Frequently Asked Questions About Filing a Claim after a Motorcycle Accident
You must be overwhelmed with questions after your Dallas car wreck. Why not get the answers from a Texas board-certified personal injury attorney?
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Who is responsible for my injuries in an open-door motorcycle accident?
Occupants of vehicles in Dallas or Fort Worth open their vehicle doors all the time without looking for a motorcyclist who could be near them. When a motorcyclist crashes into a door of a vehicle that opens suddenly, he can suffer life-altering injuries—like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, paralysis, and amputation of a limb—or die. Fortunately, there may be more than one party responsible for compensating the victim for his injuries.
Potentially Responsible Parties in an Open-Door Accident
Motorcyclists get injured by other motorists opening their vehicle doors for a variety of reasons. Depending on the cause of the accident, there may be more than one party potentially responsible for the injured victim’s injuries, including:
- Driver of the vehicle who hit the rider. This person could be liable if he or one of his passengers hit the motorcycle.
- Passenger of the vehicle. If a passenger of a vehicle opened his door and caused the accident, he could be responsible for the motorcyclist’s injuries.
- The employer of the driver. If the driver was driving a taxicab, business vehicle, or a truck, the employer of the driver could be liable for compensating the motorcycle rider.
- The driver of the illegally-parked vehicle. A driver of a vehicle who parked illegally could be responsible for the victim’s injuries if his illegal parking contributed to the crash by shielding the motorcyclist from seeing an oncoming hazard.
- Manufacturer of the vehicle. The manufacturer of the vehicle who hit the rider could be liable if a defect in the vehicle contributed to the crash.
- Manufacturer of the motorcycle. The manufacturer of the motorcycle could be responsible if a defect in the motorcycle at least partially caused the crash.
If you have been injured in an open-door motorcycle accident, it is important to contact an experienced motorcycle attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Fill out our online form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn how we can help you.
Am I entitled to compensation for the complications resulting from a broken collarbone after a motorcycle accident?
While riding a motorcycle is an enjoyable activity for many, it also presents certain risks. If a motorcyclist is involved in an accident with a car or truck, many types of injuries may result. One common example is a broken collarbone. This type of break involves the clavicle bone located near the shoulder. It is one of three bones contained in the shoulder joint. It also connects the shoulder blade to the sternum. If a motorcyclist is involved in a crash and the collarbone absorbs the shock of the impact, a break may result. There are many complications that can develop after a broken collarbone. Fortunately for victims, the party responsible for the crash may be liable for the expenses relating to these complications.
Six Types of Complications After a Broken Collarbone Caused by a Motorcycle Accident
What types of complications may occur after a broken collarbone? The following are six examples:
- Nerve damage. A broken collarbone may result in jagged ends on the bone that can then injure nearby nerves and blood vessels. If you suffer from nerve damage due to a broken collarbone, you may experience ongoing numbness and tingling in the area.
- Inability to heal properly. In some cases, the broken collarbone may heal poorly, or may heal over a delayed time period. As a result, the collarbone may be permanently shorter than it was prior to the motorcycle crash.
- Bulging above the broken collarbone. Some broken collarbones result in a large bump that develops above the break. This bump may be permanent.
- Frozen shoulder. In order to treat the broken collarbone, your physician may have to immobilize the bone. As a result, you may experience a decrease in your range of motion after the crash.
- Bone infection. In some cases, the break in the collarbone is so severe that the bone actually pierces the skin. This can result in an infection. Infections are very dangerous complications that can be life threatening and require immediate treatment.
- Osteoarthritis. Some broken collarbones are so severe that they cause damage to the shoulder or sternum joints. As a result, the victim may develop arthritis in that area.
If you suffered a broken collarbone after a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the complications that result. You may also be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income. It is important to act quickly, however. We encourage you to contact us today for more information at 817-380-4888.
Could road rash injuries be fatal? What are their long term effects?
You’ve been riding a motorcycle since you were a teenager and have never had an accident. That is until today. On your way home from your buddy’s weekly game night, you attempted to turn right at the intersection by your house when an SUV ran the light and sideswiped you. Your bike skidded about 20 feet down the road, with you underneath it. Thankfully, you weren’t thrown from the bike or crushed by it. In fact, from what you could tell you had a bit of road rash but that was it. By the time you stood up, the SUV was long gone, so you picked up your bike and walked it the half block to your house.
Needless to say, when you got home you weren’t in the best of moods, but you put the bike in the garage and went in to clean yourself up. As soon as you walked in the door, your wife screamed and told you she was taking you to the hospital. You looked down and saw that your entire pant leg was soaked in blood and there were pieces of gravel and dirt stuck inside the gash on your leg. You tried to tell her that it looked worse than it really was, but she wasn’t having any of it. She grabbed her purse and pushed you toward the car.
Why all the fuss? It’s only a cut. You can clean it up yourself. It’s not like it’ll kill you...right?
Potential Road Rash Complications
There are currently over eight million motorcycles registered throughout the United States. Although the thrill of the ride is obviously becoming more and more popular, motorcycle crashes and injuries are also increasing. According to motorcycle-related crash data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motorcyclists are nine times more likely to be injured than anyone else in traffic crashes. As a result, over 200,000 of the eight million registered bikers suffer serious injuries every year. Unfortunately, the CDC predicts that this number will further increase by 55% by the end of 2015.
These injuries vary from accident to accident and can be as minor as a few cuts to as major as severe brain injury and death. However, the one thing that the majority of all motorcycle injuries have in common is road rash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 90% of motorcycle injuries result in some sort of skin laceration akin to road rash.
Although road rash may seem like a minor inconvenience compared to potential brain damage, without proper care, a simple cut could lead to severe and even life-threatening complications. These road rash risks include:
- Scarring: depending on the severity of your road rash, as well as how quickly you heal, you could possibly escape a road rash injury without permanent scarring. However, for the majority of road rash victims, scarring is inevitable. When a crash scrapes the top layers of skin off your body, new skin must form to close the wound. This new formation is tighter than normal skin (in order to keep the wound closed), and doesn’t produce hair follicles or sweat glands. During recovery, your skin may also become inflamed, damaging healthy skin and melanin cells, and making the new skin a different color than the skin around it. These types of scars are usually permanent (although they can fade over the course of years), possibly disfiguring (depending on where they’re located) and can affect large areas of the body.
- Bacterial infections: since road rash can expose tissue, muscle and bone, debris, dirt and bacteria can easily become introduced into your blood stream. This makes road rashes extremely susceptible to bacterial infections. One of the more debilitating types of infections you can acquire is called MRSA. MRSA is a bacterial staph infection that is resistant to most antibiotics, and is therefore hard to treat. It spreads easily and can infect your lungs, urinary tract and bloodstream. If not treated quickly, MRSA and other blood infections can cause fatal organ failure.
- Edema: road rash infections can cause increased swelling around the injured area, producing large amounts of excess fluid. This fluid disrupts blood flow, causes an enormous amount of pain and affects organ and muscle functions.
Decreasing Risk and Saving Lives
With the increase of motorcycles on our roads, the need for cycle safety is more important than ever. Many hardcore bikers believe that road rash is a badge of honor, without realizing how dangerous rash complications can be without full treatment. Show your support by helping your motorcycle friends get the information they need to learn their potential risks. Simply click the media icons to share this page on your social network. Remember, they may not know their risks until it’s too late. By sharing this information, you can help prevent serious pain and life-long regret.
Need more information about motorcycle safety or injury options? Contact us online or call us directly at 817.380.4888. You never know when you may need some legal advice, but when you do, we’ll be here to help. We help injured victims throughout Texas including Arlington, North Richland, Grapevine, Bedford, Hurst, Euless, Irving and all points in between. We look forward to hearing from you.
What are the worst types of injuries I could sustain in a motorcycle accident?
From the moment you bought your Chopper, your wife has been overly paranoid that you’re going to crash it. Every time you take it out of the garage for a spin, she comments that she and the kids will be sure to visit you every day at Parkland Memorial until you can walk again. Although you know she says it to encourage you to be safe, you’ve often wondered if she is making a mountain out of a mole hill.
All of your buddies have recently bought bikes and haven’t even suffered as much as a sunburn—let alone any serious injuries—so what is she worried about? Honestly, what’s the worst that could happen?
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
As a result of motorcycles being less expensive, and the popularity of shows like “Sons of Anarchy,” motorcycle purchases have dramatically increased throughout the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, as of 2012, registered motorcycles exceeded 500,000 in Texas alone. Unfortunately, with the increase of motorcycles comes the increase of motorcycle crashes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that over the past 10 years the number of annual motorcycle injuries have more than doubled. Recent data estimates that 5,000 people a year die, and over 200,000 are severely injured as a result of serious motorcycle crashes.
Although some injuries are minor—if you’re extraordinarily lucky—many of them are catastrophic, life-altering and potentially fatal. These include:
- Road rash. Road rash is by far the most common motorcycle injury, and although generally not fatal, it can be extremely painful and cause debilitating infections.
- Eye damage. If not protected, your eyes can become scraped, impaled, crushed, or even gouged out by flying debris.
- Amputations. If a motorcycle falls on top of you or you’re forcefully thrown from your bike, your limbs can become crushed, severed, or mangled. Sometimes your limbs are injured to the point where they amputate themselves or need to be amputated.
- Brain damage. Head injuries are another common injury sustained by motorcyclists and can range from minor concussions to hemorrhaging, brain bleeds, and partial to complete cognitive loss.
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries. Your spine can easily become smashed, crushed, severed, twisted, or broken in a collision.
- Death. Over 1,000 motorcyclists a year are mortally wounded during crashes, while another 4,000 motorcyclists wind up succumbing to their injuries within a week after their crashes.
Recovering From Your Injuries
If you’re one of the lucky survivors of a motorcycle accident, your injuries can—and most often do—affect you for the rest of your life. Even the more minor crash injuries, such as scrapes and road rash, can leave permanent and disfiguring scars. This is why it’s not only necessary to take proper safety precautions while riding your bike, but extremely important to know that you have care options and friends to help you after a crash.
The Hart Law Firm Is Here to Help
If you’ve recently been injured in a motorcycle collision and need help with your injury claim, contact us today. Our knowledge and eagerness to fight for you will help you get the settlement, peace of mind, and justice you deserve. Don’t let someone else’s mistake haunt you for the rest of your life—call now to start putting the pieces back together.
With the increase of motorcycles on our roads, the need for cycle safety is more important than ever. Show your support by helping us reach out to our motorcycle community, and help them realize the potential risks. Simply click the social media icons on this page to instantly share this information on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Remember, although your friends may know that motorcycles can be dangerous, they may not know an accident could affect the rest of their lives. Help them realize the risks, before it’s too late.
Why do I need an attorney after a motorcycle accident?
Honestly, you might not need an attorney after a motorcycle crash. It really depends on what happened, the injuries you sustained, and the outcome you hope to achieve. However, although an attorney isn’t necessary in every case, the victims of motorcycle accident often face challenges that require the experience and insight of a legal professional. Here are a few examples of why:
- Motorcyclists are often severely injured by much larger vehicles, and they often suffer life-changing or life-threatening injuries as a result. Expensive, ongoing medical treatment may be necessary, and some victims may be unable to return to work or return to a “normal” life.
- People often have a poor opinion of motorcyclists, making it even more difficult to prove the driver was responsible. Since many people believe that motorcyclists are careless or don’t follow the law, injured riders may be fighting against opinions and biases that threaten to minimize their legitimate injury claims.
- Insurance companies will fight to minimize your claim. After a serious crash, the other driver’s insurance company will be keen to protect its own bottom line, which means that injured motorcyclists may be facing tricks, traps, delays, and denials before they’re even sure they want to pursue a claim.
At the Hart Law Firm, we have over 20 years of experience representing injured victims and their families across Texas, and we have the experience and skills needed to make your injury claim a success and to make sure your family is protected. For more information or a free case review, contact our Colleyville team by phone or email today.
How can an attorney simplify my life after I’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident?
This is a great question because, as personal injury attorneys, we aim to make victims’ lives simpler after another driver has caused physical, financial, and emotional injuries. Although everyone has a shared responsibility to take safety seriously on the road, passenger vehicles and trucks often fail to see smaller motorcycles in traffic. Because the injuries to a motorcyclist can be so severe, and because other drivers are often at fault, victims and their families may face a number of overwhelming questions and complications on the road to recovery—and that’s where a skilled legal guide can step in and make the entire process go more smoothly.
When you work with a personal injury attorney on your case, you gain an ally who can immediately take the reins and start:
- Protecting your rights
- Explaining what to expect
- Taking care of the details
- Bringing skill, knowledge, resources, and experience to the negotiation process
- Fighting on your behalf when you are unable to come to a resolution
With an attorney on your side, you can stop worrying about your motorcycle injury claim and start focusing on your own recovery—and sometimes the easing of that burden can make all the difference.
Don’t leave your questions unanswered while your financial future and recovery hang in the balance. Reach out to our office today for immediate assistance, or connect with our team on Facebook for more information about who we are, how we have helped others, and how we can help you.
What helmet safety standards does the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) require?
Every year, DOT conducts tests with motorcycle helmets to ensure they comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all motorcyclists wear DOT-issued helmets.
Helmet Safety Standards:
- An inner liner of one-inch-thick, firm polystyrene foam. If the inner liner is not visible, then you should be able to feel its thickness.
- The helmet should have a sturdy chinstrap secured with strong rivets.
- It should weigh around three pounds. Most helmets that do not meet FMVSS No. 218 weigh around one pound.
- There should be nothing protruding more than two-tenths of an inch from the surface of the helmet.
Most non-compliant helmets are smaller, lighter, and thinner than what DOT requires. Be aware that an apparent DOT sticker located on the back of the helmet does not necessarily guarantee DOT approval. Some novelty sellers buy counterfeit DOT stickers to place on helmets. Be sure to consider the helmet’s weight and foam-thickness rather than relying upon a DOT sticker.
Other Indicators of Safety:
Two other labels you may see inside a helmet are from Snell or ANSI – both of which are private, non-profit organizations. These labels also indicate the helmet meets FMVSS No. 218.
Another indication that a helmet is compliant with DOT standards is a manufacturer’s label that indicates the model, size, manufacture date, and what the helmet is made of. DOT-approved helmets are required to have this label.
Your Grapevine motorcycle crash attorney reminds you that finding a good helmet is worth the effort. If a crash should occur, then wearing a DOT-compliant helmet may save your life.
If you or a loved one was involved in a Grapevine motorcycle accident, please call The Hart Law Firm. Our book also has helpful information: Your Texas Personal Injury Case: Don’t Get Hammered, Strong-Armed, or Thrown to the Dogs. Call (800) 856-2347 today to request a free copy of our book, or to request a complimentary consultation appointment.
I just got into an accident in Dallas and the insurance company is pressuring me to accept their offer. Should I talk with an attorney first?
Yes! When deciding whether to accept the initial offer from an insurance company after your car, truck or motorcycle crash you must ask yourself this question: Is the agent more concerned with my well being or the company's bottom line?
The agent or adjustor has been trained to persuade you to accept an offer as quickly as possible. They will use every trick in the book: acting like your friend, pressuring you, even resorting to mild threats and name calling. Why? Because they want you to sign their offer and they want you to sign it now.
They know that if you speak with an attorney their too low offer will almost certainly be rejected. Experienced Dallas attorneys know the true value of your injuries, of your property loss, and the insurance company knows this.So before you sign anything, before you even speak with an agent or adjustor, contact a successful, aggressive crash attorney at the Hart Law Firm. The insurance company has their team, ready to fight. Who do you have?
I have been injured during a motorcycle accident in Grapevine, TX. Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Though the location of the accident varies: Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Colleyville; we get this question nearly every day. Our clients are trying to recover from their injuries, yet they need to make big decisions. These decisions are centered on big questions such as:
- Can I sue after being injured during a Texas motorcycle crash?
- Who will pay for my medical bills and lost wages?
- Will the insurance company give me enough to repair or replace my motorcycle?
- Do I need an attorney?
This last question is easy to answer, and it takes just one simple phone call. At the Hart Law Firm we offer a free, no obligation consultation. This means that you can bring your questions, your concerns to us and we will advise you, free of charge. Allow the Hart Law Firm to ease your burden, to take care of your legal concerns while you focus on healing. Let us help. Call today. 1.800.856.2347