Were You in a Motorcycle Accident?
All motor vehicle accidents can result in injuries, but motorcycle accidents can be particularly nasty. Stewart Guss is proud of the M status on his driver’s license and has spent many hours enjoying our beautiful Texas highways on his motorcycle. With his experience on the road, he understands the particular risks and rewards of riding.
No matter how defensively you ride, statistically speaking, you are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident while riding a motorcycle then while riding in a car or truck. Likewise, even with full protective gear, you are more likely to sustain more severe injuries in an accident on a motorcycle then if you were riding in a car. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are five times more likely to suffer injuries in accidents than occupants of passenger vehicles like cars and trucks.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accident injuries can range tremendously in severity and scope. Even relatively minor accidents can leave victims with serious injuries because motorcyclists are fully exposed to the elements around them. For example, even low-speed collisions can throw motorcyclists from their bikes, resulting in lacerations, cuts, bruises, and broken bones. Common injuries that can occur in serious motorcycle accidents include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries – Whenever an accident jolts a motorcyclist’s head or results in the head hitting an object—even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet—Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can result. Many things can cause head injuries, but they tend to occur in motorcycle accidents when a rider slams head-first into another vehicle or is thrown from a bike and hits the ground. Even mild brain injuries can leave victims with serious symptoms that last for months, and more serious TBIs can result in long-term disabilities that profoundly impair victims’ physical or cognitive functioning.
Spinal Cord Injuries – SCIs are another common outcome in serious motorcycle accidents and are among the most serious and dangerous types of injuries a person can sustain. The spinal cord consists of nerves that allow the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, so anytime it is damaged, significant complications can result. An incomplete spinal cord injury does not completely disrupt communication, so a person still has some feeling and function below the injury site. In a complete spinal cord injury, however, the brain cannot communicate with the parts of the body below the injury site, generally resulting in paralysis.
Serious Soft Tissue Injuries – Soft tissue injuries damage skin, fat, synovial membranes, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. For example, if you fall and scrape your knee, you have technically sustained a soft tissue injury that medical professionals would likely classify as a laceration. While few people consider a scraped knee worthy of medical attention, serious soft tissue injuries can threaten lives. A motorcycle accident, for example, can severely damage the body’s soft tissues, and many victims sustain extremely serious lacerations, bruises, sprains, and strains. In many cases, these injuries require emergency medical attention and leave victims with significant complications, including significant pain, loss of range of motion, and permanent scarring.
The existence or severity of certain injuries is not always apparent immediately after an accident. This is particularly true in cases involving internal injuries, which can often result in emergency medical conditions hours or days after an accident took place. For this reason, anyone who was involved in a motorcycle accident—even someone who lacks obvious serious injuries—must seek medical attention. Doing so will give doctors the chance to identify any injuries and you the opportunity to start any necessary treatments as soon as possible. In addition, it will create an official medical record that you can use as evidence in your case, either in settlement negotiations with the insurance company or at trial.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Motorcycle Injuries?
After a motorcycle accident, you can often face mounting medical expenses. When coupled with lost income from missing work, the financial repercussions of your accident can grow significantly. It is only natural to wonder whether you can hold someone else liable for your injury-related losses. You have nothing to lose by discussing your rights with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, who can evaluate your case.
Sometimes, you can hold another party liable for your injuries and losses if that party’s negligence caused your accident. Many different parties may face negligence in motorcycle crashes, including:
- Distracted drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Aggressive drivers
- Drivers who fail to yield
- Drivers who make improper lane changes
- Companies that sell defective motorcycles
- Transportation departments that allow dangerous or defective roads
Distracted driving is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Texas. Motorcycles are already more difficult to see on the roads, because drivers may primarily look out for cars, trucks, or other larger vehicles. It is all too easy to miss a motorcyclist in a rearview mirror or blind spot and try to turn or change lanes right in front of them. Still, the law requires drivers to adequately watch for all types of vehicles that can use the roads, which includes smaller vehicles like motorcycles and bicycles.
Once you identify one or more negligent parties as causing your accident, you have different options for obtaining the compensation you deserve. In many cases, the first step is to file a claim with the negligent party’s insurance company. While insurance claims may seem fairly straightforward, the complicated process can often surprise people. Insurers will try to limit any payouts by challenging liability or even challenging the extent of your injuries and losses. A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can protect your rights during the insurance process.
If an insurance claim will not cover your losses, motorcycle accident lawyer Stewart Guss can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Our office will then handle all aspects of your case. We will try to reach a favorable settlement agreement, or even represent you at trial if needed. Contact our law firm as soon as possible so we can begin working to obtain compensation for you.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
Though it would make motorcycle accident victims’ lives easier, compensation is not automatically issued after an accident—even in cases where the other driver is clearly at fault. In fact, obtaining compensation usually requires affirmative steps on the part of the victim, and victims can do things that hurt their chances of recovering compensation after the fact. After an accident, to maximize your chances of recovery:
Collect and preserve information about your crash – After an accident, take the time to document as much information about your accident as possible. If you are not injured enough to require emergency medical attention, try to gather evidence at the scene of the accident. For example, take pictures of the aftermath of the crash from multiple angles, highlighting the damage to your motorcycle as well as any road or vehicle defects that you believe may have contributed to your accident. In addition, try to collect contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the wreck.
Keep documentation about the way in which your injuries hurt you – The importance of documentation does not stop when you leave the scene of your accident. Motorcycle accident victims must establish damages—either to the insurance company or the court. To this end, document the way in which your injuries hurt you on a daily basis. Keep detailed notes about any pain you experience, problems you have sleeping, activities you must forgo, and the way in which your injuries damage you emotionally or psychologically.
Be careful using social media – In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their inevitable successors, a motorcycle accident may seem like an unquestionably share-worthy event. While your initial instinct may drive you to share photos and status updates about your accident and injuries, think twice about posting about your crash on social media. The other party or parties can use anything you post as evidence either that you were partially (or totally) at fault for your accident or that you are not as injured as you claim. Refrain from using social media at all while your case is pending.
Do not accept an insurance company’s settlement offer before speaking to an attorney –Insurance companies offer settlements to many motorcycle accident victims shortly after their accidents—often before they have opportunities to retain legal counsel. First offers, however, are typically far less than the compensation you deserve. In addition, most motorcycle accident victims do not have experience determining the value of personal injury cases. While losses like property damage and medical expenses are relatively easy to determine, this is not the case when it comes to noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. For this reason, always have an attorney review the facts of your case before accepting a settlement offer that absolves the at-fault party from any future liability for the accident.
Why Choose Our Team?
As a motorcycle driver and personal injury lawyer for almost 20 years, Stewart Guss is acutely aware of the particular dangers facing riders. He has obtained major recoveries for many of his fellow Texas motorcyclists. He knows how to seek maximum compensation if you were injured on your motorcycle. And, you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case and get your claim!
- Stewart Guss and his team believe in respect, integrity, and family values.
- Our attorneys and staff will always be there for you!
- With decades of combined experience, Stewart Guss and his team will tirelessly work to recover as much as possible on your motorcycle accident claim.
- Motorcycle cases can be complex, involve serious injuries, and require an experienced legal team.
- And you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case!
Choose an Attorney With Strength and Experience
If you are ever injured while riding a motorcycle, hire an effective and experienced attorney to protect your rights. Stewart Guss and his team have the experience, skills, and dedication to maximize your recovery in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident. More than that, our team takes a personal interest in every case we handle, and will always be there in your time of need.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, call the attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law to talk about it. Do not sign anything until you speak with us because you risk losing some or all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to a Houston personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. To schedule a free case evaluation with the attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, call today at (281) 664-6500 or send us an email through our online contact form. Remember—you pay us nothing up front when we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve won your recovery.
Don’t Take Chances—Let Us Help You!
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