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Fatal Motorcycle Crash In South Las Vegas

One other person was also seriously injured when an intoxicated motorist attempting a left turn cut off a motorcyclist and caused the collision.

The wreck took place near the intersection of Windmill Lane and Bermuda Road. 34-year-old James Vermillion was driving a Ford Explorer, and as he moved to turn left, he crossed directly into the path of the motorcycle rider; the bike then slammed into the Explorer’s passenger side door. The motorcycle rider was declared dead at the scene, and Mr. Vermillion, whom authorities charged with DUI manslaughter, was seriously injured and rushed to a nearby hospital.

The deceased victim’s name was not released.

Motorcycle Crashes

Because of a variety of safety improvements, vehicle occupants are largely well-protected in collisions. But since motorcycle riders are almost completely exposed in these situations, the crash fatality rate is thirty-five times higher among riders. Trauma injuries are usually the leading cause of death.

In a collision between a pedestrian or other non-vehicle occupant, speed is often the determining factor in whether the victim lives or dies, because if the vehicle is travelling more than 50mph, the death rate is over 90 percent.

Damages in motorcycle crash cases normally include compensation for tangible losses, such as medical bills, and intangible losses, such as loss of enjoyment in life.

Establishing Liability

In most car crash cases, victim/plaintiffs have a choice of two theories of recovery, and alcohol-related car wrecks are a good illustration.

Most people are not legally intoxicated until they consume about three drinks. But alcohol impairment starts with the first drink, so a crash could still be alcohol-related even if the police do not charge anyone with DUI.

Victim/plaintiffs can use circumstantial evidence to prove civil impairment. Such evidence includes:

  • Physical Symptoms: Although they are also associated with other conditions, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of alcohol are classic signs of alcohol impairment.
  • Erratic Driving: Similarly, erratic driving in and of itself does not indicate alcohol impairment, but if especially if there is other evidence present, erratic driving is another brick in the wall.
  • Previous Destination: If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) just left a bar, it is reasonable to presume that the tortfeasor had been drinking.

There is a lower burden of proof in civil court than in criminal cases, so it is easier to prove items through circumstantial evidence in negligence cases.

If the tortfeasor was charged with DUI, the negligence per se rule applies. Tortfeasors who violate safety laws are usually negligent as a matter of law if they violated safety statutes and the violation substantially caused the wreck. In some courts, negligence per se only creates a presumption of negligence.

Negligence per se also raises a presumption in favor of punitive damages. If there is clear and convincing evidence that the tortfeasor recklessly or wantonly endangered the safety or property of others, the jury may award these additional damages.

Reach Out to an Assertive Attorney

Car crashes in general, and motorcycle crashes in particular, often cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.