What are the differences between an at-fault vs. not-at-fault motorcycle accident?
Warm weather months promise more motorcyclists sharing the road. The added motorcycle traffic along with the average distracted driver creates a high-risk scenario for motorcycle-involved accidents. Motorcycle accidents prove to be especially dangerous, as a driver has very limited protection by design, putting him or her at a much higher risk for injury than those driving a passenger car. Motorcycle laws can be confusing, and finding proper legal help after an accident can be even more challenging. The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian is here to give you the legal help you need post-accident.
What is a Not At Fault Motorcycle Accident?
The outcomes of a motorcycle accident can be devastating, but they are not always the driver’s fault. Common factors that lead to motorcycle accidents include drivers of passenger cars making dangerous left-hand turns in front of motorcycles. These accidents account for nearly 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents. In addition, dangerous road conditions account for 25 percent of accidents involving motorcycles.
Common causes of not-at-fault motorcycle accidents include:
- Failure to yield
- Limited visibility
- Stop sign accidents
- Driving under the influence
When traveling via a higher-risk method of transportation, most motorcyclists are aware of the added pressures; they remain ready to adjust to their surroundings to compensate for distracted and careless drivers who may not pay attention to motorcyclists. Even so, choosing a higher-risk form of transportation doesn’t mean you should be willing to suffer the consequences of negligent drivers so readily.
Common injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Road rash
- Muscle damage
- Biker’s arm
- Leg injuries
These injuries can be decreased in severity by using protective gear while riding a motorcycle, but sometimes even the most extreme precautionary measures are not enough. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, motorcyclists are more than 35 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than those in passenger cars and five times more likely to be injured. More than 11 percent of all roadway accidents in the U.S. involve a motorcycle.
Though motorcyclists can take many precautions to minimize their risk of accidents, it’s important to know what to do in the event that one does occur. Motorcycle accidents are handled different than a standard car accident. It’s necessary to seek help from an experienced attorney that understands the complexity of laws surrounding motorcycle accidents and figure out how to best handle your specific case. Since motorcycle crashes are more likely to result in serious injury or death, the costs associated with motorcycle accidents are often much higher and may require a longer duration of representation while the victim is undergoing extensive medical treatment. These factors increase the importance of getting a just settlement for your damages.
At-Fault Motorcycle Accidents
Victims of negligence of a motorcyclist also need representation. Motorcycle accidents can occur as a result of an inexperienced or reckless driver, putting passenger vehicles at a higher risk of colliding with the poorly controlled motorcycle.
Common causes of at-fault motorcycle accidents include:
- Following too close
- Driving under the influence
- Inexperience riders
Texas is a 51 percent fault state, meaning that any fault in an accident totaling 51 percent or more makes you the at fault party in an accident. This makes it even more important for sufficient legal representation to get every last detail of the accident accurately represented. Additionally, Texas laws are not clear on lane-splitting, a potentially dangerous practice where motorcyclists ride between vehicle lanes. The complexity of these laws make it essential to have someone representing you who knows how to navigate the legalities of motorcycles on the road.
The confusion of motorcycle accident laws includes possible cause of motorcycle accidents by malfunction of the bike. Malfunction of a motorcycle is possible and a very real cause of accidents, though it accounts for less than 3 percent of accidents. Motorcycles are designed for capabilities in addition to roadway riding. Lack of operating experience can increase the risk of these untouched functionalities causing havoc.
Common malfunctions resulting in motorcycle crashes include:
- Brake failure
- Faulty tires
- Fuel system issues
- Dangerous design
- Manufacturing defects
Getting your motorcycle closely inspected for any of the above listed malfunctions post-accident can make a huge difference in accident investigations. It’s imperative to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you find a trusted inspector in the event that malfunction is a suspected possible cause of an accident.
Since motorcyclists have higher vulnerability to fatal injuries, family members are often left to grieve the loss of their loved one, as well as deal with the legal mess left behind. Having an attorney to take care of it all for you gives you the time you need to readjust to life post-accident and get the settlement you and your family member deserve.
Dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster can be a pain. The insurance adjuster is more concerned with saving money for the company than giving you just compensation for your injuries and other damages. If you aren’t careful, your dealings with the insurance companies can prove more damaging than productive. That’s why it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney before settling for any type of settlement.
To get the best representation from someone who will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian today. Compensation far outreaches costs to recover your vehicle. Settlements can be sought to include compensation associated with medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. Before you accept a settlement from the insurance company make sure you talk to Houston motorcycle accident attorney Hilda Sibrian to make sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve. Hilda is a dedicated personal injury lawyer available 24/7 and doesn’t get paid until she recovers a settlement for you.