If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, you should know you have legal rights and options that can help you with recovery. Our Omaha motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience representing clients who have been wronged, and we’re prepared to provide you with the legal representation you deserve.
While the number of motorcycle registrations has gone down over the years in Nebraska, the number of crashes and fatalities continues to rise. According to Nebraska’s Department of Transportation and their Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report, there were 540 motorcycle collisions in 2017. As a result, 488 people suffered from injuries and 27 lives were lost. Most of these wrecks could have been prevented with awareness and responsible driving.
Bike accident victims are likely to have a plethora of questions surrounding their accident, claim, and recovery. At Welsh & Welsh our attorneys are here to provide answers and help our clients seek justice for what should have never happened in the first place.
What Are the Primary Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Nebraska?
While there are a number of reasons motorcycle wrecks occur in Omaha, the following causes are the most common.
Distracted Driving. Distractions are commonly caused by cell phones and other wireless devices. Eating, drinking, interacting with children, pets, or other passengers, reaching for objects, and personal grooming are also contributing distraction factors. When a driver attempts multiple tasks at a time while behind the wheel they’re likely to miss what other vehicles are doing around them, as well as what’s going on with their surroundings.
Drunk Driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.4 percent of Nebraska’s citizens report driving after drinking too much. Alcohol impairs a driver’s abilities to make good decisions and act quickly behind the wheel, putting everyone else on the road at risk.
Inexperience. Most often related to age, inexperience is a factor of some Nebraska motorcycle accidents. Young riders may not have the skills necessary to react appropriately to certain situations on the road. It’s important for all motorcycle operators to go through the necessary training course, so they can operate their vehicle properly.
Traffic Violations. Violations like illegal left turns and neglecting to stop at a sign or traffic light contribute to a number of bike wrecks each year. Left-turn accidents are particularly common. When a driver misjudges a biker’s distance or does not see the vehicle when making a left turn, the oncoming motorcycle may be unable to stop and could strike the turning car.
Road Conditions. When roads are improperly cared for motorcyclists are at the most risk because they only have two wheels. When a four-wheeled vehicle hits a pothole, it has three other wheels to assist with the correction. It’s much harder for a motorcycle to correct after hitting a pothole or other road debris. Wet or icy roads are also dangerous for motorcycles.
Motorcycle Defects. In some cases, wrecks can be caused by faulty motorcycle parts. If the manufacturers didn’t install something correctly or installed the wrong part, the bike could fail, and the operator could get seriously injured.
Failure to Yield. Some aggressive drivers may not feel that they have to regard motorcyclists as equals on the road. If they refuse to yield when a biker has the right-of-way, they can cause a collision.
Inability to Share the Road. New drivers or drivers who don’t have a lot of experience with driving near motorcyclists may have difficulties with judging how far a biker is from them and how fast they’re going. Drivers may incorrectly think they have the space to make a lane change or have the time to make a turn.
Blind Spots. Motorcyclists are considerably smaller than the cars on the road around them. While a driver may look for cars in their blind spots, they may miss a motorcyclist if they glance too quickly or don’t check their rearview mirror as well.
No matter the reason for your injuries, our skilled lawyers will look into your case and find out what happened and how the other person was negligent.
What Consequences Are Associated with Motorcycle Accidents?
As we’ve discussed, motorcycle collisions can be devastating. Physical injuries, however, are not the only concern. Victims often have to figure out how to handle financial burdens and may be coping with emotional trauma.
In the event of an accident, motorcycle riders are at risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, spinal cord injuries, burn injuries, and nerve damage. The recovery process depends on the severity of the injury; however, many of the injuries can be catastrophic. This means the injuries can potentially have life-long consequences. A permanent injury could be a spinal injury that causes paralysis or a brain injury that inhibits a person’s ability to speak.
Motorcyclists have considerably less protection than someone in a car or truck. While those vehicles have a body, seat belts, and air bags, the most that bikers usually have is a helmet, protective long-sleeved clothing, thick gloves, and sturdy shoes.
When they are involved in an accident, the motorcyclist may be knocked off their vehicle or thrown from it. The contact with the ground can cause friction, which results in road rash – a form of burn injury. These injuries can be minor or severe.
A slight brush burn may only affect the top layer of skin. This doesn’t require medical treatment and should heal on its own. But when the friction tears outer layers and reaches deeper, the motorcyclist’s life can be in danger. Severe burn injuries affect nerves, muscle, and bone. They require intense medical treatment. Some injuries may need skin grafts, but some injuries are so severe that these won’t work. After a serious accident, bikers could lose feeling and function at the site of the burn injury.
Even for minor injuries, medical and hospital bills can be substantial. There may not be enough money to cover the damages, even with the proper health and auto insurance. Some financial costs associated with serious injuries include lengthy hospital stays, medication, therapy, long-term care, and counseling. If you’re struggling financially after an accident, contact our personal injury attorneys.
While physical injuries can heal with the right medical procedures and treatments, motorcycle crash victims may develop psychological issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. Some may also develop anxiety or depression, and could also avoid anything to do with getting back on the road. Seeking counseling with a licensed therapist can help; however, this kind of treatment can be expensive and there isn’t a time limit to how long it can take for someone to mentally recover from the trauma of a wreck.
The aftermath of an accident is a lot for anyone to deal with. When you’re worried about recovering, the financial stress of affording care and covering the damages can be overwhelming. Whether it’s for a brief period while you heal or a change in lifestyle, you need to have time to adjust to your new normal. That’s why Welsh & Welsh will help you get through this. We’ll fight for your claim so you can get space to breathe and recover.
What Makes Motorcycle Claims So Complex?
When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident that was someone else’s fault, they make not think they need representation because it’s clear that they didn’t do anything wrong. This doesn’t mean, however, that the insurance company will give the biker everything they’re owed.
Insurance companies save money when they give you less, so they could try to use anything against you so you don’t get full compensation for your injuries. While the person who caused the accident may seem cordial and willing to work with you at the scene of the accident, they may change their story when it’s time to report it to their insurance company.
There’s also a stigma against motorcyclists that paints them as people who don’t obey speed limits and are inherently more reckless. While this is a stereotype and not the case, it can still influence people to think that the motorcyclist had some fault in their crash.
That’s why it’s imperative that you get legal professionals who are well-versed in cases like this. We know how to show that you didn’t cause the crash and that the negligent actions of the other party are the reason why you’ve suffered losses.
To protect yourself from not giving the insurance company any reason to invalidate your claim or reduce your settlement, you should know what to do in the event of an accident.
What Do I Do After a Motorcycle Wreck in Omaha, NE?
Any vehicle accident can be an overwhelming experience. You may be wondering what the proper protocol is and whether or not you have any legal obligations to take care of. If you’re in the condition to do so after a motorcycle wreck, take into consideration the following steps:
- Call 911. You’ll want to call emergency services after an accident to seek medical treatment for yourself and anyone else involved in the accident. It’s likely you may also need to make a statement to the police.
- Don’t Discuss the Accident. Until you’ve hired an attorney, avoid discussing the accident. Anything you say could be used against you later. Never apologize for what happened.
- Exchange Information. You have a legal obligation to swap contact information with the other driver, which you will later share with your respective insurance companies.
- Document What Happened. Your motorcycle accident claim will benefit from as much information as you can provide. After the accident, record what you remember happening. Make note of the road conditions. It’s also a good idea to snap some photos of the vehicles, your injuries, and the conditions of the road and weather.
- Keep Good Records. It’s likely you won’t be able to collect a settlement until your doctor determines you’ve recovered. Depending on how long that takes, a significant amount of time could pass. Make sure you keep accurate and precise records of your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and recovery process.
- Contact an Attorney. With the right law firm, you’re likely to walk away from your motorcycle accident with the compensation you’ll need to get your life back in order.
With trusted attorneys at your side, you’ll be able to move forward with your claim and get the justice you deserve.
How Can Welsh & Welsh Help Me With My Claim?
Our Omaha motorcycle accident lawyers are here for you when you need us most. We can help you speak with your insurance company and understand confusing policies, so you know what you’re eligible for. If your insurance company is trying to minimize their costs by not giving you what you deserve, we’ll do whatever it takes to ensure you receive full and fair compensation.
You can get peace of mind that professionals are looking out for your best interests. For more information about your rights and options after an accident, contact our office today.