If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle 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 motorcycle accident clients, 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 accidents 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.
Motorcycle 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 accidents 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 motorcycle accidents each year. Left-turn accidents are particularly common. When a driver misjudges a motorcycle’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 their motorcycles 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.
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.
Physical Consequences. In the event of an accident, motorcycle riders are at risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, and nerve damage. The recovery process depends on the severity of the injury; however, many of the injuries are associated with life-long consequences.
Financial Consequences. 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.
Psychological Consequences. While physical injuries can heal with the right medical procedures and treatments, motorcycle crash victims may develop psychological issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Seeking counseling with a licensed therapist can help.
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.
How Can a Motorcycle Wreck Attorney 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. For more information about your rights and options after an accident, contact our office today.