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Motorcycle Accidents

Experienced Tyler Attorney Litigates Motorcycle Accidents

Skillful representation from a board-certified personal injury specialist

Because their bodies are so exposed, motorcycle riders are at far greater risk of serious injury than passenger car occupants. Motorcycle accidents, even at moderate speeds, often result in devastating injuries, such as broken bones, spinal paralysis and traumatic brain injuries. When injuries are severe, defendants and their insurance companies fight back hard to avoid paying full compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, lost income, and other losses. The Porter Law Firm, P.C. has successfully represented motorcycle riders injured in Texas since 1997. Very few personal injury attorneys practicing in Texas are board-certified as a specialist in personal injury trial law. I am, and I am determined to use my skill, knowledge and experience to deliver the best possible results in your case.

Common causes of Texas motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle accidents happen for all the reasons that auto accidents happen, but because of the size of the bike and its two-wheel construction, there are additional risks that inevitably lead to accidents. Most motorcycle crashes are due to operator error and include:

  • Alcohol consumption — If drinking and driving a car is a bad idea, riding a motorcycle after a few drinks is a catastrophically bad idea. Balance and timing are essential to safe riding. Never ride when you are even slightly impaired.
  • Failure to avoid road hazards — Gravel, ruts, train tracks and slippery surfaces can create havoc with a motorcycle. Look down the road, spot approaching obstacles and plan to avoid them.
  • Taking a corner too fast — Beginners and even experienced riders trying out a new machine can underestimate the power of the engine. If you enter a turn too fast, you can veer into the oncoming lane with disastrous results.
  • Risky behavior within a group of riders — While there is safety in numbers, there’s also goofing around and distractive behavior that can take a rider’s attention off the road.
  • Front brake locking — Another beginner mistake is to overreact to a hazard with too much pressure on the front brake, causing a fishtail and a tumble.

Training, experience and an emphasis on safety can save a rider from these accident triggers. However, there are also many ways that other drivers cause accidents, and these are harder to avoid:

  • Car turns left in front of bike — Intersections are treacherous for bikers. If a car doesn’t see you approach and turns left in front of you, a T-bone collision is hard to avoid. Scan the intersection as you approach and anticipate that someone will do something foolish.
  • Car makes lane change into bike’s path — Bikes are smaller than cars, and passenger car drivers are not trained to look for them. Be conscious of whether you are in a driver’s blind spot, look for turn signals and have an escape route in mind.
  • Car rear-ends bike — Bikes stop more quickly than cars. If a driver is tailgating you, slow down and force them to go around. If you have to stop, try not to do so too abruptly.
  • Car door opens as bike approaches — Another consequence of not looking, this hazard can cause you to swerve into oncoming traffic. If you are riding along a street on which cars are parked, stay in the center of the lane, where you’ll be out of reach.

When a negligent driver fails to take precautions and strikes a motorcycle rider, the rider should receive full compensation. I am determined to recover the damage award you deserve.

How Texas motorcycle helmet laws affect accident litigation

State law requires all motorcycle riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet. Riders age 21 and over may ride without a helmet if they have completed an approved safety course and have purchased qualifying health insurance. A police officer may not stop a motorcycle simply to check whether the operator or a rider has met the requirements to ride without a helmet.

However, even if the law is on the side of a helmetless rider, medical science is not. Studies clearly show that a motorcycle rider is much more likely to survive a crash when wearing a helmet, and statistics bear this out. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 496 people (operators and passengers) killed on motorcycles in 2016. Of these, 53 percent were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Additionally, 907 riders who suffered incapacitating injuries were not wearing helmets. These victims may have suffered significantly lesser injuries if they’d been wearing helmets.

Failing to wear a helmet can also damage your case for recovery under the state’s comparative negligence law. If you were not wearing a helmet when your accident occurred, the defendant can argue that you were also negligent, not in causing the crash, but in making your injury much worse than it had to be. Lack of a helmet doesn’t factor into your case if you’re claiming broken ribs, road rash, spinal cord trauma or any number of other injuries, but if you are claiming a head injury, you can expect the defense to try to reduce your recovery to the amount you would receive if your head had been adequately protected.

Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in East Texas for a free consultation

If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, trust your claim to a certified personal injury specialist. Call the Porter Law Firm, P.C. at 903-561-5144 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at my Tyler office.

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  • Tyler Office
    3311 Woods Boulevard
    Suite 2
    Tyler, Texas 75707
    Phone: 903-561-5144
    Fax: 903-705-6253