Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence in Las Vegas. Too often, car, truck, or bus drivers overlook road safety for motorcyclists. When a driver fails to see a motorcyclist or recklessly ignores their right to be on the road, the result could be a catastrophic accident. Unlike drivers and passengers in vehicles, a motorcyclist lacks enough protection in case of a collision. In a motorcycle accident resulting from reckless driving, motorcyclists could lose their lives or escape with severe and life-changing injuries.
Fortunately, victims of motorcycle accidents can recover compensation for their injuries. By filing a civil lawsuit against the individuals responsible for your accident, you could recover the losses resulting from the accident. Battling a civil claim can be a challenging process, especially when you are nursing the injuries from the accident. Therefore, you will require the insight of a personal injury attorney. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we offer legal guidance and representation for all our clients battling a personal injury claim in Las Vegas, NV.
Overview of Reckless Driving Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles are a popular means of transport in Nevada. You can save on gas money and still have fun touring different and beautiful areas in the state. However, according to the Nevada Department of Transport, one out of traffic fatalities on Nevada roads is a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists lack the necessary protection, and their exposure and vulnerability to outside forces increase their risk of injury during an accident. When a motorcyclist hits a pothole and loses control, they could suffer an accident. However, catastrophic accidents involving motorcycles are often a result of reckless driving.
Reckless driving occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle in a way that puts other road users in harm's way. Reckless driving involves major violations that could cause harm to the driver, their passengers, or other road users. Some of the most common exhibitions of driver recklessness that result in motorcycle accidents include:
Driving under Drug or Alcohol Influence
Drunk driving is a leading cause of accidents in Nevada. Under Nevada law, a drunk driver operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol content that exceeds the state's legal limit. Additionally, driving while your conduct is impaired by using alcohol or other drugs is classified as driving under the influence of drugs.
When the driver is intoxicated, their mental capacity and ability to react to emergencies quickly are impaired. The use of alcohol affects a driver by:
- Impacting their depth and distance perception. This makes it more challenging to notice the motorcycles.
- Limit their vision. An intoxication may fail to see danger ahead until it is too late and the inevitable motorcycle accident.
- Slows reaction time. A driver whose conduct is impaired by the use of alcohol may have a slow reaction to an emergency.
- Lowering the straight-line driving performance by impacting the driver's control of the vehicle
A driver is considered distracted if their mental or physical concentration is not on the road. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, the likelihood of hitting obstacles, other vehicles, or even motorcycles on the road increases. All road users could suffer serious injuries from accidents caused by distracted drivers. Driver distraction is any activity that takes away the driver's attention and concentration off the road. Common behaviors that result in diver distraction include:
- Reaching out for items in the vehicle.
- Texting r using a mobile phone while on the wheel.
- Eating or drinking.
- Monitoring passengers.
- Looking at electronic devices like the GPS.
Excessive speeding increases the risk of motorcycle accidents. Driving over the required speed limit at certain points if the road violates the traffic law and presents a risk of involvement in an accident. There are several reasons why drivers over speed on the roads in Nevada, including:
- Traffic congestion. With an increase in the number of vehicles on our rods, some drivers could respond to the congestion by speeding.
- Running behind schedule. A driver may tend to speed when they are late for work or other appointments.
- Ability to remain anonymous. Especially when one is alone in a vehicle, the isolation and detachment from the rest of the world could prompt a driver to speed.
When a driver operates a vehicle at high speed, there is an increased likelihood of losing control over the vehicle. The reaction and ability to stop the vehicle while at high speed is slow, and thus the driver could hit a motorcyclist.
Failure to Yield
Motorcycles are the most dangerous vehicles to operate on the streets of Las Vegas. Motorcyclists are harder to see when compared to other vehicles, and this increases their risk of involvement in an accident. Failure to yield to the right of way is a common driver error that causes motorcycle collisions. Failure to yield in this case occurs when a car or truck driver ignores the motorist or fails to allow them a space to pass on the road.
Failure to yield violates the state traffic law, which establishes that one vehicle has the right to proceed over another at an intersection. Unless the intersections are controlled, it is common for a driver to ignore the motorcyclist's presence on the road and thus fail to yield to the right of way.
What Should I Do After a Reckless Driving Motorcycle Accident?
The steps you take following a motorcycle accident in Nevada could affect the outcome of your injury lawsuit. Some of the crucial steps you must take include:
- Stay safe. If your motorcycle is hit by a vehicle, you could be thrown into the middle of the road, which places you at a higher risk of suffering more serious injuries. If you can move, it would be wise to move to a safe area. However, moving the motorcycle before the police arrive could interfere with the evidence necessary to support your claim.
- Seek medical care. While the moments following a motorcycle accident can be confusing, your health should be a priority. Therefore, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Those will help in the early detection and treatment of injuries. Additionally, your medical report acts as a critical piece of evidence to support the damages you suffered in your lawsuit.
- Contact the Police. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident owing to reckless driving, it would be wise to inform the police. On arrival at the accident scene, the officers will assess the situation and write a report indicating the facts of the case. The police report is used to establish that the defendant is liable for the accident and your injuries.
- Take photographs or a video of the accident scene. If you have suffered severe injuries in the accident, it may not be easy to document the scene. However, you can try to note down a few key pieces of information. Taking a video or pictures of the wreckage could help overview the accident. Additionally, you can take pictures of your injuries for use as evidence when you claim compensation.
- Do not admit fault for the accident. Even when you feel that you contributed to the motorcycle accident, you should never admit fault. It would be best to leave it to the court to determine your involvement in the accident. Instead, it would be wise to contact your attorney.
- Avoid discussing your injuries. As soon as they learn of your accident, the insurance provider of the fault part will contact you to gather information on the accident. Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart and will try to push you into a situation where you accept as little compensation as possible. Therefore when the insurance adjusters contact you, you should avoid stating that you are not injured. It would be best if you waited for the doctor's report to determine whether or not you suffered an injury.
Injuries Common in a Reckless Driving Motorcycle Accident
Many people are aware of the risk of involvement in a car accident. However, most road users fail to acknowledge the severity of a motorcycle accident, especially when other vehicles are involved. The lack of protection puts motorcyclists at a higher risk of suffering severe or fatal injuries after a collision with a vehicle. If you survive a reckless driving motorcycle accident, you could be left with severe and life-changing injuries, including:
Road rash is one of the leading motorcycle accident injuries. After an impact with a vehicle, the motorcycle rider is likely thrown off the bike and onto the road. A road rash is a skin abrasion that occurs when your skin is scrapped by metal, gravel, or other objects on the road. Road rash can occur on the face, palms, legs, arms, or shoulders. While road rash is mostly considered a minor injury, there are instances where several layers of your skin could be scrapped off, increasing your susceptibility to infections.
Some of the symptoms you could experience after a rod rash include reddening and skin inflammation. When left untreated, the wounds from the road rush could become septic and cause you far worse health problems. If you experience the symptoms of a road rash after a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas, it is crucial to seek medical attention.
Broken bones are a common injury in all types of road accidents. However, the injury is a more likely consequence of a reckless driving motorcycle accident. Broken bones result from a bone's inability to withstand the pressure from the accident. A high energy impact from a vehicle to the motorcyclist could cause serious injury to the bones in your body.
Some of the common symptoms of broken bones you need to look out for after a motorcycle accident include:
- Severe pain. As with most accident injuries, the motorcycle accident victim could experience serious pain in the area with the broken bone.
- Swelling. In addition to experiencing pain, an area with a broken bone could appear bruised and swollen.
- Inability to move. If you have a broken bone in an area that requires active and constant movement, you could notice an inability to move.
- Deformity. In serious cases of broken bone injuries, the body part with the broken bone could appear deformed.
Some of the symptoms of a broken bone may not be very serious. However, seeking medical attention will help in the early detection and treatment of the injury. Broken bones take a long time to recover, and you may need to spend a lot of money treating the injury. Additionally, severely broken bones could result in amputations and disability.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to your neck and back are common in motorcycle accidents, especially when reckless drivers are involved. When there is a serious impact on your back, part of the spinal cord could be damaged. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, you could experience symptoms ranging from serious pain to paralysis. After a spinal cord injury, most victims lose the body function below the point of injury.
In addition to the loss of movement, a spinal cord injury could result in:
- Respiratory difficulties.
- Circulatory problems.
- Muscle spasms.
- Sexual dysfunction and infertility.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control.
Spinal cord injury is rarely reversible and could significantly diminish the quality of your life. Regardless of your spinal cord injury severity after a reckless driving motorcycle accident, you do not have to shoulder all the losses. You can recover compensation for these life-changing injuries by filing a car accident claim.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Due to the lack of protection, motorcyclists are at a high risk of suffering head injuries after a collision with another vehicle. A motorcyclist is sixteen times more likely to suffer a head injury than a driver or a vehicle passenger. A traumatic brain jury can result from head trauma or sharp object penetration into the skull. Depending on the seriousness of the impact, a brain injury could range from minor concussions to serious brain injuries that could leave you in long-term care. Some of the signs of brain injury after a motorcycle accident includes:
- Severe headaches
- Blurred vision
- Cognitive and physical impairments
Traumatic brain injury so one of the most catastrophic=n injuries you can suffer from a motorcycle accident. Sometimes, the injury is permanent, and your life could change forever from such an experience. Even in minor head injury cases, it is imperative to seek medical care. The doctor will analyze your condition and decide the right course of treatment.
Blunt force trauma to your body can injure your internal organs. The most common internal injuries could include spleen rupture and brain bleeds. While internal injuries are not easily detectable, they can be fatal when left untreated. Therefore, it is always crucial to seek medical attention immediately after an accident to detect internal injuries.
Proving Liability in a Motorcycle Accident in Las Vegas
Motorcycle accidents are very similar to car accidents regarding personal injury law in Nevada. However, motorcyclists seeking compensation for injuries from a reckless motorcycle accident are likely to be met with prejudice and bias. The burden of proof in such a lawsuit lies on the motorcyclist. Fortunately, you can overcome the bias by proving that the driver was reckless and their actions resulted in your injuries.
Liability in a motorcycle accident is based on negligence. Negligence, in this case, is based on the following elements:
- Duty. In a reckless driving car accident, the first element you must prove is that the fault party owed you a duty of care. A driver's duty is their legal obligation to follow all the traffic rules and act in a way that does not place other road users at risk of harm.
- Breach of duty. Proving that a defendant owed you a duty of care is not enough to show that they were negligent. It would be best to establish that the fault party breached the duty of care. A breach of duty occurs when a driver acts in a manner that puts you at risk. The driver's actions will be compared to those of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. Some of the ways through which a driver breached their duty of care towards you are drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding, among other reckless behaviors.
- Causation. When proving liability in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you must show how the driver's conduct resulted in your injuries. Linking the defendant's conduct with your injuries is very challenging, and you must prove that the injuries did not exist before the accident.
- Damages. Before you recover compensation in your motorcycle accident lawsuit, you must prove that you suffered damages from the accident. Some of the damages include lost wages and medical expenses.
Compensation Benefits in a Reckless Driving Motorcycle Accident
If you are successful in your motorcycle accident claim, you could recover the following benefits from the insurance provider of the fault party:
Under Nevada law, a person who wrongfully causes an accident will be held liable for the medical expenses resulting from the accident injuries. The injuries resulting from negligent motorcycle accidents are often very severe. You will need to spend a significant amount of time in the hospital and pay substantial medical bills.
Since most liable parties do not accept fault for the accident until proven in court, you can use other methods to pay your medical expenses and recover later after the settlement. Before you are compensated for your medical bills, you will need to present your medical bills, indicating your injuries' extent. Additionally, the insurance company may seek to review your medical reports dating five years before the accident. This is to ensure that the injuries for which you seek compensation resulted from the motorcycle accident.
Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity
Lost wages are the money you lose from missing work following the accident. Since motorcycle injuries could take a while to heal, you may need to stay away from work for a substantial period. In Nevada, lost wages could be in the form of salary, self-employment income, commissions, or even overtime pay. If you can prove that you missed work to recover from the injuries, you can recover lost wages compensation.
On the other hand, lost earning capacity is the loss of your ability to return to the job position you held before the accident. A permanent injury is not necessary for you to be compensated. You can recover these compensation benefits as long as the injuries haven’t healed before the settlement.
Pain and Suffering
The pain that accompanies motorcycle accident injuries can be very serious. Foe moat o these injuries, you will need to undergo lengthy and painful procedures. Additionally, you could suffer emotional trauma and suffering due to the accident's effects. While you cannot put a dollar value on pain, you can still recover compensation.
Find a Skilled Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Involvement in a motorcycle accident can be a very devastating experience. The injuries resulting from the accident could take a toll on your physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. Unfortunately, reckless driving from car or truck drivers is common and can result in serious motorcycle accidents and injuries. If you are a victim of a reckless driving motorcycle accident, you can claim compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and lost future earning capacity, among other losses.
Additionally, you can recover wrongful dealt compensation benefits if your loved one lost their life in this type of accident. Pursuing a motorcycle accident lawsuit can be challenging, especially when dealing with accident scene investigations and insurance companies. Seeking legal guidance is crucial as you navigate a car accident lawsuit in Las Vegas, NV. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we understand the trauma associated with involvement in a reckless driving motorcycle accident, and we will guide you through the claim to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us today at 702-576-0010 to discuss your claim.