The sense of freedom and thrill that comes with riding a motorcycle along scenic routes is unparalleled. Yet, facing injuries from a motorcycle accident can be among the most distressing and painful experiences for you and your family. In these challenging times, Daly & Black, P.C. offers a helping hand. Our team of skilled Houston motorcycle accident lawyers is equipped to provide the support and expertise needed to guide you through the aftermath of an accident. Let us help you navigate this difficult journey with the care and dedication you deserve.
How are Motorcycle Accidents Different from Car Accidents?
Motorcyclists often endure injuries that are far more severe than those suffered in car accidents. Adding to the complexity, there exists a cultural bias against motorcyclists, which can unjustly influence jury opinions – a challenge that becomes particularly pronounced in juries without motorcycle riders. This bias can pose additional hurdles for your Houston motorcycle accident lawyers.
The intricate nature of motorcycle accidents, coupled with these potential biases, underscores the importance of selecting the right law firm. A firm experienced in handling the unique aspects of motorcycle accident cases is essential to navigate these complexities and achieve a successful outcome.
Our experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyers are passionate about helping injury victims recover the full compensation they are entitled to.
- Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Motorcycle Accident Statute of Limitations
- Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
- Motorcycle Safety Tips
- Helmet Laws
- Motorcycle Accident Damages
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
The heightened risk motorcyclists face on the road is a well-known fact. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals a stark reality: 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death to the rider and/or their passengers. This statistic highlights the inherent dangers motorcyclists encounter every time they take to the streets.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and Brain injury
- Wrongful death
The severe nature of these traumatic injuries often necessitates extensive medical treatment, a prolonged period of rehabilitative therapy, and significant time off work. For most families, managing the financial implications of such circumstances is daunting, and the resulting impact can be profoundly distressing. The burden of these unexpected expenses, coupled with the loss of income, can place a tremendous strain on any household.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Mastering the art of motorcycle riding demands a blend of skillful control and sound judgment. To enhance your safety on the road, it’s essential to be well-prepared and to consciously minimize risks. Being adequately prepared involves gearing up appropriately – wearing a helmet, protective clothing, and eye gear is non-negotiable. Minimizing risks translates to adopting defensive driving techniques, steering clear of adverse weather conditions, and choosing a motorcycle that matches your handling capabilities. Staying vigilant and prudent in these ways can significantly bolster your safety as a motorcyclist.
Even when riding safely and obeying the rules of the road, however, motorcycle accidents can happen. Some of the most common causes are:
- Collisions with cars: Many times, car and truck drivers simply don’t – or can’t – see motorcyclists, either because of blind spots, dark conditions or poor weather.
- Sudden stops: Any rear-end collision can be dangerous, but for a motorcycle, it can be devastating. Sudden stops can easily eject a motorcyclist from a bike, head over heels into traffic.
- Open-door accidents: These particular kinds of accidents are common in densely urban areas. Even when car occupants check their mirrors before opening a door, they may not see an oncoming motorcycle, and put the rider’s life in jeopardy.
While there tends to be biased against motorcyclists, studies have found that a majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the actions of other drivers. The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is being run off the road or struck by the drivers of larger vehicles – most often when those drivers are making a turn.
Protecting Yourself from Injury
The most effective measure for safeguarding yourself against injuries while motorcycling is the consistent use of protective gear. Although helmet laws vary, with some states not mandating their use for riders over 18, wearing a helmet is always a prudent decision. Brain injuries, alarmingly common in motorcycle accidents, are among the most lethal. In fact, head injuries are responsible for 34 percent of all traumatic deaths in the United States. Therefore, irrespective of legal requirements, donning a helmet is a critical step towards ensuring your safety on the road.
Proper gear includes:
- A DOT-approved helmet
- Leather jacket, gloves, and chaps
- Leather boots
- Googles or glasses (even if you have a windscreen)
When you are in a motorcycle accident, the only thing between you and the asphalt is the clothing you are wearing. If that’s shorts, flip-flops, and no shirt, it’s highly likely your injuries will be severe or fatal, even when traveling at low speeds.
The NHTSA recommends that, before you hit the road, you make sure your motorcycle is in proper working order. To do this, make sure to:
- Check tire pressure and tread depth
- Make sure hand and foot brakes are working
- Check headlights, brake lights, and signals
- Ensure all fluid levels are full and that there are no leaks
Once on the road, be sure to:
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Avoid all types of distraction
- Maintain a safe riding distance
- Obey the rules of the road
Motorcyclists have to drive defensively. Larger vehicles – even passenger cars – often fail to see motorcycles, which can result in serious or fatal injury. This places a heavy responsibility on motorcyclists to pay absolute attention to the road. Ride smart. Ride safe. Stay alive, and if you get into trouble, call our Houston motorcycle accident Lawyers at Daly & Black, P.C.
How Long do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
In many states across the U.S., you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. There is some wiggle room in certain cases, but by and large, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident lawsuits is two years.
What if I was Partially at Fault for My Motorcycle Accident?
In some cases, you may be able to recover damages even if you played a role in your accident. The amount you are entitled to will be impacted by the portion of blame you share for the accident.rnrnWithout an investigation into your motorcycle accident, it may be impossible to know all causes. Things like defective or dangerous roadways, equipment failure, and, of course, the actions of all involved motorists will need to be evaluated to establish liability.rnrnDo not admit fault for an accident. Wait until your attorney can finish his or her investigation.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Motorcycle Accident if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
You can file a claim against a negligent driver if you are injured while riding your motorcycle – even if you were not wearing a helmet. But know that decision may result in a significant reduction in the amount of compensation you are awarded.rnrnIn some U.S. states, you do not have to wear a helmet to ride a motorcycle if you are over 18. If you sustain a brain injury while not wearing a helmet, however, it may be difficult to sway jury sympathy to your cause.rnrnBear in mind, our actions typically play a role in our outcomes. Choosing to ride dangerously makes a very specific statement and one that may prove detrimental to seeking compensation after an injury.
What Kinds of Damages can I Seek with a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation for damages related to an accident. This includes current expenses along with projected future expenses and losses. The best way to find out what your claim is worth is through a one-on-one consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.rnrnDamages that may be sought in a motorcycle accident claim include:rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eCurrent and future medical expensesu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eRehabilitation and therapy costsu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWages lost during recoveryu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eProjected wages lost due to new physical limitationsu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eHome modifications and adaptive technologies made necessary by the injuryu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eEmotional duress and traumau003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003ePhysical pain and sufferingu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ernInsurance companies do not provide compensation for all of these things. Insurance companies use a formula to determine what your suffering is worth. Only with the help of a personal injury lawyer can you seek damages that exceed the paltry offerings of insurance companies and work towards the settlement or verdict you will need to live the best life possible following a catastrophic injury.
How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Claim Take?
The motorcycle accident claims process follows a fairly standard path. Though there may be some fluctuation, in most cases:rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eYou hire a lawyeru003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eYour lawyer investigates the accidentu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eYour lawyer files a claimu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eThe discovery process begins, allowing both sides to gather evidence and build their caseu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eBoth sides meet for mediation to attempt settlement negotiationsu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ernWhen mediation fails, the claim will go to trial where a jury will determine the outcome. Very few motorcycle accident cases end up going to trial. Almost all are resolved before or during mediation.rnrnMany motorcycle accident claims are resolved in a matter of months. Cases that go to trial may take two or more years to settle. The path you can expect for your case to take will be discussed by your attorney.