Causes of Motorcycle AccidentsThe Texas Department of Transportation reports an estimated 7,481 motorcycle crashes occur almost yearly. Most accidents leave people seriously injured, and a portion of them is fatal. Motorcyclists make up roughly 12 percent of traffic deaths in Texas. A rider has a higher risk of a serious accident compared to other motorists.
#1. SpeedingOne common cause is speeding. When a person drives fast, they are less likely to react to changes in the road in time. Higher speeds can mean severe damage upon impact as well.
#2. Sudden StopsOccasionally, a driver has to stop suddenly for a variety of reasons. The person behind them has to apply the brakes to avoid a rear-end collision. If a vehicle is close behind a motorcycle, a crash could happen if the rider slows down or stops.
#3. Unsafe Lane ChangesWhen a person changes lanes, they need to check for any vehicles nearby. Side mirrors are useful, but drivers also have to look in their blind spots. Motorcycles are small, so cars need to be more vigilant. If they are not, they could cause an accident with an unsafe lane change.
#4. AlcoholDriving under the influence is another common reason why people get into collisions. Alcohol can lower someone’s coordination and reaction time. A drunk driver is less likely to be aware of a motorcycle.
#5. Hazardous Road ConditionsDangerous road conditions can lead to severe injuries. Harsh weather can make the road slippery for motorcycles. Potholes and ruined pavement can be hazardous as well. In some cases, a rider comes into contact with debris. Debris can come from another vehicle or the surrounding environment.
#6. Malfunctioning Motorcycle PartsDefects in motorcycle parts might be the root cause of a crash. The vehicle could stop working correctly due to a poor design. No matter the reason, a motorcycle accident attorney at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers can help you prove negligence and get compensation.
A Motorcycle Lawsuit Against the CityIn a few cases, the municipality is responsible for a motorcycle accident. The city must ensure road safety. A government vehicle could have hit a motorcyclist due to blind spots or distracted driving. Government vehicles include school buses and city landscaping trucks. Of course, neglected streets could make the municipality liable for damage you sustained. For example, you could have gotten into an accident due to a large pothole. If the city knew about the ruined road and did not act in time, you could have a case. The Texas Tort Claims Act allows residents of Arlington to sue the government for injuries or deaths an agency caused. An organization has to pay for property damage as well. However, a collision has to meet two conditions. One condition is if the city employee acted within the “scope of employment.” Additionally, the employee would need to be liable if they were a private individual. Once an incident meets the criteria, you can begin a lawsuit. The claim process is different when the government is the defendant. When you bring a claim against a local government in Texas, you need to follow a specific set of instructions. You have to submit a notice of claim against cities like Arlington in six months. Arlington allows residents to file a claim on its website. However, the city provides an address if you prefer to mail the notice. You can speak with an attorney at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers to learn more about filing lawsuits against the municipality.
Motorcycle Collision Injuries
#1. Spinal Cord InjuryPeople on motorcycles have less protection compared to drivers and passengers in cars. The lack of a barrier makes motorcyclists more likely to sustain severe injuries. For example, a victim could have damage to their spinal cord. Damaged spinal cords usually mean a person develops paralysis. Paralysis might be complete or incomplete. In other words, someone either loses all or partial sensation below the injury. If you got into a motorcycle accident, look for signs of difficulty breathing, loss of movement, and numbness.
#2. Traumatic Brain InjurySome people learn they have a traumatic brain injury soon after the accident. However, others do not discover the injury until days later. Symptoms include issues with concentration, headaches, and nausea. Many people experience a loss of balance as well. Traumatic brain injuries are common among traffic collisions, and symptoms can improve with treatment. However, a person can face complications. They have an increased chance of seizures, inflammation, and post-traumatic epilepsy.
#3. Internal InjuriesThe blunt force trauma from a car can lead to internal injuries. Penetration from a sharp object might be the source of internal injuries instead. Victims can suffer from damaged organs or internal bleeding. They need to seek care as soon as possible since the wounds could be life-threatening.
#4. Lower-Extremity InjuryYou could have to seek treatment for injuries in the lower extremity. The lower extremity of the body refers to the area between the hip and the toes. Riders are likely to have minor or severe injuries on the lower half of their bodies.
#5. FracturesIn many cases, motorcyclists fall from their motorcycles. An initial reaction would be to catch themselves to break the fall. The impact on the hard ground may result in a broken bone in the hands or wrists. Others have their legs stuck under the motorcycle after a collision.
#6. Road RashesRoad rash can happen when a rider hits the road’s surface. The skin abrasions require medical assistance since you could develop an infection in the open wound. Our firm helps you seek justice for any injuries you get from a motorcycle accident.
What You Should Do After a Motorcycle AccidentWhen someone finds themselves in a motorcycle accident, they likely feel disoriented. You can make a difference in the outcome of your incident if you follow specific steps. What you do can maximize the value of your case as well. The first step is to ensure everyone is okay. Cars and motorcycles should move out of the way of traffic if possible. However, you should not move anyone if they are unconscious. Once you and others are safe, contact law enforcement. In Texas, people have to report accidents if the collision hurt someone or caused sufficient vehicle damage. An officer investigates the scene and collects statements from the ones involved and witnesses. Usually, the police create accident reports. A report might contain a drawn diagram of the crash and the officer’s opinion of who was at fault. While you are at the scene of the accident, you should collect information. Speak with the other motorist and any witnesses. Obtain their names and contact information. You should get the name of the driver’s insurance company as well. In the meantime, do not admit fault for the accident. The other side can use your admission against you if you pursue a lawsuit. Instead, you need to take pictures of the accident if you can. Photos document the physical aftermath of the collision. They help lawyers understand what happened and the severity of the damage. Gather images quickly before authorities clean up the scene. Once you are clear to leave, seek medical care. Injuries can worsen if you delay treatment. Additionally, the medical records help build your case. Lastly, you should contact a lawyer soon after the motorcycle accident. The team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers Are Here to HelpThe other side’s insurance company might try to minimize how much they have to pay you. The insurer could try to pressure you. You need a law firm to fight against the defense’s aggressive tactics. Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers stand by your side and take some stress off of you. Our team does not back down and works hard to achieve a favorable outcome for clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your motorcycle accident case.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer QuicklyAfter you get into a motorcycle crash, you should seek medical care. Once you receive treatment, you might desire to seek compensation for your damages. A lawyer can help you with your case, but you might not know the right time to hire one. You should consult a lawyer as soon as you can. One incentive to do so is evidence can fade over time. Video footage of the accident could face deletion in the following months. A person could lose valuable documents as well. Additionally, some witnesses might have a difficult time with memory recollection. Another reason why you should hire a motorcycle accident attorney early on is the statute of limitations. You have two years after the day of the collision to file a lawsuit. The court most likely will not consider your case if you miss the deadline. The two-year window also applies to cases of fatal motorcycle crashes. The clock might pause until the deceased victim’s death. Of course, claims against the government have a shorter period. If you have a lawyer on your side, you can collect evidence quickly. An attorney can answer your questions about the statute of limitations and prepare documents on time.
Other Benefits of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident AttorneyA motorcycle accident attorney provides other benefits besides starting a lawsuit on time. A person can receive guidance and learn how to navigate the legal process. You get a better understanding of what to look for when you try to prove negligence. Lawyers work with injured victims during every step of the process. They help people determine the best choices for their cases. Your situation is unique, and an attorney knows which path you should take. The right option could be to take the settlement offer or proceed to a jury trial. Another benefit is a better potential settlement. Lawyers know how to maximize the value of your case. They can negotiate with the defense for higher compensation. Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers fight aggressively to get you a favorable outcome.
Common DefensesThe defendant may apply one of several strategies to lower or avoid payments. Your attorney can identify and counter some of the defenses the opposing side might use. A common tactic would be for the defendant’s lawyer to shift some or the entire fault onto you. The other party tries to look for evidence to prove you hold some responsibility for the accident. If successful, the value of your lawsuit could diminish. However, the defendant clearly is negligent in some cases, so the strategy might not work. A few negligent parties try to argue the plaintiff had pre-existing conditions. In other words, the accident did not cause their injuries. The defense could go through years’ worth of medical records to show how your injuries could have happened. A few defenses use technicalities to dismiss your case. For example, exceeding the statute of limitations could give the other side an argument against your claim. If the lawsuit goes to trial, the defense lawyer could attempt to impeach your witness. Impeaching a witness is when the attorney attacks the witness’s credibility. They might show a contradiction between testimonies. Another way is to show bias. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer to fight some of the common tactics.
Insurance Company StrategiesMany insurers try to get victims to provide a recorded statement soon after the accident. The agent might ask you about your injuries before you have seen a doctor. You may think the request is reasonable, but the insurance provider is not on your side. A statement is a tool for companies to devalue your claim. A company could use what you say against you. You should not talk to the other side’s insurer until you get a lawyer. The insurance company could delay your claim. They might send the incorrect forms, and you have to spend time to obtain the proper documents. An agent might not answer your calls in an attempt to delay the claim. Some providers hope to stall the process until the statute of limitations runs out. If the deadline passes, they have a reason to deny compensation. You should hire a lawyer when you begin to file a claim against the insurer. Attorneys know how to avoid the delay tactic. The weeks after an accident are a vulnerable time for many victims. Insurance companies use the fact to their advantage. You could receive an offer for a quick settlement. Some people feel tempted to accept the offer, but you should not sign any papers. A quick settlement generally means you get less money than what your case is worth. Our team does not let insurers take advantage of you during a stressful time.
How to Increase the Value of a ClaimSeveral factors can determine how much a person receives in a settlement. The type of damage you sustain influences the value of your claim. A catastrophic injury could have more worth than a broken bone. Make sure to see a doctor for a complete evaluation. You could get higher compensation if you have a long recovery process or spend plenty of money on motorcycle repairs. Future medical expenses could play a role in the calculation of compensation. You should keep documents of all your medical records and bills. The court may consider disruptions in your daily life as well. You can record how your injuries have affected your ability to do everyday tasks. Additionally, credible witnesses are essential for any motorcycle accident. Lawyers can use them to maximize the value of cases. Make sure you collect and keep the names and phone numbers of witnesses after a collision. You can ask your motorcycle lawyer about other ways you can maximize compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Where Is a Collision Likely to Occur?People might believe motorcycle crashes happen more often in urban areas due to population density. However, statistics found 60 percent of fatal and serious injury collisions take place in rural settings. Rural roadways tend to have different speeds and road conditions than urban streets. In general, rural highways have higher speed limits than urban ones. The maximum limit for some of the interstates in Texas can go as high as 85 miles per hour. Fast speeds are a contributing factor for many motorcycle collisions. Studies have shown how many motorcycle crashes occurred close to residential places. Additionally, a portion of cases happens while the rider travels on a curved road.
#2. What Can You Receive Compensation For?A victim of a motorcycle accident can recover several damages in a lawsuit. You can get reimbursement for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages involve medical expenses, and a motorcycle accident can cost people a lot of money. Annually, traumatic brain injuries cost patients almost $76.5 billion in medical care and missed wages. A single day at the hospital can cost thousands of dollars. The price of medication, medical devices, and rehabilitation places a financial burden on victims. Lost wages are common damages people can recover. The court awards you money for the number of shifts you missed. You should keep track of how many hours you lost during treatment. You can claim loss of future income for permanent injuries. Motorcycle accidents usually result in property damage. You might have spent money on repairs or a replacement. Some people have to fix or buy new glasses and phones. Property damage increases how much money you get in a settlement. Non-economic damage involves damage to a person’s mental well-being. Emotional anguish and loss of enjoyment of life are conditions you can claim in a lawsuit. Other people can get money for PTSD from a motorcycle accident.
#3. What Can You Expect From a Consultation?Most motorcycle accident law firms provide consultations for free. When you consult a motorcycle accident lawyer, make sure to bring all the necessary documentation. Documents include a police report, photos, and medical records. During the meeting, the attorney asks you multiple questions. They might inquire about the details of the accident. The lawyer usually wants to hear about your injuries and the progress of your recovery. You should answer the questions to the best of your ability. Of course, you have the opportunity to ask the attorney some questions you might have. You might want to know about the lawsuit process. Another question is if the attorney has handled cases like yours in the past. Consultations allow you to see if the lawyer is right for you. You can learn more about the information you find important. Consultations at our firm help you understand your legal options.
#4. What Happens if You Were in a Hit and Run?In a few cases, the responsible driver flees the scene. The lawsuit becomes complex since the victim cannot collect insurance information or proper identification. If you were in a hit-and-run incident, you and any witnesses should try talking to the police. Video cameras could be nearby, and footage might have caught the accident. An officer might be able to track down and locate the negligent driver. You should still take photos of the accident and seek medical assistance as you usually would. If authorities manage to find the driver, you could have an easier time with your lawsuit. People can get into trouble if they leave the accident before you can report it. The court is more likely to side with the victim. However, you might not find the liable party. You would have to deal with motorcycle repairs and medical bills independently. However, your insurance policy could include uninsured motorist coverage. The coverage can help pay for damages up to a specific limit.
#5. How Do You Prove Negligence?The law requires motorists to be reasonably careful. They have to ensure the safety of others on the road. You would need to show the defendant was not careful. People refer the misconduct as a violation of the duty of care. Evidence can prove how the opposing party’s behavior fell short of how a reasonable person would have acted. Next, you need to establish the direct connection between the defendant’s misconduct and your injuries. Some parties argue you had a pre-existing condition. A few people have injuries due to a specific medical condition. A prior unrelated event could have resulted in the development of an injury. The harm you suffered needs to have led to measurable losses. Negligence is straightforward in some situations. However, other cases become complicated. You should have a lawyer on your side when you try to prove liability.
#6. Is a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Likely to Win?Even though several motorcycle accidents are complex, cases usually are likely to end in a favorable outcome. Almost 95 percent of personal injury cases successfully negotiate a settlement before they go to trial. In general, both sides prefer to go through mediation. Insurance companies have more control over the settlement than if the jury awarded the amount. If your lawsuit goes to trial, the chances of winning are lower. Unrepresented plaintiffs are more likely to leave the courtroom with a lost claim. You should have an attorney to improve your chances of fair compensation. Our lawyers work hard to get you the money you need.
#7. Do Damage Caps Apply?Some states apply damage caps to limit how much money the plaintiff gets in specific personal injury cases. While Texas does have caps on compensation, motorcycle accidents generally do not have limits. However, you have a maximum amount you can get in a settlement if you sue the government. For lawsuits against the municipality, the cap is $250,000 for each person involved. The limit includes $500,000 per instance of bodily injury. You can get no more than $100,000 for every occurrence of property damage. In a couple of situations, the court awards the plaintiff a special form of damages called punitive damages. The judge might grant punitive damages if the defendant displayed gross negligence or egregious misconduct. Caps vary based on the amount you receive in economic and non-economic damages. A plaintiff can get up to $750,000 in punitive damages. Your attorney can speak to you about possible damage caps if one applies to your case.
#8. How Do You Receive a Settlement?Like any personal injury case, your compensation comes in one of two forms. Some people get structured settlements. A structured settlement is when you receive more than one payment over a set period. High-valued cases might issue multiple checks. Both parties discuss the frequency and amount of money per check during negotiations. You can support long-term needs and feel less pressured to give the money away. However, you would not have the funds available to pay unexpected bills. Alternatively, you could receive the money in the form of a lump sum. A person might want a lump sum since the method is the simplest way to recover damages. Compensation arrives in a single paycheck, and you can use it however you would like. Some people spend the money quickly.
#9. What Happens When an Uninsured Driver Hits You?Usually, the money you get in a motorcycle accident lawsuit comes from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. However, a driver with no insurance could have been the one to crash into you. You might not know what your options are. You likely will have to turn to your insurance company to cover the cost of damages. Most plans offer people Uninsured Motorist coverage. When you file a claim, your provider covers the costs up to the policy’s limit. Without Uninsured Motorist coverage, you could have difficulties securing money to pay medical bills. Another option is to contact a motorcycle accident attorney. A lawyer can spot if any other types of coverage in your plan can help your case. Additionally, they can help you file a claim against the uninsured motorist. However, the liable party might not have sufficient resources to pay a full settlement. The compensation you receive might not be enough to pay for bills.
Reach out to Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident LawyersYou do not have to handle the aftermath of a motorcycle accident by yourself. If you believe you have a case, you should listen to your intuition. Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers are ready to help you with your legal needs. You can discuss the details of your case with our team and learn about what we can do for you. The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in an Arlington motorcycle accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our motorcycle accident 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. Let us help you get your life back.
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