Legally, what could happen if you’re in a motorcycle accident? Find out in this post.
Injured in a motorcycle accident? Tough stuff happens in life. But, we’re here to help you when it does.
Take a look at these plain-English answers to some of the most common (and challenging) questions motorcycle accident victims ask:
Will I have to go to court?
Not usually. Litigation is expensive and time-consuming. In the vast majority of cases a compromise settlement is reached before the necessity of a trial.
A large part of this depends on the skill of the lawyer you hire. More experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers are far more likely to resolve your claim outside of court than inexperienced ones.
What happens if a poorly maintained road caused my injuries?
Yes, sometimes the road, not a person, is responsible for your injuries. For example, you’re driving at the speed limit when you hit a deep pothole.
While it’s more difficult to hold government entities accountable for their actions, it’s not impossible. They often have strict notice of claim requirements. For example, it could be just months, instead of the normal 2 years that applies to private citizens and organizations. In fact, cities and/or entities can – and do – have different notice of claim requirements.
So if you get in a motorcycle accident, and the government (state or local) is at fault, it’s important to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
If I got hurt while lane-splitting, does that affect my ability to recover compensation?
It might. When lane-splitting – driving between lanes to get by traffic – you’re neither obeying or breaking law. Texas law does not expressly permit or outlaw lane-splitting.
However, the person who caused your injuries could have their lawyer argue that you bear partial fault and most jurors would likely find that argument compelling. And, that could reduce the amount of compensation you can recover. Currently, there is a bill in process that may expressly make lane-splitting legal.
What if I’m partially at fault for my own injuries?
Texas is a “comparative negligence” state. That means if you are found more than 50% responsible for your injuries, you cannot recover any compensation.
However, you can recover compensation if your responsibility is found to be 50% or less.
Can I get punitive damages?
Most cases do not involve punitive damages. To be awarded punitive damages, the at-fault party’s actions must be intentional or reckless. The vast majority of cases involving punitive damages involve motorists operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
However, the threat of having to pay punitive damages, which can be quite costly, often leads to bigger settlements.
What kinds of negligence cause motorcycle accidents?
Many, including these:
- Distracted driving (messing around on a smartphone)
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
If you find yourself injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to act fast. At the longest, you have just two years to file your claim. Wait longer than that – or fail to abide by notice of claim requirements – and you could be barred from recovering damages.