According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nhtsa.gov motorcyclists as a whole experience accidents more often than other motorists and are more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries. Injuries from this type of accident can include brain damage, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, road rash and even death.
The open desert roads outside of the Vegas Strip seem to call for a motorcycle to explore. The dark side of that earthly pleasure is the high number of motorcycle accidents that occur on those beautiful highways.
Motorcycles lack the crashworthiness and protections of automobiles. During a crash, ejection from the motorcycle is common, causing riders to collide with objects in their path. An automobile’s weight and safety features (door beams, roof reinforcement, airbags, and seat belts) make it inherently safer than a motorcycle. It is more stable because it is on four wheels, and automobiles are easier to see.
Even if a motorcyclist is extremely careful, they are still vulnerable to negligent drivers. Cars and trucks can have blind spots that can make spotting a motorcycle difficult or sometimes entirely impossible. Constant awareness on the part of the motorcycle driver is of the utmost importance, but even the safest motorcycle driver can become victim to the negligence of another driver. And because motorcyclists have minimal protection when they collide with a larger vehicle, the results can be catastrophic.
Because motorcycle accident injuries can be so life changing, it is necessary to obtain maximum compensation to pay for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost income and property damage. Our experienced attorneys understand the type of injuries motorcyclists suffer and know how to make the insurance companies do the right thing. Contact our office for a no-pressure and free consultation so we can help you fight for your rights.
If you have any questions or concerns about Nevada’s motorcycle laws or if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. Please contact our law firm for a free consultation today.
Motorcyclists in Las Vegas and throughout the state of Nevada must follow the same traffic laws that every driver of a vehicle must follow; however, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles dmvnv.com also has additional safety rules motorcyclists must comply with. including:
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, the failure to adhere to these laws can lead to you being held partially responsible for causing your injuries (see “Comparative Negligence” below).
A Class M license is required to drive a motorcycle in the state of Nevada. To apply:
You need to show Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles proof of residency and your age. You must be 18 years of age & older to apply for a permit. A permit is good up to 6 months from the date it was issued and can only be renewed once in a 5 year period. To complete your permit, you must successfully pass the DMV-administered skills test. Or you have the option of presenting a certificate (dated within one year) showing you have successfully completed one of Nevada’s motorcycle safety program classes, such as Nevada’s Department of Public Safety NevadaRider.com and further testing at the Department of Motor Vehicles is waived. If you are new Nevada resident with a motorcycle license from another state, you have 30 days to transfer you license with Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
Permits can be issued to individuals under 18 years of age, but they are valid for one year from the date of issuance. Your permit may be renewed if necessary as many times as needed but it will expire on your 18th birthday.
Motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to always wear a motorcycle helmet while riding a motorcycle bike on a road or highway in Nevada. Before purchasing a motorcycle helmet in the state of Nevada, make sure the helmet is DOT compliant and has a manufacturer label certifying that the helmet meets with the strict federal safety standards as set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation Transportation.gov
If your motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield or windscreen, you cannot wear an open face helmet. A protective face shield or goggles must be worn at all times along with a helmet. If you do not adhere to Nevada’s helmet laws, apart from risking your life, you incur stiff penalties and fines that over time can lead to your license being suspended.
Motorcyclists have the right to use a whole traffic lane. After coming to a full stop prior to the crosswalk at a traffic signal, a motorcyclist may proceed straight through or turn left or right. If after coming to a full stop prior to the crosswalk at a traffic signal, and the traffic light is found to be either malfunctioning or if the light was not triggered by the motorcycle, a motorcyclist may proceed after the traffic light completes two cycles.
Lane sharing or splitting lanes means to pass or ride next to another vehicle in the same travel lane. Motorcyclists in Nevada are not allowed to Split Lanes or share lanes. This means a motorcycle operator is not allowed to pass or ride next to another vehicle in the same travel lane whether that vehicle is moving or not. This means a motorcycle operator cannot ride next to another vehicle in the same travel lane or between moving or stationary vehicles.
All motorcycles in the state of Nevada must be outfitted with the following equipment:
Motorcycle accidents can be complex events that involve human, environmental and vehicle factors. Below we discuss the most common causes.
Road conditions are a significant cause of motorcycle accidents. Bikers depend more on solid, high friction, well-maintained road surfaces to maintain control of their two-wheeled vehicles.
Government agencies are responsible for maintaining public roads and highways. Because federal, state, and local agencies can be involved in road maintenance, it can be challenging to sort out who should be held responsible if you are injured in a motorcycle accident caused by poor road conditions.
Problems with road design, construction, and maintenance can lead to motorcycle accidents, including:
Sovereign immunity is a legal concept under which government agencies and employees are immune from liability. Fortunately, in Nevada, sovereign immunity does not apply to state and local government in personal injury cases.
Motorcycle accident victims who have been hurt due to the negligence of Nevada state or local government employees while they are carrying out their duties are allowed to sue the government. This includes the right to recover damages from the state or local government for negligence for failing to address dangerous road conditions.
The majority of motorcycle accidents are due to careless acts by passenger vehicle drivers, including:
Nearly half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol. A motorcycle requires skill and coordination to operate. Riding a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol significantly decreases an operator’s ability to operate it safely. Fatigue is also a leading factor in many motorcycle crashes, so take frequent breaks if you are on a long ride–and when in doubt, rest or call it a day.
Motorcycle crashes are often related to lack of experience or failure to take the necessary precautions when operating a motorcycle. Defensive driving is a must for bikers, including being more alert at intersections, where most motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur.
An estimated one-third of motorcycle operators killed in crashes are not licensed or are improperly licensed. Failing to obtain a motorcycle operator’s license means bypassing essential training to ensure you have the knowledge and skills to safely operate a motorcycle.
Motorcycle accidents tend to be more serious than other motor vehicle accidents, and they are especially dangerous for the biker. More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury to, or the death of, the motorcyclist. Any of the severe injuries below can lead to lasting pain, disfigurement, and lost income and quality of life.
Helmet requirements and improved technology have helped reduce motorcycle fatality rates. But even with a DOT-approved helmet, a motorcyclist who survives a crash faces a high risk of serious brain injury from the force of impact with another vehicle, the road or other object. Riders who suffer a traumatic brain injury can have lasting impairments to their ability to speak or carry out other activities of daily life. Injuries can result in extensive rehabilitation, major long-term healthcare costs, and lifetime loss of income.
These painful scrapes, abrasions and more serious injuries can resemble burns and are caused when a motorcyclist slides along the road surface. Infection can be a serious risk, as are scaring and permanent damage to nerves and underlying connective tissue. Severe road rash can require skin grafting, physical therapy and other ongoing treatment.
Motorcyclists are more likely to injure their legs and feet than any other part of their bodies. The Center for Disease Control studied over a million motorcycle injuries and found that nearly 30 percent of the injuries occurred to the lower extremities.
When you’re on a motorcycle, your legs are very close to the ground. If you’re in a crash, they are often the first thing to come into contact with pavement. If a motorcycle rolls, it can crush a rider’s leg or foot, causing fractured or broken bones. Lower limb ligament and tendon injuries are also common for motorcyclists who experience a crash.
Head and neck injuries make up nearly a quarter of all injuries from motorcycle accidents. In serious motorcycle crashes, spinal cord injuries can cause the most serious and lasting damage. Helmets unfortunately provide little in the way of spinal cord protection and may actually transfer the impact of a crash toward the spine. Spinal cord injuries can result in chronic pain, temporary or permanent paralysis, and in the most serious cases, paraplegia or quadriplegia. These catastrophic injuries almost always involve significant damages to the injured party, including long-term medical care and associated costs, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Injuries to the ribs and chest are very common in motorcycle crashes. Injuries to this area can be life-threatening as the rib cage protects vital organs, especially our lunges. Trauma to the thorax area (the chest down to the diaphragm) from a serious accident can result in a collapsed or punctured lung and internal bleeding. Damaged tissue can result in long recovery times and can lead to secondary injuries from infection.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Clark County, you owe it to yourself to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your rights, evaluate your case and your options before you sign any settlement offer, and build a strong case for getting the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you love is a motorcycle accident victim you owe it to yourself to protect your interests. Here are the steps you should take.
Do not sign or agree to any offer from an insurance adjuster, before consulting an experienced Nevada personal injury attorney. Insurance company adjusters and lawyers may appear to be on your side or neutral in the process, but be aware they work exclusively for the insurance company and are working to protect their interests. An adjuster’s job is to help maximize insurance profits and this often means limiting losses (or payouts for damages). You and your loved ones deserve someone who is on your side, protecting your interests at every step of the way. Call us today.
Motorcycle crash claims are similar to other motor vehicle accident cases. They are subject to the two-year statute of limitations and comparative negligence standard we will discuss below. There are important differences between motorcycle accident cases and other personal injury cases. Motorcyclists tend to sustain serious injuries that create major health care costs and lost income. Insurance companies have an interest to aggressively search for minor violations and other ways to place some of the blame onto the injured motorcyclist. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you and your legal team must be ready to fight back against unjust blame for the accident. You owe it to yourself to consult a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling claims involving Nevada motorcycle accidents.
Under Nevada law, the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash must report it if the incident resulted in:
Nevada has “modified comparative negligence” when it comes to personal injury cases. This means that a victim may still be able to recover some damages even if that person is partially to blame for the accident. As long as you are less than 51 percent to blame for the accident, you can recover some of your losses.
If you are found to be partly to blame, your damages are reduced by the percent that you are at fault. For example, if you’re 30 percent to blame, you would recover 70 percent of your damages. If your total damages are $100,000, you recover $70,000. When multiple parties are involved, (for example, two passenger vehicles and a motorcycle) assigning percentages of blame can be complicated. One person’s recovery may be offset by damages that person owes to others involved in the accident.
A jury decides fault in a Nevada personal injury case. They hear evidence from both sides and determine each person’s fault as a percentage. A judge will give the jury instructions about comparative negligence before they deliberate. The jury can decide that someone is entirely at fault. In most cases, a jury’s decision is final.
Insurance companies will often use the same formula to determine what they offer as a settlement. “Comparative negligence” is almost always a judgement call that is subject to your ability to negotiate with insurers or persuade a jury. A skilled attorney with knowledge of past awards and how fault is determined under Nevada law will be invaluable in this process.
The amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim in the state of Nevada, called the statute of limitations, is generally two years from the date that the accident happened or the injury was discovered. This applies to a number of personal injury areas, including:
If you miss this two year deadline, you likely lose your ability to negotiate for fair compensation. So speak with an attorney experienced in Nevada motorcycle accident claims and personal injury law right away. This way, you and your legal team can build the strongest case possible and you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Personal injury, wrongful death, defective product, or other civil case law could play a role in your case. Criminal law could also play a role if a party is prosecuted for a crime related to the accident, such as driving under the influence or hit-and-run. A skilled attorney with experience winning for motorcycle accident victims in Nevada can help you understand how these laws could affect your case.
Under Nevada law, a wrongful death is one that is “caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” When one person dies and another person or entity bears legal fault that is death is considered a wrongful death. This includes motorcycle accidents where one or more of the parties acted with negligence or intentional malice.
In a wrongful death claim, the injured person is no longer available to bring his or her case to court. Instead, a loved one must file the lawsuit in order to establish liability and seek damages.
Like other personal injury cases, the defendant’s liability is in terms of financial compensation, or damages. The court orders the defendant to pay damages to the deceased person’s survivors or estate. This differentiates it from a criminal case that can result in jail or prison time, fines to the state, probation, and other penalties. Criminal cases have a higher standard to establish responsibility: “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A defendant can face both criminal and civil cases for the same act that resulted in the death of a victim. For example, a drunk driver who kills a motorcyclist could face vehicular homicide criminal charges and a civil case brought by the victims family at the same time.
Liability in a motorcycle accident can be clear-cut, such as when a driver fails to yield and hits a biker who has the right of way, which is often the case. There may be other parties at fault, however, such as motorcycle or parts manufacturers, repair shops, or those responsible for road maintenance. Insurers will also often work to place some of the liability on the biker. It is in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer to conduct a thorough investigation.
The vast majority of personal injury cases in Nevada are settled out of court. A skilled personal injury attorney will help at every step of the process so you receive the maximum settlement for your injuries and prepare you for court if necessary. In cases of serious injury, the process can take time as you recover and the extent of any lasting injuries is determined. If a case goes to civil court in Nevada, there will be added time as the court establishes evidence and witnesses give testimony. Once a settlement is reached, a release from liability is signed and the insurance company pays the settlement, typically within six to eight weeks.
Factors that affect the amount of a settlement include:
Factors that support your personal injury claim include:
Factors that might negatively affect your personal injury settlement include:
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The legal team of Gina Corena & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents and other personal injury cases.
We wish you safe driving, but if you or a loved one has been seriously or fatally injured in a motorcycle crash and want outstanding legal representation, call us today to schedule a free consultation. We are always here to help. Call Gina Corena & Associates now at (702) 680-1111 for a free case evaluation.
We work to provide our clients with skilled legal advice in a timely, efficient manner. We take great pride in having recruited the toughest trial attorneys in Nevada. Let our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys win a fair settlement in your case.