INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO.
As a motorcyclist, you put yourself at risk every time you get behind the handlebars in Louisiana. You must be aware of everything around you at all times, as well as driving defensively around motorists who might not obey the rules of the road. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid collisions. If you’re now recuperating from broken bones, a head injury, brain injury, road rash, spine injury, or other harm, come to the motorcycle accident lawyers at Murphy Law Firm. We’re on your side and can help you fight for fair compensation.
Some of these motorcycle wreck statistics might surprise you:
- The total number of registered motorcycles in the state of Louisiana has risen from 55,800 in 2004 to 113,664 in 2017; this has caused the number of motorcycle wrecks to increase as well.
- Motorcycle accidents in Louisiana generally involved people between the ages 20 to 29.
- The largest amount of motorcycle accident fatalities in Louisiana occurred in the year 2009 with 104 reported deaths, but in the most recent year of available statistics, 2017, 97 people died in motorcycle accidents.
- The largest number of motorcycle accident fatalities in Louisiana were reported in the Lafayette, Jefferson, and Calcasieu parishes.
- Motorcycle wrecks make up 8 to 10 percent of all auto accidents in Louisiana.
- Out of 97 motorcyclists who died in 2017, 38 of those riders were drunk at the time of their motorcycle accident.
§866. Compulsory motor vehicle liability security; failure to comply; limitation of damages
A.(1) There shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.
(2) For purposes of this Section, the meaning of “bodily injury” and “property damage” is governed by the applicable motor vehicle liability insurance policy or, in the event of security other than an insurance policy, the meaning of such terms is that which is commonly ascribed thereto.
(3)(a) The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if the driver of the other vehicle:
(i) Is cited for a violation of R.S. 14:98 as a result of the accident and is subsequently convicted of or pleads nolo contendere to such offense.
(ii) Intentionally causes the accident.
(iii) Flees from the scene of the accident.
(iv) At the time of the accident, is in furtherance of the commission of a felony offense under the law.
(b) The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if at the time of the accident, the other vehicle is not being operated and the vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of Chapter 1 of this Title.
B. Each person who is involved in an accident in which the other motor vehicle was not covered by compulsory motor vehicle liability security and who is found to be liable for damages to the owner or operator of the other motor vehicle may assert as an affirmative defense the limitation of recovery provisions of Subsection A of this Section.
C. If the owner of a motor vehicle, who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security, institutes an action to recover damages in any amount, regardless of whether such owner or operator is at fault, and is awarded an amount equal to or less than the minimum amount of compulsory motor vehicle liability security, then such owner or operator shall be assessed and held liable for all court costs incurred by all parties to the action.
D. Each person who applies for a driver’s license, registers a motor vehicle, or operates or owns a motor vehicle in this state is deemed to have given his consent to be subject to and governed by the provisions of this Section. All persons who apply for the issuance or renewal of a driver’s license, motor vehicle title, or motor vehicle registration shall sign a declaration on a form developed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections pursuant to rule and regulation that the person acknowledges and gives consent to the requirements and provisions of this Section and that the person will comply with all provisions of this Section and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law. Proof of whether the person obtained or signed such declaration is irrelevant to the application of this Section.
E. Nothing in this Section shall preclude a passenger in a vehicle from asserting a claim to recover damages for injury, death, or loss which he occasioned, in whole or in part, by the negligence of another person arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle. This Subsection shall not apply to a passenger who is also the owner of the uninsured motor vehicle involved in the accident.
F.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no insurer shall lose any rights of subrogation for claims paid under the applicable insurance policy for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.
(2) In claims where no suit is filed, the claimant’s insurer shall have all rights to recover any amount paid by the claimant’s insurer on behalf of the insured for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.
G.(1) Except for newly acquired vehicles added to a policy subject to the policy terms, the issuance, change, or adjustment of any motor vehicle liability security or insurance policy subsequent to a motor vehicle accident, without proof of coverage having been bound prior to such motor vehicle accident, shall not effectuate any of the following:
(a) The recovery for injury or damages that are otherwise prohibited under this Section.
(b) The defeat of any affirmative defense otherwise allowed under this Section.
(c) The avoidance of liability for court costs otherwise required under this Section.
(2) Reinstatement provisions of a policy during the premium payment grace period specified in the policy shall not be invalidated by the provisions of this Section.
H. The provisions of this Part shall not apply to any vehicle which is legally parked at the time of the accident.
Acts 1997, No. 1476, §4, eff. Sept. 6, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 1085, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, No. 532, §1; Acts 2008, No. 921, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 149, §1.
NOTE: See Acts 1997, No. 1476, §5(D)(2). The rate reduction day was the date on which the judgment in the lawsuit became final, May 8, 1998. Sections 2 through 4 became effective 120 days thereafter, Sept. 6, 1998.
Art. 2323. Comparative fault
A. In any action for damages where a person suffers injury, death, or loss, the degree or percentage of fault of all persons causing or contributing to the injury, death, or loss shall be determined, regardless of whether the person is a party to the action or a nonparty, and regardless of the person’s insolvency, ability to pay, immunity by statute, including but not limited to the provisions of R.S. 23:1032, or that the other person’s identity is not known or reasonably ascertainable. If a person suffers injury, death, or loss as the result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of another person or persons, the amount of damages recoverable shall be reduced in proportion to the degree or percentage of negligence attributable to the person suffering the injury, death, or loss.
B. The provisions of Paragraph A shall apply to any claim for recovery of damages for injury, death, or loss asserted under any law or legal doctrine or theory of liability, regardless of the basis of liability.
C. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraphs A and B, if a person suffers injury, death, or loss as a result partly of his own negligence and partly as a result of the fault of an intentional tortfeasor, his claim for recovery of damages shall not be reduced.
Amended by Acts 1979, No. 431, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 3, §1, eff. April 16, 1996.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents
You can wear a helmet, buy top-rated safety gear, stick to the speed limit, and stay inside your lane… and still end up lying in the road with serious injuries. Sometimes you end up being a victim no matter how carefully you drive. Knowing what typically causes motorcycle accidents can help you stay out of harm’s way. The following are common causes of motorcycle crashes in Louisiana:
Drivers on the road present serious dangers to vulnerable motorcyclists, who suffer the most in collisions. Driver distraction, inattention, and carelessness cause thousands of motorcycle accidents each year. If a driver does not see an oncoming motorcyclist, the outcome can be disastrous. It is every driver’s duty to pay strict attention to the road at all times and treat motorcyclists with respect and due care.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Motorcyclists are much more sensitive to the conditions of the roadway than passenger vehicle drivers. A road defect that other vehicles can cruise smoothly over could cause a major motorcycle accident.
Defective Motorcycle Parts
If your bike suffers a tire blowout, brake failure, or other malfunction that causes you to crash, consider whether the part has a defect. There could be recalls regarding your motorcycle model or the specific part. Even if no recall exists, seek help from our personal injury lawyers. If the product is defective, you might be able to sue the manufacturer for compensation.
Some of the most common motorcycle wreck injuries include:
While not a fatal injury, road burns can still do some serious damage by causing permanent scarring. Protect yourself by wearing protective pants and jackets when riding your motorcycle.
The ankles, collarbone, and feet are much more vulnerable to fractures than other parts of your body. Invest in protective motorcycle gear such as strong riding pants and sturdy boots in order to reduce your risk of breaking a bone.
These are even more prevalent in cases when motorcyclists do not wear a helmet. Avoid a concussion at best and a traumatic brain injury at worst by wearing a U.S. Department of Transportation certified helmet when hitting the road.
Nerve damage, fractures, and herniated discs: all of these can happen when a rider hits the pavement in a motorcycle wreck.
Why Hire an Attorney?
It’s a sad reality that many courts, including those in Baton Rouge, tend to have biases against motorcyclists. They see motorcycling as a dangerous activity and might think that riders assume these risks. It often takes a skilled personal injury attorney to defend injured motorcyclists and to stand up for their rights under law. Don’t let an insurance claims adjuster place the blame on you or downplay the extent of your injuries. Retain a motorcycle accident lawyer for your best chance at maximizing damage recovery. Call (225) 928-8800 or fill out our contact form to get in touch with our team of motorcycle accident attorneys today.