The risk of severe injuries or death in an auto accident is significantly higher for motorcyclists. When an accident occurs because of someone else’s negligence, Texas personal injury law provides an avenue for financial compensation through the civil court system.
If you suffered bodily harm or the loss of someone you love in a motorcycle crash, our experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Haun Mena will listen to the details of your case and guide you through the legal process. Contact our injury lawyers to begin your recovery after a motorcycle wreck.
What Does Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do To Support Your Claim?
The duties of a motorcycle injury lawyer can vary from case to case. Still, legal representation aims to ensure you have someone protecting you from rights violations and advising you through the civil process. Some specific elements of our job include the following:
Investigating your accident to search for proof of negligent action
Identifying and valuing all recoverable damages to ensure you receive adequate compensation for your losses
Representing you in all conversations with the insurance company so you can avoid the stress of dealing with pushback over your claim
Preparing and filing the necessary paperwork for your claim to ensure you meet all deadlines and have all the required documentation
Negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement
If the insurance company refuses to cooperate and offer a settlement that accurately reflects your losses, preparing for trial is sometimes the only option. However, this is rare. Most insurers will settle to avoid a costly trial process, and we understand the evidence needed to persuade them to do so.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
In a motorcycle accident involving the rider and another vehicle, either party could be responsible for the crash. However, the other driver is more commonly at fault. Some typical causes in this case include:
Poorly made left turns: The leading cause of motorcycle accidents is left turns, which result in side-impact collisions. Inattention and side-view blindness are the most common causes because drivers forget to look for motorcyclists or miss them in a blind spot.
Distracted driving: Visual, manual and cognitive distractions can divert a driver’s eyes, hands and mind from the road, making it easy to miss or respond to a motorcycle nearby.
Aggressive driving: Weaving in and out of heavy traffic while speeding is a danger to everyone on the road, especially motorcyclists. Sudden stops, lane changes and vehicle overshadowing can hide riders in traffic, making them more vulnerable to speeding and reckless driving.
Car doors: A car door opening directly in front of a motorcyclist does not give them the necessary time to stop, and the force of impact can throw a rider off their bike. The consequences can be severe, especially if traveling at a higher speed.
Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers and legal team see a variety of motorcycle accident causes regularly. We know where to look for signs of liability and the evidence needed to prove it.
Liability in a motorcycle collision case
Texas uses a fault-based system for auto accident cases. Therefore, the injured party filing the claim is responsible for proving the defendant’s negligence and liability for damages. To do that, you must verify the four elements of a negligence claim:
Duty of care: You must show that the defendant was responsible for acting with reasonable caution to protect your safety. This is easy in a motorcycle accident case because simply sharing the road with you means they have a duty of care.
Breach of duty: You must prove they breached that duty by violating a traffic law and acting unsafely on the road.
Causation: Your accident must be a direct result of their actions. Additionally, you must prove that the accident caused your injuries.
Damages: Finally, the accident and injuries must result in losses for you to hold the at-fault driver responsible.
A motorcycle accident without resulting damages is rare. However, you must have damages to demand compensation. Consult with our Houston motorcycle accident lawyer if you have questions about proving negligence.
Houston motorcycle accident statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation conducted a study on the number of motorcyclists injured or killed in accidents across the state in 2022 and whether or not they wore helmets at the time of the accident. The results showed:
- 562 deaths, with 326 of them wearing helmets
- 2,422 were severely injured, with half of them not wearing helmets
- 3,148 suffered minor injuries, with 1,901 wearing helmets
- 1,468 possibly suffered injuries
- 1,276 did not suffer injuries, with 752 of them wearing helmets
The study also accounted for 218 people with an unknown injury status. Overall, a total of 9,094 people were in a motorcycle accident in 2022, and 7,600 of them suffered injuries. Nearly 32% of them suffered severe injuries, and 7% of those injured died as a result. Ultimately, this shows that motorcyclists are almost guaranteed to suffer some form of injury in an accident.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The most common injuries from a motorcycle accident are among the worst you could suffer. For example, road rash, broken bones, burns, facial fractures and lacerations occur at higher rates than any other type of auto accident. Additionally, the chance of traumatic brain injuries, limb amputation, spinal cord injuries and paralysis is significantly higher. The worst possible injury is inarguably death.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Claim for Compensation?
In the aftermath of a severe motorcycle accident, there is often little you can do but wait for emergency services to arrive. However, if you are able, there are steps you can take to protect and support your claim. This includes contacting the police to file a report and speaking only to provide a statement to the officer. Talking to anyone else at the scene risks saying something that could imply guilt or hurt your claim.
Other helpful steps include documenting the scene, seeking immediate medical attention and contacting a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer.
Take photographs of the accident, all the vehicles involved and any visible injuries on your body.
See a doctor as soon as possible, ideally within 72 hours of the accident, for a complete medical evaluation. Even if you feel fine, an emergency or urgent care physician knows where to look for injuries common in motorcycle accidents. They also thoroughly document their findings in medical records you can use for evidence.
Talking to our Houston motorcycle accident attorney is the first step in recovering losses after an accident. During your free consultation, you learn about the process and how it applies to your case. Additionally, we can discuss the possible damages available from the accident.
What Damages Can You Recover From a Motorcycle Crash Claim?
Texas civil court refers to the losses you sustain from the accident and your injuries as compensatory damages. In rare cases, some victims or their families may also receive punitive damages.
Compensatory damages restore what you lost as a result of the accident. These further divide into economic and non-economic losses. For example, some common monetary damages from a motorcycle accident include:
The cost of necessary current and future medical care
The income lost from missing work or losing future earning capacity
The costs associated with property damaged in the accident
Any related out-of-pocket expenses for replacement services, such as transportation, child care or in-home help
The court also recognizes how severe accidents impact mental and emotional health and allows victims to recover damages for non-economic losses. These losses include pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of consortium and loss of the ability to enjoy life. Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyer will review the potentially recoverable damages and explain how to assign a monetary value to non-economic losses.
In cases involving a negligent driver who displayed total disregard for the safety of others on the road, the court may order the driver to pay punitive damages. These do not compensate for your losses but punish the defendant for their egregious behavior. For example, the court may determine that driving recklessly while under the influence of drugs or alcohol constitutes gross negligence and warrants payment of punitive damages.
Can a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Help the Family of Someone Lost in a Crash?
According to Texas tort law, an injury resulting in death and caused by another person or entity’s negligence, unskillfulness or carelessness is a wrongful death. The surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased have the right to bring about a wrongful death claim. The damages they can recover include:
Funeral and burial expenses
The loss of income or other financial support the deceased provided
The value of any lost benefits or inheritance they provided
The loss of love, comfort, companionship and society
The mental pain and suffering experienced by surviving relatives
These cases can quickly become complex. Our legal team will ensure the demands for compensation reflect your losses as closely as possible. The court can do nothing to make whole what you lost entirely, but we can fight to ensure you do not face financial struggles because of it.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you recently suffered injuries or lost someone you love in a motorcycle accident caused by a reckless driver, the legal team at Haun Mena can help. These accidents can have devastating financial and physical consequences while also causing significant emotional hurt.
Our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys will walk you through the civil process and fight to protect your right to fair compensation. Contact our office to schedule your free consultation and take the first steps toward rebuilding your life today.
Motorcycle Accident Claim FAQs
Are insurance companies biased against motorcyclists?
Motorcyclists are more likely to face bias when seeking compensation from an insurance company. The reason is a biker’s high risk for severe injuries, resulting in more substantial payouts for the insurer.
What is the statute of limitations for a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Texas?
Texas allows two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. The timeframe for wrongful death claims is also two years, but the clock starts ticking on the date of death, which is not always the same as the day the accident occurred.
What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident in Texas?
The average settlement for a motorcycle accident in Texas is $200,000, astronomically higher than that for a standard car accident at $15,000. With the help of a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer, most people settle without ever going to trial.