How Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers Can Help YouOnce you retain our motorcycle accident injury team, we can help you through the process of filing a claim, negotiations, and even litigation, if your case needs to go that far. We can help with the following:
- Medical Help: Motorcycle riders have a much higher risk of suffering catastrophic injuries since they do not have the protection a car affords. Additionally, any vehicle with four wheels is much larger and heavier than a bike. Even if riders wear leathers and a helmet, they could suffer severe and catastrophic injuries or even death. We can help you find the appropriate medical care and arrange with doctors for alternative payment methods.
- Claims: Recoverable damages include personal property, such as your motorcycle and any items on your person or in the saddlebags. We help file the insurance claim to help repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property and recover additional damages, including pain and suffering.
- Investigations: Inevitably, the insurance company will try to pin fault for the accident on you, even if it is clear that the accident was not your fault. We gather evidence, including the police report and photos, interview witnesses, and retain accident reconstruction experts to prove your case.
- Settlement Negotiations: While we prepare all cases to go to court, we hope to settle for a fair and reasonable amount. Because we prepare for trial before we enter settlement negotiations, we can be aggressive in maximizing recovery, hopefully before litigation.
- Litigation: If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair and reasonable settlement, with most of the trial prep completed, we can seamlessly go into litigation mode and get your case filed promptly. Once we file the case, the defendant must present any evidence that he or she is hiding. If needed, we can also obtain court orders for compliance with the discovery process.
- Collecting Settlement or Verdict: After winning a settlement or trial award, we take steps to collect the money owed to you and help you pay off unpaid medical expenses and other obligations you have that the accident caused. Since we work on a contingency basis, we negotiate attorneys’ fees and costs as part of the settlement check or trial award. You never have to pay us a dime when we win since the money comes from the defendant.
Know How to Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle AccidentIf you are able, you can take several steps after an accident to help protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve. Even if it is very clear that the other driver caused the accident, you should take the same steps. Evidence tends to disappear, and weather can destroy it. The steps you take at the scene could significantly help prove your case.
Obtain InformationAfter checking on others involved and calling first responders, obtain information about the accident, including:
- From other drivers involved: Contact information, registration information, insurance information, and the information on the drivers’ licenses, including the expiration date. If possible, take pictures of the licenses and cards. If the driver is a commercial vehicle driver, obtain information from the driver’s CDL license.
- Obtain contact information from any witnesses, including passengers in other vehicles involved in the accident. Ask witnesses what they saw.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Be sure to include damage to the road and nearby property.
- Take photos of the license plates of every vehicle involved in the accident.
Seek Medical AttentionAllow emergency medical technicians to check you over at the scene. This starts the paper trail for any injuries that could manifest later. After the police release you from the accident scene, go to the emergency room for a full checkup as soon as possible. Be sure to tell the medical professionals that you were in a motorcycle accident and to look for concussions, head and neck injuries, and other injuries that might not be readily apparent.
Keep a NotebookYou probably do not have a notebook with you when you wreck. However, you can use your phone to take notes and gather information, then transfer it to a notebook or digital file. After the accident, keep notes about how you feel every day and any doctors’ appointments you have, including what the doctors tell you. Never assume something is nothing. Even if you start feeling sad or anxious, take notes to that effect. Accidents could cause emotional issues that could creep up on you. Your notes will help your attorney, your loved ones, and yourself determine whether you need to seek therapy to deal with the aftermath of a potentially catastrophic accident. Notes about injuries, doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and your emotional health will help your Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer better estimate the compensation you deserve.
Keep Receipts, Invoices, and Pay StubsAs part of your journal, keep all receipts and invoices related to the accident. Also, if the hospital gives you documentation when you leave, keep copies in your journal. You should also keep copies of pay stubs to prove lost wages. They will also come in handy if your attorney needs to figure the loss of future earning capacity.
Give Your Version of the Facts for the Police ReportThe police will ask you what your version of the facts is. Once you give your statement, review the police report carefully before signing it. It could take up to 10 days for the police to process the report. Before leaving the scene, ask how to obtain a copy of the police report and how long it takes to process.
Things You Should Not DoSome actions could jeopardize your case these are the actions you should not do, no matter how tempting or how much someone tries to coerce you:
- Do not remove your helmet, leather, and other protective gear. If you are in shock, the adrenaline pumping through your body could prevent you from feeling injuries. Wait for emergency medical technicians to check you over.
- Do not give the insurance companies any information other than your name, contact information, date and location of the accident, and your Cypress motorcycle accident attorney’s contact information.
- Do not discuss the accident with others involved. You could inadvertently admit fault without meaning to.
- Do not post about the accident on social media. The insurance companies check social media sites and use anything you post against you.
- Be careful of what you post on social media. For example, if you have a back injury and post pictures and descriptions of you traveling, exercising, or even just having fun with family and friends, the insurance company could use it to decrease the amount of compensation you deserve.
- Never accept a settlement offer directly from the insurance company or an early settlement offer. If the insurance company offers you a settlement before your Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer contacts it, refer the representative to your accident attorney. An early settlement offer is almost always too low, especially if you sustained severe and/or catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident.
Retain a Cypress Motorcycle Accident LawyerAs soon as possible after the accident, contact a Cypress motorcycle accident attorney, even if you are still recovering in the hospital. Delays tell the insurance companies and defendants that you might not be hurt as bad as you say. Additionally, delays could result in the destruction or loss of pertinent evidence in your favor.
Types of Injuries Motorcycle Riders SustainBecause of the lack of protection motorcycle riders have, they could suffer any number of injuries, from minor cuts to life-changing injuries. Even accidents that would normally result in minor injuries for vehicle drivers could be catastrophic for motorcyclists. Injuries motorcycle riders could suffer include:
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and bumps. Even minor injuries could result in more serious injuries. Open wounds could become infected, especially in accident victims with underlying conditions that compromise their immune systems.
- Road rash. Depending on the severity of the road rash, it could lead to excessive scarring or even disfigurement.
- Chemical and thermal burns. Thermal burns include burns from the hot engine and exhaust. Accident victims could also suffer from chemical burns if the fuel tank ruptures.
- Face and eye injuries. You could suffer long-term or permanent blindness or excessive scarring on your face.
- Strains and sprains.
- Pulled and torn muscles and other soft tissue injuries. Torn muscles often require surgery and physical therapy for a full recovery.
- Simple and compound fractures.
- Crushed bones, which could lead to amputation.
- Internal injuries could lead to additional surgeries or an extended hospital stay.
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries. In some cases, these injuries could manifest hours or days after the accident.
- Traumatic brain injuries, including mild and severe concussions, other non-penetrating brain injuries, and penetrating brain injuries. If the brain injury is severe enough, it could lead to life-long cognitive and/or physical disabilities.
- Back and spinal cord injuries. Certain spinal cord injuries could lead to partial or complete paralysis, numbness, loss of range of motion, weakness, and other injuries that could affect the accident victim for the rest of his or her life.
What If I Believe My Injuries Are Minor?You should always have doctors check you thoroughly after an accident, even if you think your injuries are minor. Open wounds could develop infections, and some injuries do not manifest for hours or even days after an accident. In fact, allow emergency medical technicians to transport you to the hospital. If you can walk away, immediately go to the emergency room for a thorough checkup. Some types of injuries that do not manifest immediately include traumatic brain injuries, neck and shoulder injuries, and even back injuries. You might not even feel a pulled muscle until the next day. Internal bleeding and broken ribs often take time for you to notice, but x-rays and other imaging tests can show that you have them. Finally, medical records provide evidence of the accident and your injuries. They also serve as evidence for mental health issues you might develop weeks after the accident.
Get a Free ConsultationEven if you are still in the hospital, you can still schedule a free case evaluation. We will call you or arrange a video call when you cannot come into the office. During the free case evaluation, you also have the time to evaluate our firm. We will ask about the accident and injuries. We also answer any questions you have about the firm. If you prepare a list of questions ahead of time, you’ll be sure to obtain all the answers you need about our representation style, experience, and options. Contact a Cypress motorcycle accident legal team at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers for a free case evaluation today.
Who Might Share in Liability for Your Motorcycle Accident Damages?The losses you might incur could be significant: Physical injuries, the loss of a loved one, mental health issues, and, of course, financial losses. Some injuries could result in long-term or permanent disabilities, which mean loss of future earning capacity. You can recover your losses caused by negligent drivers. And, just because one driver caused an accident, that does not mean that you can only recover damages from that one person. In many cases, people and entities other than the driver could share responsibility for your losses. A Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers will determine who shares in the liability for the negligence that caused your motorcycle wreck. Those you might recover damages from include:
- The driver.
- The vehicle manufacturer.
- The trailer manufacturer, if a trailer malfunction caused the accident.
- The motorcycle manufacturer.
- A motorcycle mechanic who improperly installed parts on your bike when it was in for repairs.
- Parts manufacturers, including OEM parts and aftermarket parts.
- A passenger in the vehicle.
- A municipality if improperly maintained roads caused the accident.
- The owner of the commercial vehicle
- A trucking company.
- Mechanics who improperly installed truck or trailer parts.
- Inspectors who allow a truck that needs repairs out on the road.
- Dispatchers if they “encourage” a truck driver to “do what it takes to get the load delivered on time,” knowing that the driver cannot possibly make the trip before the deadline.
- A truck and/or trailer manufacturer.
- Those who load cargo if shifting cargo caused the accident (and that person is not the driver, though the driver is ultimately responsible for checking that the load is properly balanced and tied down).
Causes of Motorcycle AccidentsIf an accident was not your fault, you could recover damages from other drivers involved in the accident. Some examples of negligence that could cause traumatic motorcycle accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, legal or illegal prescription drugs, and other illicit substances.
- Speeding, including excessive speeding, such as the at-fault driver running from a crime or the police.
- Reckless driving.
- Aggressive driving.
- Failing to yield.
- Following too closely.
- Failing to yield.
- Ignoring traffic control signals and signs.
- Failing to signal turns and lane changes.
- Distracted driving.
Recovering Damages After a Cypress Motorcycle AccidentWhen someone’s negligence caused you to crash, you could recover two types of damages from the person and/or his insurance company: Compensatory damages and punitive damages. The court orders compensatory damages in an attempt to make you financially whole again. While money does not take away your injuries or bring back a loved one, it does reduce the financial stress you might feel because you do not have the same income coming into the household. As for punitive damages, the court only orders the defendant to pay them as a punishment for his or her grossly negligent behavior. You, as the plaintiff, must show that the defendant committed grossly negligent or intentional actions or inactions.
Compensatory DamagesAccident victims can recover two types of compensatory damages, depending on the type of injuries they suffered:
Economic DamagesSometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value and include:
Medical ExpensesAccident victims can recover medical expenses incurred in the accident and before a settlement or trial award. They can also recover future medical expenses those incurred because of the accident but after a settlement or trial award. A Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer works with expert medical professionals to determine what future medical care might cost for certain injuries. Medical expenses include doctors’ appointments, surgeries, follow-up appointments, prescriptions, ambulatory aids, medical aids, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological therapy, and cognitive therapy. The at-fault driver is also responsible for upgrading your vehicle with hand controls and your home with ramps, grab bars, and widening doors and hallways to make them wheelchair accessible.
Personal PropertyThe at-fault driver or insurance company is also responsible for replacing or repairing personal property destroyed or damaged in the accident. Personal property includes your motorcycle and anything of value on your person or in your saddlebags.
WagesEven minor injuries could put you out of work for one or more weeks after an accident. You can recover lost wages for any time that you were not able to work because of your accident injuries. If doctors expect your injuries to result in long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent you from working or that only allow part-time work, you could also recover the loss of future earning capacity until retirement age.
After-Death ExpensesAfter losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident, not only are you dealing with grief and the stress of making funeral arrangements, but you also have the stress of paying for these expenses. You could recover funeral, burial, and/or cremation expenses from the negligent driver. You could also recover attorneys’ fees for a probate attorney, probate court filing fees, and other related costs.
Non-Economic DamagesSometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a firm monetary value, as you cannot put a specific price tag on these types of losses. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to take prescriptions or use ambulatory aids for the rest of your life.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer have a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy spending time with your family or participating in family activities and events.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as an arm or a leg.
- Loss of use of a bodily function, such as your eyesight or bladder.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
- Paralysis, either partial or complete.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you normally do, including home repair and maintenance, lawn maintenance, grocery shopping, and house cleaning.
How Long Does It Take to Receive My Money?Once you win a settlement or a trial award, several things have to happen before you can collect the compensation due. Once you have an agreement or the jury dictates an award, the attorneys must draft a settlement agreement or a final order. That could take up to a month since the attorneys will send it back and forth to ensure neither misunderstood something nor left something out. Once the attorneys agree to the wording in the settlement agreement, you have a chance to review it before you sign it. You can request changes if you think the drafting attorney erred. If you win a jury trial, the attorneys review and agree on the wording in the proposed order, and then forward it to the court. The judge who presided over your trial reviews the order to ensure that it states what the court-ordered. The judge then signs the order, files a copy with the clerk, and forwards signed orders to attorneys for both sides. You will also have to sign a release for the insurance company if the drafters do not include the release language in the order or settlement agreement. Once you sign all the documents, the insurance company cuts a check and forwards it to your attorney. Your attorney deposits the check and waits for it to clear. It could take up to 14 days for the bank to clear the check, depending on the amount. Once the check clears, your attorney:
- Pays any outstanding medical expenses you have.
- Reimburses your auto and health insurance companies if you used them to cover medical expenses and lost wages.
- Deducts his fees and costs as outlined in your contingency agreement.
- Writes a check to you for the balance.
Cypress Motorcycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
#1. What is my case worth?You could recover economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of your case. You can only recover punitive damages if the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional. In most cases, only those who suffer severe or catastrophic injuries or who lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident recover non-economic damages. However, if your physical injuries were not severe enough to last more than a year, but you developed depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other psychological injuries because of the wreck, you could still recover non-economic damages.
#2. What is the benefit of retaining a Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer?Insurance companies would love to deny your claim or offer you a pittance. A Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer ensures that they do not violate your rights and that you get the compensation you deserve.
#3. What do I tell the insurance company?We prefer to have all contact with the insurance companies, but if you feel you must notify them of a claim, only give them your name, contact information, date and location of the accident, and your attorney’s contact information. Insurance companies might press you for more information. Continue referring them to your attorney. One of their tricks is to get you to talk about the accident, then twist what you say to use it against you.
#4. How do I pay medical bills?While waiting for a settlement or a trial award, you can pay some medical expenses with your auto and health insurance policies. You can also ask for deferred billing and use letters of protection. Depending on the medical providers, we might be able to work something out with them so that you do not have any upfront medical expenses they will receive payment when you receive your settlement.
#5. How long do I have to file an insurance claim?The length of time you have to file a claim depends on the defendant’s policy or your policy if you file a claim on your insurance. Some insurance companies have no deadline, while others could give you as little as 14 days to file a claim.
#6. How long do I have to take legal action?Texas gives you up to two years to file most personal injury claims. If you miss the deadline, you can't recover damages. Contact a Cypress motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. While two years might seem like a long time, time goes by quickly while preparing your case.
Contact a Cypress Motorcycle Accident LawyerThe attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers are nationally recognized motorcycle and vehicle accident injury lawyers who have protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a Cypress motorcycle accident, call our office right now for your 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 secure compensation for you. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now at Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers online. Let us help you get your life back.
See what past clients have to say:
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"As a relatively new resident of Houston, I did not know of an attorney to contact for a personal injury suit. I randomly went through the yellow pages contacting two attorneys that had rejected my case prior to me contacting Stewart Guss. Stewart took my case on and settled for far more than I had anticipated. The silver lining of this is that I will now have enough money to go back to school for retraining, so I will be able to reenter the workforce in a new capacity. The paralegal, Angela, was kind and supportive throughout the process. If I did not understand the legal jargon, I did not hesitate to ask, and was never once made to feel that I was incompetent. Thank you Stewart and Angela for giving me a new lease on live."