How Texas Motorcycle Laws Affect Your Personal Injury Claim
Being involved in a traffic collision can be a terrifying experience, but when these crashes involve motorcycles, the results can be even more devastating. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2021 there were over 500 riders who lost their lives as the result of a motorcycle accident, and over 2,300 more were seriously injured. When this happens, it’s vital that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you and your family get the compensation you deserve.
If you’d like to know more about motorcycle laws in Texas and how they may affect your personal injury claim, contact my firm, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law. I enjoy providing compassionate representation for my clients seeking deserved compensation. I have offices in Houston, Texas, Webster, South Houston, and Pasadena but can also serve clients in Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, Alvin, Dickinson, Bacliff, Kemah, Seabrook, and Santa Fe.
Texas Motorcycle Laws for the Rider
There are various vehicle laws pertaining to motorcycles that all riders should be aware of before they set out on the road. These laws keep everyone on the road safe, and it’s essential that they’re followed. For example, all riders, including passengers, must wear helmets that meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. However, if the rider is over the age of 21 and has adequate medical insurance or has completed a state-approved Motorcycle Operator Training Course, they are exempt from these helmet laws.
Another important issue to be aware of pertains to lane splitting, which is illegal in Texas. Even though riders frequently split lanes (ride between lanes of cars during stop-and-go traffic), it is still against the law. There is also a list of required equipment for motorcycles that Texas demands of all riders, including having tail and stop lamps, reflectors, a license plate, horn, brakes, steering, and mirrors.
Texas Vehicle Law Pertaining to Motorcycles
In addition to the rules motorcyclists must follow, there are also specific road rules that passenger vehicles have to follow too in order to keep motorcycle riders safe. Motorcycles have the same rights on the road as cars, and are allowed to drive in their own lane. Cars must give the right of way to motorcycles just as they would another car, and they may not encroach on their space and must not follow behind them too closely. Drivers of passenger cars should also take extra precautions to check for motorcyclists since they can be harder to spot on the roads.
Comparative Fault in Texas
If you do end up getting injured in an accident, your first step should be to contact a motorcycle accident attorney who can help you through this process. When filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, one of the most important concepts to understand is that of comparative fault. Per Texas law, this means that the fault can be shared between two parties after an accident. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the crash, your final settlement amount would be reduced by 20% to account for your share of responsibility.
In addition, if you’re found to be over 50% at fault, you’re barred from seeking any compensation from the other driver. Because of this, you should always consult with your attorney before filing any claim so they can thoroughly examine the evidence to ensure you have legal standing.
Fighting to Protect Your Rights
If you’re in the Houston, Texas, Webster, South Houston, or Pasadena area and would like to speak with an experienced attorney about a recent motorcycle accident, contact my firm, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, today for legal assistance. I have the knowledge, resources, and comprehensive skills to direct you in pursuing compensation during these challenging times.