MOTORCYCLE INJURY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IF I WASN'T WEARING A HELMET?
In Louisiana, motorcycle riders are required to wear a helmet according to LA Revised Statute § 32:190. If you were in a motorcycle wreck that was caused by someone else and you were not wearing a helmet, it's possible that you will be found partially at fault for your injuries.
Under Louisiana's comparative fault laws, your recovery will be reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault. For example, if it is determined that you are 40% at fault for your injuries, your settlement or award will be reduced by that 40% leaving you able to recover 60% of what the award is.
If the crash caused you head or neck injuries and you weren't wearing a helmet, it's very likely that the injuries will be found to be partially your fault. On the other hand, if it can be proven that your injuries would not have been prevented by wearing a helmet, you may be found less at fault.
2. WHO CAN SUE IN A MOTORCYCLE INJURY CASE?
In Louisiana, the operator of the motorcycle can make a claim for damages if the crash was someone else's fault.
In the unfortunate event that the operator of the motorcycle passes away from his or her injuries, the case becomes a wrongful death case. In Louisiana, the spouse and/or children of the deceased can make a claim on his or her behalf. If there is no spouse or children, the right to make a claim goes to the parents, grandparents, and then siblings of the deceased person, in that order. No other family member can make a wrongful death claim.
3. WHAT IF I WAS A PASSENGER ON A MOTORCYCLE AND WAS INJURED?
If you were a passenger on a motorcycle (or any vehicle for that matter), you have the right to make a claim against the person who was at fault for the injury. This could be the operator of the motorcycle, another driver, or both. If the at-fault person was another driver and that person did not have insurance (or enough insurance), you can make a claim against the operator of the motorcycle.
4. WHAT IF IT WAS PARTIALLY MY FAULT?
If you were injured in a motorcycle crash that you believe was partially your fault, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages. Louisiana is a comparative fault state which means that you can only receive compensation for the percentage of damages that are not considered your fault. In some other states, if an injured person is found to be at fault for an accident whatsoever, that person cannot receive any compensation. So Louisiana's comparative fault laws are beneficial for plaintiffs.
On that note, having an experienced attorney handle your case for you will be vital for you in getting the most compensation possible. The defense will lean heavily on your portion of fault when trying to reduce the amount you can be compensated.
5. WHAT CAN I BE COMPENSATED FOR AFTER A MOTORCYCLE WRECK?
As in any car crash or injury, the amount you can be compensated depends largely on the amount of insurance available. If the person at fault for the injury has no insurance or has limited insurance, the amount you can receive in compensation will be limited to that amount (although an experienced attorney will look for other avenues of compensation for you).
Generally though, you can make a claim for compensation for the following:
- Your medical expenses from the injuries caused by the wreck
- Future medical expenses that you may have because of the wreck
- Your lost wages if your injury caused you to miss work
- Your future lost wages if the wreck has disabled you permanently
- Your pain and suffering from the mental and physical trauma caused by the wreck and/or your injuries
6. WHAT IF I WANT TO HANDLE MY CASE MYSELF?
We support people who want to handle their small car wreck claims themselves. In fact, we even wrote a book showing them how it works.
However, motorcycle wrecks often result in catastrophic injuries. Not to mention, the defendants will try to argue that riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous and you assumed that risk when you decided to ride one. Beyond that, if you weren't wearing a helmet, the defense will try to argue that your injuries are your fault.
All that to say, if you have been in a motorcycle wreck, making a claim for compensation will be an uphill battle for you. It would be well worth it to have an experienced attorney make the arguments for you so that you can be fairly compensated and so that you can focus on recovering physically.
Motorcycle Injuries - Get the Compensation You Need
We know that your motorcycle isn't just a way of getting around...it's a way of life. And being injured while riding your bike can be physically and emotionally damaging in ways that go beyond a regular car crash injury.
Bikers are much more likely to be severely injured in a crash simply because there is nothing protecting them from the force of the other vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, a motorcyclist is 6 times more likely to be injured and 29 times more likely to die in a crash compared to a person riding in a car.
But just like cars, trucks, and regular bicycles, bikers have every right to be on the road and should expect their fellow drivers to operate safely around them.
If you've been injured while riding your motorcycle because of someone else's negligence, you have every right to seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage, regardless of what the insurance company tries to tell you.
What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets whenever they are riding a motorcycle in the state of Louisiana. But even with a helmet on, motorcyclists can still suffer life-threatening injuries if they are hit by a vehicle. Some of the most common injuries sustained in motorcycle crashes in Louisiana include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Broken or fractured bones
- Road rash
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Many motorcyclists are thrown off of their bike onto the pavement. Sometimes, the motorcycle will even fall on top of the injured motorcyclist in a crash. These are some of the reasons why motorcycle accidents can lead to such severe injuries.
Who is Liable For Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana?
Motorcycle accident victims are entitled to compensation, but they cannot recover this compensation without proving that the other party is responsible for their injuries. Proving liability comes down to showing that you were injured as a result of the other driver's negligence.
Negligence can take on many forms in a motorcycle collision claim. Some examples of negligence that may lead to a motorcycle accident include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to comply with traffic laws
- Failing to check blind spots
- Driving recklessly
- Failing to yield
- Running red lights or stop lights
If you can prove that the other driver's negligence caused the accident, you can be compensated for your injuries. For example, let's say you were hit while passing through an intersection by a driver who was running a red light. The accident would not have occurred if the driver had not ignored the red light. This means the cause of the accident was the driver's decision to run through the red light. Running a red light is negligent since it is illegal, which means the accident was caused by the driver's negligence. In this case, the other driver would be at fault for the accident.
Can I Recover Compensation If I Was At Fault For the Motorcycle Accident?
In personal injury law, the person who is at fault should compensate the victim for their injuries. But in some cases, there is more than one person at fault. In fact, sometimes the victim is partially liable for the accident.
You may think that you cannot recover compensation for your injuries if you were partly to blame for the motorcycle accident, but that may not be the case. You still have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, but the fact that you were at fault could impact how much you are awarded.
Louisiana uses the pure comparative negligence doctrine. This means that personal injury victims can still recover compensation when they are partly to blame, but the amount they are awarded will be adjusted to account for their role in the accident.
For example, it may be determined that you were 30% at fault for the motorcycle accident, and the other driver was 70% at fault. You are awarded $100,000 for your injuries, but you won't receive all of it. Instead, you will only receive 70% of this compensation, or $7,000. This is because the award will be reduced by 30% to account for your contribution to the cause of the accident.
Don't let your role in a motorcycle accident stop you from collecting the compensation you deserve. The amount that you are awarded may be reduced, but you are still entitled to compensation for your injuries.
When Should You Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Lafayette?
Don't hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a motorcycle crash. Your attorney will need to launch an investigation into the accident right away in order to gather evidence before it is destroyed. Waiting too long to seek legal representation could make it impossible for your attorney to collect the evidence that they need to prove liability and win compensation on your behalf.
The sooner you get in touch with a personal injury attorney, the better. Let the motorcycle wreck attorneys at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys immediately step in, protect your rights, and begin working towards the best possible outcome in your case.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? The personal injury attorneys at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys understand how important riding is to bikers in Louisiana. That is why it is so devastating when the experience of riding is ruined by a negligent driver who collides with your motorcycle. If this happens to you, let our motorcycle accident attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve.
Let our attorneys work tirelessly to help you hold the at-fault party accountable for the damage they have caused. We are committed to ensuring that motorcycle accident victims are fully compensated for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Learn more about your legal options and the next steps in the personal injury claim process during a free case review with our team. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our law firm at (337) 347-7177 or submit your information using the form on this website. Our team is standing by ready to take your call and discuss your case.