Motorcycles may be fun, but they can also leave you in serious trouble if an accident occurs. It is vital to have a trusted Lafayette motorcycle crash lawyer by your side in cases of collision. This way, you are better prepared for any dishonest insurance policies and have an edge over difficult situations following accidents.
Motorcycle collisions often cause severe injuries. Get informed about motorcycle wrecks and how a professional Lafayette motorcycle accident attorney can help you with compensation for the damages.
While Lafayette offers beautiful riding conditions due to its warm climate, even a leisurely motorcycle ride can quickly turn into a dangerous accident. Consequently, locals of the area are often subjected to various injuries that result from such accidents. Motorcycle collisions can be especially hazardous due to riders’ lack of protection compared to those inside a car. As a result, these accidents often pose some of the greatest risks among all types of accidents.
The severity of bike crashes usually results in fatal or serious injuries. As a result, victims of these accidents should be aware that they can receive compensation from the responsible party. To make this happen, they should seek assistance from specialized motorcycle accident lawyers at highly regarded law firms.
At Wright & Gray, our lawyers appreciate the obstacles involved in motorcycle accident cases, and are ready to take on the challenge of protecting your best interests. We’ll be with you every step of the way when you need us most.
Explaining Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can involve either a bike and the usual car or a commercial vehicle. Therefore, those affected by such crashes could be either the motorcycle rider or their passenger. Additionally, pedestrians and occupants of vehicles may also be victimized by these collisions.
Despite motorcycles making up a small portion of all vehicles registered in the United States, they account for a disproportionate amount of traffic fatalities. In 2019 alone, 5014 motorcyclists lost their lives due to traffic accidents. Due to the lack of protective gear, motorcyclists are at a higher risk for severe injury or death if involved in an accident. This is reflected in the figure and explains why it’s so important to wear helmets or other forms of safety equipment when riding a motorcycle.
Motorcycle collisions come in various forms, such as:
- Head-on collisions
- Left-turn motorcycle accidents
- Motorcycle lane switching/splitting accidents
- No-contact motorcycle accidents
- Motorcycle collisions with stationary objects
- Single-bike motorcycle accidents
- Rear-end accidents
Motorcycle crashes can have devastating consequences, often resulting in extreme injuries. Victims of these collisions may experience a variety of issues, including:
- Arm fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Permanent nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Other head injuries
- Broken ribs and bones
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Road rash
- Knee injuries
It is evident that motorcycle collisions can bring about an array of injuries and traumas. Nonetheless, what’s worse is that they can also lead to fatalities, as the statistics illustrate. Death in this scenario could happen instantaneously or at a later stage due to the medical intervention after the crash. It is essential for motorcycle accident victims to seek medical attention right away after a crash in order to avoid any serious injury.
What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
There is a wide range of causes for the increasing number of motorcycle crashes, with human error being one of the key contributors. In this article, we take a closer look at some of these issues and how they can be avoided.
- Careless Lane Changes: There is a great chance that a driver will cause a motorcycle accident if they change lanes carelessly, as they ignore their blind spots in these situations. Moreover, drivers often fail to signal when changing lanes.
- Speeding:Breaking the speed limit puts both the driver and other road users at risk. It is a major reason for motor vehicle accidents, so if someone is driving too fast, it may result in a deadly collision. In addition, speeding presents a high risk and can lead to accidents due to the fact that it doesn’t give drivers enough time to react and adjust their driving in case of sudden changes in traffic flow.
- Drunk Driving: An alarming number of motorists are driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Intoxication reduces a driver’s ability to react to hazards on the road, as well as their capacity to make rational decisions. This can lead to serious consequences for not just them, but other people on the road as well.
- Bad Roads: Motorcycle accidents in Lafayette can be caused by more than just the negligence of drivers; hazardous road conditions can also contribute to a collision. If the accident is a result of bad roads, you may not be eligible for compensation via legal action. Litigation may only be viable in cases where another party was involved in causing the incident, for example by over-speeding.
- Inexperienced Drivers: It’s often believed that motorcycle riding is less demanding and doesn’t require the same amount of skill experience as driving a car. However, an amateur motorcyclist can be just as dangerous on the road as someone who’s new to driving a car. This is because they may make incorrect choices that could put themselves and other drivers in danger.
Connect with a Lafayette Motorcycle Accident Attorney
At Wright & Gray, we dedicate ourselves to getting every client the settlement he or she needs to recover after a traumatic motorcycle accident collision. Whether you’re injured or grieving, you need help getting back on your feet, and we want to help you do that. We even offer free consultations so you can see before you sign anything that we can get your case settled.
Who Is Liable in a Motorcycle Accident?
As with every type of accident, proving fault is essential in a motorcycle crash. Unfortunately, many people assume that the motorcyclist is always responsible for a collision. This thought is wrong because many other parties could be liable. Establishing responsibility for a motorcycle accident is crucial because Louisiana is a fault accident state. This means that the at fault party compensates the injured victim for their losses.
Any of the parties below can be liable for a motorcycle crash.
The Motorcycle Rider
Motorcyclists are the first sources of motorcycle accident responsibility. This is because they’re the ones in control of the vehicle. So, their actions would have a more direct impact on an accident. So, a motorcyclist will be liable where they drove negligently or recklessly. For example, this would be the case where the driver was over-speeding or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drivers of passenger and commercial vehicles may be liable too. The relevant driver must have been negligent too. However, such a driver mustn’t hit the motorcycle. Instead, a driver can cause an accident without any contact with the bike. For an example of a no-contact accident, imagine a bus driver driving so recklessly. Now, imagine the motorcyclist has to swerve to avoid a collision. In this case, if the swerve results in an accident, the vehicle driver will be liable.
The Motorcycle Manufacturer
A defective motorcycle can also cause an accident. Here, there could merely be a problem with a part of the motorcycle. Faulty parts can include brakes, wheels, or even pedals. However, any little problem could result in a collision. If this happens, the manufacturer of the bike will have to bear liability for the accident.
Recoverable Damages in Lafayette Motorcycle Accident Claims
Motorcycle accidents often result in various financial losses. However, economic losses aren’t the only consequences of motorcycle collisions. Whatever damage you suffer, though, you can recover the following compensation from the liable party.
- Medical Bills: Motorcycle accident victims often require medical attention for their injuries. After such medical care, you can recover all the money you spent in the hospital. Suppose your motorcycle injury requires future medical attention. In such a case, you can get the necessary bills too. Here, your medical records are crucial to getting the maximum compensation.
- Lost Wages: Many motorcycle accidents also prevent the accident victims from working. If they can’t work, their employees most likely won’t pay them either. Therefore, you can recover any wages you lost while out of work.
- Property Damages: You can lose valuable properties in a motorcycle collision. These could be wristwatches or mobile devices. Furthermore, the loss could be that the property got missing or was damaged in the crash. Whatever the case, you can recover the cost of such property from the fault party.
Non-monetary losses also result from motorcycle collisions. Such damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, etc. But, again, skilled personal injury attorneys have the means of assigning dollar amounts to these intangible losses.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain refers to the physical pain the accident causes you. On the other hand, suffering covers the emotional suffering you endure because of the accident. Suffering here will include worry, grief, nervousness, depression, mental anguish, humiliation, etc.
- Loss of Consortium: Suppose you lost a spouse to a motorcycle accident. In such a case, you can claim damages for the loss of your spousal benefits. Such benefits include companionship, sexual intercourse, comfort, care, and affection.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Lafayette Motorcycle Accidents?
Almost all civil claims have a Statute of Limitations. This statute prescribes how long the plaintiff has to file a claim. Furthermore, the rationale behind this statute is that there must be an end to all litigation. In addition, the law prefers plaintiffs to institute actions early when their memories and evidence are still fresh.
In Lafayette, motorcycle claims share the general Statute of Limitations. This is the law that applies to all Louisiana personal injury claims. Notably too, Louisiana has one of the shortest Statutes of Limitations. In Lafayette, you have only one year to file a motorcycle accident claim, and your time starts to count from the accident date.
Furthermore, this time limit applies to your property damage and injury claims. If you institute a legal claim beyond this statutory period, the courts will likely deny your claim. Motorcycle accidents often result in deaths too. When this happens, the deceased’s family or estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The one-year statute also applies to Lafayette wrongful death claims. A qualified attorney can ensure that you file your claim early. Motorcycle accident attorneys are crucial because the courts only extend the statutory period in rare cases. These include situations where:
- The plaintiff was a minor at the accident date
- You discovered the injury after the accident date
- The fault party was unknown