On the night of October 14, a driver turning onto Larkdale Drive from O’Connor Road was struck by a motorcyclist traveling at a “high rate of speed,” killing the motorcyclist and damaging the automobile. The driver had no injuries, but the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Sadly, this is all too common in San Antonio motorcycle accidents, with motorcyclists being killed much more often than automobile drivers, and those that survive are much more likely to be severely injured than auto drivers. There are multiple reasons for this.
Statistics Show Heightened Danger
Motorcyclists simply have to do more with less, given the comparative lack of protection surrounding them compared to the protection an automobile gives its driver and passengers. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that motorcyclists are up to 29 times more likely to die in a wreck than those in an automobile. This is compounded by Texas’ helmet law, which only requires such protection for those 20 and younger, meaning that many older cyclists are not wearing helmets when they are involved in a wreck if they choose not to. While this is their choice, it does contribute to a high fatality rate, as helmets have been shown to prevent approximately 37 percent of fatal injuries.
Direct causes of motorcycle accidents are legion, though many do come down to driver error, either on the part of the cyclist or the part of the driver that is involved. Sometimes the motorcyclist may try to lane split (share the lane with a car), which is both illegal and dangerous; conversely, many cyclists are injured when car doors are opened in their path or cars try to turn without seeing them, particularly on the left. Speed can also always be a factor, as well as substance abuse. In the Larkdale Drive accident, the motorcyclist was allegedly speeding when they slammed into the car.
Negligence and Comparative Fault
If you believe your injuries were caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another person, bringing suit is the best idea; in the Larkdale Drive accident, the driver might have been able to sue the motorcyclist for any injuries had they lived, given the motorcyclist’s high rate of speed. To bring a successful suit, you must be able to show three criteria. A duty of reasonable care generally exists between motorists on the road; you must be able to show that it was (1) breached (2) by the defendant’s conduct, with no other superseding cause in between; and (3) that you suffered harm as a result of that breach. The harm must be tangible and somewhat lasting; cuts and bruises are not enough, but broken bones usually are.
Be advised that Texas follows what is known as a modified comparative fault rule, as well; this means that even if you are found partially at fault for your own injuries, you are still able to recover as long as your percentage of fault is 49 percent or lower. Some states bar recovery if a plaintiff is at fault at all, but Texas law allows for the plaintiff to have made some mistakes as long as it is not held that they made the majority of them.
Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help You?
Even with the potential dangers, many people love riding motorcycles and do so happily, and just like automobile drivers, motorcyclists have rights that cannot be ignored. If you are a motorcyclist and you have been injured in an accident, calling an experienced attorney may be a good idea for you. The passionate New Braunfels motorcycle accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm can sit down with you and help you decide how best to go forward with your case. Call us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule an appointment.