Driving a motorcycle is inherently riskier than operating any other motor vehicle. It is important to know your rights on the roadway and obtain proper insurance. Even when all precautions are followed, accidents can still occur. In many cases, another driver is at fault in a motorcycle accident. Those involved in a crash should consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the collision to discuss their case and get the compensation they deserve.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
Motorcycle accidents can be more complicated than other personal injury cases because of the different rules and regulations governing motorcycles. An experienced trial attorney will be well-versed in these laws and know how to apply them properly after an accident.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to collect any evidence to find and hold the responsible party or parties liable. This may include obtaining an accident report, contacting witnesses from the scene, and talking to expert witnesses, including crash scene investigators. An experienced attorney will know what evidence is necessary for a successful case.
Most personal injury cases are settled outside of a courtroom, and a lawyer will be able to properly facilitate the negotiations between the parties. They will also be able to discuss a possible settlement with the insurance company. If necessary, a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to take your case to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached.
Who is Liable After a Motorcycle Accident?
Multiple parties can be held liable after a motorcycle accident. Most of the time, the liable party is another motorist on the road. However, there are times when other, additional parties can also be found liable for the injuries resulting from a wreck.
A vehicle manufacturing company could be found liable for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident if it was caused by defective parts or a defective motorcycle. Whether a motorist sustained injuries as a result of a flaw in the motorcycle design or manufacture or a defective part in another person’s vehicle, they may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the related manufacturer and/or distributor, among other related parties in the supply chain.
In addition, the government could also be liable for a motorcycle accident. Local state governments are responsible for roadway conditions and proper lane markings. The government is responsible for road routes and designs. If the roadway conditions or design were the reason for a motorcycle accident, it may be possible to bring charges against a local state agency.
Filing a Personal Injury Case After a Motorcycle Accident
Filing a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident can be particularly difficult and unique. The injured party’s best choice for obtaining compensation for their losses and injuries is to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver and any other responsible parties. Be aware that bringing a lawsuit is just the beginning of the legal process. A plaintiff must demonstrate that the negligent behavior of the other driver led to the collision and subsequent damages.
Proving negligence when filing a personal claim can be challenging. All four elements of negligence must be meant to win a personal injury case. The four elements of negligence that the filing party must show are:
Every driver owes other drivers on the road a duty of care. When that duty is not met through some sort of action or inaction, then they have breached their duty. Showing this duty of care is generally the easiest component of proving negligence because it is an unstated rule for every driver on the road. The way someone can breach that duty is by engaging in dangerous behaviors while behind the wheel, including but not limited to texting and driving, drinking and driving, distracted driving, or reckless driving.
After showing the at-fault party or party’s breach, it is then necessary to prove that the breach of the duty of care did cause damages – to wit, the injuries sustained. In other words, without that person’s actions or in actions, the motorcycle accident injuries and other losses would not have occurred. Finally, the party must file for damages—usually compensation for the injuries sustained and for property damage to their motor vehicle.
Types of Damages Awarded in Motorcycle Accident Cases
The amount of compensation you may be entitled to after a motorcycle accident depends on the seriousness of your injuries and the extent of the damage to the bike, as well as the insurance coverage that each driver has. Drivers may be able to file a claim with the insurance companies involved, as well as file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party or parties to collect money for their injuries.
Economic damages sometimes referred to as special damages, including compensation for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Economic damages can be shown as directly resulting from the accident, like expenses for motorcycle maintenance or replacement. Additionally, economic damages will cover lost wages and earning capacity if the injuries sustained keep the victim from working. Also, it will cover any medical expenses, including past and future medical bills, as well as ongoing medical costs for treatment and therapy.
Non-economic damages, often known as general damages, pay motorcycle accident victims for non-monetary losses incurred as a result of a motorcycle accident. Common types of non-economic damages after a motorcycle accident include compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, quality of life deterioration, disfigurement, and partial or permanent handicap. Non-economic damages are harder to prove because there won’t be a bill or receipt for mental agony. Unlike many other states, Texas law does not put a cap on non-economic damages in personal injury cases – with only two exceptions, for medical malpractice cases and cases involving the government.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You might be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer if you or a loved one suffered injuries and damages as a result of a motorcycle accident. Although choosing to retain legal counsel is totally up to you, there are numerous benefits to doing so.
The Texas motorcycle accident lawyers at J.D. Silva & Associates, PLLC are ready to meet with you and go over your case. Our attorneys understand the hardships and stress people experience after a crash. Let our legal team handle your case while you focus on your recovery.