In Texas, motorcycles have become a highly popular alternative to regular passenger vehicles. From fuel efficiency to navigating through heavy traffic, there are many benefits beyond just the thrill of the ride. However, despite its advantages, data suggests that motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of suffering a severe or fatal injury in an accident than a car passenger. That risk only escalates when alcohol is involved.
If you or a family member have been involved in a drunk driving accident involving a motorcycle, it’s crucial that you contact a lawyer who will fight for your rights. From motorcycle DUI accident statistics to information surrounding liability and potential recoverable compensation, we’ve broken down everything you need to know.
When a Texas driver is operating a motor vehicle, they’re bound to what’s called a “duty of care,” which means a legal obligation to avoid any behavior that could reasonably cause harm to others. In this case, if driver negligence based on alcohol consumption is the root cause of an accident, the at-fault party has breached their duty of care. The drunk motorcyclist will more than likely carry most or all of the liability following the crash.
It’s also crucial to consider that the at-fault party doesn’t need to be convicted of a crime for you to have a legitimate claim, as the burden of proof is higher in a criminal proceeding than in a civil proceeding. This ultimately means that, though you may be given amends if the at-fault driver is convicted, you may still be able to secure additional compensation if the drunk driver isn’t found guilty.
Fortunately, a knowledgeable Houston DUI motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help ensure that the drunk motorcyclist is held responsible for the accident so you can recover any costs associated with medical expenses, property damage, and psychological or emotional distress.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be granted both economic and non-economic damages depending on the circumstances of your injury. Economic damages cover all physical and material reparations, including medical bills, prescriptions, physical therapy, property damage, transportation costs, and lost earnings. Non-economic damages are harder to determine but include all costs related to intangible losses, such as emotional trauma, PTSD, and psychological pain.
A professional attorney—with the help of medical, psychological, and economic professionals—will be able to help determine the amount of money you’re owed by the at-fault party.
Depending on the accident and subsequent injuries, you may be able to collect on one or more of the following damages:
- Any necessary medical treatment—present or future
- Financial coverage for lost wages or employment
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial costs
If the other driver is convicted of DUI, you may also be awarded punitive damages that are intended to punish that driver’s reckless behavior and also to deter others from driving under the influence.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that there were over 89,000 injuries and more than 5,000 fatalities stemming from motorcycle crashes in 2017 alone, a disproportionately high number compared to crashes that involve other types of vehicles. Motorcycles comprise just 3 percent of all vehicles on the road—with about 9 million registered motorcycles in the United States—yet they account for a whopping 14 percent of traffic fatalities and injuries. Here are a few reasons why motorcyclists get into accidents at such a high clip.
- Cars making left-hand turns
- Unsafe lane switches
- Car doors
- Turning too fast
If you’ve been injured and think another party is responsible—especially if you believe that driver was under the influence—reach out to a seasoned DUI motorcycle injury attorney who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered significant injuries in a motorcycle accident due to a negligent drunk driver, it’s important that you get in touch with an expert DUI motorcycle accident lawyer. Since 2008, the Houston personal injury attorneys at Sutliff & Stout have helped countless accident victims in Houston secure millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries and losses.
We understand that recovering from a personal injury of this nature can be a challenging and emotional experience. Board-Certified personal injury attorneys Hank Stout and Graham Sutliff strive to provide you with the exceptional legal services, compassionate care, and personalized attention you deserve. To connect with a dedicated car accident attorney and receive a free consultation, call (713) 987-7111 or complete our online contact form.