Exploring scenic routes on a motorcycle provides an unmatched sense of freedom and exhilaration. Yet, the ordeal of being involved in a motorcycle accident can be exceptionally daunting and distressing, affecting not just the rider but their family as well. During these challenging moments, our team at Daly & Black, P.C. is ready to offer support. As New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyers, we possess both the expertise and empathy needed to guide you through the aftermath of a motorcycle accident.
How are Motorcycle Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Motorcyclists frequently suffer more serious injuries compared to individuals involved in car accidents. Furthermore, there exists a cultural bias against motorcyclists which can potentially sway jury opinions. This bias is especially pronounced in cases where jurors are not motorcyclists themselves, potentially complicating the situation in motorcycle accident cases.
Given the intricate nature and distinct challenges associated with motorcycle accidents, selecting a law firm with specific expertise and experience in this area is critical. The right legal team will understand not only the legal complexities but also how to navigate and counteract any potential biases, ensuring fair and just representation.
At Daly & Black, P.C., our New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyers understand these nuances and are equipped to navigate these challenges effectively, ensuring the best possible outcome for your:
- Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
- Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Safety Tips
- Helmet Laws
- Motorcycle Accident Damages
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Motorcyclists face significantly higher risks on the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals a stark reality: approximately 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in either injury or death to the rider and/or their passengers. This statistic underscores the vulnerability of motorcyclists in traffic. At Daly & Black, P.C., our New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are acutely aware of these risks and are dedicated to representing those affected by such incidents.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and Brain injury
- Wrongful death
Many of these traumatic injuries can require extensive medical care, a considerable amount of rehabilitative therapy and substantial time away from work. Most families are not able to shoulder these financial burdens, and the ultimate ramifications can be dire.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Safe motorcycle riding requires a combination of skill, expertise, and careful judgment. Maximizing safety on the road involves both thorough preparation and active risk avoidance. Proper preparation includes wearing suitable protective gear, like a helmet, protective clothing, and eye protection. To mitigate risks, adopting defensive driving techniques is crucial. Additionally, it’s important to avoid riding in adverse weather conditions and to steer clear of motorcycles that surpass your handling skills. At Daly & Black, P.C., our New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyers recognize the significance of these safety precautions and the role they play in preventing accidents.
Even when riding safely and obeying the rules of the road, however, motorcycle accidents can happen. Some of the most common causes are:
- Collisions with cars: Many times, car and truck drivers simply don’t – or can’t – see motorcyclists, either because of blind spots, dark conditions or poor weather.
- Sudden stops: Any rear-end collision can be dangerous, but for a motorcycle, it can be devastating. Sudden stops can easily eject a motorcyclist from a bike, head over heels into traffic.
- Open-door accidents: These particular kinds of accidents are common in densely urban areas. Even when car occupants check their mirrors before opening a door, they may not see an oncoming motorcycle, and put the rider’s life in jeopardy.
While there tends to be biased against motorcyclists, studies have found that a majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the actions of other drivers. The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is being run off the road or struck by the drivers of larger vehicles – most often when those drivers are making a turn.
Protecting Yourself from Injury
Maximizing safety while riding a motorcycle largely hinges on the use of protective gear. Despite some states not mandating helmet use for riders over 18, wearing a helmet is always a wise choice. Brain injuries, prevalent and often fatal in motorcycle accidents, represent a significant risk. In fact, head injuries contribute to 34 percent of all traumatic fatalities in the United States. Ensuring you’re equipped with a helmet and other protective gear is a crucial step in safeguarding against these serious risks.
Proper gear includes:
- A DOT-approved helmet
- Leather jacket, gloves, and chaps
- Leather boots
- Googles or glasses (even if you have a windscreen)
When you are in a motorcycle accident, the only thing between you and the asphalt is the clothing you are wearing. If that’s shorts, flip-flops, and no shirt, it’s highly likely your injuries will be severe or fatal, even when traveling at low speeds.
The NHTSA recommends that, before you hit the road, you make sure your motorcycle is in proper working order. To do this, make sure to:
- Check tire pressure and tread depth
- Make sure hand and foot brakes are working
- Check headlights, brake lights, and signals
- Ensure all fluid levels are full and that there are no leaks
Once on the road, be sure to:
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Avoid all types of distraction
- Maintain a safe riding distance
- Obey the rules of the road
For motorcyclists, defensive driving transcends being a mere skill – it’s an essential practice for survival. Motorcycles, often less visible on the road, are frequently overlooked by larger vehicles like cars and trucks, leading to serious, and sometimes fatal, accidents. This harsh reality places a significant onus on motorcyclists to maintain heightened vigilance and attention while riding. Our advice to riders is unequivocal: Ride smart. Ride safe. Your life truly depends on it. At Daly & Black, P.C., our New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Lawyers are acutely aware of these challenges.
How Long do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
In many states across the U.S., you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. There is some wiggle room in certain cases, but by and large, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident lawsuits is two years.
What if I was Partially at Fault for My Motorcycle Accident?
In some cases, you may be able to recover damages even if you played a role in your accident. The amount you are entitled to will be impacted by the portion of blame you share for the accident.rnrnWithout an investigation into your motorcycle accident, it may be impossible to know all causes. Things like defective or dangerous roadways, equipment failure, and, of course, the actions of all involved motorists will need to be evaluated to establish liability.rnrnDo not admit fault for an accident. Wait until your attorney can finish his or her investigation.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Motorcycle Accident if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
You can file a claim against a negligent driver if you are injured while riding your motorcycle – even if you were not wearing a helmet. But know that decision may result in a significant reduction in the amount of compensation you are awarded.rnrnIn some U.S. states, you do not have to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle if you are over 18. If you sustain a brain injury while not wearing a helmet, however, it may be difficult to sway jury sympathy to your cause.rnrnBear in mind, our actions typically play a role in our outcomes. Choosing to ride dangerously makes a very specific statement and one that may prove detrimental to seeking compensation after an injury.
What Kinds of Damages can I Seek with a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation for damages related to an accident. This includes current expenses along with projected future expenses and losses. The best way to find out what your claim is worth is through a one-on-one consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.rnrnDamages that may be sought in a motorcycle accident claim include:rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eCurrent and future medical expensesu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eRehabilitation and therapy costsu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWages lost during recoveryu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eProjected wages lost due to new physical limitationsu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eHome modifications and adaptive technologies made necessary by the injuryu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eEmotional duress and traumau003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003ePhysical pain and sufferingu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ernInsurance companies do not provide compensation for all of these things. Insurance companies use a formula to determine what your suffering is worth. Only with the help of a personal injury lawyer can you seek damages that exceed the paltry offerings of insurance companies and work towards the settlement or verdict you will need to live the best life possible following a catastrophic injury.
How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Claim Take?
The motorcycle accident claims process follows a fairly standard path. Though there may be some fluctuation, in most cases:rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eYou hire a lawyeru003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eYour lawyer investigates the accidentu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eYour lawyer files a claimu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eThe discovery process begins, allowing both sides to gather evidence and build their caseu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eBoth sides meet for mediation to attempt settlement negotiationsu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ernWhen mediation fails, the claim will go to trial where a jury will determine the outcome. Very few motorcycle accident cases end up going to trial. Almost all are resolved before or during mediation.rnrnMany motorcycle accident claims are resolved in a matter of months. Cases that go to trial may take two or more years to settle. The path you can expect for your case to take will be discussed by your attorney.