Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Fort Worth, Texas
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Being involved in a motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries and can be a terrifying experience. These accidents can happen without warning and can leave you at a loss for what to do next. Motorcyclists are in danger of suffering more injuries than drivers, and this can be something that you are not prepared for, even if you were being a safe rider.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
When other drivers on the road do not pay attention, a motorcyclist can suffer more damage than the car driver in a motorcycle accident. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 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 United States Department of Transportation, almost 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2018. To keep motorcycle riders and everyone else on the road safe, it is important to share the road and be alert of other riders and drivers around you. 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. Lane-splitting is illegal in Texas.
For the car driver, keeping the motorcyclist safe includes looking carefully for riders before making a left turn or before changing lanes. Car drivers should always be sure to check their blind spot to make sure there is no rider next to them before changing lanes. Drivers should also allow the motorcyclist enough space and not drive too close behind them. Car drivers have to share the road with riders and should always look out for motorcyclists.
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. Additionally, riding a motorcycle requires skills like balance and coordination.
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 grip on the pedals and handlebars. Motorcyclists should protect their passengers by making sure that the passenger holds on tightly and leans with the rider when making turns.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Occur?
Motorcyclists can be vulnerable on the road and can be at increased risk for severe injuries because they are not as protected as passengers in a car. A car offers some protection to the driver from the elements as well as from being exposed in a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists are fully exposed in the event of a motorcycle accident.
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. Not only is it the law in Texas to wear a helmet, but it is important to protect your brain and head, which is the most vital part of the body.
Injuries to the Outside of the Body
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. If the driver of the other car was speeding and struck the motorcyclist, the rider is at risk of sliding further for longer, which can tear through layers of clothing.
Injuries to the Inside of the Body
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. It is a common reflex to outstretch the hands and arms to break a fall, but when this happens in a motorcycle accident, it can cause more injury to the rider. Bruising or internal bleeding can occur from the impact of a motorcycle accident and may not be visible without the help of a doctor.
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 further injuries. 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. If you cannot remove your motorcycle from the road, you should make sure that you get yourself off of the road and in a safe area. Because you are not in a car, it may be hard for other drivers to see you if you do not get yourself to safety.
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 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. You should keep any other protective gear you have on because you are still exposed on the road without the safety of a car to get back into after a motorcycle accident. 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 adrenalin. A doctor should examine you to determine if the impact from the motorcycle accident caused any internal 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, damage to your motorcycle, and any damage 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.
A motorcycle accident can happen quickly and without warning. You should try to remain calm to prevent further injury to yourself or others. If you cannot focus on doing any of the above steps, make sure you prioritize your safety. Get off the road and get to a safe place.
WHO MAY BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES?
The person responsible for causing the accident is usually the liable party. For example, if a car negligently changed lanes and side-swiped your motorcycle, they would most likely be liable for any medical bills, property damage, or pain and suffering resulting from the accident. If the driver had insurance, their insurance company may be responsible for paying your damages. If you suffered a motorcycle accident as a result of a defective part or design, the manufacturer or retailer may be responsible as well. An experienced attorney may help you determine who is responsible, and how much your case may be worth.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
Get Help from Our Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers have handled many victims of motorcycle accidents. Our Fort Worth attorneys have helped many motorcyclists seek compensation as they recover from their injuries. 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 Fort Worth motorcycle accident lawyers. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.