As a motorcyclist, you take your own safety seriously, but even if you wear a helmet and ride defensively, you are still placed at risk by the knuckleheads you share the road with. When their negligence results in you or a loved one suffering serious injuries, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you” isn’t going to cut it.
With so little standing between a motorcycle and the pavement, motorcycle injuries are often traumatic. It is important to make sure you have a skilled motorcycle injury lawyer standing between you and the insurance company to make sure you aren’t injured a second time by their agenda.
In 2017, there were 89,000 motorcycle injuries. For every 100,000 motorcycles, there are 1,018 motorcycle-related injuries. When a motorcyclist is injured, their first instinct is to often go straight to insurance and file a claim. Insurance companies will often try to pay you as little as possible. Don’t be taken advantage of by insurance, you need a motorcycle accident attorney that will fight for you!
Even if the insurance does everything right, there is a high likelihood that things will be missed, and you will not receive all of the compensation you are entitled to.
It is absolutely imperative to find a motorcycle injury lawyer who will work with you and seek maximum compensation. Dimopoulos Injury Law will work with you and fight on your behalf to help you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to from your motorcycle accident.
What To Do After A Motorcycle Wreck
Step 1: Stop and move out of the way of traffic, but do not leave the scene.
Step 2: Check thoroughly for injuries. You would be surprised how often injuries initially go unnoticed due to the adrenaline that flows after a life-threatening situation.
Step 3: Call the police if they are not already on the scene. It is important to file a police report and create a record of the accident.
Step 4: Exchange information such as names, phone numbers, and insurance info with others who were involved in the accident.
Whether you feel the effects of injuries or not, it is important to see a doctor. It can take hours, days, or months for the full extent of injuries to manifest. Creating a treatment record early can be an important factor in getting the compensation you need.
Nevada Fault Laws – Who is at fault?
Nevada is an at-fault state, also known as a tort state. At-fault states will find who is responsible for the accident and place responsibility on that individual. Whoever is deemed responsible for the incident will have to pay for losses including property damages and medical bills. Normally the police officer will determine who is at fault by reviewing their gathered evidence, witness statements and reports, and analyzing the situation and accident scene. As a motorcyclist, it is important that you carry the correct insurance that covers the driver’s losses as a result of your own actions or inactions.
In the event of a motorcycle accident in Nevada, if you are not severely injured, you have three options:
- File a claim with your own insurance policy for covered accidents
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Option three is the surest way of receiving what you are owed in the event that you are injured. Insurance companies will only cover so much and place limitations on what they will or will not cover. A personal injury lawsuit ensures that you are in capable hands as you will not have to do the fighting, Dimopoulos Injury Law will.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Negligence is defined by those who failed to drive safely and thus caused the accident and victim’s injuries. Injuries can include property damage, medical injuries, lost wages, or pain. If the victim is seeking compensation for anything, then negligence must be determined. Every person who uses the road is expected to protect their own wellbeing as well as be aware of the safety of others around them. Should a person fail to make that due diligence, they would be deemed negligent and therefore at fault.
With modified comparative negligence law in Nevada, two or more parties are liable for an accident. The way this works is that if someone is less than 50% at fault but more than 0% at fault, they will still receive their compensation. However, it would be reduced in accordance with their at-fault status. For example, if a motorcyclist victim sustains $4,000 dollars in injuries, but they are determined to be 40% at fault, they will receive $1,600 instead of the whole $4,000. If the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault, they cannot file a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Claim vs Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury claim and a personal injury lawsuit are two different courses of action. A personal injury claim is what leads to a personal lawsuit if negotiations do not result in adequate compensation. Personal injury claims will typically be a motorcyclist’s first step in receiving compensation for their medical bills or property damage to their motorcycle. They involve going through your insurance provider. The investigation of the motorcycle accident will be managed by an insurance claims adjuster. The insurance company will then offer a financial settlement to help with any losses you experienced. Upon acceptance, you would normally have to sign a form to give up your right to sue the person at fault.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In the event you do not deem the insurance settlement to be acceptable, you may then file a personal injury lawsuit in which you contact a personal injury lawyer to do so on your behalf. A personal injury attorney, like Dimopoulos Law Firm, can make sure that any settlement offer you receive from the insurance company is in your best interest and reflects the true costs of your injuries. If it doesn’t, we are equipped to pursue what you deserve through litigation. We’ll deal with the insurance companies and the courts so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Common Causes of Accidents for Motorcyclists
While you are riding, it is vital that you ride defensively and carefully. It is a safe bet to assume that not all of the cars around can see you. It is also important to remember that even though your motorcycle can go over 100mph, doesn’t mean you should. The wind blowing through your helmet protected head isn’t worth the fatal injury. The most common causes of accidents for motorcyclists are:
- Speeding – An all too common one. As stated before, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Driving above the speed limit can lead to injury to yourself and others.
- Target fixation – Target fixation is normally a beginner’s mistake, but it happens to experienced riders too. When you’re in riding school, they will teach you that where you look is where you’ll go. If you look at a tree, you’ll go towards the tree. Target fixation is when you look at an object, but you can’t look away. It’s a phenomenon that applies to many vehicles, but when motorcycle riding, it’s extremely dangerous on the road.
- Running a red light (either the motorcyclist or a vehicle) – Extremely dangerous, especially for motorcyclists. When a motorcyclist or a vehicle runs a red light, the motorcyclist will face the consequence of flying off of their bike and sustain extremely serious injuries.
- Drunk driving – Driving or riding while under the influence is dangerous to everyone on the road. Don’t drink and drive.
- Distracted driving – It involves physical, visual, or cognitive distractions. It’s a little more difficult for a motorcyclist to be physically distracted but being distracted by someone on the road or daydreaming or being distracted by the scenery can be deadly if you’re not paying attention. Keep your eyes on the road.
- Debris or gravel on road – As a car driver, people do not normally think of the gravel or small debris to be deadly. However, for a motorcyclist where balance is everything a pebble can make or break your ride. Be wary of debris being dropped by larger vehicles in front of you and when you’re driving by construction sites. You never know when your bike will succumb to the road conditions.
- Weather – Since it doesn’t rain often here in Las Vegas, your experience with rain may be limited. Observe your limitations and experience with riding in the rain or snow.
- Fatigued driving – It’s easy to say you’ll be okay on the ride home late at night. Though, fatigued driving is just as fatal as drunk driving. Practice motorcycle safety and plan ahead so you know you’ll have a plan B should you be too tired to ride home.
- Inexperience—In the motorcycle community, especially in America, riding the biggest and baddest motorcycle is a rite of passage. It means your first motorcycle should be an 800cc or higher, otherwise, you’re not a real motorcyclist. With that said, inexperience with a big bike is normally a person’s downfall. Always ride a smaller bike first and familiarize yourself with operating a motorcycle. Looking cool is not worth being dead.
- Cars misjudging motorcycle speed – An uncontrollable circumstance and an event that, as a motorcyclist, you’ll witness at least once in your life. Brace yourself for cars to drive right in front of you. From a distance, many motorcycles will look like they’re far away until they’re not.
- Unprotected left turn – Similar to misjudging motorcycle speed, with unprotected left turns, cars will either think you’re going slower than you actually are OR they simply won’t see you at all. Which leads us to…
- “I didn’t see you” – A phrase that enrages motorcyclists far and wide. Always assume you can’t be seen. Also, take note when they say they fail to see you! It may help you when you make a claim against them.
Wrongful Death Claim
Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die than those in a passenger car. In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists were killed. Without a protected frame like a car, motorcyclists are vulnerable to injury or death. Should a motorcyclist die, the surviving family may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. Not everyone can file a wrongful death. They would have to be family members including a child, spouse, domestic partner, or parental figure. If neither exists, then an individual who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased may file a wrongful death claim.
Through a wrongful death claim, the one filing may be compensated from:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Property damage from the accident
- Loss of benefits and wages
- Loss of emotional support of the deceased
Critical Motorcycle Injuries
When an accident occurs, motorcycle riders and passengers are placed at a higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries due to their exposure and the lack of safety equipment such as seatbelts. Even a properly fitted helmet can only do so much to protect a rider who is thrown through the air at the moment of impact.
Injuries and conditions associated with motorcycle wrecks include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Broken bones and fractures
- Road rash
- Lost limbs/amputations
- Psychological and emotional trauma
The physical and emotional recovery process after a motorcycle crash can be daunting for all involved. It is crucial to make sure you have the financial resources to cover your current and future costs for medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, property damage, counseling, home renovations, and more. A lifelong injury to your brain or spine, for example, requires a settlement or verdict that provides you with lifelong compensation.
A personal injury attorney from Dimopoulos Law Firm can make sure that any settlement offer you receive from the insurance company is in your best interest and reflects the true costs of your injuries. If it does not, we are equipped to pursue what you deserve through litigation. We will deal with the insurance companies and the courts so you can focus on getting better.
Helmet Laws in Nevada
Riders must always wear a helmet in Nevada. If they are wearing a half helmet, the rider must also wear goggles or a protective shield. We could delve into the topic about which helmet is better—Open-face, half-helmet, or full-face— but all it comes down to is, if you get into an accident, you want to make sure you’re protected. That being said, we highly recommend for the sake of your safety and skin, you wear a full-face helmet.
There are, however, different controversies about which safety standard is the best. There are three safety tests available for motorcycle helmets:
- DOT—This is the Department of Transportation safety standard and is primarily American. This is one of the least reliable standards of the three as it is based on the honor system. Companies that produce helmets can sign off on a helmet and say they conducted a DOT test when there isn’t a standard way to actually tell until after the helmet is on the market.
- Snell – Helmets are tested by a more rigorous standard than DOT, but because the Snell Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization, it is not mandatory for helmets to go through Snell.
- ECE—This is the most rigorous test in the world right now and it is the most used standard in the world. In order for a helmet to be ECE certified, they must be tested BEFORE it goes out in the market. Testing is done by a third party with witnesses from both the manufacturer and the ECE to gain certification. The manufacturer must also send 50 produced helmets to be tested.
In America, DOT is the minimum but it wouldn’t hurt your chances of survival to go up a step further with a Snell or the ECE. A helmet is better than no helmet.
Out of State Bikers
In Las Vegas, we welcome tourists from all over the world. If you find yourself under the unfortunate circumstance of a motorcycle accident, Dimopoulos Injury Law will represent you.
What Lawyer Should I Get?
When you are facing a motorcycle accident you need to talk with an injury lawyer. The team at Dimopoulos Injury Law will guide you through the legal process with compassion and understanding. We will handle your insurance and legal issues so you can focus on healing and being with your family and loved ones. The physical and emotional recovery process after a motorcycle crash is daunting for all involved. It is crucial to make sure you have the financial resources to cover your current and future costs for medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, property damage, counseling, home renovations, and more. An injury to your brain or spine requires a settlement or verdict that provides you with enough compensation to last for the rest of your life. Dimopoulos Injury Law will get you the compensation deserve so you can focus on your recovery.
At Dimopoulos Law Firm, we proudly serve motorcycle riders throughout the Las Vegas area. Call 702-476-0005 anytime or send us an email to arrange your free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney.