Motorcycle accidents are known for causing some of the most severe and life-threatening injuries. In 2022, 562 people were killed in motorcycle accidents as drivers or passengers. In 2021, there were 5,932 motorcycle riders killed in crashes in the United States. If you are a motorcyclist dealing with a similar traumatic experience, you must take action and do everything possible to obtain a favorable outcome. Having a reputable Houston motorcycle injury lawyer working for you could make all the difference when you need to file a claim with the insurance company and seek compensation for property damage, loss of income, and other non-economic damages.
At Simmons & Fletcher, P.C., our team of Houston motorcycle accident lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and demand liable parties be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We have fought for traumatic motorcycle accident claimant’s rights for nearly 50 years and have demonstrated results that attest to our success. As your Houston motorcycle accident lawyer, we will work tirelessly to investigate the cause of your motorcycle crash and determine who should compensate you for your damages.
Contact our office at (713) 932-0777 for a free consultation with a lawyer near you today to learn more about how much you could recover and what your next steps should be.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Houston
Determining the cause of your motorcycle accident injury is essential if you hope to recover fair compensation for your damages. A Houston personal injury lawyer at our firm can begin investigating the cause of your accident to determine whether another party’s negligence was the cause of your catastrophic injuries.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience handling motor vehicle crashes and can conduct an in-depth investigation to figure out what caused your accident and who is at fault. Some of the most common causes of these collisions include;
- Distracted driving;
- Failure to check blind spots to change lanes;
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs;
- Work-related auto accidents;
- Failure to use a turn signal;
- Making unlawful turns;
- Driving while fatigued;
- Inexperienced driving;
- Failure to stop;
- Failure to yield to the right of way;
- Defective or malfunctioning vehicle parts;
- Hazardous road conditions.
Liability for Houston Motorcycle Wrecks
Before we can explore your legal options, we will need to determine who is at fault for your motorcycle crash. The cause of your traumatic motorcycle accident will help us determine who should be named as the defendant in your wrongful death claim or personal injury lawsuit
Some of the parties who are frequently held accountable via an injury claim include:
- Negligent car or truck drivers;
- Auto parts designers and manufacturers;
- Auto parts suppliers, retailers, and distributors;
- Motor vehicle dealerships and executives;
- Motorcycle maintenance technicians;
- Safety inspectors;
- Employees contracted by the state of Texas;
- Local municipalities;
- The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT);
- Other government agencies.
These are only a few examples of individuals and entities that could be sued for motorcycle accident injuries. Our investigation will reveal the identities of anyone and everyone who has contributed to the injuries you suffered. This way, you can pursue claims against these parties and fight for the compensation you are entitled to.
What to Do After a Houston Motorcycle Accident
The initial steps you take after a motorcycle crash in Houston could have a significant impact on your ability to fight for the compensation you deserve. It is important to follow these steps when you have been hurt so you can increase your chances of recovering maximum compensation for your losses. Failure to follow these steps could make it more challenging for you to hold the liable party accountable and win your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Call Emergency Responders
First and foremost, as soon as you have gotten yourself to safety, you must call emergency responders and 911 for help. Having police and investigators arrive at the accident scene is essential, as these professionals can provide valuable evidence that will later be used to support your case. Law enforcement officials should be available to document the accident through a crash report which will detail how the accident occurred, who is liable, and other pertinent facts that can help prove the defendant’s fault in your case.
Seek Medical Attention
You may initially feel “fine” after a motorcycle or commercial truck accident. However, a motorcycle accident can be serious. Adrenaline produced after the collision is coursing through your body, making it impossible for you to feel the full extent of your injuries. You could have severe spinal cord trauma, traumatic brain damage, or internal injuries that may not be noticeable in the aftermath of the accident. It is crucial that you visit a hospital, or urgent care center, or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible after the accident so you can get the medical treatment and care you need.
This medical evidence can also be used to prove how severe your injuries are and the extent to which your injuries are expected to affect your life well into the future. If you do not get medical help, not only could your condition rapidly deteriorate, but the liable party may attempt to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you are claiming or that the motorcycle accident you were involved in did not cause the injuries or damages you experienced.
Collect Evidence at the Scene
While you are waiting for law enforcement and police to arrive at the motor vehicle accident scene, do what you can to collect evidence to support your case. Some of the most important pieces of evidence that will be used to win your case against the driver that hit you or other at-fault parties include:
- Photos of your injuries;
- Photos of damage at the accident scene;
- The license plate, registration, and insurance information of the driver that hit you;
- The names and contact information of witnesses to your motorcycle accident;
- Witness statements from those who were present at the scene;
- Video footage of the surrounding property damages;
- A brief but detailed account of how the accident occurred.
Call an Experienced Motorcycle Crash Lawyer in Houston, TX for Help
It is important to get an experienced Houston motorcycle accident attorney on your side as soon as possible after suffering a catastrophic injury and not to hire the closest one because you think: “Well, he is a motorcycle accident lawyer near me.” Close is no substitute for expernece. Further, although you are not legally obligated to have a personal injury attorney working for you, hiring a dedicated motorcycle accident lawyer makes it possible for you to build a powerful case against the liable party while recuperating.
When you are looking for the right law firm to take on your case, be sure to view our client testimonials to learn more about how our legal team can help you and your family get through these difficult times. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation so you can speak with a reputable Houston motorcycle accident lawyer regarding the specific circumstances of your case: (713) 932-0777.
Grounds for a Motorcycle Accident Case
After receiving medical care you may be anxious to get started on your personal injury case. However, you may have concerns that you will be accused of pursuing a frivolous lawsuit. With that in mind, it is crucial to understand the grounds needed to move forward with your insurance and civil claims against the at-fault party.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries to Sue For
Many motorcycle accident victims have concerns that their injuries are not severe enough to move forward with a personal injury or insurance claim. However, it is crucial to remember that the type of injury you are diagnosed with will not determine your ability to demand justice. Instead, it is the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life that determines whether you have grounds for a claim and how much compensation you could recover.
Some of the most common types of physical injuries motorcycle accident victims in Texas experience include:
- Burn injuries;
- Road rash;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Concussion and other head injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Soft tissue injuries;
- Septic shock caused by lacerations;
- Back injury;
- Neck injury;
- Herniated discs;
- Penetrating brain injuries;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
- Organ failure;
- Nerve damage;
- Internal bleeding.
These are only a few examples of potential injuries you may have the right to sue for. With many years of experience handling motorcycle accident cases throughout Houston and its surrounding areas, we make sure to bring forward our best resources and extensive legal knowledge to determine who was responsible and strengthen our clients’ claims.
Contact us today to learn more about whether you have the right to demand compensation from the liable party and the steps you must take to access the financial support you need when you need it most: (713) 932-0777.
The Elements of Negligence
For any motorcycle accident case to be successful, your personal injury attorneys must be prepared to prove the elements of negligence exist in your case, including;
- Duty of care;
- Breach of duty;
Essentially, we must show that the defendant had a duty of care to you. This means they must have had an obligation to keep you safe or out of harm’s way. Next, we must demonstrate how they breached this duty of care. This breach in the duty of care must be the proximate cause of your injuries and damages. Although you do not need to have suffered life-threatening or catastrophic injuries to have grounds for a claim, your life must have been significantly affected financially, physically, emotionally, or psychologically to meet the elements of negligence.
How to Recover Compensation for Your Damages
You might be surprised to learn there are multiple ways you can fight for the compensation you need after suffering devastating motorcycle accident injuries. Some of the most common ways our clients have taken steps to demand justice include the following:
File a Claim With the Insurance Company
First, you may have the right to file a claim with the liable party’s insurance company. Texas is a fault state for tort claims. This means the liable party is almost always expected and required to compensate motorcycle accident survivors for their damages.
Since filing a claim with the insurance company is one of the best ways to recover certain types and amounts of damages, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider if they have insurance coverage. Most motorists in Texas are legally obligated to carry auto insurance coverage, so this could be one of your best chances to get certain costs covered.
File a Claim With Your Personal Insurer
Although Texas is a fault state, if you made the decision to purchase no-fault or personal injury protection coverage as part of your personal auto insurance policy, you might have the option of filing a claim with your personal auto insurer.
However, do not be surprised if after filing a claim with your insurance company they increase the amount you are required to pay in premiums when your policy is up for renewal. For this reason, before you file a claim with your insurance provider, make sure you discuss your options with your personal injury attorney.
File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
When the liable party does not have insurance coverage or insurance is not enough to fully cover the value of your damages, filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit may be the best way to recover the compensation you are entitled to.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit in Texas civil courts, you have the right to be made whole. This means you should be reimbursed for every single way your life has been impacted by your motorcycle accident injuries and the collision itself.
How Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claims Work
Motorcycle accident insurance claims are far more complicated than many people realize. If you assumed you would be able to recover your damages through an insurance settlement and avoid bringing your case to trial, you may be surprised to learn that this is rarely the case.
What Insurance Covers
The insurance company is not legally obligated to compensate you for every single loss. In fact, the insurance company will generally only pay out up to the highest limits of the policyholder’s policy and only cover specific types of damages. For example, bodily injury liability insurance covers medical bills and property damage liability insurance covers property damages to your motorcycle. Insurance does not generally cover any type of non-economic loss and other types of economic damages, such as loss of income.
Do Not Get Taken Advantage of By Profit-Driven Insurers
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. The insurance company prioritizes its financial interests above all else and will likely look for opportunities to reduce your settlement or avoid paying out on your claim entirely. For this reason, it is crucial that you have a dedicated Houston motorcycle accident lawyer on your side who can protect you from being taken advantage of during one of the most difficult times in your life.
Especially in the case another party or parties are involved, insurance companies will try to blame you or downplay the extent of your injuries. Remember that you should not have to settle for less. With skilled Houston motorcycle accident lawyers, they will diligently work on your behalf and deal with insurance companies on every aspect of the negotiations.
Know Your Rights As an Injured Motorcyclist
Motorcyclists have as much right to the road as any other driver. As experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyers, we have been able to overcome the prejudice some drivers have against our clients and get them the medical and financial recovery they need and deserve for their personal injuries.
We work closely with engineers, accident reconstructionists, medical and forensic experts, rehabilitation experts, and others who can help us fully evaluate the circumstances of each case and the needs of each client. Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. at (713) 932-0777 for your free consultation today.
Statute of Limitations for Houston Motorcycle Accidents
It is essential that your motorcycle accident claim be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Texas law under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003 allows injury claimants to file motorcycle accident lawsuits within two years of the accident.
Unless extenuating circumstances apply, such as minor children suffering injuries or survivors dealing with delayed diagnosis, the statute of limitations deadline will generally expire two years from the date of the collision. If your personal injury claim is not filed before time runs out, the court system will refuse to hear your case.
What to Expect If You Are Accused of Sharing Fault
You need a local motorcycle accident lawyer on your side every step of the claims process. However, if you are accused of sharing fault for the accident, having an experienced personal injury claim attorney working for you is crucial. One of the top ways liable parties escape financial culpability is by blaming you for causing the accident or your resulting injuries.
For example, if you did not wear a motorcycle helmet, the liable party might argue you are partially at fault for your traumatic brain injuries. If the judge agrees, according to Texas modified comparative negligence laws under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 33.001, also called proportionate responsibility, your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of blame. This can have a significant impact on the amount of compensation you recover. For this reason, it is imperative that your Houston motorcycle accident attorney ensures liability is assessed accurately in your case.
The Value of Your Damages After a Motorcycle Accident
Unlike insurance claims which limit the amount of compensation you can recover, when you have been injured in a motorcycle crash and file a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek reimbursement for every single loss. To ensure we account for all damages, we categorize your losses as economic or non-economic.
Economic damages are entirely financial. They can be easily proven with financial records, income statements, receipts, and other verifiable evidence. Some examples of economic damages you could be entitled to include:
- Costs of repairing or replacing your motorcycle;
- Property damage;
- Medical expenses not covered by your health insurance;
- Current and future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of employee benefits;
- Loss of household services.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify since they do not have a financial value. Your attorney must determine their monetary worth to ensure you receive fair compensation. Some examples of non-economic damages that may be recoverable after a motorcycle accident include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Loss of consortium;
- Emotional distress.
Punitive damages may also be possible in your motorcycle accident case. However, punitive damages are typically only awarded when the defendant’s actions are considered grossly negligent, reprehensible, egregious, or intentionally malicious. They are used to punish the defendant for these actions and deter similar conduct from occurring in the future. They are not a compensatory loss, so you should never count on them being awarded in your case unless your attorney suggests otherwise.
A motorcycle accident can result in severe injury and it may take months before making a full recovery. If you or someone close to you has been involved in a motorcycle accident, look to Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. to shoulder the burden of your case. As highly skilled Houston motorcycle accident lawyers, we will handle everything and keep you informed of any legal developments pertaining to your claim. Call us today for your free case review: (713) 932-0777.
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the most frequent questions we are asked by victims of motorcycle crashes. If our motorcycle accident FAQs fail to answer your question, call us to schedule your free consultation near you at (713) 932-0777.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer promptly after a wreck, the lawyer can take steps to preserve the motorcycle as evidence, secure any video from cameras that may have caught the accident, take statements from eyewitnesses, and file a claim to obtain compensation for the damages to the bike as well as the rider.
The longer you delay in taking action, the more this kind of evidence has a tendency to disappear. Thus, a motorcycle accident lawyer can take the necessary steps to protect your rights. If you choose the right lawyer to represent you, he will also help you find any medical treatment you need and then prepare and file the necessary demand to push your case toward a settlement offer or other resolution.
What Does a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Wreck Cost?
You can speak to a lawyer regarding your motorcycle accident for free by calling (713) 932-0777. Furthermore, when our motorcycle accident attorneys take the case, we charge you no fees unless we make a recovery for you. We are paid a percentage of our recovery and reimbursed our expenses only if we recover a settlement or judgment for you.
What Damages Can You Seek When a Motorcycle Rider is Killed in an Accident?
If you have lost a loved one due to a motorcycle wreck, you may be entitled to recover additional losses such as;
- Funeral expenses;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Loss of household services;
- Loss of society and companionship;
- Loss of inheritance.
Ask a Houston motorcycle accident attorney for more information about the type of motorcycle accident damages you may claim depending on the circumstances of your motorcycle accident.
Do Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis?
All lawyers are different, but the motorcycle accident attorneys at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay only if we make a recovery for you in your case.
How Much Will A Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Charge?
If you hire a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer on a contingency fee basis to handle your motorcycle accident claim, you will likely pay a percentage of your recovery (if you are able to recover) ranging from 33.33-45% plus expenses. The actual percentage you pay out of your settlement on your motorcycle accident case depends upon when the settlement occurs.
How Can Motorcycle Riders Protect Themselves from Unsafe Drivers?
If you ride a motorcycle, you should be aware of the following precautions that may save your life:
- Be visible – make sure cars and trucks see you – if they don’t see you or if you are in another vehicle’s blind spot, use your horn;
- Always wear a helmet (45% of all motorcycle fatalities in Texas involved a rider not wearing a helmet. Texas law provides that all people under 21 must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, and people over 21 may not wear a helmet if they have proof of completion of a training course or proof of insurance covering injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident);
- Wear appropriate protective gear and clothing, such as boots, leathers, gloves, long sleeves, and pants, etc;
- Wear light-colored clothing or even clothing with reflective material;
- Stay awake, sober, and alert at all times;
- Avoid weaving in and out of traffic and lane splitting;
- Make sure your headlight is working and is on, even during the day (Texas law requires motorcycles manufactured after 1975 to have a working headlight on at all times during day and night);
- Drive defensively – obey the speed limit, be aware of your position and the positions of other passenger vehicles and pedestrians, be alert at intersections, and navigate intersections carefully.
Following these safety precautions will not guarantee your safety from a motorcycle injury since you cannot control the negligent actions of other parties, but you should give yourself every advantage you can when operating a motorcycle.
Connect With a Houston Motorcycle Attorney Today
The Texas motorcycle accident claims process can be notoriously complex. And getting an experienced and compassionate attorney is difficult. However, when you have our team of personal injury lawyers working on your case, you can rest easier knowing they work tirelessly to build a powerful case against the liable party. If you or someone you know has been involved following a motorcycle accident, contact a knowledgeable and experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyer at Simmons & Fletcher, P. C. for a free consultation when you fill out our online contact form. Getting help is only a phone call away at (713) 932-0777.