Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Table of Contents
- What are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Houston?
- What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
- The Houston and Texas governments
- How much is my motorcycle accident injury claim worth?
- Contact a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Motorcycle accidents are often particularly devastating because the rider is exposed and left more vulnerable to cars. Even when motorcycle riders practice safe riding habits, one wrong maneuver can change their life forever. After a motorcycle accident, you may be coping with severe injuries and are unsure if you can even afford your medical bills, let alone hire an expensive attorney. At The Patel Firm, we don’t get paid until you do. We never charge our clients any upfront fees until we’ve won your case. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, look no further. Our exceptional team of Houston motorcycle accident attorneys has the right resources and knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf. Let us help you get the medical treatment you need sooner; we’ll take on complex insurance companies so you can focus on getting back to your life.
Motorcycle accidents happen seemingly out of nowhere, often resulting in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Unlike other vehicles, motorcycles lack a surrounding, protective structure, which is why they are prone to experiencing more severe injuries when involved in accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in crashes than occupants of passenger cars. Additionally, they are five times as likely to suffer from severe and debilitating injuries. Understanding what the common causes of motorcycle accidents are is a great way to prepare yourself against them.
Head-on collisions happen when a car strikes a motorcyclist from the front. These accidents often occur at high speeds, which means that the motorcyclist’s chances of walking away uninjured or even alive decrease tremendously. The motorcycle driver is often thrown through the air or crushed; both situations prove fatal. Head-on crashes are the most deadly and typically result in the highest amount of damages.
Motorcycle lane splitting
When a motorcycle drives between two lanes of cars, this is known as lane splitting. This maneuver can be especially dangerous during a traffic jam because the motorcyclists have less space to maneuver their bikes around the cars. If a car does not expect that a motorcycle will pass them, they might try and switch lanes, running down the motorcyclist in the process. Whether the motorcyclist was at fault for a lane-splitting accident will depend on the particular laws for each state. Because there is now law-making lane splitting legal in Texas, this maneuver would be considered illegal in Houston.
Cars making left-hand turns
Cars making left-hand turns without adequately scanning the road first are some of the most dangerous accidents in which motorcycle drivers can be involved. In these accidents, a turning car hits the motorcycle as it goes straight through the intersection or attempts to pass or overtake another vehicle. Due to their smaller size, passenger vehicles have less visibility regarding motorcycles, making these accidents incredibly common. The vehicle’s driver making the left-hand turn is often found responsible for the accident; however, there are situations where motorcyclists can be partially at fault. For instance, if a motorcyclist was speeding or in the wrong lane, they could be held partially liable for the accident.
Speeding or reckless driving
Driver’s speeding or driving recklessly, especially under the influence of drugs and alcohol, are more likely to become involved in a collision with another motorist. Owners of high-end super-sport bikes may be tempted to reach dangerously high speeds, but this is never safe, and they should refrain from going over the posted speed limit.
While several facts often contribute to motorcycle accidents, some form of negligence is almost always involved. With that being said, even the most skilled motorist can be involved in an accident at some point. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions you may have about your motorcycle accident claim. If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation.
Immediately after an accident, analyze your surroundings. If you’re in harm’s way, move away from the road and out of traffic. If anyone else was involved in the accident and injured, help them get to safety if you can. Even though you may be tempted to remove your helmet, you should wait for paramedics to arrive before taking off any protective gear. The adrenaline from the accident could be preventing you from feeling any pain, and removing your gear improperly could exacerbate your injuries. Getting the medical attention you need is the first step you should take after an accident. Even if you don’t think you’ve sustained any injuries, symptoms of serious injuries may not always be obvious right away. Sometimes these symptoms can take days or even months to begin developing.
As a motorcyclist, you’re more susceptible to broken bones, internal bleeding, and damage. Not to mention, delaying treatment will not only hurt your body, but it can also affect the amount of your settlement award. If your doctor puts you on a treatment regime, it is essential to stick to it and do everything they recommend. Failure to show up to a doctor’s appointment or physical therapy could signal to insurance companies that your injuries are not as severe as you’re claiming, ultimately affecting your settlement award. If you’re injured, it could be difficult to obtain and record pertinent information at the scene that can help your case. For this reason, it is essential to call 911 and have a police officer investigate the crash scene.
Some essential details that an offer will obtain at the scene include:
- Insurance coverage information from the at-fault driver
- Photos of the crash and any injuries
- Contact information from witnesses
- A video of the other driver if they chose to admit fault
Accidents seem to happen when we least expect them. Whether you’ve sustained minor or life-changing injuries, you should follow these steps after a motorcycle accident to give yourself and your case the best chance for success. Working with one of our qualified Dallas motorcycle accident attorneys will make all the difference in your claim. We’ll negotiate on your behalf and help you recover the maximum amount of damages in your case.
Who is liable for my motorcycle accident?
In most motorcycle accidents, liability is determined based on the law of “negligence.” When a driver behaves carelessly, endangering another person, they will be liable for the accident victim’s damages. To recover your damages, you will need to prove that another party was responsible for causing the accident. A skilled auto accident attorney can do this by demonstrating that the person breached their duty of care to you, causing the crash.
When drivers are distracted, negligent, or behaving recklessly, they risk endangering other motorists. Driver’s that fail to exercise care on the road and cause an accident in the process will be held liable for the victim’s damages and injuries. Our lawyers will investigate your case by gathering evidence, expert testimony, and eyewitness interviews.
Road defects such as potholes or debris in the road make motorcyclists more vulnerable to accidents. If a roadway is under the jurisdiction of a government body and isn’t maintained properly, an injured motorcyclist can name a government entity as a defendant. Claims made against government organizations have stricter deadlines, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to a Dallas car accident lawyer who can help you through the process.
A product manufacturer
If you were injured because a part on your motorcycle failed, causing you to crash, you might want to consider suing the product manufacturer or distributor for damages. Thousands of accidents happen every year in Houston because of a defective vehicle part.
Because lawsuits can take weeks or even months to resolve, your own medical coverage can pay for any treatments or medical care you may require immediately. However, the defendant will still be responsible for reimbursing the plaintiff. Once the plaintiff wins their care, the liable driver’s insurance company will reimburse the victim for their medical expenses, up to the limits of their policy coverage. If the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage to reimburse the entire claim, the plaintiff can pursue a personal injury claim against the defendant. Motorcyclists injured in an accident should keep careful records of all financial documents related to their case.
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, you’re probably wondering what the dollar value of your claim might be. Several factors can affect the value of your claim, with the two most important being liability and damages. Figuring out who was at fault in an accident is the first step in determining how much your case will be worth. Damages refer to injuries or losses suffered due to the accident. In a motorcycle accident lawsuit, medical bills can be claimed as damages in a lawsuit. More significant injuries and losses will require higher settlement amounts. Economic damages like medical bills and lost wages are simpler to calculate than non-economic damages like emotional trauma. A lawyer can help determine the value of intangible losses like the pain or suffering you’ve endured. A skilled auto accident lawyer will give you a better estimate of what you’re entitled to by reviewing the settlement amounts of similar motorcycle accident cases in the area.
Like other personal injury cases, there is no set amount for compensation in motorcycle accident cases. Texas is a comparative negligence state which means the amount of compensation you receive will depend on your degree of fault in the accident. If a distracted motorcyclist swerves in front of a car, causing it to crash, they will be held partially liable for the accident. Partial liability in personal injury cases can affect the amount of your final settlement award. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault for the crash, your settlement award will be 20% less than it would have been if your behavior did not contribute to the accident. In these cases, the driver could point to the biker’s behavior as a defense to a negligence claim.
In some cases, victims of motorcycle accidents are entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion when a defendant’s behavior is especially dangerous. These types of damages are in place to deter other motorists from similar behavior. You may be entitled to punitive damages if you can prove that the defendant acted in an exceptionally reckless manner. Failing to prove that another party was liable for your accident could result in you being unable to receive a settlement at all. The best way to avoid this is to put your trust in one of our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys. If you’ve suffered a catastrophic injury or are dealing with a wrongful death claim, an attorney’s advice is priceless and could end up saving you thousands of dollars. More severe damages often beget higher settlement amounts. With that being said, in cases where your claim would be worth more, there is also a greater probability of you being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters. An experienced attorney can fight on your behalf, ensuring that you recover your case’s full potential worth.
At the Patel Firm, we’re confident in our ability as a team to provide our clients with optimal and satisfactory results. Our lawyers work hard to counteract low-ball settlements from insurance companies that are only looking to make a profit. Let us help you build a strong case so you can recover compensation for your injuries and all the damages you’ve sustained. We offer free, no-hassle consultations, and our staff is available 24/7 online to answer any of your questions. Call us at (361)200-2036 or fill out our convenient online form to get the assistance and advice you need sooner.