Motorcycle accidents cause a much higher incidence of death and injury per accident than do car accidents. If you are involved in a vehicular accident and you are on a motorcycle, you are three times more likely to be injured and 14 times more likely to be killed. Helmet laws, enacted in many states, are helping to reduce these numbers, but motorcyclists are still at far greater risk of death or injury than people in passenger vehicles. In many injury and fatal accident claims involving motorcycles, riders face a social stigma as reckless individuals with a death wish. Insurance companies play upon this to help pin blame for the accident on the rider. In reality, it’s drivers who take chances with people’s lives on the road by failing to look before turning or changing lanes, following too close and other reckless behavior, who are most often responsible.
Motorcycle Injury Attorneys
The motorcycle injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, L.L.C. know the dangers riders and their passengers face on Louisiana’s roads and highways; we are riders ourselves. If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, contact us at our Lake Charles law office for a no-cost initial consultation.
If you are hurt or have a family member killed in collision with a car or truck, we offer experienced legal advice and representation in filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Our law firm represents clients from Allen to Cameron Parish and all communities in between. Whether you suffer broken bones and road rash injuries or become partially or fully disabled from a traumatic brain injury or serious spinal cord injury, we conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. We carefully determine the extent of your injury and work with experts in life care management to ensure you find the medical care and the financial compensation you need today, and deserve to help ease your recovery in the years ahead.
What Damages Can I Seek in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Any type of motor vehicle accident can cause serious injuries to the victims involved in the collision. A motorcycle accident, however, is particularly likely to result in serious injury to a victim due to the lack of protection a rider has on a motorcycle. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash that you believe was caused, in whole or in part, by another party you could be entitled to damages (compensation) for your injuries. Your next question may be “What damages can I seek in a motorcycle accident claim in Louisiana?”
As you may already know, a motorcycle accident can leave the victim with physical injuries as well as emotional trauma. It can also result in financial hardship for the victim. Fortunately, Louisiana law allows a victim to recover damages from another party if the victim is able to show that the other party’s negligence was the cause, or a contributing cause, in the collision. “Negligence”, in legal terminology, requires the victim to show four elements:
- Duty of care owed to the victim by the defendant
- Breach of the duty of care
If another party was 100 percent at fault in the “accident” that party will be 100 percent responsible for the damages caused by that negligence. A defendant does not have to be 100 percent at fault, however, for a victim to recover from the defendant. Louisiana uses the doctrine of “comparative negligence.” Comparative negligence essentially allows a victim to pursue compensation from a defendant as long as the defendant was at least partially at fault, meaning the defendant is responsible for some degree of the negligence that caused the collision.
A victim may potentially recover both economic and non-economic damages from a negligent defendant. Economic damages are easily quantifiable, out of pocket expenses, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are what people often mean when they refer to “pain and suffering” damages. Non-economic damages are much more difficult to value because of the subjective nature of the injury; however, for purposes of valuing the claim and/or pursuing litigation a value must be arrived at for both the economic and non-economic damages a motorcyclist sustained in the collision. This is one of the many reasons why it is always in your best interest as the victim of a motorcycle accident to retain the services of an experienced Louisiana personal injury accident attorney. By doing so you ensure that you will be fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention
It is always wise to take precautions when riding a motorcycle:
- Wear a helmet and require your passengers to do so.
- Obey the traffic laws, especially in regard to speeding, passing, and following too closely.
- Remember that you are not as large or as visible as an automobile, so do all you can to increase your own visibility, such as riding with the headlight on at all times and wearing reflective clothing after dark.
- Be sure you are able to control the motorcycle while carrying a passenger and insist that the passenger obey your directions.
- Road hazards have a much greater affect on a small two-wheel vehicle, so watch for bumps, cracks in the road, loose gravel or any other condition that might cause you to lose control.
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Our attorneys will review your case and represent you throughout your motorcycle crash claim. Contact Broussard & Hart L.L.C. today for help pursuing a motorcycle accident settlement. Your first consultation is free and we won’t charge fees unless money is recovered.
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