Did you know Texas has the third most registered motorcycles in the United States? Houston is a densely populated hub for all types of motor vehicle traffic, including these riders. This can lead to difficult and congested riding conditions for motorcyclists to deal with and, unfortunately, lead to accidents.
Of course, we all know there is a chance of an incident happening every time you are out on a ride, but being knowledgeable about proper legal representation can help you ride stress-free and mitigate liability should something happen. We’ll outline how to find a motorcycle accident lawyer in Houston to make sure that you are covered in every instance possible.
When to Hire a Houston Motorcycle Lawyer
So you’ve gotten into a wreck- unfortunately, it does happen, but there is going to be some legal recourse and follow up necessary. There are key steps you should take at the time of the crash when you present information to a lawyer, and in any subsequent claims or court cases.
Even if both parties amicably agree on the fault at the scene of the crash, we recommend making sure you have proper representation. Oftentimes, insurance companies can manipulate cases to minimize payouts, or it might be difficult to collect the money you deserve if the other party is at fault. Conversely, it is important to mitigate damages from claims should you be blamed for the accident.
In any case, having legal representation familiar with Houston and Texas motorcycle laws will go a long way in getting the outcome you deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many variables and distractions that can contribute to motorcycle accidents. Here are some of the most common ones to watch out for:
- Another Driver Turning Left: One of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents is another car cutting you off while making a left-hand turn across lanes. It is estimated that anywhere between 36-42 percent of all motorcycle accidents are because of this.
- Inclement Weather: Difficult road conditions and harsh weather are one of the greatest sources of all crashes, and increase single-vehicle incidents for riders significantly. Make sure to avoid bad weather if possible, and learn how your bike handles the road during bad conditions in case you must ride.
- Driving Under the Influence: Another unfortunately high percentage of single-vehicle crashes for motorcyclists are DUI crashes. We’ll put it simply: do not drink before riding your motorcycle. Be sure to also watch out for cars driving erratically that may be operated by someone under the influence.
- Merging: Motorcycles are much smaller than most cars on the road, and often get hidden in blind spots. We recommend not staying static near vehicles to your left or right if possible, as you might not be visible to the driver. Defensive driving in traffic can be a life-saver, especially when it comes to lane protection.
- Rear-End Collisions: Because motorcycles are small, light, and less protected, a rear-end collision is much more dangerous than when driving a car. The same principles as blind spots apply – try to make sure that you are present in the vision of the cars around you. Lane splitting is not legal in Texas, but we recommend moving to the driver’s side of your land if you think someone may not be paying close attention behind you.
Any sort of distraction on the road can cause an accident, so always take your riding seriously. Houston is a particularly busy city, and while it can be fun to navigate the bustling streets, you should look out for you and other drivers’ safety first.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident
In the event of an accident, first, make sure you and any other parties are safe and do not need immediate medical treatment. Following that, it is up to all parties to determine fault and document it for insurance and legal reasons.
Things that often contribute to clear fault are speeding, breaking any road sign rules, impaired or tired driving, or negligence. When it comes to determining fault in an accident, insurance companies and lawyers will be looking for witnesses, dashcam or security camera footage, and police reports to create a claim.
When to File a Claim
If you believe that the other party is at fault in a motorcycle crash, it is up to you to file a claim. After all, you shouldn’t be accountable for damages to your vehicle, medical expenses, or lost wages due to a circumstance you had little control over.
It is important to know that most motorcycle case claims must be filed within two years of the date of the crash in order to receive damages.
Once you have filed a claim within the proper statute, insurance or a court case will determine what damages you are eligible for. The most common forms of damages include:
- Disability from injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
It is important to note that there are many different classes of economic and non-economic damages available via legal action. This is where it is important to have the best representation from lawyers who are knowledgeable about the nuance of each potential claim.
Texas Helmet Laws
One thing that can negatively impact many cases is if the rider is not wearing a helmet. Even though it is only a secondary offense to not wear a helmet in Texas if you are above 21 years old, not wearing a helmet can assign you partial fault or lower your compensation.
While no one wants to have their freedoms imposed upon, the added safety in both a physical and legal sense makes wearing a helmet a priority when riding in Houston.
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers for the Whole Motorcycle Community
When the worst-case scenario happens, Law Tigers is proud to have the motorcycle community’s back. Whether you are at fault, suing for damages, or looking for a proper insurance payout, our team of experienced legal specialists will be there to ensure you have the best chance at success.
We are confident in our abilities because we’re riders just like you- our track record of specialized victories spans decades. At Law Tigers, we know that riding is a priority, and we want to help keep you on the road.