Riding your motorcycle can bring a sense of exhilaration. The wind rushing over you. The sun beating down on you. Then out of nowhere, you’re jolted back into reality when another vehicle collides with your bike.
While motorcycle deaths are down, you are still 28 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident. This is because a motorcycle lacks the protection of a regular vehicle.
Your body is fully exposed to the impact of an accident and oftentimes will take the full force of the crash. This commonly results in serious injury.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Just like car accidents, the causes of motorcycle accidents vary greatly. Common motorcycle accident causes include:
- Slick road surfaces
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to yield
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Head on collisions
- Sudden stops
- Open door collisions
All of these are common reasons why motorcycle accidents happen in Nebraska. Motorcycle helmet use is increasing and this can help you avoid serious injury if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. But even taking precautions like wearing a helmet can’t prevent all accidents.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries depend on the type of accident you’re involved in. Common injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
Over 5,000 motorcyclists die each year in traffic accidents. You can protect yourself from serious and even fatal injuries by taking preventative measures. Make sure your tires have the right air pressure, your brakes are working correctly, your signals are working, and your belts and chains are properly oiled. This won’t prevent all accidents, but taking proactive measures can help lower the amount of fatal accidents.
5 Thinks You HAVE to do after a Motorcycle Accident
The steps you take after your motorcycle accident can help to make the difference for your personal injury claim. Being proactive can not only ensure your physical recovery, it can help you get back on your bike faster.
- Call 911. Calling emergency services allows you to receive prompt medical attention and also ensures the police write a report of the accident. While they may not assign fault in your accident, they will create a diagram of how the accident occurred. This can be incredibly helpful to show you did not cause the accident and the at-fault driver should be on the hook for your medical bills.
- Seek medical attention. In addition to getting seen by a medical professional at the scene of the accident, you also need to see your regular doctor and possibly specialists after the accident. Your doctor knows you better than anyone and will be able to tell how serious your injuries are.
- Take pictures. If you’re able to do so, taking pictures is a great way to preserve the accident scene. Getting pictures of your motorcycle, your injuries, and any other vehicles involved in the accident can give a great view of how the accident happened.
- Keep a journal. Memory fades. Over time, you won’t recall the days of agony and pain and suffering. By keeping a journal and writing in it every day, you make certain you don’t forget the long road to your recovery. This helps to show what you had to go through to get better.
- Don’t settle without consulting a motorcycle accident lawyer. Insurance companies want to make money. They don’t do that if they pay out your claim in full. Let us help you negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault driver to maximize your financial recovery. Taking this stress off your shoulders allows you to focus on your recovery and make sure you get better.
Taking the right steps after your motorcycle accident does make a difference in your recovery. You have a long road ahead and you’re likely out of work. Not knowing how you will pay your bills is terrifying. But that’s why it’s so important that you work with a trusted Nebraska motorcycle accident lawyer. We have the experience you need to help you maximize your recovery so you don’t have to worry about how those medical bills get paid. You have enough to worry about getting better. Let us focus on the legal complexities.
Compensation to Fight For
The types and amounts of compensation available for injuries you sustain in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your vault will vary from case-to-case. Typically, they may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care costs
Working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney is the best way to come up with a solid estimate of your damages, and with the evidence to support them. We have the experience and resources to make sure we uncover every possible cost you may incur in the future, and every party who may have legal liability to pay you. Our mission is to make sure our clients have the financial support they need to make a full recovery from their motorcycle accident injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Nebraska have a helmet law?
Yes. You must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or moped. If you are caught riding without a helmet, you will face a fine. As of the first quarter of 2020, the fine is $50. Fines are subject to change.
Is lane splitting allowed in Nebraska?
Lane splitting—riding a motorcycle between two vehicles in two lanes, or straddling the line between two lanes—is illegal. If you get into an accident while lane splitting, you could face liability for any injuries and damage that result.
Does Nebraska allow ape hangers?
All motorcycles in Nebraska must not have handlebars any higher than 15 inches above the mounting point. Ape hangers, if high enough, require you to fully extend your arms to hang onto the handlebars and reach the controls. Anything above that height makes it difficult to control the bike.
Does Nebraska require bikers to get a motorcycle license?
Yes, you must have a motorcycle license to operate a motorcycle in Nebraska. The state might also require you to take the written motorcycle test before you take the road test.
Are motorcycle accidents reported to the state?
Yes, you must report motorcycle accidents that involve an injury, damage over $1,000, or death.
How long do I have to file a claim with an insurance company?
Each insurance company has its own rules for when to file a claim. You should initiate your claim as soon as possible, as you could have as little as a few days to file a claim. You do not have to give the insurance company any information other than your contact information, the at-fault driver’s contact and insurance information, location of the accident, date and time of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information.
What information do I give the insurance company?
When you speak to the insurance representative, give him or her just the basics: Your name, the other driver’s contact information, the other driver’s insurance policy information, the location, date and time of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information.
Let your attorney give the accident facts to the insurance company, as the representative may try to twist your words in an attempt to deny your claim or to make you a low-ball offer. Keep in mind that insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and paying out on a claim lowers their bottom line.
I did not suffer extensive bodily and property damage. Should I still retain a Nebraska motorcycle accident attorney?
Yes. Even if your damages are minor, you could have injuries that might not show up for a day or three, or damages to your vehicle and other personal property could cost more than you expect.
What injuries can I get in a motorcycle accident?
Because motorcyclists lack the external protection you would otherwise have in a vehicle, you have a higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries or death when riding a motorcycle.
Injuries could include:
- Scrapes, bumps, bruises, and cuts;
- Strains, sprains, pulled muscles, and other soft tissue injuries;
- Simple and compound fractures;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Head, shoulder, and neck injuries;
- Back and spinal cord injuries;
- Internal injuries; and
If you have any underlying diseases or if you are on medication or treatment that compromises your immune system, let your attorney know. Many injuries take longer to heal when you have diabetes or have a compromised immune system from disease or treatments such as chemotherapy.
Is therapy covered?
In most cases, the insurance company pays for physical, cognitive, and psychological therapies. You might need long-term physical therapy if muscles atrophy during recovery or if the accident paralyzed you. You might need cognitive therapy if you suffer from a traumatic brain injury. And, you could suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome if the accident was particularly severe. Many people also suffer from depression if they have long-term injuries. Because you would not have these issues if it weren’t for the accident, the insurance and/or the at-fault driver should be held liable for the cost of these therapies.
What are damages?
Nebraska allows you to recover two types of damages for your injuries: Special and general damages. Special damages, often referred to as economic damages, are those that have a price attached, such as medical expenses. General damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, are those that do not have a price tag attached, such as pain and suffering.
While no amount of money can cure a long-term disability caused by a motorcycle wreck or bring back a loved one, the money you might receive helps with the financial burden of losing an income because of injuries or death.
Economic damages. Special damages, or economic damages, include:
- Past medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses, including additional surgeries follow-up appointments, cognitive therapy, physical therapy, and psychological therapy;
- Repair or replacement of personal property;
- Medical devices, including but not limited to wheelchairs, crutches, shower chairs, oxygen tanks, and walkers; and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages. General damages, or non-economic damages, include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of companionship if a child, parent, or spouse cannot take part in family activities and/or events;
- Loss of consortium if your spouse can no longer have a physical relationship with you;
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do chores you would normally do, including grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, home maintenance, cleaning, and cooking;
- Disfigurement and/or scarring from burns, open wounds, and surgeries; and
- Loss of use of a body part or function, such as an arm or your eyesight.
Contact a Trusted Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
As your Nebraska motorcycle accident injury lawyer, we will investigate your accident, review the police report, review medical records, speak with witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you at trial, if necessary. We do all of this at no cost to you. While most personal injury cases do settle out of court, we will only settle if it’s right for you. We are fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial if that’s what it takes to get you the compensation you need to get better.
Contact us today online or by calling (308) 633-4444. We look forward to working with you.
The Robert Pahlke Law Group
2425 Circle Drive #200
Scottsbluff, NE 69361