Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating way to get outside and enjoy the road. Unfortunately, motorcycles offer little protection, leaving the rider exposed to serious injuries in the event of an accident. If you have recently been involved in a motorcycle accident, you may be surprised by the total cost of your damages. How much money can you expect to recover and how can a motorcycle accident lawyer in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, or Austin help?
What Is the Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident in Texas?
In Texas, the average settlement for a motorcycle accident is around $200,000. That is many times the average settlement for an automobile accident, which is around $15,000. The reason motorcycle accident cases settle for so much money is the costly nature of the injuries a rider typically sustains. Your individual settlement could be lower or higher depending on the extent of your injuries and the strength of your case.
Who Pays for the Damages?
The at-fault liability laws in Texas apply to motorcycles as well as automobiles. Therefore, a driver who causes an accident must pay for all the resulting damages, including those sustained by passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
If the claimant was partially responsible, his or her settlement is reduced by the percentage of fault he or she shares. Individuals who are found to be more than 50% responsible are not allowed to collect damages.
Overcoming Negative Assumptions About Motorcyclists
Many people believe that motorcyclists are irresponsible daredevils who are prone to causing accidents. At Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, we understand that many motorcycle accidents are in no way the rider’s fault. We have extensive experience representing motorcycle clients, and we know that winning a settlement is often contingent on overcoming anti-motorcycle bias.
We will work to uncover every scrap of evidence in your favor to minimize your share of blame in the accident. Ideally, you will be able to demonstrate that the other motorist was 100% at fault.
What Types of Damages Can You Collect From a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
A motorcycle accident has the potential to adversely affect many areas of your life, including your health, your work, and your relationships. If another driver caused your accident, you have the legal right to demand compensation for various losses. If your accident left you permanently disabled, your settlement should provide for future accident-related expenses as well as those you have already incurred. The types of damages you can list on your claim include:
After a motorcycle accident, the medical expenses can be considerable. Your settlement should reflect the amount of money needed for your emergency care, transportation to the hospital, diagnostic tests, X-rays and other kinds of imaging, ongoing treatments, follow-up appointments, medications, and equipment.
The injuries requiring treatment can range from broken bones and road rash to brain trauma and spinal cord injuries. Ascertaining the amount of money needed to treat minor injuries can be done relatively quickly, while catastrophic injuries may take more time to monitor and assess.
“Lost wages” is a term that encompasses all the income you miss as a result of an accident. You are entitled to the full value of your lost wages, whether you need to take a few weeks off work, find a new job, or discontinue working entirely.
If your accident has a permanent impact on the amount of income you can generate, your claim should include compensation for reduced earning capacity in the list of demands. When your lawyer sits down with you to tally your lost wages, he or she will look for opportunities to claim:
- Lost salary/hourly wages
- Lost benefits
- Lost income from a part-time job
- Lost income from seasonal employment or gig work
- Missed bonuses and/or promotions
- Unearned tips
Pain and Suffering
Apart from being costly and disruptive, injuries are painful. Even if your injuries magically healed themselves without any expensive treatments, the driver who caused the accident would still owe you compensation for your discomfort and pain.
The process of assigning a value to pain and suffering is highly subjective. Juries use their best judgment, while insurance companies defer to an algorithm that often undervalues the amount of compensation a claimant could receive if the case went to trial. Your lawyer will calculate the maximum value of your pain and suffering and push the insurance company to pay you the full amount.
With so much of their bodies exposed to the road, motorcyclists who are involved in accidents often incur scarring and other forms of disfigurement. Due to the negative psychological effects of dramatic changes in your appearance, you have the right to demand compensation for any disfigurement you experienced.
Stress and Anxiety
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident recently, you know how much stress and anxiety they can cause. When you submit your claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance, stress and anxiety can factor into your noneconomic damages.
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents are fatal. If you have lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. The claim can include any medical treatments the deceased received, his or her pain and suffering, and the negative impact his or her passing will have on your family.
Loss of Consortium
A loss of consortium claim can be filed by a spouse or child of the deceased. “Consortium” refers to the love and support provided by one family member to another. In the case of a motorcycle accident, a loss of consortium claim can be filed when a wrongful death occurs or when the injured party’s disabilities prevent them from continuing to provide familial support.
If the driver who injured you is guilty of gross negligence, he or she may be required to pay punitive damages. Drunk driving, road rage, driving under the influence of drugs, and operating a vehicle with the intent to cause harm are all examples of gross negligence.
Where Can I Find a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, or Austin?
While the average settlement for a motorcycle accident is around $200,000, the outcome of your case will depend on your lawyer’s ability to build a convincing case around your claim. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable in laws governing personal injury lawsuits and the rules of the road. We have successfully argued cases involving all types of accidents, including collisions between motorcycles, personal-use vehicles, and commercial trucks.
When we represent you, we will put all of our expertise towards getting you the compensation you need. Our contingency fee structure makes legal services available with no up-front costs, and you won’t pay anything unless you receive a payout. To schedule a free consultation, contact our offices at 210-951-2024.
We Will Treat Your Claim Like Our Own
All drivers are responsible for operating their vehicles responsibly and taking reasonable measures to ensure the safety of other motorists, including motorcycle riders. If you suffered an accident because another driver failed to uphold the duty of care they owed you, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. To meet with a motorcycle accident lawyer in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, or Austin, contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC.