Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Sustaining an injury during a motorcycle accident can be traumatic. Unlike automobiles, motorcycles have no metal frame to protect riders, making motorcyclists more likely to suffer extensive damage in an accident.
If you have recently suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, a competent law firm can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. You can count on the Jonesboro personal injury lawyers at NST Law to navigate you through the complex legal steps involved in compensation claims.
Table of Contents
Motorcycle accidents in Jonesboro
Arkansas has its fair share of motorcycle fatalities. Therefore, it’s important to exercise extreme caution on the roadways. And if you or someone you love experiences motorcycle-accident injuries leading to long-term disability or death, it’s a good idea to partner with an experienced law firm.
Between 2010 and 2014, 344 motorcycle-involved fatalities were reported in Arkansas. In 2011 alone, there were 64 fatalities involving motorcycles, and the amount increased to 72 in 2012. However, in 2014, motorcycle fatalities dropped to 61.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 505 fatal accidents in Arkansas in 2019. Motorcycles were involved in 13% of those fatal accidents.
It’s important to note dangerous streets where motor vehicle crashes (including cars, motorcycles, and all vehicles) are rampant in Jonesboro. Please take extra care when driving on any of these streets. Based on 2015-2016 motor vehicle crashes recorded in Craighead County by the Arkansas Department of Transportation, dangerous streets include:
- S. Main Street/N. Church Street
- Johnson Avenue (Highway 91/Highway 49B)
- I-555/US 63
- S. Caraway Road
- Red Wolf Boulevard (Highway 49)
- E. Nettleton Avenue
- Union Street
The same data reveals three cluster areas that require particular vigilance for all vehicle drivers:
- E. Highland Drive (S. Caraway Road / Red Wolf Boulevard)
- E. Johnson Avenue (N. Main / Labaume Street)
- E. Nettleton Avenue (E. Highland Drive / Copeland Street)
How long do I have to file a claim for a motorcycle accident?
If you want to receive compensation for damages from a motorcycle accident, you must abide by the Arkansas statute of limitations (§ 16-56-105). A statute of limitations is the period you are allowed to file a claim in court. For motorcycle accidents, the statute of limitations is three years to file a lawsuit. Note that this is completely different from filing an insurance claim. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to receive compensation from a negligent driver or another party responsible for your motorcycle accident injuries.
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident that is still within the statute of limitations, the personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help you take the right steps to file a lawsuit. Also, if you are having issues calculating the statute of limitations for your claim, contact us today to receive help and clarity.
Arkansas Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders in Arkansas are permitted to ride without a helmet unless they are under the age of twenty-one, according to Ark. Code Ann. § 27-20-104. The state’s universal helmet law for motorcycle riders was repealed on July 1, 1997. Despite the law, statistics show that:
- Unhelmeted riders are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries according to the IIHS.
- The use of helmets reduces the risk of a crash fatality by 37% according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, 2018).
- Wearing a helmet does not impair vision or hearing while riding according to a 1994 publication released by McKnight & McKnight. Crompton et al also established that helmet usage is not associated with neck injuries. These studies dismiss notions that helmets impair vision and hearing or increase the risk of spinal neck injuries.
Also, Bledsoe et al showed that 25% (18 out of 73) of non-fatal admissions involved an unhelmeted rider prior to the repeal. After the repeal, that number increased to 54% (52 out of 96).
Jonesboro Motorcycle Accident Settlements May Be Higher Due to Severe Injuries
Injuries from motorcycle accidents are typically severe because of the lack of protection for the rider. Apart from the helmet (if one is worn), there is nothing to guard the rider against injury during an accident. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord Injury (SCI)
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Lacerations etc.
Damages incurred during a motorcycle accident can be economic, non-economic, or punitive:
- Economic damages are easily quantifiable and may include anything that you can prove through a bill or invoice. This could include medical costs, damage to your motorcycle, and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages include intangible damages such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and even loss of companionship.
- Punitive damages include awards for the recklessness or negligence of the at-fault driver.
It’s important to understand the full value of your case. Keep in mind that you may need future treatment for your current injuries. NST Law can help you calculate and recover full compensation for your damages.
What if I'm partially at fault for my Jonesboro motorcycle accident?
Ark. Code Ann. § 16-64-122 defines modified comparative negligence. The defendant will not be liable for compensation in cases where the plaintiff is 50% or more at fault for the injuries incurred. In other words, Jonesboro accident victims can only recover damages if they are less than 50% liable for the injuries sustained.
If the plaintiff holds some degree of fault, it affects how much they can recover. For example, a plaintiff is assigned 30% of the fault and the defendant is assigned 70% of the fault. If the court awards the plaintiff $100,000, they will only receive $70,000.
Personal injury lawyers at NST Law can help you substantiate your claims and fight against insurance companies that attempt to reduce their liability by assigning more blame to you.
If you suffered damages in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident claim.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle rider drives between traffic lanes while other cars are moving or stopped. While lane splitting isn’t prohibited by Arkansas law, it’s also not encouraged. If there is a motorcycle accident due to lane splitting by the victim, the victim might still be able to recover some compensation following the modified comparative negligence laws. This will depend on how substantial the claims and evidence are.
The circumstances surrounding an accident determine whether you can receive compensation for your injuries. Not wearing a helmet can impact the liability assigned under Arkansas’s comparative negligence laws. However, victims over 21 can still recover compensation since they aren’t technically required to wear a helmet. However, Arkansas law does require other equipment, including goggles, face shields, and protective glasses. So, neglecting to wear this equipment could affect the compensation you receive. A motorcycle accident attorney can help evaluate your claim and discuss liability.
Arkansas law requires drivers to carry valid liability auto insurance. To comply with the law, the minimum coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. Failure to carry state minimum limits can result in fines and jail time, depending on the number of violations.