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TX injury lawyerA man riding a stolen motorcycle was killed recently when the motorcycle hit a barricade near the 8000 block of Research Boulevard. The rider lost control and slammed into the barricade dividing the lanes of traffic, causing him to be thrown to the ground, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. While the likelihood of motorcyclists being killed in accidents is far higher than it is for auto drivers or passengers, it is certainly not always a motorcyclist’s fault when a wreck occurs. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be lucky to be alive - but if you were harmed due to someone’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered.

Danger Is Elevated

The most recent available data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in road crashes in 2018, and the likelihood of a motorcyclist dying in a motor vehicle crash is approximately 28 times greater than that of automobile occupants. This may sound absurd, but given the relative lack of protection cyclists have compared to auto drivers and passengers, the speeds at which many crashes occur, and the general lack of attention that motorcyclists receive from non-motorcyclists on the road, these and other factors do add up.

Motorcyclists do need to exercise good judgment on the road and ensure that they always ride sober and alert. However, car and truck drivers must also be certain to check their blind spots, be aware of potential lane splitting (illegal in Texas, but still common), and otherwise observe the general rules of the road. If you are injured, it will be up to a jury to decide who is negligent, but if you are able to act with the care that a reasonable person would exercise, it will be difficult for anyone to allege that you acted inappropriately.

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TX motorcycle lawyerOne recent night almost turned deadly for a woman riding a motorcycle near Loop 410 and Culebra Road, when she struck a van leaving a parking lot and sustained serious injuries. She was taken to University Hospital in critical condition, and while law enforcement told the press that no charges are expected to be filed in this specific incident, it is still worth noting that these types of crashes are sadly common. If you are injured in an accident while riding your motorcycle, you can be left with serious injuries, and while the van driver here was blameless, that may not be the case in your crash.

Motorcycling Can Be Dangerous

The most recent available data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate that approximately 420 motorcycle drivers and passengers were killed in 2018, which is a drop of around 16 percent from 2017’s numbers. It is also relevant that a lower number of motorcycle riders were not wearing a helmet at the time of their crash - multiple studies show that helmet use can save lives, though Texas law currently makes their wearing optional for anyone over age 21 if they have completed a safety course.

While sometimes, motorcyclists can fail to take safety measures to protect themselves, motorcycling can be dangerous even if a rider is helmeted and obeying all traffic laws. Drivers, unfortunately, do not always share the road very well, with many accidents occurring because an automobile driver fails to watch their blind spots or check before turning. While the van driver in the Culebra Road accident was held blameless, it is very easy to have a situation where fault could be placed on a driver in that position for negligently failing to make sure the road was clear.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, a crash on West Military Drive killed a motorcyclist, who simply seemed to drop away from the two friends he had been riding with. One of the other motorcyclists simply noticed the victim disappear, and found his body approximately one half-mile back from where they had stopped. Medical personnel were summoned, but the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. As of this writing, the cause of death was not determined, but motorcycle accidents are more likely to be deadly than standard vehicle crashes, and if you have been involved in one, your injuries are likely to be severe.

Common Causes

Motorcycling is an extremely common hobby in the United States, with Texas being in the top five for the number of motorcycles registered in the state. However, with the increased number of motorcyclists on Texas roads in addition to other traffic, this does mean that more accidents occur. When they do, motorcyclists very often get the proverbial short end of the stick - their relative lack of protection compared to passengers in vehicles means that they die approximately 28 times more often.

The sheer lack of protection for motorcyclists (leather and padding being all that is between a cyclist and the road) is a big factor in the number of injuries and deaths, but there are others. Sometimes motorcyclists do play a role in their own injuries - for example, law enforcement suspects that the victim of the West Military Drive crash was not wearing a helmet - but other times, auto drivers’ distraction and negligence, such as failing to check one’s mirrors before merging, can lead to cyclist injuries.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, all of the lanes of westbound Ben White Boulevard at Congress were closed down due to an accident involving a motorcycle and another vehicle. Law enforcement reports stated that one adult man was transported to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with ‘unknown injuries,’ and while it was not specified, it is likely that this was the motorcyclist. If you are involved in a similar motorcycle accident, it is important that you be aware of your options in trying to seek compensation for your injuries.

Statistics Show High Fatality Rates

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcyclists are approximately “28 times as likely as passenger car occupants” to die in motor vehicle accidents. This may seem inflated, but there are multiple different reasons why this is the case, not least of all because motorcyclists lack the protection that passengers in vehicles have in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists have nothing between themselves and the road, while passengers in an automobile have metal, glass, and other safety measures to fall back upon.

Generally, motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic deaths, making up approximately 15 percent of road fatalities while only around 3 percent of the vehicles on the road are motorcycles. There are countless causes of motorcycle accidents, but driver negligence is the main culprit. Unfortunately, drivers very often fail to check their blind spots or turn lanes when operating their vehicles, which can very often lead to motorcyclists being injured.

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TX injury lawyerRecently, medics were called to Garfield, east of Austin-Bergstrom Airport, to treat a woman who had sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash. She was taken to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with injuries that were characterized as serious, but not life-threatening. These types of accidents are quite common, and while the woman luckily escaped life-threatening injuries, she may still face long-term recuperation and even possibly permanent disability. If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, your medical bills can add up, but you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries.

Fatality Statistics Are High

Motorcyclists are over-represented in traffic death totals; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die if they are involved in a crash than a vehicle driver or passenger. Motorcyclists do not have the same protection as those inside a car or truck; the sheer volume of metal and glass involved in striking a vehicle can prove punishing for a cyclist whose only protection is their clothing and helmet. Even those who survive accidents with vehicles can have severe injuries, as the woman in Garfield may be left with.

There are many different reasons for the frequency of motorcycle accidents. Fatality statistics are made even worse by non-universal compliance with helmet laws - the NHTSA estimates that only 71 percent of riders wore helmets in 2018. Texas’ statistics are even more significant in that regard - roughly half of the 418 motorcyclists killed in 2018 on Texas roads were not wearing helmets at the time of their accidents. In addition, very often vehicle drivers simply do not take cyclists’ presence into account; failure to check blind spots or their turn lanes can lead to ruin.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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