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Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The rambling desert roads of Nevada and the crowded streets of Las Vegas attract motorcyclists who enjoy the open roads and can zoom around traffic. Yet congested highways and rural roads aren’t always safe for motorcyclists. Other drivers, dangerous roadway obstacles, and hazards unique to motorcyclists put riders at risk. Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we’ve represented clients with serious to catastrophic injuries from motorcycle accidents. We know how to fight for maximum compensation in any accident situation. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to run them by our motorcycle accident attorneys, they will give you and your family a free consultation and help you proceed with your claim.

Factors That Can Contribute to Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents, like car accidents, can occur at any time in any weather conditions. Although motorcycle accidents are not more common than car accidents, motorcyclist accidents are more likely to kill or seriously injure someone in an accident. Motorcycle enthusiasts must understand safety issues and learn the circumstances that increase the likelihood of an accident. Many situations can make the road more dangerous for motorcycle riders.

  • Road Hazards

    • With a motorcycle balancing on two wheels, the chances of road hazards causing an accident greatly increase. When a vehicle runs over a pothole, chances are good there will be no adverse effects. If a motorcyclist runs over a pothole, the effects can be deadly. Other road hazards that can contribute to motorcycle accidents include uneven road surfaces, debris in the roadway, wet pavement, and animals. 
  • Bad Weather

    • When inclement weather is in the forecast, motorcyclists should use alternate means of transportation. Sometimes, a storm catches a motorcyclist and he or she is left to navigate their bike in less-than-favorable conditions. Rain, snow, sleet, and hail are dangerous for riders. Bad weather will cause poor visibility, wet roads, and vehicle drivers who cannot see motorcyclists.
  • Speed

    • Speeding involving the motorcyclist or those operating vehicles around the motorcyclist is extremely dangerous. Increased speeds reduce reaction times for all drivers, creating a dangerous environment for everyone. Motorcyclists are not enclosed in metal as vehicle drivers are, so if a motorcyclist is involved in a high-speed crash, the chances for survival are severely diminished. All drivers must abide by posted speed limits for safety. 
  • Alcohol Use 

    • Drinking and driving is a serious safety hazard for every driver. Alcohol will diminish a motorcyclist’s reaction times, balance, and coordination. The same is true for vehicle drivers under the influence. Alcohol use increases the likelihood of collisions for everyone on the road but is more dangerous for motorcyclists.
  • Lane-Splitting

    • When a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic, it is lane-splitting. Lane-splitting means the motorcyclist is in closer proximity to cars and has significantly less reaction time. Lane-splitting is not legal in Nevada, although some motorcyclists may ignore the law. Whether cars are stopped or moving, it’s against the law for riders to drive between them. 

Common Injuries Resulting From Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are much more prone to injury and death compared to people in vehicles. The lack of protection surrounding their bodies leaves them vulnerable to accident and injury. There are five common motorcyclist injury types.

  • Road Rash

    • Road rash occurs when a motorcyclist lays down his or her 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. Human reaction during a motorcycle accident is to extend 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.
  •  Broken 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.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries

    • Injuries to the spinal cord are severe and can be permanent. Bikers in collisions or thrown from bikes are at risk for twisting and damaging spinal cords. There are thousands of nerves in a person’s spinal cord, which makes this injury especially difficult to treat.
  • Head Injuries

    • Nevada has a helmet law, but many motorcyclists ignore it. Head injury is the number one injury in motorcycle accidents. Wearing a helmet is a wonderful protective measure to keep your head safe and can mean the difference between living and dying. If you are a motorcyclist, always wear your helmet.

Facts from Nevada’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan

The Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) is an initiative that aims to improve the safety of Nevada’s roadways. Researchers analyze crash data to discover the most common reasons and areas for accidents. They then use this information to spread awareness and make improvements. The long-term goal is to eventually see zero fatalities on Nevada’s roadways. Data from the most recent SHSP report show 238 motorcyclists died and 968 suffered serious injuries in Nevada from 2011 to 2015. In 2015 alone, there were 43 deaths and 206 injuries – a decrease from the previous year.

The most common type of motorcycle accident is an “angle crash,” with 93 deaths and 381 serious injuries from 2011 to 2015. The second most-common type is non-collision, followed by rear-end, head-on, and sideswipe accidents. Motorcyclists are at the highest risk when other vehicles are going straight, followed by vehicles turning left. Male riders 26 to 45 years old are most likely to be in motorcycle accidents that result in injuries and death in Nevada. Daylight is the most dangerous time for motorcyclists, with 63% of fatalities and injuries occurring during daylight hours.

Who Is Responsible for Your Damages?

The first question on your mind after a motorcycle crash may be, “Who will pay for my damages?” You may have hospital bills, lost wages, property damage, and other accident-related expenses, on top of personal damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering. There may be an individual or entity legally responsible for compensating you. Nevada is a fault state, meaning the person at fault for the accident is liable to pay for damages. Yet the question of fault is not always black and white.

In many motorcycle collision claims, the defendant (the party allegedly responsible) may argue the motorcyclist contributed to his or her own injuries. For example, speeding, weaving through traffic, or unlawfully not wearing a helmet can contribute to an accident and/or injuries. If you were partially at fault for the crash or your resultant injuries, don’t assume you’re ineligible for financial recovery. Nevada abides by contributory negligence laws, which enables plaintiffs to recover as long as they are less than 51% responsible for the accident.

When it comes to determining the defendant in your case, you must consider all factors that may have contributed to your crash. This may be another driver, a bicyclist or pedestrian, debris in the roadway, a defective part on your motorcycle, a broken traffic light, or unsafe weather conditions. You may have more than one defendant. For example, another driver may be responsible for running a red light, but the City of Las Vegas may be at fault for poorly maintaining the road, making it impossible for you to stop on time to avoid a collision. Our Las Vegas Accident attorneys can investigate your crash and help you identify the most likely defendant to name. Contact us today for a free evaluation.