Motorcycle accident claims in Louisiana, as well as large truck accidents, are much more likely to result in fatalities than accidents involving passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists who are hit by a much larger automobile will typically suffer extremely serious injuries if they survive the crash at all. While the driver of an automobile will be protected to some extent by the metal “cage” which surrounds them as well as safety restraints and airbags, the motorcyclist has only a helmet and the leather chaps commonly worn to provide any sort of protection. This is assuming the motorcyclist is actually wearing a helmet—even though motorcycle helmets are considered to be 38 percent effective in preventing fatalities, only about half of all motorcycle riders actually wear a helmet.
Injuries Sustained by Motorcycle Riders in Louisiana
Brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, road rash which becomes infected, serious fractures, internal injuries, paralysis, amputations, concussions, herniated discs or other spine injuries, cuts, abrasions and internal injuries can result from a motorcycle accident. This level of traumatic injury can lead to years or even a lifetime of medical expenses, surgeries and rehabilitation. Motorcyclists who suffer this level of injury may never be able to resume the work they engaged in prior to the accident and may even require round-the-clock assistance. The medical expenses can exceed insurance limits leaving victims responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In short, the former quality of life of a person gravely injured in a motorcycle accident may never return to anything resembling “normal.”
Motorcycle Accident Causes in Louisiana
Most motorcycle accidents happen when the driver of an automobile simply fails to see the motorcyclist, although in some cases drivers who resent sharing the roadways with motorcycles may go out of their way to actually cause an accident. Drivers may also miscalculate the speed of an oncoming motorcyclist, turning in front of him or her in an intersection, or may back out of a driveway or parking lot without seeing the motorcyclist behind them. Motorcyclists may also take a corner too fast or run into a road hazard which can lead to a single-vehicle accident. While passenger vehicles can generally recover from a pothole, branches in the road, an animal, oil spill or inclement weather, motorcyclists are much less able to do so. Riding a motorcycle may itself be a factor in recovering compensation for injuries to the rider. In many cases, juries have a bias against motorcycle riders, believing that they drive too fast and take excessive risks.
Whatever the cause of your motorcycle accident, the most important thing to do is to obtain experienced legal representation as soon after the accident as possible. The one-year statute of limitations, or “prescription” which applies to injury claims against third parties will pass quickly. If the deadline to file suit against a third party passes, your legal claims against the third party and his or her insurer will be barred by the doctrine of “prescription.” You will then be unable to recover your damages, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages, which may have been caused by the negligence of another person. If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, the law provides a two year “prescription period.” However, the uninsured motorist insurer is not responsible for any damages owed to you up to the amount of the liability insurance applicable to the third party that caused the accident. Thus, if the person that injured you has a policy of insurance which provides coverage of $15,000.00 per person for bodily injury, you will lose the right to collect the first $15,000.00 of your damages if you do not file a lawsuit within one year of the accident.
Gary P. Koederitz of Koederitz Law Firm has years of experience dealing with the aftermath of motorcycle accidents. He understands the trauma his clients have experienced, and he will work aggressively to ensure that you receive an equitable settlement. Mr. Koederitz will work to recover all of the damages you sustain, including pain and suffering, disability, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Call us today at (225) 295-9494 for a free consultation.