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Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas

Both Joe & Ben are Experienced Motorcycle Riders and Understand the Nuances of Riding

Along with the dry climate, Nevada breeds Harley Davidson enthusiasts and motorcycle fans of all ages. Motorcycle accidents can occur due to many factors, most of which are not the motorcyclist’s fault.

Many of the motorcycle cases seen by Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC arise from vehicles pulling in front of the motorcycle, vehicles tailgating or crowding a motorcycle, or vehicles not being able to see the motorcyclist. 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 utilize 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’s intent. More often than not, the dealership has some liability for the distribution of the machine, and often they assemble the bikes leading to liability exposure.

Faulty handlebars, faulty 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 accidents. Come talk to us and find out how we will put our committed Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to work for you after your motorcycle accident.

Tenets of Motorcycle Accident Law in Nevada

Bike Rules of the Road

Rules of the road for motorcycles are fairly consistent from State to State. Driving defensively is always key, including anticipating how and what might occur. Motorcyclists must drive staggered when driving together is an example of one rule. Other rules include wearing helmets and proper safety gear, and maintaining a motorcycle license. From a personal injury perspective, driving within the rules will help avoid accidents, but obviously does not guarantee someone else will not be careless.

Defective Maintenance

One of our first defective maintenance cases came in our early years of practice. The subject motorcycle was assembled at the shop prior to being put out on the showroom. A buyer purchased the dirt bike and went on a maiden ride in the desert. On the first bump the handlebars collapsed causing the rider to roll over the bike and sustained a major back injury. In litigation we discovered the bike was not torqued to specifications, and in fact, was completely not checked prior to putting on the show room floor. Defective maintenance is a major issue to motorcycle riders if the maintenance causes the crash. Examples of this include: brake lines; tire connections, unfastened brake cables, and old tires. Both partners at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC ride motorcycles and understand the issues that riders confront. Call us today for a free consultation.

Failure to Yield to a Motorcyclist

The #1 cause of motorcycle accidents in Nevada and around the country continues to be car drivers who pull out in front of motorcyclists. There is no time to react and the situation is usually catastrophic. Helmets and head protection may offer little overall protection given the forces involved. The typical scenario is the”superman” departure from the bike. Often the impact is so severe it literally can take the helmet off of the driver unless it is fastened extremely tight on a DOT helmet. Proactive measures can be taken to avoid collisions if enough time has elapsed for the motorcycle driver to make an evasive move. Usually this means a “lay down” of the bike where ankle and leg injuries tend to increase in risk percentage. As avid riders, both partners understand the risks and situations that bikers face and therefore make better motorcycle attorneys. Call us today. Mr. Benson has both an R1200R BMW urban street bike and a Harley Davidson V-Rod Muscle. Mr. Bingham rides a Triumph Café Racer and a Triumph Speed triple. Mr. Bingham currently purchased a custom built bike with the award winning LA Speed Shop.

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage’s

Minimum coverage in Nevada for a motorcycle is $15,000 for liability protection. Too often, we find that drivers fail to adequately protect themselves and fail to purchase UM/UIM coverage. This is a MUST coverage for riders. Cheap UM/UIM coverage, because of the risks, is hard to find. Most insurance companies will only sell up to $500,000.00 in UM coverage; this includes progressive, USAA, and Geico who are the bigger motorcycle insurance carriers. Sadly, many clients come to our office with little or no uninsured motorists coverage or underinsurance coverage, and they find out that, after an accident, the person who caused the accident only has $15,000 or worse, no coverage. This is extremely problematic if the injuries are significant. Most riders also lack health insurance, which compounds the problems- they are injured with no medical or financial help. If you have a question and would like to speak with our motorcycle accident lawyers, call Joseph L. Benson II, Esq. or Ben Bingham Esq. Both attorneys who are both experienced riders and understand the risk of motorcycles.

Motorcycle Injuries

Motorcycle injuries are often very severe if the victim survives. Motorcycle accidents, by their very nature, cause a variety of injuries. Those injuries range from broken bones to brain injury. Our firm has handled the gambit of injuries. Broken forearms to severe brain damage cases all deserve major attention. Helmet laws and helmet use have increased over the years, but it has not decreased the injuries to extremities. Broken legs, ankle and knees are very common in side-impact cases. Road rash is also a very common motorcycle injury. If you have major motorcycle injuries, it is imperative that you get the necessary treatment you deserve. If you do not have health insurance, we can get you into orthopedic doctors and other specialists with just a phone call. Do not worry about your medical expenses, call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC today.

Motorcycle Passengers

Motorcycle passengers are always fault free in accidents. Passengers may have to make claims against the drivers they are riding with if the driver was negligent. Insurance coverage is often limited in motorcycle accidents and it is important to inspect all avenues of income sources to make sure passengers and motorcyclists are made financially whole.

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, Reno 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.

Source: zerofatalitiesnv.com

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, and someone else caused the accident, then contact the experienced Las Vegas motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC today. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses.

About Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Ben Bingham on-a HD bagger from Las Vegas to Oregon

Nevada 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, we offer quality legal services with a focus on compassion and accessibility.

For over sixteen years, Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC has provided the highest level of legal services to injured Nevadans and individuals from outside the Silver State. We have successfully recovered more than $165 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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 financial gain 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.

About Our Approach to Motorcycle Accident Cases

The team at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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.

Meeting, Listening, and Learning

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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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 with Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC you have trusted, compassionate counselors who care about your needs and aim to serve them in everything we do.

Investigating and Analyzing

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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. From the moment a client retains us, we immediately start to gather every possible piece 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 establishing 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 the responsible party acted negligently, the accident (and our client’s injuries) likely would not have occurred but for their negligence. 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 will 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 for damages, and how much compensation our client should seek.

Demanding and Negotiating

Ben Bingham in Baja, Mexico

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 when Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC have strong & effective 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.

Going to Trial

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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC is ready to file a lawsuit on behalf of our clients.

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 protect his or her rights in court. Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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 a language that they understand. We strive to convey why our clients deserve maximum compensation for their injuries. Some of our largest case results, in terms of dollar value, have hailed from jury awards.

Getting Money Into Our Clients’ Hands

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.

Hire the Right Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC wants to help you and answer your initial questions, regardless of whether you end up retaining our firm. 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.

Take Care of Yourself First

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 can competently 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.

Gather the Evidence That’s Easy to Get Your Hands On

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. Retain your clothing, helmet, gloves and shoes etc… 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.

Watch out for Questionable Insurance Practices and Low Initial Settlement Offers

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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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 any liable party suggests coming to an agreement without consulting legal counsel first, you should get a lawyer involved immediately.

Leave as Much Stress as Possible to Your Attorney

Nevada Personal Injury Attorney
Joseph L. Benson II, and Ben J. Bingham, Las Vegas Motorcycle Injury Attorneys

Our mission at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are at a fundamental disadvantage on the road; they are 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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 Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, 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.

Calculating Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Clients of Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC 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:

  • The severity of the injury and an injured individual’s prospects for a full recovery
  • The accumulated out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident and injury
  • The impact of the injury on the victim’s livelihood, family situation, relationships, and enjoyment of life
  • The victim’s age, state of health before the accident, income, and family situation
  • The financial resources of the party or parties who are legally liable for the accident
  • The potential difficulty in proving legal liability and damages
  • The degree of fault of the motorcyclist for the accident

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.

Personal Injury Attorneys Benson and Bingham Logo Located in Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer FAQ

The excitement of Las Vegas and the thrill of the open road draws many motorcycle enthusiasts to the area. However, motorcyclists are seriously injured or even killed in accidents. Studies show that motorcyclists are 28 more times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those riding in cars. The Nevada Department of Transportation reports that there were 218 accidents which resulted in serious injuries and 54 deaths involving motorcycle accidents in 2017. The majority of Nevada traffic crashes happen in the heavily populated areas of Reno and Las Vegas areas.

What do you need to know about Nevada motorcycle law?

Nevada law permits motorcycles on all roads and highways. Nevada law NRS—Chapter 486 establishes basic rules, which are created to keep everyone safe on the road. To operate a motorcycle on public roads in Nevada, you must be at least 16 years old. You must also hold a motorcycle license or have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Nevada residents are required to register all vehicles, including motorcycles, with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. The Nevada DMV does accept transfers of licenses from other states. In that case, the driving record from the previous state becomes part of the Nevada DMV records. The minimum insurance required in Nevada for motorcycles is “$25,000/$50,000/$20,000”. You should always carry proof of insurance when riding.

As with any vehicle, you are required to follow the rules of the road. In addition, you and any passengers must wear approved helmets, and your motorcycle must contain all the required equipment listed in Nevada Revised Statute 486.180. Required equipment includes at least one headlight, a red tail light, brakes, reflectors, mirrors, and more.

What if another driver is negligent?

When riding a motorcycle, it may not be possible to avoid negligent drivers. Negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”

In general, anyone who operates a vehicle owes a duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. If the other driver was violating a traffic law intended to prevent accidents, the driver might be considered “negligent per se.”

Nevada is an “at-fault” state (also called a “tort” state). This means that whoever caused the accident is liable for the damages caused by the accident. It also means that anyone injured in the accident can bring a lawsuit against the person(s) who caused the accident. Some family members who lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for their loss.

In some circumstances, poorly maintained roads may even cause accidents. Motorcycles are much more sensitive to road conditions. Gravel, potholes, or uneven pavement may cause a motorcyclist to lose control and crash. Faulty motorcycle parts may also cause accidents.

What if the other driver says you are to blame?

If the other driver says you are at fault in an accident, do not apologize or admit fault. The court decides the issue of liability. Even if you are partially responsible for the accident, the other driver may still be liable for your injuries under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule. Nevada Revised Statute 41.141 says that even if an accident victim is partly to blame for the accident, they may still be able to recover some of their damages.

What are some common factors in motorcycle crashes?

There are many factors involved in a motorcycle accident. These factors are complex, but there are certain patterns. Motorcycle crashes tend to occur most frequently in September and May. Fridays and Saturdays have the highest number of crashes. Approximately 67 percent of crashes happen in daylight and many crashes occur from 3 p.m. through 6 p.m. Male drivers ages 26 to 55 are most likely to suffer serious injuries and fatalities, although there has been an increase in fatalities among those ages 20 to 29.

What are the common causes of motorcycle crashes?

As with all motor vehicles, there are many potential causes of accidents. Causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Driving under the influence. Alcohol and drugs affect brain function, such as thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination. All of these functions are essential for operating a vehicle safely. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is a serious offense in Nevada. It can lead to civil and criminal liability, as well as deadly accidents. In 2017, alcohol-related accident deaths accounted for 28.8 percent of the total accident fatalities.
  • Speeding. Motorcycles are often capable of reaching dangerously high speeds. A driver who is speeding is less able to see and react to other drivers. Approximately 33 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were speeding, compared to 19 percent for passenger vehicles and the injuries suffered in a high-speed accident are usually more severe.
  • Left-turn accidents. Statistics show that l 42 percent of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car happen when cars are making left-hand turns. Frequently, a motorcycle is passing a car or traveling through an intersection and a car making a left turn hits the motorcyclist.
  • Unsafe lane changes. Drivers of passenger vehicles may fail to signal or check a blind spot and therefore, merge into a motorcyclist’s lane. Because a motorcycle is a smaller vehicle, the driver of the car may not see the motorcycle in time to avoid an accident.
  • Lane splitting. This means driving between two lanes of traffic. Lane splitting is not legal in Nevada and is particularly dangerous for inexperienced riders.
  • Sudden stops. Tailgating or abrupt stops may lead to serious or fatal injuries to a motorcyclist.
  • Car doors. A driver seated in a parked car may fail to see an oncoming motorcycle and open the car door, hitting the motorcyclist.
  • Unendorsed or unlicensed motorcyclists. Twenty-four percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2016 did not have a valid motorcycle license when they crashed. Motorcyclists sometimes operate their vehicles without proper training or licensing.
  • Hazardous road conditions. Hazardous road conditions are more dangerous for motorcyclists than for those driving other vehicles. Motorcycles are smaller and less stable. Therefore, potholes, debris, uneven road surfaces, or unexpected objects in the road can cause accidents.
  • Motorcycle defects. Defects in the design or manufacture of a motorcycle may lead to an accident.
  • Collisions between motorcycles and fixed objects. Motorcyclists lack the protection of a car, so when a motorcycle crashes into a fixed object, the driver may be thrown from the vehicle or suffer other serious injuries.

What are the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries?

Over 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycles are less stable and less visible to cars. Also, some types of motorcycles have high-performance capabilities. In the event of an accident, a person riding a motorcycle lacks the protection and support of a car’s chassis. They may be ejected from the seat of the motorcycle and strike objects in the path or the ground itself. Based on miles traveled, the risk of death for a motorcyclist is almost 30 times higher than for cars. Major injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Neck, back or spinal cord injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Leg or arm injuries
  • Cuts, burns or abrasions
  • Wrongful death

What types of compensation can I recover for my accident?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages for your losses, such as:

  • Medical bills,
  • Hospital bills,
  • Rehabilitation,
  • Medication and medical supplies,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost earning capacity,
  • Loss of consortium for a spouse or domestic partner,
  • Disfigurement or loss of limb,
  • Scarring, and
  • Pain and suffering.

Retain an Experienced Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Every victim of a motorcycle accident deserves the best possible legal representation. Those who enlist the services of Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC get just that. We are a personal injury law firm dedicated to serving the needs of injured Nevada 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. 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.

Client Testimonial

“Never being in an accident before I wasn’t sure about the best way to go about things. Being referred to Benson & Bingham made this process ease and flow. Phillip was so helpful with making sure I had a full understanding with every step and communicating consistently with me on things. I am so happy with the service I obtained with my case. You guys are the best!!!”

Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Angelique R.
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