Abilene Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in an accident while riding your motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Call an Abilene motorcycle accident lawyer at the Hanna Law Firm, and don’t let bias against bikers hurt your claim.
Texans love their sense of freedom and the open road, so it’s no surprise that we’re one of the leading states when it comes to the number of motorcycles on our streets and highways. Unfortunately, we’re also one of the leading states when it comes to the number of motorcycle accidents, with thousands injured and hundreds killed in wrecks every year.
Because bikes offer their riders almost no protection, people on motorcycles are 28 times more likely to die than people in other vehicles when in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Crashes may be more likely to be fatal if a rider isn’t wearing a helmet or if the other vehicle is much larger than the motorcycle. Survivors may be seriously injured and left dealing with pain, mounting medical bills, and loss of income from being unable to work.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a motorcycle accident due to another party’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you received. However, Texas injury laws are complicated, and there is a bias against motorcyclists to begin with, so it’s important to have a motorcycle accident attorney on your side to fight for you and protect your rights.
At this difficult time, the Abilene motorcycle accident lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm can take the burden off you by handling all aspects of your case. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of what happened and determine the best way to help.
There are no fees until we win a settlement for you, so call our motorcycle accident lawyers in Abilene today at (432) 220-2649 to get started. We have offices in Abilene, Odessa, Sweetwater and Midland.
HOW A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER IN ABILENE CAN HELP
Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Work for You
When you have Hanna Law on your side, we will meet with you to hear your version of what happened and get to work fighting for compensation for you right away. We will:
- Make a determination of what your case is worth and the settlement to fight for
- Ensure that you get proper medical treatment and that everything is documented
- File all forms and paperwork and make court appearances in accordance with Texas requirements
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence such as from traffic cameras and police and medical reports
- Interview witnesses, police officers, and first responders
- Negotiate with insurance companies and their attorneys
- Hire experts to reconstruct the accident and testify on your behalf
- Build your case and take it to trial if necessary.
What Damages Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me Win?
In a Successful Case, You Should Receive Compensation for Both Economic and Non-Economic Damages
If it’s determined that another party (like the driver of another car) is at least 51% responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to legal damages, or compensation for your losses.
Damages are divided into two broad categories: special (or economic) damages and general (or non-economic) damages, as follows:
Special damages are easier to calculate as they are losses with a concrete dollar amount attached to them. Examples include:
- The cost of repairs to your motorcycle — or the fair market value of the bike, if lower than estimated repair costs
- All medical bills and copays: hospital stays, medications, medical devices you might need such as crutches, therapy and rehabilitation
- The cost of non-medical in-home services, such as cleaning help, if you are unable to perform the duties yourself due to your injuries
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity.
General damages are designed to compensate you for injuries that, while very real, are more subjective when it comes to determining an actual dollar amount. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering — physical, emotional, and mental
- Loss of quality of life
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of companionship or consortium.
Punitive damages — In some rare cases, you may receive punitive damages as well. These are designed to punish the other party and are applicable only if the accident was determined to be caused by gross negligence or an intentional act.
To learn more about the types of damages that may be applicable in your case, give us a call. Our team will schedule for you a free consultation with our experienced West Texas Motorcycle Accident lawyer at the Hanna Law Firm.
Were You Wearing a Helmet?
It’s worth noting that when it comes to motorcycle accidents in Texas, whether or not you were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident may come into play when determining liability. If you were not wearing a helmet and sustained a head injury, the insurance company may argue that you were partly at fault for your injuries — even though helmet use is not required by law in Texas for motorcycle riders aged 21 or older.
My Family Member Was Killed in a Motorcycle Accident. How Can an Abilene Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
If you’ve lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident and the other party is determined to be 51% or more at fault, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. You must be a close family member — a spouse, parent, or child — to bring a wrongful death case. Damages in a wrongful death case may cover:
- Loss of income
- Medical bills from prior to the deceased’s death
- Funeral expenses
- Lost love and companionship
- Lost inheritance (what the deceased could have been expected to earn and leave to family members over a normal life span).
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Will Find the At-Fault Parties
Motorcycle accidents happen for all sorts of reasons — in some cases the biker is at fault; in some cases, another vehicle is at fault; in many cases more than one party bears some measure of responsibility.
- A collision with a car may happen simply because the driver of the larger vehicle failed to see the motorcycle or failed to accurately judge its speed or distance. This is such a problem that Texas has implemented a “Share the Road” motorcycle safety campaign.
- Alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in many crashes.
- Many accidents occur when a driver is distracted — often by a cell phone or other device.
- Speeding is a factor in many crashes involving motorcycles and cars.
- Motorcyclists are at enormous risk of being hit by a car making a left-hand turn.
Our Abilene motorcycle accident lawyers will work with experts to determine all parties who were at fault for causing your accident and hold them all responsible, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go towards a settlement.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Our Motorcycle Injury Lawyers Fight for Compensation for all Injuries
Unlike people in cars, bike riders have virtually no protection in an accident. Add in high speeds and other vehicles many times a motorcycle’s size, and you have a recipe for devastating injury. Some of the injuries motorcyclists are at high risk for include:
- Biker’s arm ― This term encompasses various types of injuries that may happen to an arm when a bike rider instinctively puts it down to brace a fall.
- Road rash occurs when a rider comes off the bike and slides against pavement. It can range in severity from superficial bruises and scrapes to severe lacerations and muscle damage.
- Head, brain, and facial injuries may occur with or without a helmet, but a helmet reduces their likelihood and severity.
- Broken bones are common in motorcycle accidents as riders may be thrown hard against the pavement in a crash.
- Neck injuries are common in motorcycle crashes.
How to Stay Safe on Texas Roads
Like all motorists, you as a biker are required to obey all traffic laws, including those specific to motorcyclists. But it’s a good idea to take additional steps to keep you and your passengers safe.
- If you are over the age of 21 and have at least $10,000 in medical insurance or have completed a state-approved motorcycle operator training course, you are not required by law to wear a helmet. But you should, as should all of your passengers.
- If you are an inexperienced driver, don’t take to the highway right away. Practice in a closed area with no traffic, and make sure you know how to handle your bike under various conditions.
- Always make sure you and your passengers are dressed properly — leather, nonskid boots, gloves.
- Give your passengers a quick lesson on how to sit on the bike and how to handle curves before taking off.
- Before each ride, check your bike’s tires, brakes, lights, and fluid levels.
- Ride defensively. Stay out of blind spots and never assume a car driver sees you.
QUESTIONS OUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS OFTEN HEAR
After a motorcycle crash, victims may be confused and unsure of the best approach to take. We can help. Here are some answers to questions our motorcycle accident lawyers are often asked:
How do I know if I have a motorcycle accident claim?
A few elements must be in place in order for you to have a legitimate motorcycle accident claim. You must have damages as a result of the accident. It’s essential to keep copies of all of your medical bills, pay stubs, and other records. But without expertise and experience, it’s virtually impossible to know the full scope of your losses. The attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm will account for every detail in calculating your losses. We must prove that there was a certain duty of care, and that duty was breached by the defendant. For example: All drivers on the road have a duty to obey the law and drive safely. If someone breaks the law by texting while driving, that person has breached their duty of care. We must prove liability. This means we must prove that your injuries and losses are a result of the other party’s negligence. If the other driver’s texting caused them to become distracted and hit your bike, this is an example of negligence and they are liable for your damages. In real life, accidents and liability are not always clear cut. The experienced West Texas motorcycle injury lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm are committed to getting justice for every client. We will carefully research your case, figure out who is responsible, and fight to win you the full compensation you need to cover your losses and move on with your life.
How will I cover my medical bills from the motorcycle wreck?
We get it: When you are injured and end up in the hospital, those bills start piling up fast. And if you are unable to work, you may not be getting a paycheck, either. So, of course it’s tempting when an insurance representative comes knocking and offers you an easy payout. But while that money may cover some of your initial expenses, those bills may keep on coming. At the Hanna Law Firm, we will calculate not only your past and current expenses, but likely future expenses based on your injuries. The best way to receive full compensation for all your bills and losses is to refuse the initial offer from insurance — call our office instead.
What if I can't go back to work?
For a person on a motorcycle, a wreck is often catastrophic, causing serious, long-term injury. You may be facing a long recovery period, endless medical bills, and no prospects of returning to work and earning a paycheck anytime soon. At the Hanna Law Firm, we will account for this lost income when calculating the damages you should receive after the accident. If you need time to heal but will likely be able to return to work down the road, we will figure out your total expected lost wages and include those in your claim. If your injuries are so devastating you will not be able to return to work at all, we can seek damages for loss of earning capacity — the money you likely would have earned over your career had the accident not happened. You just can’t trust insurance companies to account for this money when offering you an initial settlement. The lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm are committed to recovering the full value of your losses.
Are there deadlines for filing a lawsuit?
Yes, Texas has time limits, called a statute of limitations, for filing a lawsuit (Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 16.003). In general, for personal injury, you have two years from the date of the accident that led to the injury to file. If the injuries resulted in a wrongful death, you generally have two years from the day of the death to file a wrongful death claim. If you fail to get your lawsuit filed on time, the Texas civil court system will most probably refuse to hear your case and you will permanently lose your right to seek compensation at any time in the future. Our attorneys will ensure that everything is filed correctly, in a timely manner.
What if someone died in the accident?
If you are a victim’s spouse, child, or parent, or the executor of the estate, you may file a lawsuit for wrongful death. According to Texas law (Texas Statutes section 71.001), an action for wrongful death may be brought if the “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of one party causes the death of another. Our attorneys will seek a damage award to cover financial losses and emotional suffering. We can also file a survivor action, which is like a personal injury lawsuit allowed after a death. The damages you may receive for wrongful death include compensation for: Medical expenses leading up to death Funeral expenses Lost earning capacity and loss of an inheritance, including what the deceased person would have reasonably been expected to earn and gift had they lived The emotional pain and mental anguish suffered by survivors The loss of companionship, society, comfort, household services, and love.
Should I talk to the insurance company?
No, the less you say to them the better. Insurance adjusters may act friendly, but they are not on your side – they are out for profit and want to pay out as little as possible. They have a team of high-powered lawyers on their side, and they will use anything you say against you to lessen or deny payments. Tell the insurance companies to speak to your attorney, and let Hanna Law handle all dealings and negotiations with insurers.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
If you did something that contributed to the accident, you may still be able to get a partial settlement, as long as you are not more than 50 percent at fault. If you are deemed to be partly responsible for your injuries or losses, the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility. According to Texas law (Civil Practices and Remedies Code, TITLE 2, SUBTITLE C, CHAPTER 33, SUBCHAPTER A, Sec. 33.001), you can still collect the percentage of the damage award that the other party was at fault. For example, if it is determined that you were 25 percent at fault and the settlement was for $100,000, our motorcycle accident attorneys could still help you collect $75,000.
What does it cost to hire a motorcycle accident attorney?
You don’t have to pay anything up front to hire our Abilene motorcycle accident injury lawyers. The initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis. This means we take on all costs and expenses of your case, and you pay nothing unless and until we win; our payment will be taken out of the settlement award.
How long will it take to get a settlement?
The length of time it takes will depend on factors such as the circumstances of the case, the availability of witnesses and evidence, and whether we can negotiate a fair settlement out of court or we have to take your case to trial. If negotiations are successful, your case may settle in months, but trials can sometimes drag on for years.
Don’t try to single-handedly navigate the insurance and legal issues that crop up after an accident. You may think that you will be saving money by handling it alone, but in all likelihood you’ll be leaving a significant sum on the table.
Unfortunately, even though most bikers are careful and conscientious drivers, they tend to be perceived as wild, or even unlawful. This bias can affect not only people’s perceptions, but how liability is determined in an accident. Adjusters may assume that because you are a motorcyclist, you are at least partly to blame even if you’re not.
Don’t Take a Settlement Offer Without Talking to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer First
When insurers evaluate any sort of claim, their priority is not to compensate the injured person fully for their losses. Their priority is to save the insurance company money. In fact, after an accident, an insurance company representative may very well approach you with an offer of money. And as you are focusing on your recovery and struggling to pay your bills, you may be tempted to accept this payout. That’s exactly what they want you to do, because by doing so you give up your right to pursue legal action or a larger settlement.
The only way to get a fair shake from the insurance company is to hire a motorcycle injury lawyer to represent your best interests. At the Hanna Law Firm, we will thoroughly research your case to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable. We will use our knowledge and experience to calculate the full scope of your losses related to the accident — past, present, and future. And we will be your advocate — over the negotiating table, in the courtroom, or both. Call us at (432) 220-2649 to get your free consultation with our motorcycle accident lawyer.
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, or from any other source of personal injury or wrongful death, call an Abilene motorcycle accident attorney at the Hanna Law Firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers fight for victims of car accidents and work accidents and for those who have suffered from serious injuries such as back injuries and spinal cord and brain injuries.
Don’t accept a payout from an insurance company before consulting us. We will thoroughly research your case and fight to get you the maximum amount of money your claim warrants. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get started while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found, so don’t delay.
Call Hanna Law at (432) 220-2649today. We have offices in Abilene, Midland, and Odessa.