Motorcycle riders have a greater risk of injury in an accident when compared to driving a motor vehicle. Even with the best safety gear available, motorcycle riders lack the identical safety protections motor vehicles offer occupants. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common in Texas, with many riders being severely injured due to another motorist’s negligence. If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, you could have the legal right to bring a claim for damages. To learn more, speak with an experienced Lewisville motorcycle accident attorneys at Hartley Law Firm.
Texas Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there was a 17% increase in motorcycle fatalities in 2020 versus 2019. This figure is alarming given there was less traffic on the roads in 2020 and motorcycle accidents were down by 2%. A motorcycle rider dies in a crash on a Texas road every single day, and motorcycle riders account for 12% of all traffic-related fatalities in Texas. May through October has shown to be a hazardous time, with 61% of all motorcycle deaths occurring between these months.
Leading Causes of Lewisville Motorcycle Accidents
The Texas Department of Transportation statistics also show that the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a driver who misjudges a motorcycle’s speed and distance and proceeds to turn left in front of the approaching motorcycle rider. Nearly one-third of all motorcycle fatalities in Texas involved an intersection in some way.
Other leading causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving,
- Unsafe lane changes,
- Opening car door,
- Stopping suddenly, and
Additional factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents, including adverse weather, road hazards, and defective parts on a motorcycle or motor vehicle.
Common Injuries in a Lewisville Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle riders accept that they are at a greater risk for injuries every time they get on their bike. Without the enclosed protection a motor vehicle offers, it’s not uncommon for riders to be thrown from their motorcycle. No two accidents are alike, but we see some injuries more often than others. Common injuries in a motorcycle accident include:
- Road rash;
- Tendon, ligament, and muscle damage;
- Burn injuries;
- Bulging or herniated spinal discs;
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Chest and abdominal injuries;
- Nerve damage;
- Feet and leg injuries, including amputation;
- Traumatic brain injuries; and
- Bone fractures.
If your loved one passed away from injuries received during a motorcycle accident, certain family members might have the legal right to bring a wrongful death claim in Texas. These can be very complicated legal matters. You should not attempt to handle a Lewisville wrongful death claim on your own. It would be best if you had an experienced Lewisville motor vehicle accident lawyer on your side.
How To Better Protect Yourself When Riding a Motorcycle
Motorcycle riders can take extra precautions to reduce their risk of being seriously injured in an accident. Some of the easiest ways to better protect yourself on a motorcycle include:
- Always wear a helmet, which can reduce the risk of serious head injury;
- Drive at or under the speed limit;
- Maintain a safe distance between you and vehicles around you;
- Don’t weave around in traffic; and
- Don’t ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Incorporating these actions into your riding routine could mean the difference between a minor injury accident and one involving more severe injuries.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Lewisville Motorcycle Accident
Understandably, injured victims want to know what type of compensation they are eligible to receive. In many cases, you could recover money for:
- Your medical expenses to date;
- Future medical expenses;
- Lost wages to date;
- Future loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage to your motorcycle;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disability and disfigurement; and
- Mental anguish.
In select cases, you might be eligible to receive punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases involving gross negligence or intentional actions. For example, a case where the negligent party was driving under the influence of alcohol or was drag racing could be eligible for a punitive damages award.
Why Hire a Lewisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
You might be wondering if you really need a lawyer and how we can assist you. Your Lewisville motorcycle accident attorney is the person responsible for handling all the stressful legal aspects of your claim. We will ensure your rights are protected and the other driver’s insurance company is not trying to take advantage of you.
When you retain the Hartley Law Firm, we start by conducting our own independent investigation. We will gather all relevant evidence, request medical and wage records, speak with witnesses, and retain experts as needed. Proving liability against the other driver is crucial, as that impacts how much financial compensation you will receive.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Lewisville Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Personal injury victims must file a claim within a certain period of time, as outlined under the relevant statute of limitations. In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases, including those arising out of motorcycle accidents. While there are some exceptions that apply, they are rare. Thus, to file a timely claim, you should file within two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to initiate a claim within the statute of limitations, the court will have little choice but to dismiss your case.
What Happens If I Was Partially at Fault?
Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can still pursue a personal injury claim against an at-fault party, even if you are partially responsible for causing the accident. Under Texas law, a judge or jury will determine an accident victim’s percentage of fault. As long as the accident victim’s share of fault is less than the defendant’s, the court will reduce the accident victim’s recovery amount by their percentage of fault. For example, assume you suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident and the jury found you suffered $200,000 in damages. However, the jury also determined you were 10% responsible for the collision. In this case, your total recovery amount would be $180,000, or $200,000 less 10%.
What Should I Look for in a Lewisville Motorcycle Accident Lawyers?
When you are looking for a Lewisville motorcycle accident attorney, one of the most important things to consider is an attorney’s experience. Ideally, you will locate a lawyer who has extensive experience handling all aspects of a motorcycle lawsuit. This includes investigating accidents, preparing claims, negotiating with insurance companies, and, most importantly, handling these cases in front of a jury. While not every Lewisville motorcycle accident results in a jury trial, you should ensure that your attorney is prepared to go to court in the event the insurance company is unwilling to extend a fair settlement offer.
Can I Still Recover for My Injuries If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
There is no question that helmets save lives, and it is always a good idea to wear a helmet when riding on a motorcycle. However, under Texas law, motorcyclists do not need to wear a helmet if they are over 21 and have a qualifying insurance policy.
Typically, a rider’s failure to wear a helmet will not prevent them from recovering for their injuries. This is because a rider’s decision not to wear a helmet doesn’t make an accident any less likely. Texas law does allow for judges and juries to reduce an accident victim’s total recovery amount under the state’s modified comparative negligence framework if they were not wearing a helmet. However, this is only the case when the at-fault party can show that the injured motorcyclist’s injuries would not have been as severe had they worn a helmet. For example, this may come up if you sustained a traumatic brain injury following a Lewisville motorcycle accident.
Contact Hartley Law Firm Today
If a negligent motorist injured you or someone you love, let the Hartley Law Firm help. We have nearly a decade of experience and a proven track record of recovering compensation for our clients.
Our experienced attorneys also handle other types of injury cases, including:
Contact Hartley Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us put our litigation experience to work for you. We offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us to learn more about how we can assist you with a Lewisville motorcycle accident claim.