League City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
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Motorcyclists face unique risks while on the road. Fatalities are significantly more common than for other motor vehicle accidents, and injuries are often more severe. Without the enclosure of a car or truck, there is little protecting your body while on a motorcycle. As such, these accidents often result in severe injuries, temporary or permanent disability, and even death.
Defensive riding is perhaps the best strategy to avoid catastrophic outcomes; even so, you can’t control how other people behave on the road.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident it is in your best interest to consult with a League City motorcycle accident attorney immediately.
At Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers, we have helped countless motorcycle accident victims get the justice—and compensation—they deserve.
Our highly-skilled and experienced legal team will evaluate your case to determine the most appropriate legal strategy for moving forward. Contact us today at (281) 645-5000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes can occur for a million reasons, and even among the riders with years of experience. Some of the most common types of motorcycle accidents include:
- Head-on collisions—The vast majority of these accidents involve crashing head on with an oncoming vehicle or colliding with a stationary object. Sadly, head-on collisions are often deadly.
- Left-hand turn strikes—Riders must exercise extra caution when a car makes a left-hand turn. Motorcycle-auto accidents frequently occur when a car turning left hits a motorcycle as the rider attempts to pass the car or proceed through an intersection.
- Riding under the influence— About 50 percent of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents involve an intoxicated rider. This is a much higher statistic than that of drivers of passenger vehicles.
- Colliding with stationary objects—Approximately 25 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur when the rider collides with a fixed object, compared to 18 percent of fatal car crashes. If you can prove that a property owner was negligent in placing the object—a mailbox, for example—too close to the road, you may be able to recover damages. The same is true with regard to parked construction equipment that lacks reflective placards.
- Lane splitting is the practice of navigating a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars.Motorcyclists are often tempted to lane split during traffic jams because, due to their small size, they can easily weave in and out of bumper-to-bumper traffic in ways that a car or truck simply cannot. Keep in mind, however, that lane splitting is not a legally protected practice in Texas. While no legislation specifically outlaws lane splitting, the law holds motorcyclists to the same standards as other motorists. Texas law states that vehicles must stay within one lane unless they can move from that lane safely. Lane splitting is a controversial practice, with many judges viewing it as unsafe. As a result, a judge is unlikely to look kindly on a rider involved in a lane splitting accident.
- Road hazards. Because a motorcycle is smaller and less stable than a car, motorcyclists must exercise even more caution when riding in unfavorable weather conditions, through construction zones, and on poorly maintained roads.
Types of Motorcycle Injuries
As discussed above, due to the lack of physical protection surrounding motorcyclists and the vehicle’s small size compared to other vehicles on the road, motorcycle riders have a much greater risk of injury than their passenger vehicle counterparts. Some of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle crashes include:
- Road rash—Because there is no metal frame surrounding motorcyclists, a rider will likely make contact with the road if they crash. Road rash occurs when a rider’s body slides along pavement. The pavement cuts through clothing and can remove the topmost layers of skin. In mild cases, road rash will expose you to infection and can increase skin sensitivity once healed. In more severe cases, it can cause superficial nerve damage. Wearing sturdy protective gear designed for motorcycle riding can reduce or prevent road rash.
- Head injuries—Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) frequently occur in motorcycle accidents, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. If you are over 21 and have either (a) completed a Motorcycle Operation Training Course or (b) have proof of at least $10,000 medical insurance coverage, Texas law does not require you to wear a helmet while riding. However, it’s good practice to do so, as helmet use dramatically decreases the likelihood of a TBI if you are involved in a crash. TBIs can have a serious and long-lasting impact on your life, including memory issues, impaired thinking and executive function, and seizures.
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs). Depending on their severity, SCIs can result in numbness, impaired movement, and paralysis.
- Broken bones. Similar to road rash, it’s common for motorcyclists to break bones upon impact, especially ribs, legs, arms, the skull, and the collarbone.
- Traumatic muscle injuries (soft tissue injuries). These injuries are either direct results of impact during the crash or manifest indirectly due to other injuries. For example, severe road rash can damage upper muscle layers, and broken bones can injure surrounding muscle tissue when they shatter.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
The moments following a motorcycle accident are critical to the outcome of a personal injury case. Most of the rules for auto accidents apply to motorcycle accidents as well.
If you are conscious and able, do:
- exchange contact and insurance information with any other individuals involved in the accident;
- document as much as possible before leaving the scene, including taking pictures of the vehicles, the surrounding area, and your injuries;
- tell the police officer exactly what happened, without assuming fault of any kind; and
- take yourself to the nearest emergency room to receive medical attention, even if you feel fine. Internal injuries are serious and it can take hours or even days for someone to realize they are injured after an accident.
Regardless of the circumstances, you should never:
- leave the scene until the police officer responding to the accident instructs you to do so, unless you require immediate medical attention;
- admit fault to the police, any other involved party, or your insurance company; and
- file an official report with your insurance company before going to a doctor. Many people who feel fine after an accident contact their insurance company right away to get the paperwork over with. Once that report has been submitted, the insurance company will use it to determine fault and calculate how much they should pay out. Unfortunately, some injuries—such as internal bleeding and soft-tissue damage—may not produce symptoms for days or weeks after the accident. It is extremely difficult to make changes to your report at a later date. To be safe, consult with a League City motorcycle accident lawyer if you’ve been injured.
The Process for Filing a Claim After a Motorcycle Accident in League City
Texas is an “at-fault” state, which essentially means that the party found at fault for the accident will pay damages to the injured parties. For this reason, insurance companies will not pay a cent until they have determined who was at fault in an accident.
But while this investigation is underway, the injury victim’s expenses can be piling up—medical bills, lost wages, and property damage can all take a serious financial toll. That’s why it’s so important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your League City lawyer can ensure that the investigation is completed in a timely manner, and that you are positioned for the most favorable outcome possible.
Never forget that insurance companies are first and foremost businesses, and businesses seek to protect their bottom line—making the most money while paying the least expenses. Therefore, an insurance company’s initial settlement offer is almost always going to be significantly less than what you deserve.
As such, it’s essential to work with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you recover the maximum compensation available to you. At Burwell Nebout, we always strive to avoid going to court, but if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial and fight to get you the full compensation you deserve.
Damages You Can Receive After a League City Motorcycle Accident
The money sought in lawsuits is intended to make up for the damage caused by the defendant. As such, the amount you ask for is referred to as “damages.” There are two primary kinds of potential damages in a motorcycle accident case—economic, and non-economic.
Monetary costs almost always accompany personal injuries. You can sue the at-fault party for damages to cover the expense of medical bills and treatments for your injuries, wages you lost while incapacitated and unable to work, and vehicle repairs.
Non-economic damages are still assigned a dollar value, but that value can prove more difficult to calculate. These damages are a result of intangible harms that often accompany personal injury or wrongful death cases. The most common type of non-economic damage is pain and suffering, which can be explained as the loss of quality of life from sustaining an injury. It can also include trauma related to surviving a serious accident.
In wrongful death cases, a person who loses their spouse in an accident can seek damages for loss of consortium, which is the loss of companionship, affection, and comfort that a life partner provides. A plaintiff can also seek loss of consortium in a personal injury case.
For example, if a motorcycle accident leaves someone paralyzed from the waist down and they can no longer engage in sexual activity with their spouse, they may seek loss of consortium damages.
Because non-economic damages are highly subjective in nature, their monetary value can be challenging to assess, and many defendants will contest the alleged value in court.
When an unqualified attorney seeks excessive non-economic damages, this can subsequently draw the case out longer and cause significant emotional distress to the plaintiff. This is why it is so important to work with a skilled League City injury lawyer who can accurately calculate both economic and non-economic damages from the start.
Texas Statute of Limitations on Motor Accidents
In Texas, you have two years from the time of the motorcycle accident to file a personal injury claim. Once that two-year window closes, you will likely lose the ability to ever recover damages. This period of time is known as the statute of limitations.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you have plenty of time to file. Waiting until the last minute can severely weaken your case. Think about it this way: if someone claimed to have suffered a serious injury from an accident that happened a year ago, wouldn’t you question why they hadn’t gone to court sooner?
Additionally, personal injury cases can take a long time to settle if they go to court. The sooner you start the process, the more time you have to build a solid case.
How a League City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Following any type of accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve so that you can focus on healing. From dealing with aggressive insurance companies to negotiating for the maximum settlement amount, an experienced League City injury lawyer is your greatest advocate.
Your attorney can speak to your insurance company on your behalf when filing a claim. This protects you from unknowingly saying something to the adjuster that weakens your claim or somehow assumes fault.
Believe it or not, for insurance reasons, many doctors will not see patients who are involved in a motorcycle accident. An experienced lawyer will also know reputable doctors and clinics that will agree to treat you, and will steer you away from “pain mills,” clinics notorious for using up insurance money while providing substandard treatment.
Contact Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the skilled legal team at Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers can help. Since 1970, we have successfully represented thousands of injured Texans in virtually every type of personal injury matter.
Our experienced, knowledgeable injury lawyers will evaluate your legal options and advise you on the best course of action so that you can focus on recovery. Contact Burwell Nebout Trial Lawyers today at (281) 645-5000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.