3 Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), nearly 500 motorcyclists were killed throughout the state in 2016, among the thousands of accidents and injuries that occur involving a motorcycle every year.
While there’s no denying the appeal of motorcycles among their many enthusiastic users who love the freedom and connection with the road that is only offered on the back of a motorcycle, it is also difficult to deny the increased danger of injury or death posed by motorcycles.
The increased dangers of motorcycle use are well known, but many of the accidents and injuries involving motorcyclists are not due to user error, but by the erratic and unpredictable actions of other drivers on the road.
Many drivers are simply not attentive to smaller and less visible motorcycle riders while they are turning, changing lanes, or merging.
Unfortunately, due to the weight and size difference between a standard vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcyclist is likely to receive the most serious injuries as their bodies will be exposed to direct impact with the vehicle and the street following a crash.
Texas law also allows riders 21 or over who have completed a motorcycle safety course and are covered by $10,000 worth of accident insurance to ride their motorcycles without using a helmet, which can greatly increase the risk of severe injury or death.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault and was caused by the negligence or inattentiveness of another driver, then you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries with the help of a motorcycle accident attorney, however there are three things you should keep in mind when hiring an attorney:
1. Texas Comparative Negligence
In Texas, it is important to note that it is a comparative fault state, which means that in order to recover personal injury damages or compensation, you must be able to show that you were 50 percent or less at fault for the accident.
This means that if you were partially at fault for an accident, your damages will be reduced by the amount of fault. For example, if you were considered 20% at fault and suffered $50,000 in damages, then you would only receive $40,000 due to the 20% reduction.
For a motorcyclist, this comes into play depending on whether or not they were wearing a helmet and the nature of their injuries. If the rider only suffered a broken leg, then the fact that they weren’t using a helmet wouldn’t likely be applicable. However, an argument may be made that the motorcyclist was partially at fault for serious head or neck injuries caused by not wearing a helmet, even if the motorcyclist wasn’t at fault for the accident.
This is why it is important to speak with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Texas following your accident, and to discuss how helmet use could potentially affect any claim for damages.
2. Track Record for Success
Would you hire a mechanic who has never worked on motorcycles before? Of course not. That is why you should be sure to hire an attorney with a demonstrated knowledge and proven track record of success with motorcycle accident cases.
A proven track record for success and intimate knowledge surrounding the ins and outs of motorcycle accident law and liability is critical for receiving the compensation you need and deserve following an accident.
3. Open Lines of Communication
You may have dozens of questions or concerns on your mind after a motorcycle accident, chief among them will be recovery and rehabilitation, not worrying about whether your motorcycle accident attorney is handling your case. When you do have questions, you should be able to easily reach out to the attorney handling your case, not just get passed off to somebody else at the firm.
Furthermore, your attorney should be focused on the finer details of the case as well as your lingering concerns whether it is paying for medical bills or the loss of long-term income. Your attorney should work with you one-on-one because every individual and every motorcycle accident is different.
Nobody wants to have to hire a motorcycle accident attorney because of an injury caused by the negligence of someone else, but if you find yourself in this position, then you want to be sure to work with the best, which is why you should reach out to the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Fears Nachawati.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation by calling (866) 705-7584 or visiting one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.