In Las Vegas, you are at grave risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries from an unsafe left turn motorcycle accident. Unlike other motorists, you lack protection, and your body acts as the barrier between you and the road surface, which results in severe injuries. Left-turn accidents are often unsafe for you and other motorcyclists. They occur when a car turning left in an intersection smashes a motorcycle speeding through an intersection due to failure to notice the motorcycle or distracted driving.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you are eligible for compensation from the motorist responsible for negligence. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we are ready to assist you in attaining fair compensation for your injuries.
Overview of Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riding is more dangerous in the event of an accident. The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHSA) reports that motorcyclists are 29 times at risk of losing their lives than vehicle occupants. As per the Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Report, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured and 4,976 killed in 2015. Out of all the motorcycle accidents, 42% were caused by motorists making dangerous left turns.
A dangerous left turn collision occurs when a motorist fails to notice a motorcyclist in an intersection or stop sign during a left turn. If you are on speed, you can hit the car turning left, resulting in an accident. Therefore, drivers are encouraged to drive cautiously at intersections and understand that motorcyclists reserve the right of way.
The law has provisions on how motorcyclists should make safe left turns, and all motorists must observe them when approaching an intersection. Despite guidelines being in place to protect all road users at intersections, dangerous left turns continue to risk the lives of many motorcyclists and other road users. And as mentioned earlier, motorcyclists lack the protection other car occupants enjoy, which elevates their risk of sustaining severe injuries like abdominal wounds and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in an accident.
Possible Causes of Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Accidents
In Las Vegas, there are multiple causes of unsafe left-turn collisions. Most of the time, these accidents are caused by turning vehicles and negligent drivers. Discussed below are the common causes of these accidents:
Today, the leading cause of motorcycle collisions is distracted driving. The main cause of distracted driving is using mobile phones or eating while behind the wheel. When a motorist is turning left, their capability to see you, as a motorcyclist, driving through a green light depends on their concentration. Therefore, when the motorists are busy on the phone, eating, or texting, they will not see you, and this causes a left-turn accident. Accidents caused by distracted driving can be avoided when motorcyclists and motorists concentrate on the road.
Disregarding a Red Light
Disobeying a red light when entering an intersection is a common cause of accidents. Many motorists do not wait for the red light to turn before entering an intersection which causes collisions as drivers fail to recognize the motorcyclist with the right of way. Also, when a motorcyclist and another motorist enter an intersection simultaneously, they collide, causing catastrophic injuries, primarily if they are at high speed. Sometimes, the car driver or other motorcyclists are not to blame. Your miscalculations when entering an intersection can result in left-turn crashes.
Unlawful Entry of an Uncontrolled Intersection
Nevada has clear traffic rules that all motorists, motorcyclists included, must adhere to when entering an intersection. Unfortunately, many motorists break these rules by rushing through intersections and stop signs without considering the traffic light. As a result, they make unsafe left turns, which results in accidents.
Many motorists feel good when overtaking. And because of the small size of motorbikes, overtaking motorists will pay more attention to the vehicle they are attempting to overtake and fail to spot the motorcyclist speeding through an intersection, causing accidents.
Furthermore, even when a motorist is not overtaking, sometimes they fail to see an approaching motorcyclist because their small size makes them invisible. Therefore, when a motorist makes a left turn without seeing you or makes a careless left turn, they cause serious accidents. The severity of the injuries depends on the speed of the vehicle.
Responsible Individuals in Left-Turn Motorcycle Crashes
When a motorist intends to turn left at an intersection, the law requires that they wait until it is safe to avert accidents. Also, when a motorist turns left in the lane with oncoming traffic, they should turn on signals to inform the oncoming motorists and motorcyclists that they are switching lanes. A driver or motorcyclist who changes lanes instantly without signaling blocks the lane increasing the chances of left-turn collisions. Therefore, if you are involved in left-turn collisions where you had the right of way or turned right and collided with a vehicle, the driver turning left will be liable for your injuries.
Determining the motorist or motorcyclist at fault is crucial in seeking compensation for your injuries and property damages. It is critical to hold the liable party responsible.
Situations that Shift Liability
Although there is a common misconception that the motorist making an unsafe left turn is to blame for the collision, the blame can shift under particular circumstances, making you partially liable for the motorcycle crash. Circumstances or proof that can make you partially liable for the crash are:
- You were riding your motorcycle in the wrong lane
- You were speeding, which gave the motorists inadequate reaction time, resulting in a crash
- You were attempting to beat a red light while another driver was waiting at an intersection to turn left
Even in these circumstances where more than one party is to blame for the crash, you are still eligible for compensation under the comparative negligence rule. Nevertheless, benefits will be available only if the other party is at least 50% responsible for the crash.
Even when the other party was liable for the collision and subsequent injuries, you must prove negligence with a preponderance of the evidence. The elements you must prove to obtain damages are:
- The liable party owed you a responsibility to act rationally
- However, they breached their responsibility by not driving cautiously
- Their behavior played a considerable role in the injuries and losses sustained
- The injuries resulted in damages
Action to Take in an Unsafe Left Turn Motorcycle Collision
There is no definite approach after a motorcycle accident. Nonetheless, there are tips you can follow after the collision to help you in the future during your injury claim. Not everyone is lucky to walk after an accident. Therefore, if you cannot gather evidence or perform some responsibilities, you can ask someone to do it. The steps you should follow after the accident are:
1. Go for Medical Check-Up
Unsafe left turn motorcycle crashes usually result in catastrophic injuries, meaning chances are high an emergency team will be at the scene to take you to the hospital.
Even when you feel okay or unhurt, it is crucial to seek medical attention. The adrenaline rushing through your body after the accident can avert you from experiencing any pain, which explains delayed symptoms. If the crash has caused internal organ damage, TBI, broken ribs, or internal breeding, the adrenaline will prevent these injuries from manifesting immediately. When you do not seek medical attention right away, the injuries become severe, and they can be fatal when you notice them. However, when you seek treatment early, you will save your life.
Seeking medical attention after the collision will not only save your life but also helps preserve evidence. The doctor conducting the examination will prepare a comprehensive medical report detailing your injuries and the treatment provided. The medical report and receipts will be evidence of the injuries sustained during your claim.
2. Collect Contact Info
Typically, the police gather evidence at the scene and prepare a comprehensive report. Unfortunately, they do not show up in all accident scenes, and even when they show up, they make errors or omissions that could result in little or no compensation. Therefore, if you are not hurt after the motorcycle crash, request contact info from all the involved parties. The information you should collect includes addresses, names, and license numbers. When you gather this information early, even if the negligent driver flees the scene, it will be easy to track them down later. Also, recording witness statements and contact info before leaving the scene makes it easy to find when your attorney needs them to testify in court.
3. Do Not Admit Fault
It is human nature for people to apologize when they bump into each other. However, when it comes to unsafe left turn motorcycle crashes, do not apologize because the statement will be used against you during the claim. You are unsure what led to the accident, and these memories start to unfold sometime after the crash. Therefore, do not apologize because you are unsure of what happened.
4. Take Pictures of the Scene
All the clues and evidence you need in your injury tort are available at the accident stage. So, you should take many pictures and videos of the scene to preserve the evidence.
The law enforcement officers at the scene will probably include pictures and videos of the accident in their reports. However, it does not cost to have your photos as the police can omit some crucial angles of the accidents in their photos, denying you crucial evidence in the case. Therefore, use your phone to take pictures of your injuries, the damage on your motorcycle, and the car involved. Besides, you can take pictures of the surroundings, road conditions, and all hazards that could have contributed to the accident.
5. Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
You should acquire a copy of the police report, ready ten days after the accident. The report is crucial evidence in your case because the insurance company and your injury attorney will need it during negotiations.
6. Preserve Your Pay Stubs, Bills, and Receipts
The amount you will demand as compensation in your claim must be backed by evidence. Therefore, it is crucial to prove your losses and the relationship with the accident. If you received medical treatment after the crash and seek compensation for medical expenses, the medical receipt will prove the amount spent on treatment.
Again, when the motorcycle injuries cause you to miss work, you should submit your pay stubs before the injuries and the lost earnings for the time you missed work due to the injuries.
Additionally, you can claim compensation for costs incurred doing modifications in your house to make it accessible after the left turn collision injuries.
7. Keep a Journal
Proving non-economic damages is not easy because these damages have no dollar value. However, you can keep a journal describing your feelings during recovery. The journal will help with your claim to demonstrate your pain due to the injuries and will guide doctors in future treatment.
Proving Fault in Your Claim
The steps you take after the accident play a critical role in the amount of compensation you will receive. All parties involved in the injury claim, including the police and insurance companies, will investigate the left turn accident to determine who is responsible. Therefore, it is wise to employ the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm to investigate the case for you while you focus on recovery. Our injury attorneys have discussed techniques used by these parties to help you consolidate a claim:
The Law Enforcement Will Investigate Violation of Traffic Rules
When the police arrive at the scene, their goal is to determine the party that is at fault without considering whether you are filing a claim or not. Their investigations will be focused on establishing the following:
- Whether a crime was committed
- Whether there was a violation of the right of way
- Whether the motorist involved in the accident was speeding
- Whether the vehicle was roadworthy
Law Enforcement Investigations
During investigations, police will look for violations of traffic ordinances and whether one individual or all are to blame. They will establish liability by cross-examining witnesses, evaluating physical damage on the vehicle or motorcycle, and estimating the skid marks on the road.
Once investigations are done, the police will prepare a report detailing their opinion on what could have caused the accident and those to blame. Although this report is crucial in your claim, it only contains the officer’s opinion, thus open to interpretation.
The Insuring Company Investigations
Insurance companies review the police report to decide whether to award damages and the amount to award. However, before concluding, they obtain your side of the story before concluding, including the medical report and evidence gathered at the scene like pictures and videos. The insurance company’s investigations aim to determine the party that breached its responsibility to act judiciously.
Fault Determination by the Jury
The jury will determine the at-fault party through a civil proceeding when you take your case to court. They will listen to your arguments and those of the defendant before establishing the party to blame for the crash. The jury relies on property damage, witness statements, accident footage, skid marks, and photos to establish fault.
After the opening statements, your attorney and the defendant will have the chance to make closing statements which involve giving the parties’ position regarding the matter. In conclusion, the jury will be left to decide.
Filing a Claim for a Left Turn Accident
Very few injury claims proceed to the jury trial. After the accident, the insurance firm will reach out to you with a settlement offer. We encourage you not to take the first offer at the Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm because it is usually lower than the settlement you deserve. It is best to involve an attorney in the case because they will negotiate a better deal and ensure the compensation offered is enough to cover all your losses.
When you accept any settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurer, you relinquish your rights to file a lawsuit in court seeking compensation. Therefore, if the settlement amount is not enough, you will have no other legal avenues to claim compensation. You should have an attorney negotiate a reasonable settlement that will cover all your losses.
If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable settlement, you should proceed to file an injury lawsuit. This will force the insurance company to reconsider its offer and offer fair compensation if the case’s facts are in your favor. No insurer wants the case to proceed to court unless they have a strong case.
In a lawsuit, your attorney will file a claim outlining the case, arguments, and the compensation you demand. The opposing side will then be notified to file a response or answer. After, the case moves to the discovery stage, where both parties share their evidence on the case. This can happen through interrogatories which are a form of questions one side asks the other. The questions allow each side to obtain crucial evidence about the accident from the other party. The other way of obtaining evidence from the other party is through a deposition, where parties ask queries under oath. The technique helps capture information that could have been left out during interrogatories.
After this, a settlement is likely to be reached. Nevertheless, if it does not happen, the case proceeds to trial. Trials are lengthy and costly, which explains why parties prefer settlements.
The Role of a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney in your Case
Obtaining the rightful compensation without the help of an attorney can be tricky. You should approach the case alone when you have background knowledge of Nevada personal injury law. If you do not have this knowledge, you should consider an attorney.
One of the reasons for retaining legal counsel in your injury case is objectivity and professionalism. The injuries from the motorcycle crash can hinder your objectivity, pushing you to make wrong decisions like accepting that first settlement offer from the insurance company. An attorney will be objective about the state of the case, and their focus will be on the facts. This, coupled with their knowledge of these cases, will increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
Similarly, attorneys have excellent negotiation skills that are critical in winning your case. Insurance adjusters are professional negotiators who maximize the employer’s profits by offering minimal compensation. An experienced attorney has better negotiation skills to deal with insurance adjusters on your behalf to ensure reasonable compensation.
Also, your injury attorney will come in handy when seeking treatment for the harm. They know medical professionals who can offer the proper treatment to facilitate quick healing. When you do not have health insurance coverage or money to pay for treatment, the attorney can help you find a proper medical professional willing to offer treatment and be paid after receiving compensation.
Moreover, an attorney will advise on the most favorable course of action after evaluating the facts of your case. You can seek compensation by filing a claim or a lawsuit. Usually, a lawsuit is the last option, although it could be your only option when the insurance company fails to offer a reasonable settlement. Your attorney will evaluate the evidence and offer guidance on the right approach.
Lastly, an attorney will offer you peace of mind by allowing you to focus on recovery while they do the hard work. Injury claims are lengthy and complex, and allowing an attorney to handle the case for you saves your time and energy.
Find a Las Vegas Motorcycle Injury Attorney Near Me
As a victim of an unsafe left turn motorcycle crash, it will not be easy to obtain compensation from the liable party because of the complex and confusing personal injury laws. Again, insurance companies work hard to deny compensation or offer the lowest amount. You should seek help from a profound injury attorney who will assist you frame your claim for the best outcome. At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have the knowledge and negotiation skills to help with your claim. Reach out to us today at 702-576-0010 for a free consultation.