Motorcycles are a popular way to travel in Las Vegas and offer a sense of freedom, maneuverability, and affordability. Unfortunately, they also come with the risks of sharing the road with other drivers. An experienced Las Vegas accident lawyer at Cogburn Law understands that motorcyclists often encounter higher risks on the road and are dedicated to helping victims seek full compensation for their injuries after a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Accident Resources:
- What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
- What are the most common injuries from motorcycle accidents?
- Las Vegas motorcycle accident statistics
- What are the Nevada motorcycle accident insurance requirements?
- What type of compensation can I receive after a motorcycle accident?
- When should I contact a motorcycle accident attorney?
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are rider inexperience, driver negligence, and unsafe driving conditions. Motorcyclists are often caught in a driver’s blind spot because they are so much smaller than the standard vehicle on the road. When visibility is poor, and motorcyclists are outnumbered on the roadway, the probability of getting into a motorcycle accident increases significantly.
Considerable skill and practice are needed to operate a motorcycle, and studies show that many motorcyclists involved in accidents lack the adequate training or experience needed to be safe on the roadways. Without proper preparation, riders may not always be prepared for certain circumstances and may become a danger to themselves or others on the road.
Nevada motorcyclists must hold a Class M driver’s license and complete one of the following approved rider courses through the DMV.
- License course sponsored by the Nevada Rider Program
- Knowledge and skill course sponsored through the DMV
Many car and truck drivers fail to pay attention to the road ahead. Whether daydreaming, having conversations, eating, talking on a cell phone, or texting, drivers often do not observe a motorcyclist traveling in an adjacent lane. In most cases, motorcycle accidents are caused by another vehicle operator who engaged in negligent driving behavior. Common types of driver negligence include:
- The car turns in front of the motorcycle
- Unsafe lane changes
- Rear-end collision
- The car swerves into a motorcycle
- Drunk or drug intoxicated driving
Unsafe Driving Conditions
Unforeseen road conditions can pose unique threats to motorcyclists. Conditions like potholes or ruts, which can go virtually unnoticed by motor vehicle drivers, can be of the utmost danger to motorcyclists. Failure for a motorcyclist, or a motor vehicle driver around them, to anticipate even a minor road disturbance can cause severe crashes. Other hazardous driving conditions include:
- Poor-traction surfaces like gravel or wet pavement
- Inclement weather like fog, rain, or heavy winds
- Sudden obstacles such as debris, animals, or construction
What are the Most Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common injuries sustained from motorcycle accidents are head injuries, road rash, muscle injuries, spinal cord injuries, biker’s arm, leg injuries, and death. Due to the lack of protection, motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous. Safety equipment available to motorcyclists will generally only serve to mitigate injuries, not prevent them. As the rider is thrown off the motorcycle and onto the roadway, serious injuries are common, including:
- Head Injury: Your head is one of the most important parts of your body and it is imperative that you protect it at all costs. Motorcyclists are at great risk of head and serious brain injury when involved in a crash, which is why it is crucial that you wear a helmet. In Nevada, all motorcyclists are required by law to wear a helmet while riding their bike on a road or highway. The helmet must fit all standards detailed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Road Rash: Road rash is an injury sustained from a rider sliding across the pavement after a motorcycle accident. This injury is not just a cut, scrape, or bruise, and can lead to serious skin damage or infections.
- Muscle or Spinal Cord Injury: Protection of your muscles and spinal cord is important as both types of injuries can lead to paralysis. No matter how small you think your injury may be, get checked out by a medical professional to ensure your muscle or spinal cord is not damaged in the accident.
- Biker’s Arm: If a motorcyclist is thrown off his or her bike during an accident, it is human instinct to draw one’s arms around or in front of oneself to lessen the impact of the fall. When a biker’s arm is landed on during impact, there’s a chance permanent nerve damage may occur.
- Leg Injuries: Leg injuries are common as a biker can get wedged between the ground and their bike. Legs or feet can become broken or shattered, and injuries can grow into something permanently disabling, such as amputation.
- Death: It’s unfortunate to say, but motorcycles are more susceptible to wrongful death in an accident on the roadway because of their lack of protection. If your loved one has died due to a motorcycle crash in Nevada, reach out to our Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss total compensation for your losses.
Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Statistics
You are not alone as a motorcycle accident victim. Not only do you have experienced lawyers available, but you have also joined a league of other motorcycle crash survivors. The statistics behind motorcycle accidents in Nevada and Clark County are, unfortunately, rather high. Negligent drivers, aggressive drivers, driving under the influence, and dangerous roads are common causes of local motorcycle accidents.
In 2017, 37 motorcyclists died in Clark County. Although this was a decrease from 49 deaths in 2016, it is still the highest motorcyclist death toll out of all counties in the state. A total of 49 motorcyclists in Nevada lost their lives in 2017. This was almost a 25% drop from the 65 motorcyclist fatalities in 2016, but still higher than many other states. Motorcyclists in the area have long since been in danger of fatal crashes. In 2016, Nevada saw a sharp spike in motorcycle accident deaths: a 53% jump from 32 motorcyclist deaths in 2015 to 49 in 2016.
At Cogburn Law, our lawyers see the person behind the personal injury claim. We take the time to understand why motorcycle accidents happen, so we can prove negligence and potentially help prevent further collisions in the future. We take motorcycle accident victim representation seriously. Trust our firm with your Las Vegas motorcycle accident claim and benefit from personalized attorney services.
What are the Nevada Motorcycle Accident Insurance Requirements?
Since Nevada is a “fault-based” state, recovery for motorcycle accident victims depends on whether the at-fault driver has adequate vehicle insurance. Every driver and motorcyclist in Nevada must always carry at least the minimum amounts of auto insurance to legally be on the road. The following amounts are the state’s minimums:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person per accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people per accident
- $20,000 for property damage of others per accident
Drivers have the option to purchase greater coverage amounts and/or other types of insurance coverage, such as comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. If the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover damages, the other driver’s insurance company will step in to cover the rest.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive After a Motorcycle Accident?
An injured motorcycle accident victim in Nevada has the potential to obtain three main types of compensation: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Within these three main categories are more specific types of damages, such as medical bills and pain and suffering. Almost every motorcycle accident claimant comes away with economic damages. This compensation category describes the calculable financial losses relating to the accident. Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost income capacity
- Property damage repairs
- Legal fees/court costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident
Nevada does not impose any caps on the number of economic damages a person can receive in a personal injury case. Non-economic damages refer to the intangible losses an accident victim or his/her family can suffer, including physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, distress, post-traumatic stress, and lost quality or enjoyment of life. A jury will decide the amount of these damages based on factors, such as the severity of the victim’s injuries, how much he/she will be able to physically recover, the victim’s age, and the circumstances of the crash.
Punitive damages are a third category that only some motorcycle accident victims will receive. A judge has the power to award punitive damages if he/she believes compensatory damages aren’t enough to make up for what the victim experienced. Punitive damages aim to punish the defendant for particularly wrongful acts, as well as to provide further compensation for severely harmed victims. In Nevada, a $300,000 cap exists on punitive damages if the claim is worth less than $100,000, or a cap of three times the amount of compensatory damages if they total $100,000 or more.
Contact a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The first step in a motorcycle accident case will involve a full evaluation of the accident scene. Getting our firm involved early in your case is crucial. A review of the accident scene and interviews with eyewitnesses to the motorcycle crash must be performed as early as possible, while memories are fresh. The facts and evidence collected after the accident are vital parts of filing a claim against a negligent driver.
At Cogburn Law, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys have a reputation for excellence as trial lawyers. When we represent an injured motorcycle rider, we pursue full compensation. We prepare the case for trial as part of our process – as in the end, taking the case to a jury may be the best way to achieve justice.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, call Cogburn Law for free case consultation with a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer today.