After a motorcycle accident, you should hire a motorcycle accident attorney. To understand why and how they can help, let’s examine the risks motorcyclists face in traffic accidents and the role Austin motorcycle accident attorneys play in helping injured bikers get back in the saddle.

Motorcyclists Face Heightened Injury and Fatality Risks

A motorcycle is a minimalist vehicle. Its primary components consist of two wheels, a motor, handlebars, footpegs, a gas tank, and a seat. That stripped-down nature is what makes a bike such a thrill to ride.

In an accident, however, virtually no part of a motorcycle can protect the rider from the violence of a collision. The only protection most riders have consists of a helmet and leather if they wear them.

Consequently, motorcyclists face heightened risks of dying in traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists die in crashes 28 times more frequently than car and truck occupants.

Bikers are also far more likely than other motorists to sustain severe trauma in an accident.

Every year, tens of thousands of motorcyclists suffer catastrophic crash-related injuries, including:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause brain death, comas, or lasting motor, cognitive, and emotional impairments.
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) result in permanent paralysis and loss of bodily function.
  • Road rash is a friction burn that can scrape skin down to muscle and bone, embed infection-causing debris in a wound, and leave bikers with large scars.
  • Facial injuries can cause disfigurement and loss of eyesight.
  • Crushed limbs and traumatic amputations, often from a rider getting pinned under another vehicle or pinned against a roadside structure.
  • Nerve, organ, and blood vessel damage, which can cause life-threatening bleeding, infections, disabilities, and long-term health complications.
  • Broken bones and orthopedic soft tissue injuries, virtually always occur in a motorcycle crash and cause severe pain, inconvenience, and expense.
  • Mental health struggles, including post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse disorders.

As reflected in the NHTSA data cited above, many of these injuries can end a motorcyclist’s life. And it’s common for bikers who survive the trauma of a crash to face a long, hard road to physical and emotional recovery.

Motorcycle Accidents Cause Extreme Financial Hardship

A motorcycle accident can also take a heavy financial toll. The cost of medical care to treat injuries from a wreck can reach tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Paying those expenses puts bikers under a severe financial strain and may lead to personal bankruptcy.

Young man in wheelchair after motorcycle accident, displaying skepticism and nervousness, arms crossed with a disapproving expression – conveying a negative attitude.

Motorcycle accident injuries can prevent bikers from working temporarily or permanently. The sudden loss of a steady income only makes a bad situation worse. Motorcycle crash victims and families of deceased riders frequently struggle to make ends meet, let alone dig out of a deep financial hole.

Financial burdens can be particularly staggering for bikers who suffer catastrophic injuries like spinal cord damage. The cost of living with a spinal injury runs into the millions of dollars for most patients, according to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Other catastrophic injuries, such as TBIs, come with similarly devastating price tags.

Non-Riders Trigger Many Motorcycle Accidents

Most motorcyclists come to terms with the potential costs of getting into an accident by assuming they can limit their risk by riding safely. But that is not always a reliable assumption. Frequently, other parties’ careless, dangerous actions put bikers at risk of crashing, with catastrophic and deadly consequences.

By Turning Left Across a Motorcycle’s Path

Many motorcycle accidents occur when a car, truck, or bus turns left across the path of an oncoming motorcycle. The motorcyclist has no time to stop, and his bike strikes the vehicle broadside. Most commonly, these accidents happen at intersections and on two-lane roads or roads with turning lanes.

Left turn accidents are almost always the driver’s fault. Sometimes, the driver does not see the motorcycle. In others, the driver sees the motorcycle but mistimes the left turn. In others, the driver might fall victim to a psychological phenomenon known as inattentional blindness, in which the driver’s brain fails to register the sight of a motorcycle in plain view.

Whatever the explanation, drivers who carelessly or recklessly turn left across a motorcyclist’s lane of travel cause potentially deadly accidents.

By Failing Respect Bikers’ Rights

Motorists also cause motorcycle accidents by disregarding motorcyclists’ right to equal use of public roads. Laws in every state entitle motorcyclists to occupy an entire traffic lane and to enjoy the same consideration and courtesy as anyone else. But that doesn’t always happen, and it puts riders at risk for severe injuries and death.

All-too-common examples of motorists’ failures to respect bikers’ rights include:

  • Refusing to yield to a motorcycle in the same manner as any other vehicle.
  • Attempting to pass or drive side-by-side with a motorcycle in a single travel lane.
  • Tailgating, obstructing, harassing, or verbally abusing motorcyclists.
  • Failing to clear blind spots or merging into lanes already occupied by motorcycles.

These are unacceptable behaviors in any context. Drivers who engage in them risk causing an accident and deserve to be held accountable for the resulting injuries.

By Failing to Keep Roads Safe for Bikers

It’s not just car, truck, and bus drivers who trigger motorcycle accidents, either. Blame for a wreck can also fall at the feet of an individual or entity that makes a road unsafe for motorcycling through its wrongful decisions or actions.

For example:

  • A road construction or utility crew is responsible for creating a lane change or detour that fails to take motorcycle safety into account.
  • A local government that fails to warn motorcyclists about potentially hazardous changes in a road surface, such as gravel or grooved pavement, or deliberately fails to repair known hazards like sinkholes or wide pavement cracks.
  • A commercial property owner invites motorcyclists onto a property but fails to maintain facilities like parking lots or private roads in a reasonably safe condition.

Motorcyclists have every right to expect that the roads, parking lots, and other infrastructure held open for their use will accommodate their bikes and be minimally safe for riding. Anyone who fails to take reasonable steps to ensure motorcyclist safety can face accountability for causing a motorcycle accident.

By Making and Selling Defective Products

Automotive manufacturers, including makers of motorcycles, cars, trucks, and parts, owe a general duty to the public to produce goods of reasonable quality and safety.

A manufacturer can bear the blame for a motorcycle accident triggered by its defective products, such as:

  • A defective tire that blows out under normal use.
  • A defective brake that locks up unexpectedly.
  • A defectively designed gas tank that explodes in a minor collision.

Defective products can cause some of the most violent and deadly motorcycle accidents. A sudden, catastrophic part failure in a vehicle traveling at highway speed puts everyone on the road, including motorcyclists, at extreme risk.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Hold Non-Bikers Accountable

A motorcycle accident attorney’s primary job is to obtain financial compensation for injured motorcyclists. Hiring a skilled lawyer can handle all aspects of the process of holding at-fault parties accountable for causing a motorcycle crash. By doing so, a lawyer can ensure that injured bikers have the time, space, and financial support they need to heal from their injuries and get back on their bikes whenever possible.

Numerous options may exist for securing money for an injured biker, including pursuing informal negotiations, submitting insurance claims, and filing lawsuits in court.

In many cases, those paths can yield compensation to pay for a motorcyclist’s:

  • Medical expenses in treating crash-related injuries and resulting health complications, including emergency care, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and medication;
  • Costs of adapting to and living with injuries, such as hiring help with transportation, cooking, cleaning, and childcare;
  • Costs of repairing or replacing the motorcycle and other personal property damaged in the wreck;
  • Lost wages from missing work and the value of paid time off the injured biker used;
  • Loss of future income the motorcyclist will not earn because of an accident-related disability; and
  • Physical pain and suffering, mental health struggles, inconvenience, loss of independence, and diminished quality of life.

Legal professional attentively reviews booster law report, making adjustments to the agreement paper during discussion.

Sometimes, a lawyer can recover punitive or statutory damages or secure benefits under an insurance policy the motorcyclist had purchased.

A lawyer cannot guarantee the type or amount of compensation a motorcycle accident case will produce. However, working with a lawyer is virtually always the most reliable way to secure the maximum compensation available for your motorcycle accident injuries.

It’s a Mistake to Act as Your Own Lawyer

Injured bikers and their families sometimes wonder if hiring a lawyer to handle their motorcycle accident case is worth it. Wouldn’t it be easier and more lucrative to negotiate a settlement of their claim directly with an at-fault party’s insurance company or defense lawyer?

It’s a valid question to ask. But the answer is definitely no.

Acting as your own lawyer after getting hurt in a motorcycle accident is never a good idea and almost always a costly error. Here’s why.

It’s exactly what insurance companies and defense lawyers want you to do. They know from experience that crash victims who don’t have lawyers will usually agree to settle claims for far less than crash victims represented by experienced motorcycle accident attorneys. And they use tricks and tactics and tactics to get you to undermine your case and accept a fraction of the amount you truly deserve to receive.

Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers handle all negotiations with insurers and defense attorneys. With years of training and experience under their belts, bikers’ lawyers know how to avoid costly mistakes and pressure opposing parties to pay the maximum compensation available. Most motorcycle accident victims have neither the skill, know-how, or time to do that job even half as well as a seasoned lawyer can.

In addition, insurers and defense attorneys will only take a motorcycle accident claim seriously if there’s a possibility of it going to trial. It’s not realistic for motorcycle crash victims to represent themselves in a trial. Judges and juries will only take your case seriously if you have a motorcycle accident lawyer representing you in the courtroom.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Work On Contingency

You do not need to worry about the potential cost of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer. All good motorcycle crash attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation to injured bikers and their families. You will never have to pay for that meeting, even if you decide not to hire the lawyer.

Any lawyer you hire will also represent you on a contingent fee basis (also called working on contingency). That means the lawyer will not charge you money upfront to begin working for you. The lawyer also will not bill you by the hour.

Instead, the lawyer will agree to take a percentage of any money recovered on your behalf as a fee. In essence, the lawyer bets on the success of your case and only gets paid if you win. And as that lawyer’s client, you have nothing to lose and potentially lots to gain.

Don’t Wait. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today.

You may not have much time to take advantage of your rights as the victim of a motorcycle accident. A law called the statute of limitations sets an expiration date on your ability to take legal action against the at-fault party. If you miss that deadline, you could lose out on the compensation you need to pay your bills and rebuild your life.

Auto Accident Attorney in Austin, TX

Ted R. Lorenz, Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Austin, Texas

An attorney can take quick action on your behalf to meet applicable deadlines, gather evidence, and pursue your claim against anyone who may owe you damages. So, don’t wait a minute longer.

If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Austin today for a free case consultation.