Were You in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Our Legal Team for Help!
All motor vehicle accidents can result in injuries, but motorcycle accidents can be particularly nasty. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle wreck, look no further for help than the legal team of your fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Stewart J. Guss. We can bring you the justice you deserve.
Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers offer a FREE consultation, and we’re available to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us right now at 800-898-4877, or CLICK HERE to send us a question or get more information. There is NO cost to get a free consultation right now. Also, if you decide to hire us, you pay us nothing upfront, and you will pay absolutely nothing at all unless and until we’ve won your case.
More than that, if you are uninsured, or cannot afford health insurance deductibles or co-pays, we may be able to help you obtain the medical treatment you need – at no upfront out of pocket cost to you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.
The Joys and Dangers of Riding in Houston and Texas
With its expansive network of roads, Texas is the perfect place to ride a motorcycle, whether you head out full-speed on the highway or take the winding backcountry rural route. The weather in Texas is generally perfect for riding, as well, except for the occasional snow flurry, heatwave, or flood. Most of the time, however, Texas is the perfect state for cycling with a backdrop of mountains, rivers, forests, and plains. With this setting, it’s no surprise how many motorcyclists you see on our on the roads regularly.
You may see attorney Stewart Guss while you’re out there. He is proud of the M status on his driver’s license and spends 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 than 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.
*There were 11 additional motorcycle accident fatalities where it was unknown if the driver wore a helmet.
Motorcycle crashes also happen regularly in Texas. Consider the following statistics reported by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- There were 9,655 motorcycle accidents reported in a single year in Texas
- 501 motorcyclists did not survive
- 2,101 motorcyclists suffered injuries suspected or known to be serious
- 3,430 motorcyclists suffered non-incapacitating injuries
- 1,994 motorcyclists suffered “possible” injuries
- 1,411 motorcyclists did not suffer any injuries
As you can see from these numbers, motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer some type of injury in a crash than not. The statistics show that only 14 percent of motorcyclists walked away unscathed after a crash (at least physically unscathed, as they were likely mentally rattled). This means that when a crash happens, motorcyclists will likely have to deal with injuries afterward, and sometimes, serious and life-changing injuries.
Steps to Take after a Motorcycle Accident
The scene is often chaotic in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash. While there are steps that accident victims can take to protect their rights, we realize these steps aren’t possible for everyone right after a crash. The following are things to keep in mind depending on your specific situation.
If you have serious injuries
If you know right away you suffered serious injuries in the motorcycle accident, you should stay where you are if possible. If you are out of the path of traffic, don’t move, as moving can often significantly worsen spinal injuries, fractures, and other traumatic injuries. If others are helping you, make sure someone called 911 and ask them to make sure you’re not in harm’s way while you wait.
In this situation, paramedics will likely transport you directly to the hospital, where you will receive emergency trauma care. At this point, don’t worry about what’s happening at the accident scene, as your priority will be to make sure you get to a stable condition. Some motorcycle accident victims are unconscious at the scene and wake up in the hospital. If this occurs, try to stay calm as you put together what happened and why you’re there. You want to follow the doctor’s orders to prevent complications and hope for the best possible prognosis.
If you can remain at the scene
If you feel okay after a crash, you can get up and make sure you move out of the roadway. Call 911 and wait for the police and paramedics to arrive. As the situation unfolds, consider the following:
- If the other driver seems drunk or agitated, steer clear until police arrive and NEVER confront them
- Have an EMT check you out to see whether you may need an ambulance ride
- Tell the police officers your side of the story about what happened
- Avoid apologizing or making any statements that could be skewed as admitting fault for the crash
- Use your smartphone to take photos of the crash scene, your motorcycle, damage to other vehicles, your injuries, and more
- Get information from witnesses that stopped after they saw the accident, as their information may not always make it into police reports
After you leave the scene
After you leave the scene of your crash, you should head to the nearest emergency room or urgent care, or see if you can make an emergency appointment with your doctor. Even if you didn’t need an ambulance, you still may have serious injuries that need a proper and timely diagnosis. This means you’ll receive the treatment you need, and your medical records that show your diagnosis and treatment recommendations can also be used to prove your injuries in an insurance claim.
Once you’re home and you’re nerves are calming down after the traumatic accident, you should call an experienced motorcycle accident law firm. In many cases, you’ll be able to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses, and you want the right lawyer helping you out. We offer a FREE consultation for your motorcycle accident, and we’re available to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us right now at 800-898-4877, or CLICK HERE to submit your case for a free evaluation.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
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. 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. While wearing the right safety gear, including a helmet, heavy boots, gloves, and thick clothing, can help protect from certain injuries, even the best gear can’t shield you from the impact of a large vehicle or with the ground. Helmets are critical for optimum safety—you’re more likely to die in a Texas motorcycle accident without one—though they can’t protect you from head trauma all of the time.
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.
- Face and head injuries – Many motorcyclists don’t wear helmets with face guards, or they don’t wear a helmet at all. Often, the impact of a crash will throw a motorcyclist from their bike, and in many situations, they fly forward over the handlebars. This is especially common in rear-end collisions, whether the motorcyclist was the front or rear vehicle. In this case, a motorcyclist will likely hit either a car or the ground face-first, resulting in serious face and head injuries. Motorcyclists may suffer a broken jaw, which often requires wiring that keeps a patient from eating solid food or speaking normally for weeks. They can fracture their noses or cheekbones, which can require surgery and permanently alter their appearance. They may also need costly and painful dental work to fix damaged teeth.
- Fractures – Breaking a bone is a rite of passage for many kids, and it’s an injury many people discount as relatively minor. However, all fractured bones require immediate medical assistance. A doctor will need to identify the location of the fracture and determine the best method of stabilizing that body part while the bone heals. This can include a cast, splint, brace, or a boot. Even simple fractures take weeks or months to heal. However, many fractures that motorcyclists experience are significantly more severe. A compound fracture occurs when the bone breaks through the skin, and these fractures almost always require immediate surgery to prevent infections and set the bone. Multiple fractures or shattered bones will require the surgical implantation of pins, plates, or screws for the bone to heal right. Recovery from surgery can be long and painful, and the bone may never heal exactly right, causing lifelong impairments for the accident victims.
- Internal injuries – There are many injuries that you can’t see just from looking at a motorcyclist after an accident. However, internal injuries are very common when the body experiences severe trauma. You can suffer nonobvious fractures, including a fractured pelvis or broken ribs. The traumatic impact can cause serious damage to your major organs, including your liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, or heart. You can also experience internal hemorrhaging due to your injuries, and blood can fill your abdominal cavity while you experience dangerous blood loss. The possibility of life-threatening internal injuries is only one reason why every motorcycle accident victim should get emergency medical care.
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 allow you to start any necessary treatments as soon as possible. Also, 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.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Incur Extensive Losses
Injuries are difficult to deal with as it is. Any injury can cause pain and can restrict your movement or use of your body as usual. However, the stress and frustration of injuries only get worse due to the additional losses you may experience.
The extent of a motorcycle accident victim’s losses often directly depends on the nature and severity of their injuries. Victims with catastrophic and permanently disabling injuries can see losses soar into the millions of dollars quite easily. On the other hand, an accident victim with a broken elbow may have a few thousand dollars in losses. This does not mean that the victim with the broken elbow deserves compensation any less. If you have ANY expenses or losses AT ALL, you should receive compensation from the party that caused your crash.
Losses will vary drastically from case to case. The best way to know what your claim may be worth is to contact our office directly for a FREE case evaluation. However, the following are some examples of common losses after a motorcycle crash.
- Medical expenses – Every motorcyclist involved in a crash should get medical attention right away, often at the scene of the accident. Victims may need an ambulance ride to the hospital or sometimes, even a medevac helicopter. They will receive treatment in the emergency room, and doctors may admit them to stay in the hospital depending on their injuries. Hospitalization is common if an injury needs surgery or for spinal or brain injuries. Injury victims may incur costs for surgeries, post-op care, physical therapy, rehabilitative therapy, home health care, medical equipment, medications, and more.
- Lost earnings – Many injuries can keep you from working for a few days, a few months, or even permanently. In some cases, such as after surgery, time off work to rest and recover is a mandatory part of your treatment. Your specific type of injury may also prevent you from completing your job duties. After all, you can’t work construction with a broken leg. Neck and back injuries can affect many jobs, including sitting in an office chair or behind the wheel of a truck for hours at a time. Many people lose income for every hour they don’t work. Even if you have some paid time off available, you can run out quickly and will likely have to take unpaid leave. A few days or weeks of lost income can certainly throw off your entire household budget and create additional financial stress.
- Future losses – When you think of your injury-related losses, you may look to the medical bills you’ve received and pay statements showing no income for the time you missed. However, most people forget to consider the losses they will incur in the future. The costs of your injuries don’t automatically stop with the resolution of your insurance claim or legal case. The losses can continue for many people, sometimes indefinitely and sometimes, for the rest of their lives. Our legal team knows how to consider and calculate the costs of medical care you might need in the future, as well as future lost income and lost earning power if your injury permanently affected your ability to work.
- Noneconomic losses – Not all losses stem directly from financial issues, as the law allows seriously injured accident victims to seek compensation for the noneconomic losses they endured. These losses can include physical pain and suffering from your injuries, mental and emotional trauma from the accident itself or from dealing with injuries, loss of enjoyment of life due to restrictive injuries, and permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disabilities they will deal with for the rest of their lives.
The entire purpose of an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is to seek damages, which is compensation for your various losses. You can bet the insurance company and liable party won’t simply take your word when it comes to the amount of damages you claim. Instead, you’ll need to provide evidence to support your damages, which can be more difficult than you might think.
Past medical expenses and lost wages are relatively simple to prove, as you can present your bills and pay stubs to demonstrate those monetary losses. However, future losses and noneconomic losses are both much harder to calculate and demonstrate.
Our law firm regularly works with clients who have serious injuries, and who will have future and noneconomic losses as part of their claim. We know how to seek opinions from medical, financial, and occupational experts to calculate your future medical costs and lost earnings. We are also highly familiar with how our Texas legal system treats noneconomic damages, so we can assess your case and determine the amount we believe you deserve.
Calculating damages is only one of many critical aspects of a motorcycle accident case, as you must also prove who was liable for the crash. Stewart Guss and his team of attorneys and legal professionals know how to handle EVERY aspect of your motorcycle accident claim, so call right now at 800-898-4877 for your FREE case evaluation. Or, if you prefer, CLICK HERE to send us a question and we will get you the information you need right away.
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 law firm that 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 legal team can protect your rights during the insurance process.
Insurance companies are notorious for reviewing a claim and offering only a fraction of what you requested. This doesn’t mean you deserve less—it only means that insurance companies can be greedy and will try to boost profits at the expense of injured accident victims. They make lowball offers in hopes that you don’t know better and will simply accept the offer. With your settlement, you also waive your right to take any additional legal action regarding your accident, which means you can’t ask for more once you realize how insufficient the settlement was. For this reason, you should ALWAYS have our skilled legal team review settlement offers before you EVER accept anything. We will ensure you don’t walk away with less than you need and deserve.
If an insurance claim will not cover your losses, Stewart Guss’s motorcycle accident legal team 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 for a free consultation at 800-898-4877, or CLICK HERE to send us a question or get more information. We are here to help, and you pay NOTHING unless and until we’ve won your case.
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. 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. Also, try to collect contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the wreck.
- Keep documentation about how 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 how your injuries hurt you daily. Keep detailed notes about any pain you experience, problems you have sleeping, activities you must forgo, and how your injuries damage you emotionally or psychologically.
- Stay off 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 our law firm- 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. Also, 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 a law firm 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 a history of obtaining major financial recoveries for many of his fellow Texas motorcyclists injured in accidents. He knows how to seek maximum compensation if you suffered injuries on your motorcycle. And ALWAYS remember, you don’t pay us ANYTHING unless we win your case and get your claim!
In addition to our firsthand understanding and appreciation of motorcycle culture in Texas, the following are some additional factors that allow our law firm to stand out among the rest:
- 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!
Not many law firms around Houston can say all of the above about their team. However, our law firm both provides personalized representation AND get the results you deserve. Your goal is our goal, and we will fight for your claim every step of the way, so call us right away at 800-898-4877, or CLICK HERE to send us a question or get more information.
You Want an Experienced and Stong-Minded Law Firm
Many lawyers rely on decades of law experience to try to attract clients. However, the TYPE of experience someone has is more important than the length of their experience. This is especially true in cases stemming from severe motorcycle accidents. Even if a lawyer handles thousands of small car accident claims, handling a case involving disabling and catastrophic injuries is a completely different ballgame. You specifically want a law firm that takes on cases for clients with severe and life-altering injuries.
In addition to experience, you want a law firm that you know is not afraid to stand up for you. Insurance companies can be bullies, especially to unrepresented claimants or attorneys they know aren’t familiar with the process. It’s safe to say that the legal team at the office of Stewart J. Guss is VERY familiar with the insurance process and each insurance company’s approach. We know how to play hardball with insurance companies, and they know it, too! Because we have a reputation as a strong and aggressive law firm that won’t back down, insurance companies know that they can’t pull tricks on us, which usually results in faster and better outcomes for our clients.
If you ever suffer injuries while riding a motorcycle, don’t wait to hire an effective and experienced law firm to protect your rights. Stewart Guss and his team have the experience, skill, 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 we will always be there for you in your time of need. Our clients’ interests are our own, and that shows in every case we handle!
Contact Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Law Firm as Soon as Possible to Get Started
After a traumatic motorcycle accident, call the legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, to discuss what comes next. Do not sign anything until you speak with us because you risk losing some or all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Once we are on your side, you can be sure that you have an advocate that you can trust!
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, speak to our Houston motorcycle injury legal team as soon as you can. We are nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured motorcycle accident victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
Remember—you pay us nothing upfront 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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