Riding a motorcycle can feel freeing. A bike’s openness and maneuverability are often its selling points. Unfortunately, those same factors can make accidents even more dangerous, as riders are less protected and harder to see. If others don’t take care on the road, you could sustain serious injuries. If this describes your situation, our Dallas motorcycle accident lawyers can review your case to pursue the best possible outcome.
Types of Compensation Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims
The priority after any crash is to seek medical attention. To keep you from avoiding treatment out of fear of expenses, our personal injury lawyers pursue compensation to cover medical bills like:
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic tests and imaging
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Prescription pharmaceuticals
- Medical equipment and mobility aids
- Home or car modifications
- Care at home
Any care necessary to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) could be covered by your claim or lawsuit. That could even include alternative treatments like chiropractic care, massage therapy, or acupuncture.
Your case includes both past and future medical bills. Some injuries carry risks for complications or secondary conditions; we take those into account. Likewise, if you are left with a long-term injury, we fight for damages to cover ways to make your life easier—modifying your house to accommodate a wheelchair, for instance.
Motorcycle crash injuries can impact your ability to earn, either by forcing you to miss work while recovering or by diminishing your working capacity in the future. At Domingo Garcia, we don’t just focus on what you’ve paid, but what you’ve lost, like:
- Salary or hourly wages
- Freelance work
- Monetized hobbies
- Sick leave
- Vacation days
- Other benefits
On top of pursuing reimbursement for these, we can seek additional damages for reduced earning capacity if your injuries have a long-term impact on your ability to work. Compensation could also cover a gap in wages if you can no longer work at the same level. If you must change jobs entirely, training for a new position could be covered as well.
On top of bill and wage reimbursement, motorcycle injury cases can also provide for noneconomic losses. This refers to pain and suffering, emotional distress, and changes in quality of life.
For instance, you may have been an active member of a local soccer league, only to suffer a serious fracture to your leg in the accident. In addition to pursuing damages to cover surgery to repair your leg and physical therapy to help regain mobility, we can fight for damages that recognize the loss of a beloved hobby. Your injury was painful, the recovery was distressing, and your quality of life was affected.
Confronting these consequences can be very emotional. Our lawyers are compassionate in handling these damages, so talk to us about fears, stressors, frustrations, and pain; we can make sure the other side recognizes what they did to you.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Dallas, call (214) 941-8300
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries and How They Affect Damages
No two accidents are alike, so we don’t treat them that way. Nonetheless, some injuries are common in motorcycle crashes and may figure prominently in your case. We still treat each injury as unique, knowing that its costs will affect you differently than someone else.
The following is a list of the most common injuries involved in motorcycle crashes:
According to a study in Accident Analysis and Prevention, the most common injuries in motorcycle crashes are to the lower extremities. In your case, that could mean:
- Sprains or strains
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Loss of limb
Since these injuries range so drastically in severity, the compensation for them will also vary. For instance, burns can affect victims differently depending on where they are located and how severe they are. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment could include surgery as well as physical therapy if the burns were over joints and restricted mobility.
Burns, road rash, and lacerations can also cause complications like infection. This could mean hospitalization or longer recovery times, which will increase your bills and lost income. As a result, we consider not only your injuries but also the circumstances around your injuries to ensure your damages are comprehensive.
Head and Spine
Head and spine injuries, including debilitating ones, can also be a consequence of a Dallas motorcycle accident, including:
- Neck or back sprains and strains
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull or spine fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Disfiguring facial injuries
These injuries can cause long-term or even permanent consequences. Whiplash can reduce quality of life even after five years. Traumatic brain injuries can require inpatient hospital stays that are longer and more expensive than other injuries, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Spinal cord injuries can carry lifelong costs in the millions of dollars.
If you suffered from these or other head and back injuries in Dallas, our motorcycle accident attorneys can consult your doctors, medical specialists, and even financial experts to analyze your current losses and project your future expenses.
Additional injuries could play a role in your accident and compensation. For instance, damage to your abdomen could result in broken ribs or internal injuries, even organ damage. Some internal injuries can be harder to detect and carry serious risks.
Other injuries not listed could also be eligible for compensation. Don’t ever assume what you suffered isn’t “enough” for a claim or lawsuit. If you were hurt by someone’s carelessness, talk to our team about exploring your options.
Age and Other Factors We Consider
Your compensation can be influenced by a number of additional factors that will affect your recovery from certain injuries. The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that older motorcyclists suffer more serious injuries compared to younger riders, and they account for a larger percentage of fatalities.
In addition to these stats, age can make it harder for victims to bounce back from an injury. Conversely, younger riders who sustain serious injuries, like a spinal cord injury, could face higher lifetime costs.
Your age and health history can therefore impact our approach to damages. We may also consider whether you have dependents; if you are the breadwinner for your family, a serious injury could impact them as well as you. At Domingo Garcia, we look at the big picture.
Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (214) 941-8300
Options for Families of Fatal Motorcycle Accident Victims
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), per miles traveled, the fatality rate in 2019 for motorcyclists was almost 29 times higher than for passenger vehicle occupants. Motorcyclists are simply more exposed and not provided the same physical protection as a car. This can lead to catastrophic and often fatal injuries. In Texas alone, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) reported that 483 motorcyclists were killed in 2020.
If you lost a loved one to a motorcycle crash, our wrongful death attorneys can seek damages for their:
- Medical bills
- Hospice care
- Lost income
- Funeral services
- Burial or cremation
Not only does your family member deserve to have their bills paid, but they also deserve to have the send-off they wanted. We can work with you to help honor their final wishes and prevent you from being saddled with the bills that come with a sudden passing.
Compensation for Your Specific Losses
Wrongful death damages extend to the surviving family members. After all, you also suffered due to the other party’s actions. Possible damages include:
- Loss of support
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of consortium (intimacy)
- Pain and suffering
The damages you could receive are based on your relationship with the deceased. More than one family member could receive compensation, so talk to our team if you need help determining who should file and how to proceed with a claim or lawsuit.
Get Help from a Dallas Attorney for Your Motorcycle Crash
Our lawyers and support staff can assign a value to your case and pursue appropriate compensation, but that’s just one facet of our job. We can also assist by:
- Compiling and analyzing evidence
- Advising you on your statement to an insurance company
- Helping you file a claim or lawsuit
- Reviewing any settlement offers
- Negotiating the terms of a settlement
- Avoiding common pitfalls of motorcycle cases
- Determining who was responsible
- Preparing to take your cast to court
Both the day-to-day work and the big-picture thinking of your case do not need to be on your plate. We consult with you to make sure we pursue accurate damages and keep you in the loop, but your job is to focus on your recovery. Our job is to handle everything else.
Notifying You of Your Rights
At Domingo Garcia, it’s important to us that you know your rights. Some accident victims do not receive the compensation they deserve because they don’t realize they deserve it. The other parties involved in your case may downplay your injuries, try to delegitimize your claims, or attempt to pressure you into settling early before you know your full losses.
By handling interactions with the other party and helping you understand complicated legal language, we work to protect you from being taken advantage of. We also highlight your client rights. We arm you with knowledge and empower you to stand up for what you deserve.
Holding the Correct Parties Responsible
After your disorienting crash, you may not comprehend what happened to you or who caused the accident. We can conduct our own investigation to identify the liable party or parties.
Your accident could have been caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Car or truck drivers
- Other motorcyclists
- Tire companies
- Motorcycle manufacturers
- Auto maintenance shops
- Government entities
- Private property owners
You’ll notice that some of those listed wouldn’t have even been present at your crash. While drivers and others who share the road with you could have behaved negligently, responsibility could also be shared with other parties.
Designers, manufacturers, and maintenance workers who were involved with your motorcycle are held to a standard of care. If they failed to detect an issue or made a mistake, they can be held partly responsible for your accident.
In the same vein, government entities or property owners can share liability. Both must maintain roads and other property to avoid causing harm. A government entity could also be held liable if your crash involved a Dallas city bus or other government property. We can explore these avenues for compensation when we identify those responsible.
Using the Statute of Limitations
Typically, motorcycle accident victims in Dallas have two years to file for personal injury. Families also have two years for a wrongful death case (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003). However, don’t treat this as a deadline to get started on your case. We can do a lot during those two years, including possibly settling your case.
Additionally, by operating within the statute of limitations, we can preserve evidence before it is lost or forgotten. Getting a witness’s account of your motorcycle collision will be easier a few days or weeks after the accident compared to a year and a half later.
Likewise, while we gather evidence, investigate liable parties, and negotiate with insurance, you have time to reach your maximum medical improvement. Your MMI will tell us the extent of your injuries, financial losses, and other consequences. While the insurance company may try to close out your claim as fast as possible, we make sure your full circumstances are known.
We Have Experience With Cases Like Yours
The lawyers at Domingo Garcia have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for clients, including in motorcycle accidents. In one case that involved a motorcycle collision with a commercial vehicle, we were able to obtain a $3 million settlement.
We can bring our knowledge and experience to your Dallas case. Our motorcycle crash lawyers are familiar with negotiation techniques, as well as tactics used by the other side to chip away at your settlement. We will fight for the maximum damages.
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Identifying and Pursuing Negligent Parties in Your Motorcycle Crash
Texas adheres to proportionate responsibility, which means that you can pursue compensation from the other party if they were more than 50 percent at fault (TX Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 33). Your portion of fault will reduce your damages.
As an example, if you were speeding while riding your motorcycle and were hit by a texting driver who did not look before changing lanes, you could be deemed 25 percent at fault and the other driver 75 percent responsible. If your damages were valued at $1 million, you could recover $750,000. In short, your compensation was reduced by 25 percent to account for the part you played in the accident.
Determining this involves identifying who was negligent and by how much. Our motorcycle injury attorneys can identify who did what and how that affects your case. The other party may try to assign more blame to you than you think is fair. Domingo Garcia can help settle these liability disputes.
Negligent Behaviors That Contribute to Motorcycle Crashes
Negligence is an action or inaction that violates the duty of care and causes your injuries. In your motorcycle case, negligence could take the form of:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to look
- Improper turns
- Running lights or signs
- Failure to yield
A party doesn’t need to have done something egregious to make them liable for your injuries. For instance, since motorcycles are hard to see, a driver that failed to look before turning, changing lanes, or proceeding from a side road or parking space could be considered negligent. As long as someone’s action or inaction can be linked to your injuries, you could have grounds.
We previously mentioned other possible liable parties, like property owners or parts manufacturers. Their negligence could include:
- Faulty parts or tires
- Installation errors
- Maintenance mistakes
- Lack of signage
- Poor roads
An example might be a road with several potholes that have been reported earlier for the danger they pose. If your motorcycle struck one of those potholes, causing you to lose control or swerve, resulting in injury, we can potentially hold the government entity responsible.
Evidence Used in Motorcycle Cases
We must make the connection between violation of duty of care, the accident, and your injuries to argue that you deserve damages. To do that, we can gather evidence like:
- Eyewitness accounts
- Traffic camera footage
- Photos of the scene and your injuries
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Blood tests for drugs or alcohol
- Social media or text records
- Truck transportation logs
- Accident analysis and reconstruction
We pull evidence from various sources, not just one area, to provide important context and build a multi-faceted case. Our use of experts can also underline liability or negligence. For instance, a motorcycle expert could explain what went wrong with a defective part on your bike. Similarly, a doctor can explain the nuances and seriousness of your injuries, highlighting both the cause of your condition and what damages you deserve.
Will My Motorcycle Accident Case Go to Court?
Many injury cases, including ones involving motorcycles, settle out of court. However, some cases require filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to reach settlement. This may seem counterintuitive, but insurance adjusters and liable parties could drag their feet in the hope you’ll cave and settle for less or drop the case. By filing a lawsuit, we may jumpstart negotiations.
This is because all parties typically want to avoid going to court, which leaves the verdict and damages up to a jury. As much as the other side may drag out a case, they could be persuaded to settle if we show how serious we are about pursuing your motorcycle accident case.
Handling Insurance Adjusters
Filing a lawsuit is just one step in a process of fighting for damages in your Dallas case. Before that, our motorcycle accident attorneys negotiate with the other parties’ insurance companies, which can involve a lot of back-and-forth communication. We:
- Help you file the claim paperwork and act as your representative
- Determine if the value they assign to your claim is accurate
- Review settlement terms to make sure your full experience is reflected
- Send back new terms and continue this process until an agreement is reached
Sometimes all it takes is us getting involved and stressing what you deserve. Other times, a lot of negotiation is needed to reach a settlement. Regardless, we are in it for the long haul.
If Your Case does Go to Court
Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit for your motorcycle case could be necessary if:
- All parties cannot agree on who is liable and by how much
- You believe you are being assigned the wrong proportion of responsibility
- Settlement negotiations have broken down
- The insurance company was operating in bad faith
- You feel your claim was unfairly denied
An example would be if the insurance company tries to claim you were riding in their insured driver’s blind spot, making you at fault for the accident. Sometimes only a jury can help decide the percentage of fault, determining who has the right to pursue damages. The other party may also lay the blame on a third party, like the motorcycle manufacturer. These liability disputes can lead to a court case.
The circumstances of your case will dictate whether you sue the at-fault party or the insurance company. Typically, injury claims are filed with the negligent party’s insurance and injury lawsuits are filed against the negligent party directly. However, if your case involves bad faith, we can file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Motorcycle injury cases are complicated enough outside of court, so don’t face a lawsuit alone. If you are unsure of how your case is being handled or believe you aren’t being treated fairly, our attorneys can represent you in court.
Domingo Garcia’s Motorcycle Lawyers Are Available Now
With decades of experience, our motorcycle accident lawyers are ready to take on your Dallas case. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help, whether with gathering evidence, identifying liable parties, or kickstarting settlement negotiations. We won’t let you be shortchanged. Call today!