I was in a motorcycle accident, and I was issued a speeding ticket because I accelerated to minimize the impact. Will that affect my quest for compensation?

  • Motorcycle accidents are quite common, and many collisions involve a biker and another vehicle. In some situations, your safety may depend on taking evasive action. However, such action may be in violation of existing traffic laws. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may still be able to seek compensation for property damage and injuries. Discuss the particulars of your citation with an experienced attorney.

May I cross on a red light if my motorcycle does not trigger a signal change?

  • No. Find another route to travel. Only certain emergency vehicles may bypass red lights.

A car turned left in front of me and I hit the passenger’s door with my motorcycle, is the car driver responsible for my accident?

  • In many cases like this, the driver who turned left is held responsible, or liable, particularly if the vehicle that collided with the car was coming straight toward them in the other direction. There are a few exceptions to this rule of thumb involving whether or not the vehicle coming straight toward the left turning car ran a stop sign, a red light or was speeding. Talk to an attorney to evaluate your unique situation.

According to the Texas Department of Transport, motorcycle fatalities declined in 2012. Has that decrease in motorcycle accidents continued?

  • The Texas Department of Transportation indicates motorcycle fatalities dropped by 6 percent in 2012. This was an improvement to be haled after a 10-year record of increasing motorcycle fatalities. According to the numbers, 460 bikers died in 2013 as compared with 488 deaths in 2012. It should be noted that over half of the motorcycle riders killed were not wearing helmets.
  • It should also be mentioned that each agency that tabulates motorcycle accidents and fatalities has its own reporting system and criteria for reporting, and the numbers from agency to agency tend not to match.

Am I required to license a scooter?

  • A scooter needs to be registered as a motorcycle or moped, and you need to have a Class M license.
  • A moped must meet several criteria before being registered. It must not go more than 30 mph, must not require the driver to shift gears, and must have a piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less. If the moped does not meet the criteria, it must be registered as a motorcycle.

Are all motorcycle accidents deadly?

  • No, not all motorcycle accidents are deadly. They may result in minor to catastrophic injuries that are life-altering.
  • However, the vast majority of motorcycle accidents are fatal. According to the most recent statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,976 bikers and/or their passengers were killed in crashes in 2015, an 8.3 percent hike from 4,594 deaths in 2014. The fact is motorcycle accidents tend to be, more often than not; fatal due to the fact the riders have no real form of protection like vehicle drivers do.

Are all motorcycles two-wheeled?

  • No, not all motorcycles are two-wheeled. The definition used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that the term motorcycle refers to and includes any two or three-wheeled motorcycle, pocket bikes, mopeds, mini bikes, and scooters. Although the non-traditional motorcycle category may only account for 3 to 4 percent of all registered vehicles across the nation, they figure prominently in the country’s death rate as a result of collisions.

Are Austin motorcycle accidents common?

  • Yes. Approximately 2,000 bikers die on the road each year and over 50,000 are injured in crashes with other vehicles. In almost 80 percent of the collisions, the individual(s) on the motorcycle are either seriously injured or killed.

Are fatal motorcycle accidents more frequent than other kinds of fatal vehicle accidents?

  • Proportionally, yes. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that the rate of fatal accidents for motorbikes was 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles in 2006. Per mile ridden, the risk of a fatal crash is 35 times higher than that of a passenger vehicle.

Are head-on or rear-end collisions more prevalent with motorcycles?

  • Accidents involving a head-on collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle are more prevalent, making up about 56 percent of all motorcycle fatalities. Rear-end collisions occur about 5 percent of the time, compared to direct head-on collisions occurring about 78 percent of the time.

Are headlight modulators legal in Texas?

  • The Texas Transportation Code does not contain any specifics relating to the use of headlight modulators. If in doubt, check your local rules and regulations. They may differ from state requirements.

Are motorcycle accident claims different than car accident claims?

  • The main difference between them is the typically more serious nature of injuries sustained by bikers. To prove injuries for compensation, you must seek immediate medical attention and document all injuries as soon as possible.

Are motorcycle accident rates high in the United States?

  • Yes. Approximately 2,000 bikers are killed every year in the United States. Nearly 50,000 are seriously injured. 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes kill or injure at least one person.

Are motorcycle accidents on the rise?

  • Yes. Motorcycle fatalities have been increasing every year since the late 1900s. In 2004, figures indicated that there were more than 5.7 million bikes registered and 4,008 deaths. Those numbers break down to show that for every 100,000 registered motorcycles, there were 69.33 deaths. That means motorcycles were involved in 14 percent of all traffic collisions and more than 5 percent of all highway deaths.

Are there a lot of motorcycle accidents every year in the United States? How many people are injured or killed?

  • Estimates show that there are 50,000 riders and passengers injured in collisions annually. Nearly 2,000 bikers die every year. Life-altering injuries or death result in close to 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents in the U.S.

Are there any decibel limitations relating to motorbikes in Texas?

  • No. At present, there are no statutes relating to decibel limits in Texas.

Are there any laws that relate to passengers on a motorcycle?

  • Before 2009, there were no minimum age, weight, or height restrictions. Now, Bill HB 537 mandates a passenger be at least five years old. No changes were made to helmet laws. Further information about passengers may be found in TEX TN. CODE ANN. § 545.416: Texas Statutes – Section 545.416: RIDING ON MOTORCYCLE.
  • Further information on helmet laws may be found in TEX TN. CODE ANN. § 661.003: Texas Statutes – Section 661.003: MOTORCYCLE HELMETS.
  • If your motorcycle has the ability to carry more than one person, it must, according to Malorie’s Law, be equipped with handholds and footrests for the passenger.

Are there any special provisions necessary for me to take my on-road motorcycle test?

  • Yes. You are required to provide a passenger vehicle and driver so that the motorcycle examiner is able to follow you in that vehicle and grade your performance.

Are there other forms of negligence that I could use if I chose to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for my injuries and property damage that occurred as a result of my motorcycle accident?

  • There are other forms of negligence that may be cited to obtain compensation for your injuries and property damage that occurred as a result of your motorcycle accident. There are numerous negligent actions that may lead to a crash and some of them may include, but not be limited to:
    • Tailgating
    • Speeding
    • DWI
    • Driving while distracted
    • Running a red light
    • Lane crowding
    • Failure to yield

Are universal helmet laws and partial helmet laws equally effective?

  • No, partial helmet laws and universal helmet laws are not created equal. It has been statistically proven that when universal helmet laws are in effect, across the board, deaths decline. Partial laws or repealing helmet laws typically result in an increase in deaths. Motorcycle helmets do save lives.

Can a court or insurance company deny me compensation because riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous?

  • No. Even though you are more at risk by riding a motorcycle, you have just as many rights as drivers of other vehicles. It is incumbent on those other vehicles to watch for all traffic around them, and that includes motorcycles. If an accident happens because they were not paying attention, then they must be held responsible for it and the subsequent damages.

Can any lawyer represent me in a motorcycle accident case?

  • Although many lawyers practice in numerous areas, not all of them are intimately familiar with motorcycle injuries. Try to consult and hire an attorney who has extensive experience and/or is a biker, him or herself.

Can I get a motorcycle driver’s license if I am under 18?

  • If you are under 18, you must hold a learner’s permit for at least six months. You must log at least 65 hours of riding with supervision, and in some states, you must take and complete a Motorcycle Safety course before being granted a license.

Can I get a motorcycle learner’s permit if I have a non-commercial Class C driver’s license?

  • You will obtain a motorcycle driver’s license through the same steps as the general population. You must fill out the appropriate forms, pay your fees and pass a vision screening and knowledge test before receiving a one-year Class M learner’s permit. After a year, you may take the skills test to receive a Class M motorcycle license.

Can I get a ticket dismissed if I take a motorcycle safety course?

  • Provided that you take the course with court approval, you may have that option. The law states that a judge may require you to complete a course supported by the Texas Education Agency or an approved course in motorcycle training and safety supported by a designated state agency (Chapter 662, Transportation Code).

Can I install extra lights on my motorcycle?

  • It depends. The Texas Transportation Code forbids operating an unsafe vehicle, one not equipped in line with the law or one embellished in such a way as to be in violation of the Code. Some believe that if a motorcycle modification is not required under Texas law and does not fall under any exception, then it is not allowed — more so if it can be shown to be a hazard or distraction to drivers.
  • Lighting requirements for motorcycles may be found in §547.801 of the Code. However, this section does not cover the installation of aftermarket equipment, including lighting.
  • Only equipment approved by the Department of Transport (DOT) and installed in compliance with federal and state regulations is considered to be legally acceptable. A large percentage of add-on, after-market equipment is sold for off-road or show use. It is not necessarily legal for use on the highway. In short, DOT-unapproved, after-market lighting may be illegal as replacements for your original lighting in Texas.

Can I modify an off-road motorcycle and drive it on the highway?

  • No, you cannot modify an off-road motorcycle and drive it on the highway legally. This type of motorbike was not designed to be driven on the highway – its features, including the braking system, exhaust, tires and fuel systems are different. Additionally, off-road motorcycle manufacturers are required by law to permanently label their products with the warning that they are not intended to be driven anywhere but off-road.

Can I park my bike in disabled parking areas?

  • It is a Class C misdemeanor with fines up to $500 to park, stop or stand a motorcycle in a disabled parking space, unless the motorcycle has a disabled license plate or identification card on the windscreen. You may not use an identification card unless you are carrying the disabled person to whom the card was issued. You may not lend your card to anyone, and you may not park your bike so that it blocks a curb ramp or access.

Can I park on sidewalks?

  • No. Nor may you park in striped areas next to handicap parking or in the front of an entrance to a business next to a parking spot. These areas are for wheelchair lifts.

Can I ride my motorcycle in carpool lanes where they exist?

  • You may ride your bike in most carpool lanes in the United States. In most states with high-occupancy vehicle lanes, it is permissible to ride even if the lanes are not marked for use by motorcycles. However, if lanes are marked as closed or for buses only, you may not ride there.

Can I ride my motorcycle in Texas if I have a license from another jurisdiction or country?

  • You may ride with an out-of-state license, provided it has a motorcycle endorsement. Know the applicable laws. If your license is from another country, it depends on the reciprocity between the U.S. and your country. If you have questions relating to this issue, call the License Issuance Bureau at (512) 424-5089.

Can I sue the driver of the vehicle who caused my motorcycle accident?

  • If you were injured in a motorcycle accident or someone died in such a collision, you could file either a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • In a personal injury lawsuit, the main goal is to secure a fair and equitable settlement from the negligent at-fault driver’s insurance. If that is not successful, the case may move to court. Recent studies have shown that drivers of other vehicles tend to be at fault in a vehicle/motorcycle crash at least 60 percent of the time.
  • A large number of car drivers fail to properly share the road. They do not follow motorcycles at adequate distances, check their side mirrors for the presence of a motorcycle, or give them proper lane width. These actions are careless and may be the grounds to file a legal claim.

Can I wait a while before I decide to file a claim for damages after my motorcycle accident?

  • While it is in your best interest to assess and heal your injuries, it is best to immediately contact a personal injury attorney who handles motorcycle accidents. In Texas, a victim has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. It is important to remember, however, that the investigation and preparation of a case for court or settlement, is timely procedure. Immediately contacting an attorney and filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitation expires, will allow for your claim to successfully move forward.

Did changing the Texas motorcycle helmet law make a difference in death/injury rates?

  • According to a study at the University of Arkansas, the first year after Texas changed the helmet law to only be mandatory for those under 21 years of age there was a 30 percent hike in the motorcycle death rate. Mandatory helmet laws for all riders do save lives. While it may seem like a rider’s rights are being infringed upon, the life saved in an accident is largely due to the biker wearing a helmet.

Do helmets make it harder for the driver to hear or see where they are going?

  • No. If a motorcycle rider is wearing a helmet that meets the Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, it does not impair rider hearing or present any visibility issues. On the other hand, if the rider is not wearing a regulation helmet, there may be visibility and hearing issues. If someone is looking for a proper helmet, they should always opt for the DOT approved helmets. Any other type of helmet is not considered to be as safe and may actually contribute to a rider’s injuries.

Do I have to report my motorcycle accident to the police?

  • Yes, particularly if the accident involved a serious personal injury, death or property damage above a stated amount. It is good to have a written police report on file for your lawyer to access when preparing a personal injury lawsuit.

Do I have to take a motorcycle training and/or safety course?

  • In most states, yes, one does need to take a motorcycle training and/or safety course before one is granted a license to drive a motorcycle. This varies by state. For instance, in Florida and Texas, all riders must take a training course to get a license. In Ohio and California, training is mandatory for riders under a certain age, which may be either 18 or 21. Other states, such as Indiana and Colorado do not require motorcycle training.
  • It is in one’s best safety interests to learn how to safely handle a motorcycle. They are one of the deadliest vehicles on the road today. Knowing what to do in a difficult situation may be crucial to saving one’s life.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

  • If you operate or ride on a motorcycle in Texas, you must wear a helmet that meets or exceeds DOT rules. Acceptable helmets bear a DOT sticker. Helmets are mandatory for all motor scooters, mopeds and motorcycles, no matter their size or how many wheels they have. If you are over 21, you may be exempt from wearing a helmet, provided you have taken and completed a DOT Motorcycle Operator Training Course OR you have proof of at least $10,000 medical insurance.

Do I need a special license to ride a motorcycle?

  • In the vast majority of counties and states, you require a separate, specific license to drive a motorcycle.

Do I need to hire a lawyer if I have been in a motorcycle accident?

  • A skilled attorney is the only person able to ensure your legal rights are protected and that you obtain the compensation you deserve as a result of any injuries you may have sustained in an accident. They also deal with the insurance companies for you and stop them from trying to get you to settle to quickly, diminishing your claim, denying it or offering you far less than you may receive in court.

Do I really need professional training when I learn how to ride a motorcycle?

  • The Texas Department of Safety strongly advises and urges you to get professional motorcycle training. Your life may depend on it. The professionals are able to teach you how to turn safety and how to avoid obstacles, and show you various street strategies that may save your life in difficult traffic. A full list of available courses is may be obtained from the Texas Motorcycle Safety Unit.

Do I really need to have motorcycle insurance?

  • Yes. If you injure someone in an accident or cause damage in a collision and you were at fault, you need to have insurance to pay for the claim(s) made against you.
  • Most states insist that a biker have liability coverage, even if only the minimum amount. This coverage protects accident victims if an insured is liable for the accident. Basic insurance coverage also includes compensation for property damage and injuries, and it may cover legal fees when you hire an attorney.

Do motorcycle helmets actually save lives and reduce head injuries?

  • Yes. Wearing a proper regulation motorcycle helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) does help save lives and reduce injuries. In fact, wearing the proper helmet helps reduce the risk of death by up to 37 percent and reduces the risk of head injuries by up to 69 percent.
  • The amount of protection provided does depend on how a rider lands when the are ejected from their motorcycle. For example, if they are ejected into a light post or other immovable object, their helmet will help protect them, but they will still likely sustain serious head and neck injuries due to the nature of the impact.

Do motorcycle learner’s permits have any restrictions?

  • Yes. You may only operate a motorbike between sunrise and sunset; you may not drive at night. You may not carry a passenger unless your passenger is an instructor. If you do not hold another class of license, you may only operate a motorbike under the immediate supervision of a licensed motorcycle operator/instructor.

Do the vast majority of motorcycle accidents involve two moving vehicles?

  • Yes. However, 25 percent of motorcycle driver deaths are a result of running into fixed objects. Car crash deaths rank at about 18 percent.

Does lane-splitting increase the chances of a motorcycle accident?

  • Yes. The first reason that lane splitting increases the chance of a motorcycle accident is that most drivers do not expect or anticipate any other vehicle will be passing them while they are stopped or slowed down. In addition, the cramped space available to a biker while lane splitting and the fact that the passenger vehicles are much closer to the motorcycle also make lane splitting perilous. Fault in these kinds of accidents depends on whether lane splitting is legal in the state, the actions of the drivers, and what the police and courts decide.

Does my motorcycle need to have turn signals?

  • No. Turn signals are not mandatory on motorcycles in Texas. They would neither pass nor fail during an inspection.

Does Texas accept a motorcycle endorsement on my license from another state?

  • Yes, Texas does accept motorcycle endorsements on a license from another state.

Does Texas have a helmet law?

  • Texas does have a helmet law that requires riders who are 20 years of age or younger to wear helmets. Whether or not a state has a helmet law, certified DOT motorcycle helmets are always a vital part of a rider’s gear.

Does Texas have a Lemon Law for motorcycles?

  • Yes. Texas has a Lemon Law for motorcycles, trucks, cars, ATVs, motor homes and demonstrator vehicles covered by a written warranty.
  • If you bought or leased a new motorcycle and it develops a defect which prevents you from riding it, affects its safety or changes its market value, you may be able to apply for relief. You must allow the manufacturer a reasonable chance to repair the bike before filing the complaint form.
  • The Four Times Test determines if the dealer/manufacturer had a reasonable number of attempts to fix an issue. To pass the test and apply for relief, you must have taken your motorcycle to the dealership twice for the same problem within the first year or 12,000 miles (whichever is first) and twice more during the year or 12,000 miles following the second attempt to repair it and have found that the problem persists.

Does Texas have helmet laws for bikers?

  • There is a helmet law for bikers in Texas. However, this law is a partial helmet law. This means that Texas does not have a universal helmet law. Only riders under the age of 21 are mandated to wear motorcycle helmets.
  • Texas used to have a universal helmet law in the past. Prior to September 1, 1997, all motorcycle riders were required to wear helmets. As of September 1, 1997 the law changed, now only requiring helmet for riders who are under 21.

Does the elimination of mandatory helmet laws in Texas have anything to do with the increase in the number of motorcycle driver deaths?

  • Maybe. While it is true that helmets do save lives, they do not save all lives, as motorcycle riders are totally exposed to the impact of another vehicle. Helmets do help decrease the force of an impact, but they may not totally prevent traumatic brain injury or other serious head and neck injuries. Leathers protect skin from road rash, but they do not protect a rider from being ejected into a light pole and severing a leg. The fact is that only two small patches of rubber tires keep a motorcycle on the road. If a bike is hit, it goes down.

Does wearing a motorcycle helmet save money?

  • Yes. Wearing a motorcycle helmet not only saves lives, it saves money. In 2010 alone, the U.S. saved $3 billion due to riders wearing helmets. It is not just the government and insurance companies that save money when a biker involved in a crash is wearing a helmet. Riders also save money over the long term by not spending as much time in a hospital and not requiring as much rehabilitation, medical care, and drugs. If every rider in the U.S. had worn a helmet in 2010, the U.S. could have saved an extra $1.4 billion.

Don’t other drivers on the road have a duty of care to other drivers, including motorcycles?

  • Yes, other drivers on the road should be watching what they are doing and should be driving with due care and attention. This also includes being on the lookout for motorcycles as well as leaving extra space for them when driving or stopping behind them. However, the fact is that many drivers indicate they do not see motorcyclists and often end up turning in front of them. The biker then has nowhere to go but into the side of the vehicle. Many of these types of accidents are fatal.

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?

How do I get a motorcycle driver’s license?

  • You obtain a motorcycle driver’s license through a series of steps. Begin by filling out the appropriate forms and paying the fee applicable at the time you apply. You must then pass a vision screening and a motorcycle knowledge test. If you pass the test, your application is processed, and you receive a one-year Class M learner’s permit. This permit allows you to work on your skills. After a year, you may take a skills test or schedule an appointment at a Driver’s License Center. If you pass the skills test, you are issued a Class M motorcycle license.

How do I go about getting a motorcycle license in Texas?

  • The first thing you need to do is visit your local Texas DPS office, provide valid identification and fill out an application form.
  • The next step involves passing the motorcycle knowledge test, then completing an approved safety course and/or passing a riding skills test.
  • The final step involves paying a motorcycle endorsement fee or paying for a Class M fee only. Fees may vary, so check with your local DPS office.

How do motorcycle accidents compare to car accidents in terms of fatalities?

  • Motorcycle accidents statistics indicate that bikers are 37 times more likely to die in an accident than a car’s driver. Considering motorcycles only make up approximately 2.0 percent of all registered vehicles on the road, this is a very high number of deaths.

How does Texas compare with the number of motorcycles registered in the United States?

  • The latest statistics show that in Texas there are 438,551 motorcycles registered. Texas has an approximate population of 25,253,466. According to the Department of Transportation there were roughly 8,410,255 motorcycles registered by private citizens and commercial organizations at last count in 2011, meaning that roughly 5.2 percent of motorcycles in the nation are registered in Texas.

How long does it take for my case to go to trial?

  • Many motorcycle accidents do not make it to the courtroom. Instead, they are settled out of court. This may be beneficial for the victim to not have to face a long trial where they relive their accident on a daily basis. Additionally, it is often in the best interests of the defendant to settle out of court and avoid the possibility of a higher jury award.

How many bikers died in 2011?

  • The 2011 Department of Transport (DoT) statistics show that 4,612 motorcyclists died on the road in 2011. According to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA), this represents another 2 percent increase in rider fatalities over 2010. These figures include accidents involving pocket bikes, off-roaders, scooters, three wheelers, mopeds and mini bikes. Actual motorcycle deaths for 2011 were 4,323. Texas had the most deaths in 2011, with 441 riders killed. Of those 441 riders, 37 percent were driving under the influence.

How many motorcycle accidents result in death every year?

  • According to the latest available statistics, more than 4,000 people die every year in motorcycle accidents. In 2008, the number was as high as 5,209. NHTSA numbers reveal that in calendar year 2011, 4,323 bikers lost their lives. A third of those accidents were caused by riders driving while under the influence.

How many registered motorcycles are there in Texas?

  • According to the most recent tabulated statistics, which are from 2012, there are 448,399 registered motorcycles.

How many riders and passengers die each year as a result of motorcycle accidents?

  • According to the TxDOT, there are 450 to 500 deaths every year as a result of motorcycle collisions. Nationwide the number tops 5,000 yearly. In 2013, 460 bikers and 35 passengers died in accidents. In 2012, 446 motorcycle drivers and 24 passengers died.

I am only 16. Can I still apply for a Texas motorcycle license?

  • Yes.
  • You need to be at least 15 years old and would initially be restricted to 250 cc motorcycles. This restriction is removed when you turn 16.
  • You must verify that you are a U.S. citizen and lawfully present in the U.S., provide a social security number, a copy of a Driver’s Education certificate of completion, a copy of a completion certificate from a motorcycle safety course from an approved school, a letter from a school administrator or a completed verification of enrolment and attendance form, parental authorization in the form of a signature and/or proof that you took a driver’s education taught by your parents. The parent must come with you and sign in the presence of a driver’s licensing official.
  • You must also have proof of registration of your motorcycle, if you own one, and proof of insurance, complete all required application forms, and pay proscribed fees. You must also pass the vision and written exams and it is highly recommended you study the motorcycle manual provided by the Department.
  • Finally, you need to pass on-road tests, and your application must include thumbprints and a picture.

I am over 18 years old, what does that mean for me in terms of getting a motorcycle license?

  • If you are 18 or older, the process is a bit more complicated. You must produce valid identification and confirm you are a U.S. citizen or are lawfully present in the United States. You must prove you live in Texas, provide your social security number, and if you own your motorcycle, proof of motorcycle registration and insurance.
  • You must also include proof of having completed a motorcycle safety course approved by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, pay appropriate license fees, pass the written exam dealing with road signs, rules, and motorcycles, a driving test, and a vision test, if necessary. All applications much have thumbprints and photographs attached.

I have motorcycle insurance and was involved in an accident. Do I need to hire a lawyer?

  • If you hope to settle any claim fairly and equitably, it is best to at least discuss your case with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Insurance companies are not your friends. Their main goal is to diminish or deny your claim in order to save as much money as possible. If you want full compensation, speak to an attorney.

I have seen other bikers ride between cars. Is that legal?

  • There is no specific law that says whether it is legal or not. However, there are several statutes that may come into effect relating to the circumstances of this situation. Examples include signal intention, right of way, passing with safety, or obligation to drive in a single lane.
  • It is important to remember that motorcycles are the same as cars when it comes to obeying traffic laws. This is why other statutes in the Texas Transportation Code are applicable.

I heard that helmet laws take away my freedom of choice as to whether to wear a helmet or not. Is that true?

  • It is true that freedom of choice with regard to wearing a helmet is restricted in many states. However, this is no different than distracted driving bans, drunk driving laws, and cell phone use while driving. These laws are put into place for the good of everyone to save lives. The laws are vital to the well-being of all Americans.

I sustained some fairly serious injuries in a motorcycle accident and I was not wearing a helmet. Does that mean I cannot recover damages?

  • Even if the state where you reside does have a mandatory helmet law, anyone not wearing a helmet in compliance with the law is not likely to be unable to recover damages for injuries if someone else is responsible for causing the accident. Not wearing a helmet may be relevant to damages recovered depending on where you live, and whether or not the failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries, so be sure to consult a personal injury attorney in this regard.
  • Texas does have a helmet law in place for those 20 years old and under.
  • For further information on helmet laws in each state, click here.

I think I may have been lucky as I only sustained a broken arm and leg in my motorcycle accident. What other kinds of injuries are most commonly seen as a result of a collision involving a motorcycle and another vehicle?

  • You were indeed very fortunate to survive your crash. Motorcycle collisions are known to cause a number of extremely serious injuries that include, but may not be limited to:
    • broken bones
    • crush injuries
    • amputations
    • burns
    • soft tissue injuries
    • brain trauma
    • spinal cord injuries
    • road rash
    • burns
    • dislocations
  • In extremely serious crashes the victim may develop long-term medical issues or permanent disabilities. If your motorcycle accident was particularly serious and your injuries very severe you need to discuss the case with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.

I was in a motorcycle accident recently, should I release my medical documents to the insurance company?

  • No. It is not advisable to sign any documents before speaking to a personal injury lawyer. If medical information is given to the insurance company, the information in it could come back to destroy any case that exists for the injured party.

I was in a motorcycle accident, but my injuries are not serious. Do I still need to contact a personal injury lawyer?

  • You may not feel the need to speak to a lawyer right away, but not all injuries show up immediately after an accident. You must always seek medical attention after an accident for an evaluation. If something comes up later — if, for example, you discover you tore your hamstring badly enough to not be able to walk long distances — contact your doctor again, determine if the injury is accident-related, then speak to an attorney.

I was injured in a motorcycle accident as the result of hitting a bad pothole. Do I have legal recourse?

  • If the road you were traveling on was dangerous, you may have a case. Roads must be maintained to a certain degree of safety and if a pothole caused your accident, you may be able to file a claim against the appropriate local governmental authorities.

I was injured in a motorcycle accident last month and have a lot of therapy ahead of me. What can I recover financially if I file a personal injury lawsuit?

  • There is no one amount of money that covers all motorcycle accident injury cases, as no two accidents are the same. The amount of compensation that may be awarded varies depending on the facts of the accident and liability.
  • In general, if a personal injury lawsuit is filed, it seeks damages to cover future and past medical bills, future and past lost wages, pain and suffering, and mental/emotional anguish/stress. In some instances, a personal injury lawsuit may also seek punitive damages if the conduct that caused the accident was so reckless and/or egregious that it should be penalized.
  • If a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, the damages sought in that kind of case are different. They may include loss of financial support of a deceased, lost companionship and care, and funeral and burial costs.

I was injured in a motorcycle accident, but not seriously. Do I really need to hire a lawyer? The insurance company said they would be happy to settle quickly.

  • Whether or not your injuries seem to be serious, it is worth your while to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Many seemingly not serious injuries often have a way of resurfacing later. If you sign off on your accident now and in the future have issues with the injury manifesting itself in a different way, you cannot sue for compensation.
  • You should also make sure you see a doctor and get every injury, minor or major, clearly documented in case you need such evidence at a later date. Do not sign off any documents, respond to any questions, or agree to settle for less than what you may be able to claim in court. The main goal of insurance companies is to get you to settle for less or deny your claim, if possible.

I was involved in a fairly serious motorcycle accident. Am I going to be able to recover compensation?

  • You should be able to recover compensation for your motorcycle accident provided you are able to prove the accident was caused by another person’s negligence. Negligence usually happens if another individual did not conduct her or himself in a reasonable, safe, and prudent manner. For example, turning left in front of a motorcycle.
  • To determine if there was negligence involved in your accident it would require your motorcycle accident attorney to conduct a further investigation into the crash.

I was involved in a motorcycle accident last month. The police say I was partly to blame. How does that affect my case?

  • In most cases, and this depends on the circumstances of each case, the courts determine the percentage of fault between the motorcyclist and the other vehicle involved in the collision. If both parties are at fault, but to differing degrees, the court splits the damages according to the percentage each was at fault. An example would be if a motorcyclist was 30 percent responsible for the accident and the other vehicle was 70 percent at fault, it means the other driver pays 70 percent of the damages. The motorcyclists pays 30 percent. Texas uses a modified comparative negligence rule, also called proportionate responsibility.

I was involved in a motorcycle accident. The driver of the other vehicle turned in front of me. What kind of damages may I expect to be awarded when I go to court?

  • Motorcycle accidents are typically far more catastrophic in terms of personal injuries than car accidents. This is because there is no protective “shell” to protect bikers from an impact with another vehicle. Accordingly, court awards tend to be much higher as personal injury awards are based on the nature and extent of a victim’s injuries.
  • It is difficult to precisely determine an amount that a victim may be awarded without knowing the type and extent of their injuries. Their personal injury attorney will be able to outline injury parameters when they meet with him or her to discuss the details of their case.

I was involved in an accident where a car turned left in front of me. Who is at fault, what are my rights and what kinds of damages can I collect?

  • If a car turns left at an intersection in front of someone, that vehicle is usually considered to be at fault if an accident occurs. The law clearly states that any motor vehicle turning left must yield to oncoming traffic.
  • If someone has been involved in a motorcycle accident, they have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation for their physical injuries and property damage. An example of what they may be entitled to includes, but may not be limited to pain and suffering, vehicle repair costs, loss of income, and medical bills. If a loved one died in a motorcycle accident, one may be entitled to funeral and burial expenses, medical costs, and possibly punitive damages.

I was not wearing a helmet when I got into an accident. Can I still collect damages from the at-fault driver?

  • Even though Texas does have a mandatory helmet law, that you were not in compliance with, it will likely not prevent you from recovering damages for your injuries, provided that the other driver did cause the accident. There are some exceptions, but your attorney can outline those for you.

I was not wearing a helmet when I had my motorcycle accident. Is this going to affect my case?

  • Not wearing a helmet may not negatively affect your case, despite the fact that it is the law in Texas to wear a helmet. It is also true that not wearing a helmet in the Lone Star State is considered to be an offense. Nonetheless, not wearing one at the time of an accident may not affect seeking compensation for the accident.
  • The key in cases such as this is to prove the motorcycle collision was caused by another driver, not the biker. This may clear the way for you to recover damages, even if you were not wearing a helmet. However, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet is factored into any judgment.
  • Typically, the negligent person who caused the crash pays the damages. However, if more than one person was at fault, the negligence is divvied up between the parties on a percentage basis.
  • There are four negligence damage award categories: modified comparative negligence (50 percent bar) modified comparative negligence (51 percent bar), pure contributory negligence, and pure comparative negligence. To know what you may face in a Texas court, you need to consult an experienced attorney.

I was not wearing a helmet when I was involved in a motorcycle accident. Do I lose my right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for my injuries?

  • No, you do not lose your legal right to file a lawsuit if you were involved in a motorcycle accident and were not wearing a helmet. Texas has a helmet law, but it has an exception.
  • Currently, the law mandates that all moped, scooter, and motorcycle riders and their passengers must wear helmets that meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. However, an exception applies to those over the age of 21. Those over the age of 21 do not have to wear a helmet if they have completed a TxDOT approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or they are covered by a health insurance plan that provides medical benefits for motorcycle accident injuries.

I was recently involved in a motorcycle accident. What kinds of damages may I be able to recover as a result of that accident?

  • Should someone be successful in their personal injury lawsuit, they may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, loss of earning ability, loss of consortium, and reimbursement for the repair or replacement of their motorcycle.
  • Each case is different and they would need to discuss their specific case with a competent motorcycle attorney before they would get an answer specific to their particular case.
  • Should they decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, they may or may not need to appear in court. Many cases are settled out of court through the motorist’s insurance, but someone involved in a motorcycle accident does need to collaborate with an experienced attorney to resolve their case and get the compensation that they deserve.

I was riding my motorcycle when my bike jolted and I was ejected. I had pretty serious injuries. Turns out that part of the highway was under construction but was not marked. Can I still sue for compensation?

  • Motorcycle accidents are not always caused by a negligent rider. In some instances, the highways and roads you are traveling on could be considered dangerous. Roads are required to be maintained and properly marked with signs.
  • There are numerous reasons for someone to file a personal injury lawsuit against the government or the construction company. The four most common reasons include:
    • Improper signs
    • Dangerous condition of the pavement
    • Turns that are too sharp
    • Poor road conditions
  • Federal and state regulations specify the types of signs that should be used, the locations where signs should be placed, and the number of signs that should be used. Failures by construction companies of municipalities to obey these rules can lead to injuries to motorists, construction workers, or both.
  • Unmarked uneven pavement can be hazardous to motorists, particularly to motorcyclists. Standards vary by state, but roads should be well marked, with appropriate signs to give warning of the need for caution and reduced speed.
  • Regulations dictate how sharply motorists can be required to turn and at what speeds. If there is no warning or incorrect warning of turns, then the construction company or municipality might be liable for any resulting injuries.
  • Even when construction has been completed, accidents caused by poor road conditions can still lead to liability claims.

I was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident and have no way to pay my bills. Will I be able to recover compensation for my injuries?

  • To be able to recover compensation, you must prove your accident was caused by the negligence of another individual. Negligence is defined as the failure of another person to conduct themselves in a reasonable and safe manner.
  • Compensation is based on liability. If you in some way contributed to the cause of the accident, your compensation may be decreased.
  • Since not all circumstances of motorcycle accidents are clear-cut, most crashes may need further investigation by your attorney. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you determine whether or not negligence was involved in your case.

If I do file a lawsuit seeking compensation for my motorcycle accident, what types of damages would I be likely to get?

  • Compensation varies in each state. In general, though, you may expect to recover the cost of any medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, property damage, and, possibly, punitive damages.
  • If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you (as a survivor) may be able to claim funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, medical expenses incurred prior to death, other economic losses, and non-economic damages such as loss of affection and companionship.

If I do have a case that can be taken to court or settled, what kinds of damages am I possibly eligible to recover?

  • In Texas, if another individual was at fault for your accident, the law permits victims to recover compensation for non-economic and economic damages. In the vast majority of motorcycle accidents the most common kinds of damages, that compensation may be recovered for, may include, but are not limited to:
    • property damage
    • past disfigurement
    • future disfigurement
    • past mental anguish
    • future mental anguish
    • past medical bills/expenses
    • future medical bills/expenses
    • past loss of wage-earning ability
    • past lost wages
    • future loss of wage-earning ability
    • future lost wages
    • past physical/emotional pain and suffering
    • future physical/emotional pain and suffering
    • in some instances, punitive damages

If I was a passenger on a motorcycle that was involved in an accident due to the driver’s unsafe driving and I was seriously injured, can I sue the driver?

  • Yes. If it is proven that the driver was not using reasonable care while driving their motorcycle, their passenger may sue them for negligence.
  • Anyone who drives a vehicle, no matter what type of vehicle it may be, is legally obligated to use reasonable care while driving and that includes following and obeying all the pertinent traffic laws. Not driving with due care and attention is, legally speaking, negligent. In court, the plaintiff must prove the driver’s negligence caused his or her injuries.

In the event of injuries or the death of motorcycle passengers and/or the driver, who is held responsible?

  • Anyone who is at fault for contributing to causing the accident should be held responsible for the injuries or death(s). In the vast majority of collisions, it is a passenger vehicle, such as a car or truck, that is the at-fault party. If the motorcycle operator is found to be at fault, he or she may be responsible for any injuries to a passenger or that passenger’s death.

Is drinking and driving a big issue involved in motorcycle accidents?

  • Most motorcycle crashes occur when a car driver fails to see a bike, but at least 30 percent of the motorcycle deaths in 2003 were due to drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.08. Although these numbers have declined, the numbers are still higher than they need to be, considering all the alcohol awareness campaigns across the nation.

Is it legal for me to travel through an intersection if my motorcycle does not trigger the traffic signal?

  • No, one may not cross an intersection if one’s motorcycle does not trigger the signal to change. Texas law does not permit a regular vehicle to bypass a red light. If someone finds themselves in that kind of situation, they should change lanes or find an alternative route.
  • Of interest to a motorcycle rider is a provision in the Texas Transportation Code that says certain electric traffic-control signals have to be able to recognize the presence of a motorcycle.

Is it legal to ride my motorcycle between cars?

  • Although there is no specific law that bans this practice, there are statutes that apply with regard to signal intention, right of way, passing with safety, and the obligation to drive in a single lane. Remember, motorcycles are considered to be the same as cars and, thus, the statutes in the Transportation Code may apply.
  • There is a statute in the Transportation Code that makes the practice of splitting a lane illegal.

Is lane splitting allowed while riding a motorcycle?

  • Lane splitting is permissible in some states. Always check the motor vehicle rules and regulations in the state where you reside. Lane splitting may be done, in some states, provided it is done safely. You should not travel more than 10 mph faster than your companion traffic, and you of course must not come close enough to any other vehicle to cause an accident.

Is lane splitting legal in Texas?

  • No. Lane splitting in Texas is illegal and considered to be aggressive driving. It is the practice of moving through traffic that is in motion.

Is motorcycle insurance expensive?

  • If you are a young rider with a tricked-out or sporty motorcycle, your insurance does cost more. Before you buy a bike, check out the probable insurance rates attached.

Is the motorcycle accident rate in Texas as high as they say?

  • Yes. It is getting higher every year due to the fact that there are an ever-increasing number of motorcycle owners in the state, with the number of registered motorcycle owners in Texas having more than doubled since June 2000. Texas has an all year around season for biking whereas other states only have several months during which riders can hit the open roads. The price of gas has also driven numerous people to buy a motorcycle to save on fuel.

Is there a law in Texas that deals with handlebar height?

  • Yes. Handlebars must be measured from the lowest part of the saddle to the highest part of the grips.

Is there any difference between traditional motorcycles and high-performance motorcycles?

  • There is a difference between traditional motorcycles and high-performance motorcycles. High-performance bikes come in two categories: sport and supersport motorcycles. Supersport bikes incorporate racing platforms, modified for use on the highway. These bikes can travel at up to 160 mph with their high-horsepower engines and lightweight frames.
  • High-performance bikes tend to account for the highest number of accidents. People under 30 tend to ride supersport bikes. Without the caution of older riders, these bikers have accidents more frequently. The death rate is four times higher than for bikers who ride traditional motorcycles. Experienced older riders on traditional bikes have a lower death rate.
  • Sportbikes have a lower power to weight ratio despite being similar in construction to the supersport models. Those under 34 tend to ride these bikes. The death rate in this demographic is two times that of those riding traditional bikes.

Is there any way I can protect myself from motorcycle accident head injuries?

  • Each state has its own rules, regulations, and safety standards for headgear and helmets. Helmets do protect the head during a crash to a degree. A helmet can protect the skull from fracturing, but it can not always prevent traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries occur when the force of an impact causes the brain to bounce against the inside the skull.

Is there only one motorcycle safety training course available in Texas?

  • No. There are several courses available in Texas. There are the Basic and New Rider courses, intermediate riding clinics, advanced training, and specialized training. The cost for these courses varies by location and provider, so it is best to check them out in advance.

It is necessary to have an investigation of my motorcycle accident?

  • Yes, an investigation of a motorcycle accident is imperative. This relates to the fact that the insurance company typically attempts to prove the rider was, to some extent, at fault for the accident. They do this in order to diminish the amount of any claim.

My attorney said if I wanted to file a lawsuit to recover damages for my injuries from being involved in a motorcycle accident, I needed to keep the statute of limitations in mind. What does that mean?

  • The statute of limitations dictates that one has a limited time open to file a claim for personal injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.
  • Each state has its own statute of limitations, rules, and laws. Depending on the state someone is in, the window of opportunity they have to file a personal injury lawsuit may vary. Their attorney will advise them of the length of time they have to file. If they miss the filing deadline, they are barred from taking any further legal action.

My best friend was involved in a pretty serious motorcycle accident and is intending to sue the driver who cut him off. What damages would he be entitled to or expect to recover?

  • If another person was considered to be at fault and you live in Texas, victims are permitted to recover compensation for non-economic and economic damages. This may include, but not be limited to:
    • past loss of earning capacity
    • lost wages
    • future loss of earning capacity
    • future emotional/physical suffering and pain
    • past emotional/physical suffering and pain
    • past medical expenses and bills
    • future medical expenses and bills
    • future mental anguish
    • past mental anguish
    • future disfigurement
    • past disfigurement
    • property damage
  • It should be noted that some cases allow punitive damages based on how egregious the defendant’s actions were

My brother was in a motorcycle accident and his attorney launched an investigation into the case. Is that necessary?

  • Yes, it is important to immediately launch an investigation into a motorcycle accident. Every detail of the crash, the accident scene, any eyewitnesses’ statements or other information is vitally important to the outcome of the case. Motorcycle cases can be complex.
  • It is advisable to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident to have someone on your side protecting your legal rights. The attorney will be able to collect and preserve all the necessary evidence including eyewitnesses testimony, police reports, and medical records.

My brother was killed in a motorcycle accident that was not his fault. What do I do?

  • Family members may be entitled to file a claim for wrongful death based on the facts of the accident. If you lose a relative in an accident, you should speak to a competent personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Do not wait too long to speak with an attorney, as statutes of limitations are applicable — if you file too late, your claim may be barred.

My friend’s motorcycle case went to court. Will my case end up in court?

  • Whether your case goes to court or not depends on the facts of the case. In reality, particularly in instances where it is a first-time accident, a vast majority of cases like this are settled out of court.

My lawyer said something to me about comparative negligence when we were discussing my motorcycle accident. What does that mean?

  • Comparative negligence means that fault for an accident is assigned amongst the drivers involved in an accident. The assignment of fault relates to the degree of recklessness or carelessness that each driver demonstrated that contributed to the accident.
  • For example, if the accident in question involves a motorcycle, we typically see that comparative negligence involves a broken tail light, non-working brake lights, signals not working, or an unlit headlamp. It may also consider whether or not the biker had been driving according to the rules of the road if they were trying to pass when it was unsafe to do so or if they were tailgating a vehicle.

My learner’s permit has expired. What do I need to do?

  • To obtain another permit, you must reapply by filling out the Learner’s Permit application in person, submitting the fee required at the time of your application, passing vision screening again, and repeating the knowledge test. Learner’s permits cannot be renewed. Some states allow a biker to reapply for a learner’s permit no more than three times in a five-year time frame.

My motorcycle accident was the result of some aftermarket parts failing. Does this make a difference to me in filing a personal injury lawsuit?

  • No, it does not make a difference in your choice to file a personal injury lawsuit. There may be a strong case made for the negligence of the maker of the aftermarket part in question, and possibly the individual(s) who sold it to you.
  • If your accident was ultimately deemed to be caused by an original manufacturer’s part that was installed on the motorcycle and deemed defective your attorney will thoroughly investigate the situation to determine the liable party or parties are held responsible for your injuries. There are various parts on a motorcycle that could be deemed dangerous due to the use of low-quality materials, a design defect, or being assembled by a poorly trained worker.

Should I sign anything from my insurance company after a motorcycle accident?

  • Do not sign any insurance company paperwork until you have spoken to a competent motorcycle injury lawyer. Most insurance companies will try to reduce, diminish or dismiss your claim.

The insurance company of the driver that ran into me on my motorcycle wants to release my medical records. Is that okay to do?

  • Absolutely not! Never release any records, make any recordings or answer any questions from the motorist’s insurance company. It could seriously harm your case and anything you say or release will be used against you to attempt to diminish, dismiss or deny your insurance claim.

The police are indicating my motorcycle accident may have been caused by a defective part. Do I have a case?

  • You may have a personal injury case if a defective motorcycle part was the reason for your accident. Unfortunately, not all motorcycle parts are created equal and the safety of your ride may have been compromised in a number of ways such as defective design, the use of low-quality materials, or being assembled by improperly trained workers.
  • If you think your accident is the result of defective motorcycle parts or defective design, reach out to an experienced motorcycle attorney. They are able to assist you in determining if the part manufacturer or motorcycle manufacturer may be held responsible for your injuries and damages.

The police are indicating to me that I may be considered to be partially liable for my motorcycle accident. What does that mean for me in terms of compensation?

  • In Texas, the law is based on a system called “comparative fault.” This is also known as proportionate responsibility. If a victim is not over 50 percent responsible for an accident, there is still a chance to recover compensation. The proportion of a plaintiff’s negligence reduces compensation. An example would be if you were deemed to be 35 percent at fault for the accident. Your court award would then be adjusted down by 35 percent.

What apparel do I need to ride a motorcycle?

  • The answer depends on your state. Some states do not have helmet laws. Others do. Where a helmet law exists, wear the proper headgear, biking leathers, proper biking gloves, and footwear. No matter where you are, the proper riding gear can minimize any injuries you may sustain in a survivable accident.

What are the fatality statistics for Texas cities and rural areas for motorcycle accidents?

  • The Texas Department of Transport and the Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute indicate statistics showing almost 90 percent of motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries or death. 56 percent of the fatal accidents happened in Texas cities and 44 percent took place in rural areas.

What are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents?

  • There are a number of causes for motorcycle and passenger vehicle accidents that include, but are not limited to: bad weather, not signaling properly, ignoring traffic signs, ignoring traffic conditions, speeding, lane splitting, inexperienced bikers/car drivers, driving on the wrong side of the road, mechanical issues, driving under the influence, obstructions, construction, and unsafe road conditions.

What are the statistics relating to driving while under the influence while riding a motorcycle?

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2010 involved riders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08. Numbers available for 2005 revealed 1 in 3 motorcycle collisions resulted from riders under the influence. Interestingly, those numbers also demonstrated that adults between ages 40 and 44 had a high number of alcohol-related crashes. However, motorcyclists ages 20 through 24 still lead with the most alcohol-related fatal crashes.

What can I do if a relative was killed in a motorcycle accident? Do I have any legal rights?

  • Yes, you do have legal rights. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney and find out how to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Do not delay in contacting a lawyer, as there is a statute of limitations on filing lawsuits such as this.

What causes motorcycle accidents to be so common?

  • Automobiles are responsible for approximately 75 percent of motorcycle accidents. This is due, in part, to the fact that drivers do not see bikers. Statistically, most motorcycle accidents are the result of an error made on the part of the auto driver.

What difference does it make to anyone else if I choose not to wear a helmet and get into an accident? It’s up to me what I do and it doesn’t affect anyone else.

  • While it may well be up to the rider what they choose to do when it comes to wearing a motorcycle helmet or not, the fact is that motorcyclists are not the only ones affected if they get into an accident and need medical care. This is particularly relevant if they do not carry insurance. Someone has to pay for their care and if they have no insurance, taxpayers are footing the bill.

What do I do if I am in an accident that was not my fault?

  • No matter how you ended up being involved in an accident, your first concern should be medical attention. If you have insurance information about the other driver, make sure the police get it. If you end up seriously injured and require lengthy hospitalization, seek legal counsel to determine if you may file for compensation for your injuries.

What do I do if I lose my learner’s permit?

  • If you lose your physical permit, you will need to fill out the learner’s permit application again and submit the fee required.

What do I need to know to pass a test involving driving my motorcycle?

  • You are tested on your ability to avoid crashes and vehicle control, as well as your skill in hazardous traffic situations. You need to be able to demonstrate the ability to accelerate, turn and brake safely. You also need to show that you know your limits and your motorcycle, that you know how to communicate with others to make sure you are seen and that you are aware of all hazards around you, and that you can effectively adjust your speed and position in various traffic situations—that you can swerve, turn and stop quickly, and make on-the-fly critical decisions. Additionally, you may be scored on safety-related factors, including normal swerves, turns, and quick stops, and you may be asked to perform maneuvers at safe speeds, hold your path, and stay within certain boundaries.

What does my attorney mean when he says accident claims are lawsuits based on negligence?

  • To file a claim in a personal injury lawsuit, negligence must be present to have caused the accident. That negligence would be the result of the other party in the accident either driving recklessly, without due care and attention, driving distracted, or driving while under the influence. These actions constitute negligence.
  • Anyone who drives a vehicle, no matter what type of vehicle it may be, is legally obligated to use reasonable care while driving, and that includes following and obeying all the pertinent traffic laws. Not driving with due care and attention is, legally speaking, negligent. In court, the plaintiff must prove the driver’s negligence caused his or her injuries.

What equipment is required in Texas if I have a moped?

  • If you are riding a moped, you must have a rear lamp, headlamp, brake, and reflector.

What equipment must I have if I ride a motorcycle in Texas?

  • If you ride a motorcycle in Texas, your bike will need a tail lamp, a license plate lamp, a stop lamp, a headlamp (which may be modulated), a red rear reflector, a horn, a mirror, and a vehicle identification number. And of course, it will require exhaust, steering, and braking systems in good repair, along with a solid wheel assembly and tires.

What happens if I am involved in a motorcycle accident and it was not my fault?

  • First, if you are able to, seek immediate medical assistance. Make certain you get all the relevant details about the other driver. Do not delay in contacting an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and claim compensation for your injuries.

What injuries are the most common when someone is involved in a motorcycle accident?

  • The most common injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident may include, but not be limited to:
    • Broken bones
    • Serious road rash
    • Head trauma
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Dislocations
    • Crush injuries
    • Amputations
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Catastrophic life-long medical injuries or disabilities

What is comparative negligence?

  • This is a concept of law that assigns fault to the drivers involved in an accident, based on their contributory carelessness. For example: if a biker was driving at night without a working headlight. This concept also affects damage awards according to the degree or percentage of each party’s negligence.

What is the main cause of death in motorcycle accidents?

  • Head injuries are the primary cause of death, but not all head injuries are fatal. Some result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the individual’s life is never the same again.

What is the most common cause of Austin motorcycle accidents?

  • By far, the most commonly cited reason for an accident involving a biker and another vehicle is that the driver did not see the motorcycle. Motorcycles are more difficult to see on the road due to their smaller size and many of them cannot be seen in a driver’s blind spot. Many drivers also do not pay close enough attention to what is going on around them and make abrupt lane changes or turn in front of a moving bike.

What is the most common cause of death as a result of a motorcycle accident?

  • Head injuries most frequently cause death in motorcycle accidents. Even if a biker is wearing a helmet, injuries depend on how he or she is ejected from the motorcycle, whether the helmet is secure, if it came off on impact or if it was a helmet approved by the Department of Transport (DoT). Helmets can and do help prevent head injuries, but a serious accident can still kill a biker through head trauma.

What is the most common injury seen in motorcycle crashes?

  • Head injuries are the predominant and usual cause of death. Not all traumatic brain injuries are fatal. A wide variety of other serious injuries can contribute to an accident victim’s condition.

What is the most dangerous situation a biker may find himself or herself in when traveling with other vehicles?

  • The most dangerous situation for a biker when traveling with other vehicles is when the other driver unexpectedly makes a left-hand turn. In most instances, the turning vehicle hits the motorcycle as it is proceeding through an intersection, passing a vehicle, or overtaking another vehicle. Collisions of this nature account for approximately 42 percent of all accidents involving a passenger car and a motorcycle.

What kinds of motorcycle injuries are fatal?

  • In most crashes involving a motorcyclist and another vehicle, the most common injury is a traumatic brain injury. Not all head injuries are fatal, but many bikers are never the same after sustaining head trauma.

What makes an off-road motorcycle different from other motorcycles in that it cannot be driven on the Texas highways?

  • Motorcycle manufacturers who specialize in designing bikes made for the highway must, by law, meet very strict and detailed security standards for their braking systems, exhaust and fuel systems, and tires. Off-road bike manufacturers are not held to the same standards in relation to the vapor tightness of their fuel systems. For example, the braking system hoses of an off-road bike do not meet the required standards to be road-ready, and they are not required to undergo testing.

What numbers dealing with motorcycle accidents does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have?

  • The NHTSA has not yet completed its review of motorcycle fatalities in 2012. However, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) predicted death by motorcycle crashes rose across the nation in 2012. If that prediction turns out to be accurate, it would be an increase every year for 14 out of 15 years.

What options are available to protect myself?

  • Each state has different rules and regulations pertaining to safety gear for motorcyclists. Federal law mandates wearing helmets recommended by the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218. However, many states also have the option to require bikers to follow additional safety rules and regulations. Make it a point to know the rules and wear what is recommended.

What types of negligence would possibly cause a motorcycle accident?

  • Some of the types of negligence, on the part of a vehicle driver, that may cause a motorcycle accident include:
    • driving while distracted (DWD)
    • driving while under the influence (DWI)
    • speeding
    • tailgating
    • turning abruptly in front of a biker
    • pulling out in front of a biker
    • failure to yield
  • Negligence on the part of the motorcycle operator may also include any of the above negligent behaviors. If a biker was found to have been negligent, the liability for the accident would most likely be apportioned.

Why are car and motorcycle accidents so prevalent?

  • The most often cited reason for car and motorcycle accidents is that the driver did not see the biker. The fact is that an object the width of a forefinger is enough to obstruct a biker directly oncoming from the left-hand lane from the driver’s vision. It’s the biggest factor in motorcycle accident deaths: bikers are virtually invisible.

Why are motorcycle accidents in Texas more prevalent than other kinds of vehicular accidents?

  • The increase in the number of motorcycles on the road in Texas is due to the weather and economic conditions. The more motorcycles on the road, the greater the chance of more accidents. Across the U.S., motorcycle deaths have been inching upward since the 1990s. In Texas, the number of deaths has crept up by 56 percent since 2004 while the number of other vehicular accidents has been slowly decreasing.

Why are there so many motorcycle accidents?

  • The most common reasons for motorcycle accidents are speeding, lack of training, driving under the influence, and the failure of other drivers to yield to a motorcycle. In Fort Worth alone, speed was a contributory factor in over half of the local motorcycle accidents.

Why do I need to contact a lawyer with experience in dealing with motorcycle accidents?

  • A highly experienced personal injury lawyer with extensive knowledge relating to motorcycle accident laws knows how to obtain fair and equitable compensation for your specific injuries. His or her skill and expertise also ensure a greater chance of success should you choose to file a lawsuit.

Why do so many motorcycles end up in accidents with other vehicles on the road?

  • The most often cited reason for an accident involving a motorcyclist and other vehicular traffic is that the other driver did not see the motorcycle and was not aware of them. According to the Texas A&M University’s Transportation Institute, in more than half of all crashes where a motorcycle was involved the other driver failed to see the biker and his or her motorcycle.

Will my motorcycle accident case actually go to court?

  • There are circumstances where a motorcycle accident claim does make its way to court. Generally, your motorcycle accident attorney attempts to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement for you from the insurance companies involved in your case. The settlement would cover pain and suffering, lost wages and future income, and medical bills.
  • Typically, settlement money comes in the form of a structured payment plan or a lump sum. In exchange, you agree to release the parties deemed to be at fault. However, if an insurance company offers to settle for a lower amount, than what you may be entitled to in court, or refuses to settle, your attorney takes the case to court.