Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate, yet common risk of riding a motorcycle. Knowing how to avoid these crashes and being aware of the potential dangers could save your life. From being more vigilant when stopping at intersections to avoiding being distracted, there are many steps that can help you stay safe on the road. Unfortunately, you can’t control others on the road, and accidents still occur. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorneys.
How an Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
An Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in the following various ways:
A motorcycle accident lawyer can guide you through the complex legal process, explaining your rights and the steps you need to take to protect those rights. They can provide clarity on relevant laws and regulations that apply to your case.
In many motorcycle accidents, determining liability can be challenging. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine its cause and identify who can be held responsible. This may involve gathering evidence, obtaining witness statements, analyzing police reports, and consulting accident reconstruction experts.
A lawyer can help evaluate the full extent of your damages to ensure you do not settle for less than you deserve.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, as they often try to minimize payouts. A motorcycle accident lawyer can handle all communication and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation.
If your case goes to trial, having an attorney with trial experience can significantly increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that your case is being handled by a professional with your best interests at heart can give you peace of mind while you focus on recovering.
Determining Liability in Albuquerque Motorcycle Accidents
For someone to be held liable in a motorcycle accident case, you must prove that they were negligent. Negligence refers to actions by one or more parties that do not adhere to an accepted standard of care. When someone fails to act responsibly or fails to take reasonable steps to prevent harm, they can be held liable for any resulting injury or damage.
To prove negligence, there must be four elements present. These include duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty refers to the responsibility that each driver has when using public roads; everyone has an obligation to follow the rules of the road and drive safely.
Breach of duty means that one driver failed to adhere to their obligation by acting negligently (e.g., speeding or driving recklessly).
Next, you must prove that the breach actually caused the accident. Without this element, it’s impossible for someone to be found liable for an accident.
Finally, you must prove that you suffered damages, which refers to any physical or emotional injuries or property damage sustained in the accident.
Examples of Negligence
A driver was speeding on a busy street when they hit a motorcyclist who was driving within the speed limit. Here, speed would be considered a breach of duty (driving too fast) which caused an injury (damages).
A driver wasn’t paying attention while they were changing lanes and sideswiped a motorcyclist. In this scenario, not paying attention would be a breach of duty which resulted in physical injury (damages).
A driver ran a stop sign and collided with a motorcyclist who had the right-of-way. Running the stop sign would constitute negligence and can result in an Albuquerque personal injury lawsuit.
While proving negligence may seem complex, a motorcycle accident lawyer will help you gather the necessary documents to prove your case.
Comparative Negligence in Albuquerque Motorcycle Accidents
In cases where both parties are partially responsible for an accident, comparative negligence laws may come into play. Under New Mexico’s comparative negligence law, each party’s degree of fault is taken into consideration when determining liability, and damages are distributed accordingly.
For example, if you file a claim and are found to be 20% responsible, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced by 20%.
Our Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorney can help establish fault or dispute an incorrect evaluation of fault in an accident.
How Long You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in New Mexico
In New Mexico, the time limit for bringing a personal injury claim, including motorcycle accidents, is generally three years. This law is known as the statute of limitations, and it varies from state to state. It means that you have three years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a claim seeking compensation for injuries and four years for property damage. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court is likely to dismiss your case, and you may lose the opportunity to pursue compensation. In addition, the statute of limitations is far shorter if your claim is against a government entity. In these cases, you must begin by giving notice to the local government agency within 90 days of the date of injury.
Types of Compensation Available for Accident Victims
Motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to various types of compensation to help them recover from their injuries and losses. For example:
This includes reimbursement for all medical costs related to the treatment of injuries sustained in the accident. It covers hospitalization, surgery, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any future treatment you need.
If your injuries cause you to miss work, you may be entitled to recover the wages you would have earned during that time period.
Lost Earning Capacity
If your injuries result in a permanent disability or reduced ability to work, you may be compensated for the loss of future earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
This type of compensation is intended to address the physical and emotional pain and suffering resulting from the accident and injuries. It is not easily quantifiable and may vary based on the severity of the injuries and their impact on your life.
Compensation for repair or replacement of your motorcycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
Loss of Consortium
In some cases, your spouse may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, affection, and support resulting from your injuries.
In situations where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or malicious, a court may award punitive damages. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
Wrongful Death Damages
In the unfortunate event that a motorcycle accident results in the death of the rider, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for their losses, including funeral expenses, lost financial support, and emotional suffering. Our Albuquerque wrongful death attorney would be able to help the victim’s family recover damages from the at-fault party.
Common Causes of Albuquerque Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can result from various factors, and they often have more severe consequences than car accidents due to the lack of protective barriers around the rider. Some common causes include:
Other motorists who are distracted by their phones, navigation systems, or other activities may fail to notice motorcycles on the road and cause collisions.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as other vehicles on the road. Accidents can occur when other drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections or when merging.
Unsafe Lane Changes
When car or truck drivers change lanes without checking their blind spots or using signals, they may collide with a motorcycle already occupying that space.
Opening Car Doors
“Dooring” accidents happen when a driver or passenger opens their car door without checking for oncoming motorcycles, causing a collision.
Driving Under the Influence
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, reaction time, and coordination, greatly increasing the risk of accidents.
Poor Road Conditions
Roads with potholes, loose gravel, oil spills, or other hazards can be especially treacherous for motorcyclists.
Rain, snow, ice, and strong winds can affect all drivers, but motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to adverse weather conditions that reduce traction and visibility.
Faulty Traffic Signals or Signs
Malfunctioning traffic lights or missing/obscured road signs can lead to confusion and accidents.
New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Highlights from the latest annual crash report put out by the New Mexico Department of Transportation for 2021 are as follows:
There were 971 motorcycle accidents, making up 2.3% of all motor vehicle crashes and responsible for 13.1% of all traffic fatalities.
A motorcycle was involved in a crash every 9 hours.
83.9% of people in motorcycle accidents were injured or killed.
1,042 people were involved in motorcycle accidents, resulting in 55 fatalities, 141 suspected serious injuries, 536 suspected minor injuries, and 142 possible injuries.
The percentage of motorcyclists killed in crashes was 5.3%, whereas the percentage of all people killed in crashes was 0.5%.
For the last five years, the number of motorcyclist fatalities ranged from 46 to 55.
9.5% of all motorcyclists in crashes who were not wearing helmets were killed, compared with 4.8% of helmeted motorcyclists.
Why You Should Work With Davis Kelin Law Firm For Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
Selecting a law firm is an important decision. When you choose Davis Kelin Law Firm, you are putting your trust in a team of experienced personal injury professionals who are dedicated to helping you get the results you deserve. Here’s what sets us apart from the rest:
We have more than 50 years of combined experience providing our clients with top-notch legal services and recovering millions of dollars in damages throughout the years.
We are highly selective when it comes to our cases. If we accept your case, it’s because we truly believe that our motorcycle accident lawyers can help you.
We understand that legal proceedings can take time, so we strive to keep our clients constantly updated on the status of their cases throughout the process. When hiring us as your law firm, you can count on timely communication about what’s going on and honest answers about the next steps.