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Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

While driving a car, truck, or SUV is often a necessary chore in automobile-dependent Texas, many Texans choose to ride a motorcycle for the pure enjoyment of the open road. But the Lone Star State is one of the deadliest states for motorcycle riders. On average, a motorcyclist dies in a crash on Texas roads every day.

Lacking the protection of cars (or “cages” in biker lingo), riders are much more likely to die or be seriously injured in an accident. Crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur because of driver carelessness. However, people may perceive riders, who are a minority among the motoring public, as reckless thrill seekers, which can make it harder for them to receive accident compensation. Drivers may also lack sufficient insurance coverage to fully pay for the injuries they cause to a motorcyclist.

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Jim Adler & Associates are here to make sure injured riders are treated fairly and compensated fully. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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Deadly Texas Motorcycle Accidents on the Rise

A revving motorcycle engine brings to mind images of scenic byways and the freedom of riding out into the middle of vast landscapes with the wind in your face.

From the panhandle to Hill Country to the Gulf Coast to the southwest region, Texas offers some iconic motorcycle roads that are the backdrop of legendary rides. Romantic Wild West road trips aside, motorcycling can also be a much cheaper way to get around town due to greater fuel efficiency.

Whatever one’s reasons for riding a motorcycle, reduced safety is a major downside. Of the more than 22 million registered vehicles in Texas, only about 350,000 of these are motorcycles. Yet statewide, motorcyclists account for around 1 in 8 traffic fatalities. And the number of Texas motorcyclists killed has increased in recent years, reports the Texas Department of Transportation.

  • In 2020, TxDOT reported 7,481 motorcycle crashes resulting in 1,856 serious injuries and 482 deaths—a 17% increase in fatalities compared to 2019.
  • 2021 TxDOT data shows 521 riders were killed and 2,319 were seriously injured in 8,847 motorcycle crashes.
  • In 2022, 562 riders lost their lives and 2,422 were seriously injured in crashes.

TxDOT states the obvious—that people on motorcycles are more vulnerable than other roadway users—as part of 2023 National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, recognized every May, a month when spring weather brings more riders to Texas.

However, additional information from TxDOT helps to drive home the point of just how dangerous motorcycling can be. Texas safety experts say that motorcyclists are 25 time more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in an accident and are five times more likely to be injured.

Riding a motorcycle is dangerous in all states, but Texas is particularly deadly. Data crunched by Quote Wizard reveals that, in terms of overall motorcycle fatality rate, Texas is tied with Mississippi for tops in the nation, with 12 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles.

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Causes of Texas Motorcycle Crashes

According to TxDOT, more than half of fatal motorcycle crashes involve collisions with other vehicles.

A sergeant with the Texas Department of Public Safety told Spectrum News that, in 23 years of crash investigations, “the majority of motorcycle crashes were due to the vehicles failing to yield right of way to the motorcyclists at intersections.”

This is not just anecdotal evidence. The Texas Transportation Institute reports that around one-third of Texas motorcycle fatalities occur in an intersection or are intersection-related. Frequently, these car-motorcycle crashes occur because a driver misjudges the motorcycle’s distance and speed and makes a left turn in front of it.

Not only do drivers tend to misjudge the distance and speed of a motorcycle, but in many cases, they don’t see them at all.

The smaller size of motorcycles makes them harder to spot. Drivers may also suffer from a phenomenon known as “inattentional blindness” that causes them to miss an unexpected object.

Simply put, drivers may not see motorcycles because they aren’t expecting them. In one study, 65% of participants who were shown a motorcycle in a picture did not see the motorcycle, but only 31% missed a car in the same position.

Other driver behaviors that commonly contribute to motorcycle accidents include:

  • Not paying attention, especially at intersections and when making a left turn
  • Driving distracted
  • Speeding
  • Unsafe lane changes, such as not checking mirrors and blind spots and not using turn signals
  • Not giving motorcyclists enough room when passing them
  • Following a motorcycle too closely, giving drivers less time and distance to react to a rider slowing down

The road itself is more dangerous to bikers, too. Potholes, loose gravel, spilled loads, wet and icy roads, and other roadway hazards present an outsized risk to motorcycles, which may weigh only 500 – 1,000 pounds and have less traction and ability to absorb bumps than cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Sometimes, riders don’t do themselves any favors. The big picture of why motorcycles accidents and deaths are up includes rider-related issues like inexperienced motorcyclists and risky actions, like lane splitting. Speeding, alcohol impairment, and not having sufficient training are major causes of motorcycle crashes as well.

Like many unsafe behaviors, these tend to be concentrated among a small subset of irresponsible individuals and do not reflect the motorcycling community as a whole. Nonetheless, bikers may be judged as a member of a group, subject to anti-motorcycle biases and stereotypes. This can negatively impact them when navigating the claims process after an accident.

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How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Riders know they’re taking a risk when they get on their bike, surrounded by much larger motor vehicles and drivers who may be distracted by their phones and who may not even see a motorcycle, assuming they are paying attention. Motorcycle run-ins with large commercial trucks take these risks to a new level.

A common misconception is that motorcyclists are “asking for it” when they head out on the road due to the elevated risks they face. This is unfair to motorcyclists and without legal basis.

Drivers have a legal responsibility to obey traffic laws, maintain control of their vehicle, and avoid causing harm to others. Legally, a driver claiming they “didn’t see” a motorcyclist or misjudged a motorcycle’s speed doesn’t let them off the hook for causing a crash. But practically, a motorcyclist injured in an accident might have to go the extra mile to prove the other driver was at fault.

With Jim Adler & Associates on your side, you’re never riding alone. We have a team of over 30 lawyers and hundreds of support staff dedicated to serving injured Texans. There are many motorcycle accident lawyers in Texas, but there’s only one firm that’s home to “The Texas Hammer.”

For experienced and proven legal representation in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, contact us today. We offer 100% FREE consultations and as a client, you pay no legal fees unless we recover money for you.

4 Convenient Texas Locations Near You

Houston Office

Houston Office

1900 W Loop S 20th Floor, Houston, TX 77027

Dallas Office

Dallas Office

2711 N Haskell Ave. Suite 2500, Dallas, TX 75204

San Antonio Office

San Antonio Office

7330 San Pedro Ave Suite 700, San Antonio, TX 78216

Channelview Office

Channelview Office

12605 East Fwy Suite 400, Houston, TX 77015

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