Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Skilled legal help for injured motorcyclists and bikers
The rambling desert roads of Nevada and the exciting streets of Las Vegas attract motorcyclists who both enjoy the open roads and zooming around traffic. Yet, as every biker knows, many car and truck drivers don’t pay attention to motorcycles and our roads aren’t always safe for motorcyclists. Other drivers, dangerous roadway obstacles, and hazards unique to motorcyclists put riders at risk for accidents, serious injuries, and worse.
The Las Vegas attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm understand motorcycle crashes. We know they typically results in severe injury, property loss, and massive medical bills. We also know how to take on careless drivers and other negligent parties when they cause your accident and injuries. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle wreck, get in touch with our team today for a free consultation.
“The care and compassion that was ALWAYS communicated with me made me feel like they were always on my side. The prompt response to calls or questions was the best. I was extremely impressed with the results and am very satisfied with the outcome and every step of the process. I am greatly pleased with the referral to this great firm. I advise anyone in need to work with this firm and trust the process.” – Malikah M.
What are common injuries from motorcycle accidents?
Motorcyclists are much more prone to injury and death compared to people in vehicles. In fact, bikers are 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle accident, and four times more likely to suffer injury. The lack of a frame and protection surrounding their bodies leaves them vulnerable to serious trauma, including:
Spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord are severe and sometimes permanent. Bikers in collisions or thrown from bikes are at risk for twisting and damaging their spinal cords. With thousands of nerves in a person’s spinal cord, this injury is especially difficult to treat.
Brain injuries. Head injury is the number one injury in motorcycle accidents. While a helmet provides some protection, brain injuries are real dangers in motorcycle accidents.
Road rash. Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist lays down their bike, skidding across the road. This causes skin damage, cuts, and bruises, referred to as road rash. When a road rash injury occurs, it is important to seek medical help. Although the cuts may seem minor or superficial, pavement is notoriously dirty and can cause infection. Road rash can also cause permanent nerve damage near the surface of the skin.
Leg injuries. Motorcycle safety courses teach riders to tuck their legs in and squeeze the bike if a crash is about to occur. However, human reaction during a motorcycle accident is to extend the legs to prevent a fall, which results in broken and injured legs. Often, legs are the first body part to hit the ground and receive the brunt of the injury. In severe accidents, traumatic amputation may occur.
Broken and fractured bones. If a motorcyclist lays down or is thrown from his or her bike, there is a good chance of broken bone injuries. Hands, feet, limbs, and the back are all commonly injured from broken bones during accidents. Much of the body is unprotected during a wreck, which causes impact fractures when a rider collides with the ground. This can necessitate multiple surgeries and lengthy recovery time.
What factors contribute to motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents, like auto accidents, can occur at any time, in any weather conditions. While motorcycle enthusiasts may understand the safety issues and circumstances that increase the likelihood of an accident, many car and truck drivers don’t appreciate the dangers posed to motorcyclists as road conditions change. Many situations can make the road more dangerous for motorcycle riders, including careless and negligent car and truck drivers. These dangers include:
Road hazards. With a motorcycle balancing on two wheels, the chances of bad road conditions causing an accident greatly increase. When a passenger vehicle hits a pothole, chances are good there will be few adverse effects. If a motorcyclist runs over a pothole, however, the consequences can be deadly. Other road hazards that can contribute to motorcycle accidents include uneven road surfaces, debris in the roadway, wet pavement, and wildlife.
Bad weather. When inclement weather is in the forecast, car and truck drivers must pay extra attention for motorcycles; that doesn’t always happen. Rain, snow, sleet, and hail are dangerous for riders. Bad weather causes poor visibility, wet roads, and other drivers may fail to see motorcyclists.
Speed. Increased speed reduces reaction times for all drivers, creating a dangerous environment for everyone. Motorcyclists are not enclosed in metal like passenger vehicles, so if a motorcyclist is involved in a high-speed crash, the chances for survival are severely diminished.
Does Nevada have a mandatory helmet law?
Yes, Nevada has a universal helmet law requiring every motorcyclist and their passenger to wear an NHTSA-approved helmet. Find out more about Nevada motorcycle laws.
Who is responsible for my damages and injuries?
The first question on your mind after a motorcycle crash may be, “How will I pay my bills?” You likely have hospital bills from medical treatments, lost wages, property damage, and other accident-related expenses, on top of physical pain and emotional suffering. Nevada is an at-fault state, meaning the person at fault for the accident is liable to pay for your damages. Yet the question of fault is not always clear-cut.
In many motorcycle collision claims, the defendant (the party allegedly responsible) may argue the motorcyclist contributed to their own injuries. Many non-motorcyclists have a negative perception of motorcycles, making you an easy target for the insurance companies to blame even if the crash wasn’t your fault. However, even if you were partially at fault for the crash or your resulting injuries, don’t assume you’re ineligible for financial recovery. Nevada law abides by contributory negligence laws, which enables plaintiffs to recover damages as long as they are less than 51% responsible for the accident.
How much is my Las Vegas case worth?
It’s important for any plaintiff in a motorcycle accident case to know the difference between the settlement value of the case and the potential trial value. Many personal injury cases end before they even reach trial; the two parties conduct settlement negotiations to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the issue. If the two parties cannot agree, then the case proceeds to trial.
However, at Claggett & Sykes, we prepare each and every case as if it’s going to trial. This doesn’t mean your case will go to trial – most do not – but preparing for trial helps put pressure on the insurance company to force them to pay a fair settlement. We’re always prepared to go to court for you, and insurance companies and defense attorneys all over the Las Vegas area know it.
Economic versus non-economic damages
Damages in motorcycle accident lawsuits fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are generally easy to prove and involve things like repair or replacement costs of damaged property, medical expenses, and lost wages. As the plaintiff, you must provide documentation that not only proves the extent of your economic damages, but also proof that those damages were the direct result of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
Non-economic damages work differently. These can involve things like pain and suffering, or loss of affection or consortium in a case for a fatal accident. These are the intangible human injuries that, in most cases are the real damages. When you can’t pick up your kids or grandkids, can’t enjoy the hobbies you used to, or can no longer ride your motorcycle, it has a great impact on your enjoyment of life. In most trials, these are the largest damages because jurors understand the human side of being injured and having your life affected in such a way.
How we calculate losses and damages
Many Nevada motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries that prevent victims from returning to work during recovery. Accidents resulting in permanent disability can prevent a victim from returning to work at all. In these cases, a fair award is generally based on the plaintiff’s typical regular wages. For example, a plaintiff could provide past pay stubs that show they received about $2,000 per week in regular wages over the past year. If the injury required 10 weeks of recovery, this would equal $20,000 in lost wages.
Calculating lost future earning capacity is a bit more complex. Our attorneys consult with economic or financial experts who can testify as to your total lost earning capacity if you can’t return to the same job, or work at all following the accident. These experts calculate how much you would have received for the duration of your work life expectancy, or the amount of time one could reasonably estimate you would have been able to work in the future, had the accident not occurred.
Is there a motorcycle accident lawyer near me?
Claggett & Sykes Law Firm is located on Meadows Lane in Las Vegas at Valley View and the 95, near Springs Preserve and Meadows Mall. However, we’re also available to meet via phone or video call if you are unable to come to our offices. We’re more than happy to offer this convenience and flexibility to our clients.
Consult with our experienced Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers today
The injury attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm can investigate your motorcycle crash and help you identify the best legal plan of action for your specific circumstances. We will deal with the insurance company and help you recover damages from your medical expenses, injuries, and losses. Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free consultation in our Las Vegas offices. Just call 702-333-7777 or fill out our contact form.