According to the experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, 4,381 motorcyclists lost their lives on U.S. streets and highways in 2013. These fatalities accounted for 13 percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S. and present a grim picture of the risks to motorcyclists on Texas streets and highways. For the families of those lost and for injured motorcycle riders, working with qualified Houston vehicle accident lawyers can represent the best hope for achieving a fair settlement with the parties responsible for the collision and the insurance companies involved in the negotiations.
Increased Exposure Leads to More Serious Injuries
The injuries sustained by motorcycle riders are typically far more extensive and serious than those involved in a comparable car or truck accident. This is due primarily to the lack of protection afforded to motorcyclists by their vehicles. Broken bones, scrapes and impact injuries are common even in relatively low-speed collisions between larger vehicles and motorcycles. Extended recovery periods are often required to regain full mobility and health. In some cases, long-term care may be necessary to manage daily routines and responsibilities.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Motorcycle helmets are one of the best lines of defense against severe blows and concussions that can result from collisions with larger vehicles. The effects of these traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Cognitive issues
- Memory loss
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Emotional changes to include depression
- Brain damage that can result in coma or extended unconsciousness
Traumatic brain injuries can also result in death on the scene of the accident or days later if not treated immediately. Wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of these injuries and may save the lives of motorcyclists in the event of a collision.
Helmet Laws Vary from State to State
- New Hampshire
Other states have instituted partial or universal helmet requirements for motorcyclists. The state of Texas requires helmets for riders aged 20 and under but has no law in place regarding the use of helmets for adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of helmets for all riders to prevent some of the most devastating injuries caused by motorcycle accidents.
The Role of the Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Working with an experienced Houston traffic accident lawyer can allow families and victims of motorcycle accidents to pursue their claims against those responsible. Attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accidents can provide the following services:
- Investigating the accident and determining all contributing factors that could establish liability
- Pursuing legal action against those responsible for the accident
- Determining the extent of injuries and the likely amount of compensation due to the victim
- Negotiating with insurance companies and other attorneys to achieve the highest possible settlement
Throughout the legal process, the attorney will work with victims and their families to identify the most important issues they face and to provide assistance in achieving the best outcomes for their cases.
If you or someone you know has sustained serious injuries or has been killed in a motorcycle accident, retaining the services of a qualified Houston accident injury lawyer can help you to pursue fair compensation for these losses. Your attorney will work with you to determine the scope of your claim and to create a level playing field for you with insurance company lawyers and adjusters. This can help you to achieve a higher settlement in out-of-court negotiations or in the courtroom setting. The knowledge and experience of these dedicated legal professionals can provide the support needed to help you get through this difficult time and to receive the financial compensation you and your family need to manage the costs of medical care and damages after a serious motorcycle accident.