Texas is home to thousands of miles of open roads and highways, which makes it well-suited for motorcyclists who enjoy the thrill of riding on two wheels. While Texas plays host to many motorcyclists, be they casual riders or enthusiasts from in and out of state, it is also consistently ranked among the top in the nation when it comes to fatal motorcycle accidents, according to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As the data shows, Texas has ranked among the top states for motorcycle accident fatalities for a number of years. Here are some of the numbers:
- In 2015, there were over 8,000 motorcycle accidents, resulting in 459 reported fatalities. That death toll rose to 463 deaths in 2016.
- Nearly 2,000 riders, and nearly 150 motorcycle passengers, suffered catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents in 2016.
- The high numbers of accidents and deaths are especially alarming given the fact that there are less than 340,000 registered motorcycles in the state (according to 2017 data).
One of the most pressing issues cited by safety advocates is that high rates of serious injuries and death may be contributed to by Texas’ lack of a universal helmet law. Although state law requires riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet, it does not require riders over 21, with proof of health insurance, to wear any head protection whatsoever.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Wrecks
Motorcycle riders face the greatest risks of accident than any other motorist on the road. Due their small size, they can be easily overseen by drivers, and when they become victims of negligent motorists, the potential for serious and catastrophic injuries is extreme. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Left turns involving motorists who fail to yield
- Motorists making unsafe lane changes
- Being run off the road by motorists who fail to be aware of their surroundings
- Intersection accidents
- Rear-end collisions
Even when riders take all necessary precautions to see and be seen, negligent motorists can put them in harm’s way. Fortunately, injured riders have legal rights after preventable accidents, and our team at The Daspit Law Firm has the experience to protect them.
The Rights of Injured Riders
Injured motorcycle riders can pursue personal injury claims when they have been harmed in preventable wrecks. These civil legal actions aim at proving that another party was negligent in causing their accident and injuries, and can be used to recover financial compensation for their resulting damages, including:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Lost income or reduced earning potential
- Mental anguish and emotional injuries
- Pain and suffering
Because insurance companies are keen are protecting their bottom lines, they often dispute motorcycle accident claims by arguing fault and liability, and attempting to place the blame on riders. With the assistance of proven injury lawyers, riders can gain the support of advocates who have the experience to fight back against insurance companies, and ensure a level playing field that can produce the compensation they need and deserve.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle wreck anywhere in Houston or the state of Texas, The Daspit Law Firm is here to help! Our firm serves victims and families around the state, and is available 24/7 to provide you with a free consultation. Contact us today to learn more.