Along with the dry climate, Las Vegas breeds Harley Davidson enthusiasts and motorcycle fans of all ages. Motorcycle accidents can occur due to many factors, most of which are not the cyclist's fault.
Many of the motorcycle cases seen by Benson & Bingham arise from vehicles pulling in front of the motorcycle, vehicles tailgating or crowding a motorcycle, or vehicles not being able to see the cyclist. The consequences of an accident can be fatal and often cause severe road rash. The pain endured by a motorcyclist at the emergency room while doctors take a wire brush to scrape and remove rocks, pebbles and debris is unfathomable. Unfortunately, heavy scaring or plastic surgery and extensive physical therapy often follow.
Products are sometimes designed defectively, or perform in a manner inconsistent with the original manufacturer. More often than not, the dealership has some liability for the distribution of the machine, and often they assemble the bikes leading to more liability exposure.
Faulty handlebars, bad welds, loose nuts, and low maintenance make for tragic accidents. From Mount Charleston to Red Rock Canyon, the paved terrain is a haven for bikers and bad equipment is a cause for many lawsuits.
As riders of both street and dirt bikes, Attorneys Ben Bingham and Joseph Benson respect and understand the obstacles often presented to motorcycle operators. Most riders take extreme precaution, as the risk associated with motorcycles is well understood. Since motorcycles allow good maneuverability, often times the fault is due to another motorist's lack of attention or outright negligence, including DUI and DWI motorists. You shouldn’t have to risk your life to ride a motorcycle. While you have less protection from accident and injury when you ride a motorcycle than when you drive a car, that doesn’t mean you are asking for or deserve to sustain an injury. Motorcyclists have the same rights as any other vehicle operator to enjoy the roads around Las Vegas and Nevada.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur all-too-often in Nevada. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation , the state experienced 54 motorcycle accident deaths and 218 serious motorcycle accident injuries in 2017. Those numbers have remained more or less steady for the past five years. Even when motorcyclists take all appropriate safety precautions, they sometimes cannot avoid getting into serious, deadly accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Las Vegas area, and someone else caused the accident, then contact the experienced motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Benson & Bingham today. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
Las Vegas residents and visitors who suffer injuries in motorcycle accidents deserve the best legal representation available to protect their rights and maximize the compensation that they receive from the individual who caused them harm. At Benson & Bingham, we offer quality legal services with a focus on compassion and accessibility.
For over sixteen years, Benson & Bingham has provided the highest level of legal services to injured Nevadans and individuals from outside the Silver State. We have successfully recovered more than $127 million in compensation for our clients over the years, including hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of clients injured in motorcycle accidents, and tens of millions more in all sorts of other motor vehicle accident cases. While we cannot guarantee a particular result in your case, when you retain Benson & Bingham to handle your motorcycle accident case, you know you’re getting a team of legal professionals with a long and hard-earned track record of success.
At Benson & Bingham, we take particular pride in providing our clients with unmatched client service and attention. For us, personal injury law is truly personal. In every aspect of our practice, we strive to always prioritize our clients’ needs. We take a one-on-one approach to every interaction with our clients, from meetings to phone calls. Every client gets our undivided attention and focus. We listen to what our clients have to say, answer their questions without using confusing technical language, and develop case strategies that fit what our clients tell us about their short, medium, and long-term needs.
We credit that approach not only for the great success in terms of the amount of money we have recovered for clients, but also—and more importantly—for the positive feedback we’ve gotten from our clients about their appreciation for our warmth, class, and going above and beyond to show that we care and have their backs. We love our job because it gives us the opportunity to make a real impact for people who have had their lives turned upside down by an injury or tragic loss through no fault of their own.
The team at Benson & Bingham understands that no two motor vehicle accidents are alike, especially when those accidents involve motorcycles. We have to stay flexible and focused when we represent injured motorcyclists because oftentimes their injuries are serious and evidence to support their claims can be hard to obtain. Below we discuss some of the tasks that we often perform when we represent a motorcycle accident victim or victim’s family.
All of the tasks listed below vary from case-to-case, but our dedication to meeting with, listening to, and learning from our clients never wavers. At Benson & Bingham, our first priority in all new motorcycle accident cases is to sit down one-on-one with our new clients wherever is most convenient for them and listen to their stories. Of course, we want to hear about the accident and injuries that brought them to us, but that’s just the start. We also aim to learn about our clients’ life achievements, goals, and dreams. We want to fully understand what makes life worth living for them, and how their injuries have affected those pursuits. Furthermore, we want to understand what our clients need not just to make a full physical recovery but also to move forward with their lives emotionally and financially.
As lawyers, we can’t make very many promises, because law practice, like life, is complicated and ever-changing. However, we can promise that in Benson & Bingham you have trusted, compassionate counselors who care about your needs and aim to serve them in everything we do.
Unlike accidents that involve larger motor vehicles, motorcycle accidents don’t always leave much evidence behind. There’s likely a damaged bike and perhaps some damage to the other vehicle (assuming another vehicle was involved), but by and large, motorcycle accidents don’t leave the tell-tale swath of destruction that usually helps accident investigators piece together what happened. Plus, in a motorcycle accident, the victim may have little recollection of the incident or have sustained such severe injuries that he or she can’t communicate effectively.
For less experienced lawyers, investigating a motorcycle accident might pose a serious challenge, due to the limited evidence available, but not for the legal team at Benson & Bingham. From the moment a client retains us, we immediately start to gather every shred of evidence that we can find from every available source, which is why the sooner that you come to see us, the better. We typically consult police reports and insurance reports first, but we don’t stop there. We seek out security camera footage, visit the accident scene, track down eyewitnesses, and work to preserve the damaged bike so that a forensic mechanic can inspect it. We also often work with experts in the field of accident reconstruction and motorcycle mechanics to evaluate the moment-by-moment factors that likely led to the accident.
We also take the time to investigate our clients’ injuries. We strive to understand how they got hurt, how badly hurt they are, what a full recovery will consist of, and what it will cost. We also consider the impact of the accident on our clients and their families. For example, did they miss a significant amount of work or school due to their injuries? Did their injuries prevent them from engaging in their favorite hobbies and other activities? Did the accident negatively affect their relationships with loved ones?
Once we collect the appropriate evidence, we analyze it. What are we looking for? While every case is different, we’re usually looking for the following:
Legal liability and ability to pay. First, we’re looking for evidence that someone else’s careless actions or poor decisions caused our client’s accident. Or, to put it another way, we’re looking for signs that had the responsible party acted differently, the accident (and our client’s injuries) likely would not have occurred. Next, we determine which of the liable parties is able to pay our client damages, usually through insurance but sometimes out of personal or company assets.
Provable damages. Second, we attempt to gather as much evidence as we can to establish the exact cost of our clients’ injuries. This cost is often difficult to calculate, as many intangible losses do not have an exact dollar amount attached to them. That’s why we sometimes work with financial and medical experts to estimate our clients’ future financial needs. We also factor in the pain and suffering that our clients have endured and continue to endure.
The above explanation is a simplification of a complex process. However, by the time we’re finished investigating and analyzing a motorcycle accident incident, we want to know who owes our client money, who can pay it, and how much compensation our client should seek.
Armed with that information, we make a “demand” for compensation from the party or parties who we believe are legally responsible for our client’s injuries. In the vast majority of cases, that demand finds its way into the hands of an insurance adjuster, who evaluates the claim and determines whether the company is willing to offer a settlement, and if so, how much.
This is where our hard work investigating and analyzing cases often pays off. We prepare our demands carefully and thoroughly so that they can withstand scrutiny from insurance companies who don’t want to pay out any more compensation than is necessary to close a claim. Because that’s how we’ve always practiced, our reputation often precedes us in these negotiations. Insurance adjusters know that when Benson & Bingham represents a motorcycle accident victim, our claims have strong factual and legal support.
In many cases, our demand—along with some back-and-forth negotiation—yields results for our clients in the form of a fair and reasonable settlement offer. The attorneys at Benson & Bingham have good negotiation skills, and we come to the table ready to back up our claims and defend against any attempts by the insurance company to deflect liability. Thus, while it’s true that lots of cases settle prior to filing a lawsuit, the lawyer you have negotiating your settlement matters.
Unfortunately, settlement isn’t always viable in motorcycle accident cases, at least not immediately. Sometimes, insurance companies or defendants, particularly when there are personal or corporate assets on the line, refuse to offer an adequate settlement and instead choose to deny or dispute an injury claim. When this occurs, Benson & Bingham is ready to file a lawsuit on behalf of our clients, as long as that is their wish as well.
When settlement negotiations stall, our first priority is to help our client understand what filing a lawsuit will mean for them. We never push clients into going to trial if it’s not suitable for their needs and life situation, even if we feel it’s a winnable case. Going to trial is always the client’s decision first and foremost.
If a client decides to pursue litigation, then we’re ready to defend his or her rights in court. Benson & Bingham attorneys are trial lawyers by nature, training, and experience. We relish the chance to argue our clients’ cases to judges and juries. In fact, opposing attorneys often know this, which sometimes helps bring cases to successful settlements once the other side realizes litigation is possible. Just as we take pride in our personal touch with our clients, we take similar pride in our ability to explain the circumstances of our clients’ accidents to juries in language that they understand. We strive to convey why our clients deserve maximum compensation for their injuries. Some of our largest case outcomes, in terms of dollar value, have resulted from jury awards.
When we succeed in negotiating a settlement or securing a jury verdict, we make sure that we follow all necessary procedural details to ensure that our clients receive their compensation as soon as possible. We know how important it is to our clients to receive the compensation owed to them, which can also bring them a much-needed sense of closure. We’re not satisfied with our work until we have done our utmost to bring a case to a satisfactory resolution for our client.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in hiring a motorcycle accident attorney and have a lot of legal questions about your accident. The team at Benson & Bingham wants to help you and answer your initial questions, regardless of whether you end up retaining us to represent you. Below we discuss some ideas for how to select the right motorcycle attorney and what questions to ask prior to making a decision about who to retain for your case.
Motorcycle accidents can upend people’s lives. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, then you’ve likely suffered some pretty serious injuries. If you are a spouse or family member of a motorcycle accident victim who suffered serious injuries or died in an accident, you are probably struggling through an extremely difficult and emotional time.
Our first piece of advice is to get the medical help that you need to make sure that you are in the physical condition and frame of mind where you feel like you can hear, understand, and respond to legal advice. We want you to come to us as soon as you can, but not before you’re ready.
We don’t expect anyone who has suffered the trauma of a motorcycle accident, either as a victim or as a victim’s loved one, to come to us with every piece of evidence that we need to build a case. It’s our job to put together a compelling case for why you should receive compensation from the parties who harmed you.
However, you will provide your motorcycle accident lawyer with a head start if you collect as much evidence as you can before your first meeting. Medical records, police reports, any insurance documentation, and any photographs or videos that you took at the accident scene are always helpful. Also, it can be extremely helpful if you refrain from making any repairs to your motorcycle until after you speak with an attorney and someone can inspect it. In the event a mechanical defect led to your accident, that damaged bike is going to to be the single most important piece of evidence you have.
As for the rest of the evidence gathering and analysis, leave that to your lawyer while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
If the circumstances of your accident make it obvious that someone else caused your motorcycle accident, then you should remain vigilant of sketchy insurance tactics. Of course, you’ll have to deal with your own insurance company for certain issues, like reporting the accident for property damage purposes and making sure your health insurer knows about the accident. Those interactions are usually amicable and without issue.
However, sometimes when it’s obvious that someone else caused your motorcycle accident, you might get a call from an insurance company representing the at-fault party. If that happens, be careful about what you say. Remember, the insurance adjuster on the other end of the line isn’t your friend. The adjuster’s goal is to get you to say something that undermines your claim against the at-fault party, to agree to a low initial settlement offer, or both. The one thing that the insurance adjuster doesn’t want to do is pay you the maximum amount of money that you should receive for your injuries and losses.
We understand how tempting it often is for motorcycle accident victims and their families to jump at the offer of immediate compensation, but keep in mind that any money an insurance company offers you at the onset of your personal injury claim is likely significantly less than what you should receive given what your injuries have already and will continue to cost you. Furthermore, these initial settlement offers usually come with strings attached. Any settlement you agree to requires that you sign away your right to sue the insurance company and the party it insures for further compensation. There are no take-backs or do-overs. Once you’ve signed a settlement and accepted payment, your rights to recover any more money from that party and its insurer are usually gone forever, regardless of what future expenses you may incur.
At Benson & Bingham, we encourage anyone who has sustained injuries or losses in a Las Vegas motorcycle accident to speak with an attorney before signing or agreeing to any kind of settlement with an insurance company. If anyone who might owe you money for your injuries suggests coming to an agreement without consulting legal counsel first, you should get a lawyer involved right away.
Our mission at Benson & Bingham is to serve our clients’ best interests following any accident, including those involving motorcycles. That usually means working our hardest to maximize a settlement amount or jury award. It also always means doing our best to take as much of the stress and burden of post-accident life off of our clients’ shoulders as possible.
Recovering from motorcycle accident injuries and losses is difficult enough without having to worry about the sorts of administrative and technical issues that lawyers deal with every day. Let your lawyer handle as much of the interactions with insurance companies, other involved parties, their lawyers, and police investigators as possible. A lawyer can and should serve as a buffer between you and the legal world so that you have the personal space you need to recover.
Motorcyclists are at a fundamental disadvantage on the road; they’re smaller, less visible, and more vulnerable than most other vehicles. Accordingly, it should come as no surprise that one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is when the driver of another vehicle fails to see a motorcycle and drives directly into its path. Consider the following accident scenarios:
A car makes a left-hand turn into the path of a motorcycle. Cars and trucks turning across oncoming traffic pose a particular hazard to motorcyclists. If the motor vehicle driver doesn’t see the oncoming motorcyclist and turns into the motorcycle’s path, the biker usually has insufficient time to avoid colliding with the side of the vehicle. Similarly, if the motorcycle is traveling in the same direction as the turning car, the motorcyclist may not have time to react when the car turns across his or her lane.
A car cuts off or crowds out a motorcycle. On a road with at least two lanes traveling in the same direction, motorcyclists often face the risk of accidents caused by motor vehicle drivers merging into the motorcyclist’s lane and running the motorcycle off the road.
While these are two of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, they are not the only causes. At Benson & Bingham, we are also always on the lookout for other potential explanations for our clients’ accidents, such as:
Dangerous road conditions. Governmental entities and private road owners have an obligation to maintain roads that are safe for travel. Of course, we understand that road crews can’t fix every crack in the pavement immediately, but if someone responsible for road maintenance designs, builds, or unreasonably fails to correct a dangerous road condition, it puts motorcyclists at risk.
Defective bikes and bike parts. Every motorcycle manufacturer has an obligation not to sell products that are unreasonably unsafe. When a defective bike or aftermarket bike part ends up on the road and fails, it puts the rider at risk of an accident.
No matter how your motorcycle accident happened, if you believe it was not your fault, then you should seek the advice and counsel of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Accident victims sometimes think that because they can’t identify exactly what caused their accident, they cannot recover damages. However, that’s not the case. Let an attorney help you determine your eligibility for compensation today.
Motorcycle accidents are often fatal, as the Nevada DOT statistics linked above show. Even when bikers survive a motorcycle accident, they often have to contend with major, life-altering injuries.
At Benson & Bingham, one of our areas of strength as personal injury lawyers is our familiarity with the types of severe injuries that result from motorcycle accidents. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges associated with overcoming such injuries. We know the right questions to ask doctors and other medical professionals to assess our clients’ prospects and needs for recovery.
Here are some of the most common injuries that we help our motorcycle accident clients overcome:
Spinal cord injuries. In many motorcycle accidents, the force of the collision ejects the rider from the bike directly into an object (often a motor vehicle or highway barrier) and then onto the ground. These are violent impacts that can cause severe injury to riders’ spinal cords, the bundle of nerves that runs through the spinal column and communicates messages from the brain to the body. An injury to the spinal cord can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, which can completely change a victim’s life. These injuries and the secondary conditions that they cause can cost millions of dollars in therapy, treatment, home modifications, and services over a lifetime.
Traumatic brain injuries. All motorcyclists in Nevada must wear a helmet . Helmets significantly reduce the risk of death in a motorcycle accident, and they also reduce the severity of head injuries. Nevertheless, a helmet doesn’t eliminate the risk of head injury entirely, especially at highway speeds. When a rider’s head impacts an object or the ground, the brain can sustain serious injuries that cause bleeding, swelling, and even tissue death. As a result of these injuries, riders may experience symptoms as mild as constant headaches and motor deficits to severe cognitive impairments and even permanent loss of consciousness.
Severe and disfiguring abrasions and lacerations. Riders often wear gear that minimizes the risk of road rash, particularly in a lay-down accident. However, such clothing isn’t 100 percent effective, and not everyone wears it. A motorcycle accident can cause motorcyclists to sustain abrasions and lacerations across significant portions of their bodies, creating a high risk of infection and the need for painful skin-graft and similar surgeries. When these injuries are particularly severe, they can lead to motor disabilities and disfiguring scars.
Orthopedic and soft tissue injuries. At the very least, motorcycle accidents usually cause some type of broken bone, separated joint, torn ligament, damaged tendon, or internal injuries. It’s difficult for a rider to avoid these sorts of injuries when thrown from a bike at anything higher than driveway speeds. Even though these injuries are rarely fatal, they can still cause severe disruptions in life and leave injured riders with permanent disabilities and chronic pain.
The injuries above are just a sampling of the types of harm that can come to a rider or passenger in a motorcycle accident. We encourage anyone injured in such an accident to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Just because you can physically recover from your motorcycle accident injuries doesn’t mean you should go without seeking compensation for them.
Clients of Benson & Bingham who have suffered injuries and losses in motorcycle accidents often ask us how much their claim is worth. That’s a difficult question to answer straight-out without knowing the specific details of the accident and resulting injuries. Every accident is different. Some of the factors that go into calculating how much compensation an injured individual should seek for their motorcycle accident injuries include:
Regarding the motorcyclist’s level of fault for an accident, Nevada law follows the doctrine of modified comparative fault. Accordingly, an injured individual can recover damages from at-fault parties, even if the injured person is partially responsible for the accident, so long as the injured person is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Under such circumstances, a court will reduce a plaintiff’s damages award by his or her percentage of fault. So, for example, if you sustain $1,000,000 in damages in a motorcycle accident for which you were 10 percent at fault, then you could recover a maximum of $900,000 in damages.
Every victim of a Las Vegas-area motorcycle accident deserves the best possible legal representation. Those who enlist the services of Benson & Bingham get just that. We are a personal injury law firm dedicated to serving the needs of injured Las Vegas residents and visitors. We can provide the legal expertise and assistance needed to ensure your medical bills are paid and you receive deserved compensation for your pain and suffering from your motorbiking injury. Come talk to us and find out how we will put our commitment to personalized personal injury law to work for you after your motorcycle accident. Contact us online or call us at (702) 382-9797 to schedule a free, confidential, in-person consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.
Did you Know: Benson & Bingham was selected as a Best of Las Vegas Winner in the category lawyers by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the city’s longest running reader’s choice awards.