Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries. Riders often experience far worse injuries than vehicle occupants who are involved in the same crash. These serious injuries can lead to a lifetime of medical bills, pain and suffering. Injured motorcycle accident victims have the right to be compensated for all of their injuries and losses.
Our experienced Texas motorcycle accident attorneys know how to fight for the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash. Learn more about the causes of motorcycle accidents, the serious injuries you are likely to suffer in a motorcycle accident, how a motorcycle accident can permanently affect your life, and how a Texas motorcycle accident can help protect your important legal rights in the critical period after a motorcycle crash.
The Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many reasons why motorcycle crashes happen. While motorcycle riders are sometimes found to be at fault, drivers are often to be at fault for crashing into a motorcycle. What follows are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Distracted Driving – Now that most Texas drivers carry a cell phone at all times, they are far more likely to be distracted while driving. Distracted driving has become a major problem in the decades since cell phone use became widespread. Many drivers carry multiple mobile devices (a single car could have a cell phone, a tablet, and a laptop) in addition to the navigation and entertainment systems that are built into the vehicle. Drivers have a legal obligation to pay attention to the road.
When they cause accidents due to distraction, they are legally responsible for the damages they cause. Distraction does not only occur due to mobile devices. Drivers can also be distracted by passengers in the car or pets and children that require assistance. There might be food or beverages in the car. All of these things are distractions, and drivers have a legal obligation to drive safely in spite of them.
Impaired Driving – Even after years of public awareness campaigns, drunk driving continues to be a problem on the roads of Texas. The CDC reports that over thirteen thousand victims were killed by drunk drivers in Texas between 2002 and 2013. Texas had a rate of death that was higher than the national average across all age groups. When drunk drivers cause injury and death, they must be held accountable for these devastating losses.
Criminal charges are just one way to provide accountability. It is also important that injury victims enforce their legal right to compensation in order to provide financial consequences for this crime. Alcohol is not the only substance that impairs the ability to drive safely. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, more impaired driving cases are focusing on prescription medications.
Whether a driver is impaired by alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medication, they can be prosecuted under impaired driving statutes. They can also be found at fault for any accident they cause while driving under the influence of these substances.
Difficulty Seeing Smaller Vehicles – One of the biggest causes of motorcycle accidents is a simple matter of logistics. Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles. They have less lighting, and this makes them more difficult to see.
The problem is worse during periods of low visibility. Motorcycle riders should be especially cautious at night, during fog or rain, and any time it is more difficult to see the roadway. Drivers have a legal obligation to watch out for motorcycles. If they are not paying attention or simply are not looking for smaller vehicles, they can be held liable for any accident that occurs.
Amputations – Amputations result in complicated (but substantial) personal injury claims. Most of your losses that result from an amputation are intangible. The loss of your limb affects every area of your life. You might be unable to work or forced to take limited pay for limited work responsibilities.
You might be unable to participate in the hobbies you once enjoyed, like playing the piano or playing basketball. And consider the painful personal loss of being unable to hold your own children or walk across the stage at your own graduation. Juries understand these losses. They may be difficult to put a dollar value on, but they are very painful, and you deserve to be compensated for them. Our experienced Texas motorcycle Lawyers know how to prove the value of all the intangible losses you suffer as a result of a motorcycle crash that leads to amputation.
Scars and Disfigurement – Almost all motorcycle accidents lead to broken skin (lacerations) and bruises (contusions). Often, these are deep wounds that do not fully heal. You can be left with permanent scars and disfigurements as a result of a motorcycle crash. Negligent drivers are responsible for compensating you for these losses, as well.
These are also intangible losses that are hard to value with a specific dollar amount. Some victims have worse scarring than others. Some victims have specific financial losses as the result of disfigurement. A model, for example, might have a harder time booking jobs with large scars on her face. Whether your losses are financial or non-economic, you have the right to be compensated for the scarring and disfigurement you suffer in a motorcycle accident.
Why Motorcycle Riders Suffer More Serious Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motorcycle riders have relatively little protection from the forces of impact that are generated in a car crash. Unlike vehicle occupants, motorcycle riders do not have the protection of seatbelts or airbags. They are not protected by a powerful steel vehicle frame that is designed to absorb force and crumple in specific areas that can take the added stress.
Instead, motorcycle riders are thrown from their bikes, and this causes very serious injuries in accidents. Often a rider’s only protection from the full force of impact is a helmet. What follows are just some of the serious injuries you might suffer in a motorcycle accident.
Brain Injuries – The brain is protected by the skull and many layers of protective tissue inside your body, but this is not always enough to protect it from the force of a car crash. Helmets give riders added protection from these forces, which is why riders who wear helmets are far more likely to survive their injuries than riders who do not. Even with a helmet, however, you can still suffer a brain injury in a motorcycle accident. Some of these are very serious brain injuries that leave you in a coma.
You might suffer permanent brain damage that affects the rest of your life. Less serious injuries can still cause cognitive deficits, personality changes, and impaired motor skills. These are very frustrating changes that can drastically impact your life. Even a seemingly minor concussion is the result of brain damage. It is important to consult with neurological professionals to be sure your brain injuries are diagnosed and treated the best way possible.
Nerve Damage – Nerves are also susceptible to damage in a motorcycle accident. An injury to a nerve can impair your sensation or the ability to move a part of your body. Minor injuries can sometimes be treated with various therapies, but some nerve damage is permanent. The most serious cases of nerve damage involve the spinal cord.
Serious spinal cord injuries can lead to permanent paralysis. Paralysis leads to a lifetime of medical care costs, a permanent decrease in your earning capacity, and pain and suffering that continues for years after the accident. These serious injury cases settle for large amounts because the victims experience huge losses that continue for the rest of their lives.
Internal Bleeding – Internal bleeding is a common complication of motorcycle injuries. Often a rider is thrown from the bike with very little cushioning. Blood vessels can easily break under the force of this impact, especially the blood vessels that are closest to the surface of the body. Internal bleeding is highly dangerous because it is not always easy to detect.
You might not have bruising or show other symptoms right away. In some cases, the person does not know they are bleeding until they experience a dangerous drop in blood pressure. By then, it might be too late to repair the damage to the blood vessels. Early detection is critical in treating internal bleeding, which is why it is so important to go to the hospital after a motorcycle accident, even if you do not think you were hurt in the crash.
Organ Damage – Internal damage can also affect your vital organs. Damage to the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and other organs can cause fatal damage to your metabolism. But like internal bleeding, it is not always possible to recognize these injuries right away.
For example, you might not know that your pancreas is injured until your blood sugar changes drastically hours after the accident. Pay very close attention to everything your body is telling you after an accident. Be sure to ask a doctor about any troubling issues that arise.
Orthopedic Injuries – Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible. If you have a broken bone, they will likely claim that it is not that serious and that your pain and suffering only lasted as long as you were in the cast. These assertions are simply not the reality of having a broken bone. You could continue to experience pain and discomfort for months after your cast comes off. Some broken bones have to be reset surgically.
You could have pins or plates in your arm, which cause a lifetime of difficulty at metal detectors. You are entitled to compensation for these losses. Orthopedic injuries can also be a lot more complicated than simply a broken bone. Some broken bones never quite heal properly. Others might be complicated by broken blood vessels or irritated nerves in the area of the broken bone.
Some broken bones require months of physical therapy. You might need more surgeries to try to correct the damage from a single broken bone. You might continue to suffer pain and discomfort for the rest of your life. These are all very real losses, and the law provides compensation for them.
Your Legal Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have never been in an accident before, it can be difficult to know what to do in order to protect your legal rights. Insurance companies know this. They sometimes try to pressure injury victims into settling quickly before they can consult with a lawyer. You always have the right to consult with your own attorney before making any decisions about your case. What follows are just some of the important legal rights you have after a motorcycle crash.
You have the right to require the insurance company to speak with your lawyer. – As soon as the insurance company is notified that you have a lawyer, they may no longer contact you about the accident. This restriction protects you from accidentally saying or doing anything that could hurt your legal claims. It also protects you from any attempts to go around your attorney in order to pressure you to settle your case for less than it is fairly worth.
You have the right to preserve evidence that will help you prove your case. – If you do not act quickly, you could lose valuable evidence that could make or break your case. Surveillance camera footage is routinely deleted to make space for new footage. The physical evidence of the accident (like the totaled vehicles or pieces saved from the accident site) might not be saved by the insurance company. When you hire an attorney, they can take steps to preserve all the evidence that could potentially be relevant to your case. The attorney will know what evidence is needed, where it can be found, and what steps to take to ensure that it is not accidentally destroyed.
You have the right to be fairly compensated for all the injuries and losses you have suffered. – For most injury victims, the right to compensation is the most important legal right that they have. You have the right to compensation that is fair. You have the right to be compensated for all the losses you have suffered, including financial losses (such as medical bills and lost wages) as well as non-economic losses (such as your pain and suffering). It can be difficult to know what compensation is fair in any given case.
Insurance companies sometimes try to take advantage of that fact. Their adjusters might make a lowball settlement offer that does not fairly account for all of your pain and suffering. You need independent legal advice from your own lawyer, who can tell you what a jury is likely to award if your case goes to trial. The guidance of an attorney, in turn, allows you to make an informed decision about whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
You have the right to be compensated for the projected value of your future losses. – After a motorcycle accident, you will experience many different losses, and some of these could continue for years to come. You will not necessarily know the full value of these losses at the time you file a personal injury claim. Motorcycle accident lawyers deal with this by working with expert witnesses who project the value of your future losses.
For example, imagine that you can never return to work after a motorcycle accident leaves you permanently disabled. The negligent driver who caused the accident is responsible for the value of your future lost wages. That includes all the wages you would have earned between the time of the accident and the time of your expected retirement. It also includes bonuses, commissions, and overtime wages.
It even includes the value of lost employment benefits (such as your employer’s contributions to healthcare premiums or retirement accounts). You will also have future medical bills. A life care planner is an expert who itemizes the medical treatment and care services you will require for the rest of your life. The planner then estimates the cost of these services and adjusts them for inflation.
But how do you put a value on your future pain and suffering? This cost is the most difficult to project in an injury case. It is also usually the largest part of any personal injury award, which is why insurance companies fight it so hard. Personal injury lawyers look at cases similar to yours to see what juries have awarded, which will give you an idea of whether the insurance company’s settlement offer is comparable to what you could be awarded at trial. If it is not, your attorney may advise you to take the risk of going to trial and let a jury determine what your future losses are fairly worth.
Surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim when motorcycle accident injuries are fatal. – Sadly, not all victims survive their motorcycle accident injuries. Negligent drivers must still be held accountable for the damage they cause in these cases. In fact, it is even more important to hold negligent drivers accountable in these cases because their behavior is all the more dangerous. Other innocent victims could die on the roads of Texas if negligent drivers are not held financially accountable for the deaths they cause.
Surviving family members (or legal heirs) have the right to file a wrongful death claim after a fatal motorcycle accident. Though it can be difficult to go through this legal process after the untimely death of a loved one, it is an important step toward accountability. For some survivors, it also provides some sense of relief or justice in the wake of a devastating loss.
Experienced, Aggressive Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for All Texas Injury Cases
You could spend hours searching online for a “Texas motorcycle accident attorney,” but you’ve already found the best law firm in Texas. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have decades of experience. We have collected over 200 million dollars for our clients, and our legal team is close by, wherever you live in Texas. Our Texas motorcycle lawyers serve clients throughout the Lone Star State.
Call (888) 398-4017 to schedule your free consultation. Don’t wait to get advice about your motorcycle accident case. The sooner you have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be. Let us handle the paperwork and defend your legal rights so you can focus on recovering from your motorcycle accident injuries.