If you have recently been harmed in a motorcycle accident, you are most likely going through a difficult time in your life. Those involved in motorcycle accidents often sustain serious injuries requiring weeks or months of recovery. Severe accidents also bring emotional and financial stress with the physical pain of injury and recovery. In the aftermath of your accident, you might feel overwhelmed and struggle to decide your next steps.
Nebraska law entitles you to seek compensation in civil court from another party whose negligence caused your accident. Of course, to obtain maximum compensation, you will need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
Let the skilled legal team at Robert Pahlke Law Group guide you through this challenging time. Our seasoned attorneys have extensive experience helping those who have been injured on motorcycles in traffic collisions. Contact us at (308) 633-4444 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Until we have a chance to meet, here are some frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents in Nebraska.
What Causes Nebraska Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents might be caused by defective motorcycle parts, pedestrians, or poorly maintained roads, but the vast majority of motorcycle accidents result from negligent drivers in other vehicles. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents caused by other drivers in Nebraska and across the nation:
- Improper lane changes can lead to motorcycle accidents when motorists don’t check their mirrors, don’t clear their blind spots, or fail to signal to others they are changing lanes.
- Left-hand turns can lead to motorcycle crashes when drivers misjudge their distance from a bike, or misjudge a bike’s speed.
- Following a motorcycle too closely puts drivers and bikers at risk for a rear-end collision if the bike has to stop quickly, falls, or any other erratic maneuver occurs.
- Distracted drivers who are using their cell phone, eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, dealing with passengers, or participating in any other activity which takes their mind off the road, risk causing a traffic accident with a motorcycle.
- Aggressive driving makes the road unsafe for everyone. Drivers who excessively speed and weave through traffic put motorcyclists in danger for a severe accident.
- Driving while impaired reduces a driver’s reaction time, vision, and other functions, and makes it impossible to safely share the road. Impaired drivers can cause multiple types of motorcycle accidents resulting in severe injury or fatality.
What Injuries Do Bikers Suffer in Motorcycle Collisions?
Even bikers who wear a helmet (which Nebraska law requires) and protective gear can suffer severe and fatal injuries when a collision occurs. Limited protection from the road and other vehicles lead to more severe injuries than other types of traffic collisions. Some of the more common motorcycle crash injuries a personal injury attorney can assist clients with include:
- Head and neck injuries. Even when wearing a helmet, if a biker’s head hits the pavement, a head and/or neck injury is likely. Depending on the circumstances of an accident a motorcyclist might suffer a mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), potentially leading to lifelong issues.
- Spinal cord injuries. Severe bike crashes might cause spinal cord damage leading to temporary or permanent paralysis to some or all of the body.
- Dislocations. High speed impacts or direct impact at lower speeds might cause dislocation of a biker’s shoulders or hips.
- Biker’s arm. Bikers attempt to break their impact with their arm during a collision. This can cause severe nerve damage to the arms and shoulders, sometimes causing permanent injury.
- Road rash. When motorcyclists are thrown from their bike during an accident, their bodies might slide on the asphalt causing skin and nerve damage. When their bodies make contact with the ground, bikers might lose multiple layers of skin. Thick protective gear can reduce severe road rash in some cases.
Can I Seek Compensation for Damages After a Nebraska Motorcycle Accident?
In Nebraska, if another party causes your motorcycle accident, he or she is responsible for damages related to your accident and injury. Initially, you will report your accident to your insurance carrier, so they can investigate your claim and go after the at-fault party’s insurance company for reimbursement. When severe and catastrophic injuries occur, it is likely the damages will exceed insurance policy limits. In that case, Nebraska law entitles you to file a personal injury suit against the driver. In addition to recovering medical expenses and lost wages, you might also receive compensation for future lost wages, future medical treatment, and non-economic costs related to your accident and injury.
I Wasn’t Wearing My Helmet—Can I Still Recover Damages?
Nebraska courts apply pure comparative negligence to personal injury cases to assess the extent to which a plaintiff might have contributed to the accident resulting in injuries. If you chose not to wear a helmet, a Nebraska court might find you partially liable for your own injuries. You were violating the law by not wearing a helmet and the defense might argue any head injuries you suffered would not have been as severe (or have happened at all) had you been wearing a helmet.
If a court finds you were partially responsible for your injuries because you weren’t wearing a helmet, then it will assign a percentage portion of fault to each party in the lawsuit and reduce any award by your percentage fault. For example, if you sue for $500,000 in damages and the court finds you were 20 percent negligent for not wearing a helmet, you can only collect $400,000, or 80 percent, under Nebraska law.
A good motorcycle accident attorney, however, knows how to fight against these tactics and get injured clients the best settlements possible.
Contact a Nebraska Motorcycle Crash Lawyer to Get the Legal Help You Need
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a motorcycle accident, you need a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner to handle the details of your claim while you focus on rehabilitation. The seasoned motorcycle accident attorneys at Robert Pahlke Law Group are here to help you through this challenging time; we have extensive experience representing accident injury victims, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars in damages. Contact us at (308) 633-4444 or online for a free consultation to learn how we can assist you after a motorcycle accident.