CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH ALBUQUERQUE MOTORCYCLE CRASH LAWYERS FOR FREE
Motorcycle accidents are often one of the most dangerous types of vehicle accidents, as motorcyclists generally have little protection against collisions. Motorcyclists may also often be more vulnerable to other drivers on the road, as drivers may not see a motorcycle in their blind spot before switching lanes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Albuquerque, call the Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we don’t win your case, you will not owe us anything.
ALBUQUERQUE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
Motorcycle accidents are often especially dangerous, given the lack of protection afforded to a rider and the size and force of the vehicle striking the motorcycle. Indeed, the New Mexico Department of Transportation reported that 78.4% of all motorcycle riders involved in accidents in New Mexico in 2018 were either injured in killed. Motorcycle accidents represented about 2.3% of total vehicle crashes, with almost 1,100 crashes in 2018, but they also represented about 14.2% of all fatal vehicle crashes. 4.3 percent of all motorcyclists wearing helmets at the time of the crash were killed, while 7.7% of motorcyclists involved in accidents without a helmet were killed.
COMMON TYPES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Generally, the type of motorcycle accident you were involved in may help your attorney determine who may be liable for your injuries. One of the most common types of motorcycle accidents, a left-turn collision, is most often the fault of a driver who fails to yield when turning left. Other common types of motorcycle accidents include:
Contactless motorcycle accidents typically occur when the driver of the automobile drives too close to a motorcycle or cuts the motorcycle off, often causing the motorcyclist to lose control of the motorcycle or to be forced to lay down the motorcycle to avoid a crash.
Rear-end collisions occur when a vehicle runs into the back of the vehicle in front of it.
Single-vehicle accidents are commonly the result of hazardous conditions related to the upkeep of roads such as potholes or dangerous roadways. The city responsible for maintaining the roadway may be liable for injuries caused by dangerous roadway conditions.
Product Liability Accidents
Product liability accidents are usually the result of defective vehicle parts, in which case the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer involved in the distribution chain for the motorcycle may be liable for your injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE CRASHES
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver’s negligent behavior, as motorcyclists are often especially vulnerable to the behavior of other drivers given the small size of motorcycles. However, insurance companies may attempt to unfairly blame the motorcyclist for a crash to weaken the victim’s claim for compensation.
Most motorcycle accidents are caused when another driver is negligent, driving irresponsibly, or makes a mistake. Motorcycle accidents may often be caused by negligent behavior such as:
- Other drivers failing to adequately check rearview and side mirrors
- Other drivers failing to give a motorcyclist adequate room while passing the motorcycle
- Vehicles turning too soon in front of a motorcyclist at an intersection
- Drivers pulling out in front of a motorcyclist when backing out of a parking space or driveway
- Distracted driving
- Driving in hazardous weather conditions
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to motorcycles
- Drivers running red lights or stop signs
Various mechanical issues may also cause motorcycle crashes, such as:
- Defective tires or mechanical defects
- Gear shift or brake defects
- Improper design of the motorcycle
- Improper weight distribution of the motorcycle
COMMON MOTORCYCLE INJURIES
Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable when involved in an accident, which tragically may result in severe injuries and even fatalities. Motorcyclists involved in accidents while not wearing helmets are particularly susceptible to severe injuries, especially head or brain injuries, as well as a higher risk of death. Further, even low impact collisions may result in injuries for motorcyclists.
The most common injuries sustained by motorcyclists in accidents are:
- Road rash, which is skin abrasions caused by contact with road surfaces
- Fractured bones, especially arms, legs, wrists, and ribs
- Degloving injuries, which occur when a layer of skin is torn from the underlying tissue in an area
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Severe lacerations to the skin and internal organs, which may require stitching or stapling
- Spinal injuries
- Organ damage
- Injuries from impaling
- Permanent scarring
- Nerve damage
- Temporary or permanent paralysis including paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Crushing injuries, particularly from being run over by a vehicle
- Emotional trauma, including anxiety and depression
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish caused by injuries
Because these injuries commonly suffered in motorcycle accidents often result in costly medical expenses and extensive therapy or rehabilitation, it is often crucial that you contact an experienced Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to help you pursue any compensation you may be entitled to while you focus on healing and recuperating from your injuries.
PROVING LIABILITY IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE
To determine who may be liable for your injuries after a motorcycle crash, your lawyer must generally prove that the accident was caused by the other party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional action. You will need to show that the at-fault party caused your injuries to have a successful motorcycle accident lawsuit.
In general, there are four key elements typically required to prove the other party’s liability in a motorcycle accident case:
1. Duty of Care
To hold the other party liable, you must generally first prove that the other party owed you some duty to exercise reasonable care. In automobile accident cases, including motorcycle crashes, this element is often satisfied by proving the other driver had a duty to reasonably avoid crashing into other drivers or vehicles and to pay attention to the road and obey traffic laws.
2. Breach of Duty
The other party must also have breached, or failed to meet, the duty of care owed to you at the time. For example, texting and driving or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are examples of breaching the driver’s duty of care to others on the road.
3. Proximate Cause
The other driver’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional act must also be the proximate cause of the motorcycle crash and your injuries. If the accident was caused by someone else or some intervening cause, your claim may not be successful.
Finally, you must prove that you did indeed suffer physical injuries or other damages as a result of the accident. These may include any medical expenses incurred to treat your injuries, property damage to your motorcycle, pain and suffering caused by your injuries, lost wages from the time you missed from work while recovering, or other economic or non-economic damages incurred as a result of your motorcycle crash.
WHAT DAMAGES MAY BE AVAILABLE?
Motorcycle accidents typically result in thousands of dollars in damages. The size and force imbalance between motorcycles and passenger vehicles increases the likelihood that victims may suffer serious or even life-threatening injuries. Your motorcycle may also often be completely totaled and unable to be repaired after a collision.
Costly medical expenses and repairing or replacing the motorcycle are common economic damages that may be available following your motorcycle accident. You may also be entitled to compensation for any lost income from the work you missed after the accident. If you suffered a temporary or permanent disability, you may also be able to seek compensation for your diminished earning capacity.
Non-economic damages may also be available in some cases, such as:
- Pain and suffering you endured from the accident
- Emotional or mental anguish caused by the trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a loved one was killed in the crash, you may also be able to pursue wrongful death damages. In New Mexico, a wrongful death representative of the estate may file a wrongful death claim, and the damages from the claim are distributed according to New Mexico’s wrongful death law. Generally, proceeds go to the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, or siblings, depending on the circumstances.
Finally, punitive damages may be available in some cases if the other party’s behavior was especially egregious.
HOW CAN A LAWYER HELP YOU?
Determining the underlying cause of each party’s responsibility in an accident can be a complicated process. After discussing the details of the accident with you, your accident attorney may help you better understand your legal options and the steps involved in filing a personal injury claim. Your attorney may also advise you on the process of negotiating with the insurance company. If necessary, your lawyer may take your case to trial.
To help prove the other party’s fault and the extent of your injuries, your lawyer may need to:
- Consult with various accident experts, such as accident site survey teams, civil engineers, accident reconstruction specialists, doctors, or others to gather evidence to support your claim.
- Investigate the accident
- Speak with witnesses
- Gather your medical records
- Review police reports
Hiring an attorney immediately after your accident occurs may increase the likelihood of successfully proving the other party’s liability and recovering the compensation you may be entitled to.
SPEAK WITH A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR FREE
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Albuquerque lawyers are here to help you with your claim. We assist our clients in seeking the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after they or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle crash.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorneys. You will not pay anything unless we can win your motorcycle crash claim. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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