That was the simple advice that the Metropolitan Police Department offered after a fatal left-turn motorcycle crash in Las Vegas.
This accident occurred near the intersection of Stuart Avenue and Nellis Boulevard. Investigators state that Raymundo Enrique Acosta III was riding northbound on Nellis when a 2013 Dodge Dart turned left against traffic and directly into the rider’s path. First responders rushed Mr. Acosta to a nearby hospital, where he was later declared dead.
Metro listed the official cause of the crash as failure to yield the right of way.
Motorcycle Crash Injuries in Nevada
The vehicle occupant death rate remains high, but it has dropped significantly in recent years. Cars are much more crash-worthy today than they were twenty years ago. But motorcycle riders enjoy none of these benefits. They are completely exposed to danger in these situations.
So, motorcycle riders are almost thirty times more likely to die in crashes than vehicle occupants. Some of the serious injuries they often sustain include:
- Head Injuries: Even the best crash helmets leave the neck and upper spine exposed. Moreover, the jarring motion is usually enough to cause a serious head injury.
- Biker’s Arm: Most impacts throw most riders off their bikes, and they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. When that happens, the result is usually permanent nerve damage to the brachial plexus and other vital areas.
- Internal Injuries: The aforementioned motion not only causes the brain to smash against the skull. It also causes internal organs to smash against one another. The resulting abrasions cause massive blood loss.
Damages in Las Vegas motorcycle crash cases usually include compensation for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may also be available in some cases.
Liability Issues in Las Vegas Motorcycle Crashes
Left-turn and head-on crashes often involve the last clear chance defense. Basically, insurance company lawyers argue that the motorcycle rider could have avoided the oncoming car yet did not do so. Legally, in that instance, the motorcycle rider is legally responsible for the wreck.
However, there’s a significant difference between the last clear chance and any possible chance. It’s much harder to perform evasive maneuvers on a motorcycle than it is in a car. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the rider often simply has no time to react.
The motorcycle helmet defense may be an issue as well. If a helmetless victim sustained a head injury, insurance company lawyers often argue that the lack of a helmet, and not the tortfeasor (negligent driver), caused the injury.
At best, the helmet defense only amounts to reduced compensation. Even then, the insurance company must produce compelling evidence that a helmet would have reduced or negated the victim’s injuries.
But typically, it is not a factor at all. Nevada lawmakers have expressly outlawed the seat belt defense. Since wearing a seat belt is not relevant in a personal injury trial, most Clark County judges hold that wearing a helmet is inadmissible as well.
Contact an Assertive Lawyer
Motorcycle riders face a high risk of serious injury. 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.