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How Will Texas Motorcycle Laws Affect My Personal Injury Case?

  1. How Will Texas Motorcycle Laws Affect My Personal Injury Case?
  2. State of Texas Motorcycle Law: The Basics
  3. Know Your Rights and Options After a Crash
  4. If the Motorcycle Accident Wasn’t Your Fault, You Shouldn’t Have to Pay the Bill
  5. With Will Adams Law Firm: We’re Ready to Hear Your Story

How Will Texas Motorcycle Laws Affect My Personal Injury Case?

Getting in a motorcycle crash is terrifying, and even more so when you’re uncertain about how the laws affect your future and your case. Unfortunately, the Greater Houston area ranks near the top of the list for fatal and serious motorcycle wrecks.

Texas law is meant to protect people who’ve been hurt because of other driver’s bad choices, but when insurance companies and other people want to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, they can try and use these laws to deny you the compensation you deserve.

In this blog, we outline what you need to know about Texas motorcycle law, how it affects your case, and what you can do next to protect yourself and your future.

State of Texas Motorcycle Law: The Basics

If you ride a motorcycle in Texas, you’re probably familiar with the basics of motorcycle law, which are different from those that apply to other motor vehicles. It’s important to understand these state laws to be safe, but also to know what your options are if you ever get in a motorcycle crash.

  • You need a Texas motorcycle license, registration and insurance: In Texas, anyone who rides a motorcycle or moped needs a class M driver’s license, a registration sticker on their license plate, and motorcycle liability insurance. All bikers must have a minimum of $30,000 per injured person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage coverage.
  • Understand Texas motorcycle helmet law: Riders between five and 21 years of age must wear a helmet under Texas law. While anyone over the age of 21 may choose not to wear a helmet or other protective equipment, they must have medical insurance and complete a motorcycle safety course.
  • Only let appropriate passengers ride with you: You can bring passengers on your motorcycle if it has a seat for them, however children under the age of five may not ride as a passenger on a bike. Passengers between five and 21 must wear a helmet.
  • Avoid lane-splitting: Driving between lanes of traffic is dangerous. In Texas, it’s also illegal.

While these are the basic legal requirements, we encourage motorcyclists to take their safety and wellbeing seriously. While a motorcycle helmet and protective gear (like padded vests and gloves) cannot prevent every severe injury, they can save lives. And even though you can choose to buy the bare minimum in liability insurance, you should consider protecting yourself with larger policies that include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection (PIP).

We know that every crash is unique. If you were in an accident and have questions about how the laws outlined here affect your case, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.

Know Your Rights and Options After a Crash

Thanks to enduring biases against motorcyclists, you can do everything right, and still be blamed for the accident that caused you harm. This is because reckless drivers know that they can get out of being held accountable if they can blame part of the reason for the crash on the motorcyclist.

In Texas law, drivers owe other people on the road a “duty of care,” meaning they must follow the rules of the road and keep others around them safe. A driver (or motorcyclist) is negligent and liable for your injuries if:

  • They violate this duty by driving recklessly
  • Their conduct injures you or someone you love
  • You have damages (such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or more)

For your case to be successful, you must be able to prove all three of these elements.

While that might seem relatively simple, this is where Texas law gets complicated.

Texas’ Modified Comparative Negligence Law 

Accidents are often nuanced, and rarely caused by one person, company, or defective part. More commonly, it’s multiple failures happening in concert that cause a crash. Texas’ modified comparative negligence law ensures injured people are compensated in proportion to their “level” of fault in the crash.

Let’s say you’re on your bike, going about five miles per hour over the speed limit, when you’re hit by a motorist driving drunk and going the wrong way down the highway. Your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering amount to $250,000 in damages. However, because you were speeding at the time of the crash, you could be considered 5% responsible. Therefore, you would only be able to collect 95% of the damages available to you—$237,500.

In Texas, you can be up to 50% responsible for a crash and receive compensation. However, if you are 51% or more at fault, the insurance company doesn’t have to pay your damages.

When insurance companies and other parties want to reduce the amount of compensation they’ll be held responsible for, they’ll often blame the injured biker. Sometimes, they base their claims on things like speeding, and other times, it’s due to lane-splitting, helmet use, or passengers riding with you.

Even worse, the insurance companies often try to take advantage of motorcycle bias and blame even the most responsible bikers. Inaccuracies in the police report sometimes make it seem like the injured person was more responsible for the accident than they were—causing them to be denied the compensation they need and deserve.

RELATED: Hurt in a Texas Car Accident? Here’s What to Do

“Will treats his clients with great kindness and compassion. He fully understands the pain and injustice each victim is going through. This compassion and understanding allows Will to prosecute your case to the fullest. Will is tenacious in pursuing what he feels is the correct settlement for his clients.”

- B & ES – Dallas, TX

“Will, Chris & Sarah. K and I just want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and our family. Throughout this process you have kept us informed and been patient with us (especially me) as we navigated through unchartered territory. Putting things in your hands allowed Karl and I to focus on him getting better.”

- SC – Katy, TX

“Hi Will, I just wanted to take a minute and let you and your wonderful staff know just how much we appreciate each one of you! All of you have been so great to us. Y’all have always answered any and all questions immediately and never left us hanging or wondering about anything. All of you have made this.”

- SB – Katy, TX

"Dear Sarah, you are the best legal assistant in the history of such creatures of legend and lore. (And Brian is in the tribe too) Do take a copy of this email to your next annual performance review... you have raised the bar. Thank you for all your help!"

- AM – Houston, TX

"I wanted to thank you both for a job well done and for an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. I appreciated your expertise and your thoroughness of preparation, as well as keeping me informed of the possible outcomes at each major point.Will, I think that Chris did an excellent job and wanted to bring that to your attention."

- MJ – Katy, TX

If the Motorcycle Accident Wasn’t Your Fault, You Shouldn’t Have to Pay the Bill

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash, you deserve to understand your options—whether you’re being unfairly blamed for the crash or not. Here are a few things you should know:

  • You have two years to file an insurance claim or lawsuit: This time limit is known as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long to file, you won’t be able to collect anything for your injuries, no matter what happened or how negligent the other driver was.
  • There are often multiple sources of compensation: Because accidents are so complex, injured people usually have multiple options for compensation. This includes their own insurance policies, the other driver’s insurance, the company that manufactured a defective product, a bar that over-served a drunk driver, and more, depending on your situation.
  • There are steps you can take to strengthen your claim: If you’re worried that your case isn’t strong enough, a few simple actions can help protect your right to compensation. This includes documenting your injuries, going to the doctor right away, taking pictures of the crash and any damaged equipment (if you can do so without putting yourself in harm’s way), and calling an attorney as soon as you can.
  • There is often additional crash evidence: If your crash took place in an area with cameras or businesses, t’s not uncommon for your crash to be captured on surveillance cameras. Or, if you were hurt by a service vehicle, like an 18-wheeler, there’s a possibility that the vehicle was equipped with a “black box” or other internal system that tracks the driver’s movements and actions, like when they accelerate or hit the brakes. This data can be infinitely valuable to your case, but you need to act quickly to protect it. Companies can erase surveillance footage and driving records, but not when they are being used as evidence in a case. Your lawyer can help you identify if such information exists and move quickly to protect it.
  • A false accusation is not the end: If you’re struggling to get a fair offer from the insurance company because of an error in the police report, false accusations of your own liability, or for some other reasons, don’t despair. Until you’ve met with an experienced attorney who can explain your options and how Texas motorcycle law affects you, you still have reason to hope.

If You Were Hurt on Your Motorcycle, Don’t Wait to Get Legal Help

If you or someone you love are in a tough situation following a crash, a motorcycle crash lawyer is your best resource and first line of defense.

When you choose to work with an experienced lawyer, they’ll take the lead on your case, including:

  • Move quickly to identify and preserve evidence
  • Determine who is responsible for the crash
  • Find every available source of compensation
  • Accurately calculate the value of your case
  • Hold the responsible parties accountable
  • Protect your rights and help you make decisions that protect your future

When you choose to work with the experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Will Adams Law Firm, you can be confident that your lawyer will do everything they can to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Our law firm has a reputation of successfully handling suits and negotiating settlements, and we are ready to hear your story and help you decide what to do next.

With Will Adams Law Firm: We’re Ready to Hear Your Story

We believe injured people deserve fair and honest legal representation. For us, law is a calling, not a career. Our team has over 25 years of experience, a track record of success, and a double board certification—meaning we have what it takes to fight on your behalf.

We offer every injured person a complimentary case assessment where you can meet with a member of our team privately to discuss what happened, what your options are, and what to do next. Get started today by calling our office to schedule at  1-800-559-0593, or fill out our simple online contact form.

We look forward to speaking with you!

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