How common are motorcycle accidents?
“Bikers” are 28 times more likely than auto drivers to die in an accident and three times more likely to be injured. A relatively recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that:
- Over 4,000 motorcyclists die in accidents and over 75,000 are injured annually.
- 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?
If you were injured, you should consult a motorcycle accident injury lawyer at the earliest opportunity, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Additional medical evaluation might reveal a more serious injury than initially suspected. 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).
What kinds of damages can I collect after my Texas motorcycle accident?
Texas law allows accident victims to recover both economic and noneconomic losses after an accident. Some of the damages that are typically pursued in Texas motorcycle accident cases include the following:
- All past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, company-paid benefits, and diminished earning capacity
- Physical impairment and/or permanent disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Other applicable damages (e.g. punitive damages, wrongful death benefits).
Will my case go to trial?
It is impossible to tell whether a particular case will be litigated. But the fact remains that the vast majority of accident cases – around 90% – are settled out of court, with the injured victim’s attorney negotiating an acceptable amount with the defendant’s liability insurance carrier. Both sides view civil trials as a last resort, and prefer to avoid them whenever possible.
If my case is going to settle, why do I need an attorney?
Simply put, alone you play a rigged game, with the odds clearly against you. Without an experienced motorcycle injury attorney, how would you be able to objectively understand the actual value of your injuries? Can you put a formal demand package together? Can you effectively investigate your accident, pull and understand legal and medical records, and the many other tasks necessary – including knowing how to negotiate with the other side, which understands all the ins-and-outs of insurance liability? Those who try it on their own are usually dismayed when they see the pitiful settlement offer the insurance company offers them. Having an attorney may help get a fair settlement – or a successful verdict.
Do I have to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle?
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 is under 21 must wear one.
If I was not wearing a helmet when I was hit, can I still pursue a case?
This may affect the amount of compensation you might secure unless not wearing a helmet did not cause or aggravate your injures, such as a knee or back injury or “road rash.” But without a seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer, it might be difficult to counter charges by the insurance company that you don’t really care about your health enough to wear a helmet and shouldn’t receive the reasonable compensation you’re demanding for your injuries.
If I was a passenger on a motorcycle involved in an accident, can I file a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit?
Yes. We also help passengers in motorcycle accidents. You can file an injury lawsuit against the driver of the motorcycle, or of the vehicle that hit you, or maybe even both, if each one shared a portion of fault for the accident. On occasion, there may be claims to pursue against other parties, e.g. manufacturers.
What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Bikers are hard to see, especially if there are a lot of vehicles on the road at the time of an accident. And a variety of other factors can lead to motorcycle accidents, including:
- Distracted drivers – this one is gaining as the No. 1 cause of Texas motorcycle wrecks
- Drivers who fail to yield the right of way to motorcycles at intersections or on multi-lane boulevards or freeways
- Intoxicated or impaired motorists
- Unsafe road conditions, such as potholes or roads under construction or repair.
What do I say if the other party’s insurance company contacts me about the accident?
Tell them you’ll get back with them. Then, find a motorcycle accident lawyer who could then get back with them and handle everything from that point on. If they become insistent or rude, hang up. Mean or pushy insurance adjusters will NEVER give you a break, even when you deserve one.
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, it may be a sign that they see merit in your claim and they are simply trying to rush you to accept their offer as quickly as possible, and prior to your involving a lawyer.
How can I keep from becoming a motorcycle accident victim?
Follow these suggestions (and cross your fingers) to help from becoming a motorcycle accident statistic:
- Leave plenty of space between your bike and the vehicles in front of you.
- Always travel at a safe speed.
- Don’t drink and ride.
- Improve your skills with rider safety courses – even if you’ve been riding for years.
- Wear a helmet!