If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek compensation for any injuries or property damage you suffered. Motorcyclists are significantly more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a wreck than drivers of passenger vehicles.
For starters, a motorcycle’s lack of enclosure offers less protection in a crash and its small size makes it easy for a motorcyclist to get lost in a driver’s blind spot.
Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than their passenger vehicle counterparts.
Fortunately, there are ways to dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury or death in a motorcycle wreck. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), wearing a helmet slashes the risk of death in a crash by 37 percent and the risk of head injury by 69 percent.
By always wearing a helmet and utilizing safe riding practices, you can enjoy the open road and stay alive. Read on for common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to avoid them.
At DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, we have protected the rights of countless motorcycle accident victims and helped them obtain the compensation they deserve. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, we can help.
Contact us today at (832) 745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident in Houston
Unfortunately, another reason that motorcycle riders are at greater risk of injury accidents is based on the general public’s misconception of motorcyclists as reckless and dangerous.
Drivers of passenger vehicles may be less likely to yield to a motorcyclist and more likely to cut motorcyclists off when changing lanes.
Although stereotyping all motorcyclists as wild and lawless is exceedingly unfair, some do engage in bad behavior.
In 2017, a total of 5,172 motorcyclists were killed in crashes. Of those killed, 28 percent were drunk and 29 percent were riding without valid licenses. That being said, the percentage of alcohol-related crashes involving passenger vehicles is almost identical.
Judges are just as prone to negative stereotypes about motorcyclists as the rest of the population, which is one of the many reasons it is so important to seek the counsel of a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer.
In addition to gathering important evidence and negotiating with the insurance companies, an experienced attorney can position you in a positive light and help you obtain a favorable outcome.
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of success if you decide to file a personal injury claim.
- Call 911 as soon as the accident occurs. In addition to dispatching emergency responders, calling 911 will result in an official police report of the accident.
- Ask all parties involved for their insurance and contact information. Also, ask any witnesses for their contact info in the event you need to reach them at a later date.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and any obvious injuries from as many angles as possible.
- Seek medical attention even if no injuries are immediately apparent. Certain life-threatening injuries, including internal bleeding and organ damage, may not present symptoms for several days. In addition to ensuring your health and safety, seeking medical attention will create a medical record that could be invaluable to your claim.
In addition to the steps above, consult with a Houston motorcycle accident attorney without delay. Do not talk to the insurance companies or any other involved parties without first talking to your lawyer.
Damages You Can Receive in a Houston Motorcycle Accident Claim
If another’s negligence has caused you harm, you may be able to obtain compensation from the at-fault party or parties by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Depending on the type and severity of any injuries or property damage, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including transportation by ambulance, treatment in the emergency department, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, doctor visits, medications, and medical equipment.
- Lost wages—current and future earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident.
What Causes Most Motorcycle Accidents in Houston?
Approximately 75 percent of motorcycle wrecks involve a collision with a car, and the vast majority of these are the fault of the other driver. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Head-on collisions with a passenger vehicle account for 56 percent of motorcycle fatalities. These accidents are often fatal.
- Left-hand turns account for 42 percent of all motorcycle-car crashes. These commonly occur when the motorcyclist is riding straight through an intersection, or passing another vehicle.
- Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist attempts to maneuver between two lanes of slowly moving or stopped traffic.
- As mentioned earlier, alcohol use is involved in about 28 percent of all motorcycle fatalities. Although it is unsafe to operate any type of vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the lack of protection offered by motorcycles makes riding drunk particularly deadly.
- Road hazards, such as potholes, loose gravel, construction debris, uneven pavement, and adverse weather conditions are extremely hazardous to motorcyclists.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death. Even minor crashes can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Common injuries include road rash, skin lacerations, bone fractures, burns, limb amputations, facial disfigurement, injuries to the spinal cord, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Some of the injuries above are minor, but motorcycle accidents frequently result in serious, life-altering injuries. TBIs, for example, may lead to a loss of lifetime income and even the inability to perform basic, daily tasks. The consequences of such injuries can ripple through the entire family, and may cause the victim to suffer from anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Texas Motorcycle Accident Laws
When it comes to motor vehicle accident laws, Texas is an at-fault state. In Layman’s terms, this means that any negligent party involved in a motorcycle accident is liable for resulting damages and injuries.
Owners of all motor vehicles, motorcycles included, are required to carry minimum insurance. The Texas minimum insurance requirements for liability coverage are as follows:
- Bodily injury, per person: $30,000
- Bodily injury, total per accident:$60,000
- Property damage: $25,000
Texas Statute of Limitations
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to another’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for any damages suffered. That being said, you must file your complaint within a specific period of time, or you forego the ability to recover damages. In Texas, this time frame—known as the Statute of Limitations—is two years from the date of the accident.
Waiting until you near the statute’s expiration date is never a good idea. In addition to the risk of missing important deadlines, the judge may also question the severity of your damages if you wait until the last minute to file a claim. Waiting too long also compromises your ability to recall important details and gather evidence, and limits your attorney’s ability to build a strong case.
Contact DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle wreck, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC can help.
Our experienced, compassionate attorneys understand the particular issues faced by motorcyclists in a lawsuit. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and position you for the most favorable outcome possible.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other associated costs.
Don’t go through this difficult time alone. Contact DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.