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Between the open roads and temperate climate, Texas is a great state for motorcyclists. However, anyone who rides a motorcycle knows that there are serious risks involved.
Drivers often don’t see motorcyclists, and even when they do, a driver may not take the precautions they should.
If another driver hits you, a Texas motorcycle accident attorney at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. can help connect you with financial compensation for everything you’ve been through.
Proving a Motorcycle Accident Case in Texas
While it is common for motorcycle accident victims to suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial damages in the wake of an accident, not every accident victim recovers compensation.
To successfully bring a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Texas, you must prove that the other driver was legally negligent.
This requires you to establish four things:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care;
- The other driver violated the duty of care they owed to you;
- The other driver’s breach of this duty resulted in your injuries; and
- You suffered economic or non-economic damages as a result.
While proving a motorcycle claim may sound straightforward, remember that the other driver’s insurance company is not eager to compensate you for your injuries. Often, insurance companies claim that a motorcycle accident victim shared blame for the accident or that their injuries were not as serious as they claimed.
Damages in a Texas Motorcycle Accident
Those motorcyclists who successfully bring a lawsuit can recover monetary compensation from the party responsible for the collision. As a general rule, courts award damages to compensate accident victims for their accident-related costs. These costs are broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket expenses you paid as a result of the accident.
For example, the following are common types of economic damages in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
- Medical bills,
- Future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Decrease in earning capacity, and
- Property damage.
On the other hand, non-economic damages refer to the emotional and psychological injuries you suffered because of the accident. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are more difficult to assign a value to because accidents impact people’s lives in very different ways.
However, generally speaking, non-economic damages provide victims with compensation for the following:
- Mental anguish,
- Disability and disfigurement,
- Loss of consortium between spouses, and
- Loss of services between family members.
Because non-economic damages are subjective, they require you to present a compelling story about how the accident impacted your life.
For example, are there activities you used to enjoy that you can no longer participate in because of your injuries? Are you forced to live with ongoing pain, possibly for the rest of your life? Did the accident impact your mental health to the point where it affected your overall quality of life?
These are the questions that will influence a non-economic damages award. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys in Texas can help accident victims identify the full extent of their damages to ensure they are fairly compensated.
When Should You Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Texas?
The weeks and months after a motorcycle accident are incredibly stressful for many reasons. However, it is important not to delay in contacting a lawyer. The best time to contact a Texas motorcycle accident attorney is as soon as you get out of the hospital. The sooner you reach out to a lawyer, the sooner they can start preparing your case.
Perhaps most importantly, this includes gathering important evidence such as eyewitness statements, surveillance video, and the bike itself. Additionally, under Texas law, you have just two years to bring a Texas motorcycle accident lawsuit. Once that two-year period passes, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case, leaving you with no way to obtain compensation for your injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Common Are Texas Motorcycle Accidents?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (“TxDOT”), there is more than one fatal motorcycle accident every day, in addition to approximately seven accidents resulting in serious injury. For example, the most recent statistics from TxDOT indicate that, in 2021, there were 519 fatal motorcycle accidents. That same year, 2,318 motorcyclists and their passengers were seriously injured in motorcycle accidents.
Are Texas Motorcyclists Required to Wear a Helmet?
All motorcyclists in Texas must wear a helmet if they are under the age of 21. However, riders over 21 can choose not to wear a helmet, provided they completed an approved motorcycle operator training course and have medical insurance of at least $10,000. Of course, riders should always wear a helmet because it is undisputed that helmets can help save a rider’s life in the event of an accident.
Does Not Wearing a Helmet Impact a Motorcycle Accident Victims Recovery?
In some cases, a rider who is injured in a Texas motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet may have their damages award reduced. Under the Texas comparative fault law, a victim’s damages get reduced by their percentage of fault.
Thus, if a judge, jury, or insurance company determines that your failure to wear a helmet contributed to the severity of your injuries, it will likely impact your ultimate payout. Of course, helmets only protect against head injuries, so it is unlikely that a rider’s failure to wear a helmet will impact their recovery for other types of injuries.
Contact a Texas Motorcycle Injury Lawyer for Assistance with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you are looking for a motorcycle accident lawyer in Texas, look no further than the law firm of Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. We understand what your family is going through in the wake of a major accident, and we know what it takes to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
We have been aggressively representing accident victims and their families since 1984 and regularly handle high-stakes and complex cases on behalf of our injured clients. To learn more and to schedule your free consultation with the motorcycle accident attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., call (800) 433-2408.
You can also reach us through our online contact form. Consultations are free, and because we accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis, we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.