Due to their design, a motorcycle doesn't offer the same protection that a vehicle offers. Because of the fact that motorcycles don't have external protection, seatbelts, airbags and the other safety designs that a vehicle offers, motorcycle accidents oftentimes have worse outcomes than an auto accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 50,000 motorcycle accidents per year and over 2,000 of them result in fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, or other areas in Nebraska, you need to find a way to get compensation for your suffering and injuries quickly. At Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht P.C, L.L.O., our motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience and tenacity to help you seek financial restitution in a lawsuit. Contact us today so we can review your case and determine how we can help you. Call us at 402-218-2641.
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Compensation
- Infographic What To Do Next
- Liability in a Bike Crash
- Helmet Laws in Nebraska
- Tips to Prevent Crashes
- Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Motorcycle FAQs
- Your Case Review
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many things that can lead to a motorcycle crash, including:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Objects in the roadway
- Dangerous road design
- Defective motorcycles
- Defective motorcycle parts
- Weather conditions
Motorcycle riders tend to have a bad reputation. People may accuse them of needlessly dangerous maneuvers or a general recklessness. In fact, most bikers are responsible, safe operators of their vehicles. Although both parties causes accidents, motorists in passenger cars certainly cause their fair share. Here are some of the most common ways a careless motorist can cause someone to crash their bike:
- Making a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle: In an intersection or while making any left turn across a lane of oncoming traffic, some motorists misjudge the speed of the approaching motorcycle and think they can clear the lane in time. In other scenarios, the motorist fails to see the motorcycle completely. Because of the smaller size of a bike, they can be easy to miss, and it's more difficult for motorists to judge their speed. Because of these issues, motorists must be especially cautious when making left turns.
- Following too closely: Motorcycle riders sometimes have to make an evasive maneuver because of objects in the road, debris on the road surface or damage to the road itself. A passenger vehicle may be able to clear these problems. When following a motorcycle too closely, the conditions for an accident are set because the motorist will not have enough time to react to the motorcyclist's evasive actions.
- Changing lanes without checking the vehicle's blind spot: Most motorcycle riders do everything they can to avoid traveling in a motorist's blind spot, but sometimes it's unavoidable. It's important for drivers changing lanes to check to the side of them, to make sure these smaller, harder-to-see bikes aren't in the next lane.
- Failing to provide the motorcycle the full lane: A motorcycle doesn't take up the whole lane, but they must be provided the full width of the lane. Trying to drive next to a motorcycle in the same lane is very dangerous.
- Distracted driving: Distractions these days are rampant. Texting and other use of electronic devices behind the wheel is always dangerous, and it makes it that much harder for the distracted motorist to be aware of motorcycles sharing the road with them.
Some causes of crashes have nothing to do with the actions of people, but others are wholly preventable. It is these preventable causes our lawyers focus on. If your crash and resulting injuries were caused by someone else's negligence, we will fight to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Compensation
Motorcycles offer no protection. Their stripped-down nature is part of their appeal. Unfortunately, the lack of protection means a crash can very easily cause catastrophic injuries:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck and back injury
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Internal injuries
The lawyers at Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht have seen the devastation these injuries cause – not only financially, but mentally, emotionally and physically. Our goal is to help you restore your life to normalcy as much as possible, by fighting to recover compensation on your behalf. To find out if you have a claim, please call our law firm in Omaha and Norfolk, NE, at 402-218-2641.
Following a catastrophic injury, you will have several expenses and losses, both immediately and in the future. They may include:
- Emergency room bills
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Cost of physical rehabilitation
- Cost of job re-training
- Cost of in-home care
- Cost of assistive technology and medical equipment
You'll also be dealing with the damage to your bike. And on top of these financial concerns, you may face pain and suffering, mental anguish, depression and other traumas that may be invisible to others. All of these things will be considered in your motorcycle accident claim. Our lawyers want to discuss with you how the injury has affected your life, so that we can fight for compensation on your behalf by demonstrating the impact of the injury.
Infographic What To Do Next
Liability in a Bike Crash
Part of what we do when we investigate your claim is determine who is at fault. Who is liable for causing the crash? Depending on the cause and circumstances, there are a number of commonly responsible parties in the claims we handle:
- Truck drivers/commercial drivers
- Other motorcycle riders
- Designers or architects of dangerous roads
- Designers or manufacturers of defective vehicles
We are looking for the negligence that caused the crash. Negligence can be thought of as carelessness. It has many forms. While a texting driver is a fairly obvious example of carelessness, perhaps less obvious is the negligence of a truck driver who violates rules regarding how long they can drive continuously without a break, and therefore causes an accident because of drowsiness. Another example is the carelessness of a manufacturer of a defective motorcycle part, which malfunctions unexpectedly and causes you to crash.
Rely on our attorneys to determine who caused your crash and who should be held accountable. At Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht, we do not back down to powerful companies, corporations or individuals. We will not rest until we have obtained the best possible results in your claim.
Helmet Laws in Nebraska
Current Nebraska law requires all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. This is known as a universal helmet law. Over the years, there have been several legislative attempts to repeal the universal helmet law, which became state law in 1967. It was repealed in 1977, then reinstated in 1989.1 The most recent attempt in March, 2017, included proposals to make helmet use optional for riders over the age of 21.
Arguments about the pros and cons of legally required helmet use will continue. For now, helmets are required for all riders, regardless of age. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, acute medical hospital charges for injured motorcycle riders declined 38 percent after the law was reinstated in 1989.2 Un-helmeted riders who were injured were found to have overall higher medical costs than those who wore helmets. Helmets do an exceptionally good job of reducing the severity of head injuries in the event of a crash.
Tips to Prevent Crashes
There's not much you can do about other motorists, other than taking the opportunity to inform as those opportunities arise. When you can, tell people about the importance of sharing the road and the unique driving hazards faced by motorcyclists.
Mitigate the risk factors that commonly contribute to crashes:
- Don't drink and ride
- Don't ride distracted
- Anticipate motorists' actions
- Avoid riding in a vehicle's blind spot
- Assume motorists don't see you beside, in front or behind them
- Proceed with caution through intersections
If you are involved in an accident, seek treatment for your injuries. Then call our attorneys. We will review your case and determine what your options are going forward.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Here are a few statistics showing the seriousness and extent of motorcycle accidents:
- 4,976 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2015
- 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in 2015
- 26 people died in motorcycle accidents in Nebraska in 2015
- 431 people were injured in Nebraska motorcycle accidents in 2015
- In 2015, nationwide, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in a crash – per vehicle mile traveled – than passenger vehicle occupants
Motorcycle riders remain more likely to get injured or die in an accident compared to occupants in passenger cars.
Do I have a claim? The only way to know for sure is to call our law firm. Each person's circumstances are unique, so we must review the details before we can tell you if you have a claim. The review involves no obligation to retain our services.
Do I need a lawyer? We can't tell you whether you need a lawyer. If you call us, we can tell you whether we recommend our services. When an accident victim is seriously injured, they can almost always benefit from hiring a lawyer. Insurance companies are not looking out for you. They are concerned with their own bottom line and closing cases as quickly as possible. We will serve as experienced advocates working only for you.
How much is my case worth? There's no way to put a price tag on a case. Instead, our lawyers will investigate to determine each and every way the injury has impacted your life, financially and otherwise. Then we will fight aggressively to recover every dollar you are due. We cannot guarantee recovery, but we encourage you to look at reviews from our past clients to see examples of results achieved.
How long will it take to resolve? If we choose to handle your claim, we will work skillfully, efficiently and competently. We know as an injured victim you want results quickly. Rest assured we will be available to answer your calls and make sure you know what is happening every step of the way.
Your Case Review
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Nebraska, including the cities of Omaha, Lincoln and Norfolk, and if you want to find out if you have a claim, please call Copple, Rockey, McKeever & Schlecht at 402-218-2641. We will help you decide what to do next.