In 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) documented 521 fatalities involving motorcyclists, operators, and passengers. According to the DOT, 45 percent of those killed wore no helmet at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, deadly motorcycle crashes continue to happen. For instance, KSAT reported a fatal collision at Southcross Boulevard, San Antonio, Texas. Police stated that a Honda Accord failed to stop at a red light, causing the Suzuki motorcycle rider to collide with the car. The motorist died from serious injuries, and the Honda driver fled the scene.
San Antonio Express-News also reported a high-speed crash, resulting in injuries to the Yamaha and Suzuki riders. According to witnesses, both were driving at high speed. As a result, the Yamaha rider lost control of their motorcycle and slammed into the Suzuki motorcyclist.
Contact a personal injury lawyer if you were involved in a motorcycle crash in San Antonio. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you secure financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress.
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Common Causes of San Antonio Motorcycle Accidents
Most motorcycle accidents in Texas are preventable. The most common causes include traffic rule violations, distracted driving, driving under the influence (DUI), and poor road conditions.
Violations of traffic rules
Motorcycle collisions usually happen due to failure to follow traffic rules. For example, in San Antonio, the established speed limit is 30 mph on residential streets and 15 mph on urban alleys. In some zones, drivers must follow the posted limit, such as 35 mph to 45 mph. A motorist who drives beyond the speed limit is more prone to high-impact collisions.
Moreover, Section 545.062 of the Texas Transportation Code (Code) requires motorcyclists to maintain a safe following distance. Operators must consider the speed of surrounding vehicles, traffic, and highway conditions to stop and prevent auto accidents safely. Hence, if motorcycle riders follow too closely, they can get into a rear-end accident.
Aggressive driving can also lead to motorcycle wrecks. It can include unsafe lane changes, improper passing, and failure to yield. Under Section 545.401 of the Code, drivers must also avoid reckless driving. It happens if a driver operates a vehicle with wilful disregard for others’ safety.
A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office police report stated that reckless driving was why a driver hit a 58-year-old motorcyclist. The victim died due to the collision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on three kinds of driving distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Inattentive driving involves:
- Taking your eyes off the road
- Holding something other than the steering wheel, and
- Thinking of other things while driving.
The city of San Antonio passed an ordinance forbidding using smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices while driving a vehicle. Drivers may not use such devices even at a stop sign. A driver violating this traffic rule will pay a fine of up to $200. San Antonio strictly implements this ordinance because distracted driving causes about one in five crashes on Texas roads.
Driving under the influence
DUI involves operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances. Some controlled substances include opiates, depressants, narcotics, and stimulants. Texas law defines legal intoxication as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent.
According to the 2021 DOT crash facts, more than 1,000 people died in motorcycle wrecks due to impaired driving. Also, more DUI-related crashes happened between 2:00 am and 2:59 am, and most collisions occurred on Sundays.
NBC reported that a suspected drunk driver crashed into a motorist on Hansford Street. The 66-year-old motorcyclist was westbound when a Nissan driver, who appeared to be intoxicated, was eastbound. The Nissan crossed the westbound lane, hitting and causing severe injuries to the motorcyclist.
Dangerous road conditions
Motorcycle accidents may also happen due to poor road conditions. These include rough roads, potholes, wet surfaces, standing water, snow, ice, and debris. For instance, the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) believes wet roads caused a motorcycle accident on Interstate 10 in Texas. The motorcyclist went over a guard rail and fell about four feet.
Common Injuries Due to Motorcycle Crashes in San Antonio
Road rash refers to abrasions caused by when a motorcyclist’s body makes contact with the road following an accident. Most road rashes heal within two weeks, but severe wounds might need skin grafting surgery. You must also be aware of the signs of infections, including foul-smelling pus, muscle aches, nausea, and increased swelling.
Victims of motorcycle collisions can also suffer from broken bones. According to Cleveland Clinic, the signs of fractures include pain, tenderness, inability to move certain body parts, bruising, and deformity. Your doctor may place a cast or perform surgery.
Accident injuries may also involve burns from mechanical failure and spilled gas. It can range from first- to third-degree burns. People with first-degree burns usually feel redness and pain, while those with second-degree burns may notice blisters and scars. In the case of third-degree burns, victims may suffer from nerve damage.
Some victims also experience spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Spinal cord injuries can lead to incomplete or total paralysis. Treatment for these serious injuries may include emergency surgery, corticosteroid injections, or physical therapy.
In the case of TBIs, patients may go through cognitive, sensory, and communication deficits. Immediate families also notice behavioral changes, such as irritability and anxiety. Individuals with TBIs usually undergo surgery and rehabilitation.
In San Antonio, police reported that a 32-year-old riding a Yamaha motorcycle was admitted to University Hospital due to life-threatening injuries. The SAPD said the motorcyclist rear-ended a Toyota Camry, causing the driver to lose control of their bike.
Wrongful Death Due to Motorcycle Accidents in San Antonio
Aside from serious injuries, motorcycle wrecks can lead to deaths. In 2020, the Texas DOT documented a 17 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities compared to the previous year. Twelve percent of all traffic-related deaths in Texas involve motorcyclists. The department also found that a motorist is killed in a Texas collision almost daily.
For instance, the suspected drunken driver of a Ford Ranger pickup hit a motorcycle passenger. After crashing into the motorcycle, the pickup dragged the machine 50 yards before stopping. The motorcycle passenger, a 46-year-old woman, died at the scene. The authorities charged the driver with intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
Another fatal road crash involved a driver who made an illegal U-turn. As a result, the motorcyclist died, while the motorist sustained critical injuries. To prevent these motorcycle accident cases, the Texas DOT provided the following safety tips:
- Be careful when making a left turn or driving at intersections.
- Drive with your full attention on the road.
- Double-check your mirrors and blind spots, and use turn signals before changing lanes.
- Avoid crowding the motorcyclists’ and bikers’ lanes.
Recoverable Damages in San Antonio Motorcycle Accidents
Victims of motorcycle crashes can ask for compensation to cover medical bills. For example, a motorcyclist who sustains serious injuries may need surgery, prescription medicines, and physical therapy. They can ask the negligent party to reimburse these costs.
If you cannot work due to your injuries, the negligent party may also need to pay you for lost income. The idea is to reimburse you for time off work due to your accident-related injuries. Lost income awards would include bonuses or commissions.
You may also sue for lost earning capacity, which is different from lost income. It refers to the future earnings you cannot receive due to your injuries in a motorcycle collision.
For example, suppose you are a construction worker, and your injuries led to permanent disability. In that case, you are no longer able to do construction work. Your personal injury attorney must prove factual circumstances, such as promotion opportunities, standard raises, and education.
Buildings and vehicles can also sustain damage in motorcycle and auto accidents. In those cases, you can demand payment for property damage if your motorcycle accident claim does not cover all repair costs.
In a wrongful death case, the immediate family may receive compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses, and lost earning capacity. They may also demand loss of consortium claims, referring to the deprivation of companionship and other benefits of a person in a relationship.
Since accident victims also experience emotional distress from the incident, they may receive compensation for pain and suffering. It involves pain, discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional trauma. For example, a person who enjoyed sports before the accident cannot enjoy that particular game anymore due to paralysis.
Actions To Take After a Motorcycle Accident in San Antonio, Texas
After a motorcycle wreck, you should call 911 to report the incident and receive emergency medical attention. Moreover, Section 550.021 of the Code requires all involved parties to stay at the accident scene. Fleeing the scene constitutes a hit-and-run offense. This carries a penalty of imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both.
Some people tend to disregard seemingly minor injuries. However, you may have sustained hidden injuries, such as whiplash, TBIs, internal organ damage, and back problems. Only medical professionals can diagnose these health issues correctly, so let them examine your injuries.
Take photos and videos showing debris and skid marks. It would help if you also documented road and weather conditions. Moreover, it would be best to request CCTV footage from nearby buildings. They can help strengthen your case.
Next, exchange the following information with other drivers:
- Phone numbers
- Home and email addresses
- Vehicle identification numbers
- License plate numbers
- Driver’s license information
- Insurance information
Remember to be careful of what you say because other parties can use it against you. For example, if you apologize for not being careful, other drivers may interpret it as a sign of negligence.
You must contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to inform you of your rights and prevent you from saying incriminating statements.
Role of a San Antonio Motorcycle Accident Attorney
A personal injury attorney provides legal advice, including recommendations on the best strategy and explaining relevant laws. It may also involve drafting motions and other legal documents.
Moreover, they can investigate the motorcycle crash. For instance, lawyers can interview witnesses, gather medical documents, and request police reports. They can also help you get CCTV footage, which some people might not give to ordinary individuals.
A personal injury lawyer negotiates with your insurance company, helping you get a fair settlement offer. Insurance companies are businesses, so they want to limit your personal injury claim. Your attorney will talk with adjusters to prove reasonable medical expenses and repair costs to secure maximum compensation.
A critical function of a motorcycle accident lawyer is representing you in court. Since they know personal injury law and court processes, they can file court documents, examine witnesses, and deliver arguments in court. Hence, it would be best if you had a motorcycle accident attorney to handle your personal injury case.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in San Antonio, Texas
Traffic rule violations, distracted driving, DUI, and dangerous road conditions increase the risk of motorcycle crashes. Unfortunately, accident victims can suffer from injuries like road rash, broken bones, first- to third-degree burns, TBIs, and spinal cord problems.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, an attorney could help you get compensation. They can help you calculate reasonable damages to cover all your past and future expenses. These include medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, property damage, and funeral costs. The law also allows payment for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
You need a motorcycle accident lawyer to negotiate with your insurance company fairly and present your case in court. Without an attorney, your insurer may limit your claim.
Visit The Personal Injury Center to learn your rights after a motorcycle crash. We provide reliable and accurate legal information and connect you to experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyers. Book a free consultation today!
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyer San Antonio
What percentage do most injury lawyers take?
Usually, injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, taking about 33 percent of the total settlement amount in a case. Working on contingency means the lawyer will only receive legal fees when they win a case or negotiate a settlement. This fee structure aims to minimize the financial risk of personal injury victims when hiring an attorney.
What is the statute of limitations for San Antonio personal injury cases?
Section 16.003 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code states that the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years. Accident victims must generally file a lawsuit within the prescribed time frame.
What should you consider when choosing a personal injury lawyer?
You should consider an attorney’s experience, rates, location, track record, specialization, and reputation. Moreover, choose a personal injury lawyer who empathizes with your situation and shows a positive attitude.