Riding a motorcycle provides a great sense of freedom that many crave. Unfortunately, many drivers look down upon motorcyclists and may drive more aggressively around them. Or, in some instances, they just simply don’t notice them.
If you get hit while riding a motorcycle, our Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer is here for you.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Due to the lack of protection, motorcyclists are often more susceptible to severe or catastrophic injuries. Every part of the body is at risk, and the consequences may be fatal at higher speeds. As such, some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Internal injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Road rash, and
While not all of these injuries may seem severe at first, they often lead to lifelong complications, such as disability or disfigurement. This makes motorcycle accidents some of the most dangerous crashes on the road.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident
There are many damages involved in a motorcycle accident, but all of them fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Each of these damage types make-up a major portion of any settlement or judgment.
Economic damages are more straightforward and include all of the financial losses associated with your accident. Whether you have medical bills, property damage, or missed paychecks, it may be covered under economic damages. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Emergency transportation,
- Diagnostic testing,
- Doctor’s office visits,
- Vehicle damages,
- Lost wages during recovery, and
- Reductions in earning capacity.
The simplest way to determine these losses is to keep any bills or receipts related to your injury or damage to your motorcycle. In addition, it’s a good idea to keep track of how many paychecks you miss during recovery. Our Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer can help with this.
General or non-economic damages are much more difficult to calculate. This is because they usually consist of non-financial losses or losses that can’t easily be put into monetary terms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of life’s enjoyment,
- Loss of consortium (for a spouse),
- Permanent disability,
- Disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
There are several ways a motorcycle accident attorney in Albuquerque may try to calculate these damages. One popular method is to multiply economic damages by a whole number. Another involves determining a per-day cost for the victim during recovery.
However, your attorney should use a calculation best suited for your unique circumstances.
What About Punitive Damages?
In rare instances, victims may have a reason to seek punitive damages in their case. The court awards these damages only in accidents where the defendant was grossly negligent or malicious. The jury may award them not to reimburse the victim for specific losses, but to punish the defendant for their behavior.
If you believe the defendant intentionally harmed you, we urge you to contact one of our motorcycle accident attorneys in Albuquerque to discuss your case.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
How Negligence May Affect Your Case
One aspect of New Mexico law that may affect your overall settlement or judgment is negligence. New Mexico is one of a handful of states that follows a pure comparative negligence doctrine, which means victims may pursue damages even if they have a share of fault.
However, the court reduces their award by their percentage of fault.
Let’s say a victim gets into a motorcycle accident on a busy road. While traveling in the right lane of the road about 10 mph over the speed limit, they get hit by a car switching lanes. The resulting damages are $100,000 in total.
In court, the jury determines the victim is 10% at fault for their injuries since they were speeding at the time. This means their total award is reduced to $90,000.
How Long Do I Have To File a Lawsuit?
Every state has its own statute of limitations or time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is to help preserve evidence, which degrades over time. In New Mexico, victims of motorcycle accidents have three years to bring an action against the other driver.
If a victim fails to file within this time limit, they forfeit their right to seek damages. This is why it’s incredibly important to consider your legal options following an accident.
Injured While Riding? Contact an Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
When you get into a motorcycle accident in Albuquerque, you may have trouble managing the claim on your own, especially during recovery. However, the attorneys at Flores, Tawney & Acosta, P.C. can help take care of your legal needs. We know that motorcycle accidents are particularly traumatic for victims.
In many cases, it may be difficult to find the care you need while also negotiating with the insurance company. Our goal is to help with the various aspects of your case, so you can get back on your feet.