Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Austin
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Motorcycle accident lawyers help seek compensation for those who have been involved in an accident on a motorbike that was not their fault. The victim of a motorcycle accident may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income and pain and suffering, helping them focus on their recovery instead of the legalities of filing a personal injury claim.
While riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, it can also be dangerous if other drivers where another driver’s negligence causes an accident. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Austin, you speak with an Austin personal injury lawyer if you are considering filing a personal injury claim for compensation.
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Filing a motorcycle accident claim with your insurance company can at times be confusing. That is why it's essential to understand the process beforehand so that you are better prepared for what lies ahead.
1. Meet with Your Attorney
Your attorney will guide you through the process, all you need to do is tell them about your case, and they will do the rest, leaving you to focus on your recovery.
Your attorney will then begin collecting evidence, speaking with anybody connected to your case and build the strongest case possible for you.
3. Negotiation and Settlement
Once your attorney has built your case, they will then begin negotiations with the insurance company of the person at fault. If an agreement is reached at this point, your attorney will then walk you through the steps of receiving your compensation. If not, then your case will move to a trial. Most cases are settled before ever having to step foot into a courtroom. If your case happens to go that far, your attorney will be with you every step of the way.
Austin Motorcycle Laws
Austin follows Texas laws concerning the use of motorcycles. While motorcycles and other vehicles share many of the same rules regarding road use and traffic laws, there are some essential differences that riders should be aware of. Every state has different laws dealing with the regulation of motorcycles. For these reasons, it is important that riders understand what they must do to operate a motorcycle legally.
- Motorcycle Helmet Law – In Texas, motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while using a motorcycle. Riders over the age of 21 may choose not to wear a helmet if they have taken and completed a Department of Transportation approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or acquire additional insurance coverage.
- Passengers – In Texas, children under the age of 5 may not ride on a motorcycle. Passengers may not ride on motorcycles that are explicitly designed for only one rider.
- Malorie’s Law – Malorie's Law went into full effect in 2014 and regulates motorcycle passengers. Motorcycles with passengers must include a passenger seat, including foot pegs and handholds.
- Lane Splitting – Lane splitting is when motorcycles drive between lanes during traffic. In Texas, lane splitting is implicitly illegal.
- Required Motorcycle Equipment – tail lamp, stop lamp, license plate lamp, rear red reflector, exhaust system, mirror, horn, operational brake system, and vehicle identification number.
Although every motorcycle accident is different, there are some common causes across many accidents. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Hit by a car
- Hit by a truck
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Lane splitting
- Driving under the influence
- Sudden stops
- Car doors
- Motorcycle defects, such as sudden, unintended acceleration accidents.
- Dangerous or hazardous road conditions
In all cases, it must be shown that your accident was caused by another person's negligence.
Motorcycles lack many of the safety features of modern cars, and therefore motorcyclists are more likely to sustain injuries in accidents. Across the country, approximately 80% of reported motorcycle accidents result in serious injury.
Common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash – road rash is one of the most common injuries motorcyclists can suffer. Road rash occurs when motorcyclists slide along rough surfaces like asphalt, concrete, or gravel. Road rash can vary in severity from cuts and scrapes to permanent damage or disfigurement.
- Head injuries – including facial injuries, concussions, cracked skulls, neck injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal injuries
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, there are some important steps you should take. Try and remain calm and remember that your safety and the safety of those around you should be your primary concern.
1. Seek medical attention
Check yourself and others for injuries. No matter how minor it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent any long-term damage. This will also be useful if you proceed with a claim as your medical records will be needed to prove your injuries.
2. Gather evidence
Take photos of the scene and your injuries, speak with any potential witnesses, contact the police and ensure to keep a log of any expenses incurred because of the accident after that. If you are incapable of taking these steps, get the help of someone around you or consider calling a personal injury attorney who can take these steps for you.
3. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney
Contacting an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you build the most persuasive case possible. An experienced attorney can walk you through everything and help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Legal Time Limits
All states have time limits on when you can file personal injury claims. These legal time limits are called “statutes of limitations.” Austin follows Texas’ statute of limitations for personal injury claims which is two years from the date of the injury. If a person tried to claim after the two years is over, they may not be allowed to seek compensation. If you are unsure of your time frame, consider consulting an experienced personal injury attorney to understand your position better.
One of the most important things to do when pursuing a motorcycle injury claim is to determine liability. The party found to be liable will then be responsible for paying damages and provide the victim with compensation. Some possible parties who may be held accountable include:
Other Drivers and Road Users
Accidents may be caused by cars, trucks, buses, electric scooters and other road users. If it can be shown that they acted negligently, then you may be able to seek compensation. For example, if you are hit by a car while riding your motorbike because the car ran a red light, to seek compensation, your attorney will build a case to show that their negligence caused the accident.
If it is determined that the cause of the accident was a defect in the motorcycle itself, the manufacturer of that motorcycle may be held responsible. Manufacturers can be held liable for defects to the bike or a component of the motorcycle or safety equipment. A typical example of this is sudden, unintended acceleration accidents.
Austin City Government
The government may be held responsible if it is found that the maintenance of the roadway was the cause of the accident. If the road was deemed to be hazardous or unsafe, you might be able to seek damages from the Austin City Government.
To be successful on these types of personal injury claims, you must be able to prove that the person at fault had a duty of care towards you, that they were in breach of that duty of care, and that they caused the accident the led to your injuries.
Compensation can include both economic and non-economic damages. Examples of areas of compensation you can receive in motorcycle accident claims include:
If your motorcycle is damaged and repair is a possibility, you may be entitled to compensation for the costs of repair. If your bike is beyond repair, you may be able to recover the value of your motorcycle from the liable party.
Medical bills after a motorcycle accident can accumulate becoming extremely costly — the more serious your injuries, the more significant the costs of treatment. You may also be able to claim the cost of future medical care and rehabilitation.
Motorcycle accidents can leave victims unable to perform their jobs at the same level as they were previously capable of. Victims in motorcycle accidents may be able to be compensated from the liable party in the amount they were to make if they had not been involved in an accident; this may also include future lost earnings.
Pain and suffering
Victims in motorcycle accidents can experience severe trauma leading to physical and mental distress beyond those immediately experienced. Pain and suffering include damages beyond the usual areas of compensation like property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages.
if the motorcycle accident involved extreme negligence or malicious intent, punitive damages may be awarded against the liable party. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter comparable future behavior.
Tell Zinda Law Group About Your Case
At Zinda Law Group, we are proud to provide each of our clients with dedicated and personal care. It is our mission to help people in Austin be aware of their rights and recover both physically and financially.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.