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Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Motorcycle Accidents in Texas:  What happens if I’m injured by another driver?

          The wide-open plains of Texas provide great scenery for motorcycle enthusiasts. Texas had 386,938 registered bikes in 2017 and 445,000 registered riders in 2014. This makes Texas roughly 4th  in the nation for total number of bikers. Motorcycles are a favored way of traveling both in rural areas and in cities.

While biking is a lifestyle for many people and many can go their whole lives without a crash, riding a motorcycle is more dangers than driving a car. Because motorcycles do not have the same protection or stability as cars and are less visible to other vehicles, there is an increased risk of injury and death.

  • About 463 Texas bikers died in accidents in 2016, this averages to about one death per day in Texas alone.
  • Motorcycle accidents account for 16% of all vehicle fatalities in Texas. About 10,391 motorcyclists were involved in accidents in 2012.
  • Bikers are 25 times more likely to be killed in an accident on the roads than anyone driving a car. This is because the size and weight of the motorcycle puts the biker at a disadvantage when in a crash with other vehicles.

Legal Issues & Info:

  • Texas Helmet Law
    • Wearing a helmet drops the possibility of death by 40% and risk of head injury by 70%. The cost of medical bills that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet adds up to $250 million each year. Half of Texas biker deaths are from people not wearing helmets.
    • Anyone under the age of 21 must wear a helmet
    • If you are over 21 and completed a motorcycle safety course and have purchased health insurance that covers motorcycle accidents, then there is no legal obligation to wear a helmet.
    • Eyewear is not required by law but recommended as best practice.
  • Headphones
    • Under Texas law, wearing headphones while riding a motorcycle is prohibited. This is because the rider needs to be able to hear the surrounding warning sounds of passing vehicles.
  • Passengers
    • All passengers must be over 5 years old by Texas Law (unless in sidecar).
    • A designated passenger seat is required for each person.

     Safe Practices:

          Motorcyclists should take extra safety measures to prevent accidents. These basic preventative steps can save you from having minor or even more serious accidents. Additionally, drivers of cars and trucks can help by allowing more space for bikes and allowing bikes to go first at intersections.

  • Never speed. The faster you are going the longer it takes to slow down.
  • Defensive riding. Never assume drivers can see you and leave space for others. Use turn signals and avoid vehicles blind spots.
  • Make yourself as visible as possible with bright lights and visible colors.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

     There are three main areas of motorcycle accidents; those that happen from breaking the laws, driver error, and bad road conditions.

Disobeying the Laws:

  • Speeding accounts for 33% of all biker accidents. The faster the speed the more time it takes to slow down and the greater the force of the impact. This causes serious injuries, including death.
  • Intoxication takes up 28% of all motorcycle crashes and is often paired with speeding to cause half of all accidents. Taking steps to prevent impaired driving is critical.
  • Cell Phone usage. This causes distracted driving which can result in crashes with non-moving objects or with other vehicles.
  • Tailgating and failing to yield can lead to injury if other cars do not notice the bike.

Biker Error:

  • Distracted driving. 23% of all motorcycle related accidents deal with distracted driving. This can be caused by looking at scenery or other objects along the road.
  • Switching lanes and not checking blind spots. Motorcycles can fit into smaller spaces than cars, so some bikers try to cut through traffic in this way, however, it is incredibly dangerous even though it is not technically illegal in Texas. However, you could receive a ticket for some traffic violation while engaging in this practice.
  • Aggressive driving and being in another’s blind spot.

Road Conditions:

  • Difficult or bad weather that impairs vision or traction. Due to the lack of windshield, greater impairment of visibility can result from heavy rain or fog.
  • Sharp curves or unforeseen obstructions. Taking hard turns at higher speeds can cause the driver of the motorcycle to lose control and crash.
  • Poor road maintenance can have greater impact on bikes as they do not have four wheels to better handle holes and bumps in the road. Hitting these obstacles at speed can cause serious accidents.

Because of these risks, it is important to take responsible precautions and safety measures to protect your own safety and that of other road users. These may include, but are not limited to, those required by law and relevant safety guidelines.

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Many of the injuries that can be sustained in accidents involving motorcycles can be serious or even fatal. Because of this it is important for not only bikers to take precautions but also for other road users such as cars and trucks to pay attention for motorcycles and give them space. Some of the more common injuries from motorcycles are:

  • Head Injuries. These are the most common and most serious injuries for bikers. They include concussions and fractures in the skull which can cause brain damage. A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, could lead to serious life changing injury and even death.
  • Broken Bones. Even the strong bones of our body can be broken when in an motorcycle accident. These vulnerable parts can be broken and cause pain and cost significant money to repair.
  • Spinal Injuries. The neck and spinal cord of our body is one of the most vulnerable parts that can result in severe injury. A fractured vertebrate, herniation, slipped disc, and any other spinal damage can lead to paralysis and lifelong pain.
  • Friction Burns. These well-known and widely experienced injuries may seem minor but can be deep and have a lasting scar. When the skin is rubbed off by the pavement in a crash, it can become infected and even cause nerve damage. Wearing thick protective clothing, usually leather, can help prevent this.

To prevent these injuries, even drivers of cars and trucks can follow simple guidelines to keep bikers safe. Pay special attention at intersections and let motorcycles go first so you know if they are turning and do not hit them (33% of accidents with motorcycles happen in intersections). Look twice when changing lanes as bikes can be harder to notice with a quick glance. Stay back from motorcycles and give them space as bikes might downshift to slow down and no brake light will appear. Taking these steps, as well as following all legal requirements when driving around motorcyclists can help prevent injuries and death.

What to do if you’re Injured on a Motorcycle

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the next few steps and actions you take could have a big impact on the legal case and chances of winning a suit or recovering in a claim. Follow these few steps and general guidance, and then seek legal representation for further assistance.

          Before anything, make sure the area is safe for you and others. Call 911 immediately and ask for police dispatch and a record to be taken. If you can leave the vehicles where they are before the police arrive, then please do so. But if for safety you must move something that is okay but make a note of it. The safety of you and others comes first.

  1. Stay on the Scene

If you are an involved party, you must stay where the accident happened, if safe, till the police or medical personnel arrive. If you leave you might be thought of as a hit and run offender.

  1. Gather Information

Get the information of the other driver (name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and license plate number) including the driver’s insurance carrier and policy number.

Gather the information of any eyewitnesses including their contact information.

If they are willing, you could record their brief account of the accident describing what they saw. But only do so if they are willing. You want to keep the witness on your side in the event that the case ends up in court.

Take pictures of the scene and any relevant objects or road conditions. Including the people involved (with their consent) and street signs and lights.

  1. Do Not Discuss the Accident or It’s Cause

Only talk about the contact information and material necessary to get such information. Do not apologize or talk about the accident. Especially avoid discussing injuries and how the accident happened to anyone other than medical professionals. Never accept or admit responsibility to anyone.

  1. Seek Medical Care

Get checked out by a medical professional even if you feel fine. When you have just been in an accident you may be unaware of some injuries you sustained. The doctors can make sure these are not serious and they provide documentation of the injuries you got which can help support the future case of injury claims.

Keep a file with all the relevant medical bills, property damage, and other hard documentation. Additionally, keep a day-to-day journal that may show mental pain and suffering.

  1. Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer with Motorcycle Injury Experience

If you want to pursue a case against the other party, you’ll want to retain a lawyer to help you win the case and recover damages. Demonstrating which party is at fault in these cases can be challenging which makes having an attorney more beneficial.

The filing deadline requires the complaint to be filed within 2 years if against a person (or 6 months against the government) so you will want to move quick on hiring a lawyer and compiling the evidence.  Although 2 years is a long time, a claim needs to be filed ASAP, after an accident.  Do not wait before at least speaking with an attorney.  At Chandler | Ross, we offer a no-obligation, free consultation to discuss your claim and rights after an accident.

Fault & Damages


          The decision of who is responsible for the accident and liable for repaying the damages is something that your insurance companies and personal injury attorneys attempt to determine. This requires the two sides to find out who caused the accident by careless action or negligence. In motorcycle related crashes, there is a strong stigma or bias against bikers which makes it hard for motorcyclists to receive an award as many people and juries automatically blame the biker for the accident.

          However, many times the negligent party is a car or truck driver who hit motorcyclists. This makes the need for a lawyer even more important when you are a motorcyclist and believe yourself to not be at fault. Additionally, there can be other people such as the manufacture and government who may be at fault by selling a defective part or not maintain the road conditions.

Or even both you and the other driver can be at some level of fault. In this case you are still eligible for a percentage, relevant to their amount of fault, of the damages compensation (so long as you are less than 50% at fault).

This process of deterring who is at fault is a complex and lengthy process between multiple parties which makes the hiring of a lawyer all the more advisable. While you are able to do this process on your own, having a lawyer fighting for you in this negotiation usually has the best results.


          After it is proven who the party to blame is, then the amount of damages to be repaid to the harmed person is considered. These are the costs that go with the injury or harm a person caused. There are two types of damages for personal injury in Texas:

  1. Special Damages. These relate to the specific damage such as physical injury or destruction of property including the motorcycle or car. These include; lost earnings (even future earnings), medical expenses (and future medical needs), and property damage.
  2. General Damages. These are the harder to quantify injuries. They include your mental suffering and pain, and general pain and suffering.

While the amount of special damages is limited to the monetary loss, there is no limit on the amount of general damages awarded. This is a critical step in the legal process and usually has better results when a lawyer is involved.  

Motorcycles are an important part of many people’s lives, and while they can pose serious dangers, following reasonable safety precautions can prevent many accidents. And whenever the unthinkable happens, it is important to take the right steps to make sure all your legal avenues are explored.

With offices in Denton, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, Chandler | Ross, PLLC and our Car Accident Attorneys are well positioned to provide the most effective, experienced and highly-skilled representation possible with a convenient location near you.  Our experienced Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth Motorcycle Accident Attorneys can quickly respond to an accident, gather necessary information and preserve evidence in order to maximize your chances of recovery.   Don’t wait, and don’t compromise – contact us today to see how we can help you.  In most cases, you pay nothing unless we are able to settle your case or win a verdict.  Our consultation is free.  Contact us now at (940)-800-2500 or support@chandlerrosslaw.com to schedule your free car accident case evaluation and consultation.