Motorcycles are popular throughout the state, and it is vital for every rider and passenger to know their rights and their responsibilities on these vehicles. Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than enclosed passenger vehicles. They lack safety features like airbags, seatbelts, and vehicle frames designed to absorb impact and protect a vehicle’s passengers in a crash. Additionally, when motorcycle accidents happen, the rider will sustain injuries from the primary impact of the other vehicle hitting them, followed by the secondary impact of hitting the ground.
Motorcycle helmets are a divisive issue in some areas of the country, and each state has different laws pertaining to motorcycle helmets. Many believe that requiring helmets helps increase overall public safety, reduces the chance of fatal head injuries, and limits expenditures on medical treatment for motorcycle accident victims. Opponents of motorcycle helmet laws often simply want the freedom to handle their personal safety as they see fit. In Nevada, state law requires all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets.
In recent years, the motorcycle helmet law has been challenged several times. However, it has only grown more expansive in response to these challenges. Today, helmets are required for all motorcycle riders and their passengers, and this requirement extends to three-wheeled unenclosed vehicles and mopeds.
Motorcycle Helmet Benefits in Accidents
While motorcycle accidents are less common than passenger vehicle accidents, this is only due to the fact that there are fewer motorcycles on the road than passenger vehicles. When looking at the accident rates and related statistics surrounding motorcycle accidents, one will see that motorcycle riders are at greater risk of experiencing accidents and at greater risk of suffering catastrophic or fatal injuries when accidents happen.
Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of fatal head injury in a motorcycle accident by a substantial margin. While they cannot completely prevent brain injuries, a properly fitted and Department of Transportation (DoT)-approved helmet can potentially mean the difference between life and death after an accident.
State law also requires riders and passengers to wear eye protection. This prevents flying debris from injuring a rider’s eyes on the road, which in turn could easily cause a serious accident. Any violation of the helmet law can lead to a fine and other penalties, potentially even misdemeanor prosecution. If you plan to ride a motorcycle in the state, make sure you have an appropriate helmet and eye protection.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you or a family member is hurt in a motorcycle accident that someone else caused, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages with a claim against their auto insurance policy and/or a personal injury claim. Every driver in the state is required to have auto insurance by law, and when an accident happens, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage will pay for the victim’s damages. However, not every driver has insurance, and insurance alone might be insufficient to cover the full extent of damages resulting from a serious accident.
Easton & Easton can provide compassionate and responsive legal counsel after a motorcycle accident. Our team has years of professional experience helping our clients recover from all types of vehicle accidents, and we know the challenges you are likely to face in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. You have a limited time in which to file your auto insurance claim, so it is important to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident to have as much time as possible to build your case.
Q: Can You Ride a Motorcycle Without a Helmet?
A: No. State law requires both motorcycle operators and passengers to wear DoT-approved helmets and eye protection. Failure to adhere to Nevada’s motorcycle helmet laws can lead to a misdemeanor charge and two demerit points on your driver’s license. Always verify that a motorcycle helmet is DoT-compliant before purchasing one.
Q: What Is the Five-Year Rule for Motorcycle Helmets?
A: It’s commonly considered good practice to replace a motorcycle helmet after five years of use or after seven years following the manufacturing date. Even if a helmet appears to be in good condition after these time periods, the resins and other materials used to manufacture the helmet can be affected by everyday wear and tear and environmental conditions.
Q: Can I Sue for a Motorcycle Accident?
A: Nevada follows the fault rule for resolving vehicle accidents, including motorcycle accidents. This means that whoever is at fault for causing a motorcycle accident is liable for all associated damages. If another driver is responsible for causing your recent accident, you have the right to seek accountability and compensation for your damages. You could potentially recover compensation for your vehicle repair bills, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering through a personal injury claim.
Q: What Is the Most Common Injury From Motorcycle Accidents?
A: Broken bones are the most commonly reported injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents each year. However, the most commonly cited fatal injury is a traumatic brain injury. This is another reason wearing an appropriately fitted and DoT-compliant helmet is so crucial for all motorcyclists. While a helmet cannot completely eliminate the risk of a head injury, it can significantly reduce the severity of a head injury when one occurs.
Q: Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?
A: Technically, no, you are not required to hire legal counsel after a motorcycle accident. However, your recovery is likely to require both an auto insurance claim and a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver, and having legal counsel that you can trust on your side significantly increases your chances of success with these recovery efforts. Your attorney can help you win your case and help maximize your total compensation.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of experience helping injured motorcycle accident victims recover. We can guide you through the auto insurance claim filing process and a subsequent personal injury claim against whoever caused your accident. Contact us today to learn how our firm can help you recover from your motorcycle accident.