The freedom of riding a motorcycle across the open, beautiful roads of Texas brings joy to many enthusiasts, but motorcycle crashes can be extremely dangerous. Since motorcyclists have no “cage” of a vehicle frame to protect them, traumatic accidents and injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, including the loss of an arm, leg, hand, foot, fingers, or toes. Survivors of a crash may be able to seek compensation for these life-altering injuries if someone else was at fault for the accident.
Here are the facts about motorcycle amputation injuries, including how they happen, who may be liable after an accident, and how to get legal help if you’ve been hurt in a crash.
Causes of Motorcycle Amputation Injuries
One of the most frequent causes of motorcycle collisions is simply when an oncoming car or truck turns left in front of the motorcycle, leading to a direct impact. This is often referred to as a “SMIDSY” or “Sorry, Man, I Didn’t See You” accident, and according to some sources, may account for over 40 percent of all car-motorcycle collisions.
Sometimes car drivers will attempt to merge or share a lane with a motorcyclist, clipping or even slamming into the bike and causing a crash. Accidents also often happen at intersections, where car drivers rear-end a motorcyclist.
Regardless of exactly how the collision occurred, though, life and limb are at risk any time a motorcyclist anticipates a crash and braces against impact. For instance, the rider may attempt to brace against a fall with an arm or leg outstretched. The forces involved in a car-motorcycle accident are often simply too great to be stopped in this fashion, and this reflexive action can lead to a severe impact injury, irreparably shattering the limb against pavement.
Limbs may also be lost by being pinched or crushed between vehicles, or between the weight of the motorcycle and the ground. Severe cases of road rash—friction burns caused by sliding or dragging along the pavement—have also been known to result in the need for amputation.
Even if the limb is not detached at the time of the accident, doctors may later find it necessary to amputate in the days, weeks, or even months after the crash if the damage is too great or infection sets in.
Liability for Motorcycle Amputations
The loss of a digit (fingers or toes) or a limb in a motorcycle accident may entitle you to receive compensation from the person or parties responsible for the accident. Not only can you receive compensation for any and all of your emergency treatment and hospital bills, but you may also be eligible to receive payment for:
- Future medical care related to the accident.
- Skilled nursing care or other assistance.
- Costs associated with a prosthetic limb, including fitting, care, and future replacements.
- Lost wages from time spent away from work.
- Diminished earning capacity due to an inability to continue in your line of work.
- The pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
- Disfigurement and scarring.
It’s a common misconception that if you share any fault in an accident, you can’t receive anything in court.
When determining liability in an accident case, Texas uses a system called “proportionate responsibility” and follows the “51 percent” rule. This means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for your accident, you can still receive damages in a lawsuit, as long as you are found to be less than 51 percent responsible for the accident. Your compensation will be reduced proportionately to the share of responsibility that you have. For example, if you are awarded a total of $500,000 but the jury found you to be 20 percent responsible for the accident, your award would be reduced by 20 percent, for a total award of $400,000.
Proportionate responsibility is a big part of why it’s so important to contact an attorney with experience handling motorcycle crash claims as soon as you can after a crash. Your attorney will be able to advise you of what your legal options are and how to proceed with your case, so that you can get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been seriously hurt or lost a limb in a motorcycle accident, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We’ve spent decades fighting for the rights of those who have been injured by the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of others, and we’re here to help you, too. To talk about your situation with an experienced legal professional and arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with us today, call us by telephone, email us via our contact form, or click the live chat box on this page right now.