Helping Victims of Serious Motorcycle Crashes
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact The Benton Law Firm today for assistance with your legal case. You might be entitled to financial compensation for the losses you suffered. You should not be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, and other associated costs when someone else was at fault. We will fight to protect your rights and hold the at-fault driver liable for the trauma you experienced. Contact our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Dallas today for a free consultation.
The amount of large trucks and other vehicles on the road drastically impacts the severity of all accidents and, most severely, motorcycle accidents. These accidents have severe repercussions throughout the Dallas area, as motorcyclists often cannot compete with a car or truck that swerves into their lane.
If you have been injured on Dallas roads due to a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact our Dallas motorcycle accident attorney at The Benton Law Firm. For a free consultation, call us today at (214) 777-7777 for this and other areas of practice.
Why Choose The Benton Law Firm?
The attorneys at The Benton Law Firm will listen to your story and provide the compassionate customer service you need during such a difficult time. We know that personal injury lawsuits can be complex. Our attorneys are here to provide aggressive representation and fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We have won millions of dollars for our past clients, giving us membership in the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. We also hold a perfect 10 rating on Avvo, a testament to our success and stellar reputation among clients and peers.
At The Benton Law Firm, our clients come first. We offer a free consultation. This means that we are here to gather your facts and help you determine the best way to proceed with your case risk-free. We are available 24/7 to answer our client’s questions and update them on the status of their cases. Additionally, our firm works on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us anything until we recover compensation for you.
How to Handle the Aftermath of A Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, you might feel disoriented and in shock. If you sustained injuries, you’re unsure what to do next and how to handle the situation. Your first instinct might be to quickly exchange insurance information with the other driver and get home to rest. Unfortunately, that could negatively affect you if you pursue compensation in an insurance claim or lawsuit. There is crucial evidence you should collect at the scene before you leave.
Call 911. The first thing you should do is call 911 to report the accident. An officer will investigate and write a crash report.
Find witnesses. If bystanders saw what happened, write down their names and phone numbers.
Collect evidence. Typically, evidence at the crash site could be useful in a legal case. Take pictures of the scene, broken car parts, skid marks, and anything else you see. You could also take pictures of visible injuries you sustained.
Exchange insurance. Ask all other drivers involved in the collision for their names, phone numbers, and auto insurance information. Sometimes, more than one driver could be held liable.
Go to the hospital. Get a ride to the hospital in an ambulance or ask a friend to pick you up. Medical records are vital to prove there was an injury and that you required treatment. Continue treating with your doctors until they release you from their care or you recover fully.
Get a damage estimate. If your bike was damaged in the crash, find a repair shop to bring it in for an estimate.
Hire a lawyer. Seek legal representation from an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer immediately.
Steps Involved In An Accident Investigation
At The Benton Law Firm, we have experience investigating accident scenes and obtaining evidence to maximize our clients’ cases. We want to ensure you receive the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses.
The first thing we will need to do is collect evidence that proves someone else was at fault for your injuries, such as:
- Eyewitness statements
- Crash report
- At-fault driver’s insurance policy
- Your medical records and medical bills
- Accident scene photos and evidence
- Video surveillance footage of the collision
- Repair estimates for your motorcycle and other vehicles involved
After completing our investigation, we will determine how much insurance coverage is available. All drivers are required by state law to carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits for bodily injury and property damage. Texas follows a fault system, meaning the driver who causes an accident is financially responsible for an injured person’s losses.
After finding out how much coverage is on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy, we can file a claim and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. Some policies don’t have high enough liability limits to cover every expense. If that happens, we could also file a claim with your auto insurance company or a lawsuit against the other motorist.
Compensation You Could Pursue After A Motorcycle Accident
There are various damages available after a motorcycle accident. An insurance claim could compensate for your economic and non-economic damages if the at-fault driver has adequate liability coverage.
Economic damages are actual expenses associated with the crash and your injuries, such as:
- Property damage
- Medical costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
You also might be entitled to punitive damages if you file a lawsuit. It’s a form of punishment against the driver for their reckless actions instead of compensation for your losses. A jury might award punitive damages if you can provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault driver exhibited acts of fraud, malice, or gross negligence.
Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
When motorcyclists share the road with cars, trucks, and other vehicles, they could easily get hurt in an accident. Drivers typically don’t notice when a motorcycle is near them. They’re much smaller than a standard car and harder to see.
Crashes are often the result of careless motorists who make dangerous errors or become distracted by something like their cell phones. Various other causes of a devastating motorcycle accident could be:
- An unsafe lane change – If drivers don’t check their blind spot or use their turn signal, they could sideswipe a motorcyclist.
- Speeding – When a car collides with a motorcycle at a high rate of speed, it can lead to debilitating injuries. Drivers should always obey the speed limit and adjust their driving for adverse road and weather conditions.
- Distracted driving – Cell phones and other forms of distraction take the motorist’s attention and focus away from the task of driving. They cannot react to an emergency, stop completely when traffic comes to a standstill, or stay in their lane.
- A failure to yield – Intersections are dangerous for motorcyclists. Drivers who attempt to proceed when they don’t have the right of way could crash into the side of a motorcycle.
- Tailgating – Following someone too closely is reckless behavior. If a car or truck collides with the back of a bike, the rider could get ejected and suffer severe injuries.
- Impairment by drugs or alcohol – Alcohol and drugs prevent drivers from operating their vehicles safely. It causes slower reaction time, impaired motor skills, and drowsiness.
There are many other causes of motorcycle accidents, so it’s important that you contact The Benton Law Firm to determine if we can handle your case. We will review the details and investigate to determine if someone else was at fault, and you are entitled to financial compensation.
Most Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists face many hazards when they’re sharing the road with others. Many types of accidents could cause injuries and fatalities. The most common motorcycle accidents include:
- Car door impact– If a driver doesn’t look before opening their door, they could open it up in the direct path of a motorcyclist.
- Backing up – Motorists backing out of a parking space should always look over their shoulders to check for other vehicles. If they don’t, they could back into a motorcycle, and the impact could knock the biker to the ground.
- Head-on collision – Distracted motorists could drift into oncoming traffic and crash into the front of a motorcycle. These tend to be more severe and the deadliest types of accidents involving motorcycles.
- Left-hand turn – If a driver ignores traffic signs and signals at an intersection, they could drive into the path of a motorcyclist with the right of way.
- Road defects – Defects, such as potholes, missing road signs, and inadequate lighting, make it more difficult for drivers or motorcyclists to navigate roads safely.
- T-bone crashes – Also called side-impact collisions, occur when a driver crashes into the side of another vehicle. When this happens to someone on a motorcycle, the rider rarely walks away unscathed.
- Lane splitting – Motorcyclists will sometimes drive between two lanes of traffic. However, it is not legal in Texas. Drivers that aren’t paying attention could drift and collide with the bike.
- Rear-end collision– Tailgating is a common cause of rear-end accidents. The driver behind another vehicle can’t slow down or stop when traffic reaches a standstill if they are tailgating.
Our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers understand the suffering you can endure after a crash. You could find yourself in a dangerous situation whenever you take your bike out for a ride. We will look into the accident and advise if we can handle the type of case you have.
Common Injuries People Sustain In Motorcycle Accidents
It is difficult to imagine the scope of motorcycle injuries if you have never been in an accident with a motorcycle. Injuries are often much more severe than injuries from car accidents because motorcyclists have little to protect them. With speed limits reaching above 80 mph in some parts of the state, it is frightening to consider what type of damage can occur to a motorcyclist if a car crashes into them at a high rate of speed.
Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents can range from minor to severe. However, because of the increased vulnerability of the motorcycle driver, many of the injuries end up being severe and often result in life-long disabilities. Some common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents include:
• Road rash
• Facial scarring and disfigurement
• Traumatic brain injuries and other injuries to the head
• Those that require amputation
• Spinal cord injuries
• Broken bones and fractures
• Partial and full paralysis
• Internal injuries, such as bleeding and organ failure
• Lacerations and deep wounds
• Penetrating injuries from debris or landing on a stationary object
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents result in death for the motorcyclist. If your loved one has passed away from a motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
How Much Does A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Charge In Legal Fees?
The Benton Law Firm doesn’t charge upfront fees or costs when taking on a motorcycle accident victim’s case. We want you to receive the legal representation you need without suffering additional financial strain. We won’t collect any legal fees unless we recover an insurance settlement or reach a favorable jury verdict. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us any money for legal fees.
Texas Laws You Must Comply with After A Motorcycle Accident
Filing a lawsuit is a huge undertaking. It takes time, patience, and attention to detail. State laws also require you to file within a specific timeframe. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver in court.
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations. That means you have two years from the accident date to sue the other driver. If two years pass and you try to file, the court will likely dismiss your case.
Another important rule to remember is known as “modified comparative negligence.” Your damages could diminish depending on the degree of fault you share. In other words, if a jury determines you are 40% to blame for the accident, you would only recover 60% of the damages. This means that if you incurred $100,000 worth of damages, you can’t collect more than $60,000 in compensation.
Additionally, in a modified comparative fault jurisdiction such as Texas, your ability to recover damages is completely barred if a jury finds that you are more than 50% responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. Having an attorney is crucial for ensuring you are not assigned more fault than is fair, which can severely impact your award.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits In Dallas
There is a procedure you must go through when you’re preparing to file a lawsuit. It takes many steps, and if you don’t follow them strictly, you could delay the process or end up with a dismissed case.
Step 1 – Prepare the documents. The Benton Law Firm will prepare the legal documents to file with the court. The first is a Complaint, which lays out all the case facts. The second is the Summons, which notifies the defendant that they must appear in court on a specific date to hear the allegations against them.
Step 2 – Serve the documents. After we file the Complaint and Summons, we must hire a process server or another qualified party to deliver them to the defendant. The process server will send us an affidavit of service upon completion of service. We will also file that affidavit with the court.
Step 3 – Receive the defendant’s Answer. The defendant will have 20 days from the service date to file an answer (or send it directly to us if they don’t retain an attorney). If they don’t respond to our Complaint, we could petition for a default judgment. That means the case will proceed without them, and the judge could decide to rule in your favor.
Step 4 – Discovery process. Discovery involves filing various requests to obtain relevant information and documents from the defense attorney (or the defendant, if they have no lawyer). We will also continue investigating the accident to collect additional evidence.
Step 5 – Mediation – During mediation, we can meet with the defendant, their attorney, and a mediator to settle the case. If we can’t agree, we will start preparing for the trial.
Step 6 – Trial prep. While preparing to argue your case in court, we will locate witnesses that can testify, continue collecting crucial evidence to present to the jury and prepare an argument that discounts or minimizes the defense attorney’s claims.
Step 7 – Trial and Judgment. Once the trial concludes, the judge will issue a judgment ordering the defendant to provide you with compensation or a ruling in their favor. If we win the case, we will ensure you receive prompt and complete payment.
Following the Insurance Claims Process
Insurance claims don’t involve as much preparation or strict deadlines as lawsuits. There isn’t an actual deadline you must comply with to file a claim. However, many insurance companies require that you file “promptly” after an accident. Hiring a Dallas motorcycle accident attorney and filing immediately is always best to avoid complications.
Step 1 – Request a copy of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy to determine who to file the claim with and how much coverage is available.
Step 2 – File a claim with the insurance company.
Step 3 – Gather as much relevant evidence as possible to prove that someone else was at fault for the crash and submit it to the insurance adjuster.
Step 4 – Negotiate a settlement we believe is fair and will adequately cover your past and future damages.
Step 5 – File a lawsuit if the insurance adjuster provides a low settlement offer or denies the claim.
Motorcycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Whether you are new to riding or are a seasoned biker, it is always good to refresh yourself on the laws surrounding motorcycles. The Texas legislature frequently changes the specific mandates and requirements covering motorbikes and scooters, and keeping track of the current rules can be challenging. To help make things clear, here are the easy answers to three questions every motorcyclist should know!
The best answer to this question is yes; you should wear a helmet anytime you ride. If you have health insurance, the law does not require you to wear a helmet if you are over 21. Despite the law, the facts are clear failure to wear a helmet significantly increases your risk of death and severe injury if you are in an accident. Your attorney should respect individual freedoms and understand whether you wear protective gear on your bike is your choice. However, you are much more likely to survive and have the opportunity to pursue compensation after an accident if you were wearing safety equipment during your accident.
Despite repeated attempts to make lane splitting legal in Texas, the legislature has yet to decide on this issue. Lane splitting means splitting lanes through traffic and between cars when traffic is especially slow or stopped. As noted on the Texas Department of Public Safety website, Texas does not officially deem the practice illegal. However, the law says drivers “shall drive as nearly practical entirely within a single lane,” which makes the practice illegal.
In Texas, motorcycle passengers must be at least five years of age. The two exceptions to this law are if the child rides in a sidecar attached to the motorcycle or if the situation is an emergency. Remember, anyone under 21 must wear a helmet while riding as a passenger, and any passenger needs both handholds and footholds to meet legal requirements.
Motorcycles are a popular and exciting mode of transportation. Unfortunately, the thrill of a motorbike comes with a tremendous risk to riders.
Seek Justice With The Benton Law Firm After Your Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident can take a devastating toll on your life and the lives of your loved ones. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle collision, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys of The Benton Law Firm. Our Dallas motorcycle accident attorneys know how dangerous Dallas highways can become for motorcyclists and work tirelessly to ensure that your injuries are compensated for. We understand the hardship accompanying an accident and work to make your life easier during such a difficult time.
Our attorneys have years of experience handling vehicle accident injuries and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Contact our offices today at (214) 777-7777 for your initial free consultation, or click here to learn more about the practice areas covered by The Benton Law Firm.