What Damages Could You Receive for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder how much you could receive in compensation at the resolution of your claim. Since juries and insurance companies award settlements on a case by case basis, it is not easy to estimate for how much money you could receive. However, you can estimate the size of your potential award based on a number of factors.
To determine how much you could receive, you will have to take liability and damages into account. Liability refers to who was at fault for the accident. If the other driver involved in your accident was at fault, you can hold him or her liable for the injuries you sustain as a result of the accident. The losses and injuries you sustain due to the motorcycle accident are known as damages.
In the state of Texas, you can recover numerous types of damages in a motorcycle accident case. The court usually divides damages into two types: special damages, which you can calculate exactly through bills and other records, and damages you cannot calculate, also known as noneconomic damages. Special damages include tangible out-of-pocket costs such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings and lost earning capacity, and property damage.
Since the nature of motorcycle accidents often results in permanent or partial disability for many victims, you may experience a reduction in your ability to work. Your attorney will calculate the amount of lost wages you incurred due to recovery time for your injuries. In addition, your attorney will calculate how much your injuries diminished your ability to work and the length of time you could work – allowing you to claim the difference in compensation.
Noneconomic damages can be difficult to calculate without an attorney’s assistance. Since the jury does not have a clear idea of how much to award, the judge will usually instruct the jury to use their best judgment. Noneconomic damages in motorcycle accident cases can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of quality of life.
What Do You Need to Prove to Have a Valid Motorcycle Accident Claim?
To successfully prove a motorcycle accident claim in Texas civil court, you and your attorney will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Motorcyclists are often subject to unfair assumptions from the jury, so it is very important to have a strong and compelling case proving that the other driver acted negligenly. In order to successfully prove negligence in a motorcycle accident claim, you and your attorney will need to satisfy the following elements.
- First, you and your attorney will have to prove that the other driver in your case owed you a duty of care. Everyone who operates a vehicle on a Texas road owes the other drivers and cyclists in the area a duty to drive safely, responsibly, and while obeying all applicable traffic laws. Since you and the other driver were on the road at the same time, you can easily establish this duty of care.
- Next, you will need to prove that the other driver breached his or her duty of care to you. If the other driver broke a traffic law, operated his or her vehicle in a negligent manner, or failed to honor the right-of-way, you can prove this element. For example, if you were riding your motorcycle and the other driver sped through a red light, crashing into you, you can prove a breach of care.
- Finally, after you establish the breach of care, you will have to prove that you suffered injuries as a result of that breach. For example, if the other driver running a red light caused the crash and your medical records show that you sustained broken bones in the crash, you can establish this causation.
The city is a great place for motorcycle riding. Enthusiasts can ride around the city or easily escape into the countryside for a fun day trip. Traveling via motorcycle is cost-effective and freeing, but it is also risky. Motorcyclists are generally safe drivers, but they cannot control the behaviors of other drivers. In accidents with passenger vehicles, motorcyclists often sustain serious or life-threatening injuries. It would be wise to know a leading Fort Worth motorcycle accident attorney.
If you cannot walk away from a motorcycle accident, you will likely need legal support to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert serves the motorcycle community of Fort Worth. We recognize the risks local motorcyclists face, and we are proud of our reputation for success in personal injury claims. Partner with us, and we’ll help you recoup your losses and hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries.
How to Handle a Motorcycle Accident Insurance Claim
The catastrophic nature of a collision when a motor vehicle strikes a motorcycle can cause serious and life-threatening personal injuries. Some of the most common injuries are broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and severe road rash. A victim may come away with permanent scars, disfigurements, loss of limb, or disabilities. An insurance company may try to underestimate the severity of a motorcyclist’s injuries, or engage in bad faith tactics to avoid a payout unless the victim knows what not to do.
- Do not admit fault. Do not tell an insurance agent or claims adjuster you were at fault for the accident, even if you think you were. Wait for an official investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
- Do not agree to give a recorded statements. Recorded statements are simply a way for the insurance company to try to trap you into saying something that can damage your case, and using it later to refute your claim. The law does not obligate you to give a statement.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer. Insurance companies often offer much less than a case is worth initially, to test whether the victim knows the true value of the claim. Do not believe an adjuster if he or she says it is the best or final offer. Instead, wait until you speak to an attorney to decide.
What you say to an insurance claims adjuster after a motorcycle accident can determine your final settlement or verdict amount. Be careful during these post-accident phone conversations. If you do not wish to negotiate a claim alone, contact an attorney to take over communications with an insurer on your behalf.
Why Choose Us?
Selecting an attorney that you feel confident in representing your motorcycle accident claim takes reviewing the firm’s merits. Every case requires attention from an attorney who will go the extra mile to achieve success. At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., the attorneys will fight hard to protect each client’s right to compensation. Clients in Fort Worth choose us for a variety of reasons.
- Aaron A. Herbert has more than 10 years of experience handling personal injury cases throughout the Fort Worth area. He has personally tried more than 50 cases in front of judges and juries. He has resolved thousands of cases pre-trial, achieving successful settlements without needing a full trial. Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury law, giving us in-depth experience.
- Success rate. Our lawyers have obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in verdicts and settlements for clients over the years. They achieve successful results with a combination of aggressive negotiation, strong presentation of evidence, and a passion for justice. Thousands of clients have benefitted from our firm’s representation in the form of life-changing jury verdicts and insurance settlements.
- Personal attention. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or associates. We recognize the importance of dedicating personalized, one-on-one attention to each client. A lead attorney will play a role in your motorcycle accident claim, working closely with you to achieve your unique goals for the lawsuit. You will benefit from open communication, honest answers, and transparent conversations about your case.
The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. has built a strong reputation within the Fort Worth community. Years of dedication to client success have led thousands to trust our firm with their most serious personal injury cases. A motorcycle accident can be permanently disabling. Our attorneys will listen to your story, dedicate personal attention to your case, and fight for fair and full compensation through every available outlet. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
In Texas, 496 people died in motorcycle accidents during 2016, including 463 drivers and 33 passengers. Of the 463 motorcycle drivers who died that year, 239 (more than half) failed to wear a helmet. During the same year, the state recorded 2,008 incapacitating injuries and 3,620 non-incapacitating injuries among motorcyclists and their passengers.
Most accidents involving motorcycles are preventable. If someone had used reasonable caution while driving, you wouldn’t need to rely on an insurance claim or lawsuit to move forward with your life. Human error is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents. Some of the most often cited contributing factors in accidents are similar to those involving car accidents and truck accidents.
In passenger vehicle-motorcycle accidents, any of these unsafe driving behaviors will decrease the likelihood that a driver will see a motorcyclist on the roadway. The slim profile of a motorcyclist is easy to miss if you take your eyes of the road for just a few moments. Depending on the motorcycle’s position, a driver may not hear the roar of the bike’s engine. A few moments of inattention can keep a motorcyclist from ever riding again.
State Motorcycle Laws and Accidents
Texas is one of the few states that does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet if they are over 21, pass relevant training courses, and carry adequate insurance. While a rider may choose to ride without a helmet, it’s in the best interest and safety of all motorcyclists to wear head protection.
If you choose to ride without a helmet, you assume a certain level of risk. In the event of an accident and head injury, a defendant could successfully argue that the lack of reasonable head protection contributed to your injuries. Depending on the circumstances, this argument could harm your ability to collect the amount of compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Finding a Motorcycle Lawyer in Fort Worth
After a preventable motorcycle accident, insurance companies often look for ways to lower or deny an insurance claim. If you choose to pursue a claim without the aid of a motorcycle accident attorney, you may receive an unfair settlement offer from your own insurer and/or a liable driver’s insurer.
Our motorcycle attorneys routinely handle accident claims. We know how insurance companies work and the common obstacles in motorcycle accident claims. Our founder is a Texas Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer who will not accept anything less than a fair settlement offer for any of the clients we serve. In addition to handling insurance and legal claims for compensation, we can help you find qualified medical support and negotiate with medical bill collectors on your behalf.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today!
You deserve the time and financial means to heal after a motorcycle accident. Partner with us, and we’ll fight for your right to full compensation. For more information on our motorcycle accident practice in Fort Worth or to schedule a free case evaluation, call us at (817) 500-4878.