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 Corpus Christi Personal Injury Lawyer 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.
Serious Injury Crashes in Corpus Christi Statistics in Corpus Christi, TX
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.
Corpus Christi Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Motorcycle accidents inflict serious injuries and cause tragic deaths all over South Texas. At The Patel Firm, our dedicated team regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. Corpus Christi residents and visitors suffering from the devastating toll of a motorcycle crash come to us seeking answers to questions about their legal rights.
Below, we answer some of the most common questions asked by our clients. For information specific to your rights after a Corpus Christi motorcycle accident, contact the experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyers at the Patel Firm today.
I got hurt in a motorcycle crash. Do I have a case?
Suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident often means facing severe physical and emotional pain and a significant financial burden. Injured victims often inquire whether they have the legal right to seek compensation from another for their injury expenses.
Just as the circumstances surrounding every car accident are unique, each motorcycle accident is different. Whether you are entitled to bring a personal injury claim will depend on several factors, including what caused the accident.
Generally speaking, if you sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash that was not your fault, then you may be entitled to seek financial compensation from the responsible individual or entity. In other words, did someone else’s bad decision or dangerous conduct contribute to causing your motorcycle crash? If the answer is “yes,” then you are likely afforded the legal right to seek compensation for accident-related damages.
For example, if you crashed your motorcycle because a motorist turned left directly into your path without seeing you, then you may have a legal claim against that motorist. Motorcycle wrecks may be caused by a highway road surface suddenly transitioning from paved and grooved to dirt, making it difficult to control the vehicle. If there was no indication of poor road conditions, and the conditions caused you to wreck, you may have a claim against the state agency responsible for road maintenance and construction.
If your bike’s brakes failed without warning because of a manufacturer defect, then the bike’s manufacturer may be legally liable for injuries resulting from a crash. Sometimes, a single motorcycle accident may implicate multiple responsible parties.
To determine whether the specific facts of your case warrant a personal injury claim, consult with a Corpus Christi motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
What is my motorcycle accident case worth?
The amount of compensation any injured victim may receive is nearly impossible to predict. Because every accident has its own unique facts and circumstances, the amount of money any crash victim might be entitled to can vary widely. As a general matter, crashes resulting in more extensive damage and severe injuries, often allow victims to seek higher amounts of compensation.
Typically, injured victims may be entitled to seek compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses related to accident injury treatments;
- Past and future lost wages resulting from missing or being unable to work because of crash injuries;
- The cost of repairing or replacing damaged property;
- The cost of hiring services or buying equipment to help with day-to-day tasks while recovering from injuries;
- The physical pain and emotional suffering inflicted by the injuries; and
- Losses related to the enjoyment of life and personal relationships.
It follows that a motorcycle accident causing the rider a painful, but manageable, broken collarbone will be less costly than an accident causing the rider a serious spinal cord injury resulting in permanent disability. No one can guarantee that any particular motorcycle accident will entitle an injured victim to seek damages in all, or any, of the categories listed here.
Also, keep in mind that the amount of money you should receive may differ from how much money you can receive. The amount of compensation may be limited by the financial resources (including insurance) available to the responsible party.
Speak with an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle crash injury lawyer to estimate how much money you may receive for a motorcycle accident injury.
I’ve heard I need a “settlement” for my motorcycle accident. What’s that?
In the context of motorcycle accident injury cases, a “settlement” is an agreement between you and whomever has legal liability for your injuries. You agree to release that party from legal liability in exchange for financial compensation for your injuries and losses.
Lawyers for victims of Corpus Christi motorcycle crashes frequently seek to negotiate a settlement of their clients’ claims. When appropriate, a lawyer may negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company representatives or their lawyer. The vast majority of motorcycle accident injury claims are resolved out of court through a negotiated settlement.
Injured victims do not necessarily need a settlement. However, lawyers often try to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement as part of the services they provide. When settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, a lawyer may discuss the option of proceeding to trial. When a personal injury claim is litigated in civil court, a judge or jury determines the amount of compensation the injured victim deserves.
Someone offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Use caution when discussing settlement offers with individuals representing the responsible party’s best interest. You should always speak with our experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident injury attorneys before accepting a settlement offer.
Sometimes, the party who causes a motorcycle crash seeks to resolve matters without involving lawyers. There are a variety of reasons individuals may prefer to try to resolve the solution on their own. Some believe lawyers will only complicate the process. Others hope that they can save money by dealing with you directly.
Put simply, accepting an offer without consulting an attorney puts injured victims at extreme risk of losing valuable legal rights. In addition, you may realize the settlement you accepted is inadequate to cover the full impacts of your injuries. However, after signing a settlement agreement, you may not seek additional compensation. As a result, you may end up shouldering the financial burden of your recovery.
You may receive a settlement offer from a lawyer, an insurance company, or from the person who caused the accident directly. Keep in mind, unsolicited offers of money, goods, or services as a settlement, almost never take into account the full value of a claim. To ensure your claim is fairly valued and your rights are protected, consult with an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident lawyer. An attorney’s experience fighting for injured victims serves to maximize the compensation they receive for their clients.
I should have avoided my motorcycle accident. Can I still sue?
Even if you believe the accident may have been avoidable, you may very possibly still be entitled to seek compensation, for two reasons.
First, as humans, many people have a natural tendency to blame themselves for their injuries. They replay the seconds before a crash in their minds, wishing they had reacted or maneuvered differently. As lawyers, we urge you not to go so hard on yourself, and allow us to explain your legal rights. Many motorcycle accident victims who believe they are to blame, often discover through research and investigation, that they couldn’t have possibly prevented the collision.
Second, even if your actions did contribute to the accident, Texas law may still afford you the right to recover compensation. In other words, never assume that you have no legal rights. Talk to an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss your rights today.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet in my motorcycle crash. Do I still have rights?
The team at The Patel Firm urges everyone who rides a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Texas law requires riders under 21 years old to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Riders over 21 may ride without a helmet after they complete a safety course and/or carry approved insurance. However, helmets significantly reduce the risk of severe traumatic brain injury and death in motorcycle accidents.
Still, we understand some bikers would rather not ride at all than ride wearing a helmet. Because Texas law allows motorcyclists to ride without a helmet, sustaining injuries with no helmet will not preclude victims from seeking compensation. A rider’s lack of a helmet may affect the amount of money the rider can hope to receive. However, helmet or no helmet, parties who carelessly or recklessly cause a motorcyclist injuries must be held accountable.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your motorcycle accident with an attorney, even if you were not wearing a helmet. You will likely retain some rights to recover compensation for your injuries.
Can I get my bike fixed after a motorcycle accident caused by someone else?
Before repairing or replacing your motorcycle, you may want to allow an attorney the opportunity to examine and inspect the damage caused by the accident. Though not always the case, sometimes the damaged motorcycle constitutes important evidence of how a crash occurred. As a result, it may help support your claim that the accident was not your fault.
For example, a forensic mechanic may examine a damaged bike to determine whether a part on the bike failed because of a defect. Defective motorcycles or parts may assign legal liability to the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Although your own motorcycle insurance may cover the costs of repairing damage to your motorcycle, you may want to wait to initiate repairs. Consider speaking with an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident injury lawyer first.
What should I do after a motorcycle wreck?
Injured victims should always seek immediate medical attention after a motorcycle accident. Even if you believe your injuries to be relatively minor, it is important to document a medical evaluation following a crash. Many injuries and even some life-threatening injuries may not immediately manifest symptoms. In fact, some traumatic brain injuries do not show symptoms for days or weeks after an accident.
See a doctor immediately for a full examination to protect your health and wellbeing. By visiting a doctor, you also protect your legal rights by creating important records of any injuries sustained in your motorcycle accident. Those records may be valuable evidence to support your claim for compensation.
Seriously, we cannot emphasize how important it is for accident victims to seek medical attention. The single most important thing you can do for yourself is to seek medical care after a motorcycle accident.
Step two, contact an experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as you can.
What can a motorcycle accident injury lawyer do for me?
Motorcycle accident lawyers regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to.
Every case is different, but, when appropriate, lawyers may serve their clients by:
- Investigating the facts and circumstances of a motorcycle accident. A thorough investigation may identify how it happened, how it impacted the victim, who has legal liability for causing it, and what financial resources are available to the liable parties. Experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle wreck lawyers know that the more thorough and detailed the investigation, the better the chances of identifying all responsible parties. When multiple parties are liable, there will be more financial resources for compensation.
- Negotiating with legally liable parties, usually through their attorneys or insurance representatives. Experienced attorneys aim to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement of the crash victim’s claims. Thorough preparation and investigation of a motorcycle accident often give the lawyer an advantage in negotiation discussions.
- Litigating the case in civil court to hold the legally liable parties accountable, if necessary. Attorneys frequently start litigating a case as a means of bringing a party to the negotiating table. Experienced lawyers know, however, that they must always prepare as if the case will proceed to trial before a judge and jury. Diligence and a willingness to stand up in court give the lawyer’s motorcycle accident victim client greater chances of recovering maximum compensation.
No two cases are exactly alike, and of course lawyers often fill many more roles than those listed above.
To learn how our experienced Corpus Christi motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help you, contact us today for a free case evaluation.