Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Las Vegas
An experienced injury lawyer at the Las Vegas firm of McDonald Worley will know how to help you in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. You need compassion, understanding, and skilled legal counsel. We can provide all of this and more as you work through the recovery process, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Our lawyers thoroughly understand the process of dealing with insurance companies. We will familiarize ourselves with the details of your case, explain your options for you, and do our best to safeguard your interests via insurance negotiation, injury claim, or lawsuit — whatever best suits your circumstances and needs. Call us today at 877-721-3423 to learn how we can help you with a free consultation.
What Are My First Steps After Getting Into A Motorcycle Accident?
Report the accident to the Las Vegas, Nevada, police. Make sure to learn how you can get a copy of the police report; you’ll need to keep a copy in your records.
Get checked out by a doctor. Even if you feel fine in the immediate aftermath of your accident, you may be injured in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. You need to have your condition fully assessed by a medical professional. Preserve all treatment records, medical instructions, and medical bills you receive. These may all be important if you file a claim. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Las Vegas to arrange a free initial consultation.
If I Get A Motorcycle Settlement, How Much Money Can I Get?
Details vary in every motorcycle accident case; no two cases are exactly alike. The settlements that are awarded in these cases are dictated by many different factors, making it hard to compare any two cases. Rest assured, if you put your case in the hands of McDonald Worley, we’ll work tirelessly to make sure you have the best possible chance at the largest possible settlement.
What Will A Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do For Me?
It bears repeating early and often: Your top priority in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is getting the medical care you need to restore and safeguard your health. One of the greatest benefits of working with a good motorcycle accident lawyer is that they will handle most or all of the information gathering that needs to be done after an accident. You’ll be left free to concentrate on what really matters: healing and recovering.
Hire McDonald Worley, and this is what we’ll be doing while you’re taking care of your health:
- Investigate the scene of the accident
- Collect and preserve evidence documenting your injuries and damage to your property
- Find and interview witnesses
- Depose law enforcement officers who filed your police report and responded to your accident
- Establish ties to professionals who can strengthen your case (e.g. accident reconstruction experts, expert medical witnesses, etc) as necessary
- Track your total recovery expenses, including existing medical costs and estimated future expenses your accident will incur, like lost wages and ongoing care.
The personal injury attorneys at McDonald Worley want to see you recover from your accident as quickly and as fully as possible. That’s why we do all the investigative work required to make sure that you can claim full compensation from the parties responsible for your accident.
If An Insurance Company Offers Me A Settlement, Should I Take It?
Do not accept any initial offers. Offers made by insurance companies tend to be for far less than you’re entitled to. It’s sad but true: In a motorcycle accident case, the insurers’ priority is settling your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Do not sign anything sent to you by an insurance company. You should always consult with your attorney before signing releases, waivers, or any other documents. Don’t take a chance and put yourself at a disadvantage by signing away important rights! Let us protect you and ensure that your best interests are guarded.
What Laws Does The State Of Nevada Have Regarding Motorcycle Helmets?
The State of Nevada has a universal helmet law. This means every motorcycle rider and passenger on Nevada roads is expected to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle — even residents of other states who are merely passing through.
If I Wasn’t Wearing A Helmet, Can I Still Receive Compensation In A Nevada Motorcycle Accident Case?
This question is a top priority for anyone who’s injured in a Nevada motorcycle accident who wasn’t wearing a helmet. While the full answer can be complicated, the key fact to know is that yes, you may be able to obtain damages even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident.
Nevada laws, as indicated above, require all motorcyclists to wear helmets regardless of their state of residence. The relevant statute for this is NRS 486.231. The law is explicit about including both drivers and passengers. Helmets must be securely fastened and include protective glasses, face shields, or goggles.
Even though it is illegal to ride a motorcycle around Las Vegas (or anywhere in the State of Nevada) without a helmet, you do not necessarily forfeit your right to financial compensation if you break this law. The question of comparative negligence becomes crucial in motorcycle accident cases where riders and passengers were not wearing helmets. Comparative negligence laws (NRS 41.141) protect the right of plaintiffs to seek damages even in cases where negligence is shared between plaintiffs and defendants.
The Nevada comparative negligence statue says that as long as a motorcycle accident victim’s share of responsibility for his or her injuries is less than 51 percent, that victim is entitled to recover damages.
Motorcycle injury claims can become very complicated when the specific injuries involved were directly related to the absence of a helmet (e.g. traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs). A motorcyclist who is held to be more than 50 percent at fault for his or her specific injuries may be barred from recovering damages. In cases where the motorcyclist’s share of negligence is less than 50 percent, any damages recovered will be reduced to reflect the victim’s responsibility for the injuries incurred.
To give basic examples, in a case where the court determines that the plaintiff is 80 percent at fault for head injuries incurred in a helmetless motorcycle accident, he won’t be able to recover any compensation. If the plaintiff’s responsibility is set at only 50 percent, though, he can recover damages. The damages award in such a case would be reduced by 50 percent to reflect comparative negligence.
Statistics On Motorcycle Accidents
Studying records kept by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in the last year:
- Roughly 88,000 motorcyclists in the United States were injured in road accidents
- Those accidents included 4,976 motorcyclist fatalities (this is 8 percent more than the previous year)
- 55 of those fatal accidents occurred in Nevada
The Centers for Disease Control have some more long-range motorcycle fatality statistics to consider:
- Deaths related to motorcycle accidents have increased by 55 percent since the year 2000
- The average annual economic liability from motorcycle accidents is roughly $12 billion
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
The Federal Highway Administration and the US Department of Transportation accumulate significant statistics on motorcycle accidents. According to their data, all of the following causes are common:
- Vehicles maneuvering through traffic or changing lanes without awareness of the presence of motorcycles
- Left turns in front of motorcycles
- Car doors being opened in the path of motorcycles
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Speeding and other forms of reckless driving by passenger vehicles
- Vehicle drivers failing to observe motorcycles
- Vehicle drivers failing to obey posted traffic signals
What Injuries Are Commonly Caused By Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcyclists, particularly new ones, tend to take plenty of steps to protect themselves from injury while they’re riding. They buy and wear helmets to protect themselves from head injuries. These include visors, face shields, or goggles to protect their eyes. They wear protective clothing covering their arms and legs fully to prevent skin abrasions and “road rash.” While these are all laudable protective steps, they cannot always prevent injuries in a motorcycle accident. All of the following injuries can be caused by a motorcycle wreck:
Pelvic & Urological Injury
The simple physical arrangement of motorcycle riding makes pelvic injuries likely. Any force directed at the rider from the right direction can drive the pelvis against his or her bike frame. This can result in anything from painful bruising to highly dangerous bone fractures. Injuries in this area of the body are highly likely to damage the reproductive, digestive, and urological organs as well as muscles and bones. Proper medical treatment for such injuries may include complex surgery and prolonged therapeutic and rehabilitative care.
Loss Of Limbs
Most realistic motorcyclists recognize that an accident can cause serious abrasions and broken bones. Few want to dwell on the all-too-real possibility of losing an arm or a leg. This possibility is frighteningly likely if limbs are pinned, crushed, or dragged between the motorcycle and another object (typically the road surface or another vehicle). In some accidents, arms, legs, fingers, or toes may be lost immediately due to the physical force of the accident. In other cases, limbs may be so badly damaged that amputation becomes a medical necessity.
Spinal Cord Injury
A helmet is a great way to reduce the likelihood of head or brain injuries in a motorcycle crash. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to safeguard against the possibility of serious injuries to the spinal cord. Spinal cord damage can be extremely, even debilitatingly painful. In some cases, spinal cord injuries cause partial or complete paralysis. While much depends on the extent and location of a spinal injury, the recovery process typically takes a great deal of time.
Psychological And Emotional Trauma
The physical toll of a motorcycle crash is often high enough that less-obvious forms of injury risk being overlooked. Riders involved in serious accidents frequently suffer from depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other psychological problems. The prospect of riding a motorcycle or even traveling in any way may be enough to trigger anxiety attacks after a motorcycle accident. Overcoming these problems often requires extensive therapy.
Can A Motorcyclist Found Partially At Fault Still Make An Injury Claim?
Even in cases where plaintiffs are found partially responsible for a motorcycle accident or the injuries they sustained in it, they may still build a formidable and successful case for compensation.
Nevada law includes statutes on comparative negligence (NRS 41.141). As long as a plaintiff is found to be less than 51 percent negligent, the law allows him or her to recover damages. Damage awards in comparative negligence cases are reduced in proportion to the percentage of negligence assigned to the plaintiff, though.
Consider a case where a motorcyclist is struck by a drunk driver. In court, it may be established that the motorcyclist was speeding at the time. Under the comparative negligence law, 80 percent of the blame for the crash is assigned to the drunk driver and 20 percent to the motorcyclist. This means that damages awarded to the motorcyclist would be reduced by 20 percent. If the total damage award was $100,000, the plaintiff’s final recovery would be reduced by 20%, resulting in actual damages of $80,000.
There are no special considerations in Nevada law for motorcycle accidents in terms of comparative negligence and damage awards. In fact, juries are typically sympathetic to the fact that vehicle drivers have a responsibility to share the road safely with motorcyclists.
What Should I Do If I’m In A Nevada Motorcycle Accident As A Passenger?
If you were a motorcycle passenger and you were injured in a road accident, you should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to determine how best to proceed. Depending on your specific circumstances, it may be better to file with your own insurance company or with the company of the at-fault driver. You also need legal advice to help you decide whether a settlement arranged through an insurance company meets your needs or if you need to file a lawsuit.
Why Is It Important To Meet My Medical Appointments?
While you have a motorcycle accident claim pending, you need to make the strongest possible effort to fully comply with all the advice and instructions you receive from healthcare professionals. Skipping appointments or failing to follow treatment instructions opens up the possibility of the defendants pushing some or all of the responsibility for your injuries onto you.
You should also make an effort to keep us up to date on your medical progress and any attempts to contact you made by defendants, their attorneys, or insurance companies.
Reach Out To McDonald Worley For The Help You Need
We have a highly-experienced team of motorcycle accident attorneys who can help you plan out a comprehensive legal strategy for obtaining the full compensation you deserve. Get started on the recovery process and rest assured that your legal and financial interests are in safe hands with McDonald Worley! If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a Nevada motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to contact McDonald Worley today.