When motorcyclists get involved in an accident, other motorists may immediately assume that the rider caused the accident by speeding or engaging in careless or reckless behavior.
The insurance companies that represent the other driver or drivers involved in a motorcycle accident may argue that the motorcycle rider was at fault. The company will argue the motorcyclist exceeded the speed limit, split the lane, weaved in and out of traffic, or committed some other traffic infraction.
At Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers, we know that most motorcycle riders know the risk of severe injuries. That’s why they are law-abiding and careful riders on Louisiana’s roads. Our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident attorneys will fight against any anti-biker bias that stands in the way of money damages from the at-fault driver or drivers.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers can provide you with the legal representation that you need. Firm founder, attorney Frank Tomeny is a former insurance defense attorney. He will use his knowledge of the insurance industry, combined with his legal skills and experience, to successfully pursue your personal injury claims.
Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers has a proven track record of results. We have secured millions in compensation for our clients. Frank Tomeny has been named as a Super Lawyer and has received the coveted AV peer-rating from Martindale Hubbell.
Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers will take the time to understand your needs, concerns, and goals. We will aggressively pursue the at-fault parties who are responsible for causing your motorcycle accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana
Motorcyclists in Louisiana understand the dangers that they face on the road. Motorcycles can be difficult to control, especially in poor road or weather conditions. To make matters worse, other drivers often disregard traffic laws and pay insufficient attention to motorcycles. As a result, motorcycle riders are often at high risk for accidents beyond their control.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents that our Baton Rouge attorneys encounter include:
- Lane splitting – some drivers fail to give a motorcyclist the full width of a lane of traffic
- Open doors – vehicle occupants may suddenly open a door into the path of a motorcyclist
- Unsafe lane changes – a vehicle may collide with a motorcycle when the driver fails to check a blind spot before making a lane change
- Left turns – drivers may fail to yield the right of way or misjudge distances when making left turns
- Sudden stops – drivers may fail to appreciate that motorcycles can stop much more quickly than passenger vehicles, leading to rear-end accidents
- Inexperienced drivers – newer drivers may not yet be on the lookout for motorcyclists or know how to observe or properly share the road with them
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted drivers
- Poor road conditions – broken pavement, potholes, or standing water on the road can easily lead to a motorcycle rider losing control
- Defects – design or manufacturing defects in a motorcycle can lead to accidents
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Injuries So Severe?
Motorcycle riders tend to suffer far more severe injuries than those of the occupants of vehicles where a steel buffer offers some protection.
As a result, fully exposed motorcyclists can suffer accident-related injuries. Those injuries include:
- Burns from contact with hot motors, exposure to fires, or from road rash
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains/strains/tears of tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Back injuries, including spinal disc injuries and spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Head injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injury
Riders can also be crushed in an accident when caught between their motorcycle and another vehicle. Motorcycle riders can also be thrown from their bikes and suffer injury after a violent impact with the ground or nearby objects.
Proving Who Was to Blame for a Motorcycle Crash in Louisiana
It is foolish and unfair to assume a motorcycle rider was somehow at fault for an accident. Fortunately, it is often possible, to prove who actually is to blame. Key evidence can provide that answer.
Insurance companies or a judge or jury in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, often evaluate these factors:
- Statements provided by the motorists involved in the accident
- Any eyewitness accounts
- The police accident report
- Any traffic citations or criminal arrests arising from the accident
- Pictures or video taken of the vehicles involved in the accident
- Photos of the accident scene, and the injuries suffered by those involved in the accident
- Accident reconstruction reports prepared by experts
What Are Louisiana’s Helmet and Motorcycle Laws?
Louisiana motorcycle laws require any person riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized cycle to wear a safety helmet. The helmet must be secured with a chin strap and must consist of a lining, padding and visor (unless the rider is wearing goggles). Any manufacturer who sells motorcycle helmets in Louisiana must have liability insurance.
In addition to wearing a helmet, motorcycle riders in Louisiana must obey the following motor vehicle requirements:
- Any operator of a motorcycle must have the appropriate motorcycle endorsement on his or her license.
- The motorcycle must have handlebars no higher than the operator’s shoulders and must have a regular and permanent seat for each passenger.
- Riders must ride astride a motorcycle (one leg on each side).
- Motorcycle riders may not ride on road lines or between lanes of traffic, except that two motorcycles may ride side by side in the same lane of traffic.
- Motorcycles must pass on the left.
- Motorcycles must use a standard headlight at night.
- Motorcycle operators must have both hands on the handlebars when moving.
- No person under the age of five may ride a motorcycle.