Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in an accident than people in passenger vehicles. While motorcyclists tend to be viewed as rash and dangerous, nothing can be farther from the truth. In reality, their injuries are often caused by the actions of other drivers.
Compared to other vehicles, motorcycles are small and exposed. As a result, motorcycle accidents tend to be much more severe than car accidents. If a loved one has been killed in an accident, reach out to our wrongful death attorneys in Austin to fight for your case.
Why Choose Shaw Cowart’s Austin Motorcycle Accident Attorneys?
We know that a motorcycle crash can change your life, drastically. It’s important to work with an experienced legal team who knows how to assess your damages so you can get what you’re owed. Our personal injury attorneys in Austin have a proven track record in helping our clients in personal injury cases in Austin. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact our law firm, Shaw Cowart LLP, for a complimentary case review. Call our motorcycle accident attorneys at 512-499-8900
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents in Texas
The open-air design of a motorcycle makes riding through the scenic Texas countryside and along endless miles of coastline exhilarating. But that same unenclosed design that makes a ride so thrilling also leaves motorcycle riders vulnerable to very serious or even grave injuries in the event of an accident such as the following:
- Broken bones, including limbs, ribs, pelvis, and hip fractures
- Traumatic head injuries—even a helmet cannot protect against all head injuries since the brain may bump against the interior of the skull
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe abrasions (road rash)
- Internal injuries
- Opening a car door in front of an approaching motorcycle
- Rear-ending a motorcycle due to following too closely
- Making unsafe lane changes with a motorcycle nearby
These injuries are serious and can quickly become expensive. Some may be temporarily or permanently life-altering. Motorcycle accident victims need skilled representation by a compassionate attorney with experience navigating liability laws in Texas motorcycle accidents.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents In Austin
Head-on collisions are the leading cause of motorcycle accidents, followed by cars making left-hand turns in front of motorcycles. Other top causes of motorcycle crashes include:
- Passing and overtaking
- Drunk driving
- Inclement weather
- Road hazards
Whether your collision is caused by another driver or an unforeseen circumstance, you may be wondering what to do next, especially if you’ve been catastrophically injured. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers will help you determine the best course of action to take when seeking reparations for your damages.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Texas
Motorcycle accidents leave riders extremely vulnerable to severe injuries due to the unenclosed nature of a motorcycle. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident you may be able to do little other than wait in place for help to arrive. But if you’re able to use your phone it can become a helpful tool to protect yourself physically and financially after an accident. You could also hand the phone to an uninjured person and ask them to use it for you and then take the following important post-accident steps:
- Call 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance
- Quickly snap photos of the accident scene including your motorcycle, any other involved vehicles, and anything that contributed to the accident
- Snap photos of any visible injuries
- Add the contact information of the driver(s) involved in the accident
- Add the contact information of eyewitnesses to the accident
- Record your own statement of what happened while it’s fresh in your mind since trauma can cause you to forget details later
Once at the hospital, be sure to undergo a thorough evaluation and tell the doctor about all of your symptoms, even the minor ones. Ask for a detailed report of your injuries and prognosis. Then, be sure to follow all of your doctor’s orders and refrain from posting on social media until after you settle your accident claim.
Gather your medical report, medical bills, and a copy of the police report, and then call the Austin motorcycle accident attorneys at Shaw Cowart LLC for a free consultation so we can begin a strategy for your case.
Determining Fault in Austin Motorcycle Crashes
Similar to the cases our Austin bicycle accident lawyers handle, motorcycles are smaller and therefore less visible to other drivers, but that doesn’t absolve drivers who fail to notice and yield the right of way to riders. The driver who caused your accident can be held liable for your injuries if they engaged in negligent behaviors, such as not checking their mirrors or following too closely.
In some cases, another driver may not be the only party to blame. Depending on the cause of your crash, other at-fault parties may include:
- Motorcycle designer, manufacturer, or assembler
- Safety gear designer, manufacturer, or assembler
- Construction or road crews
In the case that your motorcycle or safety gear was defective, contact our product liability attorneys in Austin.
Our attorneys, such as our Austin pedestrian accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation of your collision to determine who is ultimately responsible for your injuries.
Proving Liability in Austin Motorcycle Accidents
Regardless of the cause of your motorcycle accident, proving liability is the key to a successful motorcycle accident claim. Whether the at-fault party was a careless driver, a road maintenance agency, or the manufacturer of failed or defective equipment, proving liability means showing the following:
- That the at-fault party owed a duty of care to you and others on the road to take reasonable measures to prevent injury
- That they failed in this duty by acting negligently
- That their negligence directly caused your injuries
- That you’ve suffered significant damages from the injuries
Your attorney will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your accident to determine the party at fault and the negligence that led to the accident. Then they will gather evidence to demonstrate liability. Once the evidence is clear, your Austin motorcycle accident attorney can make a compelling case to the appropriate insurance party to secure an ample settlement. Only in the rare case that a settlement agreement isn’t reached does a motorcycle accident claim proceed to a lawsuit in court. Your attorney from Shaw Cowart LLC is more than ready to litigate the matter in court if required to secure your settlement. A court award may take longer to obtain but they are typically higher than a settlement.
You and your attorney can discuss your options for obtaining a settlement or a jury award for your damages.
What If I Was Partly at Fault for My Austin Motorcycle Accident?
Texas is an at-fault insurance state where it matters who is responsible for an accident. The state’s comparative negligence laws also make it possible for injury victims to recover a portion of their financial losses even if they shared the blame in the accident as long as they were less than 50% at fault. For instance, if you’re found to have been 25% at fault for your motorcycle accident, you’ll receive $75,000 if your award for damages was $100,000.
If you feel that you might have been partly at fault for your motorcycle accident talk to your attorney about how to maximize the damages you can recover.
Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Case
The serious injuries often suffered by motorcycle accident victims can quickly become expensive. Medical bills continue to come in at the same time that you may be unable to return to work during your treatment and recovery. If your accident left you disabled, you may be facing a lower level of income in the future. That’s why a successful motorcycle accident claim in Austin can be the key to improving your future outcome. Your claim could bring compensation for damages including:
- Medical expenses and any future medical costs related to the injury
- Lost income
- Lowered earning capacity due to disability
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished life quality, disfigurement, and trauma if any of these non-economic damages apply to your case
While monetary compensation cannot erase your pain, it can open doors to better medical care and provide a financial cushion while you focus on recovery to the best possible extent.
No-Contact Motorcycle Accidents In Austin
Did you know that a crash can happen even if you don’t hit another vehicle? Known as a no-contact accident, these crashes occur when a rider hits the brakes or lays down their bike in order to avoid a collision.
If you were involved in a no-contact motorcycle accident, the other driver can still be held liable for their negligence. Examples of negligent actions include careless, aggressive, and reckless behaviors, such as:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Running red lights
- Not checking blind spots
- Texting and driving
- Exceeding posted speed limits
Holding a negligent driver at fault in a no-contact accident can prove difficult. If the driver is not aware they caused your injuries, they will likely leave the scene.
Our Austin accident attorneys can help you prove that another driver’s negligent actions caused you to swerve, fall off, or lay down your bike, resulting in injuries. They will work with you, any witnesses, and law enforcement to locate and prosecute the at-fault driver.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Laws
All Texas riders under age 21 are required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Motorcyclists over age 21 can only ride without a helmet if they’ve completed a motorcycle operator training and safety course AND are covered by an applicable health insurance plan.
While you may be exempt from helmet laws, you should never ride without one. Serious head injuries are one of the most common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents, and a helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 69 percent. A helmet also reduces your risk of death by 37 percent.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Almost all motorcycle crashes involve riders who are self-taught. Before using your bike, consider investing in professional training.
In Texas, all riders must attend a basic training course before they can receive their motorcycle license. The Texas Department of Public Safety also offers intermediate, advanced and specialized training courses to riders who want to expedite the licensing process and bolster their safety knowledge.
Call Out Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Austin Today
At Shaw Cowart LLP, our Austin motorcycle accident lawyers are here for you. We will do everything in our power to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 512-499-8900 today for your free case consultation or contact us here and we’ll help set up your appointment.