Experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycles have become increasingly popular in recent years due to fluctuating gas prices and the baby boomer generating retiring and finding a new hobby on two wheels. Although there are few more exhilarating experiences than being on the open road with the wind in your face, many riders do not fully realize the risks and other drivers often fail to look out for motorcyclists.
How Dangerous Are Motorcycles?
A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found there are more than 100,000 motorcycle accidents nationwide every year. Motorcycles lack the external covering and protection of a metal frame that you have if you are driving a car or a truck. Riders are 39 times more likely to die in an accident than other motorists. They also stand a much higher chance of sustaining a serious personal injury in an accident. In the 14 years from 1997 to 2011, motorcycle accident rates more than doubled in the United States while total traffic accident fatalities dropped by 23 percent. This was partly due to the increased popularity of motorcycles. Texas saw 460 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2012 and 488 the previous year.
If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may suffer very serious injuries such as head and spinal injuries and will need to recover the most you can for your medical bills. Other drivers are the most significant cause of motorcycle accidents. In many cases you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
The Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Even the most experienced motorcyclist can face being involved in an accident on the highway due to other drivers, bad weather conditions or merely losing control. Here are six leading causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Drivers Making Left Turns – Drivers making turns and failing to see a motorcyclist is one of the most common forms of accidents with injuries involving riders. Typically, a car driver fails to see a rider or misjudges the speed of a motorcyclist. Either the car hits the rider or the biker is unable to take evasive action in time and hits the car. The driver can be liable for injuries in both scenarios. While the car may only sustain minimal damage, the motorcyclist will often be thrown off his or her bike, sustaining serious or even life-threatening injuries.
- Lane Changes by Cars – When motorcyclists are riding in traffic, cars can make sudden changes and veer into the space they are occupying. Many motorists have a blind spot when it comes to riders. The car can either strike the motorcycle or cause the rider to crash while trying to avoid hitting the car. As a rider you should be aware of where blind spots are and spend as little time in them as possible. If you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirrors, then they have the ability to see you too.
- Distracted Drivers – the increased use of smart phones and other electronic devices has made the roads more dangerous for motorcyclists. Distracted drivers are a major cause of accidents involving motorcyclists. Riders should keep their distance if possible when they are near cars.
- Car Doors Being Opened – Cyclists refer to the area close to a car door as the “death zone.” A carelessly opened door on a parked car can also cause very significant injuries or even kill motorcyclists. The best way to avoid this cause of an accident is to keep away from parked cars.
- Rear End Collisions – If you have to suddenly brake or slow down at an intersection or due to an obstacle, a car may hit you from behind. The rear-ender is the most common kind of auto accident. Even a “fender bender” can prove fatal to a motorcyclist. Riders should consider pulling in front of cars at intersections or stopping to the side rather than the center of a lane.
- Speeding – Traveling too fast is a common cause of motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists often lose control of their bikes on curves. Riders should slow down on curves make sure they can see what’s ahead of them.
The Main Kinds of Injuries Sustained by Motorcyclists
Any type of injury can occur in a motorcycle wreck, but here are the main types.
- Amputations –It’s not uncommon for motorcyclists to lose limbs, in particular legs that are vulnerable due to their closeness to the road.
- Back and Neck Injuries -Motorcyclists’ backs and necks are vulnerable if they are thrown off their bikes. The severity of their injuries range from simple muscle sprains to major issues with the spine, including fractures and discs that can get herniated. In severe cases, this can lead to paralysis, which can end up in Paraplegia or Quadriplegia, which is paralysis to some degree in all four limbs.
- Severe Road Burn also known as Road Rash -Many bike riders can end up with such severe road rash that can cover a great percentage of their body. The skin is the largest organ of the body and when such great exposure happens, then major infection can develop.
- Broken Bones and Fractures – Accidents in which riders are thrown from bikes during accidents can result in fractures of their arms, legs, and even facial bones, particularly when full-face helmets aren’t worn.
- Head Injuries, medically known as TBI which stands for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) -Motorcyclists are far more likely to sustain head injuries from the dramatic impact their head and face when hitting the road during accidents. These TBIs can range from minor concussions with a mild lapse of memory and loss of consciousness to major loss of consciousness that can lead to coma. Cognitive functions, memory issues, and a coma in severe cases can also happen.
We at Ramji Law Group, want to help you if you are a victim of a motorcycle accident.
Attorney Ramji, with his background, can help you assess your injuries and help you get a substantial recovery for your case.
Should You Wear a Helmet?
Texas had a universal helmet safety course until 1997 when it was repealed. The state now requires helmet use only for riders under the age of 21 and for older riders who have not completed a rider education course or who do not have at least $10,000 medical insurance coverage.
Despite the change, a number of studies suggest riders are more likely to avoid death or serious injury if they wear a helmet. According to the NHTS, the National Highway and Safety Administration, over 700 lives would have been saved in 2010 alone, had the Motorcycle Riders who were involved in accidents, simply wore a helmet.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, it’s important to hire an experienced Houston Motorcycle Accident Attorney who will advise you if pursuing a legal claim is a worthwhile pursuit and help you recover the most. Contact Ramji Law Group at 713-888-8888, if you need help or have any questions regarding a motorcycle accident.