For many Texans, motorcycles are a way of life. While freedom and danger are certainly part of the appeal, riders should still understand the risks involved and have a contingency plan in the event of an accident, including consulting with an experienced and proven Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyer.
Studies from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reveal that motorcycle fatalities are 29 times more common than passenger-car occupant fatalities in traffic accidents. In 2022, 562 motorcycle riders in Texas were killed and 2,422 were seriously injured in crashes More than half of the fatal motorcycle crashes resulted in collisions with other vehicles. Often, vehicle drivers say they simply did not see the motorcycle rider or misjudged their distance or speed.
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle crash, contact one of the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at the Francis Law Firm for a free consultation. You may be able to recover compensation for injuries and damages through a motorcycle accident claim.
Why Is Motorcycle Riding So Risky?
Cars are much heavier, have at least four wheels, and enclose the occupants in a metal frame. In a collision, a motorcycle rider has none of these protections. In addition to lacking stability and a barrier between the rider and the road, other aspects make motorcycling uniquely dangerous.
Less Visibility to Cars
Motorcycles are much smaller than cars. They may be concealed by other objects on the road. For this reason, lane sharing, or weaving between cars, is especially hazardous.
There is a wide range of environmental hazards that automobile drivers don’t have to worry about as much as motorcyclists do. This includes debris falling off trucks, potholes, uneven road surfaces, and wet or icy road conditions.
Skill Level and Difficulty
Riding a motorcycle is more technical than driving an automobile, even a stick-shift. For this reason, new riders and unlicensed riders account for many of the motorcycle accidents and fatalities in Texas each year.
Power and fast acceleration are naturally a part of motorcycle and speed bike culture. Unfortunately, so is riding without a helmet.
Fortunately, motorcycle riders in Texas can protect themselves by taking a motorcycle safety course, remaining vigilant to other drivers' blind spots, properly maintaining their vehicle, and avoiding road hazards.
Most importantly, riders can reduce the risk of severe injury by wearing a helmet. In the event of an accident, riders can protect themselves, and their loved ones, by possessing adequate uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
In addition, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney to review your case.
Do I Have to Wear a Helmet In Texas?
Under Texas law, riders under 21 must wear a helmet when riding or operating a motorcycle.
Riders 21 and over may elect to go without a helmet if they first obtain certification through a motorcycle operator training course with the Department of Motor Vehicles or demonstrate that they have sufficient health insurance in the event of an accident.
Texas law requires riders to keep a copy of their insurance card with them while operating a motorcycle.
What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Texas?
Motorcycle accidents can result from environmental conditions or driver error. Some of the more common causes include:
- Driving under the influence,
- Merging into an occupied lane,
- Cutting someone off,
- Road rage,
- Reckless driving,
- Rolling through a stop sign or red light,
- Product defects,
- Failing to maintain roadways, and
- Distracted driving.
Regardless of the cause, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney following your accident.
Who Can Be at Fault in a Motorcycle Accident?
Determining fault after a motorcycle accident is crucial. In some motorcycle accidents, it may be the case that the motorcyclist was partially responsible for the accident or made their injuries worse by not wearing a helmet.
An experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can help investigate your case, determine the causes of the accident, and identify the responsible parties. These parties frequently include:
- The other driver;
- The other driver’s employer (if they were on the clock at the time of the accident);
- A liquor store or bar that served alcohol to a visually impaired customer or underage minor;
- A negligent motorcycle mechanic;
- A motorcycle manufacturer of a defective product; or
- A municipality that negligently maintains its roads or signage.
In addition, sometimes a manufacturing or design defect in the motorcycle is the cause of an accident. These defects typically include faulty brake pads and handlebars, ruptured fuel tanks, and engine malfunctions.
An injured motorcyclist bringing a lawsuit must show that the motorcycle or component part was defective when it left the manufacturer's control and that the defect was a cause in fact of the accident.
Other times, it may be appropriate to bring a lawsuit against multiple parties. If a motorcyclist is injured as the result of faulty brake pads, they may have a claim against both the manufacturer and the mechanic who sold and installed the faulty brake pads.
An experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney can evaluate your circumstances and determine the appropriate parties to name in your lawsuit.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover in a Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
There is no guarantee that Fort Worth Motorcycle accident victims will recover compensation, even if their injuries were caused by someone else's negligence. If damages are awarded, the amount can vary, depending on the injuries suffered, the severity of the injury's impact, and other factors.
Economic damage awards provide compensation for financial losses that occurred as a result of the motorcycle crash, and may include medical bills for:
- Emergency room healthcare, including ambulance services
- Past, present, and future doctor appointments
- In-patient hospital care
- Pharmaceutical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Other medical expenses
Economic damages also can include:
- Lost wages
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages can be more difficult to prove because they involve injuries that are intangible and difficult to evaluate. Examples of non-economic damages in motorcycle accident claims include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scars or disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of companionship
In rare cases, a court may award punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the defendant for, particularly egregious conduct by making an example of them to other would-be wrongdoers. These damages may apply in drunk driving cases and other scenarios where a defendant acted intentionally or with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
Families who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that was not the rider's fault may be eligible to file a wrongful death action against the person or entity responsible.
Spouses, children, dependents, or parents and other family members may recover funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of consortium, and other damages in a wrongful death claim.
Many motorcycle accident victims do not realize the full extent and value of their damages and what they could be compensated for. It's important to talk discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer experienced who understands the full financial compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for My Case?
Sometimes, both the driver of an automobile and the motorcyclist are partially responsible for an accident resulting in personal injury and property damage. In these situations, the driver of the automobile may assert a comparative negligence defense.
If successful, the amount of the plaintiff's recovery will be reduced by an amount that represents the motorcyclist's own fault.
For example, if a jury awards $100,000 to a plaintiff but determines they are 25% responsible for their own injury, the award will be reduced to $75,000.
Note that in Texas, a court will deny any recovery to the plaintiff if they are more than 50% responsible for their injuries in an accident.
Should I File a Police Report After a Motorcycle Crash?
Even if you don't believe you're hurt, it is imperative that you contact the police and insist the investigating officer file a report immediately after a motorcycle crash. Many times, if the injured party does not require an ambulance, police departments will try to balk at preparing a report.
Furthermore, injuries may not be immediately discoverable until days or months later. As such, if you have any doubts about your health after a collision, the safest decision is to accept an ambulance. The cost of the ambulance and emergency room will be part of and support the value of your claim.
Moreover, insurance carriers and courts typically rely on a police report prepared at the accident scene to help determine liability and damage claims from motorcycle accident victims.
When Should I Contact a Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
You should contact an experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney if you believe you may have been hurt in a motorcycle accident because of another's negligence.
Typically, you will file a claim through the at-fault party's insurance policy. However, insurance companies are notorious for trying to keep as much money in their own pocket as possible. An insurance company may contest who was really at fault or make you a settlement offer that is far less than the amount to which you are entitled.
A knowledgeable and skilled Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney can help you find the highest quality medical care and pursue what you are rightfully owed. They will calculate the actual value of your injuries and other damages, negotiate for a just personal injury settlement, and, if necessary, zealously represent you against the insurance company in court.
The earlier you contact a Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney, the greater your chances of success. Critical evidence and eyewitnesses disappear quickly after an accident.
Call an experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
How Much Does a Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Attorney Cost?
It is natural for accident victims and their families to worry about the cost of quality legal representation. The experienced Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorneys at The Francis Law Firm work on a contingency fee basis. This means we don't earn a dime unless your case is successful.
Furthermore, with an experienced attorney on your side, the value of your claim typically increases much more than the amount of the contingency fee.
This means you not only have an experienced lawyer to handle your claim and help you get medical care but will also recover more money in your pocket than you would have to handle the claim on your own.
Trust Experienced Fort Worth Motorcycle Attorneys Who Will Fight For You
If you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury as the result of a motorcycle accident that wasn't their fault, call the seasoned Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at the Francis Law Firm. We serve clients in Fort Worth, Dallas, and surrounding areas.
Insurance companies begin preparing for court immediately. You should too.
Before you speak with the other side or provide them with medical records, contact the Francis Law Firm for a free case analysis and consultation. We will review your circumstances and help determine your best options moving forward.
Fort Worth Office
640 Taylor St
Fort Worth, TX 76102