld phone while driving carries a $250 fine. Avoiding distraction can help you avoid a crash, as well as expensive fines.
4. Fatigue-Related Crashes
Being sleepy can be a serious risk on the road and can increase your risk of a crash nine-fold. Fatigue can be a distraction and can slow response times as well as cloud your thinking. If you’re tired enough, you may actually start to nod off, which can cause your motorcycle to swerve off the road or make you lose balance and fall from your ride.
The best way to prevent fatigue-related crashes is not to ride when you’re feeling sleepy. Keep in mind that the Nevada sun and heat can make the symptoms of fatigue even worse, so even if you’re feeling sleepy and not completely exhausted, you may be at risk. Be especially careful at night and early in the morning, when most people are feeling more exhausted. Try to avoid driving soon after you rise, to give your body time to wake up properly.
If you are riding your motorcycle and notice you’re getting sleepy, stop and pull over. If you’re yawning, having trouble keeping your eyes open or can’t remember the last few seconds of your ride, you could be a danger to yourself and others on the road. Pull over and rest. Get coffee and wake up fully before continuing.
5. Visibility Incidents
Being able to see properly is essential to riding safely. There are many visibility issues that may come up for motorcycle riders in Nevada. Glare and dust blowing into the eyes are two of the most common issues. The right helmet can block glare and goggles can protect your eyes from debris, making it easier to see.
Another common issue has to do with blind turns and with visibility of the road. Roads may be designed for larger vehicles, so you may not notice signs or other important information if it is covered by trees and shrubs from your angle on a bike. When approaching turns and intersections, slow down and look closely to make sure you know what to expect.
A third common cause of visibility-related motorcycle accidents in Nevada has to do with car drivers not seeing motorcyclists properly. Sometimes, this is caused by passenger car motorists not looking or being distracted behind the wheel. No matter the cause, you can reduce your risk of a crash by wearing reflective and visible clothing at night to ensure others can see you.
6. Mechanical Defect-Related Crashes
Motorcycle defects, such as warped tires, incorrectly manufactured handlebars and other issues, can cause your bike to malfunction on the road. When this happens on a busy highway, the result can be a collision.
There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk. Start by keeping your vehicle in good shape, so it is ready for the demands of the road. You can also keep track of any recalls that may affect your motorcycle so you can have potentially dangerous parts replaced before they cause any injury.
7. Single-Motorcycle Accidents
Single-motorcycle accidents don’t involve other vehicles. They can occur because a motorcyclist loses control on a turn, goes off the road, crashes into a stationary object or flips the bike.
In many cases, these collisions involve speeding, so simply going the posted speed limit can help you reduce your risk. However, keep in mind that it’s important to adjust your speed for the weather because your vehicle may be more vulnerable than a car. On a wet highway in the rain, for example, a small gas spill can cause you to lose control of your bike and veer out of control. Slowing down in bad weather can help you stay safer.
Slides occur when a motorcyclist loses control of their vehicle or cannot stop in time and goes into a slide. The bike tips to the side and continues in motion with the motorcyclist. The rider can be dragged over the surface of the road or can become pinned under the vehicle. This type of accident can lead to amputations, severe head trauma, road rash and other serious injury.
These types of crashes often happen when car drivers cut in front of riders or when lane splitting happens. They can also happen if a motorcyclist needs to make a sudden maneuver to avoid a crash, and this causes them to lose control of their vehicle.
You may be able to avoid a slide by taking up a whole lane and not sharing lanes with other drivers. Avoid passing cars when there isn’t adequate room to do so and avoid tailgating. If a car or truck is following you too closely, get out of the way so they don’t crash into you if you have to stop suddenly.
There is no question that the results of any of these kinds of accidents can be devastating. A motorcyclist is often protected only by leather and a helmet, if that. There are no air bags, seatbelts and other safety devices in the event of a crash, and since cars and trucks are so much larger, the injuries to a rider can be life-altering.
Knowing the most common types of collisions and working to prevent them can help. However, if you have been in a motorcycle accident in Nevada, you will want to speak to an attorney. Legal advice is important when you are making key decisions, especially since your injuries may be serious. Contact G. Dallas Horton & Associates if you have been in a crash and would like a consultation.
Frequently Asked Motorcycle Accident Injury Questions (FAQ)
Q: What's the first thing I should do after my motorcycle accident?
- First, if you know you’re not at fault call the police. However, if you are uncertain about fault (and time permits) call an attorney. If time does not permit, call the police first as it is very important they document the scene of the accident so they can cite the person at fault. That report protects the non at fault victim.
- Next, if your injuries are not severe and time permits, seek an attorney. If your injuries are substantial go straight to the hospital and you can talk to an attorney after you see a doctor.
Q: What does a motorcycle accident lawsuit cost?
Answer: Our fee is based on a percentage of the recovery. The court costs we advance on behalf of our client can vary depending on how complicated the case is, or whether it settles before litigation. Costs can range from one hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the case.
Question: What if I can't afford the medical bills?
Answer: Our firm will provide you with the names of physicians who will treat you and await payment of their bills until the conclusion of your personal injury case. These physicians expect to be paid from the proceeds of your personal injury case.
Q: Is a motorcycle accident case handled differently than a car accident case?
Answer: No the same rules of the road apply to motorcycles as do motor vehicles. The law treats a motorcycle accident the same as any motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately, the damages and injuries are often much higher in motorcycle accidents.
Q: If I was injured, but was also somewhat at fault, can I still file a claim/case?
Answer: Under Nevada law you have to be more than 50% at fault to be unable to get a recovery. So long as your fault is 50% or less you can still obtain a recovery in Nevada.
Q: If there was someone one the motorcycle with me, will they be part of my case, or will they need to file separately?
Answer: If the driver of the motorcycle has any percentage of fault, then the passenger must get another lawyer and proceed separately. If the motorcycle driver had no fault for the accident, then the driver and the passenger can have the same lawyer and proceed together.
Q: Do I still have a case if I wasn't wearing a helmet?
Answer: Yes, you still do have a case if you’re not wearing a helmet.