Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries under Texas Law
Under Texas law a motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle other than a tractor that is equipped with a rider's saddle and is designed to be propelled by less than four wheels. By definition a motorcycle cannot be a three wheeled vehicle equipped with a cab, seat and/or seat belt that is designed to contain the operator in the cab.
Anyone riding or operating a motorcycle in Texas under the age of 21 is required by law to wear a helmet. If you are over the age of 21 you are not required by law to wear helmet if you have successfully completed the Texas motorcycle rider training program or if you have a medical insurance policy for $10,000 or more covering injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in an accident than those riding as passengers in automobiles. Motorcycle accidents account for approximately 15 of all moving vehicle fatalities in Texas.
Motorcyclists are far more likely to be speeding at the time of an accident as well. In crashes involving fatalities as many as 35 of the motorcycle operators were speeding compared to just 23 of those operating an automobile. In these crashes one out of four cyclists had an invalid license, nearly double that of automobile drivers.
Like other automobile related personal injury claims in Texas in order to successfully recover damages the injured party must prove that the driver was negligent. This means that the injured party must prove that the other driver had a duty not to injure and that the failure in that duty had a direct connection to the injury.
Even motorcyclists that wear protective gear such as helmets and protective clothing can face serious injury including broken bones, back injuries, road rash, brain and head trauma, etc. Riders are 300 more likely to be injured in an accident than those involved as a passenger occupant in an automobile collision.
Although motorcycle riders are often guilty of dangerous driving habits, automobile drivers who change lanes improperly, follow too closely or fail to yield right of way are often involved in collisions with motorcycle riders due to their own negligence.
A motorcyclist involved in an accident with an automobile driven by a driver acting negligently is entitled to recover compensation for their injuries including lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. If a family member is killed in a motorcycle accident as a result of a negligent driver they may be able to sue for compensation for the loss of their loved one.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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