Two California tourists, who were part of a motorcycle riding group, died in a vehicle collision on a dark stretch of Blue Diamond Road.
65-year-old Bill Dinh and 64-year-old Mary Nguyen, of Garden Grove, lost control of their bike which then skidded across traffic and into the path of an oncoming car. The driver, whose name was not released, hit the bike and killed both Bill and Mary instantly. Investigators do not think that roadway design contributed to the wreck.
Motorcycle Wreck Injuries in Nevada
Mostly due to a combination of visibility and vulnerability, motorcycle riders are over twenty times more likely to die in a roadway crash than people inside four-wheel vehicles. Nearly all riders who have gone down heard the tortfeasor (negligent driver) say something like “I never even saw you.” That’s because most drivers simply do not maintain a proper lookout for motorcycle riders. Many riders try a number of tricks to improve their visibility, such as weaving slightly inside their lanes or wearing brightly-colored clothing, but there is very little evidence that these tactics work, and they may simply antagonize drivers who are already hostile to motorcycle operators.
Furthermore, motorcycle riders are almost completely unprotected in these collisions, even against things like head injuries. While motorcycle helmets do reduce the number of trauma-based head injuries, they do nothing to stabilize the neck. Emerging research suggests that a sudden jarring motion, as opposed to blunt force, causes many of these wounds. For example, many scientists believe that repetitive small blows to the head, as opposed to a couple of concussions, causes Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in tackle football players.
Because of the serious nature of these and other injuries, compensation in Nevada motorcycle crash cases is often substantial. In addition to money for medical bills and other economic losses, victims are also entitled to money for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, and other noneconomic damages.
Some Insurance Company Defenses in Las Vegas Motorcycle Crashes
When an out-of-control vehicle skids into oncoming traffic, insurance company lawyers often try to use the sudden emergency defense to reduce or deny compensation to the victim. This doctrine excuses liability if the tortfeasor:
- Reasonably reacted to
- An unexpected event.
Hood fly-ups and other such situations are clearly sudden emergencies in Las Vegas; stalled cars and other such events are clearly not sudden emergencies. Wrong-way vehicles are in a gray area. While it is very rare for vehicles to cross traffic, drivers should still be prepared to deal with such emergencies.
Contributory negligence is an even more likely defense in cross-traffic collisions. This rule requires the jury to divide fault for the collision based on the evidence. For example, in the above story, a jury could partially blame both the motorcycle rider for losing control of the bike and the vehicle operator for failing to maintain a proper lookout.
Nevada is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent threshold. For a victim to collect a proportional amount of damages, the tortfeasor must be at least 51 percent responsible for the crash.
Team Up With an Experienced Lawyer
Motorcycle wrecks almost always result in serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, contact Naqvi Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.