Dallas Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle injuries and fatalities in Texas have been steadily climbing over the past twenty years, and in 2014, more than 460 motorcycle operators and passengers lost their lives. Not surprisingly, fifty percent of those killed were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
According to Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, more than half of motorcycle accidents in the state occur because another motorist failed to see the motorcycle. Statistics indicate that among fatal motorcycle crashes in Texas, 56 percent occur in major cities and 44 percent in rural settings.
Texas motorcycle accidents on the rise
The reason behind this uptick in motorcycle injuries and deaths is manifold. More bikers are on the road than ever before, and many are operating high-performance motorcycles without the benefit of protective helmets. Distracted drivers, who text while behind the wheel, are another source of danger for motorcyclists, says Sam Warren of the Patriot Guard Riders.
All motorists have an obligation to be on the alert for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles, including motorcycles. This is important as motorcyclists have no seat belt, no steel structure, and no airbag to protect them. At the Dallas law firm of Dorothy Hyde, we understand the mechanics of motorcycle accidents. More importantly, we know from personal experience and client representation the concerns and issues of motorcycle riders.
The potential hazards of riding are worth the risk for many passionate bikers, but a motorcyclist who is seriously injured because of a negligent driver should never have to pay the price. Dorothy Hyde is a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer in Dallas, who helps victims get their lives back on track.
If you are injured, we will help you obtain justice. We are your barracuda after a motorcycle accident. Contact us to discuss your case.
Call Toll Free: 214-883-1700
Texas state motorcycle laws
Dorothy Hyde has practiced Texas law since 1987. She has helped injured victims and families of those killed receive compensation after the tragedy of a motorcycle accident.
Understanding Texas motorcycle laws is crucial for road safety and staying compliant with local statutes. Generally speaking, off-road riders are granted more liberties compared to those who use public roads. For example, an off-road motorcyclist does not need an operator’s license, and drivers of all ages are allowed. Those under 14, however, must be accompanied by an adult.
Motorcyclists on public roads in Texas must adhere to the following:
- Helmet laws– Anyone under the age of 21 is required to wear a helmet; riders 21 and older are not required to use helmets with proof of completion of rider training or if they have medical insurance covering injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident
- Eye protection– not required for on-road motorcyclists
- Daytime headlights – Mandated for all motorcycles made after 1975
- Lane splitting– lane splitting is not allowed in Texas
- Passenger age – Texas law prohibits passengers under the age of 5, unless seated in an attached sidecar
- Passenger requirements – Malorie’s Law prohibits passengers on motorcycles that are not designed for them, and requires foot pegs and handholds on the backseat for passenger-able motorcycles.
- Turn signals – not required
- Texas insurance requirements – all riders must carry a minimum Compulsory Liability (25/50/25)
Liability issues in motorcycle crashes
Texas motorcycle laws are designed to protect riders, but in actual practice, they can create several hurdles when trying to secure compensation that is deserved by an injured motorcyclist. Texas is a “comparative causation” state. If a jury or the court determines that the motorcyclist is partly to blame for an accident, the monetary damage award may be reduced accordingly. For this reason it’s imperative to ally yourself with a skilled personal injury attorney.
The insurance company may suggest a ridiculously low settlement or deny your claim altogether. Having experienced legal representation will ensure your chances of obtaining a fair settlement, and attorney Dorothy Hyde will fiercely protect your rights should the case go to trial.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit may be warranted if the accident was caused by:
- Another driver’s negligence
- Defective or malfunctioning motorcycle components
- Poor road design or maintenance
- Impaired or distracted driving
Common motorcycle injuries
An estimated 90 percent of motorcycle crashes result in catastrophic injury or death, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Those motorcyclists who do survive often have physical disabilities that prevent them from working.
Motorcycle crash injuries may include:
- Road rash – bruises, deep lacerations and scrapes
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Broken bones – particularly fractures in the lower extremities
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal trauma that may lead to partial or full paralysis
Regardless of how minor injuries may initially appear after a motorcycle accident, victims should seek medical attention immediately, especially if experiencing any neck or back pain. Internal injuries may have subtle symptoms that progressively worsen over time.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
Any number of occurrences can contribute the cause of motorcycle accidents. When drivers are careless or otherwise negligent and collide with a motorcyclist, it is the biker who inevitably suffers the most.
The following are examples of negligent driving that cause motorcycle accidents:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Vehicle making unsafe left turn
- Failing to stop before turning right at a stop sign or red light
- Pulling out from a side street without looking
Even minor “fender benders” can kill an experienced motorcyclist. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or have lost a family member, you need the expertise of a reputable personal injury attorney.
Dorothy Hyde has helped the injured for over 20 years. Our Dallas-based law firm enlists accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists, and crash investigators to determine responsibility for your injury or the death of your loved one.
Compensation available to injured motorcyclists
In circumstances where the victim has a viable claim for damages, a lawsuit filed against the defendant (s) can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Successful litigation can net damages for:
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Lost income
- Future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Wrongful death
- Loss of spousal consortium
Unrivaled legal representation in Dallas, Texas
Not all motorcycle accident attorneys have the resources, experience and dedication to get results. If you were injured, you need fearless representation and a commitment to obtaining maximum recovery – you need Dallas attorney Dorothy Hyde.
Contact us today at 214-937-0911 to discuss your case free of charge.
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Fill out a Contact Form or Contact Us Immediately at 214-883-1700.
Motorcycle accident resources
- Dallas Morning News, Texas motorcycle, scooter deaths down in 2012 but still higher than a decade ago http://www.dallasnews.com/news/transportation/20130505-texas-motorcycle-scooter-deaths-down-in-2012-but-still-higher-than-a-decade-ago.ece
- Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Highlights Calendar Year 2014 http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot/trf/crash-statistics/2014/01.pdf
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Motorcycles and ATVs http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles
- American Motorcyclist, Texas State Motorcycle Laws http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/State-Laws.aspx?stateid=43