The Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Guide was created to guide residents who were injured in a motorcycle crash through the straights of an injury claim.
As a motorcyclist, you know to drive with caution on the road. Riding should be pleasant, but when you share the road with other vehicles who have no regard for you, you can wind up with life-altering injuries. We understand the hurt you’re going through and want to help you get the most full and fair compensation that the insurance companies are going to try their best to make sure you don’t get.
Don’t settle for a lawyer who is testing the waters of a motorcycle accident case for the first time. You need a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer who knows how to handle these challenging cases, who will push back on the insurance companies, and put your interests first.
Motorcycle Accidents in Nevada
Every May, with the start of the summer driving season, the state of Nevada kicks off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Though Las Vegas’s urban sprawl and year-round warm temperatures make driving a necessity, there is a three month period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when motor vehicle accidents, particularly motorcycle accidents, spike. During this time of year, known as the 100 Deadliest Days, motorcyclists and all drivers have to take extra precautions. With more cars on the road during the summer driving season, it is very important that motorcycle drivers be aware of the increased risk of accidents that come when they take to the roads in summer.
Though motorcycle fatalities are uncommon in Nevada, numbering only a few dozen each year, Las Vegas is where the majority of deadly motorcycle accidents happen. Three quarters of motorcycle accidents in Nevada result in injuries, whether to the rider, a passenger on the motorcycle, to the driver of another motor vehicle, or to nearby pedestrians. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Las Vegas area, whether you are a resident of Las Vegas or a tourist, you should contact a local motorcycle accident attorney for help. Unfortunately, regardless of the facts or how clear liability is, insurance companies regularly deny motorcycle accident claims or blame the motorcycle driver. You need an attorney with a track record of winning motorcycle claims to be your lawyer. Though your case will differ depending on your role in the accident, it matters little whether you were the motorcyclist, a passenger on a motorcycle, the driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian; Murphy & Murphy Law Offices has a proven track record of exceptional results in motorcycle accident injury cases. Our experienced motorcycle accident injury team would be proud to represent you in your case. Your case is too important to just hire any lawyer. In motorcycle injury cases experience and results matter. When you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you deserve the best.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Las Vegas?
Motorcycle accidents across Nevada fall into two general categories: those caused by human error and those due to external forces. Where human error related accidents are concerned, most collisions are due to the fact that many car drivers fail to pay proper attention for motorcycles. Failure to pay proper attention may cause a motorcycle or bicycle to be all but invisible under certain circumstances. If the driver fails to notice a motorcycle just a few feet away, the car can suddenly turn, or change lanes, causing a collision with a motorcycle. Alternatively, the driver of the car may falsely believe that he or she, rather than the motorcyclist, has the right-of-way, and this can be a recipe for disaster.
Even when both drivers are familiar with the right-of-way laws, crashes can still occur when a driver fails to concentrate on the road. Distracted driving is a major cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents across the United States. Since cars and motorcycles travel so quickly, a split second lapse of attention can have deadly consequences. Nevada may have instituted a hand held cell phone ban in 2011, but that has not stopped drivers from causing accidents when they send text messages or make phone calls while driving. You may be surprised to learn that more people are killed and injured by distracted drivers that are killed or injured by drunk drivers.
The Las Vegas Metro area, due to its location in the desert, may not have snow or significant rainfall, but that does not mean that the sunlight and heat are not regular contributors to poor visibility. Glare from the sun or asphalt is enough to prevent drivers from seeing clearly and a driver temporarily blinded by the light can easily cause an accident. The excessive light and heat can also cause fatigue, resulting in clouded thoughts and slower reaction times. Even though inclement weather, a common cause of motor vehicle accidents, is mostly absent from the Las Vegas region, the climate can still play a major role in causing motorcycle accidents.
It is a sobering fact that driving under the influence remains a significant factor in motor vehicle collisions. Consuming alcohol or drugs before driving is certain to end in disaster. Approximately 1000 people die each year in Nevada because of drunk drivers, and motorcycle accidents are one of many possible situations where drunk driving can cause injury and death.
How Do Motorcycle Accident Cases Proceed?
The most important element of a motorcycle accident case – as well as all personal injury cases- is determining fault. Though the term “motorcycle accident” covers all motor vehicle accidents in which a motorcycle was involved, the motorcyclist is not usually at fault in the majority of motorcycle accident cases. Instead, the driver of another car or bus might have caused the accident, or a pedestrian’s recklessness could have caused the motorcyclist to suddenly skid off of the road. There is nevertheless a trend: insurance adjusters think motorcyclists are at fault in the majority of motorcycle accidents, and that younger riders tend to be responsible for more of these collisions. Because of these perceptions and beliefs, it may be more difficult for a motorcyclist who is not responsible for an accident to prove that he or she was not at fault, especially when the motorcyclist severely injured.
After a motorcycle crash, once you have hired a skilled and experienced motorcycle accident attorney, legal proceedings can begin. Motorcyclist are often required to provide documentation proving that their motorcycle received proper care and maintenance, as insurance companies often claim a mechanical failure caused the motorcycle accident. All photos taken of the scene of the collision will be of critical importance, and so will statements from witnesses. Because one of the primary goals of any personal injury lawsuit is to receive proper and adequate compensation, documents such as communication with insurance companies, statements from physicians, and copies of medical records and bills will factor into the eventual settlement. You must provide as many of these documents as possible to your motorcycle accident attorney early on so that your case can be properly built and proceed more smoothly.
All motor vehicle collisions, however minor, can become important and life-changing experiences. This is especially true regarding motorcycle crashes. If you were injured while riding your motorcycle, you should not downplay the severity of the situation or your injuries. We have successfully helped many motorcycle accident injury clients throughout the Las Vegas area for years to receive full and fair compensation following a Las Vegas motorcycle accident. If you have been injured and are considering hiring an attorney for your personal injury case, contact Murphy & Murphy law office today for a free comprehensive case evaluation and strategy plan.
Frequently Asked Questions | Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Guide
Why Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
People will call and ask, “Do I really need a lawyer if I’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Nevada or Las Vegas?” The answer is, absolutely yes. Motorcycle crashes are a unique type of crash and they involve many different issues. In addition to that, there are aspects of a motorcycle crash claim that the insurance companies try and take advantage of. You need an attorney who is specifically skilled and experienced in dealing with motorcycle crash claims. You don’t need a lawyer who rides a motorcycle, you need a board certified personal injury specialist who is a trial lawyer. The insurance companies are going to try and blame you for the crash, minimize your damages, and weasel out of their responsibility. If you’ve got a lawyer who just rides a motorcycle, what good is that going to do you?
You need someone who knows how to build a case. You’ve got to have somebody who’s up to the task. You don’t need a motorcycle rider, you need a trial lawyer.
How Should I Choose a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
You must hire somebody who has skill and experience in dealing with motorcycle crash claims. These are not the kind of cases that you can go and get your divorce lawyer or somebody who put your will together, etc. You can’t go to somebody that you know that works for an insurance company and they do insurance defense claims. You will be in trouble if you don’t have a board certified personal injury specialist who is a trial lawyer and who deals on a regular basis with motorcycle accident claims. These cases are very complicated.
The insurance adjusters and the insurance lawyers who defend these claims know what they’re doing, and they’re whole goal is to make sure that they pay as little as possible. You can’t get a lawyer who’s just dabbling in these types of claims. In fact, you can’t get a lawyer who just claims that they’re a motorcycle lawyer because they have a motorcycle or get their picture on a billboard taken on a motorcycle. You have to have a trial lawyer who knows how to prepare your case. You’re not going to get fully compensated until the insurance company knows that your lawyer has built your case and they’re ready, willing and able to take your case to trial if you have to go to trial. They will never step up to the plate and fully compensate you until they know that. The only way you’re going to get there is with a real trial lawyer.
What Should I Know About Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
If you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in Las Vegas, there are certain things that you need to do. The first thing you have to realize is that motorcycle crashes are significantly different than any other type of crash. Here’s the reason why. The insurance company for the car or truck, or whatever the other vehicle is that caused the crash, they’re going to say that the crash is your fault. They’re going to try and blame it on you, even though the other vehicle came from the other lane and cut you off or knocked you over. They’re going to blame you because they know that a number of people in the public think that people that drive motorcycles are inherently dangerous. They’re going to try and avoid their responsibility to you, even when you have absolutely no fault.
The other thing is, between a car and a motorcycle, there’s going to be very little damage to the car, but you, riding a motorcycle, are going to have very significant injuries. These are cases where you need to go out and get an attorney who has specific skill and experience in dealing with these insurance companies. The investigation is going to be very important, and you need someone who’s been there multiple times, to adequately protect your interests.
You need someone to come in and to protect your interests from the beginning. The evidence of what happened is very critical, and you need someone to conduct the investigation from the get-go.
What If I’m Forced Off the Road on a Motorcycle?
Here’s what happens a lot of times in motorcycle accidents. Oftentimes, the driver of another vehicle, car, SUV, or even a semi, don’t see you, and just automatically start coming over into your lane. You, as the driver of a motorcycle, have a couple of options. You can either be slammed by that other vehicle or you can take evasive actions. Suddenly you get run off the road, or you lay down your bike, and you’re injured. Do you have a claim against that other vehicle? Absolutely.
The insurance company, of course, is going to argue that you were at fault. You ran off the road; you laid down your bike; there was no reason for that. As a motorcycle rider, you know that’s not true. However, you need somebody who has a lot of experience in dealing with motorcycle accident claims to go after that other vehicle and their insurance company. If your lawyer doesn’t have the skill and experience in dealing specifically with these types of claims, they’re going to get steamrolled by that insurance company. To protect your rights, you need someone who deals with these types of claims on a regular basis.
How Does a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Investigation Work?
It’s not unusual, if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident that the adjuster, for the other driver is going to contact you and want to take a recorded statement. They do it for a number of reasons. Number one, they are out there to protect their interests. They are there to protect the insurance company. They are not out there conducting a neutral investigation, seeing what they can do to help you. They contact you early because they know that you have been seriously hurt and you may be on medications. You may not be in any condition to answer their questions.
In fact, for many motorcycle crash cases, you have absolutely no memory of what happened. They’re going to pin you down to that. They’re going to try and use that against you to deny or lessen the value of your claim. When you give them that information, they are not getting it to help you or, like I said, conduct a neutral investigation. They want to use those words against you. Before you ever talk to an insurance adjuster or give a recorded statement in a motorcycle crash claim, you have to have an attorney. Before you do anything, call a skilled and experienced motorcycle trial attorney and get the advice that you need to protect your interests.
Do I Have a Claim as a Motorcycle Passenger?
Here is what you need to know if you were injured as a passenger on a motorcycle. There may be a number of parties that are responsible for your injuries and damages. The motorcycle driver may be partially at fault, and you have a claim against him or her. If there was another vehicle that was responsible or partially at fault, you have a claim against them. In addition, if you own a car and you have insurance, and you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you may also have a claim against your own insurance company to make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and damages. This is why it is so critical, if you were a passenger that was hurt in a motorcycle crash, that you contact a skilled attorney. You need someone who knows how to fully investigate not only how the accident happened, but the various levels of responsibility and insurance that may be available to you.
If you’ve been seriously injured as a passenger on a motorcycle, you certainly have claims and you’re certainly entitled to compensation. You have to talk to somebody who has the experience and the know-how of dealing with these types of claims.
Are There Differences with Motorcycle and Car Accident Cases?
The insurance companies and the insurance adjusters are always going to try and blame you for causing the accident or being partially at-fault for causing the accident. Even if you have no fault at all, they are still going to try and blame you. They will go so far as hiring accident reconstruction witnesses that they pay big money to come in and figure out a way that they can say that you were at fault. Why do they do that? A couple of reasons. The injuries that are involved in a motorcycle crash are often very significant, and life-long, so they’re big claims. They also know that a lot of people think that just riding a motorcycle in and of itself is inherently dangerous and that if you’re going to ride a motorcycle, you get what you deserve. That’s not what the law says, but that’s what the insurance company is going to say.
Even if you may have a little bit of fault, you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries and damages. The only way that you are going to be treated fairly by an insurance company is having an attorney who has skill and experience, has a number of motorcycle crash claims under their belt, and has a history of dealing with these insurance adjusters. Otherwise, you’re going to get taken advantage of.
You need someone who has done this before. You don’t want someone learning on your case. You don’t want someone with a high volume of cases, who’s just going to take whatever they can get from the insurance company. This case is too important to you and your future.
Can I be Partially at Fault for the Motorcycle Crash?
Here is what Nevada law says about being able to collect damages for your injuries if you were partially at fault for causing your motorcycle crash claim. As long as your percentage of fault is less than 50%, you will be entitled to get compensation for your damages. The insurance company for the other driver will always try and argue that you were primarily at fault, whether you were going too fast, or you weren’t paying attention, or you had unexpectedly changed lanes. Whatever it is, they will try and argue that you are primarily at fault.
What If I Was Hurt Due to Poorly Maintained Road Conditions?
Here’s the reality that we face today. Many of our roadways are in horrible shape. There just hasn’t been the maintenance performed on our roads that needs to be done. If you ride a motorcycle, you’re at risk. You could hit a pothole and go flying. You may have a claim against the county, the city, or the state of Nevada for failing to properly maintain the roadways if you are injured because of the conditions. You have to get an attorney who has specific experience in dealing with these kinds of claims; they’re very difficult.
The city, county, and state will fight tooth and nail, so you need to get an attorney who knows how to deal with them. You want an attorney who will conduct the proper investigation to find out if they city, county or state had notification of the disrepair of their roadway, so that you can get the compensation to protect you from the injuries and the damages that you have sustained. If you’ve been damaged, injured, or hurt because of lack of repair or lack of maintenance of a roadway, give Craig Murphy of Murphy & Murphy Law Offices a call.
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