Riding a motorcycle is more than a way to get from point A to point B. For many riders, it is a lifestyle of fresh air and freedom. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists suffer serious injury as a result of other drivers’ carelessness.
The risk of catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident is very high, and the impact on your life can be permanent. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle wreck, Patrick Daniel Law is here to help.
Our Texas motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience and the tenacity to pursue the just compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a FREE consultation, please call (713) 999-6666 or contact us online today. Patrick Daniel Law serves clients throughout the greater Houston area and other parts of Texas.
Although motorcycles make up a relatively small segment of the number of vehicles on the road, motorcyclists suffer a disproportionately high rate of accident injuries and fatalities. If you are injured in any type of motor vehicle accident, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Legal representation for victims of motorcycle accidents is especially important for several reasons:
With everything at stake after a motorcycle accident – your health and well-being, your finances, your quality of life, and more – you need experienced legal counsel on your side. Our attorneys can investigate the accident, calculate the damages in your case, and build a strong claim on your behalf.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported a total of 8,173 motorcycle accidents in 2020 (the most recent year of data). In these crashes:
Motorcyclists represent a fairly small portion of total road users. In the event of an accident, however, they suffer a disproportionately high rate of serious injuries and death. National statistics collected by the Insurance Information Institute show that the accident fatality rate is an astonishing six times higher for motorcyclists than it is for the occupants of passenger vehicles.
With serious injuries the rule rather than the exception in motorcycle wrecks, it is often not possible for riders to collect evidence at the scene. As you recover from the crash, then, it is crucial to take steps to preserve your motorcycle accident claim:
The first step after a motorcycle accident is to get all necessary medical care. Follow all medical advice and be sure to attend any followup appointments with your doctor, specialists, physical therapists, etc.
Diligently abiding by your doctor’s recommendations is the best way to facilitate your recovery. In addition, it gives the at-fault driver’s insurance company less room to argue that your injuries are not as serious as you claim or that you exacerbated your injuries through your own inaction.
Next, you need to exercise caution when dealing with insurance companies – even your own. Although you are obligated to report the motorcycle accident to your insurer in a timely fashion, you do not have to make a statement to an adjuster.
If an adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company tries to contact you, you should decline to answer any questions and speak to a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Making a recorded statement and/or signing a medical records release can undermine your claim.
The police officer will typically try to interview the parties involved in the accident at the scene. If you are transported to the hospital, however, the officer will take your statement as soon as you are able to answer questions.
Once the accident report is complete, it is crucial to obtain a copy. The report will include a number of key details about the motorcycle accident, including:
If you were unable to collect information at the scene of the accident, the police report can fill in many of the blanks. Houston motorcycle accident lawyer Patrick Daniel can determine who investigated the crash and get a copy of the police report on your behalf.
The importance of retaining a lawyer after a motorcycle accident really can’t be stressed enough. Without legal representation, you are at a significant disadvantage. However, with an experienced attorney on your side, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected.
Key aspects of your claim that a motorcycle accident lawyer can handle on your behalf include:
Not all attorneys take cases to trial. However, with the damages on the line and the liability disputes that arise in a typical motorcycle accident case, it is essential to have a proven trial lawyer on your side.
Patrick Daniel Law is Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless. We prepare every case as though it will go to trial, developing innovative, individualized legal strategies designed to achieve maximum compensation on each client’s behalf.
Motorcyclists are afforded significantly less protection than the drivers and passengers of other motor vehicles. Even if you wear a helmet, heavy jacket, and other protective gear, you may still suffer significant injuries in an accident.
Some of the most common serious injuries riders suffer in motorcycle crashes include:
In addition to being more likely to suffer injuries in an accident, motorcyclists are also at a higher risk of fatalities. Even at relatively slow speeds, the outcome of a collision can be fatal.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the treatment you receive may be covered by your medical insurance. Health insurance coverage should defray at least some of the costs associated with emergency room care, diagnostic and imaging services, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, therapies, and more.
As with any time you visit the doctor, however, you will likely end up paying some expenses out of pocket, including copays and deductible. In addition, you may be responsible for paying some or all of the care you receive for out-of-network services and for services that are not covered by your health insurance policy.
Given the financial pressure posed by the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you might be tempted to forgo certain medical treatments due to the associated cost. However, your health should be your number-one priority.
Following your doctors’ orders and getting the treatment you need results in a higher likelihood of recovery from your injuries. Our Texas motorcycle accident attorneys can pursue compensation for all of the medical bills you have incurred, including deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket expenses.
In addition to the high likelihood of physical injuries, motorcycle accidents can also result in psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one serious mental health disturbance that injured motorcyclists may suffer after an accident.
PTSD after a motorcycle accident may be characterized by symptoms such as:
The symptoms of PTSD are not confined to issues affecting psychological health. Victims of motorcycle accidents and other events resulting in PTSD may have trouble sleeping, abuse alcohol or drugs, exhibit aggressive behavior, become reckless or impulsive, and more.
If you have been in a Houston motorcycle accident, it is crucial to see to your mental health as well as your physical health. A mental health professional can help you work through issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more.
Motorcyclists in Texas are required to carry the same insurance as the drivers of other motor vehicles. The minimum requirements for Texas motorcycle insurance are:
These insurance coverages pay for bodily injury and property damage if you cause an accident. If you only have the minimum coverage, your motorcycle insurance will unfortunately not cover your medical bills and other losses.
You may have access to benefits covering medical expenses if you purchase insurance coverage beyond the mandatory minimum. For example, medical payments insurance (also known as MedPay) is an optional policy that covers expenses associated with medical treatment for you and your insureds in the event of an accident.
There is no standard time frame for how long the injuries from a motorcycle accident take to heal. A common motorcycle accident injury like road rash generally gets better after several weeks. Recovery from a broken bone, meanwhile, can take as little as 6 weeks or as long as 5 months depending on the location of the fracture, the stresses involved, and the severity of the break (among other factors).
Ultimately, a number of different factors can impact the length (or the possibility) of recovery. These include:
Unfortunately, some common motorcycle accident injuries (such as damage to the brain or spinal cord) may be permanent. Motorcycle accident attorney Patrick Daniel will work with your doctors and other medical experts to gain a complete understanding of the seriousness of your injuries and your prognosis. Whether you make a full recovery or the effects are irreversible, Patrick Daniel Law will pursue the compensation you deserve.
The first thing you should do after the accident is call 911 if you are able. If you are seriously injured, try not to move and get the at-fault driver or a bystander to make the call. Rescue personnel will assess your injuries and, in most cases, will transport you to the hospital for emergency treatment.
In the event that you are treated at the scene and released, however, there are several steps you can take to begin building your motorcycle accident claim.
In Texas, the police must be called to any accident scene involving over $1,000 in property damage or where an injury or death occurred. When an officer arrives to take your statement, give him or her a full, honest account of what happened without admitting fault.
The police report will be important to build your motorcycle accident claim. After giving your statement to the officer, be sure to get his or her name, badge number, and precinct, and ask how and when you can get a copy of the report.
Whether you take notes or pictures of the documents with your phone, you will need to gather the following information:
Gathering this information at the scene will make it easier to initiate legal proceedings against the at-fault driver.
If any bystanders saw what happened, ask them if they can share their account of the accident. Specifically, you will want to ask:
Third-party testimony is useful whether it reflects favorably on your case or not. If the witness says you weren’t in the wrong, that strengthens your claim. If a witness asserts that you contributed to the accident, that helps us prepare for defense arguments that you are partially liable.
After a motorcycle accident, insurance companies will dispatch accident investigators to the scene as soon as possible. These investigators will take pictures and make extensive notes, but they aren’t doing it to help you – they are doing it to protect their employer.
Use the camera on your smartphone to take photos of anything you think might be relevant should you decide to pursue a claim. This may include the damage to your bike and the other vehicle, the injuries you sustained, signs of the accident on the road (i.e., skidmarks, damaged guardrails, etc.), and more.
Once you are ready to leave the scene of the accident, your first stop should be the emergency department or your doctor’s office for a thorough evaluation. Paramedics are trained to identify serious injuries and render aid on-site, but they aren’t doctors and they don’t have access to the resources that enable them to assess the full scope of your injuries.
Timely medical care after a motorcycle accident is important for two major reasons:
Seeing a doctor or going to the emergency room as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident will create a record of the injuries you have suffered. Your medical records, as well as the bills associated with them, will be a key component in determining how much compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries.
The insurance companies start building their defense right away after the accident. As the victim, it is in your best interest to start building a strong offense as soon as possible. You should certainly speak to a motorcycle accident attorney before you say one word to an insurance adjuster.
Patrick Daniel Law takes aggressive action on behalf of clients in motorcycle accident cases. We protect your right to compensation, and our motorcycle accident lawyers aren’t afraid to go to trial if that is the best way to achieve the outcome you deserve.
Most people assume that you have to bring a lawsuit immediately after an accident. In reality, however, you may not need to file suit at all.
Once the liable party or parties are identified, the next step is to bring a claim against the applicable insurance company (or companies). The claim consists of a letter outlining the circumstances of the accident, how the insured is at fault, and the compensation being sought.
After receiving the claim, the insurance carrier may offer to settle the case. This will almost certainly be less than the damages you demand, but it could serve as a starting point for settlement negotiations.
Negotiating a fair settlement takes time – potentially months or even more than a year. Throughout the negotiations, your attorney will advocate for your interests and seek a favorable outcome.
If a settlement is reached in your motorcycle accident claim, no further legal action is required. You will not be able to pursue additional compensation once you settle, so it is crucial to discuss the decision with your lawyer to ensure that the settlement will adequately cover your current losses and provide you with the financial resources you need for the future.
Alternatively, the insurance company might refuse to settle or offer much less than your case is worth. If either of these scenarios comes to pass, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit.
Though anybody can file a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to have a lawyer handle the process for you. A knowledgeable attorney will know in what court the case needs to be submitted, the procedures involved, etc. The court will schedule a date for your case to be heard.
Pre-trial proceedings consist of a series of requests, motions, and responses. The attorneys for both sides will also request and exchange pertinent information (a process known as discovery).
Trial preparation is complicated and time-consuming. Although your motorcycle accident attorney will handle the complexities on your behalf, you should feel involved and heard at every step.
Settlement is still possible after you file suit and before the case goes to trial. If an agreement is not reached, however, your lawyer will present your case in court.
An award at trial may exceed the compensation you originally sought. However, going to court also comes with uncertainty. An experienced trial lawyer will provide you with honest advice on the likelihood of success and, perhaps more importantly, fight hard for a favorable result.
Motorcycle riders are frequently portrayed as reckless daredevils. This stereotype makes it extremely difficult for motorcyclists to get a fair shake when they are involved in an accident.
Drivers, insurance companies, and even the police tend to assign blame for motorcycle accidents to the rider. Unfortunately, the prevalence of serious injuries and fatalities in crashes makes it difficult for motorcyclists to defend themselves.
If you are blamed for a motorcycle accident, you need to present compelling evidence to the contrary. The best way to do this is to hire a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer promptly. You also need to be aware of state and local laws and abide by them to show that you are a responsible rider.
Riders who are 21 and older and hold the appropriate certification and/or insurance coverage are not required by Texas law to wear a motorcycle helmet. As such, not wearing a helmet doesn’t automatically constitute negligence.
However, the connection between wearing a motorcycle helmet and the reduced risk of head and brain injuries is well-established. If you sustain a head injury in a motorcycle accident and you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may be considered partially responsible and your damages could be reduced.
Helmets are required by law for all motorcyclists under the age of 21. Your ability to recover compensation could be significantly affected if you violate the helmet law and end up in a motorcycle accident.
Texas traffic law requires all vehicles (including motorcycles) to travel within marked lanes. Although not explicitly banned, this effectively makes lane splitting illegal.
Lane splitting carries a high risk of collision. Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and a driver might pull in front of your bike without realizing that you are riding in between lanes.
Because of the restrictions on lane splitting, you will likely be found at fault if an accident occurs. To reduce your risk of an accident and avoid liability, then, it is worth staying in your lane.
Many motorcycle accidents are single-vehicle crashes. This commonly occurs because the rider is forced off the road or swerves to avoid a collision or other potential hazard.
If there is no crash with another vehicle, you might think you are unable to bring a claim. This is not the case. You need to prove that the other driver was negligent (i.e., he was speeding, distracted, etc.) and that this negligence caused you to crash.
Proving that someone else was at fault for a single-vehicle accident can be very difficult. A Texas motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the scene, interview witnesses, and take additional steps on your behalf to find the liable party and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Every driver’s ed class focuses on the importance of defensive driving. Similarly, motorcyclists must also be aware of the importance of defensive riding.
Some of the steps you can take to avoid motorcycle accidents include:
Unfortunately, accidents may still happen despite your best efforts to stay safe. If you are in a motorcycle accident, there are several steps you can take.
Given the likelihood of catastrophic injuries in a motorcycle accident and the expenses associated with treating those injuries, damages in these cases tend to be high. If you are not at fault for the crash, you shouldn’t have to shoulder a single dollar of the financial burden on your own.
After evaluating your claim, our motorcycle accident lawyers will pursue the full recovery you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for:
Punitive damages, or compensation awarded to you as a means of punishing or making an example of the defendant, may also be available in your case. In Texas, punitive damages are generally restricted to claims in which the defendant willfully caused harm or where the negligence was extreme.
You are legally required to report the motorcycle accident to your insurance company. If an adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier tries to contact you, however, you should limit communications as much as possible.
Insurance adjusters are trained to reduce the amount of compensation their employer has to pay out for accident claims. Although the adjuster may seem friendly, he or she does not have your best interest in mind.
Some of the tactics an insurance adjuster may use against you include:
By engaging with the adjuster or giving in to these tactics, you run the risk of devaluing your motorcycle accident claim or forfeiting the right to compensation altogether. Many claimants fall into the trap of accepting a settlement that doesn’t fully cover their losses or saying something that the insurance company can use to justify denying or underpaying a claim.
Instead of trying to work with the insurance company yourself, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The Texas motorcycle accident attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law can handle communications with the insurer on your behalf and pursue fair compensation for your losses.
The compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle accident will depend on the type and extent of the damages you and your family sustain. Although you may find varying statistics for “average” verdicts and settlements after a motorcycle accident (or even free online tools that claim to tell you “how much your case is worth”), it is important not to believe everything you read.
Ultimately, the specific details of your case will determine how much you may be able to recover. Some of the factors that may affect the value of your claim include:
Another factor that can impact your motorcycle accident payout or trial result is the decision to retain a lawyer. Claimants who hire an attorney typically recover much more in compensation than those who try to handle the claim on their own.
If you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident where another party was at fault, your family can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. In Texas, spouses, children, and parents of the deceased rider are entitled to compensation for:
By filing a survivor action, you may also be entitled to damages for the medical costs incurred before your loved one passed away, as well as his or her pain and suffering.
Attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law have tried motorcycle accident claims arising from a number of different circumstances. In most instances, the fault rests with the driver whose negligence behind the wheel of a car or other motor vehicle causes the accident.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents resulting from another driver’s error include:
Not all motorcycle accidents involve actual collisions with another vehicle. In some cases, riders may avoid getting struck by the vehicle only to crash their bikes in the course of taking evasive action. In other instances, the wreck may not involve another vehicle all.
With a near-miss, either the motorcyclist takes evasive action to avoid the collision or the other driver makes a last-second adjustment. The driver of the car may be able to regain control and continue traveling as normal, but this isn’t always the case for the motorcyclist.
Riders in a near-miss may crash because:
Any one of these single-vehicle accidents can lead to serious injuries. In addition, it puts the motorcyclist at risk of being struck by other nearby vehicles.
Some accidents are the result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer of your motorcycle. Any number of different parts can fail due to a defect, including:
If the defect resulted in an accident, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law can pursue compensation on your behalf from the company that manufactured the part. Our team is well-equipped to take on multi-billion-dollar corporations in pursuit of the recovery you deserve in your case.
Another major cause of single-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles is negligent road design and maintenance. Although potholes, cracks in the pavement, missing or damaged guardrails, and other hazards pose a risk to all vehicles, motorcycles tend to be at the highest risk of a crash from these factors.
Fault for the accident may lie with the government agency responsible for designing and keeping the road in safe condition, or the liable party could be the construction company or a subcontractor that failed to build the road properly – or a combination of these and other parties.
Our lawyers will investigate the accident to determine who is responsible. Then, we will pursue the compensation you deserve from all of the parties whose negligence caused you to crash.
One or more parties may be at fault for a motorcycle accident. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file claims against:
Identifying the at-fault party or parties in a motorcycle accident claim can be difficult. The attorneys at Patrick Daniel Law will conduct a thorough investigation of what caused the accident to determine who is liable.
Not all motorcyclists in Texas are legally required to wear helmets. All riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. However, motorcyclists who are at least 21 years old can ride without a helmet if they (i) have completed an approved safety course for motorcycle operators or (ii) can provide proof of a minimum $10,000 in medical insurance.
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself in the event of a motorcycle accident. However, if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, this does not necessarily preclude you from recovering compensation (provided you follow the legal requirements outlined above).
That said, if it is determined that wearing a helmet may have prevented or relieved the seriousness of the injuries you sustained, you may be able to recover less in damages under the rule of comparative negligence.
It is not uncommon for motorists to dispute who is at fault for an accident. Unfortunately, motorcyclists get the blame far too often – frequently when they are the victim of a driver’s negligence.
Riders of motorcycles often face the stereotype that they are careless or overly aggressive on the road. In reality, however, more motorcycle accidents are the result of negligence on the driver’s part than errors made by motorcyclists.
Even still, the at-fault drivers in motorcycle accidents frequently claim that the rider contributed to or is even wholly responsible for the crash. Liable insurance companies may use allegations of comparative negligence to justify a lower payout or even deny your accident claim.
You may still be able to recover damages in a motorcycle accident claim if you are found partially at fault. The Texas comparative negligence law allows parties that are partially at fault to recover compensation so long as they are no more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Damages are reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault.
However, if the other driver was totally at fault for the accident, you should not have to be forced to settle for less. An experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyer at Patrick Daniel Law can advocate for the compensation you deserve and contest accusations of contributory negligence on your part.
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident in Texas, you have 2 years to bring a claim. This time limit applies to actions against private individuals (such as the driver of another vehicle), commercial businesses and establishments, and the makers of defective products.
However, if a government entity is responsible for the motorcycle accident (e.g., the crash occurred due to the negligence of a public employee or a dangerous road that the government failed to maintain), the time limit is much shorter. The Texas Tort Claims Act sets a deadline of just 6 months for a notice of claim to be served to the appropriate agency. Depending on the location of the motorcycle accident, the time limit may be even shorter. Claims against the City of Houston, for instance, must be made within 90 days.
These time limits demonstrate the importance of seeking legal counsel as soon as possible after a motorcycle accident. Although the majority of accident claims are resolved through out-of-court settlements, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. You do not want to miss the opportunity to recover damages, and a motorcycle accident lawyer can ensure that all legal deadlines are met.
First, it is important to note that it may be unnecessary to file a lawsuit to recover compensation after a motorcycle accident. In fact, most accident claims are settled out of court with no need to file suit.
That said, filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not automatically result in compensation. The insurer may deny your claim or make a low-ball settlement that does not adequately cover your damages.
An experienced lawyer can handle negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. Though it may take weeks or months to reach a fair settlement (depending on factors such as the evidence in your case, the willingness of the insurance company to negotiate, etc.), claims are generally resolved faster when you have an attorney.
In the event that the insurance carrier will not compensate you fairly, you and your lawyer can discuss filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit. Accident claims can take months or, in some cases, more than a year to move through the crowded court dockets. However, when fair compensation for your injuries is on the line, it is worth exploring all available options.
One of the most frustrating facets of any motorcycle accident is how quickly insurance companies place the blame on the biker. Passing the buck is standard operating procedure when anyone files a claim, but the insurance companies will always try to paint the motorcyclist as the one who is at fault for the crash. If they offer a settlement at all, it will almost certainly be nowhere close to covering your expenses.
At Patrick Daniel Law, we make it a priority to be the voice for accident victims who would otherwise be taken advantage of by the insurance companies. We stand up for you through the entirety of your case.
This begins at your free case evaluation. You will tell your story to our team so we can understand the overall impact of the motorcycle accident on your life: not just the financial expenses but the emotional toll and the effects on your family.
If you decide to hire us, our attorneys and staff will fully investigate the accident. We will also calculate the damages you may be entitled to based on the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered.
After issuing this demand to the insurance company, we will handle the hard work of negotiations and other activities so you can focus on recovering. We will continually provide you with updates on your case, and you can contact us any time with questions or concerns.
Many motorcycle accident cases settle before they make it to the courtroom, but our goal is to get you the most money possible. Whether that comes from a settlement or a verdict attained at trial, we are prepared to do what is best for you and your family.
At Patrick Daniel Law, your initial consultation is free. In addition, you do not pay attorneys’ fees until we achieve a favorable result in your motorcycle accident case.
This is known as a contingency fee agreement, and it is an essential component of personal injury law.
If lawyers charged accident victims upfront fees or required ongoing payment during the course of the case, they would have very few clients. Legal bills are the last thing someone who is seriously injured and unable to work needs.
With contingency fees, your attorney doesn’t get paid until you do. This relieves the burden of upfront payment, enabling you to seek qualified legal guidance without having to be concerned about how hiring a motorcycle accident attorney will affect your finances.
If you need legal assistance after a motorcycle accident, Patrick Daniel Law is here to help. We are trial lawyers, which means we will exhaust every avenue – including going to court – in pursuit of justice in your case.
Please call (713) 999-6666 or contact us online for your FREE case review. Our law firm serves clients throughout the state of Texas.