We look at what you should do after a motorcycle accident so that you protect yourself and can get the justice and financial settlement you need.
Texas is a great place for those of us who love riding motorcycles, as you can experience the wide, open roads with a sense of personal freedom all year round due to our warm and enjoyable climate. Bikers love the thrill of getting around on their favorite bikes without having to worry too much about downpours or freezing weather, and that’s why the Lone Star State is so popular with motorcyclists as they take in the stunning scenery on their own terms.
But the risks are all too real, and there isn’t much protection should something happen while riding your motorcycle out on Texas roads. Even a relatively minor accident can leave bikers with serious injuries that may take years to fully recover from. The law requires that motorcyclists wear helmets while riding, but there are exceptions, and it’s certainly possible that you can ride your motorcycle without a helmet. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the majority of motorcycle accidents result in head injuries — with or without a helmet.
If you’ve been injured in an accident while on your motorbike in Texas and you weren’t at fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and any loss of income resulting from your inability to work. The path to getting justice can be difficult, however, and it’s advised that you have an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer handling your case to give you the best chance of success. Here’s what to do after a motorcycle accident so you can start your claim.
What You Should Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Last year, motorcyclists were involved in 7,481 crashes on Texas roads, leaving 1,856 injured, while 482 tragically lost their lives. That averages out around one motorcycle death a day in Texas, a shocking figure that underscores the real dangers of what for many is a cherished hobby. If you’re unfortunate to find yourself in an accident while riding your motorcycle, take these steps to protect yourself and stand a chance of getting compensation.
- Get to safety. If you come off your bike due to a crash while on a busy Texas highway, your priority should be to get out of that situation as quickly as you can. Otherwise, with vehicles streaming all around you, you risk being hit by another vehicle. So get yourself to a safe place, at the side of the road, as quickly and safely as possible.
- Don’t remove your protective gear. Once you’re in a safe place on the road, you might instinctively want to remove your helmet, but don’t. You may have injuries you don’t yet know about, including to your head, and taking off your tight helmet might make them worse.
- Call 911. If the police are not already at the scene of the accident, and you don’t know if anyone else has called them, don’t hesitate and call 911 straight away if you have your phone available and can use it. If you and others are injured, make sure you also request medical attention at the scene so that one or more ambulances will be dispatched. Try not to panic and speak quickly. Instead, remain as calm as possible and speak slowly and clearly, giving the location and other details that the emergency services require.
- Collect evidence. If you’re not injured or only have minor injuries like small cuts and grazes, it’s important you try and record the accident scene. Use your phone to take photos and videos, as these can be vitally important when you make a personal injury claim as an insurance company — and possibly a court — will want to see what happened. Gathering as much evidence as you can may help prove you weren’t at fault. Also ask any people who may have witnessed the accident to give a statement and get their contact details.
- Hire an experienced motorcycle accidents lawyer. You can see there’s a lot to do after you’ve been in a motorcycle accident if you want to file an injury claim and stand a solid chance of getting a settlement. To maximize your chances and to relieve the strain and stress of trying to gather all the evidence and do everything yourself — including knowing exactly what to do — consider hiring motorcycle accident lawyers to take on your case and fight for you.
An expert motorcycle accident lawyer will also be able to deal with insurance companies, handling the negotiations for you and ensuring they don’t make a settlement offer that’s too low. If your case heads to court, they will prepare for the trial and represent you before a judge, expertly navigating your claim to what will hopefully be a successful conclusion for you.
How Long Do You Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
It’s important you don’t delay making a claim for personal injury following a motorcycle accident because there isn’t a lot of time. Texas law provides for two years from the date of an accident to file a claim, although there may be certain exemptions that would allow you more time. That includes if you were under 18 at the time of the accident — so the period would begin when you turn 18. You can ride a motorcycle from the age of 15 in Texas, although at that age, it’s restricted for a year to less powerful models.
An extension to the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims may also be granted if it can be proven you were not mentally competent when the accident happened. In both of these situations, you must have someone who knows personal injury law in Texas inside out — a highly experienced motorcycle accidents lawyer who knows precisely what to do and if they need to file for an extension of the statute of limitations because of your circumstances.
This can make all the difference between having your case dismissed because it was filed too late and getting nothing and being awarded a substantial financial settlement for what happened to you.
When you’ve had a motorcycle accident that wasn’t caused by you, above all, you deserve justice and compensation, which will help you to get over your injuries and on with your life.
If you’re still wondering what to do after a motorcycle accident in Texas, you can get the expert help you need right now by making an appointment for a free consultation with one of Patino Law Firm’s experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. Don’t delay — act today, in your best interests.