Even in an accident at a moderate speed, motorcycle operators and their passengers are at great risk of injury from their bodies being exposed to contact with other vehicles and the hard road surface. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, you deserve full, fair compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, motorcycle accident cases tend to be much more complex than auto accidents, because defendant insurance companies have additional tactics they use to drive down the cost of settling. But, when you retain Goforth & Lilley, you get all the resources that come with having an established and reputable law firm beside you. We have a solid record of success recovering fair damage awards and settlements, and we’re ready to work passionately for you.
Motorcycle riders are often viewed as rebels and risk-takers, especially when they are willing to ride at highway speeds on busy routes like I-10 and U.S. 90. In accident claims, insurance companies attempt to use this image to disparage the injured plaintiff and convince a jury that the rider was responsible in whole or in part for the crash. Louisiana’s comparative negligence law would then reduce the amount the rider could recover from a defendant. To protect clients from this tactic, our attorneys work diligently to build a compelling case, consulting with certified accident reconstruction experts and examining witnesses and defendants under oath.
Often, a dangerous maneuver by a passenger car driver can cause an accident, even if the bike isn’t hit. Was there an abrupt lane change that forced the bike to swerve? Did a driver fail to yield the right of way? Drivers often say they never saw the bike coming, implying that the bike operator did something wrong. But often, they didn’t see the bike simply because they weren’t paying attention. Our experience with motorcycle and auto accident cases can help you get the fair compensation you deserve.
Louisiana requires that all operators and passengers riding motorcycles wear a helmet “secured properly with a chin strap while the vehicle is in motion.” To meet the legal requirements, the helmet must “consist of lining, padding, visor, and chin strap and … meet such other specifications as shall be established by the commissioner.” Riding a motorcycle without a helmet can result in a $50 fine, but other consequences of noncompliance can be far more costly. It’s been demonstrated that motorcycle helmets save lives and prevent disabling traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, if you fail to wear a helmet, your injuries from a crash can be much more severe than if you’d worn a helmet. But how might failing to wear a helmet influence your personal injury claim?
Louisiana’s comparative negligence law reduces a victim’s recovery in proportion to that person’s percentage of fault for the injuries. Failing to wear a helmet is not a negligent act that would cause an accident, so the law specifically states that it cannot be used as prima facie evidence of negligence. It is also not relevant if the victim does not claim a head injury. However, if the victim does claim a head injury, comparative negligence can greatly reduce the amount the victim recovers.
Our personal injury attorneys recommend that motorcycle operators and passengers always wear helmets, as well as other protective clothing that can guard against impacts and friction with the road surface.
Goforth & Lilley is an established Lafayette law firm with a substantial record of success in vehicle accident claims, including motorcycle crash cases. To learn how we can assist with your claim, schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. Call us today at 337-446-4239 or contact our office online.
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