For many people, riding a motorcycle is about more than just getting from place to place. It might be a hobby or provide a sense of belonging to the motorcycle community. Motorcycles are easy to fix, hold their value, and help riders save on gas costs. Also, motorcycles are just plain fun. With all the positives of motorcycle riding, it can be hard to remember the downsides. For example, on average, one motorcyclist is killed on Texas roads every day. Fortunately, taking simple precautions, like wearing a helmet, can save your life. And, if you or a loved one suffered a motorcycle accident, you don’t have to deal with the burden alone. Hartley Law Firm is here to help you fight for the compensation you need so that you can recover from your injuries.
Common Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcycle accident happens, any part of a rider’s body can be injured. The most common motorcycle injuries are lower extremity, upper extremity, and head injuries. While lower-extremity injuries from a motorcycle accident are more common, upper-extremity and head injuries tend to be more severe. Internal injuries from a motorcycle accident resulting from blunt force trauma to the chest or torso can also cause internal bleeding and damage vital organs. Common lower extremity injuries include:
- Fractures to the foot bones or toe amputation;
- Fractures or dislocations of the ankle, tibia, and fibula;
- Fractures of the knee; and
- Tears of the ligaments or meniscus of the knee.
Examples of upper extremity injuries include:
- Fractures of the humerus and hand;
- Dislocation of the shoulders and wrists;
- Compartment syndrome, which occurs when excessive pressure builds up inside an enclosed muscle space in the body; and
- Soft tissue injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or skull fractures are common head injuries associated with motorcycle accidents. Signs of TBI include confusion, disorientation, and cognitive, physical, or behavioral changes, which may or may not be permanent.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Like accidents of any type, reckless driving, speeding, and alcohol use are common causes of motorcycle accidents. Other causes might be:
- Distracted driving,
- Drowsy driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Failing to adjust a vehicle’s mirrors,
- Unfamiliarity with the operation of a motorcycle,
- Road hazards,
- Motorcycle defect,
- Abruptly changing lanes,
- Failing to signal before changing lanes, and
- Riding in blind spots of other vehicles.
About one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes result from other motorists turning into the motorcycle’s path. Because motorcycles do not offer the same type of protection as a car or truck, motorcyclists must remain vigilant at all times and anticipate what might happen. A lapse of judgment or delayed reaction can be fatal.
Motorcycle Accident Liability
To demonstrate accident liability in a motorcycle accident case, the victim must prove that the negligence of another party caused the accident. Without showing liability, you cannot obtain financial compensation.
To prove negligence, you must prove the following elements:
- The person who caused the accident had a duty to operate their vehicle safely;
- The person who caused the accident breached this duty by engaging in unsafe behavior;
- The unsafe behavior caused the rider’s injury or death; and
- The rider suffered damages because of their injury.
Texas is among the 33 states that have modified comparative negligence laws. This means an accident victim can recover some compensation if they were partially at fault for the accident. However, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. In Texas, victims can obtain compensation only if they were 50% or less to blame for an accident. If someone is more than 50% at fault for their accident, they will not be able to recover any compensation in Texas.
Motorcycle Accident Settlement
After filing a motorcycle accident claim with an insurance company, the insurance company calculates your claim’s value by assessing economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are monetary losses such as:
- Medical bills,
- Future health care costs,
- Lost income for missed work,
- Lost future earnings, and
- Property damage or loss.
These damages are usually easy to calculate because a specific monetary value is attached to them. An attorney can gather medical records, bills, pay stubs, and repair invoices to support your claim for economic damages.
Noneconomic damages compensate you for the emotional and mental suffering that was caused by your accident. Noneconomic damages are more subjective, and the insurance company may not consider them if you don’t claim them. Some examples of noneconomic damages are:
- Pain and suffering;
- Long-term physical impairments, such as disfigurement, scarring, or amputation;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Loss of consortium.
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate because no specific monetary value is attached to them. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be able to help you identify and calculate all of your damages, including noneconomic damages. If the insurance company does not offer a settlement you believe is fair, then it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties.
Garland Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Hartley Law Firm have been recognized as being among the best personal injury lawyers in Carrollton, TX, by Expertise.com. Time is of the essence in a personal injury case. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Hartley Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help.