Odessa is a small city in West Texas. Its most famous landmark is the Odessa Meteor Crater, which draws in a fair number of tourists.
Odessa’s warm weather and relaxed lifestyle have made it one of the fastest-growing small cities in the United States. It is also well-connected with the rest of Texas as I-20, US 385, and Kermit Highway all run through Odessa.
In 2019, over 5,000 Americans lost their lives in motorcycle accidents and over 800,00 riders suffered injuries. Unfortunately, Odessa sees its share of motorcycle accidents because most motorists simply aren’t looking out for motorcycles.
Motorcycle accidents tend to be serious, personal injury compensation claims tend to be large, and wrongful deaths are tragically common.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Following is a list of some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Making a left turn into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist,
- Making a lane change without signaling or looking,
- Texting while driving,
- Intoxicated driving,
- Opening a car door into the street,
- Debris on the road,
- Slick roads,
- Lane-splitting by the motorcyclist, and
- Defective auto or motorcycle parts.
If a court considers you more than 50% at fault for the accident, it will not award you any compensation. If you are partially at fault but your fault is 50% or less, the court will reduce your compensation in proportion to your fault. Failure to wear a helmet can significantly reduce your compensation for a head injury.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Expect resistance from the insurance company when you present it with a large damages claim. That’s okay, because we know just how to handle stingy insurance companies, and we won’t let anybody take advantage of you. Below are some examples of tricks that insurance companies like to play:
- Causing many minor delays, hoping that you will miss the statute of limitations deadline for filing a lawsuit;
- Tricking you into saying something that damages your claim;
- Monitoring your social media accounts, looking for something they can use against you;
- Claiming that the accident was at least partly your fault;
- Offering you an inadequate settlement while you are still in the hospital; and
- Convincing you not to hire an Odessa motorcycle lawyer.
Never forget that insurance companies are businesses. Their primary purpose is to make a profit, not to compensate accident victims. Fear not, because our Odessa motorcycle accident attorneys can negotiate your claim from start to finish. We know all the insurance company tricks, and we’re not going to fall for a single one of them.
Rest assured, however, that we will never agree to settle your claim without your permission.
Negotiating Versus Litigating
You might be asking yourself, should I settle or sue? The answer in many cases is both. Filing a lawsuit can generate two consequences that work in your favor:
- It can show your opponent that you mean business. In many cases, filing a lawsuit is the best way to motivate the opposing party to issue a generous settlement offer.
- Filing a lawsuit will get you access to the discovery process. In the discovery process, you can seek the court’s assistance in obtaining evidence that is in the possession of the opposing party.
It is never too late to settle. There is usually a gap of several months between filing a lawsuit and holding a trial. You can settle during this period and then withdraw your lawsuit.
In fact, you can even settle in the middle of a trial. At Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., we know just how to use the threat of a trial to win concessions from stubborn opposing parties.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive?
It is impossible to answer this question with certainty without knowing the details of your case. In general, you are entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost earnings,
- Property damage,
- Out-of-pocket expenses arising from your injuries, and
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Non-economic damages can easily amount to more than half of the total value of your claim. In some cases, such as a road rage incident, you might even be eligible for punitive damages.
Limitations on the Amount of Compensation You Can Receive
Certain factors limit the amount of compensation you can receive from a motorcycle accident claim. The most important of these factors are:
- The limits of the defendant’s insurance coverage,
- The defendant’s own financial limitations,
- The extent to which your own negligence may have contributed to the accident, and
- The skill of your lawyer.
An experienced Odessa motorcycle accident attorney can investigate to determine the true value of your claim.
In Texas, it is perfectly permissible to sue more than one defendant if the facts justify it. If one defendant cannot afford to pay your claim, we might seek to hold another party responsible. Possible additional defendants include:
- A nightclub that sold the at-fault driver alcohol (in a DUI accident case);
- The at-fault driver’s employer, if they were on duty at the time of the accident;
- The manufacturer of a defective product that caused the accident;
- The city, state, or federal government, if poor road conditions or a malfunctioning traffic light caused the accident; and
- A third-party driver, if they contributed to the accident.
Your lawyer might find other alternative defendants who share liability for the accident.
Texas Wrongful Death Claims
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. A deceased victim, however, cannot file a lawsuit. Instead, a wrongful death claim is appropriate.
In most cases, surviving family members file the wrongful death claim. Compensation typically goes to the same surviving family members, and the amount of a wrongful death claim can be substantial.
Time Matters! Contact an Odessa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Personal injury claims can grow stale over time as evidence deteriorates. That is why it is important for you to act quickly. We know that you are facing one of the most challenging times of your life, and we are ready to stand up and fight for you.
The Odessa motorcycle accident law firm of Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. has won numerous multi-million dollar claims for personal injury and wrongful death clients. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call (806) 763-9377 or contact us online.
You do not need to worry about your financial situation to hire a lawyer. It is the quality of your claim that matters, not the size of your bank account. And if we don’t win your claim, you won’t owe us a dime.