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TX accident lawyerOn a recent Sunday, a motorcycle and a vehicle collided near the intersection of West Howard Lane and the North I-35 service road. One person was declared a “trauma alert” and transported to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center with “potentially serious” injuries, though no other information is currently available. While law enforcement did not specify who the ‘trauma alert’ was, it is reasonable to deduce that it was the motorcyclist, given the immensely higher likelihood for motorcyclists to be injured and killed in this type of accident. If you are a motorcyclist and have been injured in an accident with a car, you may be able to file suit to try and recover compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Motorcycling Can Be Dangerous

Motorcyclists are at a serious disadvantage when struck by cars, simply due to size and weight. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are approximately 28 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. There is simply less protection available to a motorcycle rider - who usually just has the clothing they wear, and a helmet if they so choose - than there is to a vehicle driver or passenger sitting behind sheets of metal and glass.

 The underlying causes of many motorcycle-vehicle accidents are attributable to a host of different factors, most of which affect motorcyclists and car drivers about equally. Speeding, ignoring stop signs and red lights, and other types of negligence may happen to any driver, but only motorcyclists are adversely affected by issues such as size and visibility, and many car drivers have real problems effectively sharing the road with motorcyclists.

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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 injury lawyerA young man was killed on July 3 when he took a curve too fast on his motorcycle and hit a light pole on Dessau Road, just inside the Pflugerville city limits. The motorcyclist was unable to stop in time and was thrown when his bike hit a curb. This is sadly common in Texas, where motorcycle accidents occur with regularity for a multitude of reasons. However, depending on the situation, it may be possible to hold someone liable in a motorcycle accident, even if it only officially involves a single vehicle.

“Single Vehicle” Accidents Are Often Not

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that riding a motorcycle is an inherently dangerous activity - per mile driven, motorcyclists have a death rate 26 times higher than that of automobiles. In 2016, the most recent available data year, the NHTSA showed 4,853 motorcyclists killed, 2,190 in single-vehicle accidents (approximately 45 percent). However, in this metric, single-vehicle accidents are defined as crashes in which only one vehicle sustains damage. This does not cover the accidents in which another vehicle may have played a role, but managed to get away - for example, a car swerving in front of a motorcyclist or not seeing a motorcyclist in their lane until too late might conceivably have caused the accident, but it would still be classified as a single-vehicle accident for tabulation purposes.

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Texas injury lawyerThe night of April 16 proved fatal for a San Antonio motorcyclist who was thrown from his bike after attempting to avoid crashing into a car on NW Loop 410. The car had been speeding and clipped the motorcyclist, who was then thrown from his vehicle after trying to avoid a further crash. He died of his injuries at University Hospital. This type of incident is sadly not uncommon, though it is somewhat unique that the cyclist’s injuries were attributed more to the impact with the road than to the collision itself. Motorcyclists are at high risk for injury and death in any type of crash.

Many Reasons for Higher Fatality Rate

Motorcyclists are consistently shown to be disproportionately injured and/or killed in automobile accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were killed almost 29 times more often than automobile passengers in road accidents. Helmets and safety equipment do help in lowering the risk, but they are only estimated to be approximately 37 percent effective based on existing data. Very often, the facts are simply against the motorcyclist who gets involved in a crash.

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Texas wrongful death lawyer, Texas motorcycle crash lawyerIn early June 2017, , a man was killed when his motorcycle was hit by a truck on FM 973 in Austin. His passenger was injured, but her unborn child did not survive. The driver of the truck that hit him was later charged with intoxication manslaughter, which may rise to two counts after the fetus was declared no longer viable. This is a sad yet common story in Texas, but it nevertheless reflects just how dangerous motorcycling can be even when one does everything right.

Statistics Show Significantly Higher Risks

The most recent available data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows a slight uptick in motorcyclist deaths from the previous year at 4,693. That constitutes approximately 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015, which is more than double the amount seen a decade before. One notable trend is that almost two-thirds of the fatalities were sustained in multiple-vehicle crashes, which is slightly higher than previous years, but roughly in keeping with trends.

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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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