There’s no denying that pushing the RPMs on a motorcycle is an invigorating experience. The wind on your skin, the loud hum of the motor, what’s not to like?
Any car crash specialist can tell you that this sensation of freedom is not without its risks, though. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one motorcyclist loses their life each day in roadway accidents throughout the state, and accidents in Tyler and Longview are common. This shocking statistic largely owes itself to one simple fact; motorcyclists have considerably less crash protection than other motorists on the roadway.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured while driving a motorcycle in Tyler, The Law Office of Domingo Garcia can help. Under Texas law, you have the right to pursue compensation. A settlement could cover your medical bills and reimburse you for the emotional toll associated with your accident.
Compensation Available to Motorcycle Accident Victims
The term “damages” refers to the types of compensation you can receive after a motorcycle accident. Typically, these damages are paid out via a lawsuit or insurance claim. In accidents involving injury, they include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Costs associated with vehicle repairs or replacement
- Upfront medical expenses
- Long-term medical expenses, like physical therapy
These damages are categorized in one of two ways, economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are the tangible financial expenses associated with a motorcycle accident. These expenses are documented by receipts and invoices that detail crash-related expenses, like replacing your bike or receiving medical treatment.
Non-economic damages are more abstract yet equally important. They cover the emotional toll of your accident. This includes the emotional fallout of your accident, like permanent disfigurement or pain and suffering.
In most cases, these damages are not limited by Texas law. If you’re curious about damages limits and how they apply to your case, a Tyler motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can happily answer your questions.
I Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident; Can I Receive Compensation?
At the Law Office of Domingo Garcia, we feel deeply for those who’ve lost a loved one in motorcycle accidents. Recovery after the loss of a special person is a long and winding road. It goes without saying that we can’t do anything to bring your loved one back.
However, a wrongful death lawsuit or claim could offer you and your family financial stability in this trying time. We’re proud to support those dealing with such difficult cases. These unique damages are available in motorcycle accident wrongful death cases in Tyler and Longview, TX:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The pain and suffering your loved experienced
- Their medical costs
- Loss of a close personal relationship
Keep in mind that only specific parties can pursue a wrongful death case. In most scenarios, this is limited to close family members, like children, spouses, and parents. If none of these parties can pursue compensation, the case could be handed off to the executor of a will. Our lawyers can review your wrongful death case eligibility.
How Much Will I Receive?
Each motorcycle accident is unique. Some involve head-on highway collisions, and others take place in sleepy intersections. This variability extends to injury-type, too. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) will have different treatment costs than a broken leg. These are some factors that could influence the compensation of a motorcycle accident case:
- The outcome of a lawsuit or insurance negotiations
- The type and severity of your injuries
- The cumulative total of other case-related expenses
Our team can provide you with an estimation of the value of your case. This estimation will take several factors into account, like your salary and the exact dollar amount of medical expenses.
Case value estimations are useful tools, particularly during settlement negotiations. If you’re unsure what your case is worth, you’re more susceptible to unfair settlement offers. Preparation can make all the difference.
For context, these are some of the notable settlements that our team has secured for our clients:
- Motorcycle collision with a commercial vehicle: $3,000,000 settlement
- Motorcycle struck by another driver: $100,000 settlement
Working With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer From the Law Office of Domingo Garcia
The path to recovery after a motorcycle accident is often long and arduous. Getting back on your feet while managing the expenses associated with your Tyler or Longview accident is rarely easy. Adding a lawsuit or insurance claim on top of these challenges can complicate the situation further.
We approach our legal services with two goals in mind. One, we’re here to provide you with legal support so you can focus on the important stuff, like healing or taking care of your family. With our help, you won’t need to spend countless hours haggling with insurance companies or learning the ins and outs of Texas’ legal system. Second, we’re committed to doing whatever it takes to get you the best settlement possible.
To aid in the realization of these goals, we provide these services to our clients:
Stress is a normal response to experiencing a motorcycle accident. We’ll seek to keep these stress levels down with:
- A bilingual team: Domingo Garcia, our lead partner, is a member of Texas’ significant Latino population – nearly a quarter of those living in Tyler are Latino. He, among other members of our team, is bilingual. We can use this knowledge to assist both Spanish and English-speaking motorcycle accident clients.
- Frequent case updates: Few things are worse than an unresponsive legal team. We won’t keep you up at night wondering about the status of your case. When we make progress, no matter how incremental, we’ll let you know. We’ll keep you updated each step of the way.
- Medical bill assistance: Your health insurance company or medical provider may request that you pay your fees before the conclusion of your case. If this occurs, we can connect you with our network.
- Simple legal explanations: Legal terminology is confusing. Terms like affidavit, deposition, and subrogation rightly leave most scratching their heads. We’re experienced in making these complex terms and processes simple. If it’s relevant to your case, however remotely, we can explain it to you in laymen’s language.
It’s possible to have the best of both worlds. You don’t need to work with an unsupportive legal team just because they have a proven track record. We’ve won many cases for clients and are committed to treating you with compassion and understanding.
After a motorcycle accident, it’s ideal if you gather some evidence of the crash. This could include contact information of those involved in the crash or images of your damaged motorcycle.
Don’t fret if you didn’t get the chance to gather evidence, though. To lay the groundwork for your case, we can investigate the events surrounding your crash. We may review:
- Traffic camera footage of the accident
- Police reports
- Interviews with witnesses
- Expert testimonials
- Your medical records so we can use them to show the extent of your injuries
- Documentation of your expenses, like receipts or invoices
If your case involves a lawsuit, we can rely on legal motions to gather additional evidence. These motions include:
- Depositions: Depositions are recorded question and answer sessions. They typically involve relevant witnesses, defendants (those being sued), and plaintiffs (those pursuing a lawsuit). The information gathered during depositions can be employed by either side of the courtroom in a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
- Interrogatories: Interrogatories are the written equivalent of depositions. Typically, one party will submit an interrogatory to the other. These submissions contain a list of questions, which will then receive a series of written replies. Interrogatories are useful because they allow input from your lawyer as you craft your response.
The information gathered via these processes can be used to establish the backbone of your case. Without clear evidence, it can be difficult to get a motorcycle accident case off the ground. During a case review, a Tyler motorcycle accident lawyer from our can inform you if you have the grounds for a case or not.
The natural step following gathering evidence is highlighting negligence. In a motorcycle accident case, negligence is composed of four elements. The goal of a lawyer supporting a plaintiff is to prove the presence of each element. These are the four elements of negligence, with relevant examples:
- The liable party owed you a duty of care: The driver that struck your motorcycle in, for example, an intersection was responsible for keeping you from harm, meaning they owed you a duty of care. This element of negligence is typically a given in motorcycle accident cases.
- The liable party breached their duty of care: The liable driver was speeding prior to causing your accident, therefore behaving negligently.
- The liable party’s negligent behavior caused your accident: Due to their negligent behavior (speeding), the liable driver struck your motorcycle as you crossed an intersection.
- You suffered from damages because of your accident: Your medical expenses and other types of damages demonstrate clearly that you suffered because of your motorcycle accident.
Our lawyers are familiar with this process. We can apply the evidence that we’ve gathered to work towards showing that another party’s negligence caused your injuries. Successfully demonstrating that your accident involved negligence is key to receiving a settlement offer.
Motorcycle accidents require you to be communicative. If you’re seeking an insurance claim, you’ll need to go back and forth with the liable party’s insurance company. If your case instead entails a lawsuit, you’ll have to communicate with the liable party’s legal team.
These communications can be both time-consuming and stressful, which is where our motorcycle accident lawyers in Tyler and Longview come in. We can take over communicating with relevant parties. This could offer you additional time so you can direct your energy elsewhere – healing from your injuries or comforting your family is just as important as negotiating with insurance companies.
When it comes time to negotiate a settlement offer, we’ll be ready. If an insurance company or an opposing legal team continues to deny you fair compensation, we can stand up for your best interests. Remember, one of our key goals is to fight for the best settlement award possible.
Can I Afford to Work With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Hiring a motorcycle lawyer is cheaper than you might think – in fact, you may not pay a cent upfront. Many personal injury lawyers, which includes those focused on automotive accidents, work on a contingency fee basis. This complex-sounding term describes a client-first payment plan. With contingency fees, a lawyer’s payment is contingent on their success, meaning:
- You don’t have to pay the legal team upfront
- They only get paid if they win your case
- Their payment will come as a percentage of your final settlement
At the Law Office of Domingo Garcia, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to pursue compensation. For this reason, we adhere to contingency fees. Financial concerns shouldn’t stop you from seeking legal support.
Who Can You Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
There’s a range of potentially liable parties in motorcycle accident cases, including:
- Another driver
- A trucking company or truck driver
- A municipality if your accident involved poorly kept roadways
- A vehicle manufacturer if your accident involved faulty vehicle components
Each liable party will necessitate a unique approach to pursuing a settlement. For example, if your accident was caused by another driver, you could file a liability claim with their insurance company. These types of claims can be complicated if the liable driver was not carrying insurance at the time of the accident. If this occurs, you may need to file a lawsuit or rely on your own insurance plan to cover your damages.
Other types of liable parties, like municipalities, come with their own caveats. Regardless of who caused your accident, though, our team can walk you through which approach makes the most sense. There’s no true “one size fits all” approach to motorcycle accidents and liable parties – every case is unique.
How Much Time do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
Motorcycle accidents are slotted into a broader legal category called personal injury law. Personal injury cases deal with instances involving negligence and the injury of another party. These cases, motorcycle accidents included, are subject to Texas’ personal injury statute of limitations.
This law provides those hoping to pursue a lawsuit with a two-year deadline. This deadline also applies to cases involving wrongful death and may shift depending on the context of your accident.
Getting a head start on your case isn’t just about meeting deadlines, either. Many processes involved in securing a settlement, like gathering evidence, or getting a medical report, can soak up weeks or even months. Starting your case early will provide you and your lawyer additional wiggle room as you pursue compensation.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
There are a few steps you can take after a motorcycle accident that could improve your chances of receiving a settlement. They include:
Seek Medical Attention
First, see a doctor. After a motorcycle accident, your priority should be ensuring that your injuries are attended to. This advice still stands even if you feel fine. Some conditions, like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or concussions, may not initially appear severe.
Seeking medical advice can also play a crucial role in your pursuit of compensation. You cannot file a claim or lawsuit until you have a detailed description of your medical conditions. The sooner you receive medical attention, the sooner you can obtain this report. Seeing a doctor also demonstrates to insurance companies or relevant liable parties that you are injured.
Contact Law Enforcement
After most serious motorcycle accidents, police are called to the scene. After they arrive, they’ll conduct a brief investigation to build a police report. These reports can function as evidence later in your case.
However, it is possible the police did not come to the scene of your crash. If this is the case and your crash resulted in serious injury, death, or property damages, you must contact law enforcement within 10 days.
After a motorcycle accident, it’s helpful to gather as much evidence as you can. This could include:
- Cell phone images of the accident or your damaged motorcycle
- Contact information for those involved in the accident
- Other information you deem relevant
Don’t worry if you’re unable to gather detailed information after an accident. We recognize that it may be impossible to accurately document the scene, particularly if you left the scene in an ambulance. Regardless of how much or little evidence you’re able to gather, our team can still investigate your accident.
Consider Working With a Lawyer
You aren’t required to hire a lawyer if you’re hoping to pursue a motorcycle accident lawsuit or claim for a wreck that happened in Tyler or Longview. This approach would designate you as a “pro se” litigant, meaning without representation.
However, as noted earlier, it’s completely normal to experience stress and confusion while trying to navigate legal matters without support. Working with a Tyler motorcycle lawyer could abate this stress and may increase your chances of receiving a settlement.
These are some things to consider when seeking legal representation:
- Many law firms, ours included, offer free case evaluations. You can use this trial period to gauge the culture of a firm. Do you think you would enjoy working with their lawyers?
- Take as much time as you need to research local law firms. Reviewing their case results can offer you insight into the effectiveness of their legal team.
- Don’t let financial concerns prevent you from hiring a lawyer. Contingency fees could allow you to hire a lawyer without paying any upfront fees.
What Should I Avoid Doing After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accident victims often make a few key missteps, including:
- Revealing too much information: After a motorcycle accident, insurance companies may request that you provide them with a recorded statement. You do not need to provide these statements. Insurance companies rely on them to generate an admission of fault or find evidence that you’re not as injured as you claim. If you have a lawyer, you can ask that the insurance companies speak to them instead.
- Ignoring your doctor’s orders: There are two reasons that you shouldn’t ignore your doctor’s orders. First, doing so could put your health at risk. Doctors are health professionals that have your best interests in mind. Second, doing so could indicate that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. This could harm the valuation of your settlement.
Motorcycle Accident Safety Tips
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to experience a fatal crash than other motorists. There are a few steps you can take to reduce this risk, including:
- Know your bike: Familiarizing yourself with your vehicle is key before taking it out on the highway. Ensure that you understand how to shift gears and other functions of your bike. Taking a local motorcycle training course could aid in your preparation.
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly increases your chances of getting into an accident. If you’ve been drinking, don’t drive.
- Avoid poor driving conditions: Foggy and overcast weather increases roadway risk. To reduce the chances of getting into an accident, wait for sunny conditions before hitting the asphalt.
- Wear protective equipment: Helmets, while not always required for motorcyclists over the age of 21 in Texas, are an important piece of protective equipment. You can increase your protection further by wearing thick leather riding gear designed to keep road rash at bay.
- Obey roadway rules and regulations: We get it. It is fun to test the limitations of your motorcycle. However, ignoring roadway rules by speeding excessively is both illegal and could lead to dangerous or even fatal crashes. Always use your turn signals, obey stop signs, and don’t change lanes suddenly. Motorcycles are harder to see for other motorists.
- Avoid the center of the lane: This is a lesser-known yet equally important tip. The center of road lanes often experiences a build-up of debris and oil. By avoiding this part of the road, you have a lower chance of slipping out or encountering debris.
Motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere, from quiet intersections to multi-lane highways. The key is never to leave your house on your bike unprepared. Safety precautions can make all the difference. They could even save your life.
Work With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Our law offices have supported clients throughout Texas since our founding in 1983 by lead partner Domingo Garcia. Garcia has several notable accolades. He was a representative in Texas’ state legislature and has secured several multi-million-dollar settlements for his clients.
We firmly believe that the victims of motorcycle accidents deserve fair compensation and are prepared to exhaust every option as we pursue a settlement. We can handle insurance companies, build your case, and represent you in the courtroom if needed.
You don’t need to go it alone. Contact our offices for a free case evaluation today.