A crash on a motorbike has the potential to be devastating, even deadly. According to research published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than 5,000 motorcyclists are killed in accidents each and every year. Tens of thousands more bikers suffer traumatic injuries.
To protect the health and safety of everyone on the road, it is crucial that all riders in Nevada obey the state’s motorcycle safety regulations. Not only will doing so reduce your risk of being injured, but it will also make it far easier to recover full and fair financial compensation in the unfortunate event that a major accident occurs.
At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, our Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorneys are committed to improving highway safety in Nevada. We want to make sure that all motorcyclists have access to the information that they need to fully understand our state’s motorcycle accident laws. Here, our legal team answers some of the most commonly asked questions about motorcycle accidents laws and personal injury claims.
In contrast to some other major states — most notably, the neighboring state of California — motorcycle lane splitting is not allowed in Nevada. If a multi-vehicle wreck occurs when a biker is splitting lanes, it may be challenging for them to bring a personal injury lawsuit. It is very likely that any other driver will try to blame the lane-splitting motorcyclist for the wreck. This type of case requires an immediate review by an attorney.
All motorcyclists should wear a protective helmet. The benefits of motorcycle helmets are well-established: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of motorcycle accident head injuries by nearly 70 percent and that doing so reduces the risk of a motorcycle accident fatality by nearly 40 percent.
Nevada motorcycle helmet laws require riders to wear helmets when on public roadways in the state. Notably, most motorcycle passengers are also required to wear safety helmets in Nevada. All motorcycle helmets should meet the basic safety requirements and safety standards set forth by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
If a rider fails to wear a helmet and an accident occurs, an opposing insurance company may try to deny part, or all, of its liability for the crash. To be clear, the failure to wear a helmet does not make an injured biker ineligible to bring a personal injury claim. Far from it. However, lack of a helmet could make the legal process more challenging and it could potentially lead to the insurance company trying to reduce a settlement offer.
As noted by the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, side-by-side riding is permitted in our state. Though, side-by-side riding is only allowed when both riders consent. To be clear, this means that motorcyclists have the absolute right to ride side-by-side with each other if they both choose to do so. Should a third driver cause an accident while bikers are riding side-by-side, the injured bikers have every right to bring a negligence lawsuit.
Under Nevada Law (N.R.S. Chapter 486), motorcyclists are required to comply with a wide range of equipment regulations. In fact, to be able to legally operate a motorcycle on the roads and streets in Nevada, a rider should be sure that they are following all relevant motorcycle equipment rules and regulations. This includes everything from having properly working headlights, tail lights and brake lights to having the appropriate rear view mirrors on the bike’s handlebars.
Following an accident, an insurance company may want to inspect a motorcycle to ensure that there were no equipment violations. Should they find a violation, the insurance company may attempt to use it as justification to reduce a settlement offer or to deny liability altogether. Insurance companies do not necessarily have the right to do this. If an equipment violation was wholly unrelated to the traffic accident, then it is fundamentally irrelevant to the personal injury claims process. However, if the equipment violation — perhaps broken brake lights — contributed to causing the accident, it may be relevant to the legal claim.
In many ways, motorcycle crash claims are similar to other motor vehicle accident cases. For example, Nevada motorcycle accidents are still subject to the same two-year statute of limitations as are other auto accident claims. Additionally, motorcycle accident claims are typically brought under the state’s modified comparative negligence standard, just the same as other car accident cases.
However, there are also some very important differences between motorcycle collisions and other personal injury cases. Among other things, insurance companies tend to be especially aggressive in trying to push some of the blame for an accident onto an injured motorcyclist. They will look for minor violations of the Nevada motorcycle laws. Injured victims must be ready to fight back against unjust blame for a crash — getting unfairly blamed could take thousands of dollars out of your pocket.
If you or your loved one was severely injured in a motorcycle wreck in Las Vegas or in any of the surrounding communities in Southern Nevada, it is crucial that you consult with a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience handling claims involving motorcycle accident injuries.
Our legal team is here to help. At Ladah Law Firm, PLLC, our Nevada personal injury lawyers have deep experience handling complex motorcycle accident claims. We fight tirelessly to help our clients recover full financial compensation for their losses.
If you have questions or concerns about Nevada motorcycle accident laws and your legal claim, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today 702-252-0055. From our law office in Las Vegas, we represent motorcycle accident victims in Clark County and throughout Southern Nevada.