Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Were You Injured In A Motorcycle Accident? Call Us, We’ve Got Your Back
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When it comes to a motorcycle crash, we know that no matter how careful you are, you cannot control the choices of drivers of other vehicles. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to be deadly than accidents involving only passenger cars. Motorcycles provide no protection from impact and motorcycle riders routinely are thrown from their bikes in a crash. It is usually the motorcycle rider who dies in an accident or suffers serious and life-changing injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm can help.
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to take legal action against the driver who caused your crash. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many different ways that motorcycle accidents can arise. Typically, the main cause of a motorcycle accident is that of distracted driving by other vehicles on the road. Rear-end collisions to motorcyclists can cause much more severe damage than when this occurs with a vehicle of another kind. Sudden lane changes and U-turns by drivers of cars can occur suddenly and are a major concern for motorcyclists.
A motorcycle accident lawyer understands that passenger vehicles often view motorcyclists differently than they do other vehicles, and often times don’t respect the motorcycle’s position on the roadways.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the division of the U.S. Department of Transportation tasked with road safety, has noted that a motorcycle rider is eight times more likely to be injured and 37 times more likely to die in an accident than the occupant of a car in an automobile accident.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Even if you take proper precautions such as wearing a helmet at the time of an accident, a motorcycle rider and their passenger can be severely injured, even killed, when their bike is hit by a motor vehicle weighing thousands of pounds more.
Because you are completely exposed on a motorcycle, you can suffer severe injuries to any part of your body in an accident. However, 30 percent of all motorcycle injuries are to the legs and feet. In addition, 22 percent of injuries are to the head and neck. Below are some types of injuries that riders often experience as the result of a motorcycle crash:
- Broken bones; dislocations
- Skull fracture
- Amputation injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis; quadriplegia; paraplegia
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Chronic pain
- Lacerations, road burn, scarring, and disfigurement
What are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
The most common cause of a motorcycle accident is an automobile or truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist. In fact, researchers at Texas Tech University found that the human brain has a harder time accurately perceiving small objects that are near compared to larger objects that are farther away. Accordingly, drivers in cars and trucks have a hard time accurately determining how close motorcyclists are to their vehicles. As a result, they may be unable to judge the motorcyclist’s speed, increasing the chance of an accident.
This is especially true at an intersection when the motor vehicle is making a left turn in the face of an oncoming motorcycle. Because of their relatively small size, motorcycles are sometimes difficult to see on the road. This requires drivers in larger vehicles to pay attention to their driving, the road ahead and obey all traffic signs and signals.
Common causes of motorcycle crashes include the following:
- Speeding. Speeding is the leading cause of all types of car crashes. This is because speeding reduces a driver’s visibility and reaction times. Speeding killed almost 10,000 people in 2017 and are some of the deadliest car crashes that occur.
- Lane splitting. Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of traffic. While there is some evidence that lane splitting can make roads safer, it can also be extremely dangerous for motorcyclists. Larger vehicles may not see the bike and switch lanes or other drivers can angry that a motorcyclist is skipping traffic.
- Motorcycle defects. A working vehicle in good condition is necessary to keep roads and drivers safe. Auto defects contribute to crashes when a vehicle or part fails.
- Left turns. As mentioned above, it can be difficult to determine the distance of small objects which can lead to misjudgment. In addition, drivers can commit right of way errors by simply not seeing a cyclist traveling across their path.
- Dangerous road or weather conditions. Driving at night, driving in the rain or even hitting a pothole can lead to motorcycle injuries.
- Sudden stops. Rear-end crashes can be deadly for motorcyclists. When a vehicle is following too closely, even at slow speeds, the injuries resulting from a motorcycle rear-end can be deadly.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you are not alone. Over 5,000 people die each year in motorcycle accidents, and over 100,000 motorcyclists and their passengers suffer injuries.
The most common reasons motorcycle injuries occur include:
- Driver Error: The most common motorcycle crashes occur when a car turns in front of a bike, hits the motorcyclist while changing lanes, or runs into the biker at a stop light. Common reasons for the driver not seeing the motorcyclist are: inattention, distractions, blind spots and that the driver is looking for cars rather than motorcycles. Motorcycles can easily fit into blind spots and drivers looking for cars aren’t psychologically programmed to see motorcycles.
- Faulty Equipment: Accidents can happen even when no driver is at fault. Vehicle defects that slip past the manufacturer can cause an accident or faulty safety equipment may fail to protect the travelers the way it should. When products fail and cause avoidable harm, a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer may find it necessary to pursue a products liability case.
- Dangerous Conditions. Motorcycle technology has developed over the years to improve rider safety. Many bikes now come equipped with anti-lock braking systems and traction control. These developments still may not eliminate all dangers. Additionally, poorly maintained roads, liquids that are leaked or spilled on surfaces, or improperly engineered streets and highways can lead to accidents and injuries.
What Types of Injuries Do Motorcycle Riders Suffer?
Victims of motorcycle crashes can suffer injuries to every part of their body. In fact, more than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in the injury or death of the biker. If the victim survives, they will likely live with life-altering pain and injuries. Survivors of motorcycle crashes face an uphill battle of recovering from injury such as:
When you are traveling at high speeds and impact into immovable objects, you will likely end up with a broken bone. Broken bones can take a long time to heal and can leave you with debilitating injuries. The most common broken bones include a frontal impact to your femur (thigh bones) or tibia (shin). These injuries occur when your legs hit the handlebars and result in a break. A bad enough break will require pins in your bones to hold them together.
Wrists and arms breaks occur when the rider puts his or her arms up to protect themselves from the impact. Shoulders and collar bones are also common broken bone injuries in motorcycle accidents. These types of injuries occur when a rider lands on the road sideways.
Biker’s Arm (Nerve Damage)
Biker’s arm occurs when a rider lands on the road sideways. The friction of the road will wrench the shoulder inwards. This movement leads to biker’s arm, which is a type of nerve damage in the upper arm causing ongoing pain and tingling.
Spine and neck injuries
Spine and neck injuries can lead to serious injuries like paralysis. When nerves in the spinal cord are compressed or severed, the spinal cord cannot send or receive signals to the area with which these nerves communicate. This lack of communication results in the partial or full loss of movement.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Serious head injuries are among the most common fatal injuries in motorcyclists. Helmets improve a motorcyclist’s chances of surviving a crash by 37 percent. In addition, helmets are about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia require helmet use by all riders.
Tarmac tears through jeans in a matter of seconds. When it reaches your skin, tarmac will strip your skin down to the flesh causing nerve damage and other injuries. If your injuries are bad enough, they can be disfiguring and require skin grafts. Road rash injuries include:
- Avulsion injuries. These injuries occur when the underlying muscles and fat are exposed.
- Compression injuries. These injuries can lead to bruises and haematomas.
- Cuts. These injuries can be large wounds that require stitches or bandages.
Those who ride noisy bikes, particularly those without a muffler, expose themselves to volumes in excess 95dB. At this level, irreparable damage occurs in just one hour. Tinnitus and reduced ability to hear high frequencies which often lead to problems understanding and conversations.
Riders can be hit in the eye by insects or stones kicked up from other vehicles. Even the tiniest object can cause significant damage when they impact the eye even at just 30 miles per hour. When the head stops abruptly at a high-speed impact, the eye can come out of the socket. Other injuries can cause damage around the orbital socket.
The impact against an object can rupture internal organs and cause bleeding. Motorcycle handlebars can cause significant internal injuries.
On the majority of motorcycles, the petrol tank is right in front of the rider’s groin area. A frontal impact can cause the groin to hit the tank.
Recovery from injuries like broken bones, nerve damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries and more can be a life-long journey. A qualified motorcycle accident attorney from The Carlson Law Firm can help you get the treatment you need. Our firm has the resources and experiences to get you the recovery you deserve.
How Can I Prevent Motorcycle Crash Injuries?
If you are a new motorcycle rider or an experienced one, it is important to remember what you can do to prevent injuries. Taking a refresher riding safety course every few years to brush up on your skills can save your life. It is imperative that you know exactly how to handle the brakes and steering in inclement weather. Further, you should have plenty of hands-on experience before you take to the streets.
The gear you wear can also be lifesaving when you ride your motorcycle. For example, as noted wearing a helmet improves your chances of surviving a crash by 37 percent. In addition, wearing a strong leather or canvas jacket with elbow padding and long pants can save your skin from road rash. Wearing eye protection can also save your eyes from serious, life-altering injuries.
While you cannot control other drivers’ behavior on the road, you can control yours. The most important thing you can do is practice safe riding. Safe riding includes refraining from:
- Alcohol use
- Drug use
- Risky maneuvers
- Limited riding after dark
If you or a loved suffered severe injury or a fatality from the negligence of another driver, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you get the recovery you deserve. Motorcycle injuries can lead to lifelong pain and life-altering changes. You do not have to deal with medical bills, loss of income or other damages alone.
What Should You Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Do the following immediately after a motorcycle accident:
- Check For Injuries: The first thing you should do, if you are able to move, is make sure everyone is all right, and if need be, receives medical attention. Call 911 immediately to report injuries.
- Get out of the Roadway: If possible, move all vehicles off the road to a safe location. Use hazard lights, flares, or warning triangles to alert any oncoming traffic.
- Gather Information. Exchange information with other drivers involved. Get the name, address, phone number, insurance information, and license numbers for all drivers. Note plate numbers, car make and models, and description.
- Call the Cops: If there are injuries or if there is any substantial property damage call the police. The police report can be vital in your efforts to recover for damage to your bike, clothing, or for injuries – many of which may not become evident for hours, or even days after an accident.
- Take Note of Surroundings: This may be difficult depending upon how seriously you may be hurt, but try to take notice of important information about the accident. This includes where, when, and how. Specifically, try to take note of the location of the accident, road conditions, speed limits, weather, lighting, the direction of travel any vehicles involved.
- Talk To Witnesses: Again, this depends on how badly you have been injured. If reasonably possible, try to interview all witnesses and record their comments either at the scene of the accident or as soon as as possible. Memories quickly fade; get as much information as you can immediately following the motorcycle crash.
- Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers: In a time where it seems like everyone is against you, you’re going to want a team of highy-qualified motorcycle accident lawyers on your side.
How can helmets save a motorcycle crash victim?
As noted above, helmets improve a rider’s chance of survival by around 37% when they are involved in a motorcycle crash. While wearing a helmet is good practice, in most states it is not a requirement. Texas law does not require a person to wear a helmet if they’ve completed the proper course and is over the age of 21.
The Carlson Law Firm has attorneys available around the clock to assist victims of motorcycle accidents. If you or someone you love suffered significant motorcycle crash injuries, contact us today. Our motorcycle injury attorneys are ready to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
When should I consider a motorcycle crash lawsuit?
An insurance adjuster will tell you that you don’t need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. While this is correct in theory, in practice it is a huge mistake to try to negotiate a settlement on your own. Most people have no idea the value of their case—and the adjuster will be quick to take advantage. As a motorcycle accident victim, you will probably not receive a fair settlement without a battle. You will need a skillful and aggressive attorney to ensure that you receive adequate compensation for all of your accident-related damages.
Without the help of a motorcycle crash lawyer, insurance companies routinely deny a motorcycle accident claim. This is in part because of bias and the preconceived notion that the biker is always at fault. But it is also just the nature of the insurance business. Insurance companies take in premiums, and the less the payout on claims, the more their profits.
Finally, an experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer understands the laws surrounding motorcycle crashes, the full value of your economic and non-economic damages and has the resources, knowledge, and commitment to the best possible outcome for your case.
Recovering Compensation Available to Victims of Motorcycle Crashes
The amount of recoverable damages after a motorcycle crash varies from state to state. Motorcycle crash victims deal with significant life-altering changes including the inability to perform their jobs or even do their basic day to day tasks. In negotiations or litigation against an insurance company or negligent party, the attorneys in our office may be able to help you recover compensation for the following:
Past and Future Medical Expenses
Victims can file to receive compensation for emergency visits, hospital care, surgery etc. if the injuries were directly related to the accident.
Motorcycle accident victims can claim compensation for wages they could have earned if the accidents hadn’t taken place. Further, victims can recover compensation for the period of time they had to be away from work to recover.
Pain and Suffering
As motorcyclists may not be offered PIP insurance, they may file a lawsuit to claim compensation to combat their pain and suffering after the accident. To determine whether the victim requires compensation, courts will consider factors such as the nature of the injury, along with the duration and extent of pain.
Victims and families may also be provided compensation for the emotional pain they had to face after the incident. Emotional suffering includes feelings of fright, embarrassment, nervousness, worry, and grief.
Loss of Consortium
The surviving spouse may receive compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society, and companionship of his or her loved one in the case of a wrongful death caused by a motorcycle accident. Surviving parents may receive compensation for the loss of love, affection and companionship of their minor children as a result of their wrongful death. Likewise, minor children may receive compensation for the loss of services, assistance, aid, society and companionship of their parents as a result of their wrongful death.
Punitive damages are damages awarded for punishment. When a motorists causes a crash because of negligent behavior, a court may award compensation above the actual damages caused in the crash. For example, a drunk driver who causes a crash can be hit with punitive damages. This is because the driver’s actions to intentionally disregard the safety of others is conduct that allows punitive damages. In part, punitive damages are to deter negligent behavior or conduct. Punitive damages may also be awarded in the event your motorcycle crash was the result of a defective auto part.
If your loved one passed away as the result of a tragic motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover compensation from any and all negligent parties.
How A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer At Carlson Law Firm Can Help
We are a full-service personal injury law firm offering personalized attention and exceptional client service. In addition, we offer aggressive legal representation to provide help to motorcycle accident victims throughout Texas and across the nation. In addition, if you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we have made it our goal to effectively help clients through their specific and individual circumstances involving motorcycle accident injuries. A motorcycle injury attorney from our firm can pursue just compensation for your injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer is available to assist you 24/7. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free initial case evaluation with a motorcycle accident lawyer. Don’t suffer from your motorcycle injuries alone
We care, we can help.