Motorcycle accidents can be devastating.
Compared to passenger vehicles, motorcycles provide very limited personal protection for the driver.
This means that a motorcycle accident almost always results in serious injury. Serious injuries mean serious costs.
A motorcycle accident can impact your ability to work or at least result in lost wages while you recuperate.
If you were injured in a San Antonio motorcycle accident, you need the help of an experienced San Antonio motorcycle accident attorney to fight for your case.
For assistance, please contact us for a free case consultation.
San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcyclists are more likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than other vehicle drivers. And Texans make up a significant portion of those motorcycle fatalities.
With over 400,000 registered motorcycles in the state, Texas is third only to Florida and California in the number of motorcycle riders killed each year.
Only 25% of all motorcycle accidents in San Antonio are single-vehicle accidents. The other 75% involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. This statistic highlights the significant danger other drivers pose to motorcyclists.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident involving another vehicle, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to help you file your claim and seek maximum recovery.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are inherently vulnerable to the mistakes of other drivers.
The most common cause of motorcycle accidents is the inability of other drivers on the road to spot and accommodate motorcyclists.
Although motorcycle accidents happen for a variety of reasons, other common causes of such accidents include:
- Drunk or impaired driving,
- Distracted driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Following too closely,
- Running red lights or stop signs,
- Uneven lanes,
- Hidden road hazards, and
- Driving in violation of other traffic safety laws.
It’s impossible to control other drivers on the road. For example, passenger vehicles have blind spots that often obscure motorcyclists, resulting in those drivers changing lanes too closely in front of motorcycles. With these kinds of hazards on Texas roadways, it is important to protect yourself while riding a motorcycle in Texas.
Texas Helmet Law
Under Texas law, all motorcyclists under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. Motorcyclists over 21 are not required to wear a helmet if they have completed a motorcycle safety course or carry health insurance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal motorcycle injuries.
Other Texas Motorcycle Laws
Other Texas laws related to motorcycles include:
- Prohibition on passengers under the age of 5, unless seated in an attached sidecar;
- Prohibition on wearing headphones while driving a motorcycle;
- Required use of daytime headlights (for vehicles manufactured in or after 1975);
- Required yearly inspection at an Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Station; and
- Required designated passenger seat.
In spite of recent efforts to pass legislation authorizing the practice of lane-splitting, it is currently illegal to split lanes on a motorcycle in Texas. Motorcyclists who engage in lane-splitting can be ticketed for illegal passing, usually penalized with a $175 fine.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in San Antonio, Texas
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself.
First, don’t panic. Second, gather information.
Gathering vital evidence related to your accident provides you with the tools to negotiate with insurance companies.
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Call 911;
- Tend to any injured individuals;
- Exchange contact information with the other people involved, including any witnesses;
- Exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved;
- Take pictures of the scene, including all vehicles and motorcycles;
- File a police report;
- File an insurance claim; and
- Maintain all documents you receive related to the accident.
Motorcycle accidents are stressful and often life-altering. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery while your lawyer handles the paperwork.
Documenting Your Accident
Collecting evidence related to your motorcycle accident is a vital step in the process of recovering compensation.
Starting at the time of accident, you will need to collect and maintain documentation related to your accident, including:
- Accident reports;
- Insurance claim reports;
- Photographs of the scene and property damage;
- Written witness statements;
- Documentation of medical treatments;
- Proof of income and lost wages;
- Estimates of the cost of repairing your motorcycle; and
- Insurance information.
Documentation is a key component of winning a motorcycle accident case. Hiring an experienced San Antonio motorcycle accident lawyer will take some of the burden off your shoulders. An attorney will explain the different forms of documentation you will need to provide and can maintain these documents for you throughout your case.
Damages Available Under Texas Law
The goal of filing a lawsuit following a motorcycle accident is to win financial reimbursement for your injuries, lost wages, and property repair or replacement. This form of financial compensation is known as damages.
Texas litigants can recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Property damage,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Emotional anguish.
The amount of damages you can expect to recover depends on the specific facts of your case. Texas places a cap on the amount you can recover only for medical malpractice cases, punitive damages, and suits against public entities.
Though of course financial compensation can’t solve every issue, it can certainly help you begin to rebuild your life following a life-changing event like a motorcycle accident.
Texas follows a pure comparative fault model for damages. Under this rule, your recovery is reduced according to your degree of fault.
For example, if the court determines you were 30% at fault for the accident, you can recover 70% of your damages. This rule allows you to recover even if you were at fault for your accident. However, the rule does bar recovery for anyone deemed 51% or more at fault.
Why The Zimmerman Law Firm Is the Best Choice for You
The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., has been representing injured motorcycle riders for decades. Our team of attorneys brings years of experience helping our clients win the compensation they need to get their lives back on track.
From our first meeting, we will walk you through the process of filing a claim, step by step. We will negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel. And we’ll take your case to trial if we feel that the settlement offers you received are inadequate.
We represent our clients on a contingency basis, meaning that we don’t recover our fees unless you win your case.
Contact a San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you are seeking compensation following a motorcycle accident in San Antonio, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your case.
The Zimmerman Law Firm has a significant history serving the needs of San Antonio and surrounding communities.
We pride ourselves on offering client-centered representation against greedy insurance companies. Let us do the work for you, so you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today, by email or by phone at (254) 752-9688, for a free case review.
We’ll explain your options and help you determine the best outcome for your case.
And remember, we don’t recover our fees unless you settle or win your case.