Riding motorcycles can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite dangerous. Motorcycles leave the driver relatively unprotected, which can cause motorcycle accidents to be extremely severe and the driver to receive significant injuries. At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we understand the importance of having an experienced lawyer on your side if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident. Our team passionately advocates for injured motorcyclists to receive the compensation they deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we believe motorcycle accidents can be prevented. As a motorcyclist, it’s important that you understand what commonly causes motorcycle accidents so you can stay alert and try to avoid these situations.
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving is a top cause of motor vehicle accidents in general. As smartphones become ubiquitous, drivers are more and more likely to use them while behind the wheel, even if it’s to change the song or check the GPS. When driving a motorcycle, it is critical to keep your eyes on the road at all times. If you need to check your phone or adjust something on your bike, pull over first.
- Failure to follow safety rules and road signs – Motorcycles are smaller than passenger cars, so it may be harder for other vehicles to see you, meaning you need to take extra caution when making turns or switching lanes. Make sure to use your blinker when changing lanes and leave a safe distance between your bike and other cars. Also, make sure to be aware of your surroundings. Avoid riding in a vehicle’s blind spot and take extra caution at intersections where it is hard to see.
- Aggressive driving or speeding – We all want to get where we’re going quickly, and sometimes that means driving over the speed limit or driving aggressively, especially dangerous on a motorcycle. The faster you’re going, the more severe your injuries are likely to be if there is a collision. You should also avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating or lane splitting (when a motorcycle passes between a line of slowly moving or stopped vehicles), as those are likely to cause accidents.
- Operating under the influence – Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal; it’s dangerous. These substances increase your reaction time and can lead to poor judgment and risky decisions.
Motorcycle Accidents Cause Potentially Serious Injury
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in traffic collisions than passenger vehicle drivers and occupants, likely due to the motorcycle driver’s exposure. Any part of the body can easily be injured in a motorcycle accident, and many of those injuries are severe. Common injuries suffered by motorcycle drivers include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (which often cause paralysis)
- Bone breaks and fractures (most commonly to the lower extremities)
- Internal injuries and internal bleeding
- Lacerations and skin abrasions (more commonly referred to as road rash)
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Collision
Being in a collision is scary and, for many people, not common. What follows are a few things you should do if you are in a collision to help preserve your rights.
Step 1 – Seek Medical Attention
Your health and safety are the first priority. Always prioritize seeking medical care, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Many injuries, such as whiplash, take a bit of time for symptoms to show fully.
Step 2 – Contact Law Enforcement
If you’ve been in an accident, even if it is minor, you always want to call the police. Having a police report of the accident will be crucial for you and your attorney in the event you need to negotiate compensation or take your case to trial. Make sure you tell the officers on the scene about any injuries you have suffered or any symptoms you experience.
Step 3 – Get Documentation
If you can, get documentation at the scene of the accident. Start with the other driver and collect copies of their driver’s license, insurance, and contact information. If there were witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their names and contact information to pass on to your attorney. It is also a good idea to take photos of the scene of the accident, as these may be useful to you and your attorney down the road. If possible, take the photos before the vehicles have been moved, so you show a clearer picture of the scene.
Step 4 – Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney
It will be critical that you have someone on your side who is looking out for your best interests and fighting for your rights. An experienced attorney will help you collect the information needed and file your claim, so you get the compensation that you deserve.
Step 5 – Don’t Give Any Statements
To pursue a claim through insurance, you will likely need to provide a statement about the accident. Don’t give this statement without consulting your attorney. You don’t want to say something that will adversely impact your claim inadvertently. In addition, don’t discuss the accident on social media. Insurance companies often search your social media pages to find information about the accident, which they may try to use against you. If you are ever presented with any documents to sign, make sure your attorney reviews them first to make sure you can sign them while still preserving your rights.
Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
Texas is considered a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that if you are found by a jury to be 50 percent or less responsible for the collision, you can receive compensation from the other driver, and the damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are over 50 percent at fault for the collision, you will not recover compensation from the other driver.
The question of the percentage of fault is a subjective one and ultimately is for the jury in your case to determine, which is why it’s so important that you take photographs of the scene and record the information of any witnesses. Those pieces of evidence will help show the jury exactly what happened and who was at fault.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be severe and can leave you with significant injuries, medical bills, and the inability to work. At the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, we understand that the emotional and financial strains caused by an accident can feel insurmountable. Our team is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. The damages you might recover after a motorcycle accident include:
- Medical expenses – Injuries from motorcycle accidents can require surgery, physical therapy, and other expensive treatments. These bills add up quickly. Your attorney will advocate for you to receive reimbursement for these medical expenses you incurred and compensation for future medical expenses you are likely to have.
- Lost wages – Many motorcyclists who are involved in collisions sustain injuries that require them to miss work. Others will have injuries that are disabling, leaving them unable to return to work at all. You should be compensated for the wages lost due to your injuries.
- Property damage – Motorcycles are an expensive investment. If you were in a collision, it’s likely that your bike sustained potentially significant damage. You may also have sustained damage to other valuable personal property such as a cell phone or your bike helmet. The party at fault should compensate you for these losses.
- Pain and suffering – Our attorneys will go beyond the economic damages you suffered. If you experienced pain, diminished quality of life, or emotional anguish, you deserve to be compensated for that as well.
- Funeral or burial expenses – If you are pursuing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may also be entitled to expenses for the funeral and the burial.
The Process for Recovering Damages
Most people are unsure how the claims process will work and what they need to do to get the compensation they deserve. The claims process can be complicated, but our attorneys are experienced in handling motorcycle injury claims and will guide you through the process.
The first step is to identify the at-fault party, something that will be done through discussions between your attorney and the insurance companies. Witness statements, photos of the incident, surveillance videos, and the police report will be useful. In many cases, the fault may be split between the parties involved. There are certain situations that point fault at one party:
- If one party violated a traffic law (such as running a red light)
- If one party rear-ended the other party
- If one party makes a left turn that results in the accident
When fault has been determined, the other party will bring a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. Your attorney will negotiate with the other party’s insurance company to attempt to reach a settlement that both sides feel is fair. Your attorney will zealously advocate for your best interests and, if a settlement cannot be reached, will file a lawsuit to recover the appropriate damages.Get A Free Case Evaluation
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to focus on resting and recovering. You don’t also need to stress about proving damages and receiving compensation. An experienced motorcycle injury attorney can take the legal tasks off your plate. We know that the legal system is full of complex rules and statutes, and we don’t want you to lose the compensation you deserve because of the complicated system. We will handle all deadlines and the necessary paperwork, as well as ensure any other legal requirements are met.
At Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, our team of lawyers is knowledgeable about the claims process. When you hire our team, we’ll take several steps on your behalf:
- Gather evidence – Part of your claim will be proving that another driver caused your injury. Your attorney will gather evidence such as witness statements, police reports, surveillance footage, and scene photos to do that. If needed, we will also send investigators to look into the accident and uncover facts that will help to support your case.
- Prove damages – Your attorney will work with your doctors to assess your medical costs and any necessary future treatments. These findings will be used to calculate your medical costs. Your attorney will also review any current or future lost wages, damage to your personal property, and other pain and suffering stemming from the accident.
- Advocate for your rights – Whether it’s during negotiations with the insurance company or in the courtroom, your attorney will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Sometimes the parties to the accident can reach a settlement, but it’s not uncommon for the parties to have different ideas of what is fair. When such a disagreement is the case, filing a lawsuit is your best option to get the compensation to which you are entitled.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years, meaning that you will have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim in court. Two years may seem like a long time, but it takes time to work with your attorney to collect evidence and build your case. If you think you may want to file a claim, reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney sooner rather than later.
Only after you consult your attorney. Insurance companies are known for giving low initial settlement offers and hoping you’ll accept. Work with your attorney to understand the actual value of your case and use that figure as a guide when you evaluate offers from the insurance company.
Even if you have other avenues available to pay for your injuries, you are still entitled to compensation from the party at fault. Using your insurance or using paid sick time at work will not impact your ability to sue for damages. There is, however, a change for which your insurance company will want to be reimbursed if you receive compensation. Your attorney can provide guidance if such an instance takes place.
If you were forced off the road by another vehicle, you should still reach out to an attorney and seek compensation from insurance. These types of accidents generally fall under your uninsured motorist coverage. It’s important to have an attorney for these types of cases as the insurance company will likely be reluctant to pay out and may try to show that the crash was a result of your negligence or poor driving as opposed to another motorist.
Texas law requires any person under the age of 21 to wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, including passengers and drivers. Drivers and riders over the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet unless one of the following applies:
- The individual has completed an approved motorcycle operator training course.
- The individual has medical insurance coverage of at least $10,000 to cover any injuries that may occur in an accident.
Even if you are not legally required to wear a helmet, it is strongly recommended. Motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident, and a helmet will help to protect your head and neck. Make sure to get a US DOT-approved motorcycle helmet to ensure maximum protection.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Attorney
If you’ve sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident, don’t go through the process of getting compensation alone. The attorneys at the Milano Legal Group care about each and every client that comes through the door. Our team is here for you night or day. We understand what is at stake for you, and we’ll fight zealously to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve.
The first step for us is determining if you have a case. Some factors that indicate you have a case include:
- You have an injury from a motorcycle accident.
- Your injury was caused by a third party.
- You are suffering financial consequences due to the injury.
Let us review the facts with you and advise you on your best course of action. Our consultations are free of charge, and there is no obligation. Get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation and learn how we can help you.