Motorcycle accidents in Nebraska are both frequent and tragic. Victims of these accidents have legal rights, including the ability to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim for compensation. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer can help victims through the legal process, with the aim of getting victims maximum compensation and justice. Below, Liberty Law Group explains essential information about motorcycle accidents, including types and causes, the legal options open to victims, and how a motorcycle accident lawyer can be impactful in these scenarios.

Nebraska Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

The lawyers at Liberty Law Group are dedicated to providing support for personal injury claims. Our firm is experienced in handling numerous personal injury cases on behalf of injury victims in Nebraska and Iowa.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Motorcycle Accident Suits

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Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents involve several scenarios. Single-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles often result from the rider losing control. This can be due to excessive speed, mechanical failures, or encountering road hazards like potholes or slippery surfaces. In these cases, the motorcyclist may be thrown from the bike, leading to serious injuries or even fatalities, particularly if protective gear is not used.

Rear-end collisions are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. These occur when a following vehicle hits the motorcycle from behind. The impact can be catastrophic, potentially causing the motorcyclist to be thrown off their bike into oncoming traffic or onto the road.

Left-turn accidents are common and pose a significant threat to motorcyclists. These occur when a vehicle making a left turn collides with a motorcycle that is either going straight through an intersection or is also turning. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible compared to cars and trucks, making them more likely to be overlooked by other drivers, especially at busy intersections.

Lane-splitting accidents happen when a motorcyclist drives between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. This maneuver has significant risks. Accidents often occur when drivers of cars and larger vehicles change lanes without noticing a motorcycle in close proximity, leading to collisions.

Head-on collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles are among the most severe. These accidents typically occur when a vehicle strays into the opposite lane, resulting in a direct and often high-speed impact with a motorcycle. The outcomes of those collisions are frequently fatal due to the force of the impact and the lack of protective gear for the motorcyclist.
T-bone or side-impact accidents involve the side of a motorcycle being struck by another vehicle. These are most common at intersections, where vehicles may fail to yield to motorcycles or misjudge their speed and distance. The side of a motorcycle offers little protection to the rider, making these types of accidents particularly hazardous.

Dooring accidents, more likely in populated areas such as main streets in cities, occur when a driver or passenger of a parked vehicle opens the vehicle door in the path of a motorcycle. The sudden obstruction leaves the motorcyclist with little time to react, often resulting in a collision that can catapult the rider into the roadway or other objects.

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Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Speeding remains a leading cause of motorcycle accidents. Traveling at high speeds reduces the rider’s ability to react to sudden changes in traffic or road conditions and increases the severity of an accident.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant risk factor, impairing the judgment and reaction times of both motorcyclists and other drivers. This impairment can lead to poor decision-making and a heightened likelihood of accidents.
Inexperienced riders may lack the necessary skills to navigate traffic situations or challenging road conditions safely. This inexperience can result in errors in judgment, increasing the risk of accidents.

Lane splitting, which is illegal in Nebraska, poses inherent risks. The close proximity to other vehicles, combined with the limited space for maneuvering, increases the likelihood of an accident.

Sudden stops can lead to rear-end accidents, particularly if a motorcyclist is following too closely or if a vehicle behind fails to maintain a safe following distance.

Hazardous road conditions, such as potholes, uneven road surfaces, and loose gravel, are more dangerous for motorcycles than for other vehicles. These conditions can cause a motorcyclist to lose control, especially if not anticipated.

Vehicle blind spots are a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles can easily be hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot, leading to collisions during lane changes or turns.

Weather conditions, including rain, fog, and ice, reduce visibility and road traction, making it more difficult for motorcyclists to maintain control and for other drivers to see motorcycles on the road.

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Where Motorcycle Accidents Often Occur in Nebraska

Congested areas in Nebraska, with higher traffic density and many intersections, see a higher incidence of motorcycle accidents. Cities like Omaha and Lincoln have complex traffic environments, with a mix of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, increasing the chances of accidents. Rural Nebraska roads, while less congested, have their own set of risks. Higher speed limits, sharp turns, limited visibility, and less frequent maintenance can increase the danger for motorcyclists. These roads may present unexpected hazards like wildlife crossings, farm equipment, or debris, which are particularly dangerous for motorcycles.

Highways, such as I-80 or Nebraska Highway 2, allow for traveling at high speeds, which poses particular risks for motorcyclists. Accidents on these roads often involve multiple vehicles and occur at high speeds, increasing the likelihood of fatalities.

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Potential Liability in Motorcycle Accident Cases

Several parties could be held liable for motorcycle accidents, depending on the circumstances. First of all, other drivers are frequently found liable, especially if they are driving recklessly, speeding, under the influence, or not following traffic laws. For example, if a driver of a car fails to yield the right of way and hits a motorcyclist, that driver could be held responsible. Similarly, truck drivers and their employers can be liable if the drivers cause accidents due to negligence.

Third-party liability can also arise. This includes situations where a vehicle malfunction due to manufacturing defects causes an accident, making the manufacturer potentially liable. Additionally, if poor road conditions like unmarked hazards or poorly maintained streets lead to an accident, the government could be held responsible.

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Bringing a Lawsuit or Insurance Claim for a Motorcycle Accident

As for insurance claims, the victim (or their family in case of a fatal accident) usually files an insurance claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. This process involves gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records to support the claim. The insurance company will review the claim and either offer a settlement or deny the claim, in which case the insured can negotiate or dispute the decision.

If a settlement can’t be reached with the insurance company, or if the liable party is uninsured or underinsured, the victim might choose to file a lawsuit. This legal action requires filing a complaint in court, outlining the accident and the damages suffered. The legal process involves various stages, including discovery, where both sides gather further evidence, and potentially mediation or negotiation to reach a settlement. If a settlement isn’t reached, the case may go to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

Nebraska Revised Statute 25-207 sets a four-year statute of limitations for filing motorcycle accident lawsuits. This means the injured motorcyclist has four years from the date of the accident to start a lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries incurred. If the lawsuit is not filed within this timeframe, the opportunity to claim damages is typically lost, as courts usually dismiss cases filed after the statute of limitations has expired.

Under Nebraska Revised Statutes 30-809 and 30-810, if a person dies in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s fault or negligence, the deceased’s family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This legal action must be filed within two years of the date of death. The lawsuit, often managed by the deceased’s legal representative, aims to get financial compensation for the family. Compensation can cover various aspects like lost future income, funeral costs, and the emotional trauma associated with the loss of a family member.

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Types of Damages in Motorcycle Accident Cases

In motorcycle accident cases, victims may seek various types of damages, essentially forms of compensation, for their losses. Economic damages are specific, quantifiable financial losses resulting from the accident. These include medical expenses, which cover costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any ongoing medical treatments.

Lost wages are another major type, accounting for income lost due to the victim’s inability to work following the accident. If the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability, the victim may also claim loss of future earning capacity. Additionally, victims can seek compensation for property damage, specifically repairs or replacement of their motorcycle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.

Non-economic damages are more subjective and pertain to non-financial losses. Pain and suffering compensation addresses the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and resulting injuries. This may include chronic pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional trauma. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These are not linked to the victim’s actual losses but are instead intended to punish the at-fault party for recklessness.

In Nebraska, if a motorcycle accident victim is partially responsible for the accident, this affects their ability to recover damages under Nebraska Revised Statute 25-21,185.09. For instance, if the victim is found to be 40% at fault for the accident, they are entitled to only 60% of the total damages awarded. It’s important to note that if the motorcycle accident victim is equally or more responsible for the accident than the other party, they are not eligible to receive any compensation.

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What Victims Should Do Following a Motorcycle Accident

Immediately following a motorcycle crash, a series of steps should be taken to ensure safety and protect legal rights. The first priority is to check for any injuries and seek medical attention, even if the injuries seem minor, as some symptoms may not be obvious. Calling the police to the accident scene is crucial, as a police report provides an official record of the incident, which is important for any legal or insurance claims.

If it’s safe and feasible, gathering evidence at the scene can be beneficial. This includes taking photos of the accident site, the vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.

Exchanging information with the other parties involved, including names, contact details, and insurance information, is also important. Witnesses can provide valuable perspectives on the accident, so collecting their contact information can be helpful. It’s best to avoid discussing fault or making statements that could be interpreted as admitting liability at the scene.

Finally, victims should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer for guidance with insurance claims or motorcycle accident lawsuits.

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Role of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

A motorcycle accident lawyer’s primary function is to provide legal representation and guidance, aiming to secure compensation for the victim’s losses. One of their responsibilities is to investigate the accident. This involves gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and camera footage to build a h4 case. The lawyer will also assess damages, evaluating the extent of the victim’s injuries, financial losses, and emotional impact to determine the appropriate amount of compensation.

The lawyer negotiates with insurance companies, advocating for the victim’s interests to ensure a fair settlement offer. This negotiation is important, as insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. If necessary, the lawyer can file a lawsuit. If negotiations with the insurance company are unsuccessful, the lawyer can take the case to court, where they will represent the victim, presenting evidence and arguments to a judge or jury.

Throughout the process, the lawyer provides legal advice and support to the victim. They help the victim understand their rights, the legal process, and make informed decisions about their case. This helps victims cope with the overwhelming legal aspects following a traumatic event like a motorcycle accident.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be held liable in a motorcycle accident?

Potential liable parties could include drivers, manufacturers, government entities, or the motorcyclist themselves can be liable.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident?

Four years from the date of the motorcycle accident.

What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?

Individuals can pursue compensation through their own uninsured motorist coverage.

What types of damages can I recover in a motorcycle accident lawsuit?

Medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other damages.

Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer?

It’s advisable to consult a lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.

How is fault determined in a motorcycle accident?

Through evidence like police reports, witness statements, and sometimes accident reconstruction.

Can a passenger in a motorcycle accident file a lawsuit?

Yes, passengers injured in motorcycle accidents can file lawsuits for damages.

What should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident?

Contact police, seek medical attention, and document the scene if possible.

What happens if the motorcyclist dies in an accident?

The motorcyclist’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Hire a Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorney in Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

At Liberty Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are experienced in filing and litigating personal injury lawsuits, oftentimes all the way through trial. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident and believe a lawsuit might be the solution for getting the compensation you deserve, contact our office at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Our firm proudly represents the communities of Omaha in Douglas County, Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, plus the surrounding Nebraska counties of Dodge, Washington, Saunders, and Cass. We also represent those in Iowa courts including the communities of Council Bluffs in Pattawattamie plus the surrounding counties of Harrison and Mills.

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