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Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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    Most experienced motorcyclists know the inherent dangers of riding and the importance of defensive driving. Unfortunately, carelessness by other motorists is often to blame for severe and fatal motorcycle crashes. One widespread example of such negligence is making unsafe lane changes.

    It’s well-known that motorcycle accidents tend to result in far more severe injuries than regular passenger vehicle crashes. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to be killed in a traffic-related accident than drivers are. On top of the heightened fatality rate, motorcyclists are also four times more likely to be injured in a traffic-related accident.

    While motorcycle riders may wear helmets, jackets, and boots to provide them with some protection from injury in a crash, they don’t have the protective framework that an automobile offers. They also don’t benefit from safety features like airbags or seat belts to protect them from the force of impact. When a motorist collides with a motorcycle because of an unsafe lane change, the rider may easily suffer catastrophic, life-altering injuries.

    Were you struck by a driver making an unsafe lane change in Baton Rouge? You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. A motorcycle accident attorney from Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers can help you seek the payout you deserve.

    Getting started is simple. Call or contact us to speak with an experienced Louisiana motorcycle accident lawyer. We’ll review your case and explain your legal options with no obligation.

    What Is Considered an Unsafe Lane Change?

    An unsafe lane change occurs when a driver moves or veers into another lane, either accidentally or intentionally, and puts others in harm’s way.

    There are many different examples of unsafe lane changes. A reckless motorist may suddenly switch lanes without using their blinkers or checking their blind spots. This is a particularly threatening maneuver to nearby motorcyclists, who are smaller and harder for even the most cautious driver to spot.

    Alternately, a driver may drift into another lane because they were texting while driving, intoxicated, or falling asleep behind the wheel. But no matter how the unsafe lane change happens, the consequences can be dire.

    Louisiana law grants motorcyclists the same rights to be on the road as drivers. If a driver breaks the law, they can be held accountable for any injuries they cause through a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit.

     

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    Common Causes Of Unsafe Lane Changes

    Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to unsafe lane changes because they are lightweight and less visible to other drivers. Unfortunately, bikers are also victims of bias and may be seen as reckless, dangerous gang members who disrupt others. Whether intentional or subconscious, these biases can compel drivers to make aggressive maneuvers when sharing the road with a motorcyclist.

    Some of the most common causes of unsafe lane changes include:

    • Distracted driving: Any time a driver is focused on a task other than driving, they’re dangerous. Distracted driving can cause a motorist to drift into other lanes without realizing it. Cell phone use, talking with passengers, eating, personal grooming, and reaching for objects inside a vehicle are common activities associated with distracted driving accidents.
    • Drunk or drugged driving: Impaired driving is illegal for a reason. Driving while intoxicated impairs a driver’s ability to focus, slows reaction times, dulls awareness, and impacts judgment. These negative effects can easily lead to unsafe lane changes.
    • Reckless driving: When drivers disobey traffic laws, motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur. Cutting off motorcyclists, tailgating, or zipping across multiple lanes without warning are examples of reckless driving.
    • Speeding: There’s little time to react when a speeding driver makes an unsafe lane change. Motorcycle accidents caused by a speeding driver tend to be more severe than lower-speed crashes because the force of impact is so violent.
    • Low visibility: Motorcycles are harder to see under ideal conditions, so driving at night or during bad weather may cause drivers to make an unsafe lane change.
    • Drowsy driving: Drivers who have been on the road for many hours may be fatigued. Dozing off can lead to drifting into other lanes, which puts other people, especially motorcyclists, in danger.
    • Failing to check blind spots: Drivers don’t always notice motorcycles because they focus on looking for other vehicles. Motorcycles can easily creep up into a driver’s blind spots, so if a driver isn’t careful enough, they may make a lane change without realizing that a motorcycle is in their path.
    • Not using turn signals: Drivers must alert other motorists of their intentions before moving on the road. That’s what turn signals are for. When drivers don’t use their blinkers or turn signals, other drivers and motorcyclists can’t prepare for the lane change.
    • Crossing multiple lanes without pausing: Drivers are supposed to move over one lane at a time, using their blinkers, mirrors, and checking their blind spots before making a lane change. But reckless drivers will sometimes fly across multiple lanes at once, leading to crashes with unexpecting motorists.

    Injuries From Lane Change Accidents

    When motorcycle accidents happen, bikers typically suffer the worst injuries. These may include:

    • Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Concussions, skull fractures, brain bleeds, and other injuries to the head can be life-threatening and can require multiple surgeries. The symptoms of a TBI aren’t limited to physical injuries. The brain is also the body’s computer. Reasoning, logic, memory, emotion, and even personality can also be affected by a traumatic brain injury. Many times, the damage is permanent, leading to lifelong disabilities and the need for long-term care.
    • Spinal cord injury (SCI): Spinal damage can completely alter a person’s life, preventing them from doing normal day-to-day activities. If the spinal cord is completely cut in a motorcycle accident, the victim may live with lifelong paralysis, severely limiting a person’s mobility for the rest of their lives. Complications from SCIs can also shorten a survivor’s lifespan because they become more vulnerable to illnesses like pneumonia.
    • Broken bones: Broken bones commonly occur in motorcycle accidents. Because motorcyclists directly come into contact with the vehicle or the road, fractures may be complex, requiring surgery and long-term rehabilitation.
    • Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding may not be immediately apparent right after a crash, which is why seeking medical attention right away is imperative. Internal bleeding is life-threatening and can be fatal within hours if it goes undetected.
    • Burns, scrapes, and road rash: If a motorcyclist is exposed to toxic chemicals, fuel, or fire after a collision, they may sustain burns, which can cause irreversible disfigurement. Debris from the crash, such as shattered glass and other vehicle parts, may cause scrapes and lacerations. When a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike and slides across the pavement after a collision, they can sustain road rash, which can cause deep scrapes and infections.

    Liability in Unsafe Lane Change Accidents

    Louisiana is an at-fault state, which means that negligent drivers will generally be held liable for damages related to an unsafe lane change accident. Motorcyclists injured in these types of crashes can seek compensation for their losses through a personal injury claim.

    Compensation is designed to cover financial and personal losses, also referred to as economic and non-economic damages.

    Economic damages may include monetary losses, such as:

    • Medical expenses
    • Lost income due to inability to work
    • Lost earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from working or holding a position similar to the one you had before the wreck
    • Rehabilitation costs
    • Long-term care needs, such as round-the-clock nursing assistance or assistive medical equipment like walkers and wheelchairs
    • Property damage

    Non-economic damages include intangible losses that cannot be easily calculated, including:

    • Physical Pain and suffering
    • Emotional trauma
    • Mental anguish
    • Scarring/disfigurement
    • Loss of enjoyment of life

    Most motorcycle accidents will not provide an opportunity for the recovery of punitive damages, but if alcohol is involved in the accident, the drunk driver may be held liable for such damages.

    Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers

    If you were hurt in a Louisiana motorcycle accident caused by an unsafe lane change, you need a highly qualified lawyer to pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Talk to a Baton Rouge motorcycle lawyer at Tomeny | Best Injury Lawyers today.

    Our accomplished attorneys are here to make a difference in your life. We’ll push aggressively for maximum compensation to meet your past, current, and future needs.

    Getting your life back on track can start with a successful legal award. Call us now or use our simple online contact form for a free consultation.

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