The Importance of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas: From Injury to Resolution

EMT stands next to a crashed motorcycle. | Patrick Daniel Law
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As a motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston, we were keenly aware of a 2017 motorcycle crash in Pearland, Texas. A man and a woman were killed in a collision with a pickup truck. A photo of the accident’s aftermath showed a completely demolished Honda motorcycle, scarcely recognizable as a motorcycle at all. Witnesses at the scene and all those who later read about the accident recoiled in shock at the destruction.

Clearly, the riders had little chance of survival. The man died at the scene. The woman died later at the hospital. On the other hand, the driver of the pickup truck did not suffer any significant injuries. This devastating motorcycle crash demonstrates the vulnerability of motorcycle riders, who have none of the protections afforded automobile passengers.

Victims often suffer twice–once in the motorcycle crash and once when the insurance company fails them. Unsettled and under-settled insurance claims haunt injured riders, underscoring the importance of obtaining a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer.

In Houston, that designation belongs to Patrick Daniel Law. We have obtained millions for motorcycle crash victims, either through negotiations or courtroom litigation. We stay abreast of the delaying, distracting, and bullying tactics used by insurance companies who try to avoid paying claims following a motorcycle accident. Then, we combat them with our Strategic. Meticulous. Merciless. approach.

Unlike some law firms, we are always ready to go to trial if we have to. We do not fear the opposition or the courtroom. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, call Patrick Daniel Law at (713) 999-6666 for a FREE case evaluation. Our motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston, Texas will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your terrible losses.

The Frightening, Fatal Reality of a Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle riders constantly fear that other drivers won’t see them on the road. The thought never escapes their mind. Reasons for this caution abound. According to statistics presented by the Insurance Information Institute (iii), there are between 80,000 and 100,000 motorcycle accident injuries and roughly 5,000 fatalities each year.

The couple who died in that 2017 motorcycle crash became part of a grim reality on our nation’s highways. That year, 5,226 Americans lost their lives in motorcycle crashes. The following year saw only a slight improvement, with 5,038 fatalities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that per mile traveled, motorcycle riders are 16 times more likely to die in a crash than automobile passengers. The saddest part about this statistic is that most collisions with other vehicles are not the fault of the motorcyclist.

The Most Common Motorcycle Injuries

Many car drivers can walk away from a crash with little more than scratches or bruises from an airbag or shoulder restraint. Motorcycle crash victims, however, suffer impact injuries, crushing injuries, abrading injuries, and more.

In a motorcycle crash, the rider has very little protection. They will undoubtedly strike something—the ground, another vehicle, a tree—and the likelihood of a debilitating injury is frighteningly high. A sobering statistic provided by the NHTSA informs that only 20% of crashes involving passenger vehicles lead to injury or death, while a staggering 80% of motorcycle accidents have such awful outcomes.

Some of the most frequent injuries suffered by motorcyclists in accidents include:

1. Road Rash

When riders are thrown from their motorcycles or slide across the pavement, they can suffer from road rash. This injury, while it may sound minor, can be quite severe, leading to skin abrasions, infections, and even nerve damage and disfigurement. The roads of Texas are hard and unforgiving when you crash.

2. Lower Extremity Injuries

Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to such lower extremity injuries due to the lack of protective barriers, leaving their legs exposed to direct impact in a collision. Injuries range from broken bones to ligament injuries and even amputations in severe cases. The recovery from these injuries can be prolonged and may involve surgeries and physical therapy, and they sometimes result in permanent mobility issues or chronic pain.

3. Head Injuries

Even with a helmet, motorcyclists are at risk of head injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The impact during a crash can cause the brain to move inside the skull, potentially leading to long-term cognitive and neurological issues or even death. In fact, head injuries are considered to be responsible for the majority of motorcycle accident-related fatalities.

4. Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries in motorcycle accidents are particularly concerning due to their potential to cause permanent disability. These injuries occur when the force of the crash impacts the spine. The severity can vary, from temporary loss of function to lifelong paralysis, depending on the injury’s location and extent. Such injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and they can significantly alter a person’s quality of life.

5. Fractures

Fractures are a common consequence of motorcycle accidents, often resulting from the direct impact and force exerted during a crash. The most frequently fractured bones include the ribs, arms, legs, and collarbone. These injuries can range from simple fractures, which may heal with immobilization, to complex ones requiring surgical intervention.

The healing process can be lengthy and sometimes complicated by bone misalignment or infection. In severe cases, fractures can lead to long-term complications, including chronic pain or limited mobility.

6. Internal Injuries

Internal injuries from motorcycle accidents are particularly perilous due to their ability to go unnoticed initially, yet they can be life-threatening. These injuries often involve internal bleeding, organ damage, ruptures, or punctured lungs primarily caused by the blunt force trauma experienced during a crash. Treatment often requires surgery and extensive hospital stays, and the long-term impact can range from chronic health issues to life-altering consequences.

7. Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft-tissue injuries in motorcycle accidents encompass damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries often occur from the blunt force during a crash or if the rider is thrown from the bike. Common soft-tissue injuries include sprains, strains, and contusions.

While they may seem less severe than other types of injuries, they can cause significant pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Recovery may involve rest, physical therapy, and sometimes surgical intervention in severe cases.

Given the severity of these common injuries, it’s crucial for motorcyclists to wear proper safety gear and ride defensively. In the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident in Houston, consulting with a lawyer can be essential in navigating the complexities of insurance claims and potential legal action to cover medical expenses and other damages.

When Should I Call A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Houston?

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in Houston, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible. Motorcycle riders account for a tiny fraction of all the miles driven in the U.S. annually. However, they account for a grossly disproportionate number of serious injuries.

Read More: Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Insurance companies often portray motorcycle riders as reckless, claiming they know the risks and take them anyway. They insinuate that the motorcyclists contributed to their own injuries. This tactic attempts to intimidate motorcycle drivers into accepting a lowball settlement offer. Having a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer negotiate on your behalf often results in the fair compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Get Help Immediately After a Motorcycle Wreck

Motorcycle crashes frequently produce devastating injuries. Victims should never delay in seeking medical attention, even if their injuries aren’t immediately apparent. The shock of an accident can result in an adrenaline rush that masks aches and pains. Seek the assistance of medical professionals by calling emergency services or visiting the emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible.

Who Is At Fault In A Motorcycle Crash?

Statistically, the driver of the car—or any vehicle other than the motorcycle—is most often at fault in accidents between cars and motorcycles. The drivers of these vehicles frequently don’t see the motorcycle, either from failing to keep a proper lookout or due to a distraction.

According to a comprehensive study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the five factors that were the primary contributors to motorcycle crashes were:

  • Perception failure of the other vehicle driver—30%
  • Decision failure of the other vehicle driver—17%
  • Decision failure of the motorcycle driver—14%
  • Reaction failure of the motorcycle driver—12%
  • Perception failure of the motorcycle driver—11%

Though the liability will most often fall upon the driver of the other vehicle, all drivers are capable of causing or contributing to a motorcycle accident. Some common causes of crashes include:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding
  • Inattention or distracted driving
  • Mechanical issues
  • Roadway design issues or poor road conditions
  • Left turn scenarios
  • Other accidents

Insurance companies frequently attempt to portray motorcycle riders as reckless thrill-seekers who, even if not explicitly at fault in a motorcycle crash, somehow contributed to their injuries. They might mention excessive speed, sudden lane changes, or a lack of regard for their own safety as reasons they should not receive full compensation. Consulting with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston can help to get you the recompense you deserve.

Read More: Who Is At Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Does Wearing a Helmet Affect My Motorcycle Injury Case?

The Cochrane Library published a review of 61 observational studies on the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in preventing death and injuries. The research group found that motorcycle helmets reduced the risk of death by 42% and the risk of head injury by 69%. When injury and fatality are so prevalent in motorcycle accidents, why wouldn’t you protect yourself in any way possible?

Motorcycle helmet laws differ from state to state. In 18 states, it is required that all riders wear helmets. In 30 states, motorcycle laws say that all riders above a designated age—usually 18 or 21—may opt not to wear a helmet. Three states have no helmet law at all.

For your own benefit, you really should wear an approved motorcycle helmet, whether required by law or not. But does wearing or not wearing a helmet affect the amount of your compensation in a motorcycle injury claim? In Texas, yes.

Texas motorcycle laws state that motorcycle riders 21 and older have the freedom not to wear a motorcycle helmet. However, if a person not mandated by law to wear a helmet chooses not to and then suffers injuries that a helmet could have prevented, their insurance payout could be reduced.

A rider who is mandated to wear a helmet and breaks the law by doing so can be charged with negligence per se. They can then incur penalties for their contribution to any injuries that the helmet might have prevented. Injuries that occur to parts of the body not protected by a helmet do not apply.

Filing a Motorcycle Injury Claim

Key steps in filing a claim include:

Gathering Evidence

Collect evidence from the accident scene, including photos, witness statements, and police reports.

Medical Documentation

Seek immediate medical attention and keep detailed records of all injuries, treatments, and medical expenses.

Reporting the Accident

Report the accident to the police and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Additionally, inform your insurance company about the accident, but be cautious in your communications. Avoid admitting fault or making detailed statements without legal advice.

Consulting an Attorney

Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston, especially one experienced in Texas traffic laws and personal injury claims. They can guide you through the legal process, from negotiating with insurance companies to filing a lawsuit if necessary.

Filing the Claim

Your attorney will help file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, outlining the damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Negotiations & Settlement

Your lawyer will handle negotiations with the insurance company. They will prepare to take your case to court if a fair settlement is not offered.

Legal representation ensures your rights are protected and increases your chances of receiving fair compensation. Remember, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003 allows you 2 years from the date of the accident to file a claim, so timely action is crucial.

Read More: What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?

How Long Will It Take to Get a Settlement?

The timeline for receiving a settlement after a motorcycle accident varies. Generally, it can take several months to a couple of years, depending on the case’s complexity, the extent of your injuries, and the negotiation process with insurance companies.

The time required for gathering evidence, completing medical treatments, and negotiating a fair settlement all contribute to the duration. The process can extend further in more complex cases, especially those going to trial. It’s important to have a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney in Houston who can efficiently navigate these steps and expedite the process wherever possible.

Patrick Daniel Law Is Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Houston

Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be daunting, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Patrick Daniel Law, we understand the complexities. Our experience and fearless approach ensure you receive the compensation you deserve when you need it most.

Patrick Daniel Law is the firm to call if you’re looking for a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston. We invite you to take the first step towards justice and peace of mind by contacting us for a FREE consultation. Let us guide you through this challenging time.

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