Baton Rouge Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Louisiana Injury Attorneys for Motorcycle Accident Victims
Everyone has a responsibility to share the road with motorcycles, but sometimes people do not properly fulfill that responsibility. Even with significant laws protecting motorcyclists, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that thousands of motorcyclists are victims of serious injuries or wrongful death each year.
At Joubert Law Firm, APLC, we have in-depth knowledge of Louisiana’s motorcycle laws and extensive experience helping victims just like you. Since 1997, our Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys have been helping families and individuals whose lives have been affected by motorcycle crash injuries. We will explain your legal options so you can make educated and informed decisions regarding your future as well as help you negotiate with insurance company representatives to recover a successful settlement outside of court. When this is not possible, we will work hard to prepare your case for trial.
Louisiana Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle crash statistics and survival rates are grim. This is why it is important to understand that motorcycle laws are implemented with the intent to prevent motorcycle accidents and keep the roads safe for all parties, especially motorcyclists who are more vulnerable. There are many important elements to Louisiana’s motorcycle laws to ensure safe riding and road sharing, such as:
- Inspection and Licensing: Prior to actually getting on the road, motorcycle riders must get a valid motorcycle license from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
- Eye Protection: A motorcyclist doesn’t have to necessarily be in an accident to sustain damage to their eyes. For example, things like road debris can cause damage, impairment, or permanent blindness to a rider’s eyesight. In many cases, it can also be the direct cause of motorcycle accidents. If a windshield isn’t high enough to cover the face of the person, LA R.S. 32:190.1 mandates protective eyewear to be worn.
- Traffic Lanes: LA R.S. 32:191.1 gives motorcyclists complete right to traffic lanes, but multiple motorcycles are not permitted to ride side by side within a single or the same lane. Under this law, it is also illegal for:
- Another vehicle to prevent you from using an entire lane
- A motorcyclist to pass in the same lane or deprive other cars of their full lane use
- Police motorcyclists executing official duties are the only exception to this.
- A motorcyclist to ride between traffic lanes or passenger vehicles
- A motorcyclist to carry anything that prevents them having access to both hands and handlebars
- A motorcyclist to be incorrectly seated on a bike
- The motorcyclist must be straddling the bike, one leg on either side, and facing forward.
- Handlebars and Footrests: Both features are required for riders and passengers under LA R.S. 32:191.3. Handlebars must be at or below shoulder level while seated. This provides better control over the bike.
- Children Passengers: According to LA R.S. 32:191(E), it is illegal to ride with children requiring child safety seat restrainment. They must be a minimum of five years old or older, fit correctly in a passenger seat, and must also wear adequate protective gear on their head.
- Seating Requirements: The seat must be fixed, permanent, and stationary, if intended for more than one passenger, according to LA R.S. 32:191. A single-seat with the appropriate capacity can seat two passengers. Passengers may only ride on passenger-approved and designated motorcycles.
Despite following all Louisiana laws for motorbikes, a motorcycle wreck can still occur, especially if passing vehicles act negligently or recklessly. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages caused by the liable party.
Louisiana Motorcycle Helmet Law
Louisiana law mandates that motorcycle riders must wear a helmet at all times and on all roads. This applies to both the driver and any passengers they may carry. The specifications for protective headgear under LA R.S. 32:190 include:
- A visor;
- Padding and lining on the inside;
- And a working chin strap.
The Department of Public Safety and the Corrections’ Deputy Secretary have detailed and comprehensive requirements for all helmets. This legislation applies to all ages, any type of motorcycle bike, and all insurance plans. Thus, you should ensure that your helmet of choice meets these requirements, fits properly, and doesn’t obstruct your vision or hearing.
The importance of protective headgear should not be overlooked. Wearing proper headgear can minimize or even deter brain damage up to 67% of the time for those involved in a motorcycle accident, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Numerous other studies have found that wearing adequate and fitted protective headgear reduces the likelihood of major head injuries by approximately 70% and death by 42%. As traumatic brain injuries can impact your future dramatically, it is best to minimize your risk of severe brain injury or increased chances of death by always adhering to the Louisiana motorcycle helmet law.
What Causes a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists are more prone to incur serious or fatal injuries in collisions since they lack any type of enclosing protective structure on their vehicles. As a result, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car occupants to die in an accident per mile driven, and they are also over 5 times more likely to be injured.
Below are the 10 most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Drivers often fail to thoroughly check their blindspots or when signaling to change lanes.
- Car Doors: “Dooring” is a common way motorcyclists are injured. It occurs when a parked vehicle’s door is opened into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.
- Speeding: Speeding reduces a driver’s chances of properly seeing and reacting to another driver. In addition, a higher speed means a greater impact in a collision, meaning the injuries sustained are typically much worse.
- Driving While Under The Influence: Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are a hazard to everyone on the road, but especially towards motorcyclists who are already more difficult to identify and require more cautious road-sharing safety measures.
- Lane Splitting: This is the act of riding between two lanes.
- Sudden Stops: Those who follow too closely or make an abrupt stop can cause rear-end accidents which may lead to serious injury or death to motorcyclists.
- Inexperienced Drivers: People who lack familiarity on the roads or in new vehicles may not make proper judgment calls and perform unsafe maneuvers on the road that compromise the safety of all vehicles, including their own.
- Left-Turn Accidents: Distance misjudgments or confusion regarding the right of way for left turns are common reasons for motorcycle crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
- Dangerous Road Conditions: A biker may be injured if they lose control over their vehicle as a result of poor road conditions, such as potholes, debris, lack of signs or signals, or broken pavement. Depending on the type of dangerous road condition and location, the negligence of the local government may be at fault for failing to uphold reasonable and safe road conditions.
- Motorcycle Defects: Malfunctioning or poorly designed parts commonly lead to serious injuries or death. In this case, a defective component may give way to a product liability case.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle wreck, please contact a motorcycle accident lawyer from Joubert Law Firm immediately.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists have many reasons for riding, from the ease of navigating through traffic and saving on fuel costs to simply enjoying the ride. Unfortunately, other drivers in heavier vehicles with varying degrees of driving ability pose a risk of serious injuries to motorcyclists, including:
- Head trauma
- Loss of limbs
- Severed spinal cord
- Broken bones and fractures
- Deep lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Neck and back injuries
- Organ failure
- Permanent scarring
At Joubert Law Firm, we understand how significantly these injuries can affect you. As such, we will fight aggressively for your right to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, future wages, and pain and suffering from those whose negligent actions caused your accident.
Who is Liable for a Baton Rouge Motorcycle Accident?
If there is evidence that another party acted negligently or was the primary cause of you or your loved one’s Baton Rouge motorcycle crash, you can hold the at-fault party or multiple parties accountable for any damages suffered. Other potentially liable parties for motorcycle accidents include companies and employers (most prominent in large trucking accidents), vehicle manufacturers, or even state or municipal government agencies.
What Damages Are Recoverable for a Motorcycle Accident?
Pursuit of compensation for damages incurred typically involves economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary expenses resulting from the Baton Rouge motorcycle accident. These include:
- Costs of Medical Care: This may include transportation via ambulance, emergency treatments, surgeries, hospitalization, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and related future medical attention.
- Lost Wages or Lost Earning Ability: A temporary inability to work or permanent disability which prevents you from working ever again can entitle you to compensation for lost income to support you and your family.
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses: This includes expenses such as prescriptions, aid equipment or devices (wheelchair, crutches, canes, etc.), home or vehicle modifications, transportation for medical care, caregivers, property damage, and more.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages include losses that aren’t as easily quantifiable in terms of monetary value. This includes:
- Pain and Suffering: This may apply to pain and discomfort physically, emotionally, or mentally. It also includes emotional distress in the forms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and lessened quality of life. Scarring and disfigurement can cause great mental anguish and self-consciousness.
- Loss of Consortium: Nothing can truly replace the value of a bond or relationship with a loved one being permanently injured or lost, but compensation may help the victim and their families in taking steps toward a “normal” life again. These damages can be sought for spouses, parents, and children. It may apply to loss of affection and intimacy of married relationships, support and guidance that a child needs, or society. This is a tricky one to prove, so it is important that you work with skilled injury lawyers like those at Joubert Law Firm.
Why You Need an Experienced Baton Rouge Motorcycle Attorney
An experienced Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer can help you establish liability by proving duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Joubert Law Firm has the experience that accident victims and/or their family members need in order to seek compensation and justice. We treat our clients with the utmost care and respect and will fight aggressively for their case against any at-fault party who acted with negligence.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Baton Rouge, please contact us right away for answers to any questions or concerns you may have regarding your case.
Strong Personal Injury Representation for your Motorcycle Accident Case
At Joubert Law Firm, we provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate the potential success of your claim. Call our motorcycle accident attorneys in Baton Rouge at 225-761-3822 to speak with one of our attorneys today.
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