Domingo Garcia can help if you or your loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident. Our personal injury team has more than 35 years of legal experience, and we know what it takes to get justice and fair compensation for severe and catastrophic injuries.
Let an Odessa motorcycle accident lawyer from our team fight to secure the financial awards you need and deserve. We can pursue the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages from the party responsible for your injuries.
Causes of Odessa Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), on average, one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas’s roadways. In 2021, there were 519 motorcycle rider fatalities, and more than 2,300 motorcyclists suffered severe crash injuries. More than half of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle.
TxDOT states that motor vehicle drivers often do not see motorcycles or misjudge a rider’s speed/distance due to the motorcycle’s small size. The department advises drivers to exercise caution around motorcycles and be aware of situations and behaviors that commonly contribute to collisions, including:
- Left turns. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a vehicle turning left into the path of a motorcycle traveling straight or overtaking/passing the vehicle.
- Intersections. Intersections are high-risk areas for motorcycle crashes. TxDOT reports that nearly one-third of motorcycle accident deaths happen at intersections, where vehicles may pull into the path of a motorcycle. Therefore, NHTSA advises drivers to use their mirrors, check their blind spots, use turn signals, and take extra time at intersections and when making left turns.
- Speeding/driving too fast for conditions. According to the NHTSA, around 32 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes involve speeding. Driving too fast for current road and weather conditions can also increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. Additionally, high speeds can increase the severity of nonfatal crash injuries.
- Driving under the influence. Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can impair a driver’s vision, judgment, reaction time, and physical control, all of which can lead to motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle collisions. TxDOT reports more than 18,000 collisions involving drunk drivers across the state in 2021. This figure includes 11 drunk driving fatalities and 19 serious drunk driving crash injuries in Odessa.
- Distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 3,000 people die yearly in the U.S. due to distracted driving. Distractions include any activities that take your eyes or mind off the road or your hands off the wheel, such as eating, grooming, using electronic navigation devices, and texting and driving, which is illegal under Texas Transportation Code § 545.4251.
- Following too closely. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) warns that motorcycles can stop faster than larger vehicles. Therefore, the department advises drivers to give ample room to motorcyclists and avoid tailgating. Texas law also prohibits vehicle drivers from traveling next to a motorcycle in the same lane.
- Road conditions. According to the NHTSA, 41 percent of motorcycle accidents occur due to a driver failing to see a motorcyclist. Bright sunlight, bad weather, dark conditions, and heavy traffic make motorcycle riders harder to see. Potholes, negligent road maintenance, lack of streetlights, poorly designed intersections, and other roadway issues can also lead to crashes.
While many factors can contribute to collisions, the NHTSA reports that more than 90 percent of vehicle accidents involve human error. A driver may be at fault for your injuries and damages if they acted recklessly or wrongfully or disobeyed traffic laws outlined in Texas Transportation Code Chapter 545, including:
- Failing to maintain lane position
- Illegally passing
- Traveling the wrong way on a divided highway or one-way street
- Failing to stop at a marked intersection
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to stop for school buses or railroad crossings
Whatever caused your motorcycle accident, an Odessa lawyer from our firm will investigate your collision and determine who is liable for your damages. Attorney Domingo Garcia and his team of personal injury lawyers will work to hold all those responsible financially accountable.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Suffer a High Rate of Injury and Death
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcycle riders represent just 3 percent of registered motorists. Still, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic deaths, 18 percent of occupant fatalities, and 4 percent of occupant injuries in 2020. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that motorcyclists are around 29 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident per mile traveled than passenger vehicle occupants.
The high rate of motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities is due to the lack of a vehicle cab and its protections, such as airbags, seatbelts, and bumpers, to absorb impact. This lack of enclosure and safety features leaves motorcycle riders vulnerable to severe and catastrophic injuries.
According to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Lower extremity injuries. Among helmeted motorcycle riders, lower extremity injuries are the most serious. Lower extremity injuries include broken bones, sprains, strains, contusions, burns, and lacerations to the lower back, hips, legs, feet, ankles, and toes.
- Upper extremity injuries. Société Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopédique et de Traumatologie (SICOT) reports that upper extremity injuries account for around 35 percent of motorcycle accident injuries. These injuries include broken bones and soft tissue damage to upper arms, forearms, or hands. Both upper and lower extremity injuries can lead to hospitalization, surgeries, immobilization for broken bones, time lost at work, and a lengthy recovery.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, head injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in American adults, and the most common cause of head injuries is motor vehicle accidents. Motorcycle riders can suffer head injuries from the impact of a crash or from being thrown from their bike and striking the pavement. TBIs have severe and life-altering physical, mental, and emotional side effects, including behavioral changes, language and communication problems, reduced cognitive abilities, loss of coordination, coma, or vegetative state.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs). The Mayo Clinic reports that car and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of SCIs in the U.S. An SCI occurs when the spinal column suffers damage, resulting in full or partial paralysis and loss of sensation below the injury site. In addition to the loss of movement and feeling, SCI sufferers can also experience a range of severe secondary conditions, including respiratory and circulatory problems, loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of fertility or sexual functioning, and depression.
- Back injuries. Back injuries often affect the bones around the spinal column (vertebrae) and the surrounding muscles and tissues. According to MedlinePlus, back injuries can cause pain and limited mobility and may require extensive medical treatment, including surgery and physical therapy.
- Chest and abdominal injuries. TheAssociation for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine found that chest and abdominal injuries represent a “substantial proportion” of motorcycle accident fatalities among helmeted riders. Chest and abdominal injuries include rib fractures, organ damage, internal bleeding, and lung damage.
Other motorcycle collision injuries may include:
- Loss of a limb
- Neck injuries (whiplash)
- Shoulder injuries
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Severe cuts, lacerations, and bruising (“road rash”)
- Facial/dental injuries
An Odessa motorcycle accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia is here for you if you or your loved one sustained injuries in a collision. We believe that when a person suffers harm due to another party’s negligence, they should not have to shoulder the consequences alone.
We want to help you secure the money you need to pay for your current and ongoing medical treatment and other damages without sacrificing your family’s financial freedom.
Your Odessa Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Fight for Fair Compensation
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 41 allows victims to pursue compensation for damages arising from “injury to another person, damage to the property of another person, death of another person, or other harm to another person.”
Under the law, our Odessa motorcycle crash attorneys can help you seek:
- Medical expenses. Medical bills can add up quickly, especially if you have a severe injury. For example, Healthcare.gov reports that a three-day hospitalization averages around $30,000. We can help you seek to recover the cost of your current medical bills and compensation for necessary future medical care. We will fight for financial resources to pay for ambulance and emergency department fees, hospital and doctor bills, specialist care, physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation, medications, medical devices and mobility aids, long-term nursing services, in-home health care, and assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).
- Lost income. You may be unable to work for weeks, months, or longer following a catastrophic motorcycle accident injury. How long you are out of work will depend on the severity of your injuries and whether they are permanent or disabling. Your Odessa motorcycle accident attorney can help you seek wages, income, and benefits lost during your recovery. We can also pursue compensation for your lost earning capacity if your injuries require you to change careers, reduce your workload, or leave the workforce.
- Pain and suffering damages. Also called noneconomic damages, this category of awards offers monetary compensation for your physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering. We can pursue pain and suffering damages for loss of mobility or paralysis, loss of a body part or bodily function, scarring, disfigurement, chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Motorcycle repair/replacement costs. Our Odessa attorneys can seek compensation for vehicle repair bills. If your motorcycle is a total loss, we can pursue the value of a comparable replacement vehicle. We can also seek awards for other property damaged during your crash, such as navigation equipment, cell phones, safety gear, watches, and jewelry.
- Household expenses. A severe injury may prevent you from performing household tasks like cleaning, cooking, driving, and caring for your children. Our firm can help you identify and seek compensation for household services and other miscellaneous expenses, including medically necessary home and vehicle modifications.
- Wrongful death compensation. Wrongful death is a type of personal injury action taken on behalf of a deceased party. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71, a deceased’s surviving children, spouse, or parents can seek compensation for damages their loved one could have pursued had they lived. Wrongful death awards may include funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and the deceased’s lost income (including inheritance they would have received). Survivors can also pursue noneconomic compensation for their mental pain and suffering and loss of the deceased’s love, society, comfort, and guidance. If no qualifying survivors take action, the deceased’s personal representative may file suit on behalf of the estate.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Personal injury and wrongful damages vary from case to case. Factors that can affect the value of your potential settlement or verdict include:
- Your age
- Your wages
- How long you are out of work and if you can return to work
- The cost of your past and future medical treatment
- The extent of your physical injuries and whether they are permanent or disabling
- The extent of your mental and emotional suffering
- How much your injuries interfere with your daily life and reduce your quality of living
- The cost of your property damages, household services, and various other expenses
Your Odessa motorcycle accident lawyer can calculate your out-of-pocket costs using wage records, medical bills, receipts, and other proof of expenses. We can also consult healthcare providers, psychologists, economists, and vocational experts about your injuries, their financial impact, and their effect on your physical and mental well-being.
While we cannot guarantee a specific case outcome, we can promise that our team will work to identify and secure every cent owed to you. We have a track record of multi-million dollar case results, including a $3 million motorcycle accident settlement.
Texas Automobile Insurance Laws That May Affect Your Motorcycle Accident Case
All motorists in Texas, including motorcyclists, must have automobile liability insurance to pay for accidents they cause. According to the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, the state mandates a minimum of $30,000/$60,000 in bodily injury coverage per person/per accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
In addition, drivers can carry optional medical payment (med pay), personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policies. If you have vehicle payments, your lender may require you to have these forms of coverage.
If your motorcycle accident is caused by a large truck like an 18 wheeler the limits are mandated to be higher–either $500,000 if the truck operates only inside Texas or $750,000 minimum if the truck works in interstate commerce.
Our Odessa motorcycle accident lawyers can pursue a claim or lawsuit with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. We can also help you seek to get your medical bills covered by your own insurer until we can secure awards from the liable party. If your motorcycle accident involved a hit-and-run or uninsured driver, we can pursue UM/UIM payments.
How Long do You Have to Take Action?
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 allows up to two years to pursue compensation via a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Note that your window of time started when you or your deceased loved one’s accident occurred (not at the deceased’s time of death).
Do not wait too long to take action. An expired statute of limitations can result in the court dismissing your lawsuit or the insurance company denying your claim or reducing your settlement.
Proving Liability for Your Motorcycle Accident
A successful personal injury case involves proving that another party’s negligent, wrongful, or reckless actions caused your injury and resulting damages. An Odessa motorcycle accident lawyer from our team can build your case by:
Identifying Responsible Parties
All drivers owe others on the road a duty of care, meaning they must act safely and responsibly to prevent accidents and injuries. Motorcycle accident liability can rest with a private motorist, but cases can become more complex if they involve a commercial vehicle driver, employer, or another third party, such as:
- A trucking company
- A shipping company
- A construction vehicle
- A private or government roadway owner
- A negligent pedestrian or bicyclist
- An Uber or Lyft rideshare driver
- A taxi or bus driver
- An 18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, or semi-truck
- A government vehicle
- A manufacturer or auto parts maker
Constructing a case showing the liable party’s negligent actions caused your injury and damages requires obtaining various documents, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts. We will focus on building your case while you focus on healing. Your motorcycle accident lawyer serving Odessa can gather:
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert testimony
- Available cell phone or surveillance videos
- Photographs of your injuries, vehicle damages, and the crash site
- Police reports
- Medical bills and records
- Proof of your expenses
- Evidence of your pain and suffering
Defending You Against Allegations of Negligence
Insurance agents and opposing attorneys may attempt to reduce your compensation by alleging that your actions led to your injuries.
Under Texas’s proportionate responsibility statute, TX Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 33, the court awards personal injury damages based on each party’s degree of fault. Your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Furthermore, if the court finds you more than 50 percent liable for your motorcycle accident, you cannot collect any damages. Therefore, opposing parties may allege you acted negligently to reduce or deny your compensation.
Your Odessa motorcycle accident attorney can defend you against allegations that you contributed to your damages. We will fight for fair compensation for you.
Our Odessa Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Will Stand By Your Side
We want to help you secure the most advantageous outcome possible for your motorcycle accident case. However, we also want you to know that you are more than just a case number to our firm. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with respectful and compassionate legal service.
Let our team:
- File your insurance claims or lawsuit
- Manage case paperwork
- Track and adhere to deadlines
- Represent you during settlement negotiations
- Handle all communications with insurance companies and opposing lawyers
- Provide you with frequent case updates and free consultations for the duration of your case
- Get your medical bills paid until we secure compensation
We help clients with severe and catastrophic motorcycle accident injuries, so we know your family is going through a challenging time. We do not want to add to your stress, worry, or financial burden. Therefore, we take motorcycle accident cases on contingency, meaning we charge nothing out of pocket. Our fees come from a pre-agreed-upon percentage of your settlement or verdict. If we do not win your case, we do not get paid.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Help Your Motorcycle Accident Case?
We want you to rely on our legal experience and knowledge of state and federal laws. We also want you to rest assured that we are focused on your case and aggressively pursuing damages.
However, there are a few simple things you can do that may help your Odessa motorcycle wreck attorney secure a successful settlement or verdict for you and your family:
- Follow your doctor’s orders
- Do not miss medical appointments
- Inform your doctor immediately if you have new or worsening injuries
- Track case-related expenses and save bills and receipts
- Save medical items, including pill bottles, mobility aids, casts, etc.
- Keep a daily record of your physical pain, mental and emotional state, and quality of life reductions for your pain and suffering claim
- Let your lawyer know if you move or change your phone number, so we know how to contact you
- Talk to your attorney if your injuries cause a change in employment or reduction in pay or hours
- Do not post about your motorcycle accident or injuries on Instagram, Facebook, or other social media
- Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your doctors and our team
- Do not agree to give a recorded statement without your lawyer’s approval
- Do not sign any documents that do not go through our office
- Do not agree to a settlement without consulting your Odessa motorcycle wreck lawyer
Contact Domingo Garcia to Get Started on Your Motorcycle Accident Case Today
Domingo Garcia is here to assist you on the road to financial recovery. Let us be your advocate and your voice. Contact us today to learn more about our Odessa motorcycle accident lawyers and how we can put our decades of legal experience to work for you.