Austin Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Austin motorcycle accident lawyer immediately.
Motorcycles are no match for larger vehicles and offer little protection, so a motorcycle crash often results in increased likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a Texas motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence or fault, you have legal options. Our motorcycle accident lawyer at Evans & Herlihy can help you get compensation for your losses through insurance or a lawsuit.
Survivors of motorcycle accidents can be left traumatized, incapacitated, in pain, and unable to work, and their lives and relationships may be forever changed. In addition, expenses such as medical and rehabilitation bills and the costs of repairing or replacing a vehicle keep mounting.
At this difficult time, when you are trying to recover from a crash, our Austin motorcycle lawyers can help by handling all legal hurdles and requirements involved with winning compensation you deserve. We work diligently to secure an award that can relieve your financial worries, provide for medical care, and help you go on with your life. We will take the burdens off you so you can concentrate on your recovery.
Our motorcycle accident attorney at Evans & Herlihy offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your accident and determine the best way to proceed. You pay nothing unless we win your case, so call us today at (512) 732-2727.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer after you’ve been involved in a wreck with your motorcycle does not mean you will have to sue anyone or go to court. It’s a smart idea to have legal representation in place as soon as possible after the accident.
If another driver is at fault, their insurance company will waste no time in coming to you with an offer. You may be recovering, unable to work, and worried about mounting bills, so, of course, it’s tempting to take the money without question. But by doing that, you are doing exactly what the insurance company (and their team of lawyers) is hoping you will do. Their goal is not to compensate you fully for your losses. It’s to save their company money.
Our motorcycle accident attorney will add up the total cost of your past, present, and probable future expenses related to the wreck, including less tangible costs like pain and suffering. We will be able to approach the insurance company and skillfully negotiate until the two parties come to an agreement that’s fair to you. In a relatively small percentage of cases, the insurance company may not be willing to give you what you and your lawyer believe your injuries warrant. At that point, you and your lawyer will want to discuss next steps, like filing a lawsuit.
Damages Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Win for You
Our motorcycle accident attorneys will aggressively fight in negotiations or in court to get you a compensation award to cover all your losses.
“Damages” are a financial award received in your motorcycle accident settlement or as a result of a trial. They fall into categories related to losses associated with your accident and injuries.
Economic damages cover the monetary costs from the accident, including:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses — past and current bills and expected costs in the future
- Lost wages, current and future
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages are awards to compensate you for losses that do not have a specific monetary value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss consortium and of enjoyment of life.
What Damages Award Amounts Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Austin Win?
Damage awards vary greatly in motorcycle accident cases and may range from the thousands to the millions of dollars, depending on the circumstances. Factors that will be considered include:
- The type, seriousness, and permanence of your injuries
- Whether you will need continuing care
- Whether you will be able to work in the future and what your earning capacity would have been
- The availability of money from insurance and personal assets of the defendant.
The Evans & Herlihy motorcycle accident attorneys in Austin can help you understand the value of your claim. Call us at (512) 732-2727 today.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Need to Prove Fault in Your Case
Proving the defendant in the case was at fault for causing your motorcycle accident is a necessary element in winning your case. Proving fault means we must show the following series of elements:
- Duty — The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- Breach — The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act.
- Cause — As a result, the defendant caused a crash and injuries.
- Damages — You suffered damages as a result.
To prove fault, our motorcycle accident lawyers will investigate your case by:
- Gathering evidence and examining police, ambulance, and medical records and reports.
- Interviewing eye witnesses, first responders and doctors.
- Hiring experts to reconstruct the accident, testify as to what happened, and prove your past and projected future expenses.
The process is complex, and the elements are essential to ensuring that you receive the full damages you deserve. It’s important to work with a motorcycle accident attorney that has strong experience with negotiations and with trials, should your case proceed to that level. Don’t trust your battle for compensation to anyone but an experienced, skilled attorney. That’s why you should reach out to Evans & Herlihy. We will fight aggressively to get what you deserve. We know the struggles you face after suffering serious injury in a motorcycle accident. We want to help you get on with your life and get compensation for all the treatment you need in the future, as well as for any lost income or other losses you experienced. Call us today at (512) 732-2727.
What To Do After An Accident
The decisions you make and actions you take after an accident can have a huge impact on the success of any potential legal action or compensation. After a motorcycle accident, you should:
- Stay at the scene and call 911. Safety is your first priority. Remain at the scene until emergency personnel arrive. If you are injured, do not attempt to move until first responders can help you.
- Exchange information with other drivers, including names, phone numbers, driver’s license number, license plate numbers, and insurance information. If you can do so safely, take photos of the scene and damage to the vehicles.
- Seek medical attention. Follow all medical advice and keep all your appointments.
- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with motorcycle accident lawyer Chip Evans, call (512) 732-2727.
- Do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company. Under no circumstances should you discuss the details of the accident with anybody but your motorcycle accident attorney and the police. If the insurance company calls, politely tell them that they should contact your lawyer.
Aftermath of Motorcycle Crashes
When you are a motorcyclist injured in a crash, you may require long-term medical care. Traumatic brain injuries, for example, are one of the most serious, debilitating consequences of motorcycle crashes; depending on the severity of the injury, people may need personalized in-home care for the rest of their lives. But even if your injuries are less serious, your medical costs can add up quickly. More than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist.
The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Head and neck injuries
- Road rash
- Muscle damage
- Biker’s arm
- Leg injuries.
Highway Hazards for Bikers
Helmet Laws in Austin
Texas law requires riders age 20 and younger to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. Riders age 21 and older are not required to wear a helmet, provided they can show proof of a motorcycle health insurance plan. That said, if you are in an accident, a helmet can save your life — no matter your age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 37%.
In April 2015, a tragic accident occurred about 150 miles north of Dallas. A group of 13 motorcyclists was traveling on U.S. Highway 81, just north of Comanche, Okla., when a pickup truck crossed the center line and crashed head-on into the riders. Several of the motorcyclists were seriously injured, and one of them died.
Large vehicles – especially commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds – pose a serious threat to motorcyclists. Riders should exercise caution when larger vehicles are nearby and understand that other drivers might not see them.
To increase visibility on the road, motorcyclists can wear bright colors, use reflective gear, add auxiliary lights and avoid riding in other drivers’ blind spots.
No matter how vigilant you are, you are still at the mercy of others’ bad and inattentive driving. If you’ve been injured, contact motorcycle accident lawyer Chip Evans at (512) 732-2727 today.
What Leads to Motorcycle Accidents in Austin?
In Texas, to receive a motorcycle license, you must pass a motorcycle safety course, although that requirement can be waived for people transferring a valid motorcycle license from another state. You also have to pass a vision test and a driving test (although a few exceptions apply).
Motorcycle operators are not necessarily at fault for all crashes they’re involved in, nor are all motorcycle crashes fatal. But crashes are more likely to be fatal if a rider isn’t wearing a helmet or if the other vehicle is much larger than the motorcycle. In a motorcycle crash, unlike most car crashes, a vehicle will usually make contact with a motorcyclist’s body, which greatly increases the likelihood of serious injury.
Every year, the Austin Police Department publishes its Analysis of Traffic Fatalities, which includes a section on motorcycle fatalities. It not only details the number of crashes and deaths in the city in a given year, but breaks them down by contributing causes (like impairment and speed), day of the week, type of road, and other factors.
Nationally, motorcycle fatality statistics fluctuate year to year, but one thing has remained constant: in the Lone Star State — our love of the open road comes with a price. Texas consistently ranks among the leading states in motorcycle traffic fatalities.
Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Lane Switching. Due to their small size, motorcycles are easy to miss by other drivers. If the operator of a car or truck fails to signal and/or check the blind spot, they may merge into a motorcyclist’s path.
- Head-on Collisions. When a car and a motorcycle collide head-on, the result is often death or serious injury to the cyclist due to lack of protection to the body and the discrepancy in the vehicles’ size.
- Car Door. Occupants of a car parked on the street may fail to check for oncoming bikes and open the car door in the motorcycle’s path.
- Speeding. Driving at an unsafe speed gives a driver less time to react in a given situation, and higher-speed accidents are more likely to cause serious damage and injury.
- Impaired Driving. As with all motor vehicle accidents, alcohol and drugs play a role in many motorcycle crashes, but motorcyclists are much more likely to pay with their life if they or another driver is driving while under the influence.
- Lane Splitting. Lane splitting is a practice in which motorcyclists ride between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic to get ahead. It is especially dangerous when attempted by inexperienced bikers, but it can be dangerous to even practiced riders, as surrounding cars may not realize a bike is sharing their lane.
- Sudden Stops. When two cars are involved, a rear-end collision often results in a minor fender-bender with minimal injury and vehicle damage. But if a motorcycle is rear-ended or smashes into another vehicle, the motorcycle operator and passengers are unprotected and much more likely to be killed or seriously injured.
- Inexperienced Drivers. Inexperienced drivers (especially teens) are more likely to misread a situation, not know how to react in a dangerous spot, and get distracted while driving. They may not know to look out for motorcycles when changing lanes or turning.
- Left Turns. Accidents involving a motorcycle and a car making a left turn are common, as a motorcycle’s small size makes it less visible to other drivers.
- Road Hazards. Hazards such as potholes, dead animals, slick spots, and uneven surfaces that are no big deal to a car can be bad news for a motorcycle due to the vehicle’s small size and susceptibility to getting off-balance.
- Vehicle Defects. In some cases, an accident may be caused by a defective or poorly designed motorcycle part. In these cases, the manufacturer of the bike and/or the part may be held liable.
A study by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) — a not-for-profit organization made up of motorcycle manufacturers — found that other factors likely to significantly increase crash risk include various types of intersections, aggressive rider behavior, traffic density, grade, and roadway surface.
If you’ve been injured on your bike, call our Austin motorcycle lawyer at (512) 732-2727. We will make sure the responsible parties are held accountable and help you receive the compensation you need to recover and move on with your life.
Call the Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Austin
The Evans & Herlihy was hand-picked by Expertise as one of the Best Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Austin, TX.
Dangers of Nighttime Driving Can Lead to Motorcycle Crashes
There is something especially exhilarating about riding your bike at night. However, these hours come with added risk. It’s not that you can’t or shouldn’t ride at night — but just remember to put safety first with certain precautions and be extra vigilant about your surroundings and potential dangers.
- The chances of encountering a drunk driver increase at nighttime. That puts everyone on the road in danger, but especially vulnerable are motorcycle operators and their passengers.
- As darkness falls, obstacles — debris on the road, potholes, slippery spots, animals — that are perfectly visible during the day may not be noticeable at all or not until it’s too late to avoid them. A hazard that a car occupant would hardly notice can spell disaster for a biker.
- A study by Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto and Eldar Shafir of Princeton and published by the BMJ suggests that nighttime riders should be particularly careful during a full moon, as they are more likely to crash on these nights than on non-full-moon nights. While the study didn’t draw a firm conclusion to why, it’s likely due to distraction: a big, bright full moon catches the eye — and may lead to drivers’ taking their eyes off the road.
If you do drive at night, put safety first and follow these tips.
- Be Visible. Save your black leather jacket and jeans for daytime rides. If riding at night, choose colors that will make you pop against the dark sky: fluorescents like neon pink, yellow, green, or orange. You can even just throw on a neon safety vest like those worn by construction workers. Deck out your helmet, bike, and other gear with reflective safety tape and decals. Make sure your gear has retro-reflective panels that glow when illuminated by headlights. Consider upgrading the lighting on your bike with LED lights, brake-light flashers, headlight modulators, and auxiliary lights.
- Maximize Your Visibility. Make sure your visor is clean before heading out on your ride, and avoid using a tinted visor. Photochromic visors adjust to light levels, so they can be used day and night.
- Practice Defensive Driving. This is always important for motorcycle operators, but is especially true at night. Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles, always use your signals, and stay out of cars’ and trucks’ blind spots.
- Stay Alert. Don’t drive while drunk, impaired, or drowsy. Don’t do anything that could compromise your reaction time or decision-making ability.
Work with Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Austin, TX
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, you may have options that will compensate you for medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
The Evans & Herlihy Law Firm has represented many victims of motorcycle crashes and their families — with winning results. We understand the devastating impact these accidents can have on people’s lives and are passionate about bringing justice to our clients. Fill out our contact form or call (512) 732-2727 to arrange a free consultation.