On the evening of August 8, a man was thrown off his motorcycle as he collided with another vehicle on northbound U.S. 183. He was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center with serious injuries, but as of this writing is expected to recover. Law enforcement has few details, but it is easy to wonder about the nature of the accident. Motorcycle riding is a dangerous hobby, but at the same time, if someone acted negligently, the injured man may have a good claim against the driver of the vehicle that struck him. If you are ever involved in an accident on your motorcycle, you should know that you have just as many rights as the driver of an automobile.
Motorcycling Can Be Dangerous
Texas has approximately 381,000 motorcycles registered in the state, and it is extremely common to see motorcycles on Texas roads. While most riders are scrupulously cautious and do everything they can to protect themselves while riding, what many non-riders are not aware of is that even if all precautions have been taken, motorcycling is markedly more dangerous than riding in a car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a motorcyclist is 28 times more likely to die than a vehicle driver or passenger, should an accident occur.
Many hear that statistic and think that motorcyclists do not take effective precautions, or that such a dangerous hobby means accidents are unavoidable. However, much of the reason for the heightened danger inherent in riding is simple physics: a motorcycle rider does not have as much as a vehicle driver or passenger to protect them should they suddenly be in an accident involving huge amounts of force. The damage from an accident that can feel minor to an auto driver can be severe to a cyclist.
If you are involved in an accident with another driver, such as the man on U.S. 183 was, and you believe that your injuries are due to their negligence, you must establish four things in Texas before you are able to prevail at trial. You must show that the driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care while using the road (this is somewhat understood under Texas law) and that they breached that duty of care by their conduct. You must also be able to show that you suffered real harm – not just minor scrapes that will disappear in days – and that the defendant’s conduct was the direct cause of that harm, with no other superseding cause in between.
Sometimes, jurors will side with automobile drivers because of an inherent distrust of motorcyclists or a misunderstanding of the potential dangers of riding. However, if you establish the four points of law that Texas requires, you stand a good chance at prevailing. This is true even if you are held to be partially at fault – the law holds that unless your percentage of fault was over 50 percent, you may still be able to recover whatever percentage of your bills can be laid at the defendant’s door. So, if you are held, say, 15 percent liable, it still means you might be able to recover 85 percent of your costs.
Call an Experienced New Braunfels Motorcycle Accident Attorney
While the man on U.S. 183 appears to be on the road to recovery, you or a loved one might not be so lucky. If you have been injured while riding your motorcycle, you need an attorney who understands what you have been through and is willing to work hard to get you the fairest possible outcome. The skilled New Braunfels motorcycle accident lawyers at the Bettersworth Law Firm are dedicated and driven, and we will put our knowledge and passion to work for you. Call our office today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.