What Is Considered a Motorcycle Under Texas Law?
Under Texas Transportation Code, a motorcycle is a motor vehicle, other than a tractor or moped, that is equipped with a rider’s saddle and designed to have, when propelled, not more than three wheels on the ground.
As the state with the third-highest rate of motorcycle accident deaths, Texas can be a dangerous place for riding a motorcycle. Recent statistics report that an average of 7,600 motorcycle accidents occur each year, with more than 80% of these crashes reporting injuries. Of those motorcycle accidents reporting injuries, about 7% of these accidents result in fatalities. It’s important to learn about motorcycle laws in Texas, possible injuries you can sustain in motorcycle accidents, and how Godsey Martin can assist you with your Texas motorcycle accident claim.
What Are the Laws for Operating a Motorcycle in Texas?
According to the Texas Motorcycle Operating Training Manual, operating a motorcycle in Texas requires the following:
- Holding a valid Class M license by taking a motorcycle safety class and passing the written test and driving test.
- Registration of your motorcycle and ensuring your registration sticker is visible.
- Ensuring your motorcycle is current with inspections and that your certificate of completion is visible.
- Ensuring that your motorcycle has valid insurance.
- If you or your passenger are under the age of 21, a helmet is required by law.
- Your motorcycle meets the equipment requirements, including:
- License plate lamp, headlamp, tail lamp, and stop lamp.
- Rear red reflector.
- An exhaust system.
- Wheel assembly and tires.
- Steering and brakes.
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
What Types of Injuries Are Common in Motorcycle Accidents?
Since motorcyclists lack the protection that other vehicles have and typically involve heavier vehicles, high speeds, and other factors, injuries in motorcycle crashes can vary in severity. Common minor injuries include:
- Small cuts, scratches, and bruises.
- Torn muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Sprained and strained wrists and ankles.
- Road rash or road burn.
In high-impact accidents such as those involving speeding, large trucks, and head-on collisions, more severe injuries occur, such as:
- Broken or fractured bones, including a shattered pelvis, broken ribs, and fractured elbows.
- Head and brain injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and skull fractures.
- Neck and shoulder injuries, including whiplash and dislocated shoulders.
- Back and spinal cord injuries, including herniated discs, nerve damage, and paralysis.
What Are the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
From driver and pedestrian conduct to faulty traffic lights, motorcycle accidents occur for several reasons. The most common reasons for motorcycle accidents are:
- Distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated drivers.
- Poor road conditions.
- Unsafe or improper left turns.
- Driving in a vehicle’s blind spot.
- Tailgating and sudden stops.
- Drivers ignoring safety regulations.
How Can You Stay Safe on The Road as a Motorcyclist?
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the following eight tips can help you stay safe and avoid accidents while riding your motorcycle:
- Wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
- Don’t drink alcohol and ride.
- Leave plenty of space between your motorcycle and the vehicles in front of you.
- Avoid the center of the lane where there is debris and oil buildup.
- Always maintain a safe speed.
- Turn on your headlights and ride defensively.
- Always follow the posted speed limits.
Can You Still File a Claim If You Weren’t Wearing a Helmet in an Accident?
Yes; however, your compensation may be reduced for several reasons. If you or your rider were under the age of 21 or you do not have adequate or proper insurance, your recovery may be reduced. If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you may be barred from filing a claim. But if you have the required insurance, you were not at fault for the accident, or the other party was clearly negligent, then you still have the right to file a claim.
When Should You Contact a Dallas Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
To protect your interests and maximize your compensation, you should contact an experienced Dallas motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Due to Texas’ two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents, if you do not file your case within two years of the date the accident occurred, you will be permanently banned from filing a claim.
How Can Godsey Martin, PC Help You After Your Motorcycle Accident?
We understand that the circumstances of each motorcycle accident case are unique and the process of filing a claim is a complicated and overwhelming one. However, our law firm of over 90 knowledgeable and experienced attorneys provides a dedicated, professional, and personalized experience from the first day you enter our offices.
With our extensive knowledge of Texas personal injury law, Godsey Martin, PC will help you with every aspect of your accident case, including:
- Explaining your legal rights and options.
- Filing your claim with the insurance companies and/or the court.
- Obtaining necessary evidence for the case.
- Referring you to qualified medical professionals, including doctors and physical therapists.
- Managing all correspondence with insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Negotiating settlements with insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Getting compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages associated with the accident.
There is no upfront cost. All our personal injury claims and cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. We do not collect a fee unless you get paid. Since 2007, we’ve recovered more than $3,000,000 on behalf of injury victims and their families in Texas.
Contact us online or at 1-800-IGOTHIT (1-800-446-8448) for a free consultation about your truck accident case. We also handle other types of personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents and slip and fall accidents. Contact our Dallas office today!
What Our Clients Say
“Today I spoke with Amanda Collins and she was just wonderful. She was very attentive and understanding. She was patient and kind, she answered all of our questions clearly and respectfully. Thank you so much Amanda! Making a difficult situation seem so easy.”
“Amanda Bell has been great. She’s been very diligent with checking in and keeping me up to date with what’s going on with my case. I never have to worry myself with calling her to get info because she’s on top of it and always informs me promptly.”
“I want to take the time out to have Mr. Garza and Ms. Mendoza recognized for their extensive professionalism and also for their continued dedication to see me through my case! I was being given the run around and they fixed that quickly! Thanks for being a listening ear Mr. Garza and for always leaving a line open for me to reach you with my concerns!”
“I called Godsey Martin right after my daughter and I were hit by a drunk driver on the highway. They were very helpful in getting us set up with the medical care we needed and getting us a fair settlement through the drivers insurance. Priscilla Nowlin was my point of contact and kept me up to date with every step of the process. She responded quickly and was very professional. I am very grateful for her and for the Godsey Martin team!”
“Priscilla Nowlin was a great help and very responsive. The process was painless and my settlement exceeded my expectations. Priscilla was very professional and when I notified her of a death in my family she very understanding, she let me know they would continue to work on my behalf and to just focus on my family. Thank you Godsey Martin for having such a great staff who just don’t see you as a client but a human being which is often lost with some law firms.”
Our Team of Attorneys are Available 24/7
Our legal team, located in Dallas and Houston, understands the steps that need to be taken to help accident victims get their life back on track. We will stand by your side throughout the entire legal process, fighting the insurance companies and the negligent driver responsible in order to provide you the money and justice you deserve. Click or call us today to begin your case.