Dallas and Fort Worth are two of the most dangerous cities for motorcyclists.
After experiencing a motorcycle crash, you are likely to also undergo a sudden and unexpected string of financial losses, especially if your injuries are substantial.
You might know that you pay into an insurance policy, but you might not fully understand your legal rights and options here in the DFW area.
If you or a loved one recently experienced a motorcycle accident with significant losses, the Texas motorcycle accident attorneys here at DFW Injury Lawyers are prepared to help you learn more about your legal options. Depending on the situation, you may be eligible for compensation from another motorist or negligent party.
You can find out more about us if you are ready to hire a lawyer now, or you can learn more about motorcycle accidents, the law here in the DFW area, and how to handle an accident below.
How Often Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
Motorcycle accidents happen on a daily basis throughout Texas. Unfortunately, recent data has revealed that motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities have increased throughout the state over the past several years.
In 2022, the Texas Department of Transportation reported that 562 motorcycle riders were fatally wounded in motorcycle accidents. That was an 8% increase from 2021.
Unfortunately, the trend goes even further back. In 2020, there was a 17% increase in fatal motorcycle accidents from 2019 despite a huge reduction in overall motorist traffic as a result of stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and pandemic restrictions.
Driver error, disobeying traffic laws, and poor road conditions are the most common reasons for motorcycle accidents.
How Do Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
In general, motorcycle accidents happen for three main reasons: driver error, disobeying traffic laws, and poor road conditions. Not every accident is avoidable, but you should always do your part by remaining as vigilant as possible while riding on your bike or in your car.
Here are the top causes of motorcycle crashes:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motorcycle and car accidents nationwide. Distractions can happen for a number of reasons, but they all have the same result — they take your focus away from the road.
Distractions can lead to a collision in a matter of seconds. Distractions could come in the form of text messages, GPS devices, the radio, food, drink, passengers, changing radio stations, or cell phone calls.
Speeding is one of the top causes of motorcycle accidents in Texas and throughout the country. Reckless driving is defined as driving behaviors that are dangerous and put other motorists at unnecessary risk. Behaviors like speeding, tailgating, performing tricks on the road, improper lane changes, and other actions are all considered reckless driving.
Reckless driving amounts to negligence, so it is important to determine if this was a factor in your crash.
If you believe another motorist was driving recklessly and that caused your crash, our team can help. We have extensive experience helping clients prove the other driver was being reckless and negligent.
Another common cause of motorcycle accidents is limited visibility. Since bikes are smaller than traditional cars, sometimes other motorists can experience “blindness” toward motorcycles on the road. As a result, they can fail to give motorcycle riders the right of way.
Limited visibility results from inclement weather, riding in blind spots, headlight failure, or other reasons.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to hazardous road conditions. A pothole, for instance, could cause a biker to lose control, whereas another vehicle might just drive over it. Rough roads, loose gravel, open bridge joints, edge breaks, and slick surfaces during rain can all contribute to a motorcycle accident.
Driving Under the Influence
Another leading cause of motorcycle accidents in the DFW area is driving under the influence. Under Texas law, it is a crime to operate a motorcycle if you are under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or even certain prescription medications.
In Texas, you are deemed to be under the influence of alcohol when your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08%. You can also be considered under the influence if you fail a sobriety test and it’s suspected that you’re under the influence of marijuana or other drugs.
Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
A recent 2022 study showed that both Dallas and Fort Worth are two of the most dangerous cities for motorcyclists when it comes to biking accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
Motorcycle riders are more likely to experience significant injuries if they get into a crash. For one, you do not have the same level of protection as you would in a motor vehicle. When you get into a collision on a bike, you are likely to get thrown off.
For another, you are at a huge size disadvantage. Since cars are heavier and bigger, the impact is felt more by the biker.
Below are some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries:
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents can lead to fatal injuries. Wrongful deaths occur when someone else’s negligence causes a crash that leads to a fatal injury. If you have a loved one who lost their life in a motorcycle accident, it is best to consult with an attorney ASAP about what happened.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
One of the most common and severe injuries motorcycle riders endure after an accident is a traumatic brain injury. This type of injury can range from mild to severe.
If you get in an accident without a helmet, get checked out to rule out any head injuries. If you lose consciousness at all, get a medical evaluation. This could be a sign of a mild concussion — or it could be something else. Without treatment, your situation could degrade quickly.
Spinal Cord and Neck Injuries
Due to the fast and sudden stop associated with a crash, bikers often sustain spinal cord and neck injuries after accidents. From whiplash to disk issues, this type of injury can cause long-term problems.
In bad accidents, a neck, back, or other type of injury could result in paralysis. Paralysis means that you could lose the ability to control your limbs, like your legs or arms.
As you can imagine, paralysis leads to a loss of independence and a whole host of financial losses. In many cases, a paralyzed person is unlikely to go back to their previous job.
Loss of Limb(s)
Motorcycle accidents are known to cause a loss of limb(s). This type of injury can happen when the skin and tissue in a particular area are rubbed off by the asphalt, bike, or something else.
When underlying bones and muscles are exposed, an amputation might be necessary. However, these types of serious injuries are not particularly common.
Fractured and Broken Bones
Motorcycle accidents can also cause fractured or broken bones. These types of injuries can lead to short-term losses, like lost income, but there are usually no long-term or life-long impacts after the recovery period.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries happen when ligaments, muscles, or tendons experience trauma during your accident. These types of injuries, like sprains and strains, can take a long time to heal. Soft tissue injuries can also limit a person’s mobility significantly while they recover.
Internal injuries are usually very serious. They could include tears, cuts, or serious trauma to a person’s organs, the heart, or another vital body part. Internal injuries usually require immediate emergency care, and they could lead to a very long recovery period.
If you get thrown from your bike and are not wearing significant protective clothing, you are almost certainly going to experience road rash.
Road rash is a type of burn that happens when you scrape against the asphalt in the road. Even if you are wearing jeans, clothing can get ripped, leading to road rash in several areas.
Who is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident in Texas?
Under Texas law, all motorists who get on the road automatically assume a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of everyone else on the road. Drivers who engage in reckless or negligent driving behaviors and cause a crash are considered legally liable for any financial losses associated with that crash.
Texas courtrooms operate on a modified comparative negligence standard. This means that accident victims can seek out compensation so long as they are less than 50% at fault for the accident. If you were mostly at fault for your crash, it is unlikely for you to have a successful claim.
If you are unsure who might be at fault after your accident, you can ask a motorcycle accident lawyer for help.
The legal muscle you need to win
Important Motorcycle Accident Laws in Texas
The law in Texas allows injured motorcycle accident victims to seek out financial compensation from the negligent party that caused their crash.
Financial compensation may include both economic and non-economic damages in the form of medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost income, or more. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is in your best interests to get informed regarding the laws that apply to your situation.
Here are the three main laws that could impact a potential motorcycle accident claim:
1. Helmet Laws
Under Texas law, every rider who gets on a motorcycle who is under 21 years old must wear a helmet.
If you are over 21, then the law is more flexible. You must wear a helmet unless you have completed a motorcycle safety course or you purchased a health insurance plan that covers motorcycle accidents.
2. Prohibition of Lane Splitting
Lane splitting happens when a motorcycle goes in between two legal lanes while vehicles are stopped or moving slowly. This type of motorcycle maneuver is illegal. If a biker commits this type of traffic offense, they may be deemed at fault for an accident.
Note that lane splitting is currently only legal in California in the United States. Lane splitting is much more common in parts of Europe and Asia.
3. Mandatory Minimum Liability Coverage
In Texas, motorcycle riders must take out a 30/60/25 insurance coverage policy. This type of insurance covers up to $30,000 in bodily insurance per person, $60,000 in total bodily injury coverage, and up to $25,000 in property damage per accident.
When Should I File a Motorcycle Accident Injury Claim?
If you were struck by a vehicle in the DFW area, your first step is to call the police and report the accident. From there, evaluate your losses: A minor accident may not warrant a claim. Such an accident could potentially be handled privately through your insurance policy.
An accident with significant losses, however, may need greater attention. If your losses are significant, think about contacting a Texas motorcycle accident attorney to determine if you should file a claim.
Should I Sue a Negligent Party for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you know the other party was negligent and they caused your accident, you likely already have a good basis for a possible claim. Another factor you need to review, though, is the extent of your losses. Sometimes, it is not worth your time to sue a negligent party, especially if your losses are minimal or they could be covered by filing a simple insurance claim.
To determine your best course of action, consult a motorcycle crash lawyer.
Can I Sue After a No-Contact Motorcycle Accident?
Yes: It is possible for motorists to sue bikers even if they never made contact with their vehicle. Any driver on the road who acts negligently and causes a crash can potentially share legal liability for the fallout of an accident that ensues.
What Percentage of Motorcycle Accidents are Fatal?
According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, people have a much higher chance of experiencing fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident than when in a traditional car. Data shows that there is about an 80% chance you will be injured in a motorcycle accident.
It is difficult to pinpoint what percentage of total motorcycle accidents are fatal because many minor motorcycle accidents go unreported.
Data shows that there is about an 80% chance you will be injured in a motorcycle accident.
What is a Contingency Fee Agreement?
One of the biggest reasons why accident victims do not consult with injury lawyers about their situations is that they do not want to add more financial strain to their current situation. Since an accident usually results in a host of losses, many people assume they can not afford legal representation.
That is far from the case, though. Many Texas motorcycle accident attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you typically do not have to pay any money to your lawyer upfront.
If your attorney thinks you have the basis for a claim, they can help you seek out compensation. With a contingency fee basis, lawyers are not paid until your settlement or verdict check arrives. When that happens, you will likely be expected to pay the lawyer a percentage of your overall award.
At DWF Injury Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee agreement for all motorcycle accident claims we pursue.
Contact a Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you want (or think you might want to) file a motorcycle accident personal injury claim, a quality Texas motorcycle accident lawyer can prove invaluable.
Not only can a lawyer help you make an informed decision on whether filing a claim is worth your effort, but they can also help you every step of the way. A qualified lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes, value your claim appropriately, negotiate with the other party, file all your paperwork, and help ensure your claim is as strong as possible.
Here at DFW Injury Lawyers, our past case results speak for themselves. If you choose to work with us, we do everything we can to ensure justice is served. It’s time you got the compensation you deserve.
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation with our firm now to discuss your situation in more detail with our motorcycle accident attorneys.