Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Odessa, Texas
Getting into a motorcycle accident can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. Unfortunately, as a motorcycle rider, you are at a higher risk of getting into accidents than those in passenger vehicles. With more than 8.6 million motorcycles on the road in the United States today, it's important to be aware of the risks and do everything you can to ensure you're operating your motorcycle safely.
With that said, accidents still happen despite our best efforts and safety precautions. Knowing what steps to take after a motorcycle accident can help alleviate some of the stress and confusion.
At The Law Office of Steve Brannan, our personal injury attorney is ready to help you move forward after an accident on the road. If you live in Odessa or anywhere else in Texas—including Midland, Big Spring, Pecos, and Andrews—set up a consultation today.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Motorcycle Accident
Injured in a motorcycle accident, either as the driver or a motorcycle passenger? If you plan on making a motorcycle accident claim, there are a few steps you'll need to take. Let's take a closer look at them below.
Seek Medical Help
The first step after getting into any accident is to seek medical attention, even if you think you don't have any injuries. Even if you don't plan on filing a personal injury claim, getting medical attention is always a smart move.
Why? Symptoms of internal injuries may not show up until days or weeks later. Make sure to follow all of your medical provider's instructions, and keep track of all medical documents and expenses.
Document and Obtain Documents of Everything
It's also important to document everything that happened before, during, and after the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, get witness statements and contact information, write down the details of the accident, and obtain a copy of the police report.
After seeking medical help and documenting everything, it's time to contact your insurance company. You should report the accident as soon as possible, and provide all the necessary documents and information.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve. A personal injury attorney can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party, gather evidence, and represent you in court.
Texas Motorcycle Laws
Whether you're a new rider or an experienced one, it's essential to know the ins and outs of Texas motorcycle laws. As a motorcyclist, here are four critical areas of the law you should be aware of.
Lane splitting is a practice that involves riding a motorcycle between rows of stopped or slow-moving cars on a highway or roadway.
In Texas, lane splitting is illegal, and it's crucial to understand this law to avoid a potential accident or a ticket. As a motorcycle rider in Texas, you must follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. That means you can only pass vehicles on the left, use signals, and avoid weaving in and out of traffic.
One of the most crucial Texas motorcycle laws is the mandatory helmet law. All riders in Texas must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle on public roads. The helmet must be approved by the Department of Transportation and fit correctly.
Even if you're an experienced rider, it's essential to wear a helmet to protect yourself from head injuries that could be life-threatening.
In Texas, it's legal to carry passengers on your motorcycle as long as your bike is equipped with the required motorcycle equipment. Your motorcycle must have a seat designed to carry a passenger, as well as footpegs or other footrests for your passenger to use.
It's also important to make sure your passenger wears the appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and protective clothing.
It's your responsibility to make sure that your motorcycle is equipped with all the necessary safety equipment in accordance with Texas law. This includes functional head, tail, and brake lights; mirrors; working turn signals; and a horn. Your motorcycle must also have a valid registration and license plate.
Determining Fault in Texas
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can be a devastating experience. In addition to the physical injuries incurred, the aftermath, including the potential financial loss, can be overwhelming.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident and sustained injuries, it's important to determine who was at fault to identify who might be responsible for compensating your injuries.
One of the essential elements in any personal injury case is proving negligence. In Texas, the negligence theory applies in determining fault in motorcycle accidents.
To prove negligence, you must show that the other person acted in an unreasonable manner that caused your injuries. In essence, you must prove that the other person was careless, reckless, or intentionally caused the accident.
For example, if the other driver was intoxicated, you could prove that they were negligent because they violated the law.
Comparative fault is another factor that determines fault in motorcycle accidents in Texas. Comparative fault refers to the degree of fault assigned to each driver involved in the accident.
The state of Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, limiting recovery to individuals whose fault is less than 50 percent. If you were above 50 percent responsible for the accident, you cannot recover any damages at all.
Filing a Claim for a Loved One
There are certain scenarios where a spouse or family member may be able to file a personal injury or motorcycle wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who has been in a motorcycle accident.
This might apply if the person was so hurt that they were incapacitated, or if the person was killed in the accident. However, determining the basis for the claim can be challenging. That’s where an experienced motorcycle accident attorney comes in.
When searching for an attorney, it’s important to find someone who is familiar with the laws in Texas and who understands how to navigate the legal system. An attorney who is knowledgeable about motorcycle accidents and personal injury cases will be able to provide you with guidance and support throughout the entire claim process.
One of the first things an attorney will do is investigate the accident and determine the basis for the claim. In many cases, the opposing party’s negligence will be at fault. With the help of a motorcycle accident attorney, you may be able to receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Odessa, Texas
Motorcycle accidents can be life-changing events that leave you in physical, emotional, and financial distress. When choosing a motorcycle accident attorney in Odessa, it's important to do your research. At The Law Office of Steve Brannan, our lawyer will stand up for your rights when you need it the most. Reach out to the firm today to get started.