A man is dead after an early-afternoon collision with a tortfeasor (negligent driver).
The wreck occurred on Carrondale Way close to the intersection of Tenaya Way and Washington Avenue. According to investigators, a man in a Ford Focus attempted a U-turn. A trailing Yamaha was unable to avoid the car. The rider put on his brakes and lost control of his motorcycle. After the rider fell off his bike, he slid under the Focus.
The rider was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Motorcycle Crashes in Nevada
Riders have no seat belts, air bags, or other restraint systems to protect them. So, riders are almost thirty times more likely to die in car accidents than vehicle occupants. Some common serious injuries include:
- Biker’s Arm: When riders are thrown off their motorcycles, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. This reaction often causes permanent nerve damage, because the rider’s arm almost literally snaps in two.
- Head Injuries: The quick jarring motion commonly associated with a collision is usually sufficient to cause a serious brain injury. It’s possible to literally scramble the brain without breaking the skull, just like it’s possible to scramble an egg without cracking the shell.
- Internal Injuries: This same force causes internal organs to grind against one another. When that happens, they often begin leaking blood. First responders and doctors usually do not detect this bleeding until many precious minutes have already ticked away.
Damages in a Las Vegas motorcycle crash usually include compensation for both economic mosses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.
The “Motorcycle Helmet Defense” in Nevada
Crash helmets substantially lower the risk of head injuries. So, Nevada is one of the few states with a mandatory helmet law which applies to all riders. However, crash helmets do not prevent all head injuries. So, the helmet law’s effect in Clark County negligence cases is rather uncertain.
At best, failure to wear a helmet may be contributory negligence. If the victim/plaintiff suffered a head injury, and a doctor testifies that a helmet would have prevented that injury at least in part, the judge may reduce the victim/plaintiff’s damages.
But not so fast. Nevada has expressly outlawed the so-called seat belt defense. Under NRS 484D.495, the insurance company may not introduce evidence of seat belt non-use to prove contributory negligence.
The same principles seem to apply in Nevada motorcycle helmet cases. Wearing or not wearing a helmet has no bearing on the cause of the crash, at least in most cases. Furthermore, the victim/plaintiff has no duty to mitigate (voluntarily reduce) damages before a crash. If that were the case, all drivers would have to wear crash helmets all the time.
An aggressive lawyer can make the best possible arguments, so the victim/plaintiff gets maximum compensation.
Contact a Hard-Hitting Lawyer
Motorcycle riders are often seriously injured in car accidents. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. Home and hospital visits are available.