Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Crashes
Our law firm will guide you down the open road ahead
If you've been hurt in a motorcycle wreck, your head may be spinning with questions. How long will it take to recover? What will you do while you're out of work? Who will take care of your loved ones? What should you do about the insurance?
That's why you need an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Chad Jones Law, P.C. has been helping injured riders for over a decade, and we're happy to share our experience with you.
- What should I do right after a crash?
- If I was forced off the road, do I have a case?
- What if the insurance company claims I was responsible?
- How can I get my medical bills paid?
- What if I wasn't wearing a helmet?
- Should I accept an offer from the insurance company?
These questions and answers are intended to serve as a general guide to motorcycle wreck claims. However, every case is different, and we'd be more than happy to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your individual case. Call 1-800-64-JONES. If you can't come to our office in College Station or Waco, we can come to your home, office, school or hospital room, or wherever else is convenient for you.
First, make sure the scene is safe. You may need to move your bike in order to avoid blocking traffic. Call emergency services and assist if you are trained and physically able to do so. Make sure you get the name and badge number of the police officer investigating the wreck as well as contact information for any other operators involved.
Even if you feel fine, you need to see a doctor right away. It's very common for motorcyclists to sustain internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries that may have delayed onset symptoms. The sooner you're checked out by a doctor, the better your health will be and the sooner you can get back on the road. Moreover, this allows you to document your injury, which will be important if you later need to make an insurance claim.
Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case. Remember, most motorcycle wrecks are caused by someone other than the motorcyclist - but to recover compensation, you need to prove it. We have extensive experience helping motorcycle riders get the compensation they need to pay their medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
Just because your crash didn't involve contact doesn't mean you can't hold the other driver responsible. If your case was a hit-and-run, your legal options depend on whether the police can find the driver that forced you off the road. If they can, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If not, you should be able to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. In either case, we can help you deal with the insurance while you focus on getting better.
This is a common argument. Insurance companies may claim that you drove recklessly or that you "assumed the risk" of injury by getting on a motorcycle. But the reality is that nearly two thirds of motorcycle crashes are caused by motorists, not motorcycle riders. You need an attorney from our firm on your side to investigate the crash and prove that the driver who hit you was at fault.
How can I get my medical bills paid?
Ultimately, the driver responsible for the crash should be responsible for paying your medical bills as well. However, their insurance company typically won't pay your bills until after you have completed your medical treatment, and your doctors will obviously want you to pay as you go. You may have coverage through your auto insurance or your regular health insurance, but many insurers refuse to cover injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
If you don't have insurance to pay your medical bills, we can work with your healthcare providers to get your bills paid through an attorney's lien. This is an agreement with your attorney to provide care on a "treat now, pay later" basis - they will be paid once we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Under Texas law, most motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets, with some exemptions. However, even if you were supposed to be wearing a helmet and did not, you may still be able to recover. For instance, if you sustained injuries to your legs or back during the crash, the fact that you weren't wearing a helmet is not especially relevant.
Texas uses the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, which states that an injured person who is partially responsible for their injuries can still recover damages proportional to someone else's degree of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 30 percent responsible for your injury due to your failure to wear a helmet, but the motorist to hit you is found 70 percent responsible, you can still recover damages equal to 70 percent of your costs.
Not before you talk to us. Once you've taken an insurance company's money, you cannot go back and ask for more if it turns out that the wreck cost more than you originally thought. That's why you need to speak with an experienced attorney before accepting the offer to make sure that it really does cover all of your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. An insurance company's offer is usually a "low-ball" amount, and working with an attorney can get you significantly more.