Nevada Motorcycle Accidents: A Complete Guide
There’s nothing like taking your motorcycle out for a ride through Nevada’s rocky, mountainous scenery. Whether it’s a solo trip or a social event with fellow bikers, the thrill and sense of freedom you get while driving can make you feel invincible.
Unfortunately, accidents still happen. Because motorcycles offer almost none of the protection a car has, you could suffer serious injuries, like road rash, abdominal injuries, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI), if you get hit.
After an accident, you’re left to figure out what’s next. How can you get the funds to cover the resulting expenses? Will you be able to get on a motorcycle again?
You may not know the answers until a Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney from our team reviews your case and a doctor gives you a prognosis of your injuries.
But first, let’s start with the basics. How can you help prevent a motorcycle crash? What insurance do you need? Which bike is best for you?
This guide will take you through all of that and discuss related topics, including:
- Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Basics
- Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Laws
- Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Best Rides in the State
- Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: Motorcycle Insurance
- Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: Safety First
- Motorcycle Accidents in Nevada: Breaking Down the Numbers
- What Happens if I Get in a Motorcycle Accident?
- Injured in a Motorcycle Accident: What Do I Do?
- Motorcycle Accident Resulting in Death: What Do I Do?
- Frequently Asked Questions: Nevada Motorcycle Accidents
- Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Nevada
If you or a loved one was hurt or sustained damage in a motorcycle accident, reach out to De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers today. Our team can offer you a free consultation and will only receive a payment if we obtain compensation for you.
Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Basics
We don’t want to overwhelm you by diving right into the world of motorcycles, accidents involving motorcycles, and all the nuances right away. Instead, we’ll start with the basics and work our way up.
Do I Need a Motorcycle License in Nevada?
According to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the state issues motorcyclists a Class M license. Nevada doesn’t do motorcycle endorsements like other states.
When you apply for your Class M license, you have two options for training:
- Completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved course
- Taking DMV written and skills tests
You may be able to take a course at a motorcycle dealership or a public college in Nevada. Some training facilities include:
- Western Nevada College
- Riding Academy – Las Vegas Harley-Davidson
- Truckee Meadows Community College
- CSN North Las Vegas campus
- CSN Henderson campus
- CSN West Charleston campus
- CSN North Las Vegas campus
These courses will teach you about motorcycle safety, how to prevent accidents, what to do if you’re in an accident, and how to ride responsibly.
If you’re under 18 and applying for a Class M license, you must follow the requirements noted in Nevada Teen Driving.
Types of Motorcycles
Knowing the types of motorcycles and what they each involve can help you decide what’s best for you when you go out on the road.
- Standard/naked: You can see the interior components of this motorcycle through the clear, plastic side fairings, hence the term “naked.” If you’re a beginner, you may want to consider this type of motorcycle, as it has everything you need regarding style, speed, and comfort. It also has standard ergonomics and is a good fit for those who are short to average height. The standard or naked motorcycle is not necessarily made for long-distance rides. It’s more intended for quick trips around town and your commute to work.
- Sport bikes: If you like riding fast down the road, this high-speed and lightweight option may be for you. Because it goes so fast, you must lean forward and maintain a solid grip and stance during your ride. That also means ensuring you can fully extend your legs comfortably. If you’re on the taller side, you may want to look more into this bike since shorter riders could have a difficult time locking themselves into a solid position while they ride.
- Adventure-touring: As the name suggests, this motorcycle is made for going long distances. Similar to the sport bike, it’s made for taller riders, as it has more elevated seats and a larger build. All this extra material means that it’s pricier than your average bike. If you have your heart set on this adventure-touring motorcycle, make sure you have enough in your budget.
- Touring: If you’re into riding long distances in different types of terrains and weather conditions, the touring motorcycle could be a good fit. Unlike the adventure-touring motorcycle, the touring option is heavy, as the gear that comes with it can weigh it down.
- Cruiser: The chopper style and great size and depth of a cruiser can feel like it consumes you. Still, it’s great for riding long distances and is suitable for riders at all levels.
Purchasing a Motorcycle in Nevada
You’ll never forget the first motorcycle you purchase, but you’ll want to remember it for the positive things it offered. When you’re on the hunt for your picture-perfect motorcycle, think about what’s important to you and how you’ll use it.
- Can you sit in and maneuver the motorcycle safely and comfortably?
If you can extend your arm with a slight bend in your elbows, extend your legs, and hit the pedals without overstretching or bending your knees too much, you should feel in control and confident in the motorcycle. Your trust in yourself will take a hit if you feel like you can’t reach and handle all of the controls in the motorcycle. When you lack confidence on the road, that may compromise your safety.
- What have others said about this bike?
If you have a bike you like in mind, see what others have said about it. Online motorcycle groups and customer reviews can be a great resource. You may learn about how well it works for someone your size, what goes into its maintenance, and how it’s held up over time. The more you read, the more you’ll discover other things you wouldn’t have even considered about the bike.
- Do you have a preferred style in mind?
Of course, safety is the most important thing when you’re searching for the best bike. But also, what’s your style? Yes, you can have BOTH! You want to look at your motorcycle and like what you see.
- What will you use the motorcycle for?
Are you commuting to work on your motorcycle? Taking quick trips around town? Or are you going for a ride in Zion National Park or the Red Rocks? As we saw in the types of motorcycles, manufacturers design motorcycles for specific purposes. Faster, heavier, and larger bikes are great for long-distance rides, whereas lighter and smaller ones are more geared toward shorter trips.
When you think you’ve decided on the perfect motorcycle, head out to a dealership or wherever you’re buying it, and take it for a test drive. It may not be what you expected, and you want to avoid buyer’s remorse at all costs. Motorcycles are a huge investment with a hefty price tag, so you want to make sure you love your choice before purchasing it.
You could also learn about more things you like or to look for in a bike. Sometimes, people discover that what they thought they wanted couldn’t be further from what they needed, forcing them to go back to square one.
The Importance of Weather and How It Can Affect Motorcycle Safety
Inclement weather and icy, slick roads should change the way all road users drive and make decisions.
Your motorcycle may be designed to have good traction on the street. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to go your usual speed or even faster when it rains or snows.
Slow down and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles. If you have to come to a sudden stop or have poor visibility from the rain, you may not have enough time to react and end up getting into a wreck.
We understand that sometimes you have to go out in poor weather conditions. However, if you can avoid it, think about staying home or wherever you are until it blows over. It may not be worth risking your safety.
Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Laws
Educating yourself on and adhering to Nevada’s motorcycle, safety, and road laws can make all the difference in what kind of ride you’re going to have when you take out your bike.
Helmets and Other Protective Facial Gear
According to NRS 466.231, helmets are a must for motorcyclists and their passengers. Make sure your helmet complies with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) standards. Also, unless the motorcycle has a windshield or screen, the state requires riders to wear protective goggles and face shields.
However, if you’re driving a three-wheel motorcycle with a steering wheel and enclosed cab, you don’t have to wear a helmet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses the importance of wearing a helmet. Tragically, over 5,500 riders lost their lives in accidents in just one year, while more than 180,000 were treated for injuries in the emergency room. A universal helmet law is the best way to save lives and cut back on the costs of medical treatment.
- Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of a head injury by nearly 70 percent.
- In just one year, helmets saved nearly 1,900 lives. Had 250 people worn helmets, they would have survived.
- Every year, the US would save about $1.5 billion in medical costs if all motorcyclists and their passengers wore helmets.
- For riders, helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing deaths. In addition, they’re 41 percent effective in preventing passenger deaths.
According to NRS 486.351, lane-splitting is illegal in Nevada. Lane-splitting is when motorcyclists drive between two vehicles that already occupy adjacent lanes. Motorcyclists should refrain from this driving behavior simply because it’s illegal, but also because of how dangerous it is.
You could be in one of the driver’s blind spots, and if they change lanes and don’t see you, you’re at risk of suffering crushing injuries. You don’t even have to be in a blind spot. If the driver next to you loses control for any reason, it could put you in serious danger.
It’s also typical to see motorcyclists doing “wheelies” on the street. This practice involves the rider lifting their front tire off the ground while keeping the rear tire on the ground. Although it’s a fun trick to brandish on the road, it could severely injure or kill you if the bike slips.
Doing a wheelie is against the law and could result in jail time. Even though the word “wheelie” isn’t specifically noted in Nevada law, “trick driving displays” are considered reckless driving, according to the DMV.
According to NRS 486.311, the state requires you to have two mirrors on your motorcycle. The reflection surface cannot be less than three inches in diameter. One mirror should be mounted on each handlebar so that you can see the highway from 200 feet to the back.
Having the right mirrors helps you view potential hazards quickly, make turns, and keep you more stable on your bike.
Nevada requires riders to have three lamps on their motorcycles:
- Head: According to NRS 486.281, you must have at least one but no more than two headlamps. Mount it anywhere from 24 to 54 inches off the ground, measured from the lamp’s center to the ground where the bike stands without a load.
- Tail: Mount at least one tail lamp on the rear of the motorcycle. Make sure it emits red light. That way, it’s visible from 50 feet away, per NRS 486.261. Also, wire it to light with the headlamp.
- Stop: Finally, per NRS 486.251 and NRS 484D.125, put the stop lamp at the rear end of the motorcycle. The light can be yellow, red, or amber. You should be able to see the light from 300 feet away in standard sunlight. You can wire it to ensure it’s activated when you hit the brake and link it with the tail lamp.
These lamps are vital to your safety, as they indicate your turn signals and braking, as well as make you visible to other road users, especially from greater distances or in obscuring weather.
You must mount a reflector on the rear end of the motorcycle, positioning it 20 to 60 inches off the ground, per NRS 486.291. Make sure it’s visible from 300 feet away when it’s right in front of the headlamps at the lower beam.
Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: The Best Rides in the State
Nevada’s diverse terrain, tourist attractions, and beautiful weather make it one of the best places to go for long rides on your motorcycle.
Check out some fun and scenic routes you can take:
Red Rock Canyon
Fifteen minutes away from Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon State Park. This 13-mile ride comes with spectacular views of desert cliffs, rock formations, and other vistas. You can pull over at almost any point of the journey and take a closer look at sights like the Native American petroglyph, Keystone Thrust Fault, and Ice Box Canyon.
Hoover Dam Loop
One of the most popular ways to get to this tourist attraction is via motorcycle. It’s only about a 40-minute drive from Las Vegas, so it’s a quick day trip if you’re visiting. The Hoover Dam Loop offers two major trails:
- The Historic Railroad Tunnel
- The River Mountains Loop Trail
Although the railroad tracks aren’t paved, the initial railroad material is still there, passing through five tunnels that show a great view of Lake Mead. If you have the time, you may want to go swimming or fishing or even book a boat tour of Lake Mead.
November to March is usually the best time to go as the rest of the year temperatures soar and it may be too hot for rides.
Zion National Park
Another fun day trip outside of Las Vegas is Zion National Park. This park covers 230 square miles of land, providing magnificent views of canyons and cliffs. Unfortunately, you can’t ride your motorcycle along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, so you’ll have to take a shuttle. However, you’re free to take your bike out to the eastern part of the park, close to Bryce Canyon National Park.
Eagle Rider offers a motorcycle tour of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Grand Staircase. This 153-mile adventure will take you at least two days to complete, but you may want to extend the trip further so that you have time to take in all of the beautiful scenery.
Valley of Fire State Park
Another short distance from Las Vegas boasts Nevada’s oldest state park, Valley of Fire State Park. It lives up to its name with its red, fiery-colored sandstones. This color only intensifies during the day when the sun, at its peak, hits the rock and appears to be on fire.
As you ride, you’ll come across storied petroglyphs that the Aztecs left on the walls, ancient trees, and spectacular rock formations. You’ll have a couple of options for traveling.
- Lake Mead: After taking Route 167 and getting onto Echo Bay, you’ll catch some glimpses of Lake Mead. Slowly, the scenery will change and the stunning landscape may make you think you’re on Mars.
- Valley of Fire: After starting your drive in the state park (described as a “geologic wonderland”), you’ll soon see the exhibitions on its rock formations, history, and ecology as you travel.
Your scenic ride will be about 74 miles and should take you about an hour and 40 minutes to complete.
If you like the idea of seeing mountain after mountain on your motorcycle ride, check out Mount Charleston. It’s about 20 miles away from Las Vegas, but well worth the drive.
On top of riding your bike through it, it’s a great place to stop and go hiking, camping, or horseback riding. Tourists cannot get over the beautiful views and how much of the park’s land remains untouched.
Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: Motorcycle Insurance
Having motorcycle liability insurance helps protect you if you cause an accident in Nevada. Without it, the other party could go after your personal assets and harm your reputation. You may also get in trouble with the law if you don’t have insurance at the time of the crash. For example, per NRS 485.187, you could face misdemeanor charges and have to pay up to a $1000 fine, throwing you into further financial trouble.
According to the Nevada Division of Insurance (DOI), motorcyclists must carry the same liability coverage as auto owners. This insurance pays for the injuries and property damage that you cause someone else in an accident, as opposed to your own damages.
The DOI requires these insurance policy minimums:
- $25,000 per bodily injury per person
- $50,000 per bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 in property damage
To ensure you have coverage for your or your passenger’s damages, you may want to consider purchasing:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If another passenger holds fault for a crash and they don’t have enough or any insurance, this coverage can take care of your medical bills.
- Medical payment (Med-Pay) coverage: Regardless of fault, this insurance pays for your passengers’ medical bills.
- Collision coverage: No matter who is at fault for a collision, collision coverage pays for the repairs to your motorcycle.
- Comprehensive coverage: If something other than a collision damaged your motorcycle, like theft, a natural disaster, or vandalism, this insurance can pay for the damage.
Choosing a Good Insurance Agent and Plan
With so many options for insurance companies and plans for motorcycles, finding the right match can present its challenges.
Here are some qualities to keep in mind while you’re doing your search:
- Licensing: Make sure the company is licensed to sell insurance in Nevada. If you ever have a problem, you can connect right to the DOI for a quicker resolution.
- Price: Even though everyone has to have a minimum policy limit, insurers offer policies and prices that still vary. Do some research about what to expect at the lower and higher ends. Then, get at least three quotes from different companies. It may also be a good idea to see if they have special discounts when you first sign on or if you have dependents.
- The insurer’s reputation: Check out other policyholders’ reviews of the insurance company you’re looking into. If you like what you see, head to the website and learn more about them. How’s their financial strength? How long have they been in the business? What are their values? What’s their mission? What other products do they sell?
- Customer service: When you contact the insurance company, do they keep transferring you to different departments? If so, you may not want to commit yourself to a policy with them. Look for a place that displays efficiency and fairness when dealing with their customers. If you want to see how they’ve handled prior complaints, you can check out a national claims database. The DOI may also be able to give you the inside scoop on this matter.
- How you feel: As with purchasing a motorcycle, you do not want buyer’s remorse. It all comes down to how comfortable you are with purchasing this policy. What does your gut tell you? If you feel uneasy, you may want to continue your search. In doing so, ask yourself whether it will be easy to get ahold of them if you have a question or problem, what the process could be like when filing a claim with them, and whether you think the pricing is fair.
Keeping these factors in mind should help you narrow down the best insurance companies for you.
How Our Nevada Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Deal With Insurance Agents After a Crash
Going up against insurance companies after a crash can be daunting. Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this process alone. A Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney at our firm can handle all related communications on your behalf.
For example, if the insurance agent calls you after the crash, they may ask for a recorded statement about what happened. Decline politely, and give them your attorney’s information. From there, your lawyer can handle all exchanges with them. Not only does this save you the frustration of going back and forth with emails and playing phone tag, but it also allows your attorney to protect your rights.
Sometimes, the insurer takes what you say in your recorded statement and uses it against you later on. Alternatively, they may offer you a settlement that doesn’t cover the full extent of your losses, knowing that you’re eager to pay off your medical bills quickly.
When your lawyer reviews your case, they’ll know how much compensation you’re entitled to receive. That way, they can ensure the insurer doesn’t lowball you or engage in other bad faith tactics, like falsely blaming you for the accident.
That’s another thing—after we’ve collected the evidence, identified liable parties, and calculated your damages, we’ll be ready for negotiations. Usually, we can work out a settlement agreement without going to trial. However, if we’re unable to reach common ground with them, we have no problem arguing your case before a judge or jury.
Riding a Motorcycle in Nevada: Safety First
Whenever you get on your motorcycle, safety must be your priority. Too many motorcyclists have suffered critical injuries or lost their lives for failing to take the proper precautions before and during their ride.
Whenever you’re planning a ride, make sure you:
Wear a Helmet at All Times on the Road
Nevada has a universal helmet law, meaning no matter your age or experience, you must wear a helmet. Not only should you wear one for legal reasons, but also for your safety.
According to the CDC’s Motorcycle Safety Guide, riders who don’t wear a helmet incur significantly higher healthcare costs after a crash than riders who do. What’s more, they have double the chances of sustaining traumatic brain injuries. Helmets help prevent riders from getting head injuries by almost 70 percent. Wearing a helmet is also the most effective way to safeguard your life on a bike, reducing the number of deaths after a crash by 37 percent.
The economic costs of injuries and deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents come out to $12 billion in just one year. If more motorcyclists and their passengers wore helmets during their rides, this number would likely decrease.
In states where universal helmet laws are in effect, they save up to four times more in economic costs than states that only have a partial ban or no ban at all. They even save up to eight riders’ lives per 100,000 registrations. States with a less serious ban only save about three riders’ lives per 100,000 registrations.
Follow All the Traffic Laws
Generally speaking, motorcyclists must follow the same road rules as other motorists. For example, they cannot drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. Motorcyclists also must yield the right of way and refrain from speeding.
However, motorcyclists have a couple of laws that specifically apply to them. For instance, no lane-splitting. Motorcyclists cannot ride between the lanes of a car or truck already occupying that lane, traveling in the same direction. They must also refrain from traveling down the dotted, solid white, or double yellow line. Motorcyclists risk being in a driver’s blind spot or getting hit if the driver unknowingly starts drifting into another lane.
Also, no state in the country permits tricks, and that includes wheelies. As we’ve mentioned, this is when the rear tire stays on the ground, but the motorcyclist lifts the front wheel, having the bike stand perpendicular to the road. Not only is this behavior illegal, but it’s also dangerous. If you hit a rock or debris or lose your balance, you may suffer a severe injury or lose your life.
Be Mindful of Other Riders
Chances are, even if you ride solo, you’re going to come across other motorcyclists on the road. You may even regularly ride with a group of them. The latter could be a safer option. A single motorcyclist isn’t too visible on their own. When there’s a pack of motorcyclists riding together, other drivers can adjust their driving and be more aware.
However you’re riding, make sure you look out for your fellow motorcyclists.
If you’re in a group of motorcyclists, and someone is speeding, remind them to slow down. If anyone appears to be impaired, have them pull over until they’ve sobered up and are good to drive. If someone gets in a crash, be ready to render first aid until the paramedics arrive.
Adjust Your Driving in Inclement Weather
Nevada usually has sunny weather year-round. Still, rainstorms and snow are no strangers to our state. It can also get pretty windy and foggy.
If it looks like there’s bad weather coming your way, stay put if you can. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of injuries or an accident if you don’t have to.
However, if you’re caught in poor weather conditions on your ride or you have to go out, make sure you’re prepared. Wear a high-visibility jacket so that other road users can see you clearly from a distance. Since you’re relatively small compared to other vehicles on the road, you may blend into the surroundings, especially during heavy rain or fog.
Another thing you can do is carefully ride it out. Contrary to popular belief, motorcycles don’t do as poorly in the rain as one might imagine (of course, it all depends on how severe the storm is). However, that doesn’t mean you should go full speed down the highway, especially if the roads are slick.
Lower your speed. Keep a firm grip on the handlebars. Drive defensively.
If you can barely see and feel uneasy about the ride, trust your gut. Pulling over may end up saving your life.
Motorcycle Accidents in Nevada: Breaking Down the Numbers
Learning the facts and statistics of motorcycle accidents, injuries, and deaths can affect how you ride. They can help you understand the risks you face, know what to avoid, and determine which precautions to take before hitting the road.
Statistics for Motorcycle Accidents Across the United States
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), despite motorcycles making up just three percent of registered vehicles on the road, motorcyclists account for nearly 14 percent of all traffic deaths. Tragically, motorcyclist fatalities have been on the rise for a while now. Death rates have gone up 27 percent over the last 10 years.
In just one year, 5,579 motorcyclists lost their lives in a motorcycle crash, with 83,000 suffering non-fatal injuries, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Even though the fatality rate rose 10 percent, the good news is that we’ve seen non-fatal injuries drop by two percent.
Other data the NSC gathered regarding motorcycle accidents throughout the United States include:
- 60 percent of motorcycle crashes took place in urban areas
- 78 percent happened in clear conditions
- 50 percent occurred during daylight hours
- 27 percent involved alcohol impairment
- 52 percent involved a two-vehicle crash
- 42 percent involved riders who weren’t wearing a helmet
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Nevada
Nevada Traffic Safety Crash Facts affirms that nearly one in five of Nevada’s total overall deaths stems from motorcycle crashes. The state saw 305 deaths and 268 crashes involving motorcycles over just four years. Clark County topped at number one in the state with the highest number of fatal motorcycle crashes at 193.
Males aged 21 to 25 passed away from motorcycle related-injuries more than any other age group. Males aged 26 to 30 and 31 to 35 followed subsequently.
Most of the time, these crashes occur between 12 pm and 9 pm, with 61% of them reported during daylight hours (the highest rate being between 12 pm and 6 pm). About 40 percent of them occur during the weekend.
Motorcycle wrecks are most prevalent in September, followed by June and then October.
But how do these fatal crashes happen? Around 30 percent of them occur at an angle, but the most common maneuver that leads to fatalities is simply driving straight ahead.
Riders without a helmet are five times more likely (making up 15.2 percent of total fatalities) to pass away from these crashes than helmeted riders (making up three percent of total fatalities). Again, males aged 21 to 25 chiefly make up the “unhelmeted” group who are most likely to lose their lives in a motorcycle accident.
How a Las Vegas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Fight for Your Rights
Getting hurt in or losing a loved one to a motorcycle accident can upend your life. The immediate aftermath can feel like a whirlwind. You may be in the hospital and watching the medical bills stack up. Your doctor could instruct you to take off work for a couple of weeks. The injuries you’ve sustained may force you to change your entire lifestyle and routine.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash in Las Vegas, a Nevada personal injury lawyer with De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can strive to recover fair compensation for you. When we take your case, we can provide various services to help get you back on your feet, including:
- Compiling evidence
- Reviewing medical records and consulting your doctors
- Ordering a copy of the accident report
- Assessing your current and future damages
- Handling correspondence with insurance companies and others
- Naming the negligent and liable parties
- Leading settlement negotiations
- Taking your case to trial if a fair settlement can’t be reached
We want to ensure that you are in the loop throughout the claims process, so you can expect to get regular updates on the status of your case and answers to any questions you may have.
What Happens if I Get in a Motorcycle Accident?
Knowing the potential injuries and causes of a motorcycle crash, and what steps to take immediately afterward, can give you an inside look at what to expect and how to avoid such accidents.
Common Injuries Motorcyclists Suffer in an Accident
Due to the lack of protection a motorcycle offers its riders, they’re more likely to suffer harsher injuries than car or truck occupants.
Those who get hurt in motorcycle crashes may sustain injuries like:
- Road rash
This skin abrasion or friction burn occurs when you scrape your skin against a rough surface, according to Healthline. When motorcyclists get in crashes, they may be thrown from their bikes or fall off and slide across the road, causing this injury, especially if they aren’t wearing protective gear.
Usually, you can treat this injury at home. However, if it’s not improving, has drainage, won’t stop bleeding, or has a large object in it, seek medical attention right away. You may require surgery or other serious intervention.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
If you sustain a sudden, external jolt to the head, that can result in a traumatic brain injury. According to Mayo Clinic, they range from mild, in which your brain cells have temporary damage, to severe, in which your brain has torn tissue, bruising, and bleeding.
Symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe conditions of TBI tend to overlap, such as:
- Persistent headaches
- Slurred speech
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Concentration or memory problems
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor balance
- Profound confusion
If you leave your TBI untreated, you put yourself at risk of having seizures or even entering into a vegetative state.
- Spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord or nerves surrounding the end of the spinal canal sustains damage. The severity of the injury is classified into two separate categories.
- Incomplete: You have some feeling and movement below the site of the injury.
- Complete: You don’t have any feeling or movement below the site of the injury.
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury can take some time to show. Knowing what to look for allows you to take action as soon as possible:
- Extreme head, back, or neck pain
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty walking and balance
- Tingling or numbing sensation in your extremities
- Loss or lack of sensation or movement
- Sexual dysfunction
- Impaired breathing
You may require surgery, medication, and ongoing care to help treat the spinal cord injury.
- Broken bones or fractures
Motorcyclists can experience crushing injuries when they hit the ground after falling off or being thrown from their motorcycle. Alternatively, if they’re in a car’s blind spot and the driver merges, the motorcyclist can get stuck between them and another vehicle. As a result, they can suffer broken bones and fractures to their:
In some cases, motorcyclists can have such a severely broken limb that they need to have it amputated.
Motorcycle accident victims suffer whiplash when their head suddenly snaps back and forth, like the crack of a whip. It’s most common in rear-end accidents, which is when another road user runs into the back of your motorcycle. Minor whiplash usually heals within several days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not painful, as you may have symptoms, including:
- Pain or stiffness in the neck
- The pain intensifies with movement
- Numbness or tingling in the arms
- Dizziness or fatigue
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Depression and irritability
- Blurred vision
- Lack of sleep
As with other injuries, failing to promptly treat moderate to severe whiplash can lead to lasting complications, especially if you already deal with neck and back pain, sustained the injury at a high speed, or have had this injury before.
- Abdominal injuries
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, blunt trauma accounts for 2.7 to 17 percent of trips to the emergency room. About half of them stem from motorcycle accidents. The liver and spleen are the most injured sites of this trauma. These injuries could lead to internal bleeding or infection if not treated quickly enough.
Sometimes, motorcyclists suffer thermal burns in a crash. These types of burns come from contact with hot metal, chemicals, or fire. If the burns are severe or cover more than 10 percent of your body, seek prompt medical attention.
According to Cleveland Clinic, there are three types of burns:
- First-degree: First-degree burns are typically mild. The skin turns red and is painful, but it doesn’t usually blister.
- Second-degree: The burns affect the top and lower layers of the skin. You may have some pain, swelling, redness, and blistering.
- Third-degree burns: This is the most serious kind of burn, as it destroys hair follicles and nerve endings. Although you may not feel pain at the burn site, the surrounding area may hurt. The burn itself could be red, black, or white and appear leathery.
Leaving burns untreated could lead to infection, organ failure, pneumonia, and other serious complications.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
When you hire our firm, we can get to the bottom of how and why the motorcycle crash happened. Common causes of such accidents include:
- Improper left turns
- Overall disregard for motorcyclists
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to yield
- Opening a car door without checking for oncoming traffic, striking the motorcyclist (also known as a “dooring” accident)
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to check blind spots
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Driving inexperience
You’ll notice that all of these causes stem from driver error. However, other factors could be the culprit. For example, inclement weather conditions, malfunctioned vehicle parts, and defective roadways also contribute to motorcycle accidents.
Possible Liable Parties in Motorcycle Crashes
Generally speaking, determining the cause of the motorcycle accident goes hand in hand with identifying the party or parties who caused it. In doing so, we must apply the theory of negligence. This standard has four elements, including:
- Duty of care: The other party had a duty to act responsibly and behave as any reasonable person would on the road.
- Breach of duty: This element comprises negligence, in which the other party violates their obligation to be safe on the road.
- Causation: Here, the other party’s negligence causes the motorcycle accident and your injuries.
- Damages: The injuries you’ve suffered in the wreck led you to sustain damages, like medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, reduced earning capacity, or property damage costs.
Evidence, such as relevant photographs, traffic camera footage, medical records, eyewitness statements, the police report, and other relevant documentation, can help you prove this standard of negligence. If we cannot meet one of the elements, the insurer and court may deem your case invalid.
We can apply these elements to every party involved in your case. Your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer may find that more than one party played a role in the motorcycle crash, such as:
- The other driver
- A government agency
- A mechanic or auto repair shop
- Another road user, like a bicyclist or pedestrian
- A vehicle parts manufacturer
How to Protect Yourself After a Las Vegas Motorcycle Collision
The aftermath of a motorcycle crash can feel like an out-of-body experience since what just happened was so shocking. When you’re in this state of mind, it’s hard to know how to act and what to do. While that’s completely understandable, you don’t want to be in this position if you can avoid it. To protect yourself and the validity of your case in the long run, take these steps:
- Stop your motorcycle. If you’re obstructing traffic, pull over to the side of the road if you can.
- Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries.
- Call 911 or have someone else call if you suspect serious injuries. You must contact emergency medical services if someone is injured or killed in a traffic accident or there’s more than $750 in property damage, according to the Nevada DMV.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
After you leave the hospital, you may be wondering how you’ll pay for your upcoming treatment, what’s going to happen with your work, and (if your injuries are very severe) maybe even how you’ll afford necessary daily care for your injuries and home.
That’s where a Nevada personal injury lawyer from our firm comes in.
Why it’s Important to Hire a Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer After a Motorcycle Crash
As you can see, collecting evidence and identifying the liable party and cause of the accident can be overwhelming, especially when you’re dealing with injuries. Instead, you may want to hire a Nevada motorcycle accident lawyer from De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers to tackle all of that for you.
Once they have completed those initial tasks, they can go up against the insurance companies and opposing legal teams on your behalf. You can trust our team to negotiate and fight for a fair settlement. Sometimes, however, the other side won’t budge or will refuse to compensate you for your losses. If that happens, we can take your case before a judge or a jury in a trial.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident in Nevada, our team is ready to hear your story and get to work on your case.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident: What Do I Do?
Getting injured in a motorcycle accident can take over your entire life, either temporarily or long-term.
Injuries like whiplash or road rash are more likely to have a minor impact on you. A physician may instruct you to practice home remedies and rest until the injury is healed and you can resume your normal activities.
Of course, you want to be proactive and start your treatment as soon as possible or you may risk developing further complications. For example, if left untreated, road rash can lead to an infection. If you have whiplash and don’t tend to it, you could experience severe neck pain that spreads to your arms or leaves you with a limited range of motion.
The same principle of getting immediate medical attention for your seemingly minor injuries also applies to more serious ones like TBIs, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. These injuries, especially TBIs and spinal cord injuries, may take a day or two to fully manifest. Thus, it’s crucial that you pay attention to the symptoms, no matter how minor.
For example, after the crash, you may have a headache or feel confused, both completely normal things to experience following such an event. However, those may also be symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, so don’t brush them off or try to “power through.” You could be more hurt than you know. The more time you allow to pass without treatment, the more time the injury has to worsen. If you wait too long to get help, there may be long-term or irreversible damage.
Delaying medical treatment not only harms you but could also hurt the validity of your claim. For instance, the insurance company may resist paying out your claim and say that your decision to put off treatment worsened your condition, making you responsible. Alternatively, they could claim that you weren’t that hurt to begin with, so they shouldn’t have to cover any of your losses.
To protect yourself and your legal right to pursue compensation, you must know what to do in the aftermath of the motorcycle crash in Las Vegas.
A Step-By-Step Guide on What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash in Nevada
As we’ve mentioned, what you do in the minutes and hours following a motorcycle accident is crucial for your health, your right to compensation, and your legal standing. If you were involved in a crash, take these steps to ensure safety and compliance with the law:
- Stop your motorcycle: If stopping in the middle of the road disrupts the flow of traffic, it may be safer for you to pull over to the shoulder if you can. Whatever you do, do NOT flee the scene.
According to NRS 484E.010 and 484E.020, if you fail to stay when there’s injury or death, you may face Class B felony charges, including up to 20 years in prison or $5000 in fines. If there’s only property damage, you may still be charged with a misdemeanor, have to serve up to six months in jail, and pay up to $1000 in fines. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault.
- Call emergency services: If you or your passenger is injured, call 911. Until they arrive, render first aid to whoever is hurt. If you feel like your injuries are too minor for the paramedics to come to the scene, make sure you still get to the hospital or your primary care doctor to ensure you’re healthy.
- Call the police: You must notify the police or the Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) of the accident if someone was injured or passed away. Like with emergency services, you’d reach the police at 911 or the NHP at 311 or *647. When the police arrive, they will fill out an accident report. This document will include details like who was involved, whether there were any injuries or death, a basic timeline of how it happened, and other information.
If the accident was serious, you must file a report with the DMV within 10 days. Double-check with the officer at the scene, as they may report it to the DMV themselves. The police report will serve as evidence in your case against the other party.
- Exchange information with the other party: While you’re stopped and waiting for the ambulance or police to come, ask the other party for their name, contact and insurance information, and the make and model of their vehicle, and then give them your details.
During this encounter, you must remain calm and cordial. We understand that your heart and mind are racing and your emotions are running high, but it’s important to get the information you need and go back to your vehicle. Don’t apologize. Should the other party start to show anger or violent tendencies, walk away to keep the situation from escalating. Let the police handle them.
- Document the crash scene: If you’re able and if it’s safe, take pictures or videos of the crash at different angles, your injuries, and the road conditions. If bystanders or other drivers saw what happened, ask for their names and numbers. Their testimony could prove beneficial when you build or submit your claim.
- Give the insurance company basic information: Don’t be surprised if the insurance company calls you a day or two after the accident. The adjuster will probably ask for your statement. Just give them your name and contact information—nothing more.
If you give them your account of what happened, they may look for loopholes in your case and use them to their benefit so they don’t have to pay out your claim. To avoid these outcomes, politely and calmly decline to answer, and direct them to your legal representative. Our firm is no stranger to working with insurance companies and can speak to these adjusters on your behalf, with your best interest in mind.
- Hire a Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer with our firm: After you’ve gotten checked out and have lawfully left the scene, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer with De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers. While you recover from your injuries, our attorneys can compile the evidence, determine who bears responsibility for the crash, assess your present and future damages, demand and negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurer, and represent you in a trial if we cannot agree on a settlement.
You take no financial risk when you enlist our firm’s services. Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t pay anything upfront or out of pocket to partner with us. Instead, if and when we obtain your compensation, we simply take a fee out of your total settlement package.
If you need more help navigating the aftermath of your motorcycle accident in Nevada, consider reaching out to our team for further guidance. We can support you throughout the entire process and provide regular updates on any progress it makes. Our team offers free consultations to all prospective clients.
Motorcycle Accident Resulting in Death: What Do I Do?
If you lost a loved one to injuries stemming from a motorcycle accident, we at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers would like to extend our deepest condolences.
You may not know how to process this unimaginable and unexpected loss. You could find consolation in the fact that you’re not the first one to go through this terrible tragedy. There are support groups for family members and loved ones who have lost someone to a motorcycle accident.
Consider looking into:
- BikerDown: Laurie Montoya, an avid motorcyclist, founded BikerDown after she lost several of her fellow bikers on a ride. Ms. Montoya wanted to use the grief and trauma she endured for good. In 2011, she started BikerDown.
This non-profit organization aims to provide emotional and financial support to those who have been injured in a motorcycle crash or lost a loved one in such an accident. With some help from Full Throttle Law Biker and motorcyclists in Las Vegas, BikerDown launched their BikerDown Las Vegas chapter in October 2019.
- Fatal Crash Support Group: If you’re on Facebook, you may consider joining the Fatal Crash Support Group. This group provides resources and emotional support to those who have had a loved one die from motorcycle accident injuries.
Having a sense of community during this difficult time can help you cope with your loss and move forward to the next stage of your life with the support you need.
Who Could Be Liable for Your Loved One’s Death in a Motorcycle Crash?
For you to file a wrongful death case following your loved one’s demise, you must identify a negligent party. This party must have owed your loved one a duty of care, breached it, and caused the accident and your loved one’s death.
Evidence that can help prove each of these elements exists in your case includes your loved one’s medical records, eyewitness statements, the police report, and relevant photographs.
Parties holding responsibility for the fatal motorcycle accident could include:
- Another driver: If they were speeding, made an unsafe left turn, failed to yield the right of way, caused a “dooring” accident, were under the influence, didn’t check their blind spot, or were distracted or fatigued
- A vehicle parts manufacturer: If a manufacturer designed or sold defective brakes, tires, or another part to the driver who caused the accident
- A government agency: If they didn’t clean up debris on the road, fix a faulty traffic signal, or inform road users of potential road hazards promptly
- A mechanic: If they failed to detect an issue with the other vehicle or improperly installed a part
- Another road user: If a pedestrian or bicyclist failed to follow the rules of the road
Sometimes, more than one party could bear financial liability for the accident. Your attorney can name all of these parties accordingly.
What Do After Losing a Loved One to a Motorcycle Accident in Las Vegas, NV
If you’ve lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident, you should:
- Report the accident to the police if no one has done so.
- Notify your late loved one’s insurer.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Decline to give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
Going back and forth with the hospital about bills and records can be especially taxing at this time. Your attorney can help you write up a Letter of Protection (LOP). This letter informs the doctor that you will pay your loved one’s healthcare costs after you’ve received compensation via a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. A LOP can make communication with the hospital and related entities simpler, especially with a lawyer from our firm at your side.
On top of the LOP, your lawyer can help you with other aspects of your case. For example, if you file a wrongful death case, you must comply with the statute of limitations codified in NRS § 11.190(4)(e). Just like with personal injury, claimants usually have two years to file suit. After that, you may no longer have the opportunity to hold the other party accountable.
Hiring one of our attorneys as soon as possible helps ensure you avoid this outcome and meet the applicable deadline.
Frequently Asked Questions: Nevada Motorcycle Accidents
Over the years, De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers has served accident victims and their families across the Las Vegas area and elsewhere. Our valued clientele includes those who have suffered the consequences of motorcycle accidents.
We’ve noticed that certain questions come up a lot, so our team has put together a list of frequently asked questions. This way, you can have more peace of mind and a better idea of what to expect before we meet for your free case review.
How Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
It’s difficult to say what specifically causes most of these accidents since many different factors may contribute to them. However, common ways these crashes include motorists failing to check blind spots, opening the door without checking for oncoming traffic, improper left turns, speeding, and failing to yield.
What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Get in Motorcycle Accidents?
We may not know the exact percentage of motorcycle riders who get into crashes as not all of them are reported to the police. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 83,000 reported motorcycle accidents resulted in injury. There are also over 8.3 million registered motorcycles on the road.
Given this information, the rate is about one percent.
What Is Contributory Negligence in Motorcycle Law?
Contributory negligence is the way financial responsibility is assigned after a motorcycle accident. According to NRS 41.141, after a crash, you can recover damages from the other party, even if you were partially at fault. However, you must not hold more than 50 percent of the responsibility to pursue compensation.
How Many Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Nevada Each Year?
Because riders don’t always report their motorcycle accidents, it’s not easy to say how many occur every year in Nevada. However, the number of fatal crashes between 2014 and 2018 came out to 305.
How Many Motorcycle Accidents Are Caused by Grass on the Road?
It’s difficult to determine how many motorcycle accidents are caused by grass on the road. It’s safe to say it’s in the minority of causes, as many of these crashes stem from driver error.
What is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
There’s no average payout for a motorcycle accident, as each one has its own circumstances. To determine the amount and forms of compensation you’re entitled to receive, your Las Vegas motorcycle accident lawyer will look at various factors, such as:
- The type and severity of your injuries
- The nature of the motorcycle crash
- The amount of your medical bills
- The effect the accident has had on your ability to work
- Your emotional and mental state following the accident
We may find that you have grounds to pursue damages for past and future medical care costs, lost income, reduced earning capacity, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering. If you’ve lost a loved one, you may be able to recover compensation for funeral and burial bills, end-of-life care costs, lost financial support and inheritance, and loss of care.
What Type of Motorcycle Insurance Should I Have?
The Nevada DOI mandates all motorcyclists to have liability insurance. The minimum limits include:
- $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
- $20,000 for property damage
If you want additional insurance, Med-Pay, uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage, collision, and comprehensive coverage may be available.
Where Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 61 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur in urban areas nationwide. In Nevada, over 70 percent take place in urban areas.
Will a Motorcycle Accident Affect My Car Insurance?
It depends. One of the primary factors that affect car insurance is fault. For example, if you hold some degree of fault for the accident, your insurance rates may increase.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Cause PTSD?
Yes, a motorcycle accident can cause PTSD. According to Mayo Clinic, some may experience it within a month of what happened, while others may not show signs until years after the event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, uncontrollable thoughts, and severe emotional anguish.
What Should I Do at the Scene of a Motorcycle Accident?
At the scene of a motorcycle accident, you should:
- Stop and/or pull over.
- Exchange information with other involved parties.
- Call the police and medical personnel.
- Document the scene.
Once you’re out of the hospital and have had a chance to calm down, consider consulting our firm to learn about your legal options.
How and Whom to Report a Motorcycle Accident To?
After the accident, you can contact the police at 911. If you can’t get a hold of them, dial 311 or *647 for NHP. When they get to the scene, they can write up a report and send it to the DMV.
However, if the police don’t come or you’re unsure if they filled out a report, you must submit your own report to the DMV if there’s more than $750 in property damage or if someone got hurt or died. You have 10 days to complete this task. Waiting too long or failing to report the crash at all may result in penalties.
How Do Bad Weather Conditions Cause Motorcycle Accidents?
Slick roads can cause road users to lose control of their vehicles and hit someone. Heavy rain and fog could also impair other road users’ visibility. As a result, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to getting hit.
What if I Get in an Accident With a Rented Motorcycle?
Notify the rental company. Whoever holds fault for the accident may be the one who has to pay for damages.
What Does “Comparative Negligence” Mean When Determining Who is Liable for a Traffic Accident?
Comparative negligence is assigning liability based on each party’s proportion of fault. Let’s say that one party was speeding, but the other made an improper left turn. In that case, the former may be assigned 30 percent of the liability and the latter may have 70 percent.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in an Accident on My Motorcycle?
If you’re involved in an accident on your motorcycle, get yourself to safety. Then, ask the other party for their contact and insurance details. If someone is hurt or passed away, get medical attention and the police to the scene.
If I’m in a Motorcycle Accident, Should I Call the Police?
If someone passed away or was injured or there’s over $750 in property damages, then yes, call the police. If not, you don’t have to. However, you may be more injured or have more property damage than you realize, so it’s always a good idea to report it.
If I Get Into an Accident on My Motorcycle, Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Whether you hire a motorcycle accident attorney is up to you. However, retaining their help can greatly benefit you, as they can handle the legalities of your case while you recover from your injuries.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Nevada
At De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have helped those who have been hurt by other people’s negligence get compensation and justice since 2005. This includes clients who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones to motorcycle accidents.
On top of that, we value client service. We practice clear and prompt communication, try to give our clients a sense of peace, and even offer our representation in fluent Spanish. We’re proud to be one of the first Spanish-speaking law firms in Las Vegas! Take a look at our client testimonials to get more of an inside look into what it’s like to partner with us.
Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys can handle all tasks related to your motorcycle accident case on your behalf. While we get to work, you get a chance to heal.
Some of our services include:
- Collecting medical records, photographs, traffic camera footage, and the police report
- Taking witness statements
- Establishing the other party’s negligence
- Communicating with all involved parties, like insurers, attorneys, and the courts, on your behalf
- Meeting all filing deadlines
- Assessing your damages
- Fighting for a fair settlement during negotiations
- Representing you before a jury or judge, if necessary
Your lawyer can give you regular updates on any developments in your case, and if you ever feel uneasy or unclear about the legal process, we’re only a phone call away.
Reach out to De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation regarding your Las Vegas motorcycle accident case. Our attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis. That way, you don’t owe any fees upfront or out of pocket. Instead, we only get paid if you win. Let’s start your pursuit for compensation today.