Motorcycle Accidents in Houston
Roberts Markland LLP represents injured motorcyclists in Houston, TX. Call 713-630-0900 today for a free consultation and case review.
Riding a motorcycle is a favorite activity for millions of Americans. For some enthusiasts, it’s a thrilling sport, while others see it as a way of life and a iconic symbol of true freedom. Sadly, though, many drivers simply do not see motorcyclists until it is too late. More than 5,000 motorcyclists per year are involved in accidents in Texas, with men in their late 50s suffering the highest rate of fatalities. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer right away to protect your rights.
Typical Motorcycle Injuries
Because motorcyclists are not protected by a vehicle frame, injuries are extremely common. You can minimize your risk by always wearing leather or protective gear including long pants, a jacket, boots or sturdy shoes, gloves, and a helmet. These are the most typical motorcycle injuries:
Leg Injuries: Lower leg injuries, such as a fractured tibia, are especially common when the bike is hit from the side.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): When the brain moves inside the skull, it can lead to a traumatic brain injury.
Neck and Back Injuries: These include ruptured or herniated discs, as well as fractures.
Other Injuries: Other common motorcycle injuries include road rash, shoulder injuries, broken ribs, amputations, and a broken arm or wrist.
Common Causes for Motorcycle Accidents
Even though motorcycles are less stable and more challenging to operate than other vehicles, accidents are rarely the motorcyclist’s fault. Many accidents are caused by inattentive drivers, while others are caused by road or weather conditions. Common causes for motorcycle accidents include:
Cars turning left in front of motorcycles proceeding forward
Cars sideswiping motorcycles during lane changes
Wet or uneven road surfaces
Debris or objects on the road
Rain, snow, fog, ice, or other hazardous weather conditions
What Compensation Is Available?
Depending on the specifics of your motorcycle accident, you may be eligible for various types of compensation. These include:
Economic damages: These are expenses that can be quantified, including medical bills, lost wages, ongoing rehab costs, and loss of earning capacity. Determining your future medical costs is critical to ensuring that you receive full and fair compensation.
General damages: Difficult to quantify but very real, general damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
Punitive damages: In cases that involve gross negligence or intentional misconduct only, you may be qualify for punitive damages. A drunk driver is a common example.
What About Comparative Negligence?
In Texas, your damages are reduced by the percentage you are determined to have contributed to the accident (your at fault percentage). If you are 51% or more at fault, you are not entitled to compensation at all. Naturally, the other party’s insurance company and/or lawyer will attempt to increase your at fault percentage to lower your award. This makes it vital for you to have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer fighting for your rights.
Comparative negligence can get especially tricky if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Under Texas law, motorcyclists age 21 and above are not required to wear a helmet if they either carry adequate health insurance or have completed a motorcycle safety course.
If you meet the above conditions, and you suffered an injury such as a broken leg or wrist, helmet use will not be a factor. However, if you suffered a head or neck injury while not wearing a helmet, the other party may argue that your at fault percentage should increase due to your decision.
What Should I Expect?
First, we will open an investigation, as will both insurance companies. Investigations typically involve gathering forensic evidence, taking witness statements, and reading the police report. We will then attempt to negotiate a settlement. If you are contacted by an insurance company, call your attorney. Do not sign anything or consent to a recorded statement without guidance from your lawyer.
If negotiations are successful, you will receive compensation. If not, then we are prepared to take your case to trial. We will be by your side through the entire process, and we will fight hard for the compensation you deserve.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident in Houston, contact Roberts Markland LLP today at 713-630-0900 for a free case review and consultation.