Motor vehicle accidents are often preventable events that usually involve negligence or recklessness of one or more parties.
While distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving, and inexperience present serious risks to all road users, motorcycle riders represent a statistically disproportionate number of fatal traffic accidents in the country.
Riding a motorcycle is inherently riskier than driving a car. These vehicles are less stable than passenger vehicles and lack protection features.
As a result, bikers are at a heightened risk of experiencing serious and potentially fatal injuries because of both the nature of motorcycles and the impact of other motorists’ negligence.
Anyone involved in a Houston motorcycle accident, either as a biker, a passenger, or the occupant of another vehicle, should take steps to keep themselves safe, comply with the law, and protect their rights and remedies.
Those who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a Texas accident should consult with a Houston motorcycle lawyer to discuss how to collect compensation from the at-fault party.
What to Do After a Houston Motorcycle Accident
Accidents can elicit fear, panic, and an adrenaline rush for anyone involved. While these responses are natural and sometimes unavoidable, it is crucial that accident victims take steps to protect themselves and preserve their rights to compensation.
Step 1: Stay at the Scene
Under Texas Transportation Code § 550.021(c)(2), those in an accident involving personal injury or death have certain duties. Texas law requires individuals to do the following after a motorcycle accident:
- Immediately stop their vehicle at the scene or as close to the location of the accident as possible; or
- Immediately return to the scene if the vehicle is not stopped at the accident scene.
Leaving the scene of a motorcycle accident can have serious repercussions for the accident victim and limit their ability to recover damages.
Further, those who are at fault for an accident and leave the scene may face significant civil and criminal penalties.
Step 2: Check for Injuries
Texas Transportation Code § 550.021 also requires operators of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of a person or damage to a vehicle to do the following:
- Determine whether a person is involved in the accident; and
- If the person is involved in the accident, determine whether the person requires aid.
Generally, those involved in an accident must provide reasonable assistance to any injured parties. This assistance includes transporting the victim to a hospital if necessary or calling emergency personnel for transportation.
Additionally, motorcycle accident victims should thoroughly examine their bodies for injuries.
Step 3: Report the Accident
It is essential to report the accident to law enforcement as soon as possible. Injured bikers should report any accident, even if they believe they did not suffer injuries.
Reporting the accident creates a record of the event and serves as necessary evidence for any personal injury claims.
Step 4: Gather Information
Injured parties should get identifying information from the vehicle operator that caused the accident. Crucial information includes the following:
- Driver’s name and address;
- Registration information, and
- Name of the driver’s insurance provider.
In addition, the victim should gather information from witnesses and passengers if possible. These parties may serve as witnesses and substantiate personal injury claims.
Step 5: Document the Accident
Motorcycle accidents are traumatic, but details about the events leading up to the accident may fade over time.
Documenting the accident scene by taking photographs and videos helps establish fault and liability. Moreover, motorcycle accident victims should keep copies of the following:
- Accident reports;
- Medical documents such as visit summary notes, prescriptions, and procedures;
- Photographs of injuries and recovery;
- Documents of lost wages or income; and
- Receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses.
Additionally, keeping a journal or log about pain, discomfort, and suffering can help substantiate claims for non-economic damages.
Step 6: Get Medical Attention
Motorcycle accidents can result in many injuries, and while some injuries are readily apparent, others can take time to develop. The nature of certain types of trauma coupled with the adrenaline from an accident may mask the full extent of injuries.
Thus, it is important that motorcycle accident victims seek medical attention after an accident. Additionally, keeping up with doctor’s appointments, referrals, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and treatment protocols is essential for physical recovery and the claims process.
Step 7: Contact a Houston Motorcycle Attorney
The recovery process after a motorcycle accident can be challenging and arduous, both in terms of physical rehabilitation and securing compensation.
An experienced attorney can mitigate the effect of these challenges and assist crash victims during all aspects of their claims.
Although reporting accidents to insurance companies is important, doing so can create additional issues because many adjusters use pressure and other tactics to coerce victims into accepting a settlement. An attorney can collect evidence, gather documents, negotiate with insurance companies, and litigate claims.
Discuss Your Injuries with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a Houston motorcycle accident, it is normal for you not to know what your next steps should be. While this blog provides a basic outline of the steps you should take, you may have additional questions.
Reach out to the dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys at Armstrong Lee & Baker, LLP, to schedule a free consultation. We have decades of experience helping accident victims recover meaningful compensation for everything they’ve been through, while making the recovery process as easy on you as possible.
Calling is free, and we take all personal injury lawsuits on a contingency basis, meaning we will not bill you for our services unless we can recover compensation on your behalf.