How A Plano Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
Demonstrating unparalleled expertise, the Plano motorcycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm have extended help to many individuals who endured injuries in motorcycle accidents due to others’ disregard. These persistent lawyers undertake their work with the utmost diligence to ensure victims receive the rightful compensation they merit for their injuries.
Keeping in mind that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that motorcycles account for only 2 percent of registered vehicles in the United States, motorcyclist fatalities actually make up 5 percent of all traffic fatalities every year with over 2,100 fatalities and 56,000 injuries. It is also important to remember that the fatality rate per mile traveled for motorcyclists is 16 times the rate of car occupants, and the injury rate is almost four times the rate of car occupants.
While many people who ride motorcycles understand the risks to riding, motorcyclists are still entitled to certain rights. In many cases, insurance companies have a tendency to try and blame motorcyclists for causing their accidents, even when the evidence seems to clearly indicate another party was at fault.
You do not have to put up with an insurance company trying to reduce your possible payment because The Patel Firm will be able to step in and immediately conduct an independent investigation into your crash. We will work with experts to determine the actual cause of your accident and then pursue recovery from all liable parties.
Our firm will be able to deal with an insurer on your behalf and negotiate the most favorable possible settlement to your case. If an insurance company proves unwilling to compensate you appropriately, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial.
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Plano?
Contact our Plano motorcycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm today at 361-287-7242. We are here to hear your story. We don’t charge any money upfront, and our initial consultation is always free. If we are confident we can help you and decide to handle your case, we’ll begin working immediately to secure the compensation you deserve.Need Help? Let’s Chat.
Table of Contents
- Why You’re More Vulnerable on Your Bike
- The Duty of Care that Is Owed You
- How Driver Negligence Affects Motorcyclists
- Filing Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
- Turn to an Experienced Plano Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for the Legal Guidance You Need
When you’re tooling around on your bike, there are any number of reasons why you’re more vulnerable to the dangers of the road, including:
- When you head out on your bike – it’s just you and your bike. You don’t have the heavy-duty shell that other drivers do to protect you from the physical impact of an accident.
- When you are on your bike, you take up a lot less space on the road, which makes it more difficult for other drivers – who are not on the lookout for motorcyclists in their midst – to see you.
- Because of your size when you’re on your bike, it’s far easier for you to get completely lost in the blind spots of other drivers.
- Your size also makes it more difficult for other drivers to gauge your distance from them and your speed, which leaves you more vulnerable to accidents and makes intersections that much more dangerous for you.
- Because you travel on only two wheels, dangerous road conditions, such as the deleterious effects of bad weather, debris on the road, poorly maintained roads, and other impediments to safe travel, put you in even more danger.
- Your lighter weight means that you require less distance on the road to come to a safe stop, which leaves you more vulnerable to rear-end accidents when other drivers fail to leave enough space between you.
Every driver on our roads owes everyone else on it a serious duty of care, and this duty of care extends to pedestrians, bicyclists, and people on motorcycles (like you). In other words, motorists are not just responsible for driving safely in relation to other cars and large vehicles – they are specifically tasked with safely accommodating motorcyclists, which includes looking out for them. This is a precaution that far too few motorists take seriously enough or actively engage in, which leaves motorcyclists at increased risk.
There are all kinds of driver negligence on our roads, and they leave motorcyclists in even greater danger.
Distracted drivers are dangerous enough, but when they share the road with motorcyclists, the dangers increase precipitously. A driver who has fallen into his or her phone isn’t paying enough attention to the road in the first place, but motorcyclists who share the road with the driver should assume that he or she is completely blind to them. In fact, this is a good overall strategy for you when you’re on your bike – simply assume that other motorists don’t see you and let that be your guide. A note about distraction – texting is the king of all distractions, as it single handedly interweaves all three categories of distraction into one distraction superhero. These categories of distraction include the driver’s hands, sight, and thoughts, and with this, the driver is basically checked out from the road ahead. Consider the following common example to better understand the danger drivers who text behind the wheel pose for motorcyclists (and everyone else) who shares the road with these negligent drivers:
- When traveling at highway speeds, a motorist covers about the length of a football field in five seconds.
- Because it takes an average of five seconds to either read or type a text, this unique brand of distraction can lead to a session of driving blind and tuned out (with less control of the vehicle in terms of keeping both hands on the wheel) for a very considerable distance.
When you’re on your bike, this should give you pause.
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol suffer physical, cognitive, and even sensory (visual) effects that leave them unfit to drive and that leave motorcyclists especially vulnerable to their dangerous driving. Drunk drivers play far too prominent a role in fatal motorcycle statistics.
Too little sleep leaves us less capable of accomplishing the things that we set our sights on accomplishing, and this is just as true of driving safely as it is of anything else. When you factor in that too little sleep can mimic the impairment caused by alcohol, it puts a fine point on the dangers associated with drowsy driving. Certain health conditions like sleep apnea and certain medications can exacerbate the dangers associated with exhaustion behind the wheel.
Excess speed has the singular distinction of making dangerous accidents more likely and of helping to ensure that those accidents will be deadly. The immense role that excess speed plays in statistics related to fatal motorcycle accidents is alarming. When motorists speed, they allow themselves less time to safely react to whatever is happening on the road and they increase the danger that ensues, which makes excess speed very dangerous indeed.
Aggressive drivers are not in the business of taking the safety of other motorists in their midst into consideration, which endangers everyone on the road and which leaves motorcyclists extremely vulnerable. Aggressive drivers tend to combine dangerous driving practices into one big life-threatening display that can include any combo of the following:
- Speeding dangerously
- Tailgating (a hallmark of aggressive driving)
- Zipping in and out of traffic and darting across lanes (without concern for what is coming one’s way)
- Ignoring traffic signs, lights, and signals
- Generally ignoring the rules of the road altogether
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Passing on the right or even on the shoulder
- Going to great lengths in attempts to engage other drivers in their dangerous games, including honking incessantly, headlight flashing, taunting with foul language and/or obscene gestures, or even physically tapping other vehicles
After being injured by another driver’s negligence, you will file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and while the idea is that that should take care of that, this is rarely how it works. The insurance company involved in your claim is a for-profit endeavor, which means that it is going to focus its efforts on settling your claim for as little as it can get away with. Beware of common practices that are designed to break your spirit and motivate you to settle for less.
Denying Your Claim from the Get-Go
If the insurance company denies your claim as a matter of course, it’s difficult not to feel utterly dejected, and that is the chilling effect that the insurance company is going for. It’s hoping to keep you one down and in deference to its greater wisdom, but there is no reason for you to buy in. If your knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer believes you have a viable claim, there is a reason for that, and you should not be swayed by the insurance company’s posturing. Ultimately, it is the court that will make the final decisions in the matter if the insurance company refuses to negotiate with you fairly.
Offering You an Early Settlement
You are facing challenging obstacles ahead, and if the insurance company gets back to you with an early settlement offer, it can feel like a real gift – and you can rest assured that this is what the insurance company is going for. An early settlement offer is likely an attempt to play on your desperation and to get things wrapped up before you are fully aware of exactly how extensive your damages are. Serious injuries often require more extensive medical care that can be ongoing and may need to address secondary health concerns and lost earning potential into your future. Once you accept a settlement offer, you effectively end your opportunity to obtain the additional compensation to which you are entitled and that you need. Signing off on a settlement offer before discussing the matter with a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer who understands the unique ins and outs of your claim is ill advised.
Artificially Making the Claims Process that Much More Difficult
The insurance claims process for motorcycle accidents is plenty complicated enough without the insurance company making it more so – for the sole purpose of discouraging you. There are important laws in place that attempt to keep this kind of behavior in check, but when you’re smack in the middle of it, this doesn’t do you much good. In the end, you’re better off leaving the insurance company to your savvy motorcycle accident lawyer
Shifting Blame Toward You
The insurance company may attempt to distance its policyholder from fault in the motorcycle accident that leaves you injured – in an attempt to shift the blame toward you. An important point to remember is that, just because the insurance company says that you are at fault, does not make it so. Additionally, in the State of Texas, sharing fault for the motorcycle accident that leaves you injured does not end your right to seek damages for the percentage of fault that the other driver is responsible for (as long as you are not found to be more than 50 percent at fault).
Questioning the Seriousness of Your Damages
The insurance company may also cast doubt on how accurate your estimation of the damages you’ve sustained is. While the relevant evidence will bolster your claim, you can also help yourself and your claim out by carefully following your doctor’s instructions and advice (sending a powerful message to the insurance company in the process).
If another driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a motorcycle accident, the physical, financial, and emotional damages you face can be overwhelming. This is why the accomplished Plano motorcycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm dedicate their practice to helping clients like you obtain just compensation that allows them to achieve their fullest recoveries. For more information about how we can also help you, please don’t wait to reach out and contact us online or call us at (361) 400-2036 today.