Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of suffering a serious injury if they get into an accident. While safe driving practices can help minimize the risk of an accident, responsible bikers can still get injured in crashes caused by the negligence of other motorists. When this happens, motorcyclists often have several questions. This motorcycle accident FAQ is designed to answer these common questions. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you can learn more about your legal rights by contacting the experienced Texas personal injury lawyers at Jason English Law: call us today at (512) 454-7548.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a traffic accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 5,579 motorcyclists were killed on the road in 2020. In these severe accidents, the motorcyclist may have no other option but to wait for help. But if physically able, there are a few key steps that motorcyclists should take following an accident:
- Call 911 and request emergency services for injuries.
- Contact the police.
- Exchange insurance and contact information with other motorists involved in the crash.
- Gather contact information from any witnesses to the crash.
- Avoid discussing the crash - certain statements could be interpreted as admissions of fault or liability.
- See a doctor and follow all recommendations exactly.
- Contact your insurance company to report the crash.
- Consider speaking with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.
After leaving the scene of the crash, injured motorcyclists should be mindful of the steps they take in the days and weeks following the crash. The insurance claims process can be difficult to navigate, and companies may attempt to limit payouts through certain common tactics. This is why injured motorcyclists should consider speaking with an attorney who has experience in dealing with insurance companies.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Some motorcycle accidents are caused by the motorcyclist through factors like driving while intoxicated, driver error, or speeding. However, approximately two-thirds of motorcycle crashes involve other vehicles. Many of these accidents are caused by other motorists through certain negligent driving behaviors, such as:
- Cars turning left - According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 42 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involve a car turning left when the motorcyclist is driving straight ahead, passing, or overtaking another vehicle.
- Speeding - The NHTSA estimates that speeding is a factor in 37 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes. Speeding motorists may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Additionally, high rates of speed are correlated with a higher likelihood of fatal injuries when a crash happens, and even more so when the crash involves a motorcycle.
- Failure to see motorcyclists - Many motorcyclists happen due to another motorist not seeing the motorcyclist. Several factors can cause these types of crashes, including low visibility and speeding. In many cases, motorists do not see motorcyclists because of their own negligence, such as distracted driving.
Contact Jason English Law to learn more about your legal options after a motorcycle accident and for answers to other questions not covered in this motorcycle accident FAQ.
Understanding Negligence Laws for Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist's negligence, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in order to attempt to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Texas is a comparative negligence state, which means each driver is assigned a percentage of fault. Motorists who are deemed 51 percent or more responsible for the crash are not eligible to seek financial compensation. Those who are less than half at fault can receive compensation, but this amount will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
In order to prove negligence, motorcycle accident victims and their attorneys will need to provide proof of the following factors:
- Breach of duty of care - All motorists owe each other a duty of care, meaning that they must drive safely to reduce the risk of harming other motorists. A lawsuit will need to prove that the other motorist failed to meet this duty of care.
- Negligence caused the injuries - You must prove that the injuries were caused by the defendant's breach of their duty of care, such as driving while intoxicated.
- Proximate cause - It needs to be clear to a reasonable person that the defendant's conduct was negligent. For example, a reasonable person would understand that speeding through a stop sign was a breach of their duty of care.
- Damages - The person filing the lawsuit must demonstrate that they have suffered damages caused by the duty of care breach and subsequent crash, such as serious injuries and property damage.
Types of Compensation Available in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
The financial compensation in a motorcycle accident lawsuit is based on the specific damages the victims of the crash have suffered. While the circumstances of each crash vary, some of the most common damages covered in these lawsuits often include;
- Medical expenses - Past and future medical expenses are both eligible for financial compensation for the full cost of the medical treatment of injuries related to the crash.
- Lost wages - If the injuries have kept the victim out of work, they can recover their lost wages.
- Loss of earning capacity - If the victim suffered disabling injuries that have prevented them from returning to work, they can receive compensation for the amount they would have earned if the accident had not occurred.
- Pain and suffering - These damages are awarded based on the victim's physical pain and suffering and the amount is decided by a jury.
- Mental anguish - Accident victims who are mentally traumatized by their accident may seek damages for mental anguish.
Contact the Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Jason English Law
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a motorcycle accident, our Texas personal injury lawyers understand the difficulties you face. While recovery can be an extremely difficult experience, financial compensation can help victims find the resources they need to deal with the damages they have suffered. For more information on motorcycle accident lawsuits and other motorcycle accident FAQ, contact our compassionate and experienced legal team at Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548.