Motorcyclists get the freedom and sheer thrill when traversing Las Vegas streets. Even though Nevada's warm climate and scenic views make motorcycling a popular means of transport, motorcyclists are exposed to a higher risk of sustaining injuries when they crash. Motorists are nine times more likely to be injured when an accident happens as compared to vehicle drivers.
Statistics have it that death exposure when motorcycling is higher, resulting in fatalities 37 times over cars. The common causes of motorcycle spiral down to drug and alcohol as the significant cause of all the motorists’ accidents. A drug-related motorcycle accident can happen at times because of the negligence of another party.
If you are caught in situations like that, Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm will help you file a lawsuit on personal injury and recover the damages. We have a dedicated team that ensures you get satisfaction from every aspect of the injury claim and possible compensation bargain.
Overview of Drug-Related Motorcycle Accident
Drugs and alcohol are major motorcycle accident contributors. Whether controlled or legal, drug substances pose a considerable risk to motorists when consumed during driving. So, when you hit the road intoxicated, there are higher chances that you won't balance and, at one time, cause or be a victim of an accident. As a biker, you are exposed to more risks because motorcycles are small and less visible when sharing a road with impaired or intoxicated drivers.
Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have a slow reaction time and perception of motorists increasing the risks of crashes. Impaired drivers also lack environmental awareness that increases the probability of having a collision.
In Nevada, NRS 42.010 categorizes drug-related motorcycle accidents as DUI with injuries. Therefore, if someone's negligent actions cause a motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if you have injuries. Besides, suppose the perpetrator has a 0.08% concentration of alcohol or any drug in their blood sample. In that case, the individual may have caused the accident due to impairment and is likely to face DUI charges.
In some instances, the substances associated with drug-related motorcycle crashes can be prescription and recreational drugs. When a motorist takes such illegal substances, they cause impairment that prevents the person from exercising caution like he or she would have done when sober, increasing accident risks.
Most of the time, several motorcycle crashes come as a result of drunkenness from group rides meant for fun excursions. The groups do fun rides when drunk or on drugs, and most don't observe traffic rules, increasing the chances of accidents. However, some of the accidents are not pegged only from drunkenness and disorderly behaviors, causing another party to crash the motorcyclist. Some happen when an intoxicated motorist hits a pedestrian, property, or crashes on an on-coming car making the accident still a drug-related motorcycle accident. If you're injured because of such causes, you can sue the motorcyclist for negligence. In this case, the person who can be held responsible can be:
- Another motorcyclist
Remember that law enforcement agencies come to the accident scene to gather evidence after a motorcycle crash. Most of the time, blood or urine samples of drivers are collected at the scene to conduct a toxicology test. Sometimes, they might use Breathalyzer to get the drivers' BAC levels when the crash occurred.
Other important information needed by the agencies is witness statements and driver's license information. So, when going to file a lawsuit, you will have this police report containing vital information. This report will help you prove to the court that the other party was negligent, and the negligence was the cause of the injury.
The Common Drug-related Motorcycle Accident Includes:
Nevada experiences drug-related motorcycle accidents year in year out. These crashes are caused by different factors related to intoxication. These collisions are:
Rear-end Collisions at Intersections
These crashes happen when drivers approach intersection points and, due to poor visibility or drug intoxication, crashes the motorcycle's rear. The collision's impact throws the motorcyclist off the bike, causing severe injuries and fatality in the worst cases.
Right of Way Crashes
These accidents are frequent where a driver crashes into a rider when they have the right of way. Crashes of this nature happen when a vehicle changes lanes and crashes into a motorcyclist or when a vehicle pulls from a parking lot and hits a passing biker. These crashes result from drivers failing to focus on the road, exceptionally when high on drugs or alcohol.
They usually happen in places where parking spots run parallel with active lanes. For example, if a motorist is driving on a busy road and a driver of a parked car in a place parallel to the lane opens the door without checking, if there’s an oncoming rider, most probably the cyclist will crash the door of the car and suffer from severe injuries.
These crashes usually happen when a biker passes through an intersection. A motorist coming from the opposite direction tries to make a left-turn in front of the rider, causing a fatal collision or severe injuries.
Other Motorcycle Accident Causes Aside from Drugs
Even though riding under intoxication remains the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Nevada, several other reasons can cause a crash. You must always be keen when riding to avoid faulting the road guidelines. Here are some of the other reasons that cause accidents:
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
These types of accidents happen when there is a traffic jam and vehicles are not moving. A rider will see it wise to drive between the lanes, which exposes them to many collisions. In these situations, accidents occur because the maneuvering space is limited, and the car driver is not expecting any vehicle from behind. The cars' proximity in a jam increases collision risk as they are intact or moving slowly. You can get compensated when an accident occurs because lane splitting is legal in Nevada.
42% of collisions involving motorcycles and cars are caused by drivers making a left-hand turn. The crashes occur when the cyclists ride straight through the intersection or try to overtake a vehicle and pass a car. Usually, when the car’s driver does not pay attention to the road, they can overestimate or underestimate a rider’s position in a blind spot, and a crash may occur.
Motorcyclists have road hazards on the road like potholes, slippery pavements, dead animals, and uneven lanes that increase the risk of danger while driving. Being that the motorbikes are small in size and not stable, these hazards increase accident risks. So, if your motorcycle was due to road hazards, find an attorney's services to help you find whose negligence caused the accident.
The Collision Between a Motorcycle and a Stationary Object
Most accidents involving a motorcycle and stationary objects contribute to about 25% of deaths caused by motorcycling. Like in cars, the bikes do not have metal box protection that once a collision occurs, it throws the rider far and hard, resulting in death or catastrophic injuries.
High Performing Motorcycles
Motorcycle brands like Supersport are light in weight and have a high horsepower that makes them fast. If you're using such a bike, there is a likelihood of speeding or riding less cautiously, increasing accident risk.
Other causes of motorcycle accidents can be:
- Cars pulling in front of motorcycles
- Loose gravel on the road
- Parts of the road malfunctioning
- Temporary metal plates on the ground
- Risky weather conditions
In other cases, a motorcycle accident can occur because of specific risk unique to individual motorists causing death and injuries to increase. These unique risks include:
Absence of a Barrier or Protective Metal Body Between the Rider and the Road
Motorcycles do not have seat belts, protective body, or airbags. The only protective gear riders have a helmet, and in case a rider gets into an accident without a helmet, motorcyclists are likely to die or endure life-changing injuries.
Vehicles are stable because they have four wheels, unlike two-wheeled motorcycles. When a rider is on high speed, a bike can lose control if the front wheel starts to wobble. The best thing a motorist can do is to focus on maintaining balance to avoid preventable accidents. If the biker is under the influence of a drug or alcohol, the body weakens, balancing when the front wheel wobbles is an uphill task, leading to a crash.
Drivers who are out for fun can use sportbikes to speed or accelerate fast, resulting in accidents. Since these bikes are light and have high horsepower, they can encourage risky behaviors when driving. Also, drug and alcohol use encourages motorcyclists more so in group rides to have high-risk behaviors that result in crashes.
The Bikes are Less Visible
Being that motorcycles are small in size, it isn't easy to locate them when coming from a far distance. Car drivers cannot spot the bikes easily when on or off the road. In case the driver is intoxicated, visibility reduces increasing chances of an accident occurring, more so in an intersection where a motorist cannot see the bike approaching due to its small size.
As much as these accidents are likely to happen, you can ride safely and avoid accidents. The safety measures you need to undertake are:
- Getting training
- Knowing road hazards and ways of avoiding them
- Avoiding lane splitting and sharing
- Avoid being drunk when driving.
- Maintain your bike regularly
- Wear protective gears like a helmet when driving
Injuries from Drug-Related Motorcycle Accidents
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you are likely to suffer from severe injuries, and in the worst case, you can lose your life. The injuries are usually critical and can affect your workability for the rest of your life. Here are some injuries you are likely to suffer from:
- Hearing damage
- Fractured bones in arms and leg
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Joint breakages
- Head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Eye injuries
- Facial disfigurement
How to Prove Intoxication in a Drug-Related Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Claim
Nevada being a tort auto insurance state, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt as a plaintiff that indeed the party at fault was intoxicated at the time of the accident. Taking the case solo can be, at times, a daunting task. Our personal injury attorney will help you settle the case with the following legal defenses;
Physical symptoms of intoxication
Suppose at the time of the crash, the motorist was high on a substance or alcohol. There is a likelihood of him or her exhibiting some physical symptoms like red, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, poor memory, concentration levels, hallucinations, drowsiness, poor coordination, and the stench of either drug or alcohol he took. If any of these symptoms were exhibited, the court could conclude in your favor that the motorist was intoxicated and contributed to the accident.
Motorists suffering from drug intoxication usually don't pay attention when motorcycling because of not being in the right state of mind. Such a rider is likely to violate traffic rules like speeding, drifting between lanes, or running a red light. It's from these reckless actions that an accident may occur, causing injuries.
At an accident scene, cops are present to manage the situation. In case you are involved in a road crash, immediately the cops arrive, inform them if you suspect the motorcyclist is intoxicated. The law enforcer can subject the rider to a drug test, and if he or she refuses the test, the action can serve as strong evidence that he was high on drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Damages You Can Recover
The damages available for motorcycle accidents cover the financial losses incurred and injuries resulting from the crash. However, to be compensated, you must have sustained injuries or ideally suffered from an accident. Some of the damages include:
If an individual wrongfully causes an injury or an accident to another person, they are liable for the victim's medical bills. The perpetrator can pay the hospital bill directly or through the insurer. Covering the victim's medical costs could relieve the victim's family from financial strain stemming from the surgery, therapy, rehabilitation, and medication. Therefore, the person liable should compensate for the losses.
Income or Wage loss
If the plaintiff could not have been involved in a motorcycle accident, they would have been getting regular wages or income. Since the crash happened, there is a possibility that he sustained injuries barring him or her from work. Therefore, the individual who caused the accident because of negligence or wrongful act should compensate the victim for the income lost.
The liable party should additionally pay you for the loss of earning capacity if the case of the injury remains permanent and will hinder you from future work. Also, if the accident is going to limit your working capability, thus the total earning, you deserve compensation. Our excellent personal injury attorney will negotiate for you and settle on the best bargain for the losses incurred.
If your loved one succumbed because an intoxicated driver caused the accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. Though the claim will not bring back the deceased to life, the damages you recover gives a sense of justice to the family. The claims aim at compensating for medical bills, burial expenses, and lack of companionship.
Pain and Suffering
Have you ever known that it is possible to recover damages for pain and suffering caused by a motorcycle accident? Though challenging to prove, you have to hire an experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, a pro at negotiation. He will negotiate your case better if you can jot down a journal on the pain and suffering journey during the recovery process. Having a written description will also be enough evidence in the court for better compensation.
After a crash, a motorcycle can be partially or fully damaged. The liable party should pay for the damages directly or through an insurance company. The insurer assesses the cost then proposes an amount for compensation. If the bike was partially damaged, you could get damages for repairs and parts replacement. However, if there was complete damage, you should claim a new bike.
What to Do After a Drug-Related Motorcycle Accident
The first step you take after getting involved in an accident is critical in recovering damages. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, seek medical attention first. In case you are seriously injured, call for help from a good Samaritan to make a call to 911 on your behalf.
However, if you have no injuries, check on the other parties involved in the accident and help the injured individuals get medication. Be cautious with such accidents because you may seem well. However, most of the injuries manifest later on. Therefore, go for a checkup to prevent further problems that may arise at a later date. You can get a medical report to take to the insurance company for a claim even if the injuries are not related to the accident or severe.
After receiving medication, collect vital information about the accident. Gather information on the vehicle plates of the parties involved, make and model of the car, VIN, name, and contact of persons involved in the accident and witness information plus contact information.
After getting out of the accident scene, report to your insurance company within twenty-four hours, informing them about the accident and sustained injuries. When they complete the claim's evaluation, the insurance adjuster will assess the damage and settle on a possible amount for compensation.
Being that the insurance companies are in business, there is a likelihood that the first settlement will hardly cover the cost. You can hire the services of our attorneys to help you in negotiating for a better offer. You can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person's insurer found at fault to get a deserving compensation.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
If you were a pedestrian or passenger of a motorcycle at the time of an accident, you got the right to sue a cyclist for negligence in a drug-related motorcycle accident. Following your injuries in the lawsuit, you have to prove the negligence action that led to the crash. Herein are some of the elements you should know as a plaintiff:
- The rider failed to exercise caution while riding. Nevada law requires that all drivers and riders use reasonable care when using the road and failure to do so shows negligence actions.
- That indeed, the negligence actions are the leading cause of the sustained injuries of the plaintiff.
- The complainant had injuries and suffered losses. Suppose you were involved in a motorcycle accident and never got injuries. In that case, the perpetrator cannot be held responsible at any cost because there is no evidence to prove the loss and the incident in itself. Additionally, if you cannot show the losses, the costs will not be recovered despite the accident because of negligence.
If you can prove all the elements as a plaintiff, the court will award you the appropriate compensation to cover all the losses. An individual is tasked to prove negligence in the drug-related motorcycle accident when the perpetrator driver's intoxication levels do not guarantee a claim for the plaintiff. When you want to determine the liability of a motorcycle accident, you have to prove that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash that led him or her to act negligently. It is from the negligence that the accident occurred for you to be awarded the compensation.
Find a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near Me
A drug-related motorcycle accident can upset many activities in your life. In addition to the damage of your motorcycle, you will likely suffer from severe injuries, and, in some cases, you can even lose a loved one to a motorcycle crash. These injuries can not only be emotionally draining but also affect your financial standing.
At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we can help you recover compensation for any injuries you sustain. We focus on helping you find the liable party in the accident and help identify the possible causes of the accident.
We also help you identify and get witness testimony to support your claim. Contact us at 702-996-1224 if you may need our help with your case.