Hurt in a Motorcycle Wreck?
Call an Experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today.
When you’ve been hurt in a wreck, the fallout can be devastating. You may end up in the hospital, in pain, with medical bills piling up. If you can’t work, the income you and your family depend on may be diminished or halted completely.
As someone who rides a bike, you’ve surely encountered people who’ve made negative judgments and assumptions about you based on your choice of ride. Believe it or not, these stereotypes are not just held by the average Joe — they also may color the decisions of the professionals whose job it is to determine what, if any, compensation you will receive in the aftermath of your wreck.
Don’t assume the insurance company will do right by you… They won’t. Don’t assume it will all work out in the end if you sit back and do nothing… It won’t. Your future and financial life are at stake, and you can’t afford to assume anything. Instead, take control by hiring an advocate who understands the law inside and out, who’s a nimble negotiator, who’s a tenacious opponent in the courtroom — and whose interests are your interests. The stigma associated with bikers can result in insurance companies denying benefits – so you’ll need someone on your side who knows how to fight back against these companies.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we understand the unique circumstances and issues that arise when an accident involves a motorcycle. Though incidents involving 4-wheel passenger vehicles comprise the greatest number of traffic accidents in Texas, motorcycle wrecks on freeways and streets also occur on a frequent basis.
When it comes to accidents that involve both a passenger vehicle and a biker, most are due to the car or truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the motorcycle rider. Another issue is that because of a lack of protection between the rider and the road, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer serious injuries in an accident. These injuries are costly, and they can have major consequences on a person’s wellbeing, job, family, and quality of life.
Motorcycle accidents in Houston happen more often than you might think. Too often, a motorcyclist suffers serious injuries and isn’t given the compensation they deserve, either because they don’t think hiring a lawyer is necessary, or they think an attorney will actually cost them more. Furthermore, because of the stigma against motorcyclists and because too many bikers don’t realize that they have the right to take legal action against careless drivers, they are often left with inadequate compensation and few ways to cope with their injuries.
If you are a motorcyclist and have been injured in an accident, call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today. Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers know the hazards riders like you face every day, and we’re not afraid to stand up for your rights — whether that involves negotiating with an insurance company or taking your case to a court of law.
Why You Should Choose Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law
WE HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF SUCCESS
Terry Bryant and his team of attorneys and staff are fully committed to fighting injustice in all its forms and have successfully litigated high-profile cases against opponents including corporations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and insurance companies.
WE GET REAL RESULTS FOR OUR CLIENTS
The proof is in our results. Visit our client victories page to read about real cases — and real money — the dedicated attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law have won for our clients. (Please note that we present results on our site in amounts that are netted by the clients. Please note that some attorney sites use gross recovery amounts that have not yet been adjusted for attorney’s fees, case expenses, or medical bills.)
WE UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH
Since 1985, our overriding goal has been to help people who have been injured or wronged. We have stood side by side with our clients and fought for victims of motorcycle wrecks, car crashes, workplace accidents, and other tragedies. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll these incidents take on people and entire families.
WE ARE DEDICATED TO PROVIDING THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE LEVEL OF SERVICE
Our law firm has received the Better Business Bureau’s Winner of Distinction Award multiple times —a recognition of our dedication to providing clients with the highest level of service. Every person who works at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law — lawyers and support staff — shares this commitment to our clients.
WE HAVE EXPERIENCE THAT BENEFITS YOU
Terry Bryant has not only been fighting for his clients as a personal injury lawyer since 1985, but he is also a former judge. This has given him an unparalleled understanding of the law from all angles.
Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law offers free, no-obligation consultations to help you better understand your options. Our Houston motorcycle injury attorneys also offer a No-Fee Guarantee, which means you pay us nothing unless you get your money. Call us at any time, seven days a week, at (800) 444-5000 or (713) 973-8888.
What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Accidents
What Kinds of Damages Can I Collect After My Texas Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation, or damages, for your injuries and other losses. Under Texas law, there are two main categories of damages that accident victims may receive: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are compensation for real, measurable losses and are the easiest to determine. A few examples of economic damages are:
- Earnings and employer-paid benefits lost due to an inability to work while recovering from your injuries
- Past, present, and expected future hospital bills, ambulance bills, therapy and rehabilitation costs, and other medical expenses
- Cost of medical devices and equipment, such as crutches, required due to the accident
- In-home services
- Vehicle repair costs
- Compensation for personal items damaged in the accident, like cell phones and other electronics
- In certain cases, if the crash results in permanent disability and an inability to work, the victim may receive damages for loss of earning potential.
Accident victims may also be entitled to receive what are known as non-economic damages. While less concrete and a bit more difficult to quantify, non-economic losses are no less real than economic losses. Here are a few examples of the types of non-economic damages you may receive:
- Compensation for emotional distress
- Compensation for disfigurement or disability
- Compensation for “pain and suffering”
- Compensation for loss of companionship
- Compensation for a diminished quality of life.
Especially when it comes to non-economic damages, it can be difficult for a crash victim to calculate how much they may be entitled to receive after a wreck. And as they’re suffering, unable to work, and facing mounting medical and repair bills, it can be tempting for victims to accept an insurance company’s first offer. But the insurers’ goal is to maximize profits by paying out as little as possible. In order to ensure you get the money — all the money — your losses warrant, it’s critical to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we will carefully calculate the true cost of your economic and non-economic losses and fight to make sure you are not short-changed.
If Most Cases Settle, Why Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Every single accident case is different in its details, and there is just no way to know at the outset whether you will come to a settlement that’s agreeable to both sides or whether you will end up in court. That said, the vast majority of cases — about 90% — do settle out of court, with the injured victim’s attorney negotiating an amount with the defendant’s liability insurance carrier.
Even if you fully expect to settle out of court, it’s risky to proceed alone, without the sound guidance of an experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyer. The insurance company has a whole team of lawyers working behind the scenes to further its interests—keeping payouts low. It’s a rigged game, with the odds clearly against the victim. The best way to shift the odds in your favor is to hire an expert to negotiate for you. An attorney will help you:
- Calculate the actual, total value of your injuries — including pain and suffering and future costs
- Put together a formal demand package
- Thoroughly investigate the accident, including pulling and interpreting all relevant medical and legal records
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, drawing on knowledge of personal injury law, insurance liability, and your rights as a victim
- If necessary, help you take your case to court.
Whether you end up in the courtroom or not, hiring the right motorcycle accident law firm can help make the difference between whether you end up shortchanged or whether you receive the full amount you deserve for your injuries.
Why Is It Better to Settle?
A trial is generally seen by both sides as a last resort and something to avoid if at all possible, for a number of reasons. Litigation is far more expensive, with additional case expenses and an increased contingency fee, than settling. You can have the added costs of depositions, expert witnesses, travel, and missing work. It can be stressful, requiring people to relive the accident through depositions and cross-examination in the courtroom. And if a case goes to trial, it is a much longer process than an out-of-court settlement, and the victim —who may have medical bills and other costs accruing — will not see a dime until it’s all over. And, of course, while a settlement gives both sides some amount of control over the outcome, a trial is unpredictable. Insurance companies may find themselves on the hook for far more money than they believe is fair, and victims also risk receiving less than the insurer’s original offer.
What If My Case Does Go to Court?
While, as discussed above, coming to a settlement is the best-case scenario for all parties, a percentage of motorcycle accident cases do end up in the courtroom. This might happen if you and the insurance company are at a stalemate regarding the cause of the accident and who is at fault, or if the insurer is simply unwilling to pay the amount you and your motorcycle accident lawyer have determined your injuries warrant. It should go without saying that you should have an experienced attorney handle this process for you.
What is the Litigation Process?
1. Once you’ve decided, in consultation with your attorney, to proceed with a lawsuit, the lawyer will help you file your petition with the court.
2. Once your petition is filed, you are required to notify the other party of your actions. Someone called a process server — a person not directly involved with the case — will serve them with a copy of the petition and something called a summons.
3. The respondent, or defendant, then has the opportunity to respond to the summons.
4. Discovery is the next step. Parties will gather facts and documentation, exchange information relevant to the case, answer written questions, interview witnesses in sworn testimony (depositions), and work on building their cases.
5. Once the process of discovery is complete, the case will go to trial. Each side will have the opportunity to make an opening statement, present their evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and then make a closing statement.
6. Finally, the jury (or judge, if the case is a “bench trial”) will deliberate and come to a verdict in favor of either the defendant or the plaintiff based on the evidence presented during the trial.
What to Do — and What Not to Do — in the Aftermath of an Accident
KEEP A COOL HEAD AT THE SCENE
If at all possible, you and other involved parties should move your vehicles to a safe location, like the side of the road. But — and only if you can do so without placing yourself or anyone else in danger — try to take a few photographs of the accident scene first.
Take pictures of the damage to your car and any other vehicles. Also snap photos of the other vehicles’ license plates.
Exchange information with the other drivers. Be sure to get their names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance information, TDL numbers, license plate numbers, plus vehicle makes and models.
Call the cops if anyone is injured or there is substantial property damage. Their accident report is vital in your efforts to recover damages if you were the one hit on your motorcycle.
Talk to witnesses if you can, recording their comments and contact information. Get as much evidence as you can at the crash scene.
Be very careful what you say. Never admit fault, or say you’re sorry, even if you believe you do bear responsibility. Statements at the accident scene can have negative consequences when you’re trying to get compensation from the negligent driver’s insurer.
Don’t Be Bullied by Big Insurance
After any accident, you will find yourself having to deal with your own or the other driver’s insurance company. They may try to give you a settlement that’s almost certainly a lowball offer. They may even try to avoid paying out damages altogether. No matter the situation, it’s imperative that you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to do the talking for you. Because if you accept the initial settlement offer, or slip up and say the wrong thing, it will work against you and you will not receive the money you need.
WHAT DO I SAY IF THE OTHER PARTY’S INSURANCE COMPANY CONTACTS ME?
Your phone rings, you pick up, and a representative of the other driver’s insurance company is on the line. They offer you a seemingly good-sized sum of money. What do you say? You say you will get back to them, and nothing more. If they become insistent or rude, hang up. Mean or pushy insurance adjusters will NEVER give you a break, even when you deserve one. Do not let them rattle or intimidate you. Once you’re off the phone, start doing your research and look for a motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston who has experience and a track record of success. Once you’ve hired an attorney, they will handle all communications with the insurance company, using their expertise to calculate the true cost of your injuries and negotiate the best possible deal for you.
We understand that it’s tough to turn down money, but it’s important to remember that once you’ve accepted an insurance company’s offer, you’ve blown your shot at additional compensation down the road.
You can’t ask for more once you realize that what you received will not begin to cover all your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses which are rightly owed to you, but that you left off the table by accepting that first lowball settlement.
A seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston can quickly and accurately determine the fairness of an offer and tell you whether it will likely cover all your accident-related bills and other expenses. An experienced lawyer can aggressively negotiate with, and shield you from, insurance companies and their lawyers who will try to pressure you into accepting less money than they are actually prepared to pay.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we will stand up to big insurance and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER OFFERED TO PAY SOME OF MY EXPENSES IF I DIDN’T CALL A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
When an insurance carrier offers any amount of fast money, especially with the caveat that you won’t protect yourself by hiring a lawyer, you may be wary — and rightly so. This could be a sign that they believe your claim has merit and it’s in their best interest to try to rush you into accepting an offer as quickly as possible, before you have a chance to hire an attorney.
WHAT IF THE INSURANCE COMPANY SAYS I CAUSED THE WRECK?
This happens all too often, especially to accident victims who ride motorcycles. Insurers like to press their advantage as often as they can. And “devil may care” bikers – even if you’re not one of them – make easy targets in denying damages, because there’s a perception that bikers are careless and reckless. But the reality is different. Nearly two-thirds of motorcycle crashes are caused by other motorists, not the motorcycle rider. An experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyer knows the stats, knows how to do the research to get to the truth, knows how to press your advantage in negotiations with the insurance company’s lawyers, and knows when it’s time to file suit and take the case to trial.
Don’t Let Stereotypes about Bikers Hurt Your Claim
Motorcyclists Face Real Prejudice — from the Public and from Insurance Adjusters
Motorcyclists are often given unfair labels by other motorists. These stereotypes are not only unfair, but they can also have an impact on how a motorcyclist is treated after being involved in a crash. As a passionate and responsible motorcycle enthusiast, you may roll your eyes at the preconceptions others have about people who ride. You’ve heard them all before:
- Motorcyclists are hoodlums who travel in rowdy gangs, terrorizing other people on the road.
- Motorcyclists love to ignore traffic laws.
- Motorcyclists are especially prone to road rage.
- Motorcyclists hate cars and live to antagonize drivers.
- Motorcyclists have a death wish.
While these common ideas may seem silly and easy to dismiss, they can have a very real impact if you’re in a wreck. Unfortunately, motorcycle riders who are injured in an accident are instantly at a huge disadvantage, because people who work for insurance companies aren’t immune to internalizing stereotypes, and it’s advantageous for them to use negative public biases toward motorcyclists while evaluating an incident. This prejudice is leveraged the moment an injured biker files an insurance claim.
The Truth: Most Collisions Between a Car and Motorcycle Are the Fault of the Car Driver
Research has shown that popular preconceptions about bikers’ lawlessness are not based in any sort of reality. According to a recent study by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, 60% of collisions between cars and motorcycles are caused by the driver of the car. That study reinforces the groundbreaking 1981 Hurt Report, which found that two-thirds of vehicle/motorcycle collisions were caused by the vehicle’s driver—and most of these accidents were attributed to the vehicle driver's failing to yield the right of way to the biker.
How Anti-Biker Bias May Affect Your Insurance Claim
It’s important to remember the job of an insurance adjuster. It’s not to dig hard to get to the truth of an accident, or to pay the full amount of damages a victim deserves. It’s to save the insurance company money by minimizing payouts. And it’s distressingly common for insurance company employees to make assumptions about and discriminate against motorcyclists, and deny their claims for no good reason.
This puts an extra burden on you — the injured motorcyclist — to prove the other driver was at fault. It’s on you to fight back against the negative biker stereotypes and demonstrate that, as a responsible motorcycle driver who was hurt due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for all the damages you suffered.
Terry Bryant — Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Houston — Is on Your Side
Motorcyclists have a reputation for being reckless and sometimes even dangerous, and it’s a reputation they must fight when they’ve been injured in a crash. The Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law know this puts riders at a serious disadvantage with the insurance company. It makes it harder to get the compensation they need to recover when they’ve been hurt. We’ll make sure your legal rights to collect all of your legal damages are being protected after a motorcycle accident.
Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers can help you with this battle if you’ve been injured in a wreck. We have more than 100 years of combined experience fighting for injured victims. We know the law, and we fight to win. Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury trial lawyer (by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization) and former judge who has extensive knowledge of the Texas legal system. If you become a client, we handle nearly everything—and you owe us nothing unless we are successful in securing compensation for your damages. Fill out a free initial consultation form or call (800) 444-5000 and put our experience to work for you.
Prove the Stereotype Wrong
While you don’t have total control over labels and other people’s perceptions of you and your fellow bikers, you can fight back against being labeled as a lawless, irresponsible motorcyclist by driving safely and heeding these tips from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
- Keep your distance from other vehicles and give yourself time to react and maneuver.
- Position yourself in the lane so you can be seen at all times and avoid any blind spots.
- Make sure you are fully visible when you pass another vehicle, and stay in the center of the lane when you’re being passed.
- Never share a lane or drive alongside another vehicle. Don’t park in between other vehicles either—use your own parking spot.
- Keep an eye out for uneven surfaces and obstacles.
- Make sure your bike is always in good working order, and stay on top of routine maintenance.
- Avoid add-ons and modifications that can make your bike more difficult to handle.
- Wear appropriate protective clothing and shoes.
- Wear a helmet, even if not legally required, and protective eyewear.
Statistics Speak Volumes - The Numbers Confirm Dangers That Bike Riders Face
Thousands of motorcyclists (this includes operators and passengers) are killed in motor vehicle crashes every year, according to an annual report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This includes hundreds in the state of Texas, which has the unsavory distinction of being one of the states with the highest rates of fatal motorcycle crashes each year. In the 14 years from 1997 to 2011, motorcycle accident fatalities more than doubled, while total traffic accident fatalities dropped by 23%, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The NHTSA also says that motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car drivers.
Texas law states that motorcycle riders over the age of 21 who have completed a motorcycle operator safety and training course, or have health insurance that covers motorcycle accident injuries, do not have to wear a helmet while riding a bike. But NHTSA estimates that thousands of lives are saved annually by helmets, and many deaths occur that could have been prevented by helmet use. Not every crash can be prevented, but you can help reduce your chances of serious injury by wearing a helmet every time you ride – it may even save your life.
The Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Those who ride motorcycles are vulnerable to a unique set of dangers on our roads. Even the most experienced and careful motorcyclists are not immune to these dangers. Accidents can happen for any number of different reasons; and when you are on a motorcycle, you have very little to protect you and are much more likely to be injured or killed than someone in a car. Some of the causes of accidents are:
Distracted drivers: How many times have you passed a car or truck and noticed that the driver is on the phone, fiddling with the stereo, or engaged in something other than watching the road? Distracted driving is an epidemic in the U.S., claiming thousands of lives annually, and it’s on its way to becoming the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Texas.
Physical obstacles or road hazards: Because motorcycles are smaller and less stable than passenger vehicles, even a small obstacle in the road can lead to a catastrophic accident. So bikers must be vigilant to avoid potholes, roadkill, slick or uneven pavement, and unexpected objects in the lane.
Intoxicated or impaired motorists: Drunk and impaired driving is a serious problem in Texas and nationally. People under the influence lack the ability to make good decisions, their vision may be reduced, and their reaction time sluggish.
Cars turning left: 42% of motor vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle and a car are due to the passenger vehicle's turning left into the path of the bike. This sometimes occurs when the motorcyclist is attempting to pass or overtake the car. In other cases, the motorcycle has the right of way going straight through the intersection, but the driver of the turning car fails to see the bike.
Motorcycles getting lost in a sea of cars on a crowded freeway or street: Because of their small size, motorists sometimes just fail to notice motorcycles. That’s why it’s important for everyone to remember they share the road and to remain vigilant at all times.
IT COMES DOWN TO NEGLIGENCE
As mentioned, The Hurt Report found that the “predominating cause” of motorcycle accidents is the failure of car and truck drivers to “detect and recognize” motorcyclists. This can happen because the vehicle driver is blatantly careless, distracted, or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue. But what we see most often is that drivers fail to detect the smaller-sized motorcycle and simply drive into the biker’s path.
Negligent vehicle drivers (and their insurance companies) often try to lay the responsibility on the “devil-may-care” biker, saying they contributed to their own injuries because they drove too fast, unnecessarily weaved in and out of traffic, failed to signal or give the motorist the right of way, or did not wear a helmet. We will work with you to successfully refute those charges and focus the blame where it belongs – on the careless, thoughtless driver.
No matter what types of injuries you suffered, our motorcycle accident lawyers want to help you get the medical care you need to get better, while we build a strong claim on your behalf and work tirelessly to obtain full and fair compensation from the insurance company.
Make sure your legal rights to collect compensation are fully protected after a motorcycle accident. Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law handles your claim while you focus on one thing: getting better. Contact our legal staff today, and let us fight for you.
PROTECT YOURSELF. DRIVE DEFENSIVELY.
As a motorcycle operator, you and your passengers are vulnerable every time you hit the road. Even if you follow all laws, maintain your bike in optimal condition, and wear appropriate clothing and a helmet, you can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road — many of whom are negligent, distracted, or just plain bad. Statistics and common sense show that you, the motorcyclist, are much more likely to face serious injury or death. For the sake of yourself and the people riding with you, it’s important to follow a few fundamentals of defensive driving when you’re on your bike.
Remain aware of your surroundings. Newbie bikers often focus on one spot on the road. You should get into the habit of checking mirrors, knowing what is around you, and looking ahead so you can anticipate and be ready to handle any changes in traffic flow.
Know the route you are taking. If you are driving to a location or in an area that’s unfamiliar to you, take time before your trip to familiarize yourself with the basic directions. This way you won’t have to take attention away from the road to focus on your GPS.
Know the laws in your area. Make sure you study up on the traffic laws in your state or wherever you’re driving, especially those particular to motorcycles.
Drive confidently, but not aggressively. Driving hesitantly can be dangerous, as other drivers may not be aware of your intentions. But avoid cutting in front of other people, lane splitting, weaving in and out of traffic, and other aggressive maneuvers that can lead to an accident. And always use your turn signal.
Try to stay out of cars’ and trucks’ blind spots. Because of your small size, drivers may have a hard time seeing you.
Common Injuries in a Motorcycle Accident
Two hard facts stand out about motorcycle accidents:
When involved in a crash, motorcyclists suffer much higher rates of injury and death than drivers of other vehicle types.
Motorcycle accident injuries are often severe. Two common examples are traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Cars are designed to protect their occupants in the case of a crash, with frames that absorb the energy of the impact, airbags, seatbelts, and other safety measures. Motorcycles offer their riders agility, maneuverability, and an unparalleled sense of freedom. They are cheaper to buy and maintain and guzzle less gas than cars and trucks. Riding them is fun and invigorating. But the joy of feeling the wind in your hair comes with a price.
You can observe all traffic rules, ride with special care, and still get in a serious accident, often through no fault of your own. “Bike” wrecks, contrary to popular belief (and according to the breakthrough study in motorcycle safety, The Hurt Report) are often not the fault of the rider and are more likely to be caused by the driver of a car or truck. And unlike in other vehicles, there is nothing between you and the road. At high speeds, a few layers of clothing will do little to protect you. Riding a motorcycle is dangerous, and you risk life and limb every time you fire up your bike.
Injuries to motorcycle accident victims primarily involve fractures and burns. They can affect the face or any limb, internal organ, or system. Injuries can range from minor to disabling, such as spinal cord injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and limb amputations. One of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle crashes is road rash, which occurs when unprotected skin comes in contact with road surfaces as the victim slides after “laying down” his or her bike. It’s very painful and can be permanently disfiguring.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can injure any part of a rider’s body. Several of the most common types of motorcycle accident injuries include:
Broken Bones – Fractures (including compound fractures) and shattered bones in the arms, legs, knees, and feet are common, as are facial fractures when motorcycle riders don’t wear a helmet.
Neck and Spinal Injuries – Because riders are thrown, twisted, and jerked off their bikes in a wreck, the neck and back musculoskeletal system can experience a variety of serious injuries, including severe sprains and strains; herniated, slipped, or fractured spinal discs; and even paralysis.
Road Rash – This isn’t an ordinary cut or scrape. When riders “lay their bikes down,” they may be thrown from the bike and slide forcefully against the roadway. Any skin that’s uncovered or inadequately covered by clothing that’s too thin will usually suffer severe lacerations and burns from sliding on the road’s surface – especially if the rider isn't wearing heavy-duty protective clothing. Road rash injuries can easily become infected, even when properly treated.
Muscle Injuries – A motorcycle crash can cause damage to muscles in any part of your body. Wearing appropriate protective gear can decrease the likelihood of muscle damage.
Biker’s Arm – When a motorcycle crashes, the driver and passengers are not restrained by seat belts like those in cars and may be thrown from the bike. When this occurs, it’s instinctive for people to hold their arms in front of them to protect themselves from the impact. This can lead to nerve damage in the arms, a condition known as biker’s arm. Protective clothing and elbow pads can help prevent this type of injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) – Blows to the head during a motorcycle wreck may produce TBIs ranging from mild concussions to severe brain injuries. The victim may suffer from loss of consciousness, amnesia, and changes that affect thinking, language, and emotion.
The Special Case of Traumatic Brain Injuries
One of the most frightening types of injuries is a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. TBIs are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents, and even when they don’t cause death, they are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat — a distinction that has earned them the nickname “the silent epidemic.” A TBI can be mild or severe. Some people with a brain injury look, speak, and act completely normal. Victims may experience symptoms immediately after the accident or not notice anything is wrong for some time after. People who survive their traumatic brain injury may nevertheless live with its effects for years afterward or even the rest of their lives. As a motorcycle driver, the best thing you can do to protect your brain is to wear a helmet every time you ride. Maybe you find them cumbersome, you don’t like the way they look, or you believe they obstruct your vision or hearing. But a helmet may save your life or prevent permanent disability. TBIs may manifest in a range of symptoms, including:
● Loss of consciousness (can range from a few seconds to hours in serious TBIs)
● A state of dizziness, confusion, or disorientation
● Loss of balance
● Slurring or difficulty with speech
● Vomiting or feeling of nausea
● Inability to sleep
● Excessive sleepiness
● Sensory issues: blurry vision, unpleasant taste in the mouth, change in smell, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light or sound
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, you need compassionate and expert representation by a motorcycle accident attorney in Houston. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we will assist in your quest for full and fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other wreck-related expenses.
What If My Loved One Was Killed in a Motorcycle Accident?
There are two main types of cases in which it may be necessary to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. If you were injured yourself, but survived, you will file a personal injury case. If a close relative — generally a spouse, child, or parent —was killed in a motorcycle crash, you may want to hire an attorney to represent you in a wrongful death case.
There are many firms that handle both types of cases, but if you or a loved one has been in an accident of either type, it is important to find an attorney who knows the specific issues and laws involved with these types of incidents. They will know the necessary evidence to gather in order to build a strong case.
Personal injury and wrongful death cases are similar in that they come about as the result of negligent or reckless behavior that leads to injury or death. But they differ in key ways, and it’s critical that the attorney you hire understands these distinctions. While the person who generally brings a personal injury suit is the injured party himself or herself, a wrongful death suit is brought by the relatives of the person who was killed. Texas law allows spouses, children, or parents to file a wrongful death claim.
You may question how you can put a price tag on someone’s tragic death. The fact is that no amount of money will replace your beloved relative. But an experienced attorney can make sure the financial blow that often accompanies an unexpected passing is lessened.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Here are a few examples of the types of damages family members may receive if their loved one is killed in a motorcycle accident that is another party’s fault:
- Loss of income and future earning capacity
- Loss of expected inheritance
- Loss of services typically provided by the deceased: childcare, maintenance of the home, etc.
- Loss of companionship, comfort, and love
- In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded.
If your loved one was killed in a motorcycle wreck in Houston and someone else was at fault, you have options. At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we work hard to get maximum compensation for our clients so they can move on with their lives. Contact us online or call our office to schedule a consultation.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law Today.
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you need a good lawyer to ensure you receive the money you need to recover from your injuries. Terry Bryant is a former judge with over 35 years under his belt of fighting for his clients. He is tenacious, tough, compassionate, and serious about helping people who have been injured. He has assembled a team of top-notch attorneys who not only know the law inside and out, but who share a true dedication to helping their clients. We understand the stereotypes against people who ride motorcycles — and how these negative perceptions can affect the outcome of a claim. We fight through the prejudice to get to the true story of an accident — which more often than not is the fault of another vehicle driver. We gather the evidence, calculate the damages you should be paid, and negotiate with the insurance company — or take them to court — so you get every penny you deserve. To set up a free consultation with one of our motorcycle accident lawyers in Houston, call (800) 444-5000 or get in touch with us through our online form. We can’t wait to put our experience to work for you!
Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
With so many miles of open road and some of the nation’s most breathtaking landscapes, Texas is an ideal state for bikers. Motorcyclists in the Lone Star State also have plenty of communities and gatherings that give them the chance to connect with others who share their passion for motorcycles. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents leading to injury and death are a daily occurrence in Texas. When you’ve been injured by a careless driver, you should know you have legal options.
If you are 21 or older and have proof that you’ve successfully completed a course on motorcycle training and safety, or if you can document coverage under a medical insurance policy, you don’t have to wear a helmet. No law enforcement officer may arbitrarily pull you over without cause, even to check whether you have documentation that says you have fulfilled either requirement allowing you to ride without headgear. But does riding without a helmet affect your claim of injury compensation after being hit by a negligent driver? The truth is that it might be viewed as an unnecessary assumption of risk and could affect the compensation amount you receive if you suffered a head injury, but the good news is riding without a helmet should have no bearing on compensation for other injuries. However, considering the odds of being in an accident, every motorcycle rider, whether driver or passenger, should wear a helmet.
Even in cases in which the injured biker is not legally required to wear a helmet, it is not unusual for a negligent defendant’s insurance company to deny benefits, claiming that if they didn't take protective cautions, why should the insurance company pay damages to this reckless rider? Sometimes the ploy works. So even if you’re exempt from wearing a helmet, it’s a good idea to wear one anyway, because they DO work, and it’s one less thing to worry about during the negotiation process. Regardless of whether you choose to wear a helmet, that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing payment that is rightfully yours. The Houston motorcycle attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are here to help. Contact us today to get started.
Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Review:
“One of my kids was involved in a traffic accident, and the attorneys at Terry Bryant took great care of us. Their knowledge and expertise resulted in a great outcome. Thank you!” - Robin G.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you likely have many questions about your legal options. Call Terry Bryant to learn more.
HOW COMMON ARE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS?
Nationally, over 4,000 motorcyclists die in accidents and over 75,000 are injured annually.
A relatively recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that:
- “Bikers” are 28 times more likely than auto drivers to die in an accident and three times more likely to be injured.
- Texas has one of the highest numbers of fatal motorcycle accidents every year.
- Half of fatal motorbike accidents involve alcohol.
- Helmets save over 1,000 lives every year, and another 500 people could be saved each year just by using a helmet.
WHEN SHOULD I CALL A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER?
You may be hesitant to call a lawyer after your motorcycle accident, thinking that you will just settle things up with the insurance company on your own and save money by not having to pay attorney’s fees. But the insurance company will not offer you what they are actually prepared to pay. They want you to accept less than you really need, thereby helping their bottom line. If you’ve been injured, you should consult a motorcycle accident injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious and even if you don’t want or expect your case to ever see the inside of a courtroom.
Additional medical evaluation might reveal more serious injuries than initially suspected. A lawyer will know how to accurately calculate how much in damages you should receive and take that number to the insurance company.
An experienced motorcycle injury lawyer can also help you preserve evidence, obtain witness statements, perform an accident investigation, and strongly advocate your compensation rights in negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company (including at trial, if necessary). At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we will fight for you every step of the way. And we don’t get paid unless you do, so you have nothing to lose.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A HELMET WHEN I RIDE MY MOTORCYCLE?
No, under certain conditions. In Texas, people over 21 who have completed a safety course and have health insurance with at least $10,000 in benefits for a motorcycle accident do not have to wear a helmet. Anyone who does not meet these requirements must wear one. But helmet laws vary by state, so if you plan to cross state lines, you should research the laws of each state you will be visiting on your bike. Visit our page on Motorcycle Laws in Texas to learn more.
IF I WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET WHEN I WAS HIT, CAN I STILL PURSUE A CASE?
Yes. It is legal in Texas to not wear a helmet on a motorcycle if you are over the age of 21 and have the required insurance. And you may still pursue an accident claim if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence. If your lack of a helmet did not cause or aggravate your injuries (e.g. knee injuries, back injuries, or road rash), then it should not affect how much compensation you receive. That said, insurance companies are always looking for ways to deflect responsibility from themselves and minimize the amount they pay out. And they may attempt to argue that because you take the chance of riding without a helmet, you do not care about your health and consequently, you don’t deserve to receive the reasonable compensation you are asking for your injuries.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we encourage all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear a helmet for their safety. But here in Texas, not wearing one is your right and should not preclude you from receiving the full compensation your injuries warrant. Whether you were wearing a helmet or not, we will fight back against any insurance company who tries to deny you your rightful compensation.
IF I WAS A PASSENGER ON A MOTORCYCLE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT, CAN I FILE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURY LAWSUIT?
Yes. If you were a passenger on a motorcycle and were injured in an accident, you may have a legal claim to damages. If it was a single-vehicle crash, your suit will most likely be against the driver of the motorcycle. If the accident was the fault of another vehicle that hit you, your suit will be against the driver of that vehicle. In some instances, multiple people — like the driver of the motorcycle and the driver of another car — may share liability. In other cases, you may have cause to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of a faulty bike or part, or the party responsible for keeping the roads in good condition, if unsafe road conditions contributed to the accident. If you were a passenger in a motorcycle wreck and were injured, Terry Bryant and his associates are standing by to help you.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM BECOMING A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIM?
You can’t control the actions of other drivers, and you just can’t prevent all accidents. However, by being a safe and responsible motorcycle operator, you can minimize the likelihood of accidents or serious injuries occurring. Follow these suggestions (and cross your fingers) to help avoid becoming a motorcycle accident statistic:
1. Keep your bike in good condition with regular inspections and maintenance.
2. Always wear a helmet with a face shield or protective eyewear — and insist that your passengers wear one, too.
3. Wear leather or other protective clothing that will minimize road rash and other injuries in case of an accident.
4. Wear boots with nonstick soles and gloves.
5. Leave plenty of space between your bike and the vehicles in front of you.
6. Pay attention to traffic around you and check mirror regularly.
7. Avoid lane splitting.
8. Drive defensively — stay out of cars’ and trucks’ blind spots, and use your turn signal.
9. Always travel at a safe speed and follow all traffic rules.
10. Never ride while impaired.
11. Improve your skills with rider safety courses – even if you’ve been riding for years.