Many people find motorcycles freeing and fun to drive, but the lack of protection they offer can have life-changing consequences when an accident occurs. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident in New Orleans, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help.
A motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can manage all aspects of your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit while you focus on healing from your injuries and rebuilding your life. You can learn more about your legal options during a free consultation with our team. We can represent you on contingency with no upfront payments required to get started.
You May Be Able to Recover Damages for Your Accident
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, you probably have many questions. You may want to know what types of compensation you could be entitled to after a motorcycle accident that another party’s negligence caused. The kinds of injuries you endured and how those injuries impacted your life will play a role in how damages are calculated.
Motorcycle Damages Fall Into Two Categories
In all, depending on your accident’s circumstances, you could seek compensation for the damages that have a dollar amount (economic) and those damages that do not (non-economic). Examples of economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses: If you went to the emergency room after the accident, or if your injuries require any sort of short-term or long-term treatment, you likely have medical expenses. Both current and future costs of medical care may be recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Lost wages and benefits: If you missed work because of the accident or your injuries, past and future lost wages may be recoverable. You could also be reimbursed for sick time or vacation time you lost.
- Property damage: If you had to get your motorcycle repaired or replaced after your New Orleans-area accident, or if you had to rent a vehicle to get around while waiting for your own to be fixed, you could request payment for this also.
All of these injuries can be proven with receipts, invoices, pay stubs, timesheets, or other documentation. If you experienced mental or physical hardship because of the accident, you may qualify for non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering if you were physically or mentally injured in the crash
- Disfigurement if you have scars that will never heal and/or permanently affect your ability to use the injured area
- Disability if you will never be as physically or mentally able as you were before your injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you cannot do everyday activities without difficulty as a result of your accident injuries
These damages are largely subjective, which makes it challenging to set a dollar amount for them. Still, our attorneys know how to calculate these damages accurately, taking that task off your hands. Non-economic damages take several factors into consideration, such as the discomfort and pain the victim experienced. How long the person needs to recover and increased difficulty in daily living are also taken into account.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Louisiana
Some motorcycle accidents result in fatal injuries. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, we are sorry for your loss. We may be able to help you pursue a wrongful death action to recover different types of economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Compensation for funeral bills
- Pre-death medical care
- Loss of companionship
You can learn more about what damages may be available to you in a free case review with our car accident team today.
How a Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Can Help You
A motorcycle accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers will fight on your behalf when we represent you in New Orleans.
Here is a snapshot of the services our team provides for the clients we represent:
We Will Build a Strong Case for You
No matter how compelling your story, the liable party’s insurance company may not offer you compensation without evidence of their client’s liability and the extent of your damages. One of your lawyer’s first jobs is to investigate every aspect of the case. They can collect evidence, like medical records and witness testimonies, to back up your story.
A potential outcome of our investigation is the identification of all liable parties. If there are non-driver parties—for example, the manufacturer of a defective car part—who contributed to the crash, we may be able to find them and pursue them for compensation as well.
We Will Communicate with Other Parties in Your Case, Including the Insurance Company
Once you become our client, we will represent you in all meetings and communications with the liable party and their representatives. If anyone tries to talk to you about your case or offer you a settlement, you can tell them to contact us and let us know right away.
We Negotiate for a Fair Settlement on Your Behalf
The liable party’s insurance company may have a lawyer fighting for their interests. Instead of confronting them alone, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers will represent you at negotiations. We can also review all settlement agreements and evaluate their fairness.
We Will Go to Trial for You
If negotiations hit a standstill, you have the option of going to trial. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can represent you and present all of the evidence we have gathered to a judge and jury.
You Have One Year to Pursue Legal Action in Your Accident
If you are thinking about suing the party responsible for the damages from your accident, you generally have one year from the accident date to do so, per CC Art. 3492. This deadline set by state law is called the statute of limitations, and it is the legal time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you also have only a year, per CC Art. 2315.2.
If you do not act by this deadline, you may be unable to recover compensation via a lawsuit. If you think there are exceptions that could affect your case’s timeline, consider calling our New Orleans office for a case evaluation so we can discuss the matter further.
Proving Liability and Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident
Before you can hold the other party accountable for damages, you must prove how their negligence brought you harm. You may be able to collect awards if you can show how the motorist engaged in negligent driving behavior that caused your accident. Such behavior can include:
- Distracted driving (e.g., talking on a cellphone while operating a vehicle)
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Driving while tired or drowsy
- Bobbing and weaving while in traffic
- Violating established traffic laws
You Can Hold Parties Liable in ‘No-Contact’ Motorcycle Accidents
Vehicle-to-vehicle contact is not the only way traffic accidents happen. You may be able to recover damages if you can show how the liable party negligently caused your accident, even if they did not directly hit your motorcycle. This kind of crash is called a “no contact” accident.
While the driver does not hit the motorcycle directly, their actions can put the motorcyclist in a compromising situation, causing them to make decisions that lead them to injury. Driver actions that can cause a no-contact collision include:
- Making sudden or unsafe lane changes that do not give the motorcyclist time to react appropriately
- Running a red light
- Drifting in and out of a traffic lane
- Cutting the motorcycle off as it tries to merge into onto or off a roadway
Proving Negligence is the Injured Party’s Responsibility
Your evidence will need to prove the driver of the other vehicle is responsible for your accident. We will review your documentation to see how it can help us build the strongest case for you. This evidence can include:
- A police report
- Eyewitness accounts
- Video surveillance from a business or home that recorded the accident
- Expert witness testimony, such as an accident reconstructionist
- Photographs of the accident scene
We can help you collect evidence in your case to show the driver owed you a duty of care but breached it when they failed to take precautions that another motorist would have under the same circumstances. We can also show that as a result of the accident, you suffered damages that should be compensated.
What Happens If You are Partially at Fault for Your Accident?
You could still pursue damages in your case, even if you are partly responsible for your accident. Louisiana’s comparative fault law, outlined in CC Art. 2323, says you can still recover damages from the other party.
However, your percentage of fault will be deducted from the award you recover. For example, if you are found 40 percent responsible for the accident, you will receive only 60 percent of your compensation.
What if the Driver Hit You and Left the Accident Scene?
You can still seek the identity of the driver who hit you on your motorcycle before fleeing the scene. Witness statements or footage from a surveillance camera could offer clues in this scenario.
Filing a police report is important so that the incident is on record. If no one is found, it can be challenging to hold the offending party accountable. However, we can help you file a claim with your insurance provider if you have uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage that can help you recover damages in this case.
Get Prompt Medical Care After Your Motorcycle Accident
According to data collected by Louisiana State University’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation (CARTS), 1,193 people were injured or killed in motorcycle crashes across the state in 2019, including 85 motorcycle driver deaths.
If you were in a motorcycle accident, get medical help as soon as you can. This is perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself after an accident. Getting medical help can ensure swift treatment and help prevent worse injuries. It can also create a medical record you can use in your lawsuit, should you choose to file one.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
You can focus on your recovery when you partner with a motorcycle accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers on your New Orleans case. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not collect attorney fees unless and until you recover compensation via a settlement offer or court award. As such, there are no upfront payments required in this arrangement.
For a free, no-obligation consultation on your case with a member of our team, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (504) 777-7777. We will review the details of your accident and determine if we can represent you.