Richardson Uninsured Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving motorcycles can be a frightening experience. Often, these accidents result in severe injuries or fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 4,900 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, many of these motorcyclists were uninsured.
What do you do when you’re in an accident involving an uninsured motorcyclist? In Texas, motorcyclists are required to carry accident liability insurance. However, it’s estimated that 1 in 7 drivers don’t have insurance despite their local laws requiring them to have a policy.
There are many reasons why people don’t carry insurance. Among motorcyclists, there is often a false belief that they don’t need a policy. For some, a motorcycle is a secondary vehicle only used for recreation. Since these individuals already have auto insurance for their car, they may not realize they need an additional insurance plan for their motorcycle.
If you were in a collision with an uninsured motorcyclist, don’t worry. You still have legal rights. Uninsured motorcyclists also have options after an accident. Handling an accident with an uninsured driver can be more complicated, but our Richardson, TX lawyers can help.
Use our online contact form or call (214) 740-4556 to schedule a free consultation. There’s no obligation and no fees to speak to our lawyers. In fact, you won’t pay for our legal services unless we help you win your accident case.
Common Uninsured Motorcycle Accidents
Uninsured motorcycle accidents usually happen as a result of reckless behavior, negligence, mechanical failure, or impaired driving. Factors that contribute to crashes include:
Alcohol and Drugs
In 2018, 39% of motorcycle riders killed in a single-vehicle crash had alcohol in their system. Drinking is often part of motorcycle culture subcultures. Many riders socialize in bars and private clubs that cater to motorcycle enthusiasts. Additionally, many motorcycle riders are younger. These individuals may exhibit poor judgment regarding drinking and driving.
Illegal drug use is also pervasive among motorcyclists. As with alcohol, drugs impair a motorcycle rider’s ability to control their vehicle. Riders may lose their balance and steer into a car or crash into a stationary object.
Some people believe that riding a motorcycle while under the influence is less dangerous than driving a car. However, this is false. Uninsured motorcycle riders driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs cause significant property damage, injuries, and deaths.
When a motorcycle rider drives in the narrow space between two lanes of traffic, it’s called “lane splitting.” Although lane splitting is legal in many states, it’s considered dangerous behavior. Lane splitting saves time but carries a high risk. It causes accidents that can injure or kill the motorcyclist, as well as other drivers in cars.
Unfortunately, when a motorcyclist splits lanes, they often occupy other vehicles’ blind spots. This places their own life at risk and creates a hazard for others. Many lane splitting accidents occur because a car or truck isn’t expecting to see the motorcyclist so close to their vehicle.
When the driver does see the motorcycle, it may be too late to avoid an accident. The driver may also crash into other vehicles in their attempt to course-correct and swerve around the motorcycle rider.
Uninsured motorcycle riders are often caught racing. Street racing is illegal in most states, including Texas, due to its accident risk. There is no excuse for this negligent, reckless behavior. When street racing, a motorcyclist can easily lose control of their vehicle. They may also cause an accident because they’re rapidly weaving in and out of moving traffic.
Often, motorcyclists who engage in street racing fail to purchase insurance. These riders tend to be younger and irresponsible in other ways. They may drink and use illegal drugs. If you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured motorcycle rider who was racing, they may be liable for your damages.
Mechanical problems can also contribute to motorcycle accidents. As with any vehicle, motorcycles need to be inspected for safety and carefully maintained. If the rider falls behind on repairs, they may experience issues that cause an accident. For example, their steering may “lock” or their brakes may fail.
Unfortunately, an uninsured motorcycle rider isn’t likely to be very responsible about mechanical maintenance. When a motorcycle accident occurs as a result of mechanical problems, the rider may be caught without any insurance protections.
Hazardous Road Conditions
Finally, hazardous road conditions are a factor in many uninsured motorcycle rider accidents. Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are very sensitive to road conditions. Potholes, worn roads, loose gravel, or uneven surfaces can send a motorcycle rider flying off their bike.
Bad weather also increases accident risk. Many motorcycle riders don’t drive in heavy rain, snow, or fog. Motorcycles are already harder to see. Bad weather reduces visibility even further.
Unfortunately, some riders don’t heed these cautions. When an uninsured motorcycle rider goes for a ride in bad weather, they are likely to be involved in a collision.
Uninsured Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents. For a driver in a car, these injuries range in their severity. Depending on the crash, injuries may be mild or require hospitalization.
Unfortunately, there isn’t such a wide range for motorcycle riders. Minor injuries are rare for motorcyclists. If they get injured, it’s usually very serious. Often, motorcycle injuries lead to amputations, full or partial paralysis, coma, and death.
Uninsured motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Head, neck, and spinal cord injuries
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Psychological trauma, including PTSD
Motorcycle Insurance Is Required in Texas
Motorcycle insurance in Texas is legally required. Riders must carry a policy with a minimum coverage of $60,000 for injury and $25,000 for property damages.
However, some riders neglect to acquire insurance. They may not realize they need it. In other cases, they purchase a new motorcycle and begin riding while they’re still shopping for a policy. Others simply refuse to buy insurance for personal reasons.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorcycle rider, our Richardson lawyers can help. Call (214) 740-4556 for your free consultation.