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Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Albuquerque Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

There’s nothing quite like the rush of cruising the open roads on a motorcycle. But, let’s face it, the thrill doesn’t come without risks. Accidents happen. When they do, it’s crucial to have an Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer in your corner to make sure that your rights are protected, and you get the justice you deserve.

New Mexico’s year-round riding conditions and unparalleled scenery make it an ideal location for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Riding a motorcycle offers a unique way to enjoy Albuquerque’s beauty, but it also increases the chance of personal injury if an accident does happen.

Seeking justice against those responsible for your injuries is vital to recuperate your losses, regain your lifestyle, and hold responsible parties accountable.  Compensation to cover the various impacts of your motorcycle accident, such as medical bills, pain from motorcycle injuries, and lost wages due to inability to work, is crucial.

But the bottom line is this: to obtain any motorcycle accident compensation…you have to win your case.

Succeeding in injury claims can be challenging, especially those involving a motorcycle, and seeking professional legal assistance right away is the wisest course to securing the justice and compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes

Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road, as they don’t provide the same surrounding protection or visibility that a car would; this means that motorcyclists need to be extra cautious. While safety equipment offers some protection, it cannot prevent all accidents or injuries.

The NHTSA report “The Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash” lists three main reasons for this:

  1. The motorcycle itself provides no head injury protection to the rider or passenger.
  2. Ejection from the motorcycle is a common injury pathway.
  3. If the rider is ejected from the motorcycle, the rider will forcibly strike objects in the path as well as the ground.

Even cautious riders can be harmed by others’ actions, and the cause of your accident is key to determining who can be held responsible for damages.

For instance, if a significant pothole led to your accident, you might be able to seek compensation from the relevant government road authority.

Some typical things that lead to a motorcycle accident (regardless of fault) include:

  • Hazardous road conditions
  • Defective motorcycle or vehicle parts
  • Driving under the influence
  • Inattentive driving
  • Substandard repair work
  • Reckless or speeding drivers
  • Improper Left-Hand Turns
  • Right-of-Way Violations

The nature and severity of your motorcycle injuries greatly influence your compensation in a motorcycle accident claim.

If your accident results in minor injuries and you can quickly return to work, your claim for damages may be limited.

More severe injuries, such as broken bones or a punctured lung, which can lead to extensive medical care and more time off work, will likely lead to a higher motorcycle accident compensation claim.

Add to this the psychological impact and trauma following an accident, particularly one involving serious injuries.

How Insurers Use the “Reckless Motorcyclist” Stereotype Against You

Following a motorcycle accident, your claim is typically filed with the insurance company of the party at fault. However, insurance companies are for-profit businesses and are often reluctant to pay out claims if there’s any way to avoid it.

These companies often aim to either reject as many claims as possible or reduce the value of the claims they do pay. In New Mexico, a comparative negligence state (shared fault), insurers may attempt to shift some of the blame onto you.

Comparative Negligence

In some cases, accidents occur due to negligence from both parties. For instance, if a motorcyclist tailgates a car that changes lanes without signaling, leading to a collision, both may be liable.

New Mexico employs a pure comparative negligence law in motorcycle accident cases. That means that each party’s fault percentage directly affects their compensation.

For example, if you’re awarded $100,000 but found to be 30% responsible for the accident, you would receive 70% of the award, or $70,000.

That means that even with 99% fault, you could still recover a portion of the motorcycle accident compensation.

The more fault attributed to you, the less they are obliged to compensate. They might even unfairly label you as “reckless” or “dangerous,” leveraging negative stereotypes about bikers.

How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?

It’s common for car and truck drivers to accuse motorcyclists of being reckless, yet many motorcycle accidents occur due to the negligence of these same drivers.

Establishing fault and determining liability is key to securing just compensation following an accident.

Various forms of evidence can support your motorcycle accident claim of another party’s negligence, such as:

  • Photographs of the accident scene, area, vehicle damage, and injuries
  • Witness accounts and police reports
  • Available video surveillance of the accident
  • Toxicology reports of other drivers involved
  • Cell phone records
  • Medical records documenting your injuries
  • Evidence collected from the motorcycle
  • Maintenance history of your motorcycle

A police report is influential in an insurance adjuster’s decision-making process. It provides objective information about the accident, including time of day, weather conditions, and any citations that were issued.

Traffic violations or criminal charges are generally viewed as strong indicators of fault.

How Do I Prove Negligence After a Motorcycle Accident

Negligence, a term often equated with carelessness, is the foundational legal concept in most motorcycle accident lawsuits. To establish negligence, four key legal elements must be proven:

Duty: Was there an obligation to ensure your safety at the time of the accident?

Breach: Did the responsible party fail to uphold that duty?

Causation: Did the actions (or lack thereof) of the other party directly and proximately lead to the accident?

Damages: Did you incur losses, particularly financial, due to the other party’s conduct?

Proving these elements requires a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning each element must be shown to be more than 50% likely to be true. Evidence to support your claim might include medical documents, expert assessments and statements, eyewitness accounts, photographs, and video footage, among others.

The attorneys at Barrera Law Group are experts in navigating the complexities of proving negligence in personal injury cases.

Compensation for Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

The financial impact of a motorcycle crash is unavoidable.

Securing justice and holding the negligent party accountable, as well as obtaining compensation for your injuries, is crucial.

If you succeed in your motorcycle accident claim, you may be eligible to recover two categories of compensatory damages: economic and noneconomic.

These cover both your tangible financial losses and your intangible losses (things that are harder to quantify in monetary terms).

In some exceptional cases where the responsible party acted with intent or extreme recklessness, punitive damages might also apply. However, these damages are intended as a financial punishment for the defendant rather than compensation for you.

The amount of your compensation relies on the strength of your claim and how well it’s presented.

Your Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer will need to build a convincing argument using the evidence from your accident, demonstrate the cause of the collision, and clearly show who is at fault and to what degree. They will also have to prove to the insurance company the full extent of your injuries and losses.

Such damages may include:

  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Reduced ability to earn or loss of wages
  • Emotional distress and PTSD
  • Medical, rehabilitation, and therapy costs
  • Incidental out-of-pocket costs
  • Decreased quality of life or loss of companionship

How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Crash Claim in Albuquerque?

After an accident, your initial focus is often on physical healing, but eventually, the thought of pursuing a legal claim will likely emerge—especially as bills begin to pile up.

It’s vitally important to consult with a motorcycle injury lawyer promptly, as there is a finite window for filing such claims.

In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of the accident. Failing to file within this period typically results in the forfeiture of your right to claim, which bars you from receiving compensation.

Still, for best results, your motorcycle accident claim should be filed much, much sooner, as delays in filing can actually diminish its potential value. In the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident, witness recollections are clearer, evidence is more readily gatherable, and your medical injuries are fresh for documentation.

Waiting to file risks damaging your case. That’s why it’s crucial to contact an Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to help you get things started.

How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You

Motorcycle accidents can be life-altering events.

This is where a motorcycle accident attorney steps in, offering a beacon of hope and guidance through a challenging time. If you’re a motorcyclist who has been in an accident, understanding how an attorney can assist you is crucial.

Some of the aid that a motorcycle accident lawyer can provide may include:

Expert Legal Guidance

First and foremost, motorcycle accident attorneys are experts in the field of personal injury law, especially as it pertains to motorcycle accidents. These attorneys have a deep understanding of the specific laws and regulations governing motorcycling, especially in their state and region of work.

This expertise is invaluable when navigating the often complex legalities following an accident.

Determining Liability

As we’ve mentioned, a key role of a motorcycle accident attorney is determining liability.

Motorcycle accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, including driver negligence, poor road conditions, or mechanical failures. An experienced attorney will investigate the accident, gather evidence, and work to establish who is at fault.

This step is crucial in any personal injury case, as it forms the foundation of your claim.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when recovering from an injury.

Motorcycle accident attorneys are well-versed in negotiating with insurance companies. They can ensure that you’re not taken advantage of and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Without legal representation, insurance companies may try to settle for less than your claim is worth or even refuse settlement at all.

Calculating Damages

Accurately calculating your damages and what you are owed is another area where a motorcycle accident attorney is indispensable. They take into account not just your immediate medical expenses, but will also calculate long-term care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other related costs.

This comprehensive approach ensures that you are adequately compensated for both current and future expenses resulting from the accident.

Representation in Court

When push comes to shove and your case goes to court, having a motorcycle accident attorney by your side is crucial. They will represent you throughout the legal proceedings, present your case, and argue on your behalf. A courtroom is no place for amateurs, and a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer possesses the legal acumen and advocacy skills to significantly influence the outcome in your favor.

Support and Peace of Mind

Beyond the legal aspects, motorcycle accident attorneys can provide emotional support and peace of mind. They handle the legalities and complexities of your case, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Knowing that a skilled professional is fighting for your rights can be incredibly reassuring during such a stressful time.

Just because you ride a motorcycle, you shouldn’t automatically be portrayed as the one at fault.

Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries, leading to significant damages. If you were not at fault in the accident, you are entitled to seek compensation.

A motorcycle accident attorney is not just a legal representative but a vital ally in the aftermath of an accident. They bring expertise, support, and tireless advocacy to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident (and we hope you never do), seeking the assistance of a specialized attorney can make all the difference in your recovery journey and your future.

If you’ve sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, don’t delay; contact Barrera Law Group LLC today to safeguard your rights.

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