To begin with, motorcycle riders are a different breed of motorist. Most people who ride don’t have to, but they do it for the thrill of it. As a side benefit, there are practical reasons to ride a motorcycle. They’re more economical to own and repair, easier to maneuver and park and they use less fuel, for example.
Most riders know that they face a much higher risk of injury than passenger vehicle occupants and that the injuries they might suffer in a crash are likely to be much more severe. That’s why most motorcyclists ride with safety in mind. However, despite their best efforts to avoid a crash, motorcycle riders can fall victim to other drivers’ carelessness.
At Kraft & Associates, P.C., we understand motorcycle accident cases and how they differ from car accident cases. Some of those differences include:
- Motorcycle riders suffer more deaths and more serious injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are more than 26 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than passenger vehicle occupants, and 5 times more likely to be injured. Because they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, motorcycle riders often suffer catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. This means the stakes are typically higher in motorcycle accident cases.
- Drivers of passenger vehicles fail to see motorcycles. Many drivers are looking for a passenger vehicle and simply do not see or fail to register a motorcycle on the roadway. A common cause of motorcycle accidents is when a driver turns left into an oncoming motorcyclist’s path at an intersection. Another common cause is when drivers miss motorcycles in their blind spots and change lanes directly into the motorcycle.
- Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards. Potholes, ruts, loose gravel and other hazards found on poorly maintained roads that might not be as hazardous for heavier, more stable passenger vehicles can cause motorcyclists to wipe out and suffer serious injuries.
- Anti-biker bias is a factor to overcome in motorcycle accident cases. The cultural prejudice and stereotype of bikers as reckless and hot-tempered individuals can be a challenge in motorcycle crash cases, even if someone else caused the crash. This prejudice may show itself in the form of jury discrimination, lower settlement offers and even witness statements and police reports. It’s important to have a lawyer who understands that motorcyclists do not fit the stereotype, and who is willing to stand up for riders’ rights.
- Issues about whether a rider was wearing a helmet. It makes sense to wear a helmet, but it is not required by Texas law for riders 21 or older who have health insurance coverage for an accident and who have completed a safety course. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you are still entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries. Nevertheless, the issue may come up in settlement negotiations or in trial.
Legal Help for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Texas
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident, and before you talk to insurance adjusters or sign anything. At Kraft & Associates, P.C., we represent riders who have been injured and families of those who have been killed in motorcycle crashes caused by the negligence of others.
In pursuing a claim for compensation you need a lawyer who is compassionate, effective and dedicated to obtaining the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. Our firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients over decades of legal practice. Contact us now for a free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation.