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Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Have You Been the Victim of a Motorcycle Accident in Houston?

Motorcycle accidents occur every day on the streets of Texas, and the resulting injuries can be severe and long-lasting. At Johnson Garcia LLP, we take the legal representation of injured motorcycle riders personally because founding partner Daniel Johnson, a licensed motorcycle rider for almost 30 years, understands the riding experience and the dangers that careless drivers can present to bike riders. When you or a loved one has been injured, call the Houston motorcycle accident attorneys of Johnson Garcia LLP to help protect your legal rights as a rider and to recover your damages.

Call us today at 832-844-6700 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney.

Motorcycling is a way of life for many people. Whether it is a weekend ride or a daily commute, riders share the roadways with larger automobiles and trucks. Too often, however, the drivers of those larger vehicles are distracted by careless texting, and the riders of motorcycles are the victims. Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents can often be severe, with life-changing and impacting implications. Motorcycle accidents often leave riders with ambulance, hospital, and related medical bills that can be overwhelming when coupled with lost time from work. Additionally, riders live through mental and physical pain and suffering following the accident and through rehab. Tragically, some riders do not survive.

When the unthinkable occurs, you need a team of experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyers you can trust to guide you through the process so you can focus on your health or the health of a loved one.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can occur for various reasons, with most falling under the categories of driver error, disobedience of traffic laws, and road conditions. Here are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:

Drunk or Distracted Drivers

Driver distractions and intoxicated driving are some of the leading causes of accidents on Texas roads. In 2022, about one in six crashes were caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving-related traffic crashes resulted in 487 deaths and 2,824 serious injuries that year.

Distractions take a driver’s attention away from driving, increasing the risk of a crash. On the other hand, riding under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or other illegal substances may result in an accident due to impaired judgment and a reduced ability to control the motorcycle.

Failure to Check Blind Spots

Motorcyclists should carefully check for traffic on either side of the road to avoid crashing into other vehicles. Failure to check their blind spots properly could lead to serious accidents. Due to the small size of motorcycles, other drivers can also crash into them if they fail to check their blind spots carefully.

Poor Road Conditions

Inclement weather, such as heavy rains and snow, and other road conditions, such as roadwork debris and large potholes, may hamper visibility or make riding riskier. When faced with such conditions, riders are usually at a higher risk of getting into an accident.

Other road conditions that pose a hazard to motorcyclists on Texas roads include:

  • Road debris
  • Loose gravel
  • Fallen tree branches
  • Uneven road surfaces
  • Slick surfaces
  • Railway tracks and crossings

Defective Vehicle Parts

While motorcycle manufacturers strive for perfection, there is usually the possibility of defective parts finding their way onto the market. Such parts could result in various issues, including braking, and lead to serious or catastrophic injuries due to motorcycle crashes.

Lane Splitting

Motorcycles are entitled to a whole lane of traffic. However, most motorcyclists are inclined to stripe-ride, especially in stationary or slow-moving traffic. Doing so puts them at risk of dooring accidents or crashes when vehicles merge.

Dooring Accidents

Accidents involving motorcycles may happen when the driver or passenger of a vehicle opens the door without checking for oncoming traffic. These cases are common when motorcyclists lane-split in traffic.

Tailgating

While motorcycles allow for maneuvering, quick navigation, and instant braking, riders risk rear-ending other vehicles if they don’t maintain a safe distance. Similarly, a driver tailgating a motorcycle may strike it from behind if the rider brakes abruptly.

Overcompensating for the Front Brake

When bikers apply too much braking pressure on the front brakes, extra weight tends to transfer to the front tire. In most cases, this force thrusts the rider over the handlebars, leaving them at risk of suffering serious injuries.

By working with experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP, you can better prove that another driver’s negligence resulted in the accident and caused your injuries. With over 35 years of experience, our attorneys can help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries by building a strong case against the other party and taking the case to trial if necessary.

Motorcycle Laws and Safety in Texas

Texas law requires riders to have a Class M driver’s license. In regards to helmets, it is mandatory for riders under 21 to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Those aged 21 and above aren’t mandated to wear helmets if they have completed a TDLR-approved motorcycle operator training course or have appropriate health insurance covering motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle operators in Texas can only carry passengers if their motorcycle has a spacious passenger seat, footrests, and handholds. Passengers must also be five or older, with those under 21 required to wear a helmet.

Motorcycle owners should also maintain minimum insurance coverage as follows:

  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per person in an accident
  • $60,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident

Common Injuries Sustained by Motorcycle Accident Victims

Since motorcycles aren’t enclosed, it’s not surprising that motorcyclists are likely to suffer more severe injuries than in other Houston auto accidents. Some of the most common accidents associated with motorcycle accidents include:

  • Road rash: Riders and passengers often suffer skin abrasions when they skid on the road or pavement.
  • Traumatic brain injuries from violent jolts or blows to the head or body
  • Fractured or broken bones, including shins, forearms, femurs, and pelvic bones
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Leg and foot injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Muscle injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Burns
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Organ damage and internal bleeding

Some of the injuries suffered by motorcyclists can be fatal. At Johnson Garcia LLP, our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers assist families that have lost a loved one due to fatal motorcycle accidents and help them get compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.

We understand that no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one. Still, we strive to make this loss more bearable by securing the dependents’ future.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Texas

Motorcycle accidents accounted for a significant portion of the total traffic crashes in Texas in 2022. Here are some facts about these accidents:

  • There were 562 motorcyclists (riders and passengers) killed in motorcycle accidents.
  • Motorcycle accident fatalities represented 12.5% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Approximately 39% of those who died in these accidents were not wearing helmets during the crash.
  • Motorcycle accidents resulted in 2,422 suspected serious injuries.
  • Motorcycle crashes resulted in about 3,148 suspected minor injuries.

2022 saw a significant rise in motorcycle fatalities compared to 2021. Most motorcycle crashes in 2022 were attributed to driver error. Wearing helmets when riding could significantly reduce the impact of such accidents.

What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Unfortunately, no matter how safe you are on the roads, nothing can completely eliminate the risk of a motorcycle accident. That being said, it’s equally important to remember that the steps you take after an accident can determine your long-term well-being and the outcome of your legal case.

Your first job is to seek immediate medical attention, even if you don’t believe you’ve been seriously injured. Shock can sometimes mask pain, and some serious injuries take time to manifest. Motorcycle accidents also tend to be more serious than regular vehicle accidents, often requiring critical care. Next, you’ll want to call the police and make sure they file an official report.

Getting a medical evaluation and a police report will put you on a more secure legal footing. At the end of the day, those records may prove invaluable when it comes to negotiating a settlement or winning a favorable verdict. Remember to call an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer near you to help you understand if you have a valid insurance claim.

Types of Compensation You Can Seek

Several factors determine the compensation you can get if you have been in a Houston motorcycle accident. Usually, the extent of damage and severity of injuries will influence the amount of compensation and the type of damages you receive in your injury claim. Generally, motorcycle accident victims can receive general and special damages after a motorcycle crash.

Special Damages

Special or economic damages are awarded to accident victims to compensate them for losses that can be easily calculated. Some of the most common economic damages in motorcycle accident claims include:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, or X-rays
  • Lost wages
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Home modifications and household assistance costs

General Damages

General or noneconomic damages are awarded to compensate accident victims for intangible losses that don’t have a particular dollar value, such as the suffering an injury causes after the accident. Some of the most common general damages in motorcycle accident cases include:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental health issues
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

At Johnson Garcia LLP, we help motorcycle accident victims determine the damages they may be entitled to. Our Houston motorcycle accident lawyers also help determine the dollar value of these damages by assessing your medical records and involving expert medical witnesses, pain management experts, or psychologists to evaluate your damages accurately.

Who Can Be Liable in a Motorcycle Accident Case?

A motorcycle crash can happen for various reasons, meaning that various parties can be liable for the accident. In most cases, it is the negligence of another driver that results in a crash. However, the following parties may also be responsible for a motorcycle accident:

  • Manufacturer. The motorcycle manufacturer may be liable for an accident if the cause was a malfunctioning system or a defective motorcycle part.
  • Repair facility. The negligence of a repair shop worker or manager, such as failure to tighten lug nuts or use the appropriate brake fluid, could be the direct cause of an accident, meaning that such parties will be responsible for the accident.
  • Property owner. Failure of property owners to make their property reasonably safe for motorcyclists could make them liable for a rider’s injuries in the event of an accident.
  • Government. The federal or state government may be liable for a motorcycle accident due to poor road conditions, such as potholes and missing traffic signs.

The Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP can help investigate your accident and determine all the parties liable for your losses, helping you maximize your compensation. Our trial-experienced attorneys are ready to argue your case before a judge if the involved insurance company disputes or undervalues your claim.

How To Deal With Insurance Companies After an Accident

Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They want to pay out as little as possible and close your claim quickly. Make sure they don’t undercut you by going in prepared. At a minimum, you need to understand your insurance policy and coverage details. Take the time to understand things like what bodily injury coverage is and who it covers, whether you have coverages on your policy that protect you — like comprehensive and collision — and whether you’re protected in case an uninsured or underinsured person injures you or causes damage to your property. Make sure you know the approximate Kelley Blue Book value of your motorcycle, and keep all medical bills related to your accident. If you decide to negotiate with the insurance company on your own, here are some tips:

  • Never accept their first payout offer. This is the minimum they’re willing to give you, and if you can prove you deserve more, you may get it.
  • Choose your words carefully, and never admit fault. Don’t say things like, “He came out of nowhere” or “I only looked down for a second.”
  • Don’t accept any deal that doesn’t seem fair or that you know will not cover your expenses and losses.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of your claim. Add up the cost of your motorcycle repairs, lost wages, medical treatment expenses resulting from the accident, etc.

The best way to ensure you get the best settlement is to hire an experienced Houston motorcycle accident attorney. The Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at the Johnson Garcia LLP firm know when insurance companies are trying to take advantage of people to get a claim off their books. We’ll fight for your rights to get you the best settlement.

How We Can Help You After an Accident

Our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys at Johnson Garcia LLP know it can be a confusing and emotional time after an accident. Your whole life might have been turned upside down. Not being able to work or struggling to pay mounting medical bills can be incredibly difficult and stressful.

Building a good case requires professional experience and care. Whether you’re fighting for medical coverage from the insurance company or are in a dispute with another party involved in the crash, you can trust us to:

  • Provide a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
  • Gather and organize all relevant information to build an accurate picture of what happened and create a strong case.
  • Walk you through the legal process, including explaining your legal rights and obligations, as well as filing the necessary paperwork.
  • Reference relevant laws and legal precedents as necessary.
  • Help you understand the process of seeking disability for injuries that keep you from working.
  • Seek the full amount of coverage up to insurance policy limits.

Are There Any Upfront Costs for Hiring a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Most people think an attorney is unaffordable, so they never even make that first call to a law firm. Insurance companies know this and may undercut you when it comes time to payout. What many people don’t know is that some attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid nothing if they don’t win your case. And if they do win, they receive a portion of the settlement (typically 33–40%). Nothing comes out of your pocket. This is precisely how Johnson Garcia LLC operates.

Our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, and there are no up-front costs to hire one of our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys. If we don’t win your case, you pay nothing. Why do we do this? Because we’re confident that if we take on your case, we’ll win. Call us at 832-844-6700 to set up your free consultation today.

Call Our Experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today

As soon as you’re medically stable, it’s time to file an insurance claim and contact an experienced Houston motorcycle accident lawyer, particularly if your accident occurred due to the negligent actions of another person. Motorcycle accident cases can be complex, and insurance companies are often tight-fisted, especially in cases where the motorcyclists were not wearing helmets. Only a seasoned Houston motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the maze that is the legal system.

With a lawyer in your corner, you stand the best chance of collecting liability insurance and damages in the form of lost wages and medical bills. The Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP are experienced accident attorneys who will fight for your rights if you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident. Contact us now for a free case evaluation. Let fellow motorcycle rider and founding partner Daniel Johnson listen to your story to see if we can help!

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