Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Being in an accident can be a traumatic experience. In addition to the possibly devastating consequences of personal injury, there are legal issues to consider. From insurance claims to court filings, dealing with a motorcycle accident is not an easy task, and it can often take away your focus from what’s most important. That is why getting professional but compassionate legal advice is essential to motorcycle victims in Houston, Texas, and neighboring areas, including Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, and Brazoria County. Our attorneys are prepared to support you, so reach out today.
Steps to Take When in a Motorcycle Accident in Texas
The following steps are crucial to take when involved in a motorcycle accident in Texas:
Get medical attention. A trip to the emergency room may be necessary, depending on the severity of personal injuries. Follow-up doctor’s appointments and hospital visits are recommended to track injuries, even if they are “minor.”
Document the accident. Gathering the right documentation is key when involved in a motorcycle accident. Documentation – such as driver information exchange cards, witness contact information, police reports, insurance liability decisions, and medical records – will serve to document a personal injury claim down the road.
Contact your insurance. While it may not be possible to contact insurance at the accident scene, it is essential to do so as soon as possible. While there is a two-year limit to file a personal injury claim in Texas, it is always best to file personal injury claims as soon as possible.
Hire a personal injury attorney. Don’t go at it alone. Going through a personal injury claim without the assistance of a personal injury attorney can become overwhelming. A professional personal injury attorney can take care of the heavy lifting while accident victims recover from their injuries. Additionally, getting the right legal counsel can help motorcycle accident victims protect their rights to fair compensation.
Motorcycle Laws in Texas
There are specific laws to follow if you want to drive a motorcycle lawfully. Here is a breakdown of motorcycle laws in Texas:
In general, motorcycles must observe the same traffic rules and regulations as all other motor vehicles on the road.
Operating a motorcycle requires a class M license in Texas. This requirement extends to three-wheeled bikes, motorized cycles, and mopeds.
Texas law requires motorcycle operations and passengers to wear helmets when riding a motorbike. However, motorcycle riders over 21 have completed the Motorcycle Operator Training Course and, with at least $10,000 in medical insurance, may ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
Passengers under 21 must wear a helmet regardless of medical coverage. Motorcycle operators cannot carry a motorcycle passenger unless the motorbike is outfitted with a permanent passenger seat.
Please note that lane splitting is not permitted. Riding alongside another motorcycle operator does not allow room to maneuver. However, riding in a staggered formation is a good way to help oncoming traffic spot motorcycle operators.
Motorcycles must be outfitted with the standard required equipment relative to a safe motorbike, such as wheel assembly, exhaust system, tail lamp, stop light, license plate lamp, rear red reflector, headlamps, vehicle identification number, horn, mirror, steering mechanism, brakes, and well-treaded tires. Failure to operate a motorcycle without any of these items may result in a fine.
There are no current laws regulating muffler or exhaust decibel levels in Texas.
Determining Accident Liability in Texas
Please note that Texas is an at-fault state. This condition means that the party or parties responsible for an accident must cover their damages along with third-party damages and personal injuries.
There are two key issues to consider regarding liability:
First, negligence is a key factor in determining liability. Negligence refers to acting recklessly or failing to act prudently. For example, using a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle is a classic case of negligence. Similarly, operating an unsafe motor vehicle is a cause of negligence.
Proving negligence is a key component in any personal injury case. The motorcycle accident victim must prove the at-fault party was negligent at the time of the accident. Documenting an accident helps provide enough evidence of negligence in a motorcycle accident.
Second, motorcycle accident victims must take comparative negligence into account. Comparative negligence means that all parties involved share a part of the liability. For instance, liability could be determined as 50/50, 60/40, 70/30, and so on.
Comparative negligence boils down to a decision made by the insurance companies following the accident investigation. Please bear in mind that all insurance companies involved must accept the liability decision. The parties in the accident may appeal the liability decision by taking the case to court.
Filing a Claim on Behalf of a Loved One in Texas
Family members and their attorneys can file a personal injury claim when an accident victim dies or is permanently or temporarily disabled. In this situation, it is highly recommended that family members enlist the services of a professional personal injury attorney.
The basis of a solid personal injury claim is proving negligence on the liable party. Criminal charges may ensue depending on the nature of the negligence. For example, a wrongful death claim may hinge on a drunk driver causing a motorcycle accident. The police report and medical records can prove the liable party was driving under the influence.
Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys Serving
Finding the right personal injury attorney can help motorcycle accident victims, and their families get fair compensation. At Ellis & Thomas, PLLC, we are prepared to handle personal injury claims. Our professional staff is ready to answer all of your questions. Contact us today to get the help of a professional personal injury firm you can trust.