If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana, and the other driver is at fault, their insurance company should pay for your damages. Only an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle injury litigation will be familiar with potential motorcycle defects, the biases of juries and insurance carriers and adjusters, and the resources available to best represent your interests. The New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys of Lambert Zainey take on challenging cases to get justice for our clients.
Motorcycles don’t have the majority of available safety devices that come standard in most cars. In motorcycle accidents with other motor vehicles, another driver, not the motorcycle rider, causes two-thirds of the collisions. However, a motorcyclist is 30 times more likely to die as the result of a collision than a car driver who hits them.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are two types of motorcycle accidents: those involving a single motorcycle and those involving a motorcycle and another vehicle.
Accidents Involving Other Vehicles – In the majority of motorcycle accidents with other vehicles, the driver of the vehicle is at fault. The main reason? The driver of the automobile simply failed to see the motorcycle until it was too late. These types of accidents frequently occur when automobiles go to switch lanes, go through intersections, make left turns, or pull out into traffic. Distracted driving often contributes to these kinds of accidents.
Single Motorcycle Accidents – On the other hand, single motorcycle accidents are most often caused by rider error. Speeding and impaired riding are the leading causes of single rider accidents. Riders need to keep an eye out for adverse weather. Environmental factors are another cause of single motorcycle accidents. This includes wind, rain, smoke, snow, ice, blowing sand and dust, etc.
In these types of single motorcycle accidents, the rider may only be able to collect what compensation their insurance policy allows. However, there are situations where another party may share liability for a single motorcycle accident.
Objects in the road, such as trash and other debris dropped or thrown out of a vehicle, can cause an accident, especially if the rider doesn’t see them until it’s too late. Hazards created by road construction crews can also lead to accidents. Motorcycle accidents can result from faulty or defective parts as well. Defective lights, brakes, and wheels can all contribute to a motorcycle accident. In this case, a third party, such as the manufacturer of the part, could be liable for the accident. Motorcycle accident attorneys help to figure out who is liable.
Types of Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
The lack of enclosure, seat belts, airbags, and other safety features found in automobiles makes motorcyclists particularly vulnerable to serious injury during an accident. A wide range of serious — even fatal — injuries can result from a motorcycle accident. These injuries include:
- Cuts, bruises, and rashes
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Internal injuries
In many cases, motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries. A motorcycle accident can injure any part of the body. NHTSA research revealed that most fatal and incapacitating injuries result from an impact with a motorcycle’s front.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered from a Motorcycle Accident in New Orleans?
The point of a personal injury claim is to restore your life as closely as possible to the way it was before your accident. Thus, you may be eligible for several types of compensation, depending on your damages. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can help calculate the proper compensation.
Medical Costs – For one thing, you may be entitled to recover all the costs of your medical treatment. This not only includes your current medical costs, but the ongoing medical expenses stemming from your injuries. These ongoing expenses can include medications, physical therapy and medical devices.
Loss Of Income – In addition, you can seek compensation for loss of income. This includes the time from work you missed as a result of your injuries. You may also seek compensation for losing your job as a result of being unable to work or having to take a job that doesn’t pay as well.
Emotional Damages – You can also claim compensation for emotional damages as well. These types of compensation can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment (if you are no longer able to engage in your hobbies or activities), and loss of consortium (if you are no longer able to enjoy intimate relations with a spouse or partner) to name a few.
What If I am Partially Responsible for My Motorcycle Accident?
Louisiana state law applies a doctrine known as “comparative fault.” In a personal injury case, fault will be assigned according to the percentage of each party’s negligence contributed to the accident.
For instance, let’s say you were in a car accident with another driver. The driver pulled out into traffic without looking, causing the accident. However, you were driving five miles over the posted speed limit at the time the accident took place. Because of this, the courts may decide you shared 10 percent of the liability for the crash.
That means the amount of money you can recover will be reduced by 10 percent. So, if your total damages were $10,000, you would only be able to collect $9,000 because of your liability for the accident.
It’s important to be able to prove the exact liability you had in an accident in order to get the total compensation you are due.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Both criminal and civil courts have statutes of limitations defining the timeframe when a victim can sue. States and types of legal actions have different statutes of limitations. Medical malpractice statutes of limitations may differ from those for theft crimes.
A personal injury case in Louisiana must be filed within a year of the accident. You have 365 days from the moment the incident occurs to file a lawsuit in court.
This may seem like a long amount of time, but in reality it is much shorter than most states permit their residents to file. A personal injury claim has a two-year timeframe in almost every other state in the United States. In some states, people have up to six years to file their claim.
Why Should I Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
You don’t have to hire motorcycle accident attorneys after your wreck, but there are a lot of reasons why you should.
- They know the laws and will protect your rights.
- They can file all the necessary paperwork.
- They can deal with the insurance company while you recover from your injuries.
- They know how to obtain the evidence needed to support your case.
- They can negotiate on your behalf with the other party’s insurance company.
- They can represent you in court.
At Lambert Zainey, our personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency basis. This means there are no upfront costs for your representation and we collect our fee as a percentage of the settlement.
Get Help From Experienced New Orleans Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone’s negligence, Louisiana state laws give you the right to seek compensation for the damages resulting from your injuries. Lambert Zainey is here to protect your rights. We’ll fight to see you get the total compensation you are owed for the injuries sustained in your accident. We’ve been representing injured clients in New Orleans and South Louisiana since the 1970s.
Contact Lambert Zainey today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with one of our New Orleans motorcycle accident attorneys. We will discuss your case, answer any legal questions you may have, and provide honest professional advice on the best way to proceed in your situation.
Motorcycle Accidents FAQs
Motorcycle riding courses are available in Louisiana for beginners as well as experts. Three courses are offered in Louisiana for motorcycle safety. The basic rider course is designed for beginners, the intermediate course is designed for experienced riders, and the advanced course is designed for experts.
Learn more about the motorcycle safety courses offered in Louisiana.
Our streets and highways are filled with many distractions due to technological advances. To avoid serious accidents, motorcycle riders should take proactive measures. Riders can reduce their chances of being involved in an accident by following some basic motorcycle safety tips.
Tips include wearing a helmet and protective gear, get licensed, be informed about motorcycle safety, and keeping your motorcycle properly maintained.