Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
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Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exciting. However, motorcyclists face certain dangers that other drivers may not experience.
Motorcyclists can be vulnerable on the road and can be at risk for a motorcycle accident because they are not as protected as being inside of a car. A car offers some protection to the driver in an accident, whereas a motorcycle lacks the same protection.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
Many motorcycle accidents are caused by another driver who fails to see the motorcyclist on the road. One example of this could be a car or truck turning left, without seeing a motorcyclist in the lane next to them, and hitting them. There are several ways that another person could be responsible for your motorcycle accident:
- Failure to signal a lane change
- Tailgating a motorcycle
- Distracted driving
- Disregarding traffic laws for lights and stops signs
- Driving under the influence
Types of Damages
There are three main types of damages that may be recovered. These are economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages in very rare circumstances.
These are damages that can be proven by bills and receipts. These damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Loss of earnings due to the inability to work
- Cost of rehabilitation and prescription medications
- Cost of medical care, such as assistive devices or in-home treatment
Non-economic damages may be harder to prove because they compensate for the intangible, unquantifiable losses associated with the accident. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering in dealing with the injuries
- Mental anguish
- Loss of ability to enjoy life
- Permanent disabilities
Punitive damages are very rare. These damages are meant to punish the party responsible for extremely reckless behavior and deter similar behavior in the future.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than the driver of a car. Despite the motorcyclist riding safely and taking precautions, other drivers on the road can still put motorcyclists at risk.
According to the NHTSA, almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2018. To avoid a motorcycle accident, riders should try to make themselves more visible by turning their lights on or wearing reflective clothing. Motorcyclists should always wear helmets and protective gear.
Motorcycle accidents can occur when either the rider or the other cars on the road do not practice safe driving. For the motorcyclists, this includes being competent enough to ride his or her motorcycle in a variety of terrain and weather. Motorcyclists should avoid splitting lanes, which is driving between two lanes of traffic, and is illegal in Texas.
Car drivers have to share the road with riders and should always look out for motorcyclists. For the car driver, keeping the motorcyclist safe includes looking carefully for riders before making a left turn or before changing lanes.
Not Following Riding Requirements
Motorcyclists should take an approved motorcycle riding course and obtain the appropriate license to ensure that they know how to ride safely. Texas requires you to have a valid Class M license to ride a motorcycle. This license requires you to pass a written test that covers the traffic laws related to riding a motorcycle and also requires you to pass a riding test.
Motorcycle riders can prevent some injuries by wearing the proper gear. This includes wearing a helmet to prevent head injuries and wearing thick layers, such as leather or denim, that fully cover the skin to prevent road rash. The rider should also wear boots and gloves to make sure there is traction and grip on the pedals and handlebars.
Texas Laws Regarding Helmets
You are not legally required to wear a helmet in Texas if you are over the age of 21 and can show proof that you have completed a motorcycle training course. Alternatively, you are not required to wear a helmet if you can provide proof of at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. A police officer is not allowed to pull you over just to check for these requirements.
Not wearing a helmet may also negatively affect your claim in the event of an accident. Not wearing a helmet may demonstrate that you assumed the risk to ride without one.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Occur?
Injuries to the head can include a concussion or neck injury, even when wearing a helmet. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recommends wearing a helmet that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, which is indicated by a DOT symbol on the back of the helmet.
In the event of a motorcycle accident, even when the motorcyclist wears proper protective clothing, he or she may still be at risk for road rash, scrapes, and bruising on the skin. Even when wearing thick leather or denim clothes, in a motorcycle accident, a rider is at risk for sliding across the road.
Motorcyclists are also at risk of breaking bones anywhere in the body or suffering from internal bleeding. Protective clothing will not prevent breaking limbs, fingers, or ribs when the rider strikes the ground or another car in a motorcycle accident.
The following are some of the most common motorcycle injuries:
- Facial injuries
- Fractured bones
- Road rash
- Spinal cord damage
- Brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Neck and back injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
What Steps Should You Take if You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Get to Safety
The motorcyclist should immediately move the motorcycle off the road, if possible and safe to do so, to prevent another motorcycle accident from happening. Leaving the motorcycle in the road may be hard for other drivers to see and puts the motorcyclist at risk for a second motorcycle accident.
Call for Help
You should then call 911 to get the police or an ambulance dispatched to your location as soon as possible. You should check yourself and your passengers for any injuries and let dispatch know who is injured when you call 911. If you are too injured to call 911, you should instruct someone else at the scene to call for you. Stay on the phone with dispatch until help arrives.
Do Not Remove Your Gear
Try not to remove your helmet or any other protective clothing, if possible. Your helmet is still protecting your head and spine from further injury and you should not remove it until paramedics arrive and assist you. Your gear may also help make you more visible to other drivers on the road if it is reflective.
Seek Medical Treatment
It is important to seek medical treatment after a motorcycle accident even if you do not think you are injured. There could be other injuries, such as internal bleeding, a concussion, or other serious damage that you cannot see or do not feel yet due to adrenaline. A doctor should examine you to determine if the impact from the motorcycle accident caused any nonvisible harm. You will also want to document any injuries in case you choose to file a lawsuit later.
Document the Scene
If possible, you should try to document the scene as best as you can for later reference. This includes taking photographs of any injuries, damages to your motorcycle, and any damages to the other vehicle after the motorcycle accident. Obtain any insurance information from other drivers and contact information from any witnesses. You should then contact your insurance company.
What Should You Do If You Have Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident?
If a family member has suffered a fatal motorcycle accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is filed against the party responsible for causing the death of your loved one. The claim seeks to reimburse you for the expenses leading up to death and in dealing with the death. The death must have been caused by someone else’s negligence.
Damages may include funeral or burial costs, medical treatment leading up to the death, mental anguish and grief in dealing with the death, and loss of consortium. The family members that are able to bring a claim are usually the surviving spouse, surviving children, or surviving parents. These parties may file separately or together.
Get Help from Our Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced Dallas lawyers have supported many victims of motorcycle accidents. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you seek maximum compensation after a motorcycle accident.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.