Motorcycle accidents result in some of the most severe injuries. Learn more about motorcycle crashes and how a New Orleans motorcycle accident lawyer can help you.
New Orleans is a great place for riding a motorcycle because of its often warm weather. However, even a recreational motorcycle ride can result in severe motorcycle accidents. Therefore, New Orleans residents often suffer various injuries in motorcycle accidents. Of all accidents, motorcycle accidents often are the most dangerous, because motorcycle riders are more exposed than people inside a vehicle.
So it’s not unusual for a motorcycle collision to result in catastrophic injuries and death. When this happens, accident victims need to know they can recover compensation from the at-fault party. The first step is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer from a top law firm.
Our lawyers at Wright & Gray understand the difficulties that come with a motorcycle crash case, but we’re also prepared to fight for you when you need it most.
Explaining Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident could involve a motorcycle operator and a traditional passenger vehicle or a commercial vehicle. Therefore, motorcycle accident victims could be motorcycle riders or their passengers. Conversely, the collision victim could be a pedestrian or passenger vehicle occupant.
Motorcycles consist of only 3% of all vehicles registered in the US. However, in 2019 alone, 5,014 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. This figure is understandable because, in the absence of helmets and other safety devices, accidents can throw the motorcyclist onto the road, leading to severe injury or death.
Like other auto accidents, there are many types of motorcycle crashes. They include:
- 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
All these motorcycle crash types can result in severe injuries. The common injuries motorcycle accident victims suffer include:
- 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
Clearly, motorcycle accidents can result in various types of wounds. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Instead, as the statistics show, many motorcycle crashes kill their victims. Death here could be immediate, or after the accident, maybe during treatment. Therefore, motorcycle accident victims must ensure they get medical attention after a collision.
What Are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
A wide range of actions, especially human error, contribute to the increasing number of motorcycle accidents. So, we discuss some of such causes below.
- Careless Lane Changes: There’s a great chance a driver will cause a motorcycle accident if they change lanes carelessly. This is because, at that point, they ignore their blind spots. Furthermore, drivers in these situations often don’t signal when changing lanes.
- Speeding: Over speeding is a significant cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, a driver or motorcycle rider driving beyond the legal speed limit may cause a collision. In addition, speeding often results in accidents because it doesn’t give drivers sufficient time to respond to sudden traffic conditions.
- Drunk Driving: Many drivers also hit the road under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, intoxication reduces a driver’s sensitivity to their environment. In addition, it prevents road users from making sound decisions.
- Bad Roads: Negligent drivers aren’t the only cause of New Orleans motorcycle accidents. Instead, dangerous road conditions can also result in collisions. If bad roads cause a motorcycle crash, you may be unable to file legal action. Litigation may only be possible where the relevant party also contributed to the accident, maybe by over-speeding.
- Inexperienced Drivers: Many people think that motorcycle riding doesn’t require the same skill and experience car drivers need. However, an amateur motorcycle rider is just as dangerous as an inexperienced car driver. This is because they can make wrong decisions that could endanger them and other road users.
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 New Orleans 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 New Orleans 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 New Orleans, 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 New Orleans, 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 New Orleans 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
For more information, give us a call at 888-912-4944 or fill out the online contact form below to get in touch with a New Orleans motorcycle accident lawyer.
Speak with a New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A serious motorcycle accident can leave you with an overwhelming number of obstacles in your way—from your own damages to the laws governing your case to the insurance companies. It’s unfortunate, and it can be tempting to choose a quick settlement over the full compensation you deserve, but getting the right compensation can make your recovery much easier.
After such a serious collision, you deserve the best representation possible, and our qualified attorneys want to provide you with exactly that. Our team at Wright & Gray is familiar with the unique needs and concerns that motorcycle accident victims have, and we’re prepared to get you through this difficult time.
If you’re still unsure about the services we provide, give us a call. We offer free, no-strings-attached consultations so we can speak to you about your case before you ever sign a contract or pay a fee. We want you to be prepared for your case, and we want you to know before we ever begin that we’re the right firm for you.