Being a Motorcyclist Can Be Deadly in Crashes

Being a Motorcyclist Can Be Deadly in CrashesYou may think that with the pandemic and everyone staying home, traffic accidents would have decreased. However, Nevada had 382 traffic fatalities in 2021, the deadliest year since 2006. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, this is an overall 18% year-to-year increase statewide, and a 22% increase in Clark County. Pedestrians and motorcyclists were particularly affected; there was a 32% increase in fatalities for motorcycle riders alone, which is the most of any group on our roads.

Efforts have been made to reduce fatal and serious traffic collisions by implementing road designs that can anticipate human error. One of these efforts is creating crosswalks closer to bus stops so that vehicles do not hit pedestrians who are walking to catch the bus. Another is the Vision Zero initiative which aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2030. Reno just became the first jurisdiction in Nevada to create a pedestrian safety zone. This zone calls for harsher punishment for drivers who do not follow the rules of the road in high-risk areas.

While these efforts may make a difference in the long run, they may not be enough. The increase in car accidents has been attributed to speeding and intoxication, which means the real changes must come from drivers. It is up to drivers to obey speed limits, not drive while intoxicated, and always wear their seatbelts. There may only be so much that our local governments and municipalities can do if drivers are not more careful on the road.

What are the causes of motorcycle accidents?

There are several causes for motorcycle accidents, and many have to do with driver negligence. Even when you have done everything you can to be safe, others on the road may not, which can lead to an accident. Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Speeding and reckless behavior, like tailgating
  • Road hazards, including debris on the roads or missing signage
  • Distracted driving
  • Bad weather

It is important to wear all your safety equipment and obey the rules of the road to reduce the risk of an injury.

What are Nevada’s helmet laws?

In order to promote safety, Nevada has helmet laws in place for motorcyclists. Each rider and passenger is required to wear an NHTSA-approved helmet. If you or your passenger are not wearing your helmet and an accident occurs, this can lead to devastating consequences, and you may suffer more severe injuries than if you had been wearing safety equipment.

What kinds of injuries are caused by motorcycle accidents?

There are a number of injuries a person can sustain during a motorcycle accident, some more common than others. The most common injuries include:

  • Brain injuries: When you suffer a brain injury your life is completely altered. A helmet can offer some protection, but it may not be sufficient in severe accidents to prevent a brain injury entirely.
  • Road rash: When a motorcycle rider is thrown from a bike and skids across pavement, concrete, or gravel, it causes road rash – an innocent-sounding name for a very serious injury. Roadways are filthy, and if this dirt and debris makes it into the bloodstream, there’s a risk of infection and even sepsis. More severe cases of road rash may require skin grafts.
  • Leg injuries: Leg injuries are among the most common injuries for riders. Legs can be crushed under the bike or another vehicle, which may necessitate amputation. A rider can also suffer permanent nerve damage which can affect mobility.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are permanent injuries. The spinal cord is very sensitive, and you can become permanently disabled if the injury is severe enough.
  • Broken bones: You can suffer a broken or fractured bone during any kind of accident, and this is especially true if you do not have metal framing to shelter yourself in a crash. Multiple fractures are likely.

Regardless of the kind of injury you suffer, it is important to seek emergency medical attention. A seemingly small injury can actually be catastrophic if left untreated. You should contact a motorcycle accident attorney to file a claim.

Who can be held responsible for motorcycle crash injuries?

The person or parties that were liable for the accident should be the parties that pay for your damages.

While the moments immediately following an accident can be intense and confusing, you will need to think of the long term eventually. There will be a number of bills and expenses that result from an accident, and you may be unable to work. Your household expenses won’t change, either, just because you sustained a catastrophic injury. When someone else causes that injury, he, she or it – in the case of a manufacturer whose makes a dangerous product, or a government agency that doesn’t care for its roads properly – can be held liable.

What damages can I receive for a motorcycle injury in Nevada?

There are two types of damages you may be entitled to after an accident; economic and non-economic damages (though in some cases you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are designed to punish the at fault party). Economic damages are related to expenses and are easier to tally than non-economic damages. They can include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are intangible, which means they are more likely to be challenged by opposing counsel. These damages can include:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of affection
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

No matter what kind of damages you are entitled to receive, you should seek legal counsel. Claggett & Sykes not only has years of experience handling these claims, but a wide network of in-house and outside experts who can help build a case for the true cost of your injuries.

If you or a loved one was injured in a collision, it’s important that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact the motorcycle injury attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm by calling 702-333-7777, or completing our contact form. We offer free initial consultations, and proudly serve clients in Las Vegas, Reno, and throughout Nevada.