Encountered a motorcycle accident? Our legal Team is a call away to help you out!
“Your bike is discovery; your bike is freedom. It doesn’t matter where you are, when you’re on the saddle, you’re taken away.”
But that joy comes with a greater risk. Traveling on a motorcycle carries a much higher risk of death or injury than driving the same distance in a car. In 2006 US motorcyclists had a risk of a fatal crash that was 35 times greater than that of passenger cars, based on 390 motorcyclist deaths per billion vehicle miles and 11.1 car fatalities for that distance. In 2016 this rate was 28 times that for automobiles.
We offer FREE consultation for motorcycle accident victims!
If you or one of your loved ones was injured in a motorcycle accident in Houston call us without a second thought. We offer a FREE consultation, and we’re available to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our team has over 20 years of experience representing injured bikers and passengers who were injured in crashes caused by defective motorcycle parts, careless drivers, road debris, and other hazards. We may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. To set up a free legal consultation, call us to serve you with the justice you deserve.
Terms and conditions:
If you decide to hire us, you are not obliged to pay us before winning the case. In the beginning you do not need to pay a single penny. Our fee will be due after we have won your case.
Texas Motorcycle Laws: All the Information that You Need to Know
Texas is the perfect place to ride a motorcycle, whether you head out full-speed on the highway or take the winding backcountry rural route. Texas is known for its motorcycle culture. With long stretches of open road and countless different terrains, it is a great destination to bring your motorcycle.
Before you take to the open road for your thrilling ride, you need to know Texas’ motorcycle laws. Below we have detailed explanation to everything you need to know in order to safely and legally ride your motorcycle in the state of Texas.
Texas Motorcycle License
- You must have a valid Class M License in order to ride a motorcycle in the state of Texas.
- To get access to this license, you must already have obtained a regular driver’s license.
- The Department of Public Safety (DPS) oversees the Motorcycle Safety Unit and sets statewide programs geared towards motorcycle safety and certification.
- The basic course teaches the knowledge of the fundamentals and is required of all drivers in order to receive a Class M motorcycle driver’s license. An advanced course is also available for more experienced bike riders and teaches maneuvering, riding safely on wet payment, and other safety skills.
If we speak statistically, no matter how defensively you ride, you are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident while riding a motorcycle because the risk of indulging into an accident is higher on motorcycle than that of on car.
Safety Tips for Riders in Houston
Motorcyclists do not have the protection that cars and trucks do. In order to stay safe, remember the following points:
- Wear a helmet, and other necessary protective gears.
- Turn on your headlights, and try to ride defensively.
- Avoid the center of the lane, where debris and oil build up.
- Ride at a safe speed, and never ride if you are drunk.
- Take a course to learn before you ride, and try to reinforce safe riding techniques.
- Drivers of the cars need to keep an eye out for motorcycles and safely share the road:
- Look twice for motorcyclists at intersections, entering highways and whenever turning or changing lanes.
- Always maintain a safe following distance.
- When passing a motorcyclist, move to the other lane and allow a full lane for the motorcycle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bike riders are five times more likely to suffer injuries in accidents than the passenger vehicles like cars and trucks.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur throughout Texas on a regular basis. Our team analyzed recent statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation and other sources in order to determine how common motorcycle crashes, fatalities, and injuries are in the state of Texas. These statistics puts light on your likelihood of being injured or killed in a motorcycle accident depends on factors like where you ride, how old you are, and whether you wear a helmet.
It is difficult to say whether motorcycling fatalities are becoming more or less common as a whole, because the data fluctuates with the passage of time, rising and falling in waves. According to data presented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatalities increased from 1975 to 1980, then generally decrease until 2000, when they started to become more common again until going down after 2008.
During the period spanning 1975 to 2014, the worst year for motorcycle fatalities was 2008, which reached a peak of 5112 deaths by motorcycles. Conversely, the safest year on record was 1997, with a low of just over 2050 fatalities – less than half as many as in 2008. There were 4295 fatalities recorded in 2014, the most recent year for which the IIHS has data on motorcycling deaths by motorcycles.
These patterns shift again when you isolate certain demographics by age. For example, even though overall motorcycle fatalities have been increasing and decreasing by turn, fatalities among riders aged 29 or younger tended to decline from 1975 through 2010, though the numbers have gradually gone upward since then. Conversely, riders aged 50 or older have seen the exact opposite way, with fatalities steadily increasing from 1975 through 2014. Riders in their forties have followed a similar pattern, though fatalities in that age group leveled off around the year 2000, rather than continuing to increase.
These figures seem to indicate that deadly motorcycle crashes are becoming less common for young motorcycle riders, but more common for middle-aged adults and seniors who ride motorcycle. Oddly, fatality figures for riders in their thirties have remained relatively stable since the time of 1970s, while all other age groups have changed with the passage of time.
Motorcycle Safety Equipment you MUST have
According to Texas law, motorcycles must be equipped with the following safety equipment:
- Exhaust system
- Wheel assembly
- Tail, stop, head, and license plate lamps
- Rear red reflectors
- Vehicle identification number
Motorcycle Safety Gear Laws:
By wearing certain pieces of gear, you can help protect the parts of your body that are most vulnerable when riding a bike. Your eyes, face, and extremities are particularly vulnerable when riding a motorcycle and it is therefore important that you provide them with some extra protection.
- Eye Protection: Eye protection is important in order to keep the wind out of your eyes. The wind can cause your eyes to irritate, decreasing visibility. If you opt to wear eye-glasses, then you will need to make sure they have shatterproof lenses. Goggles are even more protective than glasses and seal wind out to protect your eyes. Make sure your goggles are clean and do not block your outer vision.
- Face Protection It is quite easy to get hit in the face while riding a motor bike. Research shows that those who wear a face shield while they ride are at a much lower risk of injury. It is easiest for your face shield to be included as an extension of your helmet. Make sure the shield is securely fastened and is void of any scratches or damage that may impede your sight. You will also want a face shield that is strong enough to withstand impact or penetration from flying objects.
A special note about lane splitting
The American Motorcyclist Association places significant emphasis on motorcycle operator and passenger safety. On every type of public roadway, motorcyclists encounter challenges from other roadway users and are constantly vigilant to unsafe conditions around them.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous situations for any motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators, and environmental conditions increase the risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard.
What to do after a Motorcycle Accident?
What should you do if you face an accident? There are important things you might know how to tackle After a motor vehicle accident.
How do you report the incident to your insurance company?
What should you do immediately after an accident?
If you are prepared ahead of time, you may prevent the stress and uncertainty.
- Check for injuries: After the car accident, immediately determine whether anyone is injured. If so, call 911 to get ambulance and police on the scene of accident. Even if the incident was minor and everyone is cooperative, consider calling the police. That way you’ll have an official report to give to your insurance company.
- Make Sure Everyone Is Safe: The first thing to do at the scene of an accident is to ensure the safety of all involved. Remember, the safety and health of those involved trumps any financial considerations, so take the necessary safety precautions right away.
- Stay at the Scene: Never leave the accident scene until it’s appropriate to do so. If you leave, particularly where someone has sustained injuries or was killed, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a hit-and-run driver.
- Call the Police: If there’s significant property damage, physical injury, or death, you need to call the police. Ask that a police report be filed in situations where cops do arrive at the scene to gather the necessary information.
- Exchange Information: Get the names, numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information from all drivers involved. If there are passengers, also obtain their names, numbers, and addresses. In talking to other drivers, try to be cordial and cooperative.
- Call your insurance company: Call your insurance company and describe the accident to them. You may also want to get copies of the police report and witness statements.
- Call an Attorney: Your next call needs to be to a qualified motorcycle accident attorney. Even if you think that the accident was minor, you never know what repercussions could pop up, and you need to be certain that you are protected. In addition, you will need an attorney on hand, even if the insurance company looks as though it will pay for your damages. Remember, insurance companies are looking to pay the least possible amount, and they do not have your best interests in mind, they care about their interest first. An attorney is going to help ensure that your rights and interests are well protected in the whole case.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycles are less stable than cars and comparatively less visible to other drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in a traffic collision than passenger vehicle occupants, and they are 5 times more likely to be injured.
NHTSA reports that 4,957 motorcycle riders were killed one recent year, marking a 7 percent increase. That same year, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes. Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, with a fatality rate of 23.41 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, as compared to 0.90 for passenger cars.
Motorcycle accident injuries can be dangerous in many cases. Any part of the body can be damaged in a motorcycle crash.
According to a study conducted by NHTSA, most fatal and incapacitating injuries are sustained when the point of impact is the front of the motorcycle. The following are some of the more common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In a study conducted by NHTSA on 104,472 motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes, 15 percent of helmeted and 21 percent of unhelmet riders suffered TBI. Traumatic brain injury accounted for 54 percent of the riders within this group who did not survive. TBI is the leading cause of death when it comes to motorcycle accidents. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that wearing a helmet reduces your chances of a fatal accident by 29 percent. Severe brain injurycan cause death as well as permanent disability.
- Spinal cord injuries.When the spinal cord is injured from the impact of a collision, it can result in paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia.) This type of catastrophic injury usually causes permanent disability for the victim. Injuries to the spinal column occur in up to 12 percent of all motorcycle accidents and can be extremely severe and paralyzing. Unfortunately, many victims of spinal cord injuries can end up being in a wheelchair the rest of their lives and paralyzed from the waist down.
- Lower-extremity injuries.A NHTSA study of lower-extremity injuries in motorcycle crashes concluded that these injuries are sustained by riders more frequently than any other type of injury. Leg injuries were the most common lower-extremity injury, and bone fractures were more common than soft-tissue injuries.
- Internal injuries. Damage to internal organs and internal bleeding can be caused by blunt-force trauma (a blow from something hard that does not break the skin) or penetration trauma (when something sharp, such as broken glass or debris penetrates the skin in an accident).
- Fractures. Motorcycles are not stable upright, and they often fall over in an accident. Crashes happen quickly, and the rider’s leg can be under the bike when it falls. Wrists and arms can be fractured when riders catch themselves to break a fall. Fractured or broken bones are very common in motorcycle accidents and can result in disfigurement or permanent nerve damage if severe enough. Wearing the proper safety equipment can help protect a motorcyclist’s skeletal structure, but the sheer force of the impact may result in broken bones that require intensive surgery or medical treatment anyway.
- Road rash.When a rider makes contact with the road surface during a crash, serious skin abrasions called “road rash” occur. The severity of this type of injury can range from mild to serious injury that will require prompt medical attention, and are highly susceptible to serious infections and permanent scarring.
- Facial injuries. Helmets can help alleviate the severity of facial injury, but serious accidents still often result in broken jaws and serious facial disfigurement.
- Burn injuries. In a wreck, motorcyclists can receive serious burns from gas tank spillage interacting with other components and causing extremely serious burn injuriesthat require a skin graft.
- Emotional trauma. When a person has been in a serious accident, they may suffer serious emotional injuries on top of physical ones. Sometimes, there may need to be counseling, where certain psychological trauma must be addressed. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also happen as a result of a very stressful situation such as a motorcycle collision.
- Skin abrasions. Skin abrasions (also known as “road rash”) are extremely common in motorcycle accidents and often occur when the cyclist is thrown off of the bike and skids on the pavement. Wearing proper clothing can help with the severity of the abrasion in the event of a crash.
Many interesting vehicular and occupant differences have been noted between older and younger motorcyclists admitted to hospitals following injury. Older riders are more likely to ride larger motorcycles (bigger engine sizes), and also more likely to wear helmets. Older motorcyclists also differed with respect to their crash patterns: they were more likely to be involved in collisions involving overturning, or striking other highway structures such as embankments, fences, bridge overpasses or others. This does not appear to be a result of older riders’ preference for motorcycles with larger engines, as their increased risk of overturns was observed for both smaller and larger engine sizes. The increased risk of thoracic injury is present primarily among older motorcyclists riding larger motorcycles.
Is There a Way to Can Prevent These Injuries?
If you are planning to get your first bike, it is vital that you know exactly how to handle the brakes and steering in all kinds of weather—and that you have plenty of “hands-on” experience before you take to the streets. In addition to taking a road skills test for your licensing, it is a good idea to take a riding safety course every few years to brush up on your skills. As well as a helmet, you should wear a strong leather or canvas jacket with elbow padding, eye protection, and long pants. Perhaps the most important thing is to practice safe riding: no drinking, no risky maneuvers, and limited riding after dark.
What damages can you file a lawsuit for in a Motorcycle Accident in Houston?
Your legal damages from a motorcycle accident encapsulate all of the ways that you have been hurt, suffered, or endured losses from the crash. However, this number can be broken down into two parts:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
The first types of legal damages that you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident are your economic damages. These losses are relatively easy to distill into a dollar amount and are often reflected in either bills that you have already paid or are likely to pay, or in wages that you have lost while you recover or that you are likely to lose, in the future. Your economic damages in a motorcycle accident typically include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Home modifications
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES YOU CAN SUFFER IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
In contrast to economic damages, non-economic damages are not easily distilled into a dollar amount because they reflect non-physical losses or injuries. While non-economic damages cannot be replaced or repaired by simply paying someone to fix them, like you can with your motorcycle, that does not mean that they are trivial. In fact, some cases see the compensation for non-economic damages far outpace the recovery for economic damages.
PAIN AND SUFFERING
The most common and well-known example of the non-economic damages that you can recover after a motorcycle accident is for the pain and suffering that you have been put through by the other driver’s negligence.
Despite the impossibility of putting a dollar amount on it, there is no reason why you should not be compensated for the pain that you have dealt with, both during and after the motorcycle accident. These payments are meant to ensure you receive some sort of compensation for the pain that your injuries have wrought, and are meant to increase if the injuries that you suffered were especially painful—whether over the long-term or just intensely painful in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
Your legal damages for the suffering that you have endured are similar but distinct in an important way: while your legal damages for pain are limited to the painful feelings that come with severe injuries, your legal damages for suffering are meant to compensate you for your loss of any of life’s enjoyments.
For example, imagine a motorcyclist who suffers a severely broken pelvis in a motorbike crash. This injury is incredibly painful in its immediate aftermath and is very uncomfortable during the recovery stage. These factors increase the amount of damages that the victim should recover for his pain. Additionally, if the broken pelvis is deformed in such a way that it cannot be properly fixed, and the biker thoroughly enjoyed playing softball and coaching baseball, he might no longer be able to participate in these activities after the crash. The loss of this enjoyment also increases the amount of suffering damages that he should recover in a personal injury lawsuit.
Many motorcycle accidents are traumatizing for the biker who was involved. They often saw the crash develop and then happen right before their eyes. The memories from the crash and from the emergency care that they needed in its aftermath are often disturbing enough to lead to additional medical complications, as the victim struggles to sleep or eat.
This is particularly true if the physical injuries that you suffered are visible reminders of the accident. Many of the most severe motorcycle accidents lead to injuries that leave scars or permanent disfigurements on a biker’s body. Some even involve a biker losing body parts during the crash or through amputation after it. The continued sight of these injuries adds to the emotional distress that you suffered from the crash, itself, and make it even more difficult to move on from the incident that changed your life.
The emotional distress that a crash can instill in a victim is not trivial, especially if the crash was severe or particularly graphic, or if your injuries serve as visual reminders of the accident’s horrors. Because these mental troubles are things that you would not have had to deal with, were it not for the other driver’s negligence and the crash that it caused, you deserve to be compensated for them.
LOSS OF CONSORTIUM
People do not live in a vacuum, and motorcyclists are no exception. Bikers have loved ones and families that count on them for financial and emotional support, love, and affection. But a motorcycle accident can change all of this by throwing a motorcyclist onto a harsh road of recovery that causes both the biker and their loved one’s pain, stress, and uncertainty.
Recall the example of the motorcyclist who worked as a roofer, but who was paralyzed from the waist down during a motorcycle crash. If he has a family of a wife and several children, their lives will also be thrown into turmoil from the fact that he can no longer work in his chosen profession and will no longer be able to support the family. Suddenly, his wife will have to scramble to find work until he can recover enough to re-enter the workforce, throwing the entire family dynamic into disarray and straining the relationship between everyone involved who has to change the course of their life.
Once again, these sudden and drastic changes in family life would not have happened if the other driver was not acting negligently enough to cause a motorcycle crash. Therefore, it would be unfair to expect you to bear the costs of the strain that the crash puts on your relationships with your loved ones.
This is why the personal injury law of Maryland allows motorcycle accident victims to recover damages for the loss of consortium that their family has felt from the crash and their recovery.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Motorcycle Injuries?
Sometimes, you can hold another party liable for your injuries and losses if that party’s negligence caused your accident. Many different parties may face negligence in motorcycle crashes, including:
- Distracted drivers
- Impaired drivers
- Aggressive drivers
- Drivers who fail to yield
- Drivers who make improper lane changes
- Companies that sell defective motorcycles
- Transportation departments that allow dangerous or defective roads
How to Protect Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident
Collect and save the information about your crash – After an accident, take the time to document as much information about your accident as possible. Try to gather evidence at the scene of the accident, even if you have faced a minor injury. For example, take pictures of the aftermath of the crash from different angles, highlighting the damage to your motorcycle as well as any road or vehicle defects that you believe may have contributed to your accident. Try to find any witness who was present at the time of accident, and collect the witness’ contact information
- Keep record of your loss/injury – It is very important to have every detail documented for a proof to be shown later. Motorcycle accident victims must establish damages—either to the insurance company or the court. To this end, document how your injuries hurt you on a regular basis. Keep detailed notes about everything, be it, what medications you took, how it made you suffer emotionally, mentally, and physically.
- Stay off social media – In the modern age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and their inevitable successors, a motorcycle accident is likely to be highlighted. Think twice about posting your pictures, status, or any information about your crash on social media. The opponents can use that against you, claiming that the intensity of the injuries or the accident you claimed is inappropriate and you were partially (or totally) at fault for your accident or that you are not as injured as you claim. Try to avoid using social media while your case is pending.
- Contact an attorney – Working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can take a lot of the burden off your shoulders and allow you the chance to rest and recover. An attorney will be your legal advocate through the entire claims process and can help to keep you informed as the process unfolds.
- Avoid speaking to the insurance companies – After an accident, it is very common for the insurance companies to attempt to contact you with the hopes that you will provide a statement that they might be able to use against you. For this reason, it is best to let your attorney handle the communications with the insurance companies. Your attorney will understand what information to provide and how to best work with the insurance companies so that your best interests are represented.
Houston Motorcycle Accident FAQS
What damages can I claim in a motorcycle accident case?
The damages or remedies that are granted by court or insurance company depend on the claim of claimant. If you have claimed damages for bodily and property damages then you will be compensated monetarily. These damages commonly include the medical bills, the rehabilitation centre’s charges and the damage that has been occurred to your property i.e. Motorcycle.
Most of the times, it happens that the victim undergoes the pain and suffering, the loss of enjoyment and so forth losses which are non-monetary in nature. Afterward, such losses ‘monetary worth are evaluated by the team of field experts.
Thus, the medical expenses, lost earning, future losses, and non-economic losses can be claimed and acquired from civil court or insurance company.
What effect does Texas’ 51 Percent Bar Rule have on my motorcycle accident case?
Firstly, the Texas’ 51 Bar Rule refers to the meaning that to what degree the claimant or victim is responsible for the accident. Precisely, the degree of contributory negligence is checked. This is also known as “Modified Comparative Fault”.
This has got impact on your case in such a manner that in case you have been liable partially then the percentage of reimbursement will be reduced considering the proportion of your fault.
Nevertheless, you cannot be compensated for the losses you have endured if the proportion of your fault crosses the 51%.
What help the Houston’s Motorcycle accident attorney can offer?
The Houston Motorcycle attorney can offer certain things to you as assistance: The first thing he/she can do is to offer you free consultation and case evaluation. Secondly, in order to give you relief he/she can negotiate with the defendant coupling with his/her insurance company. Thirdly, he/she will strive to provide you the maximum compensation without compromising your any rights.
Lastly, after hiring him/her as your permanent representative, he/she will not ask for fees unless he/she wins the case just like Pusch & Nguyen Law Firm.
What should I do after a Houston Motorcycle Accident?
After a Houston Motorcycle collision, you are required to do certain steps:
- If you are conscious and able to communicate then call 911 to ask for emergency medics and police arrival on the accident spot.
- Till the arrival of police and medics emergency, you can probably capture the important damages have occurred to you and your property. In case you can move from your place otherwise do not do it since it will lead to more serious injuries.
- If you can move from your place, ask for the details of the witnesses or passer-by that saw the accident.
- Lastly, you are required to concentrate on recovering from your injuries to the extent it is humanly feasible as well as consult an attorney who can help you compensate for the losses you have suffered.
How much does a motorcycle accident attorney charge?
Most of the lawyers operate on the conditional or contingency fee basis. This explains that unless the attorney is successful conferring to the claim of victim, he/she (client/victim) does not pay the attorney.
When the attorney wins the case, then the charges of the case which includes the representative cost are deducted from the total amount of the compensation received by the client. Mostly, the lawyers charge 33% of the total sum.
Moreover, if you have any confusion in this regard then do not hesitate to contact Pusch & Nguyen Law Firm.
Why choose our team?
We offer a FREE consultation, and we’re available to answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- 20 years’ experience specifically with motorcycle accident cases, we possess a reputation to aggressively fight for our clients
- Gerrard and his team, having A long list of credentials, believe in respect, integrity, and family values.
- We will always be there for you!
- With decades of combined experience, Gerrard and his team will tirelessly work to recover as much as possible on your motorcycle accident claim.
- Motorcycle cases need to be solved very critically, they involve serious injuries, and require an experienced legal team.
- You do not need to pay us a single penny before we win your case.
We are committed to assist you with every aspect of your case. We are prepared to work with insurance companies and law enforcement to prove another driver’s fault, aggressively represent you in court and help you obtain the best results possible. We are here to fight for you, considering your goal ours.