If you have recently suffered an injury while riding your motorcycle in the Houston, TX area, you may be unsure of your next steps. You may be facing rising medical bills and time off work and this can place a huge financial strain on you and your family.
Fortunately, in Texas, when you are injured in a motorcycle accident that has been caused by the negligence of another driver, road user, or pedestrian, you may be entitled to pursue a claim that recovers your damages and awards you compensation for the pain and suffering you have been through.
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, we handle these kinds of cases on a regular basis, and we have won numerous cases for clients just like you. We can draw upon a long history of successful cases and tough battles, using that knowledge to tailor a bespoke strategy that gives you an immediate advantage in your case.
Our experienced, trial-tested attorneys are experienced and skilled in all aspects of personal injury law and have excellent negotiation skills. This means they can fight your case, no matter what direction it takes.
Contact us today at 936-251-5246 to schedule a free consultation with one of our team. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning it costs nothing to arrange a free initial consultation and it costs nothing to obtain representation from us. If we cannot win your case, you will not pay a penny. If we win your case, we take a flat percentage-based fee from your settlement.
How a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer from Houston Injury Lawyers Can Help
Insurance companies do not get to be the size they are and make the profit they make year on year by paying out fairly to every party that makes a claim. They employ the strongest possible legal teams who have the sole task of reducing their liability and, ultimately, the amount they pay out to you.
Hiring an attorney helps level the playing field, especially against an aggressive legal team. This will ensure you are treated fairly and legally and that they do not employ any underhanded tricks to get you to settle for less.
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, we have worked with countless victims of motorcycle accidents over our long history of service to the state of Texas. We have a reputation for aggressive and capable representation, a reputation that is well-known by the various insurance companies in Houston, and throughout Texas.
This means that many of these insurance companies will treat you better and more fairly, simply because they know we will not settle for anything less.
When motorcycle accident victims come to us for help, we spring into action. We will:
- Keep our clients educated and informed about their legal options regarding claiming from the other party.
- Take over all the important aspects, such as filing paperwork and liaising with other parties, removing you from the stress and giving you time and space to focus on your recovery.
- Investigate on your behalf, employing our vast wealth of resources to your case.
- Have access to a panel of experts who can help corroborate your story and provide crucial evidence support.
- Fight your case in court if necessary.
We are passionate about fighting on behalf of the victims of negligence here at Houston Injury Lawyers. Our team of attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and genuinely care about you and your health.
Do I Really Need a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
When it comes to protecting your rights and the chances of a successful claim, hiring an attorney is always a smart idea if you want to win your motorcycle accident case.
Many people decide against employing an attorney when it comes to a personal injury claim. They may do this for several reasons, such as the common misconception that they will win more by pursuing the case alone or that they will be out of pocket if they have to find their attorneys fees if they lose the case.
For the former, the majority of victims who pursue a claim with an attorney, win a sum that is substantially more, more than enough to swallow the fee your attorney charges and still result in a larger sum in your pocket.
For the latter, at Houston Injury Lawyers, we work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. This means we take on cases for no upfront cost, and we do not charge our clients if we lose the case. If we can arrange a settlement or win damages in court, we take our fee from your settlement if and only if we win.
Besides these reasons, when it comes to motorcycle accident claims, the other party will often try to place the blame on you. They may employ a range of tactics to do this but most skilled Houston motorcycle accident attorneys will see right through this and will predict these tactics.
The final reason why it is important to seek the help of an attorney, is that it removes you from the fight. If your case lasts several years and you do not seek representation, you will be responsible for pushing it the entire time. If you have suffered serious injuries, you should be using this time to recover and rest, not fighting a case.
How Much is My Claim Worth?
There is no average claim value when it comes to a personal injury case. Every single accident involving a motorcycle is different. The series of events that lead to the injuries, the injuries suffered, the parties involved and the damages will be unique to each case. All of these are the factors that control how much your claim is worth.
Usually, the more serious the injuries, and the more parties involved in the accident, the higher the value of the claim
What Steps Should I Take at The Accident Scene?
What you do and say, and how you act at the scene of an accident is important. Every year victims forgo their chance of pursuing a compensation claim because they have admitted fault in some form or another at the accident scene, even when it was not their fault.
Hopefully you are reading this from a place of safety, but if you are at the accident scene, here are the steps you should follow in order to preserve your health and the chances of seeking compensation later on down the line.
Prioritize your Safety
The first thing you should do is to take stock of your injuries. If you feel pain in the head, neck, or shoulders, avoid moving until you have received medical treatment from an ambulance team.
Call an Ambulance, and the Police
If there are any injuries whatsoever, you need to call an ambulance. Even if the injuries seem minor, you should remember that shock and adrenaline can mask the symptoms of a serious life-threatening injury, such as a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) or internal bleeding. A concussion, to any degree, is a traumatic brain injury.
You should also call the police as they will need to make the scene safe for other road users, and if there are any criminal aspects, such as a drunk driver, they will handle that side of things too.
If your injuries allow it, you should try to collect as much evidence as possible. We recommend video recording the scene, speaking over the top. State what happened in your own words. This makes for a strong piece of evidence.
You should also speak to any witnesses and the other driver if they are cooperative. Collect their details if possible, and a statement from any witnesses is also a strong piece of evidence.
Throughout this period, you must not admit fault or apologize in any way, and you should not tell anyone that you feel okay, as this may be used against you later on down the line.
Seek Medical Attention
You need to seek medical attention at the earliest possible convenience, as this helps your attorney prove causation. If you have not received medical attention at the scene of the accident from a paramedic from the ambulance team, proceed to your chosen medical provider and get a check-up.
Speak to an Attorney
The sooner you can get your attorney involved, the better your chances of success. This will give them longer to investigate and longer to build the most compelling case on your behalf
Damages Recoverable Following a Motorcycle Accident
In order to understand how much your case is worth in terms of compensation or a settlement, your attorney will first need to work out what your damages are worth. To calculate your damages, your attorney will first look at the economic damages before calculating the non-economic damages.
Together, this will form the value of your settlement offer.
Your economic damages are the damages that have cost you physical money that you need to recover in your motorcycle accident claim. They are easy to document and easy to evidence as they will have a physical price tag.
Your economic damages include things like your lost income, medical bills, and property damage.
These damages are the harder ones to calculate as they are subjective, meaning your attorney will need to judge what they are worth in their opinion. There are no receipts or set value to these damages, meaning the skill and experience of your attorney will be important as it means they will be better equipped and experienced in calculating them.
The main non-economic damage is pain and suffering, which compensates victims for the physical pain and mental suffering the motorcycle accident has put them through.
Pain and Suffering Damages
To calculate your pain and suffering damages, your attorney will first look at how much all of your other damages are worth. They will then consider how bad your pain and suffering has been. This will give them a rough idea of a multiplier, which is usually between 1.5 and 5 to apply to the overall damage value.
Can I Seek Punitive Damages Following My Motorcycle Accident?
Yes, but they can only be awarded by the Judge, meaning your case must have proceeded to the courtroom in order to pursue them. They will only be awarded in cases where the Judge believes that the other party has acted with gross negligence or malicious intent.
These damages are usually reserved for the most extreme cases as a way to punish and make an example of the at-fault parties’ behavior.
Assigning Liability in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When it comes to a motorcycle accident, anyone who was involved in causing the accident can be found liable and responsible.
Assigning liability is an important task that your attorney will need to carry out and may include other road users or drivers as well as government bodies responsible for maintaining the roads. Liability can also lie with the manufacturers of the parts used in the bike.
Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Most accidents involving motorcycle riders could have been preventable, and this means that the fault is usually due to negligent behavior. Proving negligence is an important aspect of any personal injury case.
There are four important elements of negligence, and in order for your case to be strong and valid, your attorney will look to prove these elements.
The Four Elements of Negligence
Duty of Care
A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a manner that protects the well-being of others. There are a number of reasons you may assume a duty of care to another individual, including the duty of care all road users assume to each other and the duty of care doctors assume to all of their patients.
To prove that the duty of care was breached, your attorney will need to look at the at-fault parties’ behavior to see if they acted unreasonably while owing you a duty of care. To act unreasonably, they must have acted in a way that is seen as different from how another reasonable person would have acted in the same situation.
To prove causation, your attorney will need to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the accident. The best way to prove this is by showing the records of your medical treatment in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
Finally, you will need to prove that your damages were caused by your injuries.
What Evidence Will Help My Case?
Evidence is always key when it comes to winning a personal injury case, and this means that the more evidence you can secure, the stronger your chances of success.
The following evidence may be helpful in your case:
- Any accident reports you can secure from the emergency services who attended the scene
- Pictures and videos of the scene
- Witness statements and your own statement
- Expert reports and testimony
- Medical records from the injuries you suffered
- Proof of your loss of income
Our team here at Houston Injury Lawyers will be able to investigate on your behalf and will seek as much evidence as possible. Where there are gaps in the evidence, we can call upon expert witnesses who can help.
The more evidence we can secure and the more evidence you can provide, the stronger the case we build on your behalf will be.
Common Injuries in Houston Motorcycle Accidents
Due to their nature, motorcyclists are at risk of suffering more injuries than someone driving a car. Even with the best protective equipment, you are still much more likely to suffer serious injury if you are hit by another vehicle.
Some injuries that are common are:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Hearing loss
- Eye injury
- Crushing injury
- Chest injury
- Knee injury
- Shoulder injury
- Soft tissue damage
- Dental injury
- Paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Neck and back injury
- Nerve damage
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death and more
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of whether you think they are severe or not. Internal bleeding can often have no symptoms, as can injuries such as TBIs or organ trauma.
The Cause of Motorcycle The Accidents
After dealing with countless motorcycle accident injuries, we have seen a whole host of causes of an accident.
Most commonly, accidents are caused by:
- Aggressive driving maneuvers
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Limited visibility
- Wet or unsafe road conditions
- Defective road design
- Lane splitting
- Riding in a vehicle’s blind spot
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Failure to leave adequate space
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Inexperienced operators
As well as these reasons, often defective motorcycle parts or defective safety equipment can be to blame.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws Texas
Under Texas law, if you are riding a motorcycle and you are under the age of 21, you must wear a helmet by law. However, there are exceptions. If you are over the age of 21, have passed a Motorcycle Operator Training Course, or have an insurance policy that will cover at least $10,000 in damages for medical bills in the event of an accident, you are exempt from wearing a helmet.
Does Refraining from Wearing a Helmet Hurt My Chances of a Claim?
This will depend upon the case, but potentially, yes, it may affect your chances of raising a claim as you are expected by law to mitigate your injuries. This essentially means that you should take as much action as possible to prevent your injuries from being severe in the event of a crash, and wearing a helmet is one of these.
If you have been involved in an accident and you have been thrown from your bike and have hit your head, the at-fault party may claim you would not have suffered head injuries had you been wearing a helmet.
We recommend that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet.
Lane Splitting Laws
Lane splitting quite literally means riding a motorcycle between two lanes of traffic. You “split lanes” to pass other vehicles traveling in the same direction as you.
Under Texas Transportation Code §545.060, riding in between two lanes of traffic, or “lane splitting,” is illegal except when you need to change lanes or pass other drivers legally.
Insurance Requirements for Riders in Houston
When operating a motorcycle in the state of Texas, there is a legal responsibility to obtain liability insurance. The rules state that all riders must have coverage that covers them for:
- $30,000 in bodily injury per person
- $60,000 in bodily injury per accident, and
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
These are just the minimum requirements. You are fully entitled to seek a policy that covers you for more than this.
Is Texas an At-Fault State?
Yes, Texas is one of the at-fault states, meaning that the at-fault party is responsible for paying the damages suffered by the victim.
If you get hurt in a motorcycle accident in Texas and it occurred due to another party’s negligence, you are entitled to claim from their insurance company.
What Happens if I was in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
Unfortunately, even though it is a legal requirement to have insurance, around 8% of motorists do not carry any.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, there are several options you can take, but we recommend seeking the help of an attorney to do so, as it can be difficult.
Firstly, you may have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. This is usually an add-on that can protect you and pay out your damages if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
You may also be able to file a normal lawsuit against the negligent driver, but you need to remember that they may not be able to afford the payout, even if you win your case.
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, we understand the frustration you may be feeling if you have been in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. We have dealt with uninsured drivers before, and we can help you through the various options on offer to you.
What Can I Do to Prevent Injuries and Accidents on my Motorcycle?
Motorcycle riders are around five times more likely to suffer an accident that results in life-changing catastrophic injuries compared to drivers in a car. You are also around 30 times more likely to suffer a fatality in an accident.
With those stats in mind, here are some things you can do to protect yourself when driving:
Get a Class M License
You should always have a motorcycle license when riding a motorcycle. Obtaining this license means you have received vital training via the Motorcycle Safety Course. This means you are more aware of the dangers of riding.
Many people underestimate the importance of this training, but around 30% of drivers who died in 2020 did not have a license.
Avoid Bad Weather
Driving a motorcycle requires more concentration than a normal passenger car, and when the weather is bad, it becomes even more difficult. Rain can lead to slick roads and can impair vision. Avoiding riding in bad weather is a smart idea.
Be Aware of Other Road Users
Unfortunately, as a motorcycle rider, you need to be more defensive when you drive. People in cars are notoriously unaware when it comes to motorcyclists.
It is important then, that you do everything you can to be visible, including using indicators and headlights. Leave space between you and other cars, and make sure you slow down with adequate time.
Use the Right Safety Gear
We always recommend that riders use a helmet when riding and also buy the appropriate padded clothing. Make sure you choose brands that have the right testing on their equipment. Remember, this equipment may save your life.
Tips for What To Do and What Not to Do After an Accident
Keep Hold of Your Safety Gear
Following a serious motorcycle accident, it is a smart idea to keep hold of your safety gear and helmet, even if they are damaged beyond repair. They may be useful to your attorney when it comes to evidence of what happened.
Be Careful When Speaking to Either Insurance Company
Remember, neither insurance company is on your side. Both parties will be profit-driven, and unfortunately, that means devaluing your claim wherever possible. They may try to use underhanded tactics to get you to admit a level of fault or liability.
You may not be able to avoid speaking to an insurance company, but if you do have to speak to them, make sure you do not disclose anything more than necessary and ask them to liaise with your attorney going forwards.
Another common insurance company tactic is to offer quick settlement following an accident. The sum may even seem appealing, but we guarantee they have run the numbers and have worked out what your case may be worth it in the long run and have offered much lower than their calculations.
Always discuss any offer with your attorney; they will advise you if they think it is fair and reasonable or not. Remember, once you agree to representation, you forgo the right to any further compensation later on down the line.
What Happens if they Blame Me for the Accident
Even if you were partly to blame for the accident, as long as you were not mostly to blame, you still have the chance to seek compensation as long as you are not 51% to blame or more. This is due to the modified comparative negligence laws that Texas employs.
If you are partly to blame and you seek compensation, the percentage of the blame that you are responsible for will affect your payout.
If you are 25% to blame, your payout will be reduced by 25%.
For this reason, the other party and their insurance company will do everything in their power to shift the blame away from their party and onto you. The more they can do this, the less they have to pay, which is one of the important reasons to seek help from a skilled attorney who can help you fight these claims.
Texas Statute of Limitations
In Texas, you are bound by the state’s statute of limitations when it comes to personal injury lawsuits. This means you have a set time limit to make a claim, or you forfeit the right. This applies to both personal injury and wrongful death cases.
In Texas, this time limit is two years, and if you try to raise a claim after this period, it will be thrown out.
However, it is worth remembering that although you have this long to raise a claim, the sooner after the accident this is done, the better your chances of your personal injury attorneys building a strong case after your motorcycle crash and winning your case.
How Much Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Cost?
Here at Houston Injury Lawyers, just like the other best motorcycle accident lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing to us to fight your case. In the initial consultation, we will discuss our fees, which are usually a flat percentage-based fee, taken from whatever we win you.
We do this to allow all victims the chance to pursue compensation following their accident, regardless of their financial situation and whether or not they can afford upfront costs. We offer a free initial consultation to provide immediate legal advice to you when you need it most, and we will evaluate your case for free.
We know that the last thing you need after a motorcycle wreck is to worry about the upfront costs of your attorney. For that reason, we cover your upfront expenses, allowing you to pursue what you are owed with confidence.
Houston Motorcycle Accident FAQ
We always recommend that people contact the police immediately after their accident. Firstly, they will be able to make the road safe for other users, and they will also deal with any aggressive parties. Secondly, there is a good chance that your accident was caused by a drunk driver, with a DUI accident happening every 20 minutes in Texas.
In this situation, the police will administer a BAC blood alcohol test and this evidence is crucial when it comes to your case.
Proving causation is an important aspect of any personal injury case involving motorcycle crashes, and the best way to do this is to prove that you sought medical treatment immediately. The records of this will show your injuries happened during the accident.
You are fine to talk to the other driver as long as you make sure that you do not apologize or admit fault in any way. You must also refrain from saying you are okay or feel fine, as this may be used to devalue your claim later on.
Some insurance companies will have a time limit that you have to inform them if you have been in an accident. However, remember to keep it brief and simply tell them you have been in an accident and want them to liaise with your attorney going forward.
It may be impossible to avoid this altogether but if you do speak to them, do not let them record your call, and do not admit fault or say you are fine. If they offer a settlement, discuss it with your attorney before making a decision.
This will depend upon the complexity of the case, such as the seriousness of your injuries, your property damage and the number of other parties involved.
Any damages you have suffered that were directly caused by the accident may be claimed for, including medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment. Loss of enjoyment can cover you for any effect on your regular life. If you can no longer play basketball with your friends, you should be compensated for this.
If the other party was uninsured or your attorney cannot negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement from the other party, you may have to file a lawsuit against them. This is why it is important that you seek representation from a skilled attorney who can negotiate and litigate with equal skill.
Under Texas Law, you have two years to raise a claim but the sooner you get in touch with your attorney and raise your case, the better.
With serious injuries that require long-term treatment, the case may become more complicated as the scope of your injuries will need to be considered before the claim. It can also be more complicated if there are multiple parties involved in the accident or if the accident happened due to faulty parts on the motorcycle, as the case may need to be raised against the manufacturer.
LOCAL EMERGENCY ROOMS IN HOUSTON, TX
- Elite Care 24 hr Emergency Care – 2500 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005
- SignatureCare – 2500 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005
- Montrose 24 Hour ER – 1110 W Gray St Suite 101, Houston, TX 77019
- East Houston Urgent Care – 11410 East Fwy APT 168, Houston, TX 77029
- Memorial Heights – 4000 Washington Ave #100, Houston, TX 77007
- River Oaks Emergency Room – 2320 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 7701
Contact Houston Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, you should contact our team immediately. We can spring into action right away, using our network of resources to investigate your case while the evidence is fresh. We will speak to the other insurance company and your own, removing you from the tedious phone calls and underhanded tactics.
We take the time to build a client-attorney relationship based upon trust and confidence, keeping you informed about your case and educated in terms of your rights at each and every step.
Our team has a long history of successful cases under our belts, and this means we have dealt with and won cases just like yours before.
Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers can help you fight to win all of the money you may be owed. We offer a free case evaluation, and there’s no cost to hire our law firm unless we win your case. Our legal team is standing by to help, so call now at 936-251-5246.