MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
According to the Hurt study conducted about motorcycle accidents, motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be inured in an accident. In addition, between 96% and 98% motor vehicle accidents result in an injury to a motorcyclist. This results directly in greater number of personal injury claims being made by motorcyclists than drivers of other types of vehicles relative to the percentage of vehicles on the road compared with motorcycles.
There are many factors that contribute to these high statistics as there are large number of hazards and risks that motorcyclists face that regular road users simply take for granted. Our legal team understands these factors and can provide expert advice as well as legal representation in a personal injury lawsuit with regards to the following:
Road and driving conditions are among the most common reasons for the high rate of motorcycle accidents. Potholes, a slick road surface or just about any other condition that a regular road user takes for granted can pose a hazard to a motorcyclist. It is essential to understand how these hazards can affect a personal injury claim and what these hazards include. Most insurance companies list the following as conditions that pose a danger on the road:
– Inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog or mist and wind.
– Impaired vision caused by poorly lit roads at night and glare during the day.
– Slow moving or heavy traffic.
– The state of the road including an uneven road surface, obstacles in the road, improperly marked roads, busy intersections, sharp curves, non-functional traffic lights, etc.
– Road works resulting in the narrowing of lanes or presenting obstacles in the road.
– The scene of a motor vehicle collision or accident.
OTHER VEHICLES ON THE ROAD
As a motorcyclist, it is not only necessary to be aware of one’s own driving behavior but that of other drivers on the road. Cars, trucks and other vehicles don’t just outnumber the amount of motorcycles on the road, but the drivers of these vehicles are often unaware or do not pay attention to motorcyclists sharing the same roadway. This can result in negligent or poor driving that motorcyclists constantly need to pay attention to. A simple lane change without checking the blind spot or inaccurately judging the speed and distance of a motorcyclist on the road can have disastrous consequences.
Statistically, inexperienced motorcycle drivers are far more likely to cause or be in a motor vehicle accident than those who have more experience and an understanding of how driving conditions and other drivers on the road can increase their risk of being in an accident. Driver inexperience can therefore play an important role when claiming for a personal injury.
Understanding the legal requirements for insurance for motorcyclists as well as how insurance companies operate when it comes to personal injury claims is essential in providing quality legal representation and achieving a successful outcome for our clients. The following factors are critical when dealing with insurance companies:
INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
Just like drivers of other vehicles on the road, motorcyclists are required by law to have minimum liability insurance in Nevada. If they do not have this type of insurance coverage while operating a motorcycle on the road, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Minimum liability cover for motorcyclists in Nevada must include:
– For the death or bodily injury of one person in an accident, $25,000
– For the death or bodily injury of two persons in an accident, $50,000
– For damage or destruction of property of a third party, $20,000
It is important to note that these are minimum values calculated according to the average cost of personal injury claims in the state of Nevada. Any amount in excess of these values can be claimed for personally. It is also necessary to be aware that it is recommended for motorcyclists to have comprehensive insurance to cover more than just the minimum costs.
Insurance companies do not enjoy paying for claims, especially where 3rd parties are involved an often have an in-house team of experienced and skilled attorneys to defend against claims that are brought to court. In the event that an insurance provider is less than willing to pay a claim, our legal team has the skills and the knowledge to deal with insurance companies in order to ensure that you are awarded a personal injury claim or that a settlement is reached.
MOTORCYCLE DRIVER REQUIREMENTS
In Nevada, a motorcyclist must be in possession of a Class M driving licence. This driving licence entitles them to operate a motorcycle on public roads. Without a valid Class M driving licence, a motorcyclist can be charged with a misdemeanor with the resulting penalties of a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail.
Due to the fact that inexperienced driving plays such a major role in the cause of motorcycle accidents, it is also recommended that additional training is taken. Courses in addition to the Nevada Riders Program sponsored Licence Course and Knowledge & Skills test are available to provide advanced and defensive driving tactics.
All vehicles on the road must meet with certain equipment and safety standards according to Nevada state laws. According to the laws, a motorcycle must be equipped with the following in order for it to be operated safely on public roads:
– Front and rear brakes
– Left and right electric indicator lights
– Front and back wheel fenders
– Adjustable driver and passenger foot rests
– Handlebars with hand grips below shoulder height
– At least one headlight and a maximum of two that should be in operation when driving during the day and at night
– A horn
– A muffler
– Left and right rear view mirrors fixed to the handlebars
– A minimum of one reflector that is visible for at least 300 feet
– A red tail-light that is visible for at least 500 feet.
It is the motorcycle driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is fully equipped with the above and that each piece of equipment is operational in order to avoid penalties or when it comes to claiming for a personal injury resulting from a motorcycle accident.