Without the surrounding protection that other motor vehicles provide, motorcycle drivers are at an elevated risk of injury. Smaller than most other vehicles, motorcycles lack seatbelts, airbags, or a steel frame to protect the driver or rider from the outside world.
This lack of protection can lead to serious injury or death. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle crash. If you or a family member were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced accident attorney in Houma today.
Motorcycle Accident Liability in Houma
In Louisiana, courts apply a fault-based system to all moving vehicle accidents, motorcycles, and automobiles alike. In a fault-based system, a judge or jury will establish who was legally to blame for the wreck and hold that driver, and their insurance company, accountable for damages.
To recover injury or damage compensation, you need to demonstrate another party was at fault, or liable, for your accident. Examples of at-fault parties include a vehicle manufacturer that built faulty parts, a government entity that failed to maintain the roads, or a negligent driver that caused the accident.
Comparative Fault in Louisiana
Additionally, a Louisiana law called comparative fault means that your recovery could be reduced if the court decides you are partly to blame for the accident and your injuries. This is true even if you demonstrate that another party caused the accident that led to your injuries.
For example, if a judge or jury finds you were 30% at fault for wearing an inadequate helmet, your damage award could be reduced by 30%. Or, if the court believes your tires had inadequate tread and caused 20% of your damages, your injury compensation could be reduced by 20%.
For a free legal consultation with a Motorcycle Accident lawyer serving Houma, call (985) 900-1195
Louisiana Motorcycle Laws You Should Know
Whether you drive a motorcycle or were in an accident with a biker, there are several motorcycle-related state laws of which you should be aware. These are codified under Title 32 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes.
Anyone who fails to obey the following regulations could be found partially at fault for injuries they suffer as a result.
Protective Equipment Mandates
Both drivers and passengers must wear a helmet that meets strict safety specifications regarding padding and chin strap use. Additionally, goggles or a visor must be worn for eye protection if the bike’s windshield is lower than eye level.
Safe Riding Rules
To ensure the safe operation of their motorcycle, drivers must face forward in their seat, have both hands free to reach the handlebars, and refrain from attaching to another vehicle on the road. They cannot carry packages or transport riders that interfere with their view or their ability to control the vehicle.
Traffic Lane Laws
In Houma and throughout Louisiana, motorcyclists must stay in their own lane of traffic and are not allowed to lane split by driving on the line between two vehicles. Other than riding side by side with one other motorcycle, they may not share a lane with another vehicle.
Motorcycles are only road-ready if they meet certain safety standards regulating how they are built. These laws address different parts of the bike, including:
- Handlebars: Should not be higher than a seated driver’s shoulders
- Footrests: Must be present for both the driver and the passenger
- Lights: One or two white headlamps, one red tail lamp that lights up the license plate and can be seen clearly from 1,000 feet away, plus at least one red reflector and one red brake light in the rear
- Turn signals: Not mandatory, but without them, the driver must use hand signals when turning
- Brakes: A working brake on each wheel, operated by either foot or hand controls
To operate a motorcycle on Houma’s public roads, the driver must first earn a motorcycle endorsement, or “M endorsement,” on their regular Louisiana driver’s license. This endorsement is given to drivers who either:
- Pass both a written test and a skills test to prove their capabilities on a motorcycle
- Complete an approved Motorcycle Safety Awareness and Operators Training Program course
Call a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Houma for Help Today
A motorcycle accident can result in life-changing and expensive injuries for the driver, their passenger, or any other vehicle involved in the collision. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash that was caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, contact Morris Bart, LLC for help right away. We are located at:
1 Church Street,
Houma, LA 70364
During a consultation with a Houma motorcycle accident attorney, you can explore your legal options and discover how much compensation may be owed to you. Contact us online now or call (985) 900-1195 to schedule your no-obligation appointment.
Questions?Call (985) 900-1195
to find a Morris Bart office near you.