Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
While all motor vehicle collisions cause damage, collisions involving motorcycles typically result in more serious and numerous injuries. Motorcyclists assume certain risks when they take to the open road, including that of severe bodily injury in the event of an collision. However, this does not prevent them from pursuing compensation for injuries that a negligent driver causes – that is when you need a personal injury attorney to help fight for you.
Motorcycle Collisions in Texas
As beautiful as the Lone Star State is for motorcyclists year-round, it is also dangerous. Motorcyclists are especially at risk in metropolitan areas like Dallas. Drivers often fail to pay adequate attention to the road, pulling out in front of motorcycles or merging on top of them on the interstate. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, vehicles may rear-end motorcyclists, leading to more serious injuries than rear-ending another passenger vehicle. In rural areas, vehicles may drive at excessive speeds, ignore stop signs, and fail to yield the right of way.
In 2015, 459 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes throughout Texas. The most dangerous situation for motorcyclists happens when vehicles make left-hand turns without paying attention to the road. “Check twice for motorcycles” has become a mainstay in motorcycle safety due to the number of drivers who fail to notice motorcycles crossing through intersections. Motorcycles are less visible than passenger vehicles, making this type of collision unfortunately routine.
Another common type of motorcycle collision occurs when a motorcyclist is lane-splitting on a freeway. Although lane-splitting is currently illegal in Texas, lawmakers are working to legalize this practice in the state. While there is a safe way to lane-split during traffic jams, it is risky for motorcyclists because they are in close proximity to vehicles. Motorcyclists also have a reduced amount of space available to maneuver. Lane-splitting often startles motor vehicle drivers, who may react badly and jerk the wheel, striking the motorcycle.
Comparative Fault and Motorcycle Collisions
In many motorcycle collisions, the passenger vehicle driver and the motorcyclist are partially responsible for the crash. If a motorcycle is driving in the wrong lane or passes a car in the same lane while speeding, for example, it could surprise the driver and partially cause an collision. In a case where both the motorcyclist and the driver are responsible for an collision, Texas courts follow modified comparative fault rules.
Comparative fault means that a motorcyclist can still obtain compensation even if he or she is partially responsible for an collision. The compensation the plaintiff would receive in this case would be the final settlement minus the motorcyclist’s percentage of fault. If the courts find the motorcyclist 20% at fault and the driver 80% at fault, for example, the motorcyclist would receive $8,000 from a $10,000 settlement. Modified comparative negligence laws establish a percentage limit of 50% in Texas to receive compensation. Therefore, in the example case above, the driver with 80% fault would not receive any compensation. In pure comparative negligence states, the driver would take home $2,000.
File a Claim Against Negligent Drivers in Dallas
Motorcycle collisions can cause serious head and brain injuries, even when a rider wears a helmet. When a motorcycle collision throws the rider from the vehicle and the head strikes the ground, it can rattle the brain inside the skull. Motorcyclists can suffer skull fractures, concussions, and brain damage. Collision victims may also suffer severe road rash and broken bones, especially in the shins and legs.
If a negligent driver caused or contributed to your motorcycle collision, contact the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz for help filing a claim. Whether you suffered a personal injury or property damage, we can help you find retribution for your damages. Call (214) 742-3293 to speak with an attorney about your collision today.