Tuesday, December 12, 2017, was a deadly day on Highway 183, as a motorcyclist was struck by what appeared to be a truck from behind. Instead of throwing the man to the ground, the force of the collision propelled the motorcyclist over the side of the overpass, dropping approximately 50 feet to the street below. He died of his injuries on the evening of December 14. It is sadly instructive to note the precautions that were and were not taken in this unfortunate accident, as this type of accident happens to motorcycle riders far more than any other type of driver.
Motorcyclists at High Risk
Simply because of the relative lack of protection afforded by a motorcycle compared to a car, many more motorcyclists are injured or killed proportionally than auto drivers if there is an accident between the two. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that motorcycle fatalities occur as many as 27 times more often than fatalities among auto drivers and passengers, and a significant portion of these are simply due to the manner in which an accident might occur. For example, an accident where a motorcycle is sideswiped may lead to injury or death, but a head-on collision is going to place a motorcycle against a vehicle at least three times its weight, and very often far more. Simple physics lead to the conclusion that the motorcyclist will get the worst of such a crash.
Even in non-fatal accidents, motorcyclists are routinely left with severe injuries like brain damage or vertebrae fractures, especially if struck from the side or from behind. In rear-end collisions, there is less time to react and for a motorcyclist, that brief time can make a difference. This is especially true if a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet, and while Texas law requires helmets for many, it is not a blanket requirement for anyone choosing to ride a motorbike. There is no word on whether the deceased motorcyclist was wearing a helmet or not.
Injuries Can Be Deceptive
One important thing to keep in mind is that in most motorcycle accidents, the injuries that occur may not present fully for days or even weeks after the event. While the unfortunate gentleman on Hwy 183 sustained injuries too severe to survive, many times a biker can pick themselves up off the pavement only to wake up the next morning in serious pain or unable to move. Certain types of harm, especially to soft tissue, are notorious for this – whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents, and it is very normal for it not to develop until hours or days after a crash.
Regardless of the specific nature of your injuries, it is important to not settle or sign anything with your insurance company until you can be certain that your medical bills will be covered. It is the nature of the insurance business to try and settle your claim for less, but Texas law states that if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive economic damages as compensation (in other words, you may receive enough to pay all your medical bills) assuming you can prove that the person was at least 51 percent negligent in the accident.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today
Motorcycle accidents are serious and can be truly terrifying, especially if you are not at fault. If you have been harmed by someone else’s conduct, contacting an experienced New Braunfels motorcycle accident attorney at the Bettersworth Law Firm can make a difference in whether your case succeeds or not.