Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Amarillo, Texas
Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate occurrence in Texas. Motorcycle injuries can have devastating and potentially lifelong consequences. When your motorcycle wreck was the result of someone else’s negligent actions, things can quickly become even more frustrating.
At Tormey & McConnell, we strive to help every single client pursue the compensation they deserve. As personal injury attorneys, we support clients in Amarillo and the rest of Texas as they navigate the aftermath of a motorcycle crash. If you live in Canyon, Dumas, Pampa, Hereford, Childress, Borger, or anywhere else in our state, reach out to our firm to set up a consultation.
Steps to Take If You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
Any kind of accident on Texas roads can be overwhelming. Taking the following steps can help victims deal with the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle accident:
Seek Medical Help. The first step is to seek medical attention immediately, even if you think you are not injured. Some injuries may not manifest immediately, and prompt medical attention is crucial.
Document and Obtain Documents of Everything. Collect all the information related to the accident, including photos of the scene, damage to the motorcycle, injuries, and contact information of the other driver and witnesses. Obtain a copy of the police report and any injury-related medical records.
Contact Insurance. Victims should contact their insurance companies and provide all the relevant information about the accident. Victims should also obtain a copy of the other driver’s insurance information whenever possible.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney. Hiring a personal injury attorney is highly recommended to help you navigate the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you negotiate with insurance companies and represent you in court if necessary.
Remember, your health should be your top concern. Make sure you get proper medical attention immediately. Insurance companies can use delays in seeking medical attention to argue that your injuries were not serious enough to warrant compensation. Accident victims must have proper medical diagnoses and records to back up their injury claims.
Texas Motorcycle Laws
The following laws apply to motorcycle passengers and operators in Texas:
Lane Splitting. Lane splitting is illegal in Texas. This rule means that motorcycles cannot ride between lanes of traffic or between rows of vehicles in the same lane.
Helmet Laws. Texas law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet that meets the safety standards set by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Riders and passengers who are 21 or older are exempt from this requirement if they have completed a Department-approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course or if they are covered with a certain amount of insurance.
Passengers. The motorcycle must have a passenger seat and footrests to carry a passenger on a motorcycle. The passenger must follow all safety laws applicable to motorcycle riders.
Required Motorcycle Equipment. All motorcycles in Texas must have working headlights, tail lights, and brake lights. Additionally, motorcycles must have at least one rearview mirror and a horn that can be heard from a distance of at least 200 feet. All motorcycles must also comply with noise limits set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
It is important to note that these laws may be subject to change. Individuals should always check with the Texas DPS or a qualified motorcycle accident attorney to ensure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
Determining Fault in Texas
Texas follows ‘modified comparative fault’ theory. As such, motorcycle accident victims and the responsible party may share the liability for an accident. Consider the following points:
Proving Negligence. In Texas, fault in a personal injury case is determined based on the concept of negligence. To prove negligence, the injured party (victim) must show that the other party had a duty to act reasonably and failed to do so, harming the injured party. In other words, the injured party must show that the other party breached their duty of care and caused the injury.
Modified Comparative Fault. Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that fault is apportioned between the parties based on their respective level of negligence. Under this rule, a victim can recover damages only if they are found to be less than 51% at fault for the accident. If the victim is found to be 51% or more at fault, they are barred from recovering any damages.
Here’s an example:
Suppose a motorcycle rider is hit by a car while riding, and the court determines that the rider was 30% at fault for the accident (for example, the motorcyclist was speeding). The rider could recover damages because the driver was 70% at fault (for running a red light). Still, the damages will be reduced by 30% to reflect the rider’s level of fault. If the rider was found to be 51% or more at fault, he or she would not be able to recover any damages.
It is important to note that determining fault in a personal injury case can be complex, and the specific facts of each case will determine how fault is assigned. An experienced motorcycle accident or personal injury attorney can help injured parties protect their rights and understand their options.
Filing a Claim for a Loved One
In some situations, accident victims may be unable to file a personal injury claim for themselves. In these cases, family members such as a spouse, adult children, siblings, or parents may file a personal injury claim on the victim’s behalf. Additionally, in cases of death, surviving family members may file a claim based on motorcycle wrongful death. Surviving family members can certainly seek compensation due to negligence leading to the victim’s death.
Family members should reach out to professional legal counsel from an experienced attorney to uphold their rights and navigate the legal system in Texas. That way, an attorney can shoulder the legal burden while families can grieve and heal.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Amarillo, Texas
At Tormey & McConnell, we’re ready to help our clients move forward. We understand how stressful a motorcycle accident can be, so we strive to deliver compassionate and assertive legal counsel when you need it the most. Contact our attorneys today for a simple consultation.