Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
With virtually no protection other than perhaps a helmet, boots, and protective outerwear, motorcycle riders are constantly at risk of serious injury on Texas roads because of negligent motorists and hazardous road conditions. Statistics seem to tell the story. And if you have unfortunately become a statistic, you need to know your legal options.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that there were 418 motorcyclist fatalities in 2018, including 201 people who wore motorcycle helmets, 205 victims who did not wear helmets, and 12 cases in which it was unknown if a helmet was worn.
Motorcyclists also suffered 1,927 suspected serious injuries (including 980 victims wearing helmets, 867 victims not wearing helmets, and 80 cases in which it was unknown if a helmet was worn) and 2,932 non-incapacitating injuries.
Helmets are regarded as one way that motorcyclists can help minimize the chances of head injuries in even minor collisions, but helmets are still only a limited form of protection. Most of a biker’s body is exposed to all kinds of harm when they are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Did you or a loved one suffer serious motorcycle accident injuries in the area? You could be legally entitled to financial compensation from those who are responsible for the harm.
Chandler McNulty LLP is dedicated to protecting the rights of injured motorcyclists. Our motorcycle accident injury lawyers are ready to provide a prompt case evaluation when you call (713) 997-8310 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
No two motorcycle accidents are seldom the same. Crashes have different causes, along with a multitude of other factors that contributed to these collisions.
The underlying cause often relates to negligence or recklessness by another driver. Some of the most common examples include:
- Failure to obey traffic signs or lights
- Improper or illegal turns
- Inclement weather
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Failure to maintain vehicle
- Defective highways
- Distracted driving
- Defective parts
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Construction zone violations
- Reckless driving
- Driver fatigue
- Medical emergency
- Other traffic violations
Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident enables them to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into what happened. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more evidence they will be able to preserve, including identifying the potential at-fault party or parties.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents rarely allow for people to walk away unharmed. Most operators and passengers sustain some kind of physical trauma. Anyone involved in a motorcycle accident should always make sure they get medical care immediately after the crash. Injuries can have delayed symptoms. Plus, it can be more difficult to recover compensation when a long delay exists between an accident and an evaluation from a healthcare provider.
First responders often transport motorcycle accident victims to the hospital immediately after a crash, and some remain there undergoing treatment for an extended period. Because of post-crash physical limitations, motorcycle accident victims may have difficulty earning a living.
Common kinds of injuries in motorcycle accident cases often include:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of limbs (amputation)
- Back injuries
- Internal organ damage
The worst possible outcome in a motorcycle accident is, of course, a victim tragically dying from their injuries. A fatal motorcycle crash can result in the deceased victim’s family members filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Why are Motorcycle Accident Claims Much More Complicated Than Regular Car Accidents?
The role of an insurance company is often a complicating factor. Insurers tend to accuse the motorcycle rider of having been at fault, even in cases where the negligence of another driver seems to be undisputed.
Insurers and juries sometimes will have an inherent bias against motorcyclists that often makes it challenging for claims to achieve a satisfactory resolution. The other complicating factor the severity of the injuries.
Insurance companies tend to downplay the damages motorcyclists have incurred or are expected to incur as they rehabilitate. An experienced and committed personal injury lawyer on your side can make a far more accurate assessment of your damages and make sure that you are appropriately compensated.
An aggressive motorcycle accident lawyer can take charge of all contacts and logistics with insurers and defense lawyers with that goal in mind while you concentrate on regaining your health.
What Type of Compensation Am I Owed?
Insurance companies settle most motorcycle accident cases out of court. It can take time to reach an agreement about compensation, however. When a settlement appears out of reach, filing a lawsuit is the next step. If the case does go to court, the victim could be awarded compensation including:
Economic damages for the tangible costs that can be calculated and proven, such as:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings if disabled
- Repairs to your motorcycle or complete replacement if it was totaled
- Replacement of damaged personal property
- Costs of ongoing medical care or treatment
- Travel costs for treatment
Noneconomic damages are for harm that is more emotional or psychological, such as:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain, suffering, and post-traumatic stress
- Scarring and disfigurement
Punitive damages are also possible in certain cases involving fraud, malice, or gross negligence. Punitive damages reflect a court’s desire to punish a defendant for misconduct on a societal basis. Motorcycle accident cases involve negligence seldom satisfy this requirement.
How Could a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
As previously mentioned, an attorney is equipped to conduct their own investigation that establishes a cause of the accident and to collect the evidence needed to prove another party was at fault. A lawyer can also help you with issues relating to treatment costs, possibly securing a medical lien to help you continue your care pending a settlement.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will also negotiate and, when necessary, litigate on your behalf to seek a full range of money damages on your behalf.
Chandler McNulty LLP has handled cases all over the United States and taken on some of the biggest companies in the country. Our firm has almost 40 years of combined legal experience.
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Troy Chandler was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters twelve times in the annual rating.
Devin McNulty was named one of the Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings in 2015 and one of the Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers in 2013. He was selected as a Super Lawyer for 2015-2019.
The National Trial Lawyers organization honored both Chandler McNulty LLP attorneys with a Top-100 trial lawyer designation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Motorcycle Accidents
Here are some frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents and how to proceed if you are involved in one. To discuss the specific details of your motorcycle accident claim, call us today at (713) 997-8310 or reach out to us online.
Will my failure to wear a helmet prevent me from recovering compensation?
Not necessarily. An insurance company will try to use this fact against you in an attempt to reduce your compensation. Many injuries adversely affect other parts of the body, however. In the end, any settlement that cannot be reached often ends with a court deciding how much the lack of a helmet should affect any award. Under Texas law, motorcyclists over the age of 21 can ride without a helmet if they complete special safety training or carry at least $10,000 in health insurance.
Will I be able to recover compensation if I was partially at fault for my motorcycle accident?
Texas accident victims can pursue personal injury damages under the modified comparative fault regime, i.e., when they are less than 51 percent at fault. In court, a victim’s award is reduced in proportion to their negligence. For example, if a court awards $100,000 to a motorcycle accident victim who is 35 percent responsible for what happened in the accident, the amount will be reduced by $35,000, resulting in a $65,000 recovery.
The insurance company has offered me a settlement that will keep me out of court. Should I accept it?
No matter how difficult it is to make ends meet after a motorcycle accident, whatever the insurance company is offering will seldom be enough to cover future bills, let alone current ones. Don’t let the insurance company pressure you into taking far less than what you need to pay your bills and move on from the crash. Instead, hire a motorcycle lawyer to represent you. An experienced attorney will be able to help you get the treatment you need and help you recover the full and fair amount you’re owed without having to compromise your health or your financial wellbeing.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Today
If a motorcycle accident has upended your life and that of your loved ones, you should be doing everything you can to protect your rights. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Chandler McNulty LLP stand ready to provide you with personal service, effective representation, and professional results. Call (713) 997-8310 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.