Waco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Table of Contents
- Causes of Waco Motorcycle Accidents
- Liability for Motorcycle Accidents
- Comparative Negligence in Texas
- Should You See a Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident?
- A Waco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Meet Case Deadlines
- Call an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer from The Patel Firm Today
Injured motorcyclists and their families deserve compensation for their losses. An experienced Waco motorcycle accident lawyer can help them seek such a recovery. Motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities inevitably happen each year in Waco and the entire state. With everyone under stay-at-home orders much of 2020, you would think that accidents and the injuries and fatalities they cause would have a significant decline.
However, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas motorcycle collisions declined by only two percent, and fatalities were up 19 percent from 2019. In an average year, about one person dies per day in a motorcycle crash on Texas roads. In 2020, that number rose to 482 among 7,481 motorcycle crashes that also seriously injured 1,856 motorcyclists.
Motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Most of them are preventable if it weren’t for the negligence of some parties. The most common causes of motorcycle accidents that our Waco motorcycle accident attorneys help with include:
Unsafe Lane Changes
Motorists who don’t use their signals and check their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes put motorcyclists at risk. Motorcyclists should do their best to be seen and avoid lane-splitting; however, drivers must do their part as well.
Some accidents are caused by vehicle drivers or passengers opening the door while parked. If they open the door in the path of an oncoming motorcycle, disaster could strike. Those exiting a vehicle in or near the street should be aware of their surroundings before opening the door.
Speeding is one of the most common causes of all types of motor vehicle collisions, including those involving motorcycles. Speeding decreases the chance that a driver will see and react to something in time to prevent a crash. To make matters worse, the higher the speed, the more significant the impact of the crash, and the more severe the consequences. Drivers also need to be aware that driving the speed limit is too fast in some weather or road conditions. In construction zones, areas of road damage, wind, rain, hail, or fog, drivers need to reduce their speeds accordingly.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even prescription drugs can face both civil and criminal liability for their actions. Since motorcyclists are already much more vulnerable than other vehicles on the road, an impaired driver could cause them devastating harm.
A rear-end crash can occur if another motorist comes to a quick stop in front of a motorcycle. While the driver in the back is at fault most of the time, this isn’t always the case.
Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make mistakes on the road the put motorcyclists at risk. Lack of driving experience, especially around motorcycles, could cost someone their life.
Thanks to cell phones and other devices, distracted driving is at an all-time high. Whether it’s a cell phone, a child in the back seat, the just-ordered coffee, or something else, it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to see standard-size vehicles when a driver is distracted. Distracted drivers can’t see motorcycles. When motorcycles can’t be seen, accidents happen, and lives are shattered.
Misjudgments or distance errors when making a left turn while yielding to an oncoming motorcyclist are a common cause of injuries and fatalities. Sometimes drivers fail to see motorcycles as they are hidden from view by larger vehicles in front of them.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Motorcycles are much more at risk when it comes to poor road conditions. They are generally closer to the ground with a lot less protection than those in passenger vehicles. Potholes, crumbling pavement, debris, and a lack of signs or signals can increase a motorcyclist’s chances of losing control of their bike.
Manufacturers of motorcycles and their parts can be liable for an accident if it can be linked to a poor design, a manufacturing defect, or a failure to warn about something. Since this type of personal injury case can involve multiple at-fault parties and even large companies, it’s crucial to have a well-versed Waco motorcycle accident lawyer on your side.
Determining how your motorcycle accident occurred is a critical part of your case. You need to know what happened to cause your accident so that you know who should be held liable for your damages. However, when you hire a knowledgeable Waco motorcycle accident attorney from our firm, you don’t need to worry about investigating your accident. It’s your attorney’s job to get to the bottom of what caused your accident and who is at fault.
Negligence or even intentional actions can make one party liable for a motorcycle accident. Negligence typically refers to not acting reasonably or in a way that a prudent person would act in the same or similar situation. It is the basis of most injury claims.
To prove negligence and liability, you or your Waco motorcycle accident lawyer will need to have evidence to support the following:
- The other party owed you a specific duty of care—for instance, a motorist should yield to oncoming traffic when turning left.
- The other party violated their duty of care
- As a result of their violation, they caused an injury accident
- Your damages are the direct result of their actions
While this might sound complicated, Waco motorcycle accident attorneys from the The Patel Firm are experienced and resourceful legal counselors. They have the resources, knowledge, and dedication required to establish each of these points in your case.
In some motorcycle accidents, the biker carries some liability for their own actions—for example, if they weren’t wearing a helmet, were following too close, or lane splitting. They should still reach out to a qualified Waco motorcycle accident attorney for legal advice.
Unless they were more than 50 percent to blame for the accident, they are still entitled to compensation for their damages. Bikers who are more than 50 percent at fault won’t be able to recover any money.
However, for those less than 50 percent, their settlement or court award is generally reduced proportionately to their degree of fault. Suppose an injured motorcyclist has a claim worth $50,000, but they are found to be ten percent at fault. In that case, they would receive $45,000 ($50,000 minus ten percent) for their injuries.
Likewise, in cases where the injured party isn’t at fault, but multiple other parties are, the compensation they owe the injured biker will be divided proportionately to their degree of fault.
Motorcycle accidents can cause minor to fatal injuries or anywhere in between. The type and severity of injuries can depend on many factors, such as if the rider was wearing a helmet or other types of protection, the types of vehicles involved, the speed at which the rider and other vehicles were traveling, and the kind of accident. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
After any accident with the potential for injuries, it’s essential to have a medical examination. The point at which you should receive medical care will depend on your injuries. Many motorcycle accident victims will need to be transported to the emergency room via ambulance immediately after paramedics are on the scene. The paramedics will direct others to go to the ER to be checked out. If neither one of these scenarios applies to you, it’s still in your best interest to see a doctor as soon as possible. There are two primary reasons for this:
You could have injuries that haven’t shown symptoms yet—some could be serious, like internal bleeding or organ damage. It’s best for your own health and well-being to have an exam. It’s common for injured individuals not to feel pain immediately after the accident due to the adrenaline rush their bodies produce. Not experiencing pain isn’t necessarily an indicator that you don’t have injuries.
You should have your injuries documented, no matter how minor they seem. Some injuries may not have symptoms for days or weeks to come. Suppose you don’t see a doctor and two weeks later develop back pain. In that case, the at-fault party’s attorney will likely suggest that you were injured in some other way after the accident occurred. In this situation, it would be more challenging for your Waco motorcycle accident lawyer to prove that your injuries were the direct result of the at-fault party’s negligent actions.
Seeking medical care from a licensed physician and contacting a Waco motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident can assist in a successful outcome for your claim.
Legal matters usually come with crucial deadlines. A statute of limitations is a law restricting the time allowed to file a personal injury claim. These laws are different from one state to the next. They can also vary depending upon the type of accident or injury. In Texas, the statute of limitations for motorcycle injury claims is two years from when you knew or reasonably should have known that you had a cause of action. In other words, two years from the date you were injured or the date you learned of your injuries.
Keep in mind that if your case involves minor children, the at-fault party has moved out of state, or is against a government agency or municipality, different statutes of limitation can apply. The statute of limitations is strict, and no extensions are allowed. Contacting a well-versed Waco motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident will help ensure that your case is filed within the statute of limitations.
Motorcycle accidents can result in severe consequences, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and more. Many of these injuries can be life-altering and may necessitate a lifetime of medical treatment that can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Suppose you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident. In that case, we encourage you to contact The Patel Firm to discuss your potential injury claim with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. You can reach us today by calling (254) 321-3030 or contacting us online.
The Patel Firm Injury Accident Lawyers
6801 Sanger Suite 140
Waco, TX 76701
“This is my first time ever using a lawyer to help me process an accident claim. Joanne walked me through every step of the way. No matter when I reached out to ask my lawyer a question I got a very quick response. This was done during the COVID-19 shut down which made it extra difficult but the lawyerAnd his staff kept me informed. I am grateful that he kept his word in every way to me. I would recommend them highly to anyone I know.”
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