Dallas Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Attorney Kris Barber is committed to representing all of those who have been victimized by a motorcycle accident, from the injured rider to his or her family and loved ones. From quantifiable losses such as medical bills and lost income to damages that could never be put into a dollar amount—such as the physical and emotional pain that accompanies a motorcycle accident—The Barber Law Firm is committed to helping those who are facing the devastating aftermath of a motorcycle accident obtain the justice they deserve.
Unfortunately, the state of Texas is home to more motorcycle accidents than we might think—in 2017 alone, motorcycle accidents claimed the lives of 499 bikers in the state. Due to the high level of exposure that motorcyclists face while on their bikes, motorcycle accidents produce far more serious injuries than an ordinary car accident. More often than not, motorcycle accidents occur because trucks or automobile drivers simply don’t see them. When this hazard of low visibility—especially at night—is coupled with a lower level of protection, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident and would like to learn more about the legal rights and remedies available to you, don’t wait a moment longer—call the motorcycle accident lawyers at The Barber Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Knowing the next steps to take after you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident is key to protecting your legal rights and ensuring the greatest chances of a successful outcome. If you’re the victim of a recent motorcycle accident, keep the following do’s and don’ts in mind.
- Call the police immediately after your accident, and ask for a copy of the responding officer’s police report. The evidence provided in this report can make or break a potential personal injury claim.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think that you are okay. The adrenaline that follows involvement in a motorcycle accident can diminish the pain of your injuries. Once the shock wears off, however, you may realize that you’ve sustained more serious injuries than you originally thought.
- Take ample photos of the accident scene. Be sure to include photographs of the damage to your motorcycle, damage to the other vehicle, and any visible injuries that you have sustained. Also try to take photos of the scene of the accident that shows the location and position of your motorcycle and the other vehicle, along with any obstacles or road hazards that could have contributed to the accident.
- Call a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident, even if you don’t think that you want to file a personal injury claim. A seasoned motorcycle accident attorney has legal knowledge and experience that can help you determine if you could benefit from filing a claim.
- Keep adequate records following your accident. Keeping track of medical bills, expenses, time missed from work, and how you feel in the aftermath of your accident can provide a strong foundation for any potential legal action.
- Move any of the vehicles involved in your accident unless it is required by law or it is unsafe to leave the vehicles where they are. The position and direction of both your motorcycle and the other vehicle can help a responding officer determine who was at fault in your motorcycle accident.
- Say any more than you have to after your accident. Once you ask if the other person or people involved in the accident are okay, keep the conversation to a minimum. Things that may sound harmless in any other circumstances could be construed as admitting fault after your accident.
- Sign any paperwork before talking to a lawyer. After your accident, you’ll probably receive a stack of paperwork from an insurance company. Always have a motorcycle accident attorney review any document that you are asked to sign.
- Befriend the insurance representative. When you talk to an insurance company, remember that the individuals on the other end of the line are trained to protect the interests of the insurance company, not yours.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE POLICE REPORT
After you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you will need to obtain one of the most critical pieces of evidence in a personal injury case—a police report. This document summarizes the necessary information related to your accident and may state who was at fault based on the police officer’s opinion of how the accident occurred. The report also contains other important information such as the contact information of each party, along with which insurance carrier the parties are covered under an insurance policy number.
How to Obtain a Police Report for Your Motorcycle Accident
If the police officer who responded to your motorcycle accident didn’t hand you a copy of his police report, you will need to call your local police department to request a copy of the report. There may be a fee charged to get a copy of the police report, but it is money is well spent. This document is invaluable when it comes to a personal injury settlement for your motorcycle accident.
SAFETY TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
Because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, they can sometimes be hard to see, especially at night and in varying weather conditions. We recommend that motorcyclists follow these tips to stay safe on the roads:
- Be as visible to other drivers as possible. Most motorcycle accidents are connected to low motorcycle visibility. By keeping your headlights on during the daytime, wearing reflective gear, and equipping your bike with a fairing or windshield, you will definitely increase the likelihood that other drivers will see you.
- Get proper training. Motorcyclists who are well trained on how to ride and care for their bikes are statistically less likely to be involved in motorcycle accidents than riders who are self-taught. Training and experience may help you respond to a dangerous situation in time to avoid a collision.
- Wear the right gear. Your best protection against a serious injury in a motorcycle accident will be your helmet. Helmets for motorcyclists are like seatbelts for drivers. Wearing a helmet is a simple way to reduce the likelihood that an accident you are involved in will be fatal. Wearing eye protection is also important. Wind and glare can reduce your ability to see and respond to an obstacle in your path. Gloves, appropriate footwear, leg guards and jackets limit abrasions when accidents do occur
FORMS OF COMPENSATION FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS
No matter how much care is taken by bikers and drivers alike, Thousands of motorcyclists fall victim to a motorcycle accident in the state of Texas each year. Unfortunately, the losses that a biker suffers after a motorcycle accident are usually severe. There is hope for those are injured in a motorcycle accident, however–a successful personal injury claim can provide the financial compensation that a motorcycle accident victim needs to rebuild his or her life after the wreck.
Compensation that an injured motorcyclist can recover from a successful personal injury claim–also known in the legal world as “damages”–can be divided into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages are compensation provided for losses suffered by a motorcyclist which can be boiled down to a numeric value. Examples of economic damages that a motorcyclist can recover after a crash include:
- Medical bills. After a motorcycle accident, a biker can quickly begin to drown in medical bills incurred in treating his or her injuries. A successful personal injury claim can provide compensation to cover these expenses and get demanding collection agencies employed by medical providers off your back.
- Rehabilitation, medical equipment, and long-term care. The injuries that a motorcyclist can suffer in a motorcycle crash can take a substantial amount of work and resources to recover from. Costs of rehabilitation to regain strength after an accident, along with medical equipment such as a walker, wheelchair, or other mobility device are recoverable in a personal injury claim. In cases where a motorcyclist faces a permanent disability for which recovery is not possible, a successful personal injury claim can also provide compensation for the costs of long-term care that the motorcyclist will require for his or her lifetime.
- Lost wages. Due to the severe injuries that motorcyclists often face in a crash, the victim of a motorcycle accident can miss out on tens of thousands of dollars in income due to having to take time off of work to recover. Even a minor motorcycle accident can result in missed time from work. Income lost from being unable to work after a motorcycle accident is recoverable in a personal injury claim.
- Property damage. If you were involved in an accident on your motorcycle–especially one where you collided with another vehicle–your bike may have suffered severe damage in the crash, and will either require extensive repairs or be deemed totaled. Even in minor crashes, a motorcycle can sustain significant damage if the bike is laid down as a result of the accident. A personal injury claim can provide financial compensation to a biker to either repair or replace his or her damaged vehicle.
As any motorcyclist who has been involved in an accident knows, the injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident extend far beyond the financial realm. Although no one can attach a dollar amount to the suffering that a motorcyclist endured both during and after an accident, a personal injury claim nevertheless provides some monetary amount of compensation for “non-economic” damages incurred in a motorcycle accident, such as:
- Physical pain that the motorcyclist suffered both during and after the crash;
- Permanent disability that a motorcyclist will have to live with;
- Emotional trauma that the motorcyclist has suffered as a result of his or her accident, such as depression, anxiety, or inability to sleep (insomnia); and
- Diminished quality of life due to a loss of the ability to spend quality time with family, friends, and loved ones.
In rare cases, a motorcyclist’s accident can be attributed to a driver whose actions were so shocking or egregious that simply compensating the motorcyclist for his or her losses is not enough. For these cases, an additional form of compensation called “punitive” damages exists. The purpose of punitive damages is not to help a motorcycle accident recover for the losses he or she has suffered; rather, like its name might imply, these damages are intended to punish the at-fault driver who caused the accident. In rare cases, a judge or jury will award these damages in hopes of holding the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions and serve as a warning to those who might want to engage in similar actions in the future.
AN OVERVIEW OF TEXAS LIABILITY INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, insurance policies—whether your own policy or that of the at-fault driver—become extremely important.
Minimum Liability Requirements
The state of Texas requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage, which is sometimes referred to as “30/60/25”. These numbers represent the minimum amount of insurance coverage that a driver must be insured for in case of an accident. The first number—30–means that a person must carry a minimum of $30,000 in coverage for each injured person, while the 60 means that a person must be insured for at least $60,000 in damages per accident. The last number—25–represents that a person has to carry $25,000 for property damage arising out of an accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is a form of insurance which provides reimbursement for costs such as medical expenses, lost wages and long-term care after an accident. Although at least $2,500 in PIP insurance is required by law to be offered to drivers by insurance providers, a waiver can be signed declining such coverage.
PIP insurance is a form of no-fault insurance that covers injuries that you sustain in a motorcycle accident even if you were at fault in your accident.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 10 drivers in the state of Texas are driving uninsured. When a motorcyclist is injured by a driver who does not have insurance to cover the victim’s injuries, the financial results for a victim can be devastating. As such, a special form of insurance coverage exists for this very situation. Uninsured motorist insurance/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Like PIP insurance, UM/UIM insurance must be offered to all drivers who are obtaining insurance, but can be waived by the insured person.
Even if you emerged from a motorcycle accident unscathed, your motorcycle may not have had the same luck. If your bike was damaged or totaled in an accident, collision and comprehensive coverage exist to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle. Collision coverage takes care of these expenses if your car was damaged or totaled in an accident, while comprehensive coverage steps in if your car was damaged by some other factor, such as damage by hail or a flood.
Unless you own your vehicle outright, there is no getting around having this form of insurance—as long as you have a loan on your vehicle, property insurance coverage will be required by your lender.
DON’T FALL PREY TO AN INSURANCE COMPANY AFTER AN ACCIDENT
One of the first phone calls that you are likely to receive after your motorcycle accident will be from an insurance company. If you are suffering the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, a warning light should go off in your head as soon as a person on the other end of the phone says that they are from an insurance company. By keeping in mind the following information, you can better protect your legal rights after a motorcycle accident.
Don’t Fall Into a False Sense of Security
Most of the time, the insurance representative that you speak to will sound exceptionally friendly and compassionate. By the end of your phone call, you may feel like your financial compensation is one of the most important factors on the representative’s to-do list. Throughout your conversations with the insurance representatives, however, it’s critical to keep in mind that an insurance company is a business. Just like any other business, the insurance company’s ultimate goal is to be as profitable as possible. The easiest and most effective way to do so is to throw out low settlement offers to those who are facing injuries from an accident. Representatives of these companies are trained to help the insurance company profit as much as possible.
No matter who is on the other end of the line, it’s important to keep your guard up whenever you talk to anyone who is affiliated with an insurance company. This includes your own insurance company–don’t ever be lured into a sense of comfort when talking to your own insurance company because you are their ensured client. At the end of the day, your own insurance company is a business just like any other, and like all businesses, its main goal is to increase revenue and decrease costs.
Don’t Blindly Sign Insurance Forms
After you’ve been involved in an accident, it probably won’t be too long before you receive an email, fax, or package in the mail containing documents that an insurance company is requesting you to sign. Before you put your pen to a single piece of paper provided by an insurance company, it’s important to have an attorney who is experienced in personal injury claims review the documents.
Insurance companies send tired, injured accident victims documents hoping that they’ll sign before they have a chance to bring an attorney into the mix. These documents may be confusing–or, may seem completely harmless. No matter what type of paperwork the insurance company is requesting you to fill out, you can rest assured that it’s meant to help the insurance company’s case rather than yours–after all, why would an insurance company create and distribute a document that is harmful to their interests?
Disoriented motorcycle accident victims who sign insurance documents blindly at the request of an insurance company often sign away critical rights and remedies at law. By signing this paperwork, you could be limiting the doctors and medical professionals that you are allowed to see, or could open the door to an insurance company being able to access your entire medical history to try to claim that your injuries weren’t a result of your motorcycle accident.
It’s a Safe Bet that Your Phone Calls are Being Recorded
Whenever you speak with a representative of an insurance company over the phone, it’s a good idea to speak as if an entire room of people are listening. Phone calls to or from an insurance carrier are almost always recorded. This isn’t for “quality assurance,” as a representative might try to explain. In reality, an insurance company’s calls are recorded in hopes that the victim of an accident will slip up and say something incriminating in the phone call. When that happens, an insurance company will immediately use that recorded phone call as ammunition to offer an offensively low settlement figure–or, even worse, deny coverage altogether. Always be careful when speaking with an insurance company’s representatives over the phone.
FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM
No matter the circumstances of your motorcycle accident, an insurance claim generally starts with the same first step: reporting the claim to the insurance company. If you were an innocent party in the wreck, you should report the accident to the at-fault party’s insurance provider (whose information will appear on the police report). After reporting the accident, an insurance representative will call you to obtain information about.the accident and your injuries.
After your motorcycle accident is reported to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, the company will conduct a detailed investigation of your accident. During this time, you’ll likely be asked to provide any evidence or documentation you possess about the accident. In some instances, you may be asked to attend a medical examination by an independent physician chosen by the insurance carrier. Once the insurance carrier has completed its investigation and gathered all necessary documentation about your motorcycle accident, an adjuster will review the facts and make a determination of the losses that you suffered in the accident. The adjuster will review these facts and may provide you with a dollar amount to settle your claim.
Be Wary of Settlement Offers
If you are presented with a settlement offer by an insurance company just a few days or weeks after your motorcycle accident, it’s important to seek an experienced personal injury attorney’s guidance before accepting the settlement offer. When an insurance company offers you a settlement amount shortly after your accident, you can be certain that it’s not because the they care about you getting your compensation as soon a possible. Rather, these quick offers are meant to bait injured victims of accidents to accept a settlement offer before the victim has a chance to fully assess his or her injuries. Injuries such as chronic headaches and severe back pain can take weeks—or even months—to surface after a motorcycle accident. By offering you a settlement figure early in the game, an insurance company is hoping that you settle before realizing the full extent of your injuries. Always run a settlement offer by a personal injury attorney before accepting the settlement, because you can’t go back and ask for more compensation later if you realize you need it.
WHAT TO KNOW IF YOUR CASE GOES TO TRIAL
Because most cases are settled before the case ever has to be litigated, the vast majority of motorcycle accident victims never see the inside of a courtroom. Although this is the most common outcome, it is not the only one; sometimes, the parties cannot come to a settlement and a lawsuit must be filed against the at-fault party.
If you’ve never been involved in a trial before, setting foot into the courtroom can be an intimidating experience. Knowing what to expect, however, makes the process more comfortable and can ease your nerves.
The Jury Trial from Start to Finish
- Voir dire: motorcycle accident cases are generally heard by a jury, who will then decide the result of the case. These jurors are selected from a pool of potential jurors during a process called “voir dire.” During this time, the attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant both have the opportunity to weed out any biased jurors.
- Opening arguments: this stage of the process kicks off the trial. Both parties’ attorneys will be able to assert—in the form of an opening statement—who they believe caused your motorcycle accident and who the jury should side with and rule for at the end of the case.
- Closing arguments: this stage of the trial is the last shot for each party’s attorney to state his or her position of the case. Each attorney will use their interpretation of the facts of your motorcycle.accident, and will try to persuade the jury that they should decide the case in their client’s favor.
- Jury deliberation: after each attorney has pled his or her case, the jury will be removed from the courtroom and sequestered into a private room where the individual jurors can work together to come to a decision of who was at fault in your case.
- Verdict: once the jury has come to a decision about the outcome of your case, the jurors will return to the courtroom and announce who the jury has allocated fault to in your motorcycle accident.
At The Barber Law Firm, we recognize that every case that we take on has the potential of going to trial, even if the chances are slim. That’s why we prepare every case as if a lawsuit will occur—in the event that your motorcycle accident case does go to trial, we are ready to confidently argue your case.
FINDING LEGAL HELP AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Though many motorcyclists take preventative action, accidents cannot be completely avoided. When you are faced with a motorcycle accident, you should take appropriate measures to ensure your legal rights are protected by contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Why Do I Need an Attorney’s Help?
Insurance representatives know the ins and outs of personal injury claims. These companies can bowl over an injured victim who is not protected by an attorney’s representation. The best way to strengthen your chances of successfully battling an insurance company is to equip yourself with an attorney who is equally experienced and knowledgeable in both personal injury law and the rights that motorcyclists are entitled to after being involved in an accident.
In most cases, an insurance company is more willing to provide a higher settlement to motorcycle accident victims who have an attorney fighting by their side than one who is braving the claims process alone. A higher settlement means more money in your pocket to rebuild your life after your motorcycle accident.
One of the beneficial services that a personal injury lawyer can provide a victim of a motorcycle accident is a shoulder to lean on. By hiring an attorney to take the reins in a motorcycle accident case, the victim of the accident can rest easy knowing that their rights are being protected and their interests are being fought for. By taking the stress out of a personal injury claim, a motorcycle accident lawyer can provide an injured motorcyclist one of the most important services of all–the ability to focus all of his or her energy on recovering to the fullest extent possible after an accident.
When Don’t I Need an Attorney’s Help?
Although the vast majority of motorcycle accident victims can increase their chances of a successful outcome with the help of a personal injury attorney, scenarios do exist in which a motorcycle accident victim would not be benefited much by an attorney’s help.
At The Barber Law Firm, we are committed to helping those who need it, but are also equally committed to being upfront with those who would not benefit from our help. You never have to worry about being lured into being a client for the purpose of providing a paycheck–we pride ourselves on putting our integrity above our income. Because of this, if you stand to gain more from taking on your motorcycle accident without an attorney’s help, we will let you know.
Attorneys Are Not “One Size Fits All”
When you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s critical to do your homework when selecting an attorney to assist you with your personal injury claim. As such, any accident victim’s case should only be handled by an attorney who has extensive experience and proper training in handling personal injury claims. Be smart when choosing an attorney, and stick with one who concentrates on this area of law–just as you wouldn’t go to a stomach doctor for a heart condition, you shouldn’t go to an attorney who specializes in corporate law to handle your personal injury claim.
Even when you’ve found a personal injury attorney that you’re comfortable with, it’s important to make sure that the attorney has handled motorcycle accident cases in the past. Personal injury cases aren’t built with a cookie-cutter mold; all cases are different, and motorcycle accident cases require additional expertise of a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of handling accidents involving motorcycles.
Arm Yourself With The Barber Law Firm’s Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, you don’t have to look any further to find the legal representation you need to secure the financial compensation you deserve. At The Barber Law Firm, Kris Barber and his entire legal team are committed to fully taking on the fight with the insurance company so that you don’t have to. From previous representation of countless motorcycle accident victims, our team has obtained the experience and knowledge that you need if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in:
- Broken bones or torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments,
- Injuries requiring surgery, sutures, staples;
- Traumatic Brain Injury, including those caused by oxygen deprivation;
- Severe burns resulting in significant and permanent scarring;
- Mental anguish and emotional distress;
- Injuries caused by a collision with a driver that was drunk, impaired or otherwise under the influence of narcotics or drugs at the time of the accident; or
- The death of a loved one on a motorcycle.
Contingency Arrangements Eliminate Any Risk
It’s no secret that attorneys charge high fees for the legal work that they perform. As such, many victims of motorcycle accidents refrain from seeking legal representation from a personal injury attorney because they don’t think that they can afford an attorney’s help. If you are in a similar position, there’s no need to worry.
The team of personal injury lawyers at The Barber Law Firm believe that a motorcycle accident victim should never be kept from the compensation that they need and deserve because of an inability to hire an attorney. This is why The Barber Law Firm handles representation of motorcycle accident victims on a pure contingency basis, which means that you bear no costs upfront or along the way. There are no strings attached–you don’t pay a consultation fee, retainer, or any initial costs like filing fees for us to assist you with your case. Our attorneys are only compensated for representing you in your motorcycle accident case if you walk away from your case with money in your pocket. Otherwise, you don’t pay a nickel in costs. In other words, you have nothing to lose by talking to an attorney at The Barber Law Firm about your motorcycle accident.
Don’t Hesitate–We’re Available 24/7
If you are ready to pursue a personal injury claim–or are on the fence about whether to file such a claim–the team of motorcycle accident lawyers at The Barber Law Firm are only a phone call or message away. We’re standing by to protect our clients’ rights and help them get the compensation they deserve for the injuries they never should have suffered.
DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE TO PURSUE YOUR CLAIM
If you’ve been hurt as the driver or passenger of a motorcycle in an accident, the importance of speaking with a motorcycle accident attorney quickly can’t be stressed enough. Thanks to laws called “statutes of limitation,” you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury claim against the person who caused your accident. It’s important to understand that negotiations to settle the case do not slow down or stop this time limit–if your case does not settle within two years of the date of your accident, you must file a lawsuit before the two-year anniversary of your wreck in order to keep pursuing legal remedies for your accident.
In the vast majority of motorcycle accident cases, the victim must file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of the date of his or her accident. While it may sound like you have plenty of time to speak with an attorney before this deadline expires, it’s important to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer sooner rather than later. After the statute of limitations has expired, a motorcycle accident victim’s case will almost always be thrown out by a judge, and the victim will have no legal recourse for the injuries sustained.
INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT? WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you are a motorcyclist who is facing the aftermath of an accident in the Dallas – Fort Worth area of Texas, you should be focusing your time and energy on what’s most important after your accident–healing. Don’t try to handle a personal injury claim by yourself–with The Barber Law Firm on standby, you don’t have to fight your battle alone. Our motorcycle accident lawyers have the experience and legal knowledge needed to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries that you never should have sustained.
To learn more about your legal rights after your accident and learn how to protect these rights, contact the team of motorcycle accident attorneys at The Barber Law Firm as soon as possible. We’re ready and willing to take the weight of a personal injury claim off your shoulders and fight for a fair outcome–to speak with a member of our motorcycle accident team about your crash, call (972) 231-5800 or fill out our online contact form today.