What Are Your Legal Options After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. If you’ve been in an accident with a motorcycle, you might be wondering who is at fault and who is liable to pay for damages. There is no straightforward answer for every accident; the facts of the accident will determine who is at fault. Discuss the situation with your Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options after your motorcycle accident.
Who Is Responsible For a Motorcycle Accident In Las Vegas?
Multiple parties can be fully or partially liable for a motorcycle accident:
- The motorcyclist
- Another driver
- Motorcycle manufacturer
- The government entity responsible for road maintenance
What About Comparative Negligence?
Nevada follows the law of comparative negligence, which indicates that the fault of each party is based on a percentage of contribution. The compensation they are entitled to receive for their damages is proportionate to the percentage that they are determined to be at fault. An individual party must be less than 51% at fault to receive compensation.
This means that if a motorcycle is determined to be 30% at fault for an accident and a driver is 70% at fault, the driver cannot file a claim against the motorcyclist, and the motorcyclist can claim only 70% of the compensation he would otherwise be entitled to.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Las Vegas?
Although many drivers blame motorcyclists for causing accidents, there are many factors that can contribute. These include:
- Left Turns: Many motorcycle accidents are the result of a driver turning left who either doesn’t see a motorcycle going through the intersection or makes a poor judgment about how fast the motorcycle is driving. In the majority of these cases, the car driver is at fault. Occasionally, a partial fault may be attributed to a motorcyclist if they were speeding or riding in the wrong lane.
- Road Debris: Another common contributor to motorcycle accidents is debris, gravel, uneven pavement, or other faults in the road. Although they may not be easily noticed by vehicles, they are much riskier for motorcycles. In these cases, liability can be difficult to determine; the accident may be classified as avoidable. Your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover damages from the local government that was responsible for road maintenance.
- Distracted driving: Drivers who are distracted by their phone, eating, the radio, or another passenger can easily miss a motorcyclist. Distracted drivers are liable for the accident.
- Pedestrians: Pedestrians can cause motorcycle accidents when they violate traffic laws by behavior such as jaywalking or failing to obey crosswalk signals. Pedestrians do not always have the right of way and can be attributed full or partial liability for an accident.
- Alcohol: A driver of a vehicle or a motorcycle who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol has a high chance of causing a serious accident. In this case, the drunk driver will be liable. Consult with your lawyer to discuss how DUIs may have affected your accident.
When Is a Motorcyclist at Fault?
Motorcyclists are not always at fault for accidents but sometimes cause accidents. Situations where motorcyclists are fully or partially at fault include:
- Lane splitting: When a motorcycle moves between vehicles or drives between two lanes to get through traffic more quickly. Lane splitting is illegal in the State of Nevada.
- Speeding: Motorcycles can often drive faster than cars, and drivers may lose their patience.
- Distracted driving: Just like other drivers, motorcyclists can become distracted by passengers, eating, their phone, and other distractions.
- Lack of experience: It takes time and experience to become a good driver, and many inexperienced riders are unable to adequately control their motorcycle while keeping up with traffic.
- Corners: Turning corners safely on a motorcycle is a skill developed over time; poor handling of corners can cause accidents.
Just because a motorcycle is involved in an accident does not mean they are at fault. If you’ve been injured in a collision with a motorcycle, contact an experienced Las Vegas motorcycle attorney who can investigate the situation and work to obtain compensation on your behalf.
Are Insurance Companies Biased Against Motorcyclists After an Accident?
Unfortunately, insurance companies are prone to bias against motorcycle drivers. Because some drivers exhibit poor behavior on the road, public opinion tends to follow a particular stereotype. Additionally, because motorcyclists are more likely to sustain serious injuries and will generally require higher compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages, insurance companies may fight harder against the motorcyclist.
Consult with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, get in touch with the attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. We are ready to fight for your rights, negotiate on your behalf, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your damages. Learn more about what we offer by scheduling your free case review today!