Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than those in passenger cars because other motorists can find it difficult to spot them. As a result, motorcycle riders are typically involved in more catastrophic accidents than other vehicles.
According to the Louisiana Crash Data from Reports, motorcycle fatalities in the state rose by 10.8 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. A total of 1,532 injuries and 92 motorcycle fatalities were recorded in 2015.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana, you should protect your legal rights by consulting with a qualified Lafayette motorcycle accident attorney who is familiar with the state law.
Motorcycle Safety Laws for Lafayette Cyclists
Like drivers, motorcyclists must abide by certain laws that help ensure their safety. In addition to the outlined laws, motorcyclists have a duty to act cautiously to protect the safety of others on the road. Some specific laws that are applicable to motorcyclists include:
- Safety helmets are mandatory
- Lane splitting is not permitted
- Handlebar height cannot be more than shoulder height
- Passengers under the age of five are not permitted on motorcycles
- It is mandatory to have one mirror on the left side
- If there is no windscreen, the law mandates eye protection
- When there is a passenger on the motorcycle, there should be a passenger seat as well as a footrest
- Turn signals are not mandatory
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Why do Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
A number of accidents involving motorcyclists occur due to the fault of the motor vehicle driver. Such accidents occur more frequently because motorcyclists can be difficult to spot on the road, especially when other drivers are not watching out for them.
Reckless or distracted drivers, maneuvering or speeding drivers, dense traffic, a driver’s inability to spot motorcyclists on the road, a driver violating the motorcyclist’s right of way, and the absence or inadequate use of signaling are some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents. These conditions along with various others can lead to motorcycle crashes that can cause extreme physical and emotional trauma, and occasionally, a fatality.
If a motorcycle accident occurred due to the fault of the other driver, it is important to pursue a legal claim. In Louisiana, the law mandates that claims for damages should be filed within a year of the date the accident occurred. A knowledgeable Lafayette motorcycle accident attorney can help victims recover the compensation they deserve.
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Possible Injuries in a Motorcycle Crash
Since motorcycles offer little protection, the list of injuries they can suffer in a crash is virtually endless. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), some of the common injuries that occur in such accidents are:
- Crushing of bones in the lower extremities
- Hemorrhaging and loss of consciousness
- Severe brain damage
- Facial disfiguration
- Pelvic fracture
- Loss of limbs
- Neck and back trauma
- Internal injuries
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What Happens if a Motorcyclist is Partially at Fault?
Some motorcycle crash cases involve a careless driver who is solely responsible for causing the accident. In other cases, the accident victim is partially responsible for their own injures.
For example, if a motorcyclist was speeding when a motorist failed to yield and collided with them, the other driver may claim that the victim was partially at fault. In Louisiana, an injured party who was partially at fault may still be able to recover damages. Under Louisiana Civil Code 2323, an injured party who was partially responsible may still recover compensation with a reduction in proportion to their share of fault.
Not all cases involve comparative negligence, but it could be advantageous to be prepared for common arguments and defenses. Consultation with an Iberia Parish motorcycle accident attorney could help an injured individual understand the legal arguments that they might face during negotiations or trial.
Grounds for a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Most lawsuits stemming from motorcycle accidents are based on the legal concept of negligence. Under a theory of negligence, a person or company that causes an injury due to their failure to exercise reasonable care may be liable for the harm that they caused. For example, a distracted driver who fails to maintain their lane and collides with a motorcyclist may be liable for the injuries that the motorcyclist suffers in the accident. All drivers have a duty to exercise care in the operation of their motor vehicles, and failure to do so could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
An injured motorcyclist may wish to have a motorcycle wreck lawyer in Iberia Parish or New Iberia file a lawsuit so that they may recover damages. Typically, injured individuals may seek to recover:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Calculating a fair value for these damages can be a complex task, and personal injury attorneys often call upon medical experts or accountants for assistance.
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Talk to a Lafayette Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Motorcycle riders who suffer serious injuries in crashes caused by a negligent driver in an SUV, sedan, or other larger vehicle may be eligible for compensation. However, the laws related to motorcycle accidents can be complicated, therefore, a qualified lawyer can prove helpful when seeking compensation from the negligent motorist who caused the crash.
If you had the misfortune of being involved in a motorbike accident, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a committed Lafayette motorcycle attorney. They can work with you each step of the way to help you achieve the best possible outcome.