Motorcycle accidents remain one of the main dangers on the road both in Houston and other US cities. According to a report released by the Texas Department of Transportation, 500 people suffered fatal injuries after these incidents in 2020. Another report published in 2021 showed that the number had risen in just 12 months, reporting that 521 two-wheeler operators and passengers were killed in a traffic incident that year. Safety officials are alarmed by such figures since, on average, at least one motorcyclist is killed on Texas roads every day. Additionally, some cities, including Houston, are particularly hazardous for two-wheeler operators due to the congested traffic they often have. Most motorcycle accidents causing serious or fatal injuries involve cars or other vehicles operated by negligent or reckless drivers. Therefore, when an incident occurs because of others' conduct, riders should know the actions to take to fight for their rights and seek compensation. In these cases, calling a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer is the best decision those involved in motorcycle crashes can make! Houston motorcycle accident lawyers can help victims hold at-fault parties accountable for their conduct and get the money they deserve and need after a devastating crash. At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we have a skilled team of experienced motorcycle accident attorneys ready to help riders and other affected parties in Houston, Texas, build a solid case to pursue compensation, negotiate with the insurance company, and more. Here's a look at everything we can do!
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What Our Clients Have To Say
I have worked with Schuerger Shunnarah twice and they have been very helpful on my personal injury cases. They went above and beyond my expectations and did a great job both times.
- Ashley C.
Schuerger Shunnarah helped me receive a settlement on my case in just months. I was treated with respect and dignity. Thanks to their help, I have been able to get my life back to normal.
- Michael S.
They provided me with excellent service throughout my personal injury case. They were available to answer my questions and helped me understand the process. I am very grateful for them!
- Deshawn B.
Leading Causes of Houston Motorcycle Accidents
According to information collected by the Texas Department of Transportation, many motorcycle crashes occur when a motorist fails to see the rider before impact. Drivers often misjudge the two-wheel vehicle's distance and speed before making left turns or other maneuvers in front of the oncoming motorcyclist, causing collisions or other incidents.
Furthermore, a Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) report showed that at least one-third of the motorcycle fatalities recorded in Texas were intersection-related or occurred at an intersection. The investigation also concluded that drivers' inattention was another of the leading causes of these incidents.
Overall, these are the main factors that contribute to motorcycle fatalities in Texas and other US states:
As mentioned, left turns are among the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. Many crashes occur after a driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, especially when driving through an intersection or trying to pass another vehicle.
Unfortunately, in these cokes, motorcyclists tend to suffer more severe injuries since two-wheelers don't have the same protections as other vehicles. The worst accidents caused by left turns could end in permanent disability or death.
Due to the risks that this move poses to motorcyclists' and other drivers' safety, Texas considers lane splitting illegal. However, it happens sometimes.
Lane splitting means a person rides a motorcycle between lanes or rows of stopped or slow-moving traffic. Many accidents occur when a rider splits lanes while a car is approaching too closely.
Other incidents are also caused by drivers' misjudgment of their vehicles' proximity to motorcycles, motorists' lack of anticipation that a rider might try to pass them, or the reduced space that two-wheeler operators often have to maneuver.
Poor Weather Conditions
Many crashes are also caused by the elements or hazardous weather conditions, including rain (wet roads) or inclement weather. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to collisions caused by rain, wind, and fog.
In Texas, a highway crash occurs every 56 seconds. According to a report published by the Texas Department of Insurance, over 10% or nearly 60,000 accidents are caused by poor weather conditions.
Improper Road Conditions
Furthermore, many accidents are caused by bad road conditions or related issues. If there are potholes or debris on the road, the chances of having a motorcycle crash are higher, for example.
While many people love to ride motorcycles at high speeds to get an adrenaline rush, speeding is one of the leading causes of collisions and other traffic accidents.
When car and two-wheeler operators pick up speed on roads that are not designed for fast riding or driving, they risk getting into a motorcycle accident.
Unsafe Lane Switching
Whether hoping to overtake another vehicle or a parked truck, car drivers are encouraged to check blind spots before switching lanes. Otherwise, they could cause collisions with oncoming motorcyclists and severely injure them.
Driving while drunk or intoxicated also remains one of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents. A driver's reaction time, judgment, and control while on the road can be affected by alcohol or other controlled substances. When this occurs, the risk of causing/having a motorcycle crash or other incidents increases.
Red Light Running
Failing to comply with traffic regulations can also lead to numerous accidents. In fact, red-light runners cause hundreds of deaths and severe injuries each year.
Therefore, drivers and motorcyclists are encouraged to take safety precautions and respect traffic regulations to avoid crashes or other incidents involving red light running.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-way
Some laws and traffic signals require a driver to surrender the right of way. If a driver proceeds at an intersection instead of allowing another driver with the right-of-way to do so, it's considered a "failure to yield."
Besides violating traffic laws and being subject to penalties or other punishments, failure to yield the right-of-way can cause motorcycle accidents.
Since motorcycles are complex vehicles with different components, working parts, and systems, some design defects and mechanical failures can occur. Unfortunately, these failures can lead to devastating accidents and result in severe injuries or even death.
Whether the motorcycle accident was caused by defects in the vehicle, another driver's recklessness, or a motorist's failure to comply with some traffic rules, victims should seek legal assistance.
A Houston Motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm can help those involved in a motorcycle wreck hold at-fault parties accountable for the injuries and suffering their negligent actions caused.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Victim Experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Besides suffering physical injuries, those involved in motorcycle crashes can experience psychological trauma. One of the most common mental health issues injured motorcyclists often experience is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These are some PTSD symptoms that a motorcyclist may experience after an accident:
Flashbacks, reliving the accident
Hypervigilance, which describes a state of heightened alertness that makes victims anticipate danger even when they shouldn't
Intrusive thoughts and memories of the tragic accident
Extreme fear response
Loss of interest in daily activities
Withdrawal from family and friends
A person who has been involved in a severe motorcycle accident should seek help from both a doctor and a mental health professional.
If the collision has significantly affected their lives and caused profound suffering or mental anguish, victims can seek help from Houston motorcycle accident attorneys and take legal action against liable parties.
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How to Get Compensation for a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Under the Texas legal system, motorcycle accident victims have two options to recover compensation: file a claim with the negligent party's insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Should Victims in a Motorcycle Wreck File a Claim With the Insurance Company?
One of the first steps people often take to get compensation after a motorcycle accident is to file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company.
Filing an insurance claim seems straightforward. However, the process can be time-consuming, complicated, intimidating, and challenging, especially for first-timers.
Most insurance companies always try to limit the payments awarded to victims by questioning their liability or arguing about their injuries and losses' extent. Furthermore, many offer only a fraction of what those affected truly deserve after a devastating crash.
In other words, the other party's insurance company may be greedy and make a lowball offer, expecting uninformed victims to accept tiny sums. Some even have those affected sign contracts waiving their right to take further legal action regarding the motorcycle accident.
Therefore, victims should always seek help from the best motorcycle accident lawyers to carefully review the offer and reach a fair settlement with the insurance company.
At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we know that those involved in motorcycle incidents should seek the advice of seasoned lawyers before agreeing to or signing anything. Otherwise, they may accept an unfair settlement that won't really help them recover after the crash or cover major expenses.
That's why we are ready to help all victims negotiate with negligent parties' insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve after such a stressful and devastating experience.
Can Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Help Victims File a Claim?
If the insurance claim is not successful or is insufficient to cover all expenses related to the motorcycle accident, professional and caring attorneys can help victims file a claim.
Filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit may be the right solution when the case cannot be settled out of court because the negligent party refuses to negotiate fair compensation.
While most people involved in crashes end up reaching settlements before trial, in some cases, filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is what victims should do to get the justice they deserve and protect their rights.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys can be victims' best allies in these cases. Our mission is to help those affected to obtain the best possible results.
We are committed to accompanying them at every step of the legal process and going the extra mile to build a successful motorcycle accident case.
First, we will try to negotiate with the liable party's insurance company to reach a favorable settlement. If negotiations do not yield the expected results, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers are willing to represent victims at trial if needed.
Who Is Liable In a Houston Motorcycle Crash?
Even those who are lucky enough to walk away unharmed in a motorcycle accident may spend huge amounts of money to cover all related expenses.
In addition to medical check-ups and motorcycle repairs, riders may have to defend their motorcycle accident case to prove they are not guilty. Also, most crashes come with many losses.
Fortunately, by working with a seasoned Houston motorcycle accident lawyer, those affected can learn about the Texas legal system, fight for their rights, and evaluate all available options to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions and get compensation.
In a situation as stressful as a motorcycle accident, victims need a professional ally by their side to get the best possible outcome.
Therefore, seeking help from a motorcycle accident attorney to determine if the other party's negligence caused the crash and prove that fact is the best way to go.
According to Texas law, a rider involved in a motorcycle wreck can hold another party accountable for their injuries and losses if their negligence or recklessness caused the accident.
In this sense, many parties could be at-fault in a Houston motorcycle accident, including the following:
Drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way
Impaired drivers or those driving under the influence or while intoxicated
Drivers who make improper lane changes
Drivers who violate traffic laws or road safety regulations
Transportation departments that fail to fix dangerous or defective roads
Companies selling defective motorcycles
Companies creating inappropriate motorcycle designs
Companies manufacturing defective motorcycle parts
Since motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see on the road, motorists are required to pay close attention before making any moves to avoid accidents.
Furthermore, companies selling or manufacturing motorcycles must do some tests to make sure that their vehicles work properly and don't pose risks for all users and passengers.
Therefore, motorcycle accident victims can seek legal help to identify negligent parties and hold them accountable for the injuries or suffering they experienced due to their reckless actions.
They were polite and really cared throughout the entire process and made me feel like my case was important. I would highly recommend them to anyone that didn’t get a fair offer from the insurance company like me!
- Brian D.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured in accidents than drivers and passengers in cars or other vehicles.
Even if the crash involving the two-wheeler is minor, riders can be seriously affected since they are completely exposed to the elements around them. A low-speed collision, for example, could throw motorcyclists off their vehicles. Consequently, they can suffer broken bones, lacerations, road rash, bruises, cuts, and more.
While wearing a helmet, gloves, or other safety gear can protect motorcyclists from some injuries, most of these items can't shield riders from what a collision with a large vehicle can cause.
Motorcycle accident injuries can vary in severity, type, and nature. These are the most common:
Fractures: Many motorcycle accidents cause fractures, which may include a brace, boot, cast, or splint. Even if they are minor, they can take months to heal. Some even require surgical implantation.
Internal injuries: Many people don't feel pain or see physical wounds after a motorcycle accident. However, that doesn't mean that they have not suffered injuries since many appear days after the crash or are only noticeable by experienced doctors.
Face and head injuries: Many motorcyclists wear helmets without face guards or don't use safety gear at all. Therefore, they can suffer serious face and head injuries, including fractured cheekbones or broken noses. Some may require surgery or cause disfigurement.
Dental injuries: Motorcycle accidents can also cause dental injuries, such as broken jaws and chipped teeth. Besides requiring expensive treatments that could last for weeks, they can affect victims' lifestyles, diets, and appearances.
Soft tissue injuries: This type of injury causes damage to synovial membranes, skin, fat, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. Many motorcyclists don't seek medical attention after an accident. However, these types of wounds need to be treated promptly. Otherwise, they could greatly detriment people's health.
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): These injuries are common after motorcycle accidents and can be severe and dangerous, causing total or partial paralysis in many cases.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Motorcycle accident victims may also suffer these injuries and experience painful symptoms for months. In the worst-case scenario, TBIs could cause long-term disabilities or permanently impair people's physical or cognitive functioning.
Even if the motorcycle accident is minor, those involved can suffer serious injuries that leave life-long consequences. Many can affect their lives permanently and cause disabilities that impact their future and well-being.
Therefore, motorcycle accident victims are entitled to seek legal help from experienced lawyers to build a solid case and seek the compensation they deserve.
Anyone's life, health, and future should be affected by others' negligence and recklessness. Our motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to help all people who have suffered injuries in these incidents fight for their rights.
How Much Is a Motorcycle Accident in Houston Worth?
All people affected by a motorcycle accident incur extensive losses and expenses. Besides dealing with serious injuries, many face a lot of stress and frustration due to the expensive bills they must pay.
As mentioned, motorcycle accident injuries can vary in terms of severity and type. If they suffer the most severe ones, people could spend millions of dollars in medical bills, especially if they have disabilities that require lifelong rehabilitation and treatment.
In addition, those who are involved in a motorcycle wreck also face property losses. Repairing a two-wheeler can be as expensive as buying a new one in many cases.
However, if they work with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to build their cases, victims can get fair compensation.
A seasoned motorcycle accident lawyer will go the extra mile to negotiate with the at-fault party's insurance company to get a fair settlement and recover as much money as possible. These are the most common:
According to local laws, economic damages must be proven with documents (such as invoices) and are awarded to offset the financial expenses related to the motorcycle crash. These may include:
Ambulance and EMT care costs
Expenses for medical devices and medical equipment to treat serious injuries
Surgery, including plastic, corrective, and emergency surgery, depending on the wound
Physical therapy, if necessary
Rehabilitation, including future expenses
Prescribed and over-the-counter medication
Costs related to motorcycle repairs or replacement
Loss of income during recovery
Loss of earning capacity if the victims suffer a permanent disability after the motorcycle crash
Economic damages are recoverable as long as the victims can prove their financial losses. In addition, many include current and future expenses.
Texas law also states that victims of a motorcycle accident can recover non-economic damages. Value these payouts can be difficult as they are not quantifiable like the economic ones. However, they may include the following:
Disfigurement and scarring
Loss of quality of life
Loss of consortium
Since victims don't obtain bills or receipts for these damages, establishing a cost for compensation often takes time and is difficult.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Houston?
As mentioned, a motorcycle accident victim could also be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering damages. Typically, the sum is calculated based on the economic damages (they are often multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5).
If the trauma is severe, victims may be able to recover a higher sum. A person who sustained a serious spinal cord injury and requires surgery, cannot return to work, and suffers from permanent limited mobility could be awarded $500,000 in economic damages, for example.
Before suffering a motorcycle crash, that person used to enjoy a few days of hiking with the family or competing in some races. However, after the accident, they are unable to do all of these activities again and suffer emotional distress.
In that case, the multiplier for the motorcycle accident injury case is usually four. As a result, victims can win $2,000,000 in pain and suffering damages, meaning they could be awarded $2,500,000 in total.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Victim Recover Punitive Damages in Houston?
Although some people may be awarded punitive damages, it is not common in Texas since victims must prove with solid evidence that the at-fault party acted with malice, fraud, or gross negligence.
Therefore, punitive damages are often awarded only when the defendant has shown clear and indisputable disregard for the victims' safety or acted with the intent to cause damage.
Furthermore, punitive damages are usually reserved for the most serious cases, including those involving drunk drivers or aggressive motorists who intentionally ran victims down.
Proving Negligence in a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Most motorcycle collisions can be avoided if all parties comply with traffic regulations and follow the safety precautions recommended by authorities and regulatory agencies. However, it doesn't always happen.
When a person is injured in a motorcycle accident, they have the right to file a personal injury claim and hold other parties accountable for their recklessness. However, to be successful in these cases, victims must prove negligence.
The term "negligence" describes when a person acts unreasonably in some circumstances and their actions end up harming others.
If negligence is the basis for a motorcycle accident claim, plaintiffs must prove all of its elements, which include the following:
Duty - It is when the defendant owes victims a duty of care. If they had to drive carefully or surrender the right-of-way and comply with traffic laws, it is considered a duty of care, for example.
Breach - It defines the defendant's breach of duty of care; for example if they had to drive safely but used the phone while on the road.
Causation - The at-fault parties' actions must be the direct and proximate cause of the injuries the victims sustained due to the accident. Causation is proven when the defendant was texting while driving and failed to see that the motorcyclist was approaching or moving through an intersection and caused a crash that severely injures the rider.
Damages - They can be proven if victims suffer identifiable harm and losses, including medical bills, permanent impairment, loss of income, emotional trauma, and more.
In motorcycle accident cases, victims must prove negligence through the preponderance of the evidence. In simple terms, their arguments must be more likely true. They are considered a burden of proof.
What Evidence Should Victims Gather to Prove Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case in Houston?
Anyone who has suffered a motorcycle accident in Houston and takes legal action against the at-fault party must gather evidence to prove that they were injured by others' negligent actions.
Here are some useful proofs in these cases:
Photographs of the accident scene
Photographs of the wounds
Video footage of the accident
The clothes the victims wore at the time of the accident
Expert testimonies and reports
Proof of loss of income, including bank records, W2s, or paystubs
Collecting evidence is one of the most important steps in any motorcycle crash case. However, as victims must focus on their recovery after a dangerous accident, their efforts to find evidence may be hampered.
Fortunately, a motorcycle accident attorney can help! Professional attorneys have years of experience in similar lawsuits and can collect evidence to prove negligence and help victims win their cases.
Therefore, before taking any other steps after the accident, victims should contact a reputable law firm and hire a trustworthy attorney to build a solid case with enough evidence to hold other parties accountable for their reckless actions.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Victims
Being in a motorcycle accident is traumatic and scary enough. Victims should not have to go through a time-consuming process to seek justice and hold liable parties accountable for their actions.
Gladly, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can lend them a hand. Besides providing legal assistance to victims, professionals are familiar with the Texas legal system and can assist those affected at every step of the process.
When victims work with seasoned personal injury attorneys to file motorcycle claims, the chances of obtaining favorable results are higher since experts know the system's intricacies and how to deal with these cases to get the desired outcome.
Moreover, in addition to filing the motorcycle accident claim, attorneys go the extra mile to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages while giving victims peace of mind during such a complicated and devastating period.
These are some of the things a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer can do for those who have been affected by these crashes:
Collect evidence to prove negligence
Build a strong and successful case
Negotiate with the other driver's insurance company until reaching a fair settlement
Represent victims in court if the case escalates
Gather witness testimony
Calculate damages based on the victims' financial expenses
Fight for victims' rights
Why Choose Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
Our law firm has a professional team with years of experience in motor vehicle accident cases willing to help all victims take legal action to get the compensation they deserve.
Filing motorcycle accident claims is a complicated process for everyone involved. However, with the right lawyers, those affected can fight for their rights and recover compensation for all the expenses they had to cover due to the crash.
We understand that going through all of this can be frustrating and discouraging for those who already have to cope with the physical pain and emotional anguish caused by an accident. Therefore, we are committed to providing victims with the help they need to deal with all these difficulties.
What Makes Us Stand Out From the Competition
Here are some of the reasons so many Houston residents choose us to file a motorcycle accident claim and help them through the entire process:
We have years and years of experience in similar cases.
Our team goes the extra mile to obtain the best possible compensation for victims.
We make sure that each of our clients is treated with compassion and respect.
We have in-depth knowledge of dealing with complex motorcycle accident cases.
Our attorneys know all the tactics to negotiate a fair settlement with the other driver's insurance company.
We offer a free consultation for all victims who need help.
Our services have no hidden costs.
We truly care about victims and do everything we can to get the best results for them.
Call Us Today and Get a Free Consultation!
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys law firm has the motorcycle accident injury lawyer you have been looking for!
We understand that motor vehicle accidents can be complicated and devastating. However, we are ready to help victims fight to get justice. If you are one of them, don't hesitate to contact us. Call us today and get a free consultation! We go to war for you!