October 27, 2020

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

The small size of motorcycles can lead to accidents because other drivers simply may not see them. Here are some tips for riders to improve motorcycle visibility and prevent accidents:

  • Wear high-visibility gear
  • Ride a brightly colored motorcycle
  • Add reflective tape
  • Add LED lights
  • Stay out of blind spots.

Improve Rider Visibility to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents with High-Vis Gear

High-visibility reflective gear in neon yellow or orange makes it easier for other drivers to see you. Wearing high-visibility helmets, vests, jackets, pants, and gloves can all increase safety, especially at night. Wearing even one of these items can be helpful. It is a relatively easy way to make yourself more visible.

Ride a Brightly Colored Motorcycle to Increase Visibility

Bright colors stand out and attract the eye, even on gloomy days. You can increase visibility by riding a motorcycle painted in bright colors rather than a black or gray one that blends in with your surroundings. Also, use your headlights even in the daytime.

Prevent Motorcycle Accidents with Better Visibility by Using Reflective Tape and Decals

Inexpensive reflective tape can be added to the back of a motorcycle, around wheel rims, and to the front of forks to improve nighttime visibility. If you don’t wear a reflective helmet, you can always stick reflective tape or decals to your helmet or clothing.

Add LED Lights or Other Auxiliary Lights to Your Motorcycle

Additional lighting on your bike can increase your safety at night. Consider adding white or amber LED lights to the underbody of your motorcycle. They can illuminate the bike’s body or the ground, making it easier to see. These lights are legal in Texas but they must be non-flashing.

Don’t Ride in the Blind Spots of Other Vehicles

Avoid lingering in the blind spot of a car or other vehicle. The best way to stay out of blind spots is to pass other vehicles quickly. Then stay in front of or behind them, not to the side.

Negligent Drivers Cause Accidents In Spite of Visibility Efforts

In spite of the steps you take to improve your own visibility, a negligent driver may still cause an accident. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics show that one motorcyclist dies every day on the state’s roads. Many more are injured.

One of the most deadly and common locations of accidents between motorcycles and cars is at left-turn intersections. Other drivers often misread the speed of motorcycles. According to TxDOT, 30% of Texas motorcycle deaths happened in intersections or were intersection-related.

Rear-end crashes can also happen when drivers follow too closely. Tapping your brakes can help signal you are slowing or stopping. Head-on crashes and merging crashing is other hazards for motorcyclists.

Your Visibility Precautions May Not Be Enough When Drivers are Negligent

When drivers are texting or otherwise distracted, when they are tired or if they are driving aggressively, even your best safety intentions may not be enough. If you are injured in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence, a Texas motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand your options. You may be able to get compensation for your medical bills and other losses.

What is the Process for Getting Compensation from a Negligent Driver?

Texas is what is called a “fault” insurance state, so the driver who caused the crash is responsible for compensating the other driver. To prove fault, it must be proven that the driver was negligent. An attorney can help you prove negligence by the car or other driver by gathering all the evidence and handling your claim in negotiations with insurance companies or in court.

However, Texas also follows comparative negligence rules. Sometimes an insurance company of a negligent driver will fight paying a claim by saying that the injured motorcycle rider also helped cause the accident. If they are successful in arguing this, the injured rider’s claim will be reduced by the percentage they are found to be at fault.

So, if a motorcyclist is in a crash and insurance company lawyers are successful in saying that the rider was 25% responsible for their own injury accident, their compensation would be reduced by that much. If the compensation award was $50,000, it would be reduced by $12,500. The motorcyclist would get $37,500.

And if it’s proven that a rider is more than 50% at fault, they would get nothing. Sadly, motorcyclists are often seen as somehow being responsible in accidents, even though oftentimes it is negligent drivers of cars and other vehicles that cause crashes. A skilled motorcycle attorney can be especially helpful in working to prove you don’t share fault.

How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Motorcycle Crash?

There is a huge size difference between cars, trucks, and other vehicles, and motorcycles. It’s not surprising that motorcycle riders often suffer serious and debilitating injuries in crashes with these much heavier vehicles. What you might get in your accident claim depends on how badly you were hurt and proving that the other driver was at fault.

Compensation in accident cases is based on damages. Typical damages include:

  • Medical expenses for both current and future care
  • Payment for over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as any medical equipment or devices needed
  • Time missed at work while recovering from injuries
  • Reduced work capacity for people who can no longer work
  • Pain and suffering for physical pain and emotional trauma.

If the actions of the driver who hit you were especially bad, your attorney might also ask for punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish drivers and discourage future negligent driving. An example of when punitive damages might be awarded is in a drunk driving case.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney

When you are a motorcyclist who drives safely and takes steps to improve your visibility, being in an accident can be very frustrating. Here you have done all you can to stay safe and yet you are now faced with painful and expensive injuries and other damages.

At the Waldman Legal Group, our experienced Houston motorcycle accident attorneys can help you get the payment you need for your losses. We will work hard to prove that the other driver was negligent and get you compensation so you can move forward with your life. Call us today for a free consultation at (713) 688-4878. We only get paid if you win your case.