Motorcycles do not offer much protection to riders, which is why most motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death. Sadly, many of these accidents were caused by the negligence of other drivers and could have been prevented.
If you have reason to believe your accident was caused by negligence, contact Henness & Haight today. Our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers know the pain and suffering that follows a motorcycle accident. That is why we are committed to building a strong case to help you obtain compensation for all of the damages you have suffered.
The experienced attorneys at Henness & Haight have helped countless Nevada personal injury victims and their families recover the fair compensation they deserve. Co-founder Michael D. Haight has been a Las Vegas resident since 1976 and a member of the Nevada Justice Association since 1996. He has also been recognized by some of the most prestigious legal organizations in the nation, including Martindale-Hubbell and National Trial Lawyers.
What Forms of Compensation Can I Recover?
When motorcycle riders are injured in crashes caused by the negligence of a driver or another party, they are entitled to compensation for all of the damages they have suffered, which could include:
These are damages that have a defined monetary value, such as:
- Appointments with doctors
- CT scans
- Blood work
- Property damage
- Lost wages or lost earning capacity
- Transportation in an ambulance
- Cost of travel to medical appointments
- Durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches and canes
If your motorcycle accident claim is successful, you will receive compensation for all past, current and future economic damages.
These are damages that do not create specific expenses, such as:
- Emotional suffering
- Physical pain
- Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, exercise and recreational activities
- Loss of companionship when your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
Our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers know how to accurately document these types of damages, even though they do not create bills or receipts, like economic damages. We will advise you on how to keep a personal account of the emotional issues caused by your injuries so you have a better chance of recovering fair compensation for non-economic damages.
Under Nevada Revised Statute 42.005, you are entitled to punitive damages only in situations where there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was guilty of oppression, fraud or malice.
The purpose of punitive damages is to make an example of and punish the defendant for his or her conduct, not to compensate the plaintiff for damages he or she suffered.
At Henness & Haight, we are committed to fighting for all of the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash. Our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers know how to compile strong evidence in support of the compensation you deserve.
Does State Law Limit Compensation?
Nevada does not place a limit on economic or non-economic damages following motorcycle accidents. That means there is no limit to the amount of money you can recover in your motorcycle crash claim.
The amount of compensation you recover will depend greatly on the strength of your case and the evidence you and your attorney present.
However, if you are entitled to punitive damages, they will be limited by state law. Punitive damages cannot exceed:
- Three times the amount of compensatory damages if you receive $100,000 or more
- $300,000 if you receive less than $100,000 in compensatory damages
There are exceptions to these rules though. For instance, these limitations do not apply to claims involving:
- Manufacturers, distributors or sellers of defective products
- Defendants accused of emitting, disposing or spilling of toxic, radioactive or hazardous materials or waste
These exceptions would apply if your motorcycle crash was caused by defective parts on your motorcycle or by a spill on the roadway.
Why Hire Our Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?
Our attorneys have seen firsthand the devastating injuries that can result from a motorcycle crash, including:
- Loss of limbs
- Permanent disfigurement
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
We know serious injuries such as these require significant medical treatment that can last for several years, or even for the rest of your life. Mounting medical bills and other expenses can be overwhelming, and a fair settlement from an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit can mean the difference between financial ruin and moving on with your life.
Backed by years of experience fighting for the rights of the injured against insurance companies, our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers have the skills, resources and determination to help you recover what is rightfully owed to you.
We know the techniques insurance companies will use to downplay your injuries and minimize your claim, and we are willing to take a case to court in order to make sure you receive a fair settlement or verdict.
From your very first communication with our office, our personal injury lawyers will treat you as family while we build a robust case that can stand up to the intense scrutiny of the insurance company and its team of attorneys. We conduct our own investigation of the accident by:
- Reviewing police reports
- Gathering witness statements
- Speaking with medical and accident experts
- Investigating the other driver’s record
- Recreating the accident
- Reviewing your medical records
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf
Our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers know that after an accident, you want nothing more than to get back to your everyday life. That is why we handle all of the details of your case and negotiate directly with the insurance company on your behalf. We will keep you informed of the process and will answer all of your questions and phone calls as quickly as possible.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Cases We Handle
Although every case is different and the circumstances surrounding an accident can vary greatly, our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers have decades of experience handling a wide variety of motorcycle accident cases. We are well-versed in Nevada motorcycle laws and know how to use them to the benefit of our clients.
Through a thorough review of your claim, we can determine exactly what caused your accident and how to best pursue the appropriate amount of compensation for your losses, damages and injuries. Some of the leading causes of accidents we have helped clients recover from include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to look for and see a motorcycle
- Swerving in front of a motorcyclist
- Driving under the influence
- Road hazards, like potholes or poorly maintained roadways
- Distracted driving
- Misjudging a motorcyclist’s speed and distance
- Failure to check a blind spot before changing lanes
- Left-turn crashes
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Crash
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident and you think someone else is at fault, there are certain steps you should take to improve your chances of recovering fair compensation for your injuries.
Go to the Hospital
In some cases, you will have no choice but to go to the hospital. If your injuries were serious enough, an ambulance will probably come to the scene and transport you to the hospital.
However, if you or someone else does not call an ambulance, you should seek medical treatment anyway. You could be injured even if you are not in a lot of pain or you do not have visible signs of an injury. It is common for the body to release adrenalin and cortisol into the bloodstream after an accident, and these chemicals can mask pain and other symptoms of an injury.
You need to be examined by a qualified medical professional to discover all of your injuries and if they are related to the accident.
Request Copies of Your Medical Records
Before you leave the doctor's office or hospital, ask about obtaining copies of your medical records. You may be able to get this information before you leave.
Medical records are one of the most crucial pieces of evidence in a personal injury claim. This information will be one of the primary justifications for your insurance claim or personal injury case.
File an Insurance Claim Right Away
Like many other states, Nevada uses a fault or tort-liability system for insurance claims after motor vehicle accidents, including motorcycle crashes.
This means that you can file an insurance claim with your insurer or the insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, the at-fault driver is legally responsible for compensating you for the injuries and property damage you sustained in the crash. This means that your insurance company will seek reimbursements from the other driver's insurance company.
You should file as soon as possible as the insurance company may have a deadline for submitting a claim. If you miss the deadline, you might miss your opportunity to recover insurance compensation.
Watch What You Say
You have to be careful what you say when filing an insurance claim, even if you are speaking to a representative of your insurance company. TV commercials try to make people think their insurance companies are on their side, but the reality is that insurers are looking for any opportunity to devalue or deny your claim.
You should stick to the facts of your claim, such as:
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Basic description of what happened
- Noting that you have or are planning to seek medical treatment
Do not state specifics about your injuries, leave that to qualified medical professionals and the information they put in your medical records.
Do not offer your opinions on the crash, including whether or not your actions played a role in the crash or the injuries you suffered. This is best left to the police report about the accident.
Know When to Say No
Keep in mind, you are under no legal obligation to answer the insurance adjuster's questions. If you are asked a question and you do not know or are unsure of the answer, or you think that answering the question would hurt your claim, tell the adjuster that you decline to answer at this time.
It is better to say nothing than to say something that is untrue. If the adjuster finds out that you lied, it could hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation.
You should also decline to be recorded when you first contact the adjuster. You may have to do this at some point in the future in the claims process, but at that point, you can have a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer advise you on what to say.
Contact a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Injury cases can easily become complicated, which is why it is vital that injury victims and their families seek legal counsel from a reputable Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer immediately following an accident. The sooner an attorney can begin building your case, the better your chances are of securing the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled.
Your Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer can guide you every step of the way, from talking to the insurance adjuster to negotiating compensation.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims in Nevada
All Nevada motorists, including motorcyclists, are required to have certain levels of car insurance coverage. This way, if the driver causes an accident, his or her insurance coverage can provide compensation for injuries and property damage suffered by the other driver or motorcyclist.
The minimum car insurance requirements in Nevada are:
- Bodily injury coverage – Drivers need a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.
- Property damage – Drivers must have at least $10,000 per accident.
Unfortunately, the driver who caused your motorcycle accident might not have insurance. That is why it is a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy. It will provide compensation for all medical costs for you and your passengers if the other driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover all of your costs.
The Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers at our firm will carefully review your situation to determine if we can obtain all of the compensation you need from an insurance claim. If not, we have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Crash Lawsuit?
There is a statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Nevada, including motorcycle accident claims. The statute sets a deadline for filing a claim and if you miss the deadline, you will not be able to file a lawsuit.
Nevada's statute of limitations for personal injury is two years from the date of the accident. This might seem like a long time, but it can pass a lot faster than you think.
Some of the two years will be taken up by pursuing an insurance claim. While some insurance claims can be resolved relatively quickly, others could take several months or more, particularly if you are severely injured and it takes a while for doctors to fully assess the scope of your medical issues.
This is why it is very important to contact a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney can help manage your insurance claim and be prepared to file a lawsuit if your insurance claim is unsuccessful or does not provide all of the forms of compensation that you need.
If you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, our Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers will make sure your claim is filed on time.
What if I was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
There are a lot of accidents in which the victim was partially at fault. That is why most states have comparative negligence laws to address these situations.
In Nevada, you can recover compensation as long as your percentage of fault for the accident is not greater than the combined negligence of the defendant or defendants. This is often referred to as the 51 percent rule.
You can recover compensation as long as your percentage of fault is less than 51 percent. If your percentage of fault is 51 percent or more, you will be barred from receiving compensation.
If your percentage of fault is below 51 percent, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. In other words, a claimant who is 25 percent at fault, would receive only $75,000 of a $100,000 settlement.
The Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers at our firm are well-versed in the state's comparative negligence law. We will help ensure it is applied fairly in your claim so you receive the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a Free, No Obligation Legal Consultation Today
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, you can trust the accomplished Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyers at Henness & Haight to provide you with the highest level of service and dedication in seeking justice on your behalf.
We place our clients first and are committed to seeking the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today for a review of your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless you win.