Motorcycle Accidents: Are You Entitled to Compensation?

Motorcycle Accidents: Are You Entitled to Compensation?When it comes to personal injury claims and vehicular accidents, it seems an insurmountable amount have to do with car accidents. You may not think of the other types, such as motorcycle wrecks. Motorcycle accidents can be especially tragic; therefore, if you own and operate a motorcycle, you need to know what damages you could be entitled to if you are in an accident.

The Risks of Owning a Motorcycle vs. a Car

We wouldn’t say comparing motorcycle and car accidents is like comparing apples to oranges, but the two are quite different. In 2010, the federal government reported that the number of motorcycle casualties was 30 times greater than those of car fatalities, based on miles traveled.

Why is that? Unlike drivers of cars, motorcyclists do not have seat belts. They aren’t protected by airbags. Motorcyclists are out in the open, completely exposed to danger with no shield. They are vulnerable. Couple the lack of protection with the high speeds of motorcycles, and it’s not hard to imagine the dangers, and outcomes. Skin burns and bone fractures are common, but not as common as head injuries.

Nearly 40% of motorcycle deaths could be prevented if the rider or passenger was wearing a helmet; and nearly 70% of brain injuries resulting from bike accidents could be prevented. In Texas, you are not legally required to wear a helmet unless you are 21 years of age or younger.

What Happens if I am in a Motorcycle Wreck?

Many believe motorcycle accidents are inevitable. There is a risk in owning and operating a motorcycle. But isn’t that part of the rush motorcycle enthusiasts live for? Despite the obvious perils present in owning a bike that does not mean you aren’t entitled to compensation if you are injured in a motorcycle wreck.

The State of Texas is a comparative fault state. This means that you must be less than 50% responsible for the accident in order to seek compensation for injuries, death, loss of work, etc., incurred from the incident. If you plan to file a personal injury claim, there are two types of compensation you can request: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Be Prepared

Your best form of protection, in addition to wearing your helmet, is having good insurance coverage and keeping a record of how the motorcycle accident has affected you. Keeping track of economic expenses, such as loss of earnings, medical bills, even the cost of motorcycle repairs can be invaluable evidence when it comes to your personal injury case.

Other economic expenses may include:

  • Specialist bills

  • Loss of bonus or commission due to inability to work

  • Litigation costs or attorney’s fees

  • The cost of long-term healthcare, such as a live-in nurse

You may also be entitled to non-economic damages, or “quality of life” damages. While you can’t place a dollar amount on the hardships you and your family have endured as a result of your motorcycle accident, money may help alleviate some of the financial burden.

Non-economic damages may include:

  • Physical impairment

  • Mental anguish or emotional suffering

  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to a disability

  • Death of a loved one, such as a spouse or child

Plano Personal Injury Lawyer Experienced with Motorcycle Accidents

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, Plano personal injury lawyer Amy VanDeLoo of the VanDeLoo Firm knows how to get you the compensation — economic and non-economic — you deserve. If you live in the Plano, Allen, Frisco, or McKinney, Texas areas and have been in a motorcycle accident, call the VanDeLoo Firm today at (972) 200-5080 for a free consultation.

photo credit: dfirecop via photopin cc