When a motorcycle accident happens, cyclists are at a severe disadvantage. This is because, unlike the occupants of cars and trucks, cyclists do not have a thick metal shell surrounding them in a crash. When a cyclist becomes involved in an accident, they are directly exposed to their surrounding environment and are more likely to suffer serious injuries than car and truck occupants. This is especially true if the accident happens at a high rate of speed and the cyclist falls to the ground.
To protect against serious injuries, motorcycle riders should wear helmets at all times and follow all Texas traffic laws and safety regulations. However, even when cyclists operate their vehicles carefully, serious accidents may still occur, which lead to debilitating injuries. These accidents often result from other drivers’ carelessness and recklessness.
If you suffered injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, it is important that you seek prompt medical treatment for the injuries you suffered. You should also consult with a knowledgeable Texas motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
The experienced legal team at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can first meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your motorcycle accident and help you develop a plan for moving your case forward. We can also handle all settlement negotiations with the insurance company and work to ensure that you recover the full monetary damages you deserve. If the insurance company does not compensate you fairly, we could file a lawsuit and litigate your case in the Texas state court system on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Texas motorcycle accident lawyer, please reach out for more information.
Motorcycle Safety Laws
Just like car and truck drivers, motorcyclists must follow all rules of the road, including speed limit and right-of-way laws. They must also refrain from tailgating other drivers and must wear appropriate motorcycle gear at all times, including the proper headgear.
One of the most important steps a cyclist can take is to purchase and wear a sturdy motorcycle helmet while on the road. A well-made motorcycle helmet should cover the cyclist’s entire head and face in the event the cyclist strikes their head on the ground in a crash. Moreover, when a cyclist wears sturdy helmet, they lessen their chances of suffering a traumatic head or brain injury in an accident.
Texas Laws that Other Drivers Must Follow
The majority of motorcycle crashes happen when other drivers violate traffic laws and rules of the road. Some of the most common traffic infractions that other drivers commit— and which cause motorcycle accidents — include speeding, failing to yield the right-of-way to cyclists at the appropriate times, engaging in road rage, operating their vehicle while distracted, and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
First, when drivers exceed posted speed limits, they may lose control of their vehicle, causing it to strike a nearby cyclist. Moreover, if a sudden traffic backup occurs, the driver may not be able to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a motorcycle crash.
Similarly, drivers are responsible for following all right-of-way laws, especially at highway merge lanes and traffic intersections. When a negligent driver runs a red light, yield sign, or stop sign and strikes a motorcycle in the middle of the intersection, it is almost always the cyclist who sustains the more serious injuries.
Next, some motorcycle accidents happen when drivers negligently tailgate motorcyclists or engage in some other type of road rage. Road rage occurs when a driver reacts inappropriately and unreasonably to a roadway situation that arises. For example, an enraged driver might try and pass a motorcyclist in heavy traffic, tailgate a cyclist, or fail to use their turn signal when passing a cyclist, causing a serious traffic accident in the process.
Likewise, some motorcycle crashes happen when drivers are inattentive to the road — or engage in distracted driving. Many drivers become distracted when they listen to loud music in their vehicle or roughhouse with vehicle passengers. At other times, drivers become distracted with electronic devices in their vehicles, including tablets and cellular phones. When a driver diverts their attention away from the road for just a second or two, they may not see an oncoming cyclist and bring about a serious collision.
Finally, some motorcycle accidents happen when drivers violate DUI laws. A driver is legally intoxicated when they operate their vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above. Minor drivers who are under 21 years of age, along with commercial vehicle drivers, must follow stricter legal standards.
If a driver incurs a criminal conviction for DUI, they may face criminal penalties, including high monetary fines, required alcohol rehabilitation and treatment, and potential jail time. In addition, if a drunk driver causes a motorcycle crash, they and their insurance companies may have to pay the accident victim civil damages for the injuries and other damages that they cause.
A driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs may experience blurred vision, preventing them from even seeing a nearby cyclist on the road. Alternatively, the drunk driver may experience delayed reaction time, preventing them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a motorcycle crash.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that occurred when another driver violated a traffic law, you have legal options available to you. Our legal team can meet with you to discuss the best way to proceed forward with your case. We can then help you pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical treatment, and other damages.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When motorcycle accident victims suffer injuries, those injuries are oftentimes debilitating and sometimes deadly. The specific injuries that a motorcycle crash victim sustains often depend upon the type of accident that occurs, the force of the collision, and whether the cyclist strikes the ground in the accident. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries that result from driver negligence include:
- Traumatic head and brain damage
- Soft tissue contusions
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Full and partial paralysis injuries
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash, it is important that you follow up with your primary care doctor – or at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center – immediately. Failing to seek prompt medical treatment after your motorcycle crash might cause your injuries to become worse.
At an emergency medical facility, the provider on duty can order the necessary imaging studies, including X-rays and MRIs, to accurately diagnose your condition. The doctor could also make recommendations for follow-up treatment if you need to consult with a neurologist, physical therapist, or orthopedic doctor.
While you prioritize your medical treatment after a motorcycle accident, our legal team can start advocating for you. We can start to gather your medical documentation, including a copy of the police report, medical treatment records, medical bills, and lost wage documents from your employer, and assemble these documents into a settlement demand package. Once you complete your medical care, we could then forward this settlement demand package to the at-fault driver’s insurance company and begin pursuing favorable monetary compensation on your behalf.
Recovering Monetary Damages Following a Motorcycle Accident
When other drivers operate their vehicles negligently, motorcyclists may suffer extremely serious and sometimes permanent injuries. When that happens, and the accident victim can prove the legal elements of their claim, they may be eligible to recover various damages via a personal injury settlement, jury verdict, or binding arbitration award.
The final damages that an injured cyclist may recover depend upon the seriousness of their injuries, the extent of their medical treatment, the cost of their medical treatment, and whether or not they sustained a permanent injury in their accident. A permanent injury is one that is unlikely to get better over time, as determined by a qualified medical provider, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
Some of the most common damages that motorcycle crash victims may recover include compensation for their related medical expenses, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of spousal companionship, loss of life enjoyment, loss of the ability to use an injured body part, inconvenience, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish.
Our experienced lawyers will do everything possible to help you maximize your damages by highlighting the strengths of your motorcycle accident claim while downplaying any weaknesses.
Talk with a Texas Motorcycle Accident Attorney about Your Legal Matter Today
No matter how carefully motorcyclists operate their vehicles, traffic accidents can still occur because of other drivers’ negligence. When that happens, you need an experienced team of personal injury attorneys advocating for you and representing you throughout your case.
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, our experienced lawyers can assist you with investigating the circumstances of your motorcycle accident, filing a claim, and negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company adjuster. If the insurance company does not compensate you fairly for the injuries you suffered, we can explore litigation options and, if necessary, take your case to a jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.
Our lawyers will do everything possible to help you maximize the compensation you recover for your motorcycle-accident-related injuries and damages. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, please call or contact us online to find out more.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.