Houston is one of the largest cities in America, and it's growing rapidly. People love it here. But they don't love the terrible traffic or parking, and many people turn to motorcycles to quickly and efficiently scoot around town or to enjoy some beautiful rides outside Houston or along its coast. The year-long warm weather means motorcycles are always in season.
But other driver's negligence can endanger motorcycle riders—and cause terrible injuries and extensive financial losses. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you are likely dealing with costly treatment, extensive pain, lost income, and other stresses. Let the Houston motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group help you pursue compensation for your accident-related losses. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
Our Motorcycle Accident Verdicts and Settlements Show How Hard We Work for Injured Riders
At Dolman Law Group, we have a history of securing the maximum compensation for motorcycle accident victims in Houston and other areas we serve. While past results do not guarantee how much we can recover in your case, we have the resources, knowledge, and experience to manage your claim and seek the damages you deserve.
Some of our recent motorcycle accident recoveries include:
- A $1.4 million motorcycle accident settlement.
- A $1 million settlement for a client who incurred a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident.
- $750,000 on behalf of a client who was thrown from his motorcycle in a collision with a car. The settlement was for the policy maximum for bodily injury coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. Our client suffered a serious shoulder and closed head traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. The TBI resulted in a loss of executive function and a permanent impairment for the rest of his life.
- $415,000 after our client suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash that required a cervical fusion. The insurance company made a much lower offer, thinking that our client may rush to settle the case. However, we explained what the case was worth and when to file a lawsuit for a better payment. The at-fault defendant settled on the eve of trial for an amount that was three times more than the insurance company's best offer.
- $320,000 after our client was in a motorcycle accident that led to a cervical fusion. The insurance company would not make a reasonable settlement offer. After eight months of litigation, the defendant settled for more than $100,000 higher than the insurance company's best offer.
As you can see, while an insurance company settlement is often the best-case scenario, lawsuits can be necessary to get you what you deserve. We fight for our clients because the insurance company is not acting in your best interests. We can assess your case and determine the best approach to recovering compensation based on the details of your injuries, expenses, and what happened to you.
Our lawyers can represent you with no money out of your pocket. We are paid on a contingency basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless we help you recover. Your motorcycle accident claim is too important to leave anything to chance by trying to file and negotiate it on your own. Do not let a fear of the cost get in the way of hiring one of our Houston personal injury lawyers to fight for you. The cost of not having a lawyer in your motorcycle accident case will be even greater.
Houston Presents Dangers for Motorcyclists
Texas is known for its long and straight highways, such as I-10 and I-45. While you may think that these are safe roads, these highways lull drivers into speeding and taking chances. Further, drivers tend to become distracted on Houston roads. In fact, there are close to 100,000 crashes involving distracted drivers in Texas each year.
Motorcycle fatalities are unfortunately too common. In one recent year, there were 412 motorcyclists killed on Texas roads. On top of that, 1,800 people suffered serious injuries in motorcycle accidents in the state. In the previous year, there were 419 motorcyclist fatalities in Texas. Many of the motorcyclist fatalities in Texas are drivers between the ages of 20 and 40, and Texas is second to only Florida in the number of motorcycle deaths. Houston is one of the areas in Texas with the highest number of motorcycle fatalities.
These all present a major challenge for motorcycle operators on Houston roads. Drivers often cut in front of motorcycles or cut them off when they make illegal left turns. Automobile drivers may also not be paying attention, causing them to not see motorcycles on the road.
Common Injuries Our Houston Motorcycle Crash Attorneys Handle
Motorcycle drivers are usually injured more seriously in crashes than other motorists. The obvious reason is that the motorcycle itself is less crashworthy than a car. It does not have support beams, a roof, or even an airbag. In many crashes, the driver is thrown through the air and to the ground at high speed, raising the risk of serious personal injury. Contact with the pavement causes the most serious motorcycle injuries, although hitting vehicles, trees, guardrails, barriers, and other objects also frequently cause significant injuries, as well.
Some of the most common types of serious motorcycle injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injuries - even helmeted motorcycle drivers are at risk of a TBI as they happen in almost 20 percent of motorcycle accidents
- Crush injuries
- Road rash - this happens because the motorcycle rider is thrown to the ground and can skid along the pavement, causing deep burns and lacerations
- Broken limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
What Happens After a Houston Motorcycle Accident?
It helps to know the exact order in which things unfold after your motorcycle accident. Knowing what to expect can help you make the right decisions when it comes to building a case, pursuing compensation, holding the at-fault party legally responsible, and more.
Here is some of what you can expect in the days and weeks after a crash:
- You might be hospitalized or receive continuous treatment for your injuries including many medical appointments.
- You will likely receive phone calls from your insurance company and the at-fault party's insurance company since they are trying to resolve the possible claim.
- Even months after the accident, you may still be struggling to recover and are still dealing with pain and suffering.
- The extent of your injuries could leave you unable to work, and your finances can suffer.
- You may continue to hear from the insurers and legal representatives trying to get a statement from you, offering settlements, or trying to force you to settle the case.
With this in mind, you need a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to help you navigate the days and months to come. Your legal rights and financial future are at stake. This is why you need to call the Houston office of Dolman Law Group immediately after an accident, so we can immediately start working on your claim.
Although you will be pressured, do not give a statement to the insurer, accept a settlement offer, or sign anything without speaking with an attorney first. At Dolman Law Group, we can represent you in dealings with the insurance companies and protect your right to seek a fair settlement while you focus on your treatment, rehabilitation, and other physical and psychological recovery.
How a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Resolve Your Injury Claim
When you file a motorcycle accident claim, you may recover significant financial compensation if someone else is at fault for your injuries. A motorcycle accident claim is like any other injury claim in that it requires a finding of negligence before you can receive compensation. Proving negligence is how we show the other driver acted carelessly or recklessly, caused the accident, and is responsible for your injuries and other damages.
In any negligence case, we must demonstrate four different elements by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that it is more likely than not that what you are alleging happened. The four elements of any motorcycle accident case include:
- Duty of care – In general, drivers owe other motorists and their passengers the duty to act with reasonableness and care, including complying with traffic laws.
- Breach of duty – Once we establish a duty of care, we need to show that someone else acted in a way that a reasonable person would not. Our job is to show how the other driver was not acting reasonably. Below, we will give examples of acts that could be considered a breach of the duty of care.
- Injury – We next need to prove that you suffered a physical injury or some other sort of damage, such as damage to your property.
- Causation – The final element we must demonstrate is that your injuries would not have happened if not for the action or inaction of someone else.
While the four elements of negligence have remained largely the same in the United States since the 1800s, the application of these elements considers the specific facts and circumstances of your unique case. An insurance company or jury will look closely at the actions of each person that led up to the accident. They may develop their own case alleging you or another party caused the crash, you were at least partially responsible for your own injuries, and that their driver was a victim.
Having Dolman Law Group on your side during this time means you have someone who knows how to fight false claims or reduce your percentage of assigned fault. We can develop a strong argument for fair compensation while you focus on your treatment and healing from your injuries.
What Negligence Can Lead to Compensation for Your Houston Motorcycle Crash?
In a motorcycle accident, some acts could automatically be considered negligent and may not require much proof for the insurer or jury to reach a conclusion in your favor. Evidence is still necessary to prove what happened, but some cases are easier to prove than others.
Here are some examples of negligence by the responsible party:
- Colliding with a motorcyclist because the driver was speeding
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Cutting off a motorcyclist
- Making an illegal turn that runs a motorcyclist off the road
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
In many cases, when the other driver violated the law, it can improve the chances of a successful claim. Of course, this is why you need to call law enforcement to the scene of your motorcycle accident, so they can issue citations or make arrests for driving violations. In addition, they can bring paramedics, a rescue squad, and other necessary first responders to stabilize you, assess your injuries, and get you the help you need as soon as possible.
Some cases are very clear, and negligence is not hard to determine. However, when one of the drivers did not break the law, each side might try to argue why they were not at fault for the accident. Liability is not always clear-cut when you file a negligence claim. In fact, the first thing that the insurance company will try to do is determine who is at fault for the accident and place as much blame on you as possible.
How the Insurance Company Determines Negligence for a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Because insurance companies must decide who is at fault for the accident, they will perform an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. At this point, you need a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer investigating for you.
Also, calls from insurance adjusters may start immediately after the accident. Not only do you need to deal with your own insurance company, but you may also start getting calls from the other party's insurance company. Naturally, they do not want to pay what could be a large claim because it hurts their own bottom line.
Anything that you say to an insurance company can ultimately determine whether you receive payment for your injuries and how much. The insurer can use things that you say against you to limit your payment.
You may not know that you are under no obligation whatsoever to speak with the other insurance company. Instead, our attorneys can protect you by advising what to do after an accident and how you should talk to your own insurance company while we fend off the aggressive adjuster on the other side.
What Our Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Do to Help
The immediate days after a motorcycle accident are a critical time to have an attorney on your side. We encourage you to enlist our help on your case as soon as your injuries allow. Once you are stable enough to discuss what happened with us, we can review your case during a free consultation. If your loved one passed away or has catastrophic injuries and cannot make the call on their own, you can reach out to us to learn more about your family's options.
Here are some ways an attorney can help right after you have a motorcycle accident:
- Investigate the scene of the accident and have conversations with witnesses
- Accompany you when you speak to the insurance company and help you present your side of the story
- Keep the other insurance company from trying to ambush you or catch you unaware
- Formulate a strategy for how to build a stron case
What Is Your Houston Motorcycle Accident Case Worth?
If you have a motorcycle accident claim, you are probably wondering how much compensation you can receive in a settlement or jury verdict. In short, injured motorcyclists should receive a financial recovery that would put them in a similar position as if the accident never happened in the first place. This means that you should receive payment for every loss you suffered.
Your financial compensation might include:
- Payment for all your medical bills
- The cost of rehabilitation and future medical care including home nurses and round-the-clock care
- Lost income both in the past and the future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium for a spouse
A typical accident victim may not know how much their case is worth. In addition, you only have one chance to settle your motorcycle accident claim. If you settle for too little, you are leaving money on the table that you will need in the future. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group can help you determine the right dollar value for your claim, and help you negotiate with the insurance company.
Houston Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Below are some brief answers to frequently asked questions we receive about motorcycle accident claims. To discuss your specific case, please consult with a member of our personal injury team directly.
How Long do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Houston?
In Texas, as in any state, there is a time limit on filing a personal injury lawsuit. Specifically, the time limit is set out in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.033. Specifically, you have two years from the “date that the cause of action accrues” to file a Houston motorcycle accident lawsuit.
This means there is a two-year window of opportunity from the time that you suffered injuries or should have known that you suffered injuries. In nearly all motorcycle accident claims, this means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the statute of limitations gives you two years to begin working on your claim. Once the time limit expires, you lose your ability to file the lawsuit. The court is not forgiving, even if you are a day late. Therefore, you should contact our motorcycle accident attorneys in Houston and begin working on your lawsuit well in advance of the deadline. This way, you do not run the risk of something going wrong, causing you to miss your window to file a lawsuit.
Also, you should not to wait too long to start your motorcycle accident injury lawsuit because certain evidence can be lost. For instance, witness recollection could fade over time and physical evidence will be cleared from the scene. It takes time to develop a strong legal case, and waiting too long could hurt your case in more ways than one.
Who Can I Sue in a Houston Motorcycle Accident?
The most likely defendant in a motorcycle accident lawsuit is the driver of the vehicle who caused the crash. However, there are other situations where someone else also may be responsible for your losses.
For example, the motorcycle that you were riding may have caused your crash. The bike could have blown a tire, or the brakes could have failed, causing your crash and injuries. In this case, you might file a product liability lawsuit against the company that either made the motorcycle or the part that failed. This would be a completely different type of lawsuit than a negligence lawsuit against another driver.
Another possible defendant in a motorcycle accident action could be the government. If your accident happened due to a road that was in poor condition and inadequately maintained by the state, you might sue the state for the failure to keep up their roads. Lawsuits against the government have different rules than court cases against individuals. There may be different timelines and requirements to notify the state. In addition, punitive damages are not available from the state.
If the driver who caused your accident was working as an employee at the time, the driver's employer may share some responsiblity for your resulting losses. Finally, a passenger on a motorcycle may file a lawsuit against the motorcycle driver if they caused the passenger's injury with their own negligence.
Will My Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney Request Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages can really increase the size of a jury award. However, these damages are rare in Houston civil lawsuits. They only apply when someone does something very wrong and the jury wants to make an example out of the defendant.
In Texas, the description of punitive damages lies in Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.001. Punitive damages are a part of the category called “exemplary damages.” Exemplary damages are “damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes.”
Usually, in a personal injury negligence case, the need to punish a defendant is rare. The defendant would need to act with gross negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct in a Houston motorcycle accident case to face possible punitive damages.
There is nothing that would keep you from asking the court to consider a request for punitive damages. This is especially true if the at-fault driver was intoxicated or otherwise chose to drive dangerously. Consult with a skilled Houston motorcycle accident lawyer to assess the possibility in your claim.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Houston Motorcycle Accident Case?
The short answer is yes. If you are filing a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident, chances are that you or a loved one suffered a serious injury. Motorcycle crashes often result in severe injuries that can leave you incapacitated for a long time.
When you are recovering from serious injuries or have lost some of your abilities, dealing with a claim and possible court case is the last thing that you should have to deal with during this difficult time. A motorcycle injury claim can be extraordinarily difficult without an attorney.
As an individual claimant, you may struggle to deal with the insurance company. Insurance companies know that people representing their own interests without an attorney are an easy mark, and they will try to take advantage of you.
Your motorcycle injury settlement will be the only chance that you have to receive payment for your injuries. When you settle, you must sign a release of claims that says that you can no longer sue for the accident. With this in mind, you need an attorney to explain the full value of your claim, so you will not settle for pennies on the dollar.
Further, you absolutely need an attorney if your case goes to court. Houston motorcycle accident trials involve presenting complicated evidence, retaining scientific and technical experts, and questioning witnesses under oath. These are the things a trained attorney does as part of their job that the average person would not know. Thus, it is best to hire a motorcycle accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible.
Can I Afford a Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Yes, you can absolutely afford one of our Houston motorcycle accident attorneys because you will not pay anything out of your pocket to work with our team. We only accept cases on a contingency fee basis which means you do not need to pay your attorney up front or as the case progresses. There are no retainers or hourly fees for you to worry about when you may already be struggling with money.
Contingency fee agreements also means that your lawyer only receives payment if they successfully resolve your case in the form of a settlement or jury award. Your attorney-client agreement will specifically detail how much your attorney will receive when you recover money.
If for some reason you are not successful, you will not pay attorney's fees. This is a risk that your attorney assumes when they take your case and is not a chance that you take. This is why your motorcycle accident attorney will want to learn as much as they can about the facts of your case before they agree to represent you.
What Should I Do After a Houston Motorcycle Crash to Help My Case?
Your actions after the accident will depend on the severity of your injuries. You should always seek medical attention if you feel that there is even a remote chance that you suffered injuries. Make sure that someone calls the police to come to the scene of the accident to write a report. Calling 911 can also ensure that you receive the emergency treatment you need.
Once you see a medical professional and receive a diagnosis of your injuries, be sure to closely follow your treatment plan. Then, contact an experienced Houston motorcycle accident attorney who can help determine the best course of action for your legal claim.
Should I Accept the Insurance Company's Settlement Offer After My Houston Motorcycle Accident?
Insurance companies are businesses that protect their own bottom lines and priorities. They do not make money when they pay too much in claims. This does not mean that an insurance company will never make you a reasonable settlement offer. It does mean that it may take some work to get a settlement offer that compensates you for the harm that you have suffered.
The insurance company knows this and will try to use the situation to its advantage. They are counting on the fact that you may be desperate for money and will jump at the first offer that they make. It's usually safe to assume that the insurance company's first offer is too low.
This is part of the reason why you should call our attorneys as soon as possible. The insurance company knows what your claim is worth. They have armies of statisticians and lawyers on their side, backing up the formidable claims adjuster. You would likely not know on your own how much you should receive in damages, but a dedicated personal injury lawyer can help because they work with insurance claims all the time.
Most motorcycle accident claims and cases settle without going to a jury trial. While we spend a great deal of time talking about Houston motorcycle accident trials, the truth is that very few cases reach that point because many injured people accept the insurance company's offer. However, be aware that settlement negotiations will require several rounds of offers and counteroffers before you reach an agreement. You may even need to file a lawsuit first to convince the insurance company to come to the table with a reasonable offer.
Is the Process the Same If My Loved One Died in a Houston Motorcycle Accident?
If a loved one did not survive the motorcycle accident, the proper legal process would be a wrongful death lawsuit. Many of the elements of the two cases are the same. For example, in both cases, liability depends on proving who was negligent in the accident.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the financial damages available are somewhat different. In addition, some questions may arise about who may bring the claim. Consult with a wrongful death lawyer in our Houston offices to learn more.
Will I Recover More Money If My Houston Motorcycle Accident Case Goes to Trial?
Usually, motorcycle accident victims settle their case for less than they would receive if they went to court and won. However, the amount of money alone is not the only consideration that you should think about.
First, there is no guarantee you will win your case at trial. Anything can happen when you get in front of a jury. You could receive a large damage award, or you could end up with nothing. When you receive a settlement offer, you have a guarantee to get the money you accept.
This does not mean that you should accept any settlement offer made by the insurance company. You should weigh many factors with the help of your injury attorney when deciding whether to settle, including:
- What is your risk of losing the case at trial?
- Are the facts of the case horrible enough that a jury may award you punitive damages?
- How does the settlement offer compare to what you feel is the true value of your claim?
- Do you need money sooner rather than later?
Working with your motorcycle accident attorney, you would weigh these factors in making your own decision whether to accept a settlement or go to trial. The decision may depend on how much risk you can and want to take. Accident victims may reach different decisions based on their own individual situations.
Contact the Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Dolman Law Group to Learn More
After a motorcycle crash and severe injuries, you need legal representation you can trust. Seek help from some of the best motorcycle accident attorneys in the Houston area. Contact Dolman Law Group today for a free case evaluation. You can easily reach us by calling (281) 524-4370 or write to us using our online contact page.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
6330 Gulf Fwy Suite 110
Houston, TX 77023
“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!"
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