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Why Stern Law Group Is Your Choice After a Motorcycle Accident

While there is no recipe or equation for a successful case, what most successful cases boil down to is an experienced and skilled attorney. Victims of motorcycle accidents should not go to their insurance company first, but should immediately get in touch with one of Stern Law Group's Houston motorcycle accident lawyers. Here's why:

  • We have represented more than 40,000 clients
  • We have secured more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients
  • We have more than 150 years of collective experience

Thousands of accident victims have chosen Stern Law Group as their legal advocates. We have a reputation for treating our clients with the respect they deserve, building strong cases on their behalf, and refusing to relent until the best possible award or settlement is secured.

Texas Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The following statistics have been compiled from information provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) and apply to motorcycle collisions in Texas during 2017:

  • There were 501 motorcyclists (including both drivers and passengers of motorcycles) killed in accidents.
  • Fifty-two percent (52%) of motorcyclist killed were not wearing a helmet.
  • 9,655 motorcycle fatalities and injuries occurred in 2017 and in 3,981 of those accidents, motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet.

If you want to discuss a specific accident or claim, please feel free to call Stern Law Group for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

What causes motorcycle accidents? This is a question with multiple answers. There are many unique factors that contribute to motorcycle collisions, and in some cases, a single crash may have multiple causes. Understanding what factors commonly lead to these accidents can help a rider and any motorist get a better idea of how to avoid a collision in the first place. If a crash has already occurred, understanding potential causes can help a victim see what party may be held accountable for his or her injuries.

  • Cars Making Left-Hand Turns - Cars making left-hand turns are one of the greatest dangers faced by motorcyclists. About four in ten motorcycle-versus-car collisions involve a car that is making a left-hand turn. The car often strikes the motorcycle as its rider is traveling straight through an intersection, passing the car or attempting to overtake the car. If the driver of the car is negligent in watching for motorcycles and other vehicles, he or she may turn directly into the motorcycle's path and cause a collision.

  • Lane Splitting - At this time, laws regarding lane splitting in Texas are not clearly defined. Bills have been introduced that would clearly make it legal, but riders currently are usually at the mercy of a peace officer in whether he or she will issue a ticket. That said, lane splitting is another potential cause of motorcycle accidents associated with visibility issues. Riders who travel between lanes in heavy traffic may be at risk of being struck by motorists who do not anticipate that a rider may pass by or who are simply not paying attention and change lanes without checking for motorcycles or other vehicles.

  • Driver Negligence or Wrongdoing - Any driver or motorcycle rider who violates a traffic law, drives while distracted, or otherwise fails to provide a reasonable amount of care on the road may be responsible for causing a motorcycle accident. Negligence is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents and all types of traffic collisions in the U.S. If another driver caused your collision, we can look to hold him or her accountable.

  • External Factors - At times, a factor outside of the control of a motorcyclist or driver may cause an accident. Some examples may include roadway defects, debris or defective vehicle parts. In these situations, our attorneys can consider any other parties that could be held liable. This may include a motorcycle or automobile manufacturer or a government entity responsible for designing and maintaining the road where the accident occurred.

Motorcycle riders can take certain steps to make themselves more visible, wearing bright and reflective colors and always riding with their headlight on, but in the end it comes down to whether a motorist was actually paying enough attention.

Common Motorcyclist Injuries

Statistics confirm that motorcycle riders run the highest risk of suffering an injury during a road traffic accident of all motor vehicle operators on roadways. Some of the common motorcycle accident injuries for which Stern Law Group has helped clients receive compensation include:

  • Head trauma and brain injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Joint injury (knee, ankle, shoulder, etc.)
  • Road rash and soft tissue damage
  • Broken bones
  • Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
  • Serious and catastrophic injuries, including paralysis
  • Severe burns

The likelihood of a rider losing his or her life or being injured in a traffic accident is far greater than for an occupant of another vehicle. This can be attributed to the fact that a motorcyclist is not protected by a "cage" like occupants of other vehicles. Passenger car, SUV and truck occupants are afforded the protection offered by a strong metal frame, airbags, and a safety belt. Motorcyclists have none of this protection. Even if a rider chooses to wear a helmet and other protective gear, he or she may be at risk of sustaining serious injuries.

The injuries that motorcycle riders suffer often require extensive and costly medical treatment. When the injuries prevent victims from working, financial strains can impact the well-being of both victims and their families. With so much at stake, it is vital that you consult with a legal representative who will do whatever it takes to achieve fair compensation.

Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle Accident - Scene of the Crash

After you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle wreck, your highest priority should and will likely be to get medical attention. If you are not capable of collecting information at the scene of the accident because of your injuries, make sure that 911 is called and a police officer obtains information and details of the crash.

You or someone you trust should collect witness contact details to be used later on when building a case. Also make sure to collect the driver’s insurance information, including license plate number, driver’s license ID, insurance policy number, and contact numbers.

You should also make sure to get pictures of the vehicles involved in the crash and the scene of the accident. This will be extremely crucial!

From there, you will want to get in touch with an attorney who can help you through your case. Do not talk to the insurance company or give a recap of the accident until you have talked to our team and obtained legal guidance.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

A necessary task after a motorcycle accident, dealing with insurance companies can prove extremely difficult. Some insurance providers, more concerned with profits than actually helping their policyholders and claimants, may unreasonably delay or deny claims. They may offer low settlements and try to pressure claimants into accepting. If you filed a motorcycle accident insurance claim, you have the right to be treated in a fair and reasonable manner.

Insurance providers are required to act in good faith when it comes to dealing with claims. This means they should not actively try to find ways to deny and delay valid claims. They should treat policyholders fairly when investigating and valuing claims. When insurance companies act in bad faith, they may be held accountable in civil court. Taking legal action against a dishonest insurer is one of the ways that a Houston accident lawyer at our firm can protect your rights.

Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Victims deserve fair financial compensation to recover from their injuries. Unfortunately, insurance companies have become increasingly combative against claims involving injured motorcycle riders. Insurance companies are more concerned about their bottom line than caring for accident victims, so it is not uncommon for them to offer injured motorcyclists as little money as possible.

Often, these adjusters will try to capitalize on the stereotypes associated with motorcycle riders, particularly for road bike and cruiser riders, in an attempt to shift blame away from their drivers. This can include defense strategies that insinuate fault on riders for using unsafe speeds, lane splitting, making unsafe lane changes, aggressive riding, drunk driving, and other dangerous behavior.

All too frequently, unrepresented riders who file claims believing that they will be fairly compensated receive unfair compensation or are held liable for causing an accident. Such case results can saddle victims and families with debilitating amounts of debt, emotional distress, and an overwhelming sense of a lack of justice. In order to prevent this from happening to you, you need to consult with an experienced attorney.

Helpful Tips For Preventing a Motorcycle Accident

As a motorcyclist, there are certain measures you can take to decrease the chances that you will be involved in a collision. Though there is no way to guarantee that you will not be involved in a motorcycle accident (other than staying away from riding altogether), there are steps you can take to protect yourself. As Houston motorcycle accident attorneys, we have seen just how much damage a crash can cause. We have compiled the following safety tips to offer insight on this matter.

  • Ride Defensively - One of the most important things to remember as a motorcyclist is that other drivers may not see you. Ride defensively, and never assume that another driver can see you. Avoid other vehicles' blind spots and be aware of what other motorists are doing. Be prepared to take evasive maneuvers if you are cut off or a vehicle turns left in front of you.
  • Get Proper Training and a License - Make sure you take a motorcycle safety training course and get a proper license before taking to the road. Inexperience can prove to be deadly. Make sure you also make yourself familiar with your bike before you take it out, and take proper measures to regularly inspect and maintain your bike in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.

  • Ride According to Current Conditions - Always take current road, weather and traffic conditions into mind when you ride. Poor weather can be particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders, so you may not even want to take to the road in especially poor conditions.

  • Follow Traffic Laws - Obey traffic laws when you ride. Do not drink and ride, observe posted speed limits and follow other traffic laws. Traffic violations, from speeding to running a red light, can cause a catastrophic collision.

  • Enhance Your Visibility - Take measures to make yourself and your bike more visible to other motorists. This may include wearing bright and/or reflective clothing, always riding with your headlight on and avoiding blind spots or other hazardous situations. If you can make it more easy for other drivers to see you, you may be able to avoid an accident.

Even with a helmet and protective gear, motorcycle riders are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to traffic accidents. They may still sustain serious injuries or lose their lives. That is why our team is committed to representing victims of motorcycle accidents. We fight for fair compensation for those who have been injured or have lost loved ones in these collisions.

Taking a Stand for Injured Riders in Houston, TX

Nothing is more unfortunate that hearing about injured riders who were unfairly compensated for their damages. At Stern Law Group, we take a firm stand against greedy insurance companies and always fight to win. Our ability to bring successful results to our clients in both settlements and verdicts and our more than 150 years of combined experience enable us to handle whatever your case may bring. Do not wait until it is too late.

To discuss the details of your case, contact a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer at Stern Law Group by calling (877) 661-9900 or filling out a free case evaluation form.

Motorcycle Accidents FAQ

We have provided a list of some of the most common questions about motorcycle accidents. For more in-depth information about these accidents or your accident in particular, call and speak with a Houston motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm today.

What are the helmet laws for motorcyclists in Texas?
Statistically, helmets are supposed to reduce the risk of dying in a motorcycle accident by 37 percent. As of 2019, The Texas Department of Transportation reports that all riders under the age of 21 are required by law to wear a helment when operating a motorcycle. If a motorcylcist is over the age of 21, they can may ride without a helmet after completing a safety course or when covered by an applicable insurance plan.

Is lane splitting legal for bikers?
Lane splitting is the practice of operating a motorcycle in between lanes. Motorcycles often drive in between vehicles in order to avoid having to stop with the flow of traffic. This practice is also referred to as lane sharing or stripe-riding. Lane splitting has not been legalized, but it is also not expressly against the law. Lane splitting is somewhat controversial. If you were involved in an accident in which you were lane splitting, you should consult with a Houston motorcycle accident attorney from our firm.

How visible are motorcycles to drivers?
Due to the small size of motorcycles, they may be hard for other drivers to detect. Motorcycles can easily slip into a driver's blind spot. The larger the vehicle, the bigger its blind spots will be. This means that accidents between motorcycles and large vehicles can be more common. To increase awareness about visibility-related accidents, the NHTSA has implemented "Share the Road: Look for Motorcyclists" campaign in states across the nation.

What safety equipment is required for motorcyclists?
The most important piece of safety equipment a driver can wear is a helmet, but the NTSB also recommends that bikers wear gloves, sturdy shoes and other types of protective gear. While these extras may not be required, they can be vital for safety and lessen the severity of injuries following an accident. When motorcyclists are licensed, they will be informed of and tested on their knowledge of current safety equipment regulations.