Will my attorney win my Houston motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Whether you win your Houston motorcycle accident case depends on a number of factors:
Did you hire an experienced personal injury attorney?
Not every attorney is created equal. Some have a great deal of experience in handling motorcycle accident cases. Some have little or no experience. Some are comfortable taking a case to trial if the insurance company does not offer much money. Others don’t have trial experience and may recommend that you accept a low-ball offer to avoid trial. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) has made it easy for you to hire an experienced personal injury trial attorney. It has certified a limited number of attorneys in Texas as being board-certified specialists. For example, Houston attorney Richard LaGarde is certified by the TBLS in both personal injury and civil trial law. Less than one percent of Texas attorneys have the double board certification that Mr. LaGarde has been awarded.
Did you wait too long to hire an attorney?
Motorcycle accident cases often require an accident reconstruction to prove who was at fault. Evidence needed to reconstruct the accident disappears with time and eyewitness recollections may become blurred. If you wait too long to hire an attorney, that attorney may not be able to collect the evidence and eyewitness statements you need to win your case. Also, if you and your attorney wait too long to file suit, the Texas “statute of limitations” may prevent you from bringing a lawsuit. The bottom line is you should hire an attorney who is an experienced personal injury specialist as soon as possible after your Houston motorcycle accident.
Does your lawyer have strong evidence to support your liability claim against the other driver?
In general, to win a motorcycle accident case in Houston, your attorney will need to prove the following:
- The other motorist was negligent; and,
- His or her negligence was a proximate cause of your injuries; and,
- You suffered damages.
In Texas, “negligence” is defined as the failure to use ordinary care. “Ordinary care” is defined as that degree of care that would be used by a person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances. “Proximate cause” means a cause that was a substantial factor in bringing about your injury, and without which cause your injury would not have occurred.
Will the jury likely find that you are partly at fault for the accident?
Whether you like it or not, a jury might find that you were partly to blame for the accident. If so, your “comparative negligence” may reduce the amount of damages you can recover. In some cases, your own negligence may prevent you from recovering anything at all. Insurance companies know the law and will place a lower value on your case if their lawyer thinks he or she can prove you were completely or partly to blame. Therefore, it is extremely important to hire an attorney who knows from experience what it takes to argue the best case for you.
Does your lawyer have evidence to support a finding of damages in your motorcycle accident case?
Texas law permits you to recover the following general damages in a Houston motorcycle injury case:
- Physical pain sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future;
- Mental anguish sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future;
- Disfigurement sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future;
- Physical impairment sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future;
- Medical care expenses incurred in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be incurred in the future;
- Loss of earning capacity sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future;
- Loss of services sustained in the past and that, in reasonable probability, will be sustained in the future; and,
- Your spouse may also have a claim for loss of your consortium.
What is my Houston motorcycle accident lawsuit worth?
Every case is unique and every case has a unique value. There are many factors that go into deciding what a Houston motorcycle accident case is worth. For a description of how we place a value on motorcycle accident lawsuits at LaGarde Law Firm, read the What is My Houston Personal Injury Lawsuit Worth? page on our website.
Can my lawyer recover exemplary or punitive damages for my Houston motorcycle accident injuries?
“Exemplary damages” are damages awarded by the jury or the court as a penalty or as a punishment. Some negligence is so serious that we want to punish it with extra damages to serve as a warning to the defendant and to other drivers. Houston courts permit the recovery of exemplary damages if there is clear and convincing evidence that “gross negligence” caused your injuries. “Gross negligence” is defined in Texas as an act or omission:
- Which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the defendant at the time of the occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, considering the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and,
- Of which the defendant has actual subjective awareness of the risk involved but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit for a Houston motorcycle accident?
If your loved one was killed in a Houston motorcycle accident, be aware that wrongful death lawsuits in Texas have special rules as to who is entitled to sue and what damages can be recovered. To learn how those rules might apply to your Houston wrongful death motorcycle accident case, read our Wrongful Death page.
Houston motorcycle accident statistics.
At least one motorcyclist dies every day on Texas roads. According to NHTSA, motorcyclists are killed 27 times more frequently than drivers in other types of vehicles. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that 501 riders lost their lives and 2,101 riders were seriously injured in motorcycle crashes in Texas in 2017. While TXDOT does not provide separate motorcycle accident statistics for cities like Houston, the large number of motorcyclists in our city suggests that motorcycle crashes are a serious problem in Houston.
Causes of motorcycle accidents in Houston.
About half of motorcycle crashes result from a car or a truck colliding with the motorcycle. Why are so many cars and trucks crashing into motorcycles? Part of the problem is the small size of motorcycles compared to other vehicles on the road. Drivers either don’t see the motorcycles or misjudge how close they are or how fast they are traveling. Far too many motorcyclists in Houston have been killed or seriously injured by inattentive drivers or by drivers who simply failed to exercise reasonable care.
What type of lawyer do I need for a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Houston?
Choosing the right lawyer for your motorcycle accident case may be the most important decision you will ever make. Not every lawyer is created equal. Some have more trial experience than others. Some have no trial experience. The majority of motorcycle accident cases settle prior to trial. However, the size of your settlement may be lower if the insurance company knows that your attorney has very little trial experience. If you have a serious injury, you want to get treated by a doctor who is a specialist. If you have a serious motorcycle accident lawsuit, you want to be represented by a trial specialist. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) certifies certain lawyers as being trial specialists. Houston motorcycle accident attorney Richard LaGarde is board certified by the TBLS in both personal injury and civil trial law. This double board certification has been awarded to less than one-half of one percent of Texas lawyers. If you think Mr. LaGarde is the right lawyer for your motorcycle accident lawsuit, call him today at (713) 993-0660 or toll free at 1-866-LAGARDE (1-866-524-2733). If you prefer, you can send him a message on our Contact Us page.