Austin Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
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Because of their relative lack of protection from injury, motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable drivers on the road.
TEXAS MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, overall, in the state of Texas, in 2018:
- There were 419 motorcyclists (operators and passengers) killed in 2018. Forty-nine percent (49%) of motorcyclists killed were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
- There were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2018.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are:
Following too closely is a major cause of accidents for all vehicle types. While fender-bender accidents often cause little damage for most vehicles, a rear-end accident involving a motorcycle may cause serious injuries, especially if the force of the collision is strong enough to eject the rider from the bike.
One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is speeding. Speeding by any vehicle on the roadway reduces a driver’s chance of seeing and reacting to other drivers in time to prevent the collision.
Cars Making Left Turns
Left-turn collisions are common with other vehicles as well, but a motorcycle’s smaller size makes it even less visible to a turning vehicle. Motorcyclists who attempt to pass cars within the same lane may be even more vulnerable because car drivers are often not used to looking for smaller vehicles like motorcycles before they change lanes.
Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist rides between two lanes, an act that is illegal in most states, including Texas. Even if you are in a state that allows for lane splitting, you should not. While a motorcycle is small enough for riders to get through traffic jams by riding between two lanes, one wrong move may jeopardize a motorcyclist’s life.
COMMON MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
Injuries from a motorcycle accident may be severe, and even life-threatening. Victims who survive these accidents may suffer debilitating injuries, including:
The severity of a head injury could vary from a bump or a cut to a concussion or traumatic brain injury. A helmet and eye protection should reduce the chance of a brain injury, and also keep a fall from causing more than a concussion. An impact to the side of your head, with or without a helmet, may also affect your ability to hear. The effects may range from temporary to permanent hearing deficit or complete loss.
Road rash is an injury sustained when a rider slides across the pavement after a wipeout or flies over the handlebars following an impact. If the clothing is thin enough, the pavement may scrape through the layers of clothing, reaching the skin underneath. This injury may become more than a simple scrape or bruise; it may also lead to more permanent damage, such as skin irritations, infections, and even surface nerve damage. You should have your injury professionally cleaned and treated following an accident to prevent infection.
When an individual driving a car is involved in an accident and wearing their seat belt, they are typically protected by the structure of their own car. A motorcyclist, however, does not have an outer steel skeleton acting as a barrier between themselves and the pavement. It’s human instinct to stretch the arms forward to lessen an impact. However, by doing this, the resulting impact may lead to nerve damage in the biker’s arms. Sturdy clothing and elbow pads may be the best protection against biker’s arm.
Following an accident, common injuries may not only involve injury to the leg, but also the knees and feet. While these injuries are not typically fatal, they could grow into something worse or become permanently disabling. Leg injuries may include sprains, muscle injuries, or breaks. Treatment for these injuries may involve surgeries and skin grafts.
Bruising or Internal Bleeding
Because of the increased impact during a motorcycle accident, bruising and internal bleeding are likely to occur. If you are bleeding from an orifice or anywhere that you wouldn’t normally see blood, you should seek medical attention immediately. Internal bleeding may be severe enough to require immediate surgery.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may want to consider taking these steps:
1. Obtain the Other Driver’s Information
You should obtain the name, address, phone number, and insurance information of all persons involved in the accident, including passengers. If there are witnesses, you should write down their contact information as well, so that you or your attorney may contact them in the future.
2. Document the Scene
If you happen to have a camera or smartphone nearby, you should take pictures of the area in which the accident occurred. If possible, it’s best to try and photograph the positions of the vehicles involved in the crash before they are moved from the accident scene. Be sure to include street signs or lights, so that viewers may orient themselves and obtain a better understanding of where the cars were. If you have visible injuries, you should photograph them as well.
3. Seek Medical Attention
Unless absolutely certain that you’re not injured, you should seek medical attention immediately after an accident, either at your local emergency room or by seeing your physician. While injuries may not feel serious initially, they often have the potential to develop into something much worse when left untreated. Remember that medical records may help prove that your injuries were caused by the accident, so be sure to keep an organized record of any documented injuries.
4. Inform Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company within 24 hours after the accident. It’s important to cooperate with them and tell them exactly what happened and the extent of your injuries. If the insurance company finds out that you were untruthful about anything, your claim could be denied coverage.
5. Consult with an Attorney
A motorcycle accident attorney may not only help with gathering your claim documentation, but may also help you establish liability and seek and negotiate fair compensation for your injuries. At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Austin motorcycle accident attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build the strongest case possible and to seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
WHO MAY BE LIABLE?
There are several parties who may be liable for your injuries:
Like any car accident case, if the other motorist in the collision was doing any of the following, chances are they are either partially or fully liable for the accident:
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
The motorcycle manufacturer may be responsible for an accident. For example, liability may be imposed on the manufacturer if your brakes failed or a tire blew out and caused you to crash.
Learn More: Product Liability
The City or Municipality
Sometimes, the road may not have been properly maintained. Poor road maintenance may cause hazards such as potholes, poor visibility, uneven pavement, or debris in the road. The city or municipality responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for this type of accident.
COMPENSATION FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
You may also be entitled to compensation for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This may include the cost of a rental car while your own vehicle is undergoing repair.
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are imposed to punish the other party for the wrongdoing. Typically, these damages are only awarded in extreme cases, such as when the other party’s negligence was gross or excessive, they acted criminally, or they fled the scene of the accident.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP’S AUSTIN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS
At Zinda Law Group, our Austin personal injury lawyers have the experience and knowledge that has helped thousands of injured victims seek compensation after suffering an injury from a motorcycle accident.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our Austin motorcycle accident attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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