View interactive chart. These striking motorcycle accident statistics highlight just how crucial it is that victims of motorcycle collisions caused by negligence seek counsel from an experienced motorcycle attorney. Hiring a lawyer who has specific experience helping motorcycle accident victims and families is the best way to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation.
After a motorcycle crash, you need to focus on recovering from your injuries and restoring your health to the extent that this is possible. If you do not get immediate medical treatment after a motorcycle accident, the at-fault party or their insurance company may try to deny you compensation for your injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer can relieve your stress by communicating with the other parties and their insurance company representatives on your behalf. He or she can also make sure that your interests are not compromised and you maximize your chances at receiving a fair settlement.
Because most reputable personal injury law firms offer potential clients a free and confidential initial consultation , you have nothing to lose by setting up a case review with a Houston motorcycle accident attorney. If you were partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by a percentage proportionate to your fault.
However, you cannot recover any damages if you were more than 51 percent responsible for the accident. This means that even if you were very badly injured, you may be prevented from receiving any money at for your injuries. The harm may be tangible for example, a medical bill or intangible such as pain and suffering. If you suffered any of the following types of injuries or losses, a Houston motorcycle attorney can help you recover compensation in an insurance claim settlement or personal injury lawsuit.
If you were in a motorcycle crash and are dealing with any of these types of injuries or financial hardships, contact an aggressive motorcycle accident attorney right away. There are two different methods for obtaining compensation after a motorcycle accident. For some minor motorcycle accidents, it may be possible to secure a fair compensation settlement from an insurance company.
But often, insurance companies will try to unfairly shift blame onto motorcycle riders. This report will contain helpful information, such as the date, time, and location of the crash. The report should also identify who was involved in the crash as well as any witnesses. The police officer might also determine who is at fault for the collision. However, it is a good jumping off point for beginning your own investigation.
In Texas, the person responsible for the crash pays compensation to those who are injured. After the crash, swap your insurance information with any driver involved in the crash. Pictures are definitely worth a thousand words. If you can get up and move around, take a picture of your motorcycle and the vehicle that hit you. Ideally, you can get pictures before the vehicles are moved to the side of the road. These pictures will show what the crash scene looked like in the immediate aftermath.
You can use your smartphone to take pictures or ask someone else to take them. Of course, you might be in a lot of pain and be unable to move around, in which case you should ask someone else to take the pictures for you.
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After a crash, you and the vehicle that hit you might disagree about who was responsible for the crash. For example, a driver that rear-ended you might claim you did not use a turn signal, so the driver did not know to stop.
Liability will impact who pays compensation for the accident, so you do not want to say anything that might hamstring your case. Something as small as a simple apology can be used against you to show you are taking responsibility for the crash. Instead of engaging in small talk, stand to the side of the road and wait for the police officer to arrive. It is no secret that motorcycle accidents can cause devastating injuries. Many bikers end up paralyzed or in incredible pain. All they can do is wait for the ambulance to arrive.
Even if you are feeling okay after a crash, you need to go to the hospital or doctor right away. Some injuries are slow to develop, but prompt medical treatment can give you a good chance of recovery. Motorcyclists and their passengers tend to suffer more serious injuries during a collision than passengers in motor vehicles. A car provides ample protection around occupants which absorbs most of the force generated by the collision.
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By contrast, bikers are fully exposed to any vehicle that strikes them. Some bikers will suffer a direct hit from a car or truck. Others will suffer serious injuries when they are flung from the bike and strike a stationary object like a telephone pole or skid along the road. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash in Texas, you may be suffering from one or more of the following injuries:.
Any bone in the body can break, but many motorcycle accidents result in broken legs, arms, feet, or hands.
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When a bone protrudes through the skin, then a person has suffered a compound fracture which requires immediate treatment so that it does not become infected. Many bones can heal with only a cast, but others will require surgery to keep the bones together with a pin or screw. As a motorcyclist slides along asphalt, the heat and friction can peel off one or more layers of skin. Road rash is a particular bad type of skin injury, where the skin typically is entirely peeled off. Road rash can lead to scarring and infection. Any blow to the head can change how the brain works, resulting in confusion and impaired memory, speech, or mobility.
Traumatic brain injuries range from relatively mild to life threatening. The more serious the injury, the more time a victim will need to spend in the hospital and the less they will recover. Serious brain injuries can leave someone permanently disabled and unable to care for themselves. Injuries to the skull, eyes, and ears are common, even when the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet.
A hard blow to the head can cause blindness or reduce the ability to hear. Organs in the chest can be injured when a broken rib spears an organ. Other organs will fail because of blunt force trauma. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in a loss of mobility or loss of sensation or both. The spinal cord is well-protected by vertebrae, but they can crack or shatter after a traumatic impact. When the spinal cord is completely severed, a person is paralyzed below that point. Motorcyclists instinctively brace themselves for impact by wrapping an arm around their chest.
When the arm suffers a direct impact, the nerves can be damaged. Common symptoms include muscle weakness and inability to use fingers. Physical therapy can sometimes help, but some bikers will have a permanent disability. Any deviation could compromise your ability to receive compensation.
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By settling your dispute, you can guarantee that you will receive some money and avoid the unpredictability of trial. However, the settlement process is not easy and not something that you should attempt on your own. To maximize the amount of compensation you receive, you need to carefully assess the circumstances of the accident and be prepared to negotiate aggressively with the liability insurance company.
Below we present a general guideline for how to settle a claim. You should get this information after the motorcycle accident, and you can call up the insurance company to make a claim or have your lawyer do it. One benefit of having a lawyer is that they will limit what you tell the insurance company. Remember that insurance adjusters for the party that caused the motorcycle wreck will try to find ways to reduce their payout. When in doubt, do not speak with them and defer them to your attorney instead.
If your motorcycle only suffered property damage and you have collision coverage, then you might contact your own insurer and tell them what happened.
They can then work with the insurance company that represents the driver who struck you. Even if you hope to settle your case, you might still need to file a lawsuit. The threat of a lawsuit is the only real incentive an insurance company has for giving you a settlement in the first place.
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Texas law gives motorcycle accident victims a short window of time to file a lawsuit after the crash. It is best not to wait. If you miss the deadline, a judge will dismiss the case and you will not receive any compensation for your injuries, regardless of how badly you are injured. Your lawyer can start the lawsuit by filing the necessary paperwork in the correct court. In your complaint, you will explain important circumstances surrounding the accident and make a demand for compensation. You then need to send a copy of the complaint and other documents to the defendant you are suing.
Lawsuits can be long and drawn out, taking a year or longer from start to finish. Realize that you can settle your case at any moment, even during the trial if it has already begun. The defendant will feel greater pressure to settle the longer the case takes, and it is not unusual to receive a settlement offer right before the jury renders its verdict.
An insurance company will want to thoroughly investigate an accident before agreeing to pay you money. The more serious your injuries, the less likely they are to immediately pay up. Instead, an insurer is probably looking for evidence that you caused the crash and are to blame. If so, the insurer can get out of paying compensation, since you are at fault.
During the investigation, the adverse insurance company may ask for a recorded statement. You can expect to receive several calls from them in the days following the crash. If you have hired an attorney to represent you, do not speak with insurance companies without having a discussion with your legal counsel first.
With your attorney beside you, you can clean up any confusion and tell the adjuster exactly what happened. Once the insurance company has collected all evidence, it should determine whether to accept your claim, reject it, or make a counter-offer. Typically, any counter-offer will be low—far less than your injuries are really worth. At that point, you and your attorney will assess how to respond. Negotiations often involve a back-and-forth, with each side moving a little closer toward a number each side can agree with. Negotiations are usually handled through letters, though sometimes the lawyers might need to meet together to hammer out final details.
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Realize that your attorney cannot accept a settlement without your approval. In fact, it is unethical to do otherwise. However, you can give your lawyer permission ahead of time to accept any settlement offer that is above a certain amount. Your lawyer should keep you updated about how negotiations are unfolding and advise you about whether you should accept less money if negotiations begin to stall. You might also need to press ahead with your lawsuit. Every settlement agreement comes with strings.
In particular, the defendant will agree to a settlement only if you agree to not pursue additional compensation for the same accident. You will need to sign a waiver or release to this effect, which is legally binding. For this reason, you absolutely must get all the compensation that you can in your settlement, otherwise you will not have enough money to pay for all of your medical care and replace all your lost wages.
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