Motorcycle enthusiasts love the feeling of freedom that comes with riding. Unfortunately, that same freedom can put a rider’s life in jeopardy when it comes to motorcycle accidents and injuries. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, which calls attention to the dangers associated with motorcycle crashes and collisions, as well as what drivers and riders alike can do to prevent them. Regardless of your vehicle of choice, it is important to be aware of precautions you can take to prevent injuries to yourself as well as others on the road.

Texas Road Safety for Motorcyclists

The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) promotes Motorcycle Awareness Month as a way to encourage riders to practice motorcycle safety, while educating drivers on how to share the road in order to prevent serious and potentially life-threatening motorcycle accidents. According to the AMA, states throughout the country will use this opportunity to raise awareness of safety programs specifically designed to prevent the number accidents and injuries.

In terms of promoting Texas road safety for motorcyclists, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has implemented a program called “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcyclists,” urging motorists to be particularly aware of bikers at intersections and during lane changes, which is when most motorcycle accidents occur. According to TxDOT, more than 450 Texas bikers lost their lives in 2015, and close to 2,000 were seriously injured in these crashes. In order to prevent injuries and fatalities, TxDOT advises drivers to do the following:

  • Look twice for motorcyclists, particularly at intersections and when changing lanes.
  • Always use your turn signals so bikers are aware of when you intend to switch lanes.
  • Allow motorcyclists a full lane for driving.
  • Do not engage in tailgating or follow a motorcyclist too closely.
  • Always assume they are closer than they appear.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Although educating drivers is an important goal of Motorcycle Awareness Month, it is important for riders to protect themselves by being aware of the ways in which they can prevent accidents from occurring. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises all riders to follow the following safety tips:

  • Make yourself visible when riding, and make sure your bike is equipped with the proper head, tail, and brake lights.
  • In addition to using turn indicators, use hand signals to alert drivers to when you will be slowing down to make a turn.
  • Obey state drunk driving laws, and do not ride if you are extremely tired or on any medications that could impair your judgment.
  • Always wear the appropriate gear to help prevent injuries, such as a helmet, sunglasses, long pants, gloves, and appropriate footwear.

Motorcycle injuries can be severe and even deadly. Common injuries include bone fractures, head injuries, and painful road rash. Motorcyclists should avoid slamming on their brakes, changing lanes suddenly, weaving in and out of lanes, or any other activity that could endanger them and others on the road.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Case

If you or someone you care about has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact The Bob Richardson Law Firm today. Our experienced Texas motorcycle accident lawyers can assist you in holding responsible parties accountable so that you can get the compensation you deserve. We serve clients in Austin, Waco, and the surrounding areas. Call or fill out our online form today to schedule a free case consultation.

Accidents can occur at any time in any place. In some cases, an accident occurs when visitors to an establishment simply aren’t paying attention. There are instances where a hazard at the establishment caused the injury. There are steps to take when injuries like slips and falls, as an example, to follow when a work injury occurs.

Attend to the Injured Person

It is important to immediately attend to the injured person. If it is a serious injury, it is best to call 911 for immediate medical assistance. If the injury is not severe, offer to take the injured person to seek a medical evaluation yourself (a member in management or ownership).

Get information in regards to exactly how the accident occurred and make sure to get statements from any witnesses that saw what took place as well. This information is vital to have because it helps piece together what happened and where the danger was.

Complete an Incident Report

An incident report is usually required by every business following an injury. In the incident report, it is important to be as detailed with the information included as possible. Attempt to remember the actual timeline of events, who was there and explain how the injured visitor said the accident occurred. If there is video surveillance footage available, it is a good idea to view that as well.

Video surveillance footage can show if the guest really was injured by a fault or missed safety elements on the business’s end or if it was staged in an attempt to receive a large chunk of money. Any footage of the incident should be given directly to the company retained attorney. It will be reviewed and kept safe for use in future proceedings regarding the incident.

Determine Cause and Fault

Speak with the injured party within two days of the incident. It is important to get any missing details from them to complete the incident report. It also helps the company determine what went wrong and how to prevent it from occurring again.

Once the internal investigation of the matter is complete, the fault and cause should be apparent. If it appears that the guest fell or was injured intentionally from their own behaviors, it is important to document it and provide the necessary proof to the legal entities involved.

If the company is found to be at fault, it is important to work very quickly and politely to resolve the matter peacefully. Attention is likely to be drawn to the company through media outlets, social media or even court documents. It is important to maintain the company’s professional and friendly reputation during the process.

Contact the Company Retained Attorney

The company attorney should be contacted immediately after the incident report is completed. He or she should know what took place and that their services may be required as a personal injury claim may come about. The retained attorney should schedule an appointment with the business owner and any employees involved to gather ample information to support the company during any court proceedings that may take place.

It is best to have any entities representing the injured person contact the company attorney directly. Once it is determined that there will be a claim or request for settlement funds, all communications should be directed to the attorney to be handled in a professional way.

Injuries happen, and a company should always have the proper insurance coverage, funding and professional attitude to handle the situation. Businesses should complete weekly safety inspections and instill strict safety protocols to ensure guest and employee safety. Any breaches in safety policy can result in an injury.

When you talk to friends and family members after a serious accident, your loved ones are likely to be outraged on your behalf – especially if it appears that you’ve been harmed by another person’s negligence. “That’s unfair!” they may say. “You should sue!”

Often, the advice to pursue a personal injury claim is sound. But the process can seem daunting, especially when you are already devoting all your time and energy to healing from a serious injury. The good news is that a qualified accident lawyer can handle the process of pursuing a claim while you focus on putting your life back together.

Here is an overview of the steps involved in bringing a personal injury claim and how your attorney can help:

  1. Investigating the accident and what caused it.

    “What happened?” is one of the top questions every accident survivor has. What caused this injury? Who was responsible? How did I get here?

    When you work with an experienced accident law firm, you can get answers to these questions, backed up with evidence. Your lawyer can work with experts in accident reconstruction and medical professionals who can confirm what happened and how it affected your life. Your lawyers can seek out witnesses and collect their statements, collect copies of accident and other reports, and use this information to help you answer the question “what happened?” If the answer is “you were hurt by someone else’s negligence,” your lawyer can help you establish the truth of that answer in court.

  2. Determining who is responsible.

    In a high-tech, equipment-heavy world, determining who is responsible for a serious injury can be a complex task. Should responsibility lie with the person who was operating the vehicle that hit you, or with the auto manufacturer that failed to eliminate a hidden defect that made the vehicle itself unsafe? Did a mechanic sign off on the safety of that vehicle, when in fact the repairs were not carried out properly? Could the accident have been avoided if the intersection where it happened had had appropriate signs and signals?

    Not only will your lawyer consider each of these questions, they can work with experts and witnesses to establish or rule out the possibilities. They can also determine all insurance coverage that applies to your accident and handle negotiations with insurers to get you the coverage you need and deserve.

  3. Calculating the losses you have suffered.

    After an accident, some losses are obvious. You have medical bills from the emergency treatment you received for your injuries – treatment that may have saved your life. You likely also have bills for follow-up treatments and rehabilitation. If you work outside the home, you’re watching your wages slip away with each passing day you’re away from the job. If your work was to care for your home and family, you and they are losing the value of your services – and facing the costs of hiring others to help you make sure these needs are met. Perhaps worst of all, you’re enduring the pain and suffering, not only of the injury itself, but of watching your life take a drastic and unexpected turn.

    Experienced attorneys know that the losses associated with a serious accident reach far beyond the moment of impact. That’s why they work with financial, medical and other experts to forecast future losses, as well as to total up the losses you’ve already incurred as a result of the accident. With a clear number at hand, your attorneys can fight to secure every penny you need.

At the Bob Richardson Law Firm, our experienced Texas personal injury attorneys have helped clients prepare and pursue many personal injury claims during our decades of practice. We know the process, and we work with experts in multiple fields to build the strongest case we can for each client’s needs, now and in the future.