San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Standing Up for Clients Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation estimates that at least one motorcyclist dies in an accident in Texas every day, with 519 of those fatalities happening in 2021. That same year, over 2300 motorcyclists suffered serious injuries on the roadways in the state. Unfortunately, a large number of motorcycle accidents are said to be caused by larger vehicles such as cars and SUVs, and motorcyclists are usually the ones who suffer the most serious injuries when involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle. Learn what you should do to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident and how an experienced San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help.
What Are the Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents in Texas?
The most common and often fatal type of motorcycle accident in Texas is a head-on collision. Head-on collisions happen when a motorcycle is struck head-on by a car or another large vehicle, which often results in the motorcyclist being thrown from their bike, landing on a hard surface, or crushed by the larger vehicle. This type of accident usually happens at higher speeds and is said to account for 56% of all deaths from motorcycle accidents.
Another common type of crash is caused by a car turning left in front of a motorcycle. This can happen when the motorcycle is going straight through an intersection, and the car driver does not see the motorcycle and proceeds to turn left, hitting the motorcyclist. It can also happen when the motorcyclist is trying to pass the vehicle.
In addition, many accidents occur because a car driver does not see the motorcyclist. A car driver’s attention is naturally focused on other cars and large vehicles, causing them to misjudge the motorcyclist’s speed and direction of travel or fail to see it at all. This becomes even more dangerous when a motorcyclist is in one of many blind spots of a passenger car and the car is about to switch lanes. If a car driver is distracted or cannot see the motorcyclist, they may switch lanes and crash into the motorcyclist.
Lane-splitting is another practice that can lead to a motorcycle accident. Because of its smaller size, a motorcycle is capable of weaving through slow-moving traffic and riding between vehicles, sharing the same lane, or traveling between lanes. Inexperienced motorcyclists and those not skilled to maneuver in the reduced space can get into a collision with a car, and the same can happen because a driver does not usually expect to see another vehicle in the same lane as they are traveling. The legality of lane splitting is a hotly contested topic among bikers and drivers because while Texas traffic laws do not address it directly, they do require vehicles on the roadway to travel in a single lane. Because it is such a dangerous practice, the liability for a lane-splitting accident usually falls upon the motorcyclist.
Finally, we must mention that drugs and alcohol also play a significant role in many motorcycle accidents in Texas. Drivers and bikers who are under the influence of illegal drugs or have consumed alcoholic drinks in excess of 0.08% BAC are considered to be impaired. If a driver or biker gets into a motorcycle accident and police find that the accident was caused by one of the parties being intoxicated, the liability may usually fall on the drunk driver or biker, who may also find themselves facing criminal charges.
What Kind of Injuries Usually Result From a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are potentially more catastrophic because there is no physical barrier between the motorcyclist and other vehicles or the road surface. The most common type of injury suffered by a motorcyclist in a crash is road rash or road burn. This injury occurs when the motorcyclist is thrown or dragged across the pavement at high speeds and any exposed skin is sheared away by the hard surface. While usually not life-threatening, it can be extremely painful and lead to infections if not properly treated.
Broken bones are also frequently seen in motorcycle accident victims. It is not unusual for a motorcyclist to have multiple broken bones in the same area of their body, often requiring multiple surgeries and a long, painful recovery. Depending on the severity of the accident, the victim may endure lifelong consequences and partial disability or require surgeries such as joint replacement.
Head injuries are among the most dangerous types of injuries a motorcycle victim is exposed to, yet in Texas not every motorcyclist is required to wear a helmet. Helmet use is only mandatory for those under 21 years of age and those who do not meet a helmet exception. Needless to say, the use of a helmet can greatly impact whether a head injury is not serious or life-threatening. These are just a few examples of common injury types that are often observed after a motorcycle accident.
What Should You Do if You Were Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
The first thing you need to do if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident is to seek emergency medical help. Even if you don’t feel pain or are not visibly injured, the dangers of an impact against a passenger car are very real, and you could be suffering from internal injuries or have a condition that will not show any symptoms for several days. Get medical help right away, and if possible, get a copy of your medical records.
It is also important to report the accident to the police. If an officer is dispatched to the scene of the accident, they will likely fill out an accident report. The police report is another important source of evidence because it contains information about what the police officer observed at the scene of the accident, including details such as the position of each vehicle, the direction of travel, road conditions, skid marks, and other important information. The police may also submit either party to a breathalyzer test if there is any suspicion that the driver or the motorcyclists may have been driving under the influence.
If it is possible and safe to do so, take pictures and video documenting the scene of the accident, and get the contact information and insurance information of the other party involved in the accident. Write down the contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as any details about the crash that you may end up forgetting later on. Avoid giving any statements to the other party’s insurance company, and be careful not to say anything that could be misunderstood as an admission of guilt. Finally, contact a San Antonio motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
What Kind of Damages Compensation Are Motorcycle Accident Victims Entitled To?
Motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, but how much they may receive depends on the severity of their injuries and their percentage of responsibility for the accident. Generally, any financial losses such as bills for emergency medical care and follow-up treatments, the cost of rehabilitation treatments including prescriptions and home health care, lost wages due to being unable to work, and the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged property are some examples of economic damages typically included in a motorcycle accident claim.
In addition, victims may be eligible to seek compensation for the pain and emotional trauma they have endured as a result of the accident, as well as in the course of treatment and recovery. These are referred to as non-economic damages or ‘pain and suffering’ and are meant to reimburse the victim for the traumatic experience of being involved in an accident.
While a motorcycle accident claim usually seeks compensation for both non-economic and economic damages, the amount the victim may end up receiving could be reduced if it is determined that the victim partially contributed to the accident. This is one of many reasons why working with a San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer early on can greatly influence your chances of maximizing your compensation. Your attorney can help you build a strong case to minimize your liability and protect your rights to receive compensation.
When Should You Hire a San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming situation, and it is not always easy to figure out what you should do next. In addition, there is a deadline for accident victims to file a claim or initiate a civil lawsuit for personal injury – and the clock starts ticking from the moment the accident takes place. In Texas, the statute of limitation for personal injury claims (including motorcycle accidents) is two years from the date of the accident. With that in mind, motorcycle accident victims should seek the help of an attorney as soon as they are able to do so.
The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to retrieve important evidence from the accident scene, and your attorney may not have enough time to build a strong case on your behalf. By working with a motorcycle accident lawyer, you can also have more peace of mind knowing your attorney can handle all aspects of your case on your behalf – such as dealing with paperwork and insurance adjusters – so you can concentrate on healing and spending time with your loved ones.
At the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team have helped countless San Antonio motorcycle accident victims to fight for their rights and get the compensation they deserve. Our firm knows the steps necessary to navigate the process of making insurance companies pay a fair award to accident victims, and we are committed to providing strong representation for every client while treating them with the utmost professionalism and respect. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries after a motorcycle accident in San Antonio or the surrounding areas, do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy by calling (210) 953-7486 and requesting a no-commitment consultation to discuss your case.