If you have been seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, you are probably in pain and concerned about your financial future. Below we tried to answer some of the questions we commonly hear about motorcycle accidents. However, if you have a more specific question, please feel free to give us a call to discuss.
Will I be Able to Recover Compensation?
Perhaps the most common question asked is whether a victim will be able to recover compensation for his or her accident. In order to be compensated for your losses, you need to be able to establish that your accident was caused by the legal negligence of another person. Very generally speaking, negligence occurs when a person fails to conduct himself or herself in a reasonable manner. Determining whether negligence played a role in your accident may require further investigation by an attorney.
What are some Examples of Negligence that can Lead to a Motorcycle Accident?
There are many different negligent acts that can lead to a motorcycle accident. Only some examples of such negligence can include distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, failure to yield, and following too closely.
What Injuries Commonly Result from Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can cause a number of serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, road rash, dislocations, and amputations. In particularly serious cases, victims of motorcycle accidents can develop long-term medical problems or disabilities that can affect them for the rest of their lives.
What Damages are Available in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If someone else was at fault for an accident, Texas law allows injured victims to recover compensation for both their economic and noneconomic damages. In many motorcycle accidents, the types of damages that are recoverable are:
- Past and future loss of wage earning capacity or lost wages;
- Past and future physical and emotional pain and suffering;
- Past and future medical bills and expenses;
- Past and future mental anguish;
- Past and future disfigument;
- Property damage; and
- In some cases, punitive damages.
Will I need to go to Trial?
The answer to this question comes as a surprise to many first-time accident victims, as the majority of motorcycle cases are settled out of court and do not go to trial.
What if I was Partially at Fault for my Accident?
Many motorcycle accident victims are concerned that they will be unable to recover compensation if they were partially at fault for their wreck. Fortunately for victims, Texas law uses a system that is often referred to as “comparative fault,” which is also referred to as “proportionate responsibility.” So long as an accident victim is not more than 50 percent responsible for an accident, he or she will still have the chance to recover. However, the amount of recovery will be reduced by the proportion of the plaintiff’s negligence – for example, if you are awarded $100,000 but deemed to be 30 percent at fault for your accident, you would only receive $70,000.
How long do I Have to File a Claim?
In Texas, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim. Keep in mind, however, that it takes time to properly prepare and investigate a case, so it is always wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If you fail to file suit before the expiration of your statute of limitations, your claims will be time barred.
How Much is my Case Worth?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to know what a motorcycle accident case is worth without conducting a thorough analysis of your situation. Every case is different and every person’s loss is different. In each case, an experienced attorney will evaluate the facts, the person’s injuries, how those injuries effect the person’s ability to work and how such injuries will impact the person’s life. Once this analysis has been completed, an attorney can discuss with you what he or she believes your case is worth.
Do I need to Hire an Attorney?
Many people wonder whether they need to hire an attorney after an accident. While accident victims are certainly allowed to represent themselves in court or when negotiating with an insurance company, it is highly advisable to retain an attorney who has experience with motorcycle cases. The insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible on a claim and, thus, you should have someone on your side that knows how to handle these claims.
How much will Legal Representation Cost?
At Sutliff & Stout, we have a No Fee Guarantee, meaning you only have to pay us if we are able to recover on your behalf. We use a contingent fee arrangement with all of our personal injury clients. This means that any legal fees you pay will be a percentage of the total recovery you receive, if any. If we do not recover compensation for you, you will not owe us anything. In addition, you will never need to pay anything up front for our legal representation.