Motorcycle riders can be seen on all the roads in New Orleans. For them, riding a motorcycle is both a hobby and a convenient means of transportation at the same time. However, they are also more vulnerable than other road users because their vehicle offers them no protection in case of a collision with a stationary object or another vehicle. When a negligent driver causes a motorcycle crash, the injured rider has the right to seek compensation for their economic damages, pain and suffering. If you or a loved one was injured in a traffic accident while riding a motorbike, we encourage you to schedule a free case review with the experienced New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys at Wright & Gray law firm.
We will analyze your case carefully, explain your legal rights and help you prepare and negotiate your motorcycle accident claim. We have the experience and dedication to fight on behalf of every client in order to obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to receive from the fault party. We know that you are accumulating medical expenses as your wages stop coming in while in the hospital or undergoing physical therapy and rehabilitation. Thus, we will endeavor to recover all the eligible damages you suffered as a result of the accident caused by the negligent party.
What Are the Most Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Driver error or negligence are the most frequent causes of motorcycle crashes. Whether we are talking about inexperienced drivers, people who exceed the maximum speed limit, or drive under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, all these instances cause traffic accidents leaving motorcycle riders with severe or catastrophic injuries.
However, distracted driving is the most prevalent cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents. Texting and driving is a serious problem among drivers across the US, not only in Louisiana. Any New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney can tell you that even a few seconds of not paying attention to the road and other vehicles is enough to cause a tragedy.
Other causes of these types of accidents are:
- drowsy driving (driving fatigue is most prevalent among overworked truck drivers)
- aggressive driving (tailgating, changing lanes frequently)
- the motorcycle rider is in the blind spot of the driver who is trying to make a turn
- dangerous road conditions (wet or icy road, potholes or debris on the road)
- defective motorcycle or car (a critical part of the vehicle, such as the tires or the brakes, has a manufacturing defect and malfunctions).
Types of Injuries Motorcycle Riders May Suffer
Very few motorcycle riders are lucky to walk away from a crash with minor injuries, such as road rash, cuts, and bruises. Unfortunately, in the experience of our New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys, most motorcycle accident injuries are severe injuries, such as:
- bone fractures
- brain injuries
- spine injuries (including spinal cord injuries)
- head injuries
- permanent nerve damage
- internal organ damage.
These types of injuries usually require immediate medical attention at the accident scene, followed by hospitalization and specialized surgeries and treatments. In some cases, injured motorcycle operators do not make a full recovery. They are left with disfiguring scars and permanent injuries and impairments, including paralysis.
All these translate into very high medical care costs followed by long-term expenses for life care services, assistive devices, and modifications to the home. Moreover, the accident victim may be unable to resume their usual job. Some of them may have to retrain for other jobs, while others can no longer perform any kind of work. In this case, an experienced New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney will include the lost wages, as well as an amount covering the loss of earning capacity in their client’s personal injury claim.
What Happens If You Were Partly at Fault for Your Motorcycle Accident?
Although Louisiana helmet laws oblige all motorcycle operators to wear a protective helmet at all times, not all riders do so. The question is, what happens if you were injured in a motorcycle crash and you were not wearing a motorcycle helmet?
This is an issue determined by the comparative fault principle applicable to personal injury cases. This principle states that, in case of an accident, the percentage of fault of all parties involved shall be calculated. Each party will be able to recover their damages reduced by their percentage of responsibility for the accident. Thus, if your compensatory damages are evaluated at $20,000 and you were found 50% at fault for the accident, you will actually recover $10,000.
An experienced New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney will be able to make an accurate estimate of the percentage of fault which may be attributed to you during the initial legal consultation, after you present all the facts and evidence you collected.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
Our New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys know that the outcome of any case depends in a great proportion on what the accident victim does and says in the aftermath. Many people inadvertently hurt their own cases by making several mistakes.
For this reason, we suggest following the following steps after any motor vehicle accident:
1. Call 9-1-1 and Ask for the Police and an Ambulance
You need medical attention as soon as possible after a motorcycle crash. At the same time, you have to report the traffic accident to the police and ask for a law enforcement team to investigate it and prepare an accident report. Both the police report and initial medical evaluation made by the ambulance team will be useful pieces of evidence supporting your claim against the liable party.
2. Document Your Injuries and Property Damage
While you are waiting for the ambulance and the police, use your phone camera to take photos or videos of your injuries, the damages to your motorcycle, the other involved vehicle, and any other significant elements (wet road, potholes, branches and other types of debris in the middle of the road).
At the same time, discuss with the other driver and obtain their contact details, insurance details, and write down their license plate number. Also, look around for any potential eyewitnesses and traffic cameras that recorded the crash. Ask the witnesses to give you their names and contact detail, so that your New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney may contact them to obtain their statements.
3. Do Not Settle Your Case on Your Own
After a traffic accident is reported, the other party’s insurance company will send an adjuster as soon as possible to settle the case. This may appear helpful and convenient to you, but it is not. The insurance agent is not there to help you, but to make sure you get paid as little as possible, or nothing at all. First, they will try to persuade you to sign a quick settlement. Don’t do it. It most likely doesn’t even cover all your medical bills, let alone other economic and non-economic damages.
Also, do not talk to the insurance adjuster about your accident and do not make any statements. They will try to interpret every word you say as either an admission of fault or proof that you are not as seriously injured as you say in the motorcycle accident claim.
4. Hire an Experienced New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Attorney
The New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys at Wright & Gray law firm work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay any upfront cost to retain an experienced lawyer to analyze your claim and negotiate the maximum settlement you deserve. We retain our fees out of the compensation amount we win for you.
Do not let too much time pass after your accident to hire a New Orleans motorcycle accident attorney – the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state of Louisiana is only one (1) year. Schedule an initial consultation with us as soon as possible: 888-912-4944!