Approximately two-thirds of motorcycle accidents are caused, not by motorcyclists, but by other drivers on the road. Yet sadly, motorcyclists end up being the ones with more severe injuries in these accidents since they have less protection than those in passenger vehicles.
As a motorcyclist on the road, it’s important for you to understand the common causes of motorcycle accidents and how to protect your rights if you’re involved in one.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In Texas, the majority of motorcycle accidents happen when motorists fail to see motorcyclists on the road. This often happens when motorists do not check their blind spots before changing lanes.
Other common causes of Texas motorcycle accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Poor weather conditions
Hazardous road conditions
Vehicles pulling out in front of motorcycles
Left turns at intersections
Motorcycle accidents have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 5.1% increase in the number of motorcyclist deaths from 2015 to 2016. Texas ranked third in the number of motorcyclist deaths in 2016 with 456 motorcycle accident deaths across the state.
According to an infographic provided by the motorcycle accident lawyers at Roman & Gaynor, the top five hazards that motorcyclists face on the road include: potholes, slick pavement, debris in the road, missing traffic signs, and animals in the road.
Top Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles do not provide as much protection to their riders as passenger vehicles. As such, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in traffic crashes than occupants of cars.
The most common injuries that motorcyclists suffer in such accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
Traumatic brain injuries
Back and neck injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Broken bones or fractures
Injuries requiring amputation
There are certain measures that motorcyclists can take to reduce their risk of a catastrophic injury during a crash, including wearing a helmet.
The NHTSA estimates that the use of motorcycle helmets saved over 1,800 lives during 2016. Motorcycle helmets are thought to be 37% more effective in preventing motorcyclists’ deaths. Sadly though, the NHTSA reports that 54% of the people killed in motorcycle accidents in Texas in 2016 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
According to Texas state law, motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. If you’re above the age of 21, statistics have shown that it’s in your best interest to wear a helmet whenever you are riding a motorcycle.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Even if you do wear a helmet and take all appropriate safety precautions when riding, accidents may still happen through no fault of your own.
If you become involved in a motorcycle accident, taking the following measures can help protect your rights:
Get to the side of the road. If able, move to the side of the road and out of harm’s way.
Check to see if anyone requires medical attention. Call emergency services if anyone requires urgent assistance.
Call 911. The responding officer’s police report can provide supporting evidence that you were not at-fault in the crash.
Do not remove your helmet or gear. Your helmet and gear may be providing the additional support your head and spine need after the crash. Refrain from removing them until the paramedics arrive.
Seek medical attention. Make sure to get medical attention for all injuries, even those that seem minor. Retain all medical records as proof that the accident caused you harm.
Do not apologize to the other motorist. Even a simple apology may later be used against you to determine fault.
Exchange contact information. Make sure to get the other driver’s contact information, vehicle information, and insurance information.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Motorcycle accidents can be more complicated than traditional car accidents. As such, it’s in your best interest to contact a qualified personal injury attorney who can represent your best interests throughout the process.
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Motorcycle Accident
Many people are under the impression that most motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclists themselves. While this is false, it’s still in your best interest to retain the experience of a qualified personal injury attorney who can protect your rights throughout this ordeal.
One of our Corpus Christi personal injury attorneys can do the following for you in the wake of a motorcycle accident:
Inspect and document the accident scene.
Interview and document the statements of eyewitnesses.
Collect physical evidence from the accident scene and the motorcycle.
Obtain and review the police report.
Review the other motorist’s driving history.
Recreate the accident with a reconstructionist and other experts.
Review medical records and work with medical practitioners to obtain a permanent impairment rating.
File an insurance claim on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company for compensation of damages.
File a personal injury lawsuit and prepare for trial.
Since motorcycle accidents can be more complicated than car accidents, it’s a good idea for you to work with an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of this process and can help you recover the maximum possible compensation.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a Texas motorcycle accident, our personal injury attorneys at Bandas Law Firm are here to help. Our team is well-versed in Texas motorcycle laws that govern these types of accident claims.
We’ll work closely with you, your medical providers, and experts in the field to build a strong case against negligent parties.
Contact Bandas Law Firm at (361) 238-2789 to learn how we may assist you.