Motorcyclists: Is Laying the Bike Down Smart?

November 8th, 2012 by Farhan Naqvi in Motorcycle Accidents

Anyone who has been riding motorcycles for any length of time probably knows someone who has had to "lay the bike down" in order to avoid a collision. Of course, riders who do this rarely emerge unscathed; abrasions, lacerations, knee and elbow injuries, bone fractures, and even internal injuries are not uncommon in these scenarios. And head injuries are possible as well, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet.

So is it smart to lay the bike down to avoid a crash in Las Vegas?

Today’s motorcycles are made with stronger brakes and more stability than the bikes of days gone by. As a result, motorcyclists are usually better off trying to stop suddenly and/or swerve to miss an object rather than laying the bike down.

However, there are some instances where this maneuver is the only way to avoid colliding with another vehicle. These situations include cars pulling out from driveways into the motorcyclist’s lane, or cars changing lanes in front of the motorcyclist. This begs the question: if a motorcyclist has to lay the bike down in order to avoid a collision, can he or she be compensated for injuries if the other motorist is at fault?

Nevada law allows a motorcyclist to make what is known as a "reasonable response" to any action by another driver that puts the rider in harm’s way. But the issue here is the term "reasonable response."

In a personal injury lawsuit, the defense may try and argue that the motorcyclist should have been paying better attention and/or taken other corrective action (like braking or swerving) instead of laying the bike down. Whether or not a jury will agree largely depends on the circumstances of the motorcycle accident – as well as the experience of the plaintiff’s attorney. So it is vital that any motorcyclist seek out a qualified motorcycle accident attorney if he or she has been injured by laying the bike down in order to avoid a crash caused by the negligence or recklessness of another driver.


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