Louisiana is a wonderful place to own and ride motorcycles.
In fact, one of our attorneys, Mike Shlansky, has raced motorcycles as a semi-professional for years.
We understand those motorcycle accidents can be particularly devastating. Riders have numerous vulnerabilities and risks that motorists simply do not face.
Were you or someone you know injured as a result of a motorcycle accident? If so, our team of injury attorneys may recover compensation for your damages.
We are available 24/7 to help.Contact The Johns Law Firm Today
Below is free information that we hope helps you decide if you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. If you believe you may have a case, call us to speak with an attorney for free.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Law Firm
Personal injury attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve and the compensation you are entitled to after a motorcycle accident.
Motorcyclists are often the victims of crashes due to the negligence of another driver in a larger vehicle.
These accidents can cause property damage along with internal and external injuries to the motorcyclist that result in pain, suffering, and high medical costs.
A personal injury attorney can help you determine how the negligent driver was at fault, and if there are any other parties that may potentially be at fault and get you the money you deserve for your damaged property and physical injuries.
A personal injury attorney may also help you build your case by collecting police reports, gathering witness statements, investigating the scene of the accident, negotiating with insurance companies, and consulting experts, among other things.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
As we all know, not all drivers on the road are experienced, and those that are can get distracted.
For a motorcyclist, the threat of a life-altering accident is significant.
The fact is drivers do not take appropriate precautions to look out for motorcycles on the road.
If the accident involves a motorcycle, it is more likely to result in serious injury or death. Here are some startling facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 2017 motorcycles only made up 3 percent of registered vehicles but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities.
- Additionally, the fatality rate for motorcyclists was 6 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.
- Most motorcycle accidents occur because they are involved in a crash with another vehicle.
- In accidents that involved a motorcycle and another vehicle, 76 percent of the motorcycles were hit in the front. Only 7 percent were impacted from the rear. This is typical because the other vehicle is turning left and does not see a motorcyclist going straight, or because the other driver failed to use their turn signal.
- Accidents in which an inattentive drive hits a motorcyclist in their “blind spot” are particularly deadly, especially at high speeds.
If you believe you were involved in a motorcycle accident due to another negligent driver, it is imperative that you act quickly and get the appropriate medical treatment that you need.
After being treated for your injuries, contact a personal injury law firm to see how they can best help you based on the circumstances surrounding your accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers in other vehicles are the main reason for motorcycle accidents, but not the only reason. Pedestrians and bicyclists also get distracted or do not notice a motorcycle on the road, which can result in a crash.
These circumstances and numerous others can contribute to a motorcycle accident that can cause serious and potentially fatal injuries.
Typical negligent acts that cause motorcycle accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Speeding drivers
- Heavy traffic
- Swerving in front of or cutting off a motorcyclist
- Distracted drivers/pedestrians
- Improper use or lack of signaling
- Failing to leave enough room between vehicles/tailgating
- Driving under the influence
- Failure to yield
Frequent Injuries Resulting from a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can result in a variety of injuries, some that are potentially life-threatening.
Common serious injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Broken/fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and/or back trauma
- Road rash
- Loss of limbs
- Internal injuries
Treatment from proper medical professionals is essential in helping you recover from your accident and in documenting the events of the accident, and any injuries that may have resulted from the accident.
What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in New Orleans
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you take prompt action to both get the medical treatment that you need and report the accident.
- Get Immediate Medical Treatment: In many motorcycle accidents, the injured rider needs emergency medical treatment. If you are able, call 911 to report the accident and be sure to tell other motorists or witnesses if you need immediate medical treatment.
- File a Police Report: In many cases, the police are summoned along with an ambulance to the accident scene. If the police are not informed of the accident, you should report it even if you have to do so days after it occurred. At a minimum, you need to get the name of the other driver involved in the accident.
- Gather Information: If possible, gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Sometimes there may be a nearby business that has video footage that may be helpful to your case.
- Never Guess What Happened: Whenever you discuss the accident never make assumptions or guess how the accident took place. This is especially the case if your statements may be written down or recorded. The best practice is to say “I don’t know” if you can’t answer a question with certainty.
- Go Back to Your Doctor When Necessary: As you adjust in the days following the accident you may begin to notice new health problems. A new body part may start to hurt. You may begin to notice headaches or experience dizziness and feel sick. Many injuries, especially brain and neck injuries, take time to show symptoms. It is important that you get checked out as new medical issues arise.
- Returning to Work: Depending on your job, you may not be able to work. If you need to temporarily resign your position be sure to take understand your options before taking definitive action.
- Hire a Qualified Attorney: A qualified personal injury attorney can investigate the circumstances of your accident to identify the responsible parties, build a claim for negligence, and work with experts to properly evaluate and prove your damages at trial. A creative attorney will find additional parties to increase your potential recovery. For example, some accidents are caused in part by a product defect. A good attorney will look for additional defendants to increase your recovery.
Damages That May Be Recovered After a Motorcycle Accident
Damages that you can recover from a motorcycle accident include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Long-term care
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Damages for property damage typically includes money to repair or place your motorcycle and other property that was lost or damaged in the accident.
If your motorcycle was totaled in the accident, you should receive the cost to purchase a new bike of like kind and quality.
In addition, motorcyclists involved in an accident are often seriously injured and incur significant medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other compensatory damages.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help you fully evaluate your damage claim and will retain the experts necessary to maximize the value of your claim.
Another big component of most personal injury cases is general damages.
These types of damages are left to the discretion of the jury and include items such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, these damages can be significant.
In certain situations, the court may also award punitive damages that serve as punishment to the opposing party if they acted recklessly or intentionally disregarded the safety of others while on the road.
An example of when the court might award punitive damages is in a DWI situation where the driver that crashed into the motorcycle was driving while intoxicated.
It is important to talk to a personal injury attorney after being involved in a motorcycle accident to discuss all potential options you may have so that you may be fully compensated for your injuries.
Important Louisiana Motorcycle Laws
What is the time limit to file a motorcycle claim in Louisiana?
The time limit to file a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident in Louisiana is one year from the date of the accident. Missing the one-year deadline means that you cannot bring your case in court.
Louisiana Helmet Laws
Louisiana Revised Statute 32:190 requires operators and passengers on motorcycles to wear a helmet. The helmet is required to contain a lining, padding, visor and chin strap.
What is considered negligence in a motorcycle accident?
Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315 provides that a person is responsible for damages caused to another through his or her fault.
The general concept of negligence in a motorcycle accident case is often fact-intensive and based on a reasonable standard of care.
In some instances, a motorist may cause an accident by breaking a law or traffic ordinance.
For example, a car that runs a stop sign causing an accident with a motorcyclist who had the right of way will be presumed responsible for causing the accident.
What is Comparative Fault and How Does It Impact Your Recovery?
In Louisiana, your damages are reduced by the percentage that you are found to be at fault for causing your own injuries. This is called comparative fault.
For example, after trial, a jury awards $500,000.00 in damages and finds that the defendant was 75% at fault and you were 25% at fault.
In this case, you will only recover $375,000.00 due to your own fault.
Call Us to Speak With an Attorney for Free
Contact us today to speak with an attorney for free about your recent motorcycle accident.
It is important to reach out to an attorney soon after your accident because the state of Louisiana requires that a claim for damages be filed within one year of the date of the accident.
We are available to take your call 24/7.
Our team of attorneys will work with you to investigate the accident and gather the details of your case.
We are also more than happy to review your medical records and to help you get the treatment you need to fully recover.
You can reach us at (504) 273-0444.