Corpus Christi Motorcycle Accident Law Firm
Motorcyclists are most certainly aware of the increased risks of accidents associated with riding without the protection of the metal frame. In part, that is what makes riding a bike so exhilarating. Motorcycles offer riders feelings of speed and freedom that you just can’t get with a traditional vehicle or even the sleekest sports car. Even so, the thrill and exhilaration of riding a motorcycle come with an unavoidable cost: Physical vulnerability in the event of a crash.
Just because motorcyclists necessarily take on increased risk doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated with any less respect than any other motorist on the road. Unfortunately, some of the most pressing hazards bikers face on Texas roads are the result of car and truck driver’s carelessness and inattention. When a motorcycle is involved, driver carelessness can all too easily lead to deadly consequences.
In Corpus Christi, one law firm above all others stands up for the rights of motorcycle riders and passengers who have sustained serious and fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents caused by careless, reckless, and inattentive motorists. The Patel Firm is dedicated to recovering the compensation injured bikers deserve when a wreck turns their life into a nightmare. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at The Patel Firm today, and read onto learn more.
We Represent Injured Motorcyclists And Their Families
Based in Corpus Christi and representing clients throughout Texas, The Patel Firm focuses its practice entirely on representing victims of personal injuries and wrongful deaths. Attorney Minesh J. Patel founded the firm with a mission to ensure that Corpus Christi residents and visitors receive every penny of compensation they deserve when injured or harmed by another’s wrongful actions. Together with Attorney Justin P. Green and a talented team of para-professionals, Attorney Patel presides over the go-to law firm for personal injury in South Texas. He and his team are proud that they have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured clients and their families.
Of course, there is never a guarantee of compensation in any personal injury case. But when seeking damages for injuries from a motorcycle accident, it helps to have an experienced team with a proven reputation on your side. That is exactly what you get when you decide to hire The Patel Firm to fight for you after your motorcycle accident.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Texas Motorcycle Safety Coalition, “[m]ost motorcycle-vehicle crashes happen when a driver turns left in front of the rider.” A comprehensive study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute supports this conclusion. A car or truck driver who turns left across the path of a motorcyclist contributes to around thirty percent of all collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles at intersections.
In these accidents, drivers often deny ever seeing the motorcyclist coming, and in some instances, this might be true. Inattentional blindness is a term used by researchers to refer to a failure to see an object, in certain situations, even when looking straight at it. This phenomenon is a trick our minds play on us when we do not expect to see an object in our field of vision. However, just because someone doesn’t see and recognize an approaching motorcycle doesn’t mean an accident isn’t their fault.
According to the Texas A&M researchers, other common factors contributing to fatal and serious-injury motorcycle accidents in Texas include:
- Speed. Accidents happen when vehicles fail to control their speed in a manner appropriate for road conditions. Speeding reduces reaction time, stretches stopping distance, and increases the likelihood of a motorcycle accident resulting in death or serious injury to a rider or passenger.
- Failure to yield. Turning left across the path of a motorcycle is just one of many ways drivers of cars and trucks fail to yield the right-of-way to motorcyclists. Others include turning right from an outside lane where a motorcyclist is riding, changing lanes in front of a motorcycle without looking, merging from an on-ramp into a travel lane occupied by a motorcyclist, and pulling out of a driveway into the path of a motorcyclist. In all scenarios, a driver’s failure to check blind spots and/or failure to see the motorcyclists at all plays a significant role in harming riders and passengers.
- Inattention due to impairment, fatigue, and distraction. Alcohol and drug use, driving tired, and succumbing to distraction behind the wheel all play significant roles in collisions between motorcycles and larger vehicles. Though these factors can affect riders, more often than not, it is the driver of the car or truck whose failure to pay attention causes a crash.
- Tailgating. A car or truck that follows too closely behind a motorcycle is extremely dangerous to the rider. Anyone who rides understands that motorcycles have shorter stopping distances and tighter turning capabilities than cars or trucks. Motorists who follow too close behind a motorcyclist simply cannot stop as quickly or turn as sharply as the motorcycle, increasing the risk of the car or truck rear-ending the motorcycle.
- Road conditions. Construction zones, in particular, present risks to motorcyclists. Grooved pavement and other road-surface contours can decrease a motorcyclist’s ability to control a bike. Without adequate warnings cautioning motorcyclists to slow down, these conditions easily lead to catastrophic motorcycle accidents.
- Vehicle defects. Manufacturers of vehicles, including motorcycles, have an obligation to ensure the products they sell are not unreasonably dangerous. For example, a bike sold with a faulty braking system is likely to cause an accident without any fault of the rider.
Common Injuries to Motorcycle Riders and Passengers
The Texas A&M study paints a stark and disturbing picture of motorcycle accident injuries in Texas:
Many of the injuries and fatalities sustained by motorcyclists are associated with high medical treatment and other costs that may also result in long-term consequences (e.g., morbidity). The medical costs combined with work loss costs for motorcyclist crash deaths in Texas were $665 million in 2013. In addition, motorcycle riders who are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or other serious injury may never achieve the same quality of life they enjoyed before the crash. These injuries impact not only the motorcyclist but also his or her family members and friends.
Motorcyclists involved in accidents can endure a range of injuries varying in severity. Anyone who has been in, or witnessed, a motorcycle wreck knows it can cause unimaginable harm to a rider and passenger. According to the study, motorcycle accidents are nearly nine times as likely to result in fatalities and serious injuries than other motor vehicle accidents.
Some of the most serious injuries The Patel Firm can help riders and passengers seek compensation for include:
- Traumatic brain injury. Texas law permits motorcyclists to ride without a helmet in some circumstances. At The Patel Law Firm, we support Texans’ right to ride helmetless, but we would also be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone that helmets save lives and reduce the risk of a brain injury accident. TBIs are complex injuries that can leave victims with permanent motor, cognitive, speech, and emotional impairments preventing victims from enjoying their lives.
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis. Motorcycle wrecks pose significant danger of a rider taking a violent tumble on a hard road surface, or of colliding with a fixed object. This type of trauma can often inflict severe damage on the rider’s spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries commonly lead to temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Severe road rash. A rider might count himself lucky if he escapes a bike wreck with only “road rash” to show for it. However, the friction of the pavement causing damage to the rider’s skin can require skin grafts, may require months to heal, and may cause chronic pain.
- Broken bones, dislocated joints, torn ligaments and tendons. It may be expected that most riders will sustain some sort of orthopedic injury in a crash. While these injuries usually don’t pose a threat to a rider’s life, they can leave victims permanently disabled and cause chronic pain throughout the entire body.
Of course, these are only a few of the injuries a motorcycle accident can cause. No matter how injured a motorcycle accident has left you or a loved one, the team at The Patel Firm wants to hear from you.
Take These Steps After a Corpus Christi Motorcycle Accident
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident sends riders, passengers, and their families reeling. We sincerely hope you will never experience that trauma, but if you do, here are some steps you should follow to protect your wellbeing and your legal rights.
Get Medical Care
Seeking medical attention after a motorcycle crash may seem like a no-brainer. After all, in most motorcycle accidents, the rider or passenger will likely sustain some kind of injury. But, we also know Corpus Christi bikers are proudly tough and independent. Some might think they can tough out an injury after a motorcycle wreck.
However, that could be a serious mistake. Not all severe or even life-threatening injuries show symptoms right away, but can appear and worsen over time. Some life-threatening injuries might not seem so severe right away, but will worsen over time without treatment. Also, a medical evaluation doesn’t just protect your health; it also creates important records of your injuries that will be necessary if you later decide to take legal action against those responsible for your accident.
Leave Your Bike Alone
From the moment a motorcycle accident happens, your motorcycle becomes vital evidence of what happened and who is to blame. Do not get it fixed. Do not take it to the scrap yard. Put it in your garage, along with any parts you can collect that came off of it in the crash, and don’t touch it. Preserving critical evidence of your crash will allow any lawyer you hire to examine the motorcycle and build a strong case to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Beware “Friendly” Insurance Companies
To some extent, you probably won’t be able to avoid talking to an insurance company after a motorcycle accident. You might need to put your motorcycle insurance carrier on notice of the wreck, and perhaps talk to your health insurance company. In these interactions, keep things simple and to-the-point. Do not say anything someone could twist into you admitting “fault” for the accident. Even innocent comments, such as, “I should have slowed down” or “I didn’t see the car turning,” can be used against you to keep you from the compensation you deserve.
Perhaps even more importantly, be very wary of any insurance company that contacts you asking about the accident, especially if it’s not your own insurance carrier. Insurance companies who insure others involved in your accident may try to trick you into accepting a quick, low-ball settlement offer in exchange for giving up all of your rights to sue their insurance customers. Don’t try to negotiate with them—they do this for a living and are very good at taking advantage of vulnerable accident victims. Instead, politely direct anyone who calls from an insurance company that they should instead contact your lawyer.
Meet With an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Now for our last tip: the sooner you meet with an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident lawyer, the better off you will be. After a motorcycle accident leaves you injured or grieving a loved one, a lawyer can shield you from the insurance companies and defense lawyers who want to take advantage of you during a traumatic time. The sooner a lawyer can get started investigating the motorcycle accident, the better the chance for building the strongest possible case for damages against those who did you and your family harm.
Your Corpus Christi Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Attorney Minesh J. Patel and his team at The Patel Law Firm commit every day of their working lives to help Texas residents and visitors, just like you, recover from devastating accidents and injuries. We have the experience, the resources, and the reputation to vigorously fight for your rights. Let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve after a motorcycle crash disrupts your life. Call us today at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ’s
Q: Do I need specific insurance or a license to ride a motorcycle?
A: Yes! You need to have specific motorcycle insurance to properly insure your motorcycle. You also need to be licensed to operate a motorcycle in the state you live in.
Q: Do I need a Corpus Christi injury lawyer after being hit on my motorcycle?
A: At the very least, you should sit down with a qualified Corpus Christi injury attorney to discuss your rights and make sure you are making good decisions. 24/7/365, an accident lawyer in Corpus Christi at The Patel Firm PLLC is ready and available to speak with you. Contact us today.
Q: My helmet and riding jacket got destroyed when I was hit. Will I be reimbursed?
A: Yes. Similar to a property damage claim in a passenger vehicle, a motorcycle rider who has been hit by a negligent driver can recover all damages to their motorcycle and their personal property resulting from the wreck, such as a damaged helmet or torn riding jacket.