A motorcycle accident can easily be catastrophic for the motorcyclist. A motorcyclist could suffer life-changing injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, severe road rash, and long-term back or spine injuries. Many motorcycle accident victims do not survive their injuries. In 2017, Texas reported 418 motorcyclist deaths in traffic accidents.
Holding someone liable for a motorcycle accident in San Antonio could be the only way a victim or surviving family member achieves justice and closure. It could also lead to financial compensation for significant losses. Identifying the liable party is one of the first steps toward receiving a compensation award in Texas.
A Negligent or Reckless Driver
Drivers are often to blame for San Antonio motorcycle accidents. Negligent, distracted, drunk and reckless drivers cause thousands of traffic accidents in Texas. Drunk drivers contributed to 940 deaths in Texas in 2017 (26% of all traffic fatalities). An additional 398 Texans died in distracted driving crashes. Many negligent or dangerous driving behaviors could cause a devastating motorcycle accident in Texas.
- Drinking and driving
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Failing to keep a proper lookout
- Red-light running
An injured motorcyclist could hold an at-fault driver responsible for damages by calling the police and requesting an official investigation. The police may be able to gather evidence proving the driver’s fault, such as eyewitness reports or video footage of the crash. Then, the victim should call the at-fault driver’s insurance company to file a claim. Texas is a fault insurance state, meaning the driver that caused the wreck will be financially responsible for damages.
The City of San Antonio
If another driver did not cause a motorcycle accident, it could have been the condition of the roadway. Motorcycles are sensitive to even minor roadway defects. Hazards such as uneven surfaces, loose gravel, grass clippings, fallen tree branches and potholes could prove deadly for an unsuspecting motorcyclist. Issues such as defective traffic lights or obscured roadway signs could also cause collisions.
It is the City of San Antonio’s responsibility to reasonably take care of and maintain public roadways. Ignoring driver complaints or failing to inspect roads periodically for hazards could establish a pattern of negligence on the city’s part. If this negligence ultimately causes a motorcycle accident with serious injuries, the victim could hold the city liable for damages. The city could also be responsible for accidents in or near dangerous roadway construction sites.
Bringing a claim against the government in Texas involves the Tort Claims Act. This law permits civilians to file cases against the government if the entity or one of its employees negligently caused the victim’s injuries. Plaintiffs must follow unique rules, however, when bringing claims against the government. Instead of the typical time limit of two years, for example, an injured motorcyclist will only have six months from the date of the accident to file an official notice with the government entity.
A Motorcycle Manufacturer
A motorcyclist’s life depends on the safety and stability of the vehicle’s parts. On a motorcycle, even a minor equipment breakdown could be enough to make the motorcyclist lose control and crash. Vehicle defects or design flaws could be deadly. Brake issues, electrical problems, a halting engine, strong vibrations, structural failures and lack of throttle response are all common motorcycle defects.
A motorcycle or part manufacturer could be liable for accidents involving defective or dangerously designed components. Manufacturers must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their motorcycles. Failure to do so, resulting in collisions, can point to manufacturer liability. A product liability attorney could help an injured motorcyclist seek restitution from a bike manufacturer in San Antonio. Most of these claims involve strict product liability, meaning the plaintiff would not have to prove negligence to receive a compensation award.