Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys

No matter how well you control your motorcycle, you’re at the mercy of other vehicles on the road–most of which have the advantage of size and a whole lot of metal “armor” that your bike doesn’t have.

If you get in a motorcycle accident, your top priority is your health, but you also want to take the steps to get the compensation you’re entitled to after the injury accident. This compensation can cover property damage, medical bills, missed work, and even pain and suffering.

Motorcycle Accident Dont Leave the Scene Without Doing This

(Valentin Sarte/pexels)

At the Accident Scene

No one expects a motorcycle accident, so you’ll likely feel jolted, dazed, and disoriented after you’re hit—and that’s to say nothing of the pain you may be feeling if you’re injured. If you’re well enough, take the critical steps below before leaving the scene. If not, do your best to get help with these steps.

Call 9-1-1

Call for emergency help right away. Explain the nature of your injuries, so that you can get emergency medical services right away (if needed).

Make sure the police come to the scene of the accident. They can help clear the accident so that you don’t endanger yourself or other motorists. They can also document the details of the accident and get you a copy of the police report (which will be invaluable when dealing with insurance).

Exchange Information with the Other Motorist

Make sure to get their:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Insurance company name and policy number (it may be easiest to take a picture of their insurance card)
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Make, model, and color of vehicle

Take Pictures

If you’re not in a position to pull out your smartphone and snap photos, see if a trustworthy source can help you. You’ll want photographs of your injuries, your passenger’s injuries (if applicable), your motorcycle damages, the damages to the vehicle that hit you, the road or intersection where the accident occurred, the surrounding street signs or lights, and the weather conditions (including pictures of what the roads are like).

Get Testimonies from Witnesses

Phones can come in handy here, too, as they can capture a video recording of witnesses’ testimonies. Make sure to get witnesses’ contact information, too.

Arrange for a Medical Visit

If the paramedics take you to the emergency room, the staff there can assess your injuries. But what happens if your injuries aren’t bad enough for a trip to the ER? Make an appointment to see a doctor right away anyway.

It’s common for motorcycle accidents to cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and neck and back injuries that you may not notice right away. A doctor can conduct tests and prescribe care so you don’t make your injuries worse. Make sure to keep any medical records that show your diagnosis and treatment. Comply with all recommendations from your doctor (this validates your injuries in the insurance company’s eyes and shows that you are serious about getting help).

A medical visit can also draw a clear connection between your accident and the injuries it caused. This will work in your favor if the insurance company tries to pin your injuries on pre-existing health problems (a common tactic). Make sure to keep your medical bills (including pharmacy bills) so you can track the costs of your injuries.

Contact an Attorney

The laws surrounding motorcycle accidents are different from car accident laws, so you want an attorney who has experience with motorcycle crash cases. The advantages of contacting a motorcycle accident attorney immediately after the collision include:

  • They can get all relevant documentation from the scene of the accident. People forget or confuse details. Witnesses disappear. Not all police reports are correct. Your attorney can act as an advocate for you at the scene of the accident and collect the most important evidence before it evaporates.
  • They can talk to the insurance adjusters on your behalf. Insurance adjusters may try to get you to say or admit something that they can hold against you later. An attorney can see through these maneuvers and keep you from jeopardizing your legal case.
  • They can help you know whether to accept a settlement. The opposing insurance company is just that–a for-profit company. The less they can pay you, the more money they can keep. It behooves them to give you a lowball offer.
    An attorney can make sure you’re not settling for less than you are legally entitled to. The last thing you want is to take a cash payout only to realize that your medical bills are continuing, or your property damages were worse than you originally thought. An experienced attorney will know what constitutes a fair settlement.

Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle

The open road, the wind on your face, the sheer challenge of riding, the sense of community–these are the things that keep people on their bikes in spite of the risks. If you’ve been injured and still want to get on your bike (or haven’t been injured and want to avoid the risks of a motorcycle accident in the future), follow these safety tips:

Get a License

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than one-third of motorcyclists who are killed in traffic accidents do not hold a valid driver’s license. In order to ride on Las Vegas roads, you must have a valid license issued through the DMV. If you don’t have one, you shouldn’t be getting on your bike. Contact the DMV about taking the written test and skills assessment.

Don’t Ride Between Traffic Lanes

You are quick and agile on your motorcycle, so it can be tempting to weave through cars to get ahead—especially if traffic is moving slowly. This practice of riding between lanes is called “lane-splitting,” and it’s illegal in Nevada. Cars are usually watching for other cars—not motorcycles. Your presence alongside them can be totally unexpected. In fact, larger vehicles may not even be able to see you.

Note that it is legal to “lane share,” which is different than lane splitting. Lane sharing means sharing the lane with another motorcycle, but it is only allowed if the other motorcyclist has consented.

Wear a Helmet and Face Protection

A helmet is required in Nevada. So is a face shield or goggles, unless your motorcycle has a windshield or screen. Make sure your helmet is USDOT certified.

Wear Protective Clothing

When you ride, you should dress to cover your entire body from neck to feet (long sleeves, long pants). Your protective gear should include gloves and closed footwear (preferably boots that cover the ankle). If your shoes have laces, make sure they are not hanging loose where they can get caught in the moving parts of your bike. You should also wear bright, reflective colors (especially from the waist-up) so you will stand out to vehicle drivers on the road.

Don’t Take Passengers Unless Your Bike was Designed for Them

Unless your motorcycle was specifically designed to carry more than one person (and has footrests for the passenger), you should be the only one on the bike. If your motorcycle is a passenger bike, make sure your passenger wears a helmet, too.

Maintain Your Bike

Keep close tabs on your tire pressure and tire tread depth and make sure your brakes, headlights, and signals are working. You should also make sure your fluids are topped off and that nothing is leaking.

Don’t Drive While Under the Influence

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 27% of motorcycle drivers involved in deadly crashes in 2020 were under the influence of alcohol, compared to 23% of car/truck drivers. Regardless of whether you are driving a motorcycle or car, driving under the influence is reckless. You will be issued a DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least .08% (or at least .02% for minors). You may not think you’re drunk, and you may be able to “hold your liquor,” but the police go by the BAC and will charge you accordingly.

A first-time DUI here in Nevada will get you a misdemeanor, up to 100 hours of community service, a fine ($400 minimum), and up to six months in prison. It is also likely that you’ll have to surrender your driver’s license for up to six months. If you cause major injuries or death, even if it’s your first time driving under the influence, you could get a category B felony with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Don’t chance it.