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Hey there, fellow Texans and riders! If you're here reading this, it's probably not because you're enjoying the wide Texas roads or the sweet sound of your motorcycle's engine. Perhaps you've been involved in an accident or know someone who has. I'm here to shed light on why, in a state as grand as Texas, having a specialized attorney in your corner is just as crucial as having that helmet on your head.
According to TxDOT, the Austin area is one of the worst in Texas for fatal motorcycle crashes. For example, in 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas, and more than 1,800 were seriously injured. Austin accounted for 710 motorcycle crashes, with 40 deaths and 169 seriously injured bikers.
What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can happen in a snap. One minute you're cruising; the next, you're on the ground. So, what causes these unfortunate events?
The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is an automobile or truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist, especially at an intersection when the motor vehicle is making a left turn in the face of an oncoming motorcycle.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. Over 5,000 people are killed each year in motorcycle accidents, and over 100,000 motorcyclists and their passengers are injured.
Most motorcycle crashes are the result of automobile drivers failing to notice the motorcyclist—for example, when turning or changing lanes.
It’s not necessarily because the driver forgot to look. Sometimes, people fail to notice things even when they’re in plain sight, simply because they don’t expect to see them in the first place. This is known as inattentional or perceptual blindness, and it’s a frequent contributing factor in auto accidents involving motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
The vast majority of motorcycle riders are responsible drivers. They understand how vulnerable they are, and the risks that they’re taking. They ride defensively. Yet because they have an unfair reputation for being thrill-seekers, they might not get the benefit of the doubt from an insurance company or jury.
Who is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
Victims of motorcycle crashes can suffer injuries to every part of their bodies. The recovery from injuries like broken bones, nerve damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries and more can be a life-long journey. A qualified personal injury attorney from The Traub Law Office can help you get the treatment you need. Our firm has the resources and experience to get you the recovery you deserve. The most common reasons bike crash injuries occur include:
- Driver Error: The most common motorcycle crash occurs when a car turns in front of a bike, hits the motorcyclist while changing lanes, or runs into the biker at a stop light. Common reasons for the driver not seeing the motorcyclist are: inattention, distractions, blind spots and the driver is looking for cars rather than motorcycles. Motorcycles can easily fit into blind spots, and drivers looking for cars aren’t psychologically programmed to see motorcycles.
- Faulty Equipment: Accidents can happen even when no driver is at fault. Vehicle defects that slip past the manufacturer can cause an accident, or faulty safety equipment may fail to protect travelers the way it should. When products fail and cause harm that should have been avoided, a skilled lawyer may find it necessary to pursue a product liability case.
- Dangerous Conditions. Motorcycle technology has developed over the years to improve rider safety. Many bikes now come equipped with anti-lock braking systems and traction control. However, these developments still may not eliminate all dangers. Poorly maintained roads, liquids that are leaked or spilled on surfaces, or improperly engineered streets and highways can lead to accidents and injuries.
Our Austin motorcycle accident lawyers have successfully represented thousands of motorcycle victims. Consultations are free and available 24/7.
How Long do I have to Contact an Injury Attorney After a Wreck?
Generally speaking, in Texas, you have two years to contact a lawyer after the incident. Contact an Austin personal injury lawyer as soon as you recognize you’re injured.
What Compensation Can I Get if I'm Hurt in Motorcycle Crash?
In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, the attorneys in our office may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
This list may not be exhaustive of all the compensation that the defendants owe you. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are extremely skilled in getting the recovery you deserve. In addition, our attorneys can identify other expenses defendants should fully compensate you for. If we can’t get the settlement you deserve through negotiations, we will take your case to court.
How Much Money Will I Get For My Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Motor vehicle accident verdicts and settlements can vary depending on various factors. Your state, the jurisdiction where the accident occurred and the facts of the case can influence award amounts. Generally speaking, hospital bills, car repair bills and quotes from mechanics influence what an insurance company is willing to pay.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for a Lost Loved One in a Motorcycle Crash?
Yes. If a person is killed due to a negligent or wrongful act on a Texas roadway, immediate family members of the deceased are eligible to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
Now that we've talked causes, what should you do if you're in an accident? The adrenaline's pumping, and panic sets in, but remember:
- Check for Injuries: First things first, are you okay? Are others involved okay?
- Move to a Safe Area: If you're in the middle of the road and can move, get to safety.
- Call 911: Even if you feel fine, call the professionals. You might have injuries that aren’t immediately obvious.
- Gather Information: Get names, numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
- Document the Scene: Snap pictures of your bike, the vehicle involved, road conditions, and your injuries.
- Never Admit Fault: Even if you think it might've been your bad, never admit it at the scene.
- Seek Medical Attention: Seek medical attention as soon as possible (even if your symptoms appear minor).
- Call an attorney
What are the most common motorcycle accident injuries?
Let's get straight – riding a motorcycle comes with risks. In the unfortunate event of an accident, injuries can range from minor to severe. Because you are completely exposed on a motorcycle, you can suffer severe injuries to any part of your body in an accident; however, 30% of all motorcycle injuries are to the legs and feet. 22% of injuries are to the head and neck. Below are some types of injuries that riders often experience as a result of a motorcycle crash:
- Road Rash: It sounds like a cool band name, but it's not fun. It's what happens when you slide on the pavement, and it's as painful as it sounds.
- Bone Fractures: Especially common are breaks in the legs, but arms, wrists, and shoulders are also vulnerable.
- Head & Neck Injuries: This is the scary stuff. Even with a helmet, traumatic brain injuries can occur. Always, always wear a helmet!
- Spinal Cord Injuries: This can change your life in seconds, leading to paralysis.
- Muscle Damage: Often overlooked but can be long-term.
- Chronic Pain
- Nerve Damage
- Lacerations, scarring, and disfigurement
- Internal Organ Damage
Have a friend or family member observe and document your behavior in the days and weeks following the crash. Traumatic brain injuries are extremely common after motorcycle accidents. Worse, they often go undiagnosed even if you sought emergency care. (ER staff simply are not trained to evaluate TBIs, as they are generally concerned with more urgent or life-threatening issues.) If you show signs such as severe headaches, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and sounds, mood swings, memory or concentration problems, disorientation, sleep disturbances, etc., it may be sign of a brain injury.
Do I need a Texas motorcycle accident attorney?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Definitely, yes. Here's why:
Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means if you're found even slightly at fault, your compensation can be reduced. A specialized attorney can ensure you get a fair shake.
Insurance companies? They're not your buddies. They have their interests in mind, and it's usually about saving money. An experienced attorney makes sure you get what you deserve.
For bikers, hiring an attorney can help restore their quality of life. Often, to maximize their profits, insurance companies want to minimize compensation and the amount they pay you. What may seem like a fair offer is often significantly less than the sum needed to cover long-term medical costs, lost wages, delayed injuries, or unaccounted damages.
What should I look for in a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer?
Not all lawyers are created equal. Here's what you should be on the lookout for:
- Experience: You want someone who's been around the block and knows motorcycle accidents inside out.
- Reputation: Check reviews, ask around, and get referrals. You want someone respected in the community.
- Local Knowledge: Texas laws can be unique. A local attorney will know the ins and outs.
- No Upfront Fees: Many reputable lawyers will operate on a “no-win, no-fee” basis.
- Open Communication: You want an attorney who'll be there for you, answer your calls, and keep you updated.
When should I contact an attorney?
Immediately after getting your medical situation sorted. The sooner, the better. Evidence is fresh, and so are witnesses' memories. Plus, there are deadlines for filing claims, and you don’t want to miss those.
How can the Traub Law Office help me with my motorcycle accident case?
Our lawyers perform a six-point assessment of your case to determine whether hiring an attorney makes sense for you.
- Fault. In Texas, if you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot recover damages. Often, insurance companies use this to reject personal injury claims or make ridiculously low settlement offers.
- Current injury. The worse your injury, the more it makes sense to hire a lawyer for your personal injury claims. Motorcycle accident victims with serious injuries, like broken bones or torn ligaments, should consult with an attorney before making any recorded statements with the insurance company.
- Previous injuries. Insurance companies love to use previous injuries as a reason to deny motorcycle accident claims. They will point to your previous injuries and claim your accident injuries are “pre-existing.” We will review your past medical history to see what impact it might have on your settlement.
- Treatment. Insurance companies have a “length of treatment algorithm” that they use to determine how long your treatment should last. If your medical treatment takes longer than the insurance company deems is normal, they will not give you a fair offer for your medical bills.
- Motorcycle Insurance. “You can’t get blood from a stone.” We have seen more good cases torpedoed by poor insurance than we can count. Although Texas law requires drivers to carry liability insurance, estimates are that up to 25% of drivers carry no insurance. If the person who caused your accident is uninsured or underinsured, we will need to look at your policy to see if we can find coverage to pay for your damages.
- Health Insurance. Many health insurance companies will seek repayment of bills they paid on your behalf. We will make sure they don’t get more than they deserve (which is sometimes zero). Alternatively, if you have no health insurance, we can obtain medical treatment and even surgery for you.
How much do you charge for legal representation?
Our injury lawyers do not collect fees until we successfully resolve your case.
Retaining legal counsel with The Traub Law Office means there is no risk to you. Our injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning you will not pay any upfront costs or legal fees. If we successfully recover money for you, we will take our fees out of your settlement or judgment. You can also speak with your attorney about help with medical bills.
Contact us today for immediate help by calling (512) 246-9191 or with our contact form.