Cruising down the open road on your motorcycle is a fun, relaxing way to spend an afternoon enjoying nature and exploring the rugged Texas countryside. Unfortunately, careless drivers can make riding a motorcycle highly dangerous, even for the most cautious and experienced of motorcyclists.
When a car, truck, or other vehicle strikes a motorcyclist on the highways or back roads of Texas, the motorcyclist might suffer disabling or, tragically, fatal injuries. In the event that you were injured because of negligence, our lawyers can help you bring a claim for compensation. After assessing the value and facts of your case, we can explain which of your damages are compensable. Most likely, you will be able to recover compensation for expenses related to your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. After you file your lawsuit in court, our lawyers can assess any settlement offers we receive to determine if they are fair. If your case goes to trial, we can prove the defendant’s fault for your injuries by presenting evidence of negligence, such as security camera footage, witness testimony, photos, medical records, and more.
The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. can review your case for free when you call our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in Dallas
Many collisions are preventable, and occur because of other drivers’ careless mistakes. However, while driving errors are a common cause of avoidable crashes, recklessness and negligence can also take other forms.
For example, accidents might occur when a manufacturing error or design flaw causes a motorcycle part to be defective, giving rise to a product liability claim. Similarly, some accidents are caused by a flaw or defect in the road itself.
In situations where a collision or other type of accident occurs because of recklessness or negligence, the victim may be entitled to compensation from the party who was at fault for causing the crash or collision, including compensation for medical bills.
Some examples of ways negligent drivers cause avoidable accidents in Texas include: speeding, drowsy driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to check side mirrors or rearview mirrors for motorcyclists, failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs, getting distracted by text messages, radio stations, smartphone apps, food, beverages, makeup, road construction, or other distractions, making improper left turns, running stoplights instead of coming to a complete stop, and tailgating, or following other vehicles too closely. A driver who tailgates might strike a motorcycle directly or cause a chain reaction accident by propelling another vehicle into a motorcycle ahead.
Any of these accidents can enable victims to sue for compensation, as the root cause is another driver’s negligence. Our lawyers can examine the specifics of your recent accident in Dallas to determine if you can file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries in Dallas
Many motorcycling accidents produce serious, disabling, and sometimes lethal injuries. When victims are seriously injured in motorcycle accidents, they can contact our lawyers who are prepared to investigate and aggressively pursue compensation for a broad spectrum of internal, external, catastrophic, and fatal injuries in Dallas.
Types of motorcycle injuries our legal team handles include, but are not limited to, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, eye injuries, and more. Back injuries might involve vertebral fractures (fractured spine), bulging discs, and herniated discs. Victims might sustain facial injuries that cause permanent scars, mouth injuries, vision loss, and fractured cheekbones.
Other injuries, like broken fingers, sprained wrists, whiplash, and scarring, are also common among motorcycle accident victims in Dallas. Road rash might cause serious skin abrasions due to contact with the road after impact. Victims with spinal cord injuries might suffer various types of paralysis injuries, including permanent paralysis.
Even when motorcyclists wear the proper safety gear, like helmets, goggles, gloves, boots, jackets, and pants, they might be injured due to the dangerous nature of motorcycles. Though wearing a helmet might lower your chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle crash, such injuries might still occur.
Dallas Motorcycle Accident and Injury Statistics
Fortunately, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) publishes annual reports of traffic accidents throughout the state, including motorcycle accidents. Reviewing this data can help motorcyclists understand the true dangers they might face if involved in an accident in Dallas.
According to TxDOT, there were 562 motorcycle accident fatalities in Texas in 2022. Of those fatalities, 39% of victims were not wearing helmets at the time of the accident. The majority of motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities that year, 322 of them, occurred in more urban settings, like Dallas.
Of the thousands of motorcycle accidents that happen in Dallas and throughout Texas each year, many lead to serious injuries. Even when wearing the necessary safety gear, like helmets, riders might still sustain life-altering injuries. This can be seen by the fact that 315 of the motorcyclists who died in accidents in 2022 in Texas were wearing helmets at the time of their collisions. Of the total motorcycle accidents that led to suspected serious injuries, just over half of victims were wearing helmets at the time.
These statistics reflect the well-known fact that motorcycle accidents are extremely dangerous for both riders and passengers, who are protected by nothing more than a helmet and leather riding gear, at most, when a crash occurs.
Factors to Consider When Assessing the Value of a Dallas Motorcycle Accident Claim
Before entering into litigation with a negligent party over a motorcycle accident, it is important to determine the value of your case so that you know what to expect regarding your recovery.
Every accident involves a unique set of factors and details that impact the ultimate value of a settlement or award. These factors include, but are not limited to, the extent and severity of your injuries, the extent to which your earning ability is affected by your injuries, whether your injuries are of a permanently disabling nature, whether your injuries have or will produce permanent scarring, the income you lost due to being out of work and receiving treatment after your accident, and the amount of medical care you will require in the future.
If the victim of a Dallas motorcycle crash can prove that their injuries resulted from another driver’s actions or the other driver’s failures to act, compensation may be awarded for both financial and non-financial losses, including losses expected to arise in the future.
Evaluating Motorcycle Accident Settlement Offers in Dallas
It is fairly uncommon for personal injury claims to go all the way to trial. It is more typical to resolve a Texas motorcycle injury claim by negotiating a settlement outside of court, a process which may take several months or longer. We will help you navigate these negotiations and determine when and if they are stalling.
At the onset of settlement negotiations, initial offers from negligent drivers are almost sure to be low. Defendants often do this to minimize the amount they ultimately have to pay to injured motorcyclists. If you accept this first offer, you most likely will not be able to pursue further recovery in the future.
When evaluating settlement offers, our motorcycle accident lawyers will compare them to our calculation of your damages. If an offer is insufficient, we can present a counteroffer supported by evidence. Leveraging the evidence collected during our investigation into your case might convince the defendant to settle at a higher amount. Unfortunately, some parties are unwilling to settle and would rather take their chances in court. If this happens to be true in your situation, we can help you present your case in front of a jury.
Our attorneys will analyze your claim from every angle to determine what sort of legal strategy is ideal for protecting you and your family’s financial interests. Our goal is to help you recover as much compensation as possible for your injuries.
Proving Fault in a Dallas Motorcycle Crash Lawsuit
Like most states, Texas is a fault insurance state with regard to auto accidents. In order to be compensated for a motorcycle accident injury in Dallas, a crash victim must be able to prove that the other driver acted with either negligence or recklessness.
Most personal injury claims involve one or more defendants who acted negligently. Negligence is a legal term that describes a failure to take the precautions that a reasonable person would take in order to reduce the risk of a foreseeable accident occurring. Gross negligence describes an extreme form of negligence for which a certain type of compensation called punitive damages may be available. Remember, unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages seek to punish the other driver, while also acting as a deterrent. To prove negligence, we must first show that the driver owed you a duty of care at the time of the accident. We must then prove that a breach of duty occurred, which we can achieve by submitting eyewitness statements and surveillance footage as proof in your lawsuit.
You may be familiar with the term “reckless driving.” However, “recklessness” is not merely a descriptive term, as it has a legal definition. A person acts with recklessness when he or she is aware of but knowingly disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk – in short, when a person ignores a known risk which is not justified by the circumstances at hand.
Similar to a prosecutor in a criminal trial, the claimant or plaintiff has the “burden of proof,” which means he or she is responsible for proving that the other party acted with negligence or recklessness, and was at fault for the accident. This process of proving fault may draw on various forms of physical and non-physical evidence, including but not limited to accident footage, crash site photographs, expert testimony, medical records, statements from eyewitnesses, wreck analysis, and more.
Recoverable Damages in Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Compensatory and punitive damages may be available to motorcycle injury victims in Dallas, depending on the details of their claims. Compensatory damages seek to make victims whole again following accidents, while punitive damages seek to punish defendants for their gross negligence.
Economic damages can cover an injury victim’s financial losses, such as medical bills and lost income. Examples of economic damages could include costs related to or arising from things like ambulance transportation, crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, braces, and other medical devices, hospitalization, loss of benefits, loss of income, wages, or other earnings, and stiches or surgery, among other expenses. As you incur losses, provide records of them to our lawyers. This can allow us to more accurately calculate your economic damages and provide proof of them to the jury in your case. Economic damages are not limited for injury victims in Dallas.
Non-economic damages try to compensate a crash survivor for their non-financial losses, such as the pain and suffering experienced by the accident victim. Non-economic damages include compensation for, where applicable, disfigurement, inconvenience, loss of companionship and society, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and physical impairment or loss of function. Proving non-economic damages requires different tactics than proving economic damages, as pain and suffering does not have a price tag. Because of this, our motorcycle accident lawyers may encourage you to see a mental health professional or otherwise document your emotional difficulties so that we can successfully demonstrate your reduced quality of life following a motorcycle crash in Dallas. There are no limits on how much juries can award victims in non-economic damages in Texas.
You may be awarded punitive damages at trial if you were injured because of gross negligence while riding your motorcycle in Dallas. Punitive damages are only awarded by juries when cases go to trial. According to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.008(b), punitive damages in Texas are capped at $200,000 or twice the economic damages awarded plus up to $750,000 in awarded non-economic damages, whichever amount is greater. Punitive damages are not guaranteed for all motorcycle injury victims in Dallas.
Review Your Claim with Our Dallas Motorcycle Crash Attorneys Today
To get help with your case from The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., call our motorcycle accident lawyers now at (817) 476-1797.