Baton Rouge Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Representation
Although motorcycles have many exciting benefits, it is important to recognize that they leave riders more vulnerable to catastrophic injuries when involved in an accident than other motorists. Everyone on the road needs to show motorcyclists respect and drive safely around them, but many motorists don’t. Each year, negligent motorists cause more than a thousand motorcycle accidents in Louisiana, resulting in hundreds of serious injuries and dozens of deaths.
If you have been in a serious motorcycle accident in Louisiana or lost a loved one in a motorcycle wreck that someone else caused, you deserve experienced legal counsel who will fight to recover the compensation you need. Our team at Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys is driven by our strong Christian values and an unwavering dedication to our clients. We believe in helping our clients however we can, including litigating in court if it is necessary to get the best recovery possible.
Reasons why you should choose our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyers include:
- We have obtained more than $10 billion in verdicts and settlements for injured clients*.
- We have represented thousands of clients in claims and lawsuits.
- We have been here for the people of Louisiana for more than 15 years.
- We have been recognized by Super Lawyers®, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and more.
- We have a client-centered “you pay nothing unless we win” policy.
- We have offices in Baton Rouge and Gonzales for your convenience.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Louisiana
All motorists, regardless of the type of vehicle they drive, have a duty of care to everyone else on the road. A frustrating number of drivers fail to exercise good judgment when they get behind the wheel, however. If a crash happens and a motorcyclist is involved, the rider could suffer the worst injuries, all due to another motorist’s decisions.
Many motorcycle accidents are the result of:
- Speeding: Breaking the speed limit is one of the most common forms of reckless driving. While speeding, a motorist will have less time to respond to other vehicles on the road.
- Unsafe lane changes: Many motorcycle accidents happen when a driver of a larger vehicle attempts to merge or change lanes without signaling, checking mirrors, or looking at blind spots. Motorcycles are smaller than the average vehicle, so extra care needs to be taken to notice them in blind spots and mirrors.
- Sudden stops: Motorcycles can stop in a shorter distance than larger and heavier vehicles. If a motorcyclist needs to come to a sudden stop to avoid a collision, any vehicle driving behind the motorcycle might not be able to stop in time, resulting in a rear-end collision. Such an accident will be even more likely if the other motorist is tailgating the motorcyclist.
- Unsafe left turns: An inordinately high number of motorcycle accidents are caused when a car turns left in front of an approaching motorcycle. As a car attempts to make a left turn at an intersection, the driver may misjudge an approaching motorcyclist’s speed or fail to notice them entirely, leading to a potentially deadly collision.
- Distracted driving: Texting while driving or doing anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can lead to a devastating motorcycle accident.
- Intoxicated driving: A driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs is much more likely to fail to notice or adequately respond to a motorcyclist as they navigate the roadways. Drunk driving causes a reduction in focus, worsened motor controls, lengthened reaction times, blurred vision, and other serious dangers.
- Failing to stop: Drivers who run red lights or stop signs put everyone at risk, including motorcyclists who are already at a higher risk of severe injuries if an accident occurs.
- Open car doors: On narrow streets where motorcyclists are traveling parallel to a row of parked cars, an inattentive driver might open their car door to exit their vehicle without checking for approaching motorcycles. The result can be a “dooring” accident that involves the motorcycle crashing into the door at high speed.
As a motorcyclist, you can reduce the possibility of a crash by maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, following all traffic rules, traveling at appropriate speeds, signaling when turning or changing lanes, and keeping an eye on parallel parked cars. However, even the best motorcyclist can’t account for the mistakes and negligence of all the motorists around them. Our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident attorneys are prepared to assist with claims involving all types of collisions, no matter the complexity of the circumstances. If you are not sure whether you have a strong claim, we are happy to evaluate your case and walk you through your legal options.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists do not have the same physical protections as motorists in cars, trucks, and vans, such as airbags, seatbelts, and a full metal frame around them. Consequently, motorcycle riders often suffer catastrophic or deadly injuries when a collision with another vehicle occurs. At Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys, we have the resources, knowledge, and experience needed to handle any motorcycle accident case, including those that involve complex, life-changing injuries and wrongful deaths. We can network with medical experts to get more details about your injuries and how your life might be forever changed by them, so we can build the strongest case possible in your name.
Motorcycle accidents can cause a variety of catastrophic injuries, including:
- Brain injuries: If a motorcyclist hits their head during an accident, even if they are wearing a helmet, they can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a concussion or brain bleed. Symptoms can include confusion, memory loss, headache, and changes in personality or behavior. Severe cases can result in long-term cognitive issues that cause major disabilities and necessitate substantial life changes.
- Broken bones: The force of a motorcycle accident often leads to broken bones, such as fractures in the arms, legs, ribs, and other parts of the body. Broken bones require immediate medical attention and could potentially lead to long-term mobility issues if they do not heal correctly.
- Internal organ damage: A violent motorcycle accident that sends the rider tumbling onto the asphalt can cause life-threatening injuries to internal organs. Even serious internal organ damage may not be immediately noticeable after an accident, so it’s important to pay attention for early symptoms like abdominal pain and difficulty breathing.
- Road rash: Road rash is a skin injury that occurs when a motorcyclist slides across the pavement during an accident. It can range from mild scrapes to severe skin damage that requires skin grafts. In severe cases, road rash can lead to infections, permanent scarring, and death.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spine damage and spinal cord injuries can occur if the impact of a motorcycle accident damages the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal cord. Such an injury can result in partial or complete paralysis that may be permanent or temporary.
Understanding Louisiana’s Motorcycle Laws
Louisiana motorcycle laws can be an important factor when building a motorcycle accident claim. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the defendant often tries to prove the rider was breaking the law or ignoring the rules of the road, which could increase their liability. Our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident attorneys can help you understand the motorcycle accident laws and rules that could have an impact on your case.
Important Louisiana motorcycle accident laws are:
- Helmet use: Louisiana law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets that should include a chin strap, visor for eye protection, padding, and interior lining. A motorcycle helmet should also be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- Lane splitting: The practice of “lane splitting” – or traveling between lanes of occupied traffic, often to overcome one or more vehicles – is prohibited in Louisiana.
- Child passengers: Children younger than 5 years old are not permitted to ride a motorcycle. Children 5 or older must wear a helmet and be seated in a dedicated passenger seat.
Determining Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
Our motorcycle accident lawyers from Chris Corzo Injury Attorneys in Baton Rouge can provide trustworthy legal counsel when determining liability in a motorcycle accident claim. Our team of experienced legal professionals can help you understand if you have a legally valid claim to file based on who was at fault for the crash. This process involves a thorough examination of the details surrounding your accident, including an analysis of the applicable laws, the evidence available, and the potential damages that could be claimed. Our goal is to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Evidence that could help build your motorcycle accident claim includes:
- Police reports: Police reports often contain valuable information about the accident, including the responding officer's observations and any citations issued.
- Witness statements: Witnesses can provide a third-party perspective on what happened during the accident. Their statements can support your account when other evidence might not be readily available.
- Medical records: Your medical records can demonstrate the extent of your injuries and tie them directly to the motorcycle accident, making it more difficult for the defendant to argue that you were injured due to some other circumstances.
- Photographs or video footage: Visual evidence from the scene of the accident can help illustrate what caused the motorcycle accident and the damage caused by it.
- Accident reconstruction experts: In complex cases, these experts can recreate the accident using scientific methods to determine the cause of the accident.
- Vehicle damage reports: Reports detailing the damage to your motorcycle can provide various important notes, such as the severity of the impact, the speed of the other vehicle, and what direction it was traveling when it collided with you.
Do not assume that you cannot seek compensation because you think you might have caused your motorcycle accident. You never know what evidence might be available that proves otherwise. Also, Louisiana uses pure comparative negligence for accident liability, which means you can demand compensation from any party that is at least 1% liable for the accident and the resulting harm and loss. For example, a court may decide you are 25% responsible for your injuries because you were not wearing a helmet at the time of a collision, worsening your resulting injuries. A $100,000 award would be reduced by 25%, so you would only receive $75,000, but that is still $75,000 more than no recovery at all.
Recovering Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
One of the most challenging aspects of any personal injury claim is accurately calculating the compensation you are owed by the defendant. In a motorcycle accident claim, this process can be complex and difficult. By having our legal professional handle this part of your case, you can focus on what's most important: your recovery and well-being.
The types of damages we can help you recover include the following and more:
- Medical Expenses: Medical treatment costs may include costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future medical care you may require due to your injuries.
- Lost wages: If your injuries forced you to miss work, you might be able to pursue compensation for the income you lost during that period.
- Reduced earning capacity: If your injuries impact your ability to earn income at the same level as before the motorcycle accident, you can seek compensation for this financial loss.
- Pain and suffering: The concept of pain and suffering in an injury claim covers the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the motorcycle accident and subsequent injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries prevent you from enjoying activities or hobbies you previously enjoyed, you might be compensated for this diminished quality of life.
- Property damage: The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle or any other personal property damaged in the accident can be included in your claim.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims
You will need to act promptly if you want to pursue a motorcycle accident lawsuit. In Louisiana, you only have one year from the date of the accident to start the legal process. After this deadline, you cannot recover any damages except for extremely rare cases, which you should not depend on happening. If someone dies in a motorcycle accident, qualifying family members have one year from the date of the victim’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Get the Help of Our Baton Rouge Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
You should not have to deal with the legal challenge of seeking compensation alone. Let us stand by your side from start to finish. We are familiar with Louisiana’s personal injury process and can investigate your accident, determine liability, build a strong case, handle the legal legwork, and ultimately, work to maximize what you recover.
With the help of a skilled Baton Rouge motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm, your claim will be prepared for trial, even when we believe it is possible to negotiate a monetary settlement that sufficiently covers your losses. This deliberate approach and preparedness have allowed us to secure billions of dollars for past clients. We can’t promise a future result based on what we’ve achieved in the past, but our case result history does show what we’re capable of achieving when we put our legal minds and Christian faith to good work for locals in need.
Louisiana Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Is Lane Splitting Legal in Louisiana?
No. Motorcyclists may not pass cars by passing them between two lanes or attempting to navigate around them in a single lane. They must signal and change lanes like any other motor vehicle. A motorcyclist who gets into an accident while lane splitting may have a more difficult time recovering compensation and could be found partially liable for their injuries.
Are Motorcyclists Required to Wear Helmets in Louisiana?
Yes. Helmets that meet certain safety standards are mandatory whenever a motorcyclist is operating their vehicle. Passengers on motorcycles must also wear helmets. It may be tougher to win a personal injury case if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident, especially if the majority of your injuries stem from traumatic brain injuries that could have arguably been prevented by proper headgear.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Cost?
Our Baton Rouge motorcycle accident attorneys offer to handle motorcycle accident cases on a contingency basis. This fee arrangement means that you will pay nothing upfront and will not owe us a dime unless we win. If we do end your case with a favorable settlement or award, we will be compensated with a portion of your recovery. There is no risk in discussing your circumstances with our team and learning more about how we will approach your claim.
Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, elbow, arm, wrist, rib, back, and leg injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Side-Swiped: Chris’ client suffered head, neck, and back injuries in a car wreck in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Rear-end: Chris’ client suffered headaches, neck, back, and various soft-tissue injuries in a truck wreck in Pointe Coupee Parish.