Brian White | May 5, 2023 | Motorcycle Accidents
A total of 562 motorcyclists died, and 2,422 people were injured in motorcycle accidents in Texas in 2022, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Some of these injuries and fatalities were the motorcyclists, while others were passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that motorcyclists are about 24 times more likely to be involved in an accident than occupants in passenger vehicles.
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may wonder about your rights as a passenger. This blog post will fill you in on some of the important details you need to know.
Texas Laws for Motorcycles With Passengers
There are a few laws regarding motorcycles in Texas that may apply to your case. First, the rider must have a valid class M license to legally operate a motorcycle in Texas. This requires the motorcyclist to take a motorcycle safety class and pass a written and driving test.
No passenger under 5 is legally allowed to ride as a motorcycle passenger. Any passenger under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. The motorcycle must have a permanent passenger seat.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcycles do not have a steel frame or other safety features to protect passengers, motorcycle accident victims often suffer serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Biker’s arm
- Fractured bones
- Soft tissue injuries
These injuries can be expensive to treat. Many motorcycle accident victims suffer permanent injuries that prevent them from returning to work or have life-altering consequences. A motorcycle passenger may choose to file a claim against the at-fault party to pursue compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Motorcycle Passenger Rights in a Multi-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle passengers have the same right to file a claim against the at-fault party in a motorcycle accident just as they would in any other type of motor vehicle accident. There may be different parties who may be responsible for your injuries, including:
- The driver of the passenger vehicle – Many motorcycle accidents occur because the driver of the passenger vehicle may not see the motorcycle and may collide with them when changing lanes or turning.
- The motorcyclist – The motorcyclist that was operating the motorcycle you were on may be responsible for the accident if they were speeding, lane splitting, or otherwise operating the bike in an irresponsible manner.
- A product manufacturer – Some motorcycle accidents occur because a part is defective.
Texas law allows you to pursue compensation from any of the above parties and potentially others depending on the facts of the case.
Motorcycle Passenger Rights in a Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident
You may still have the right to file a motorcycle accident claim even if there was not another vehicle involved. If the motorcyclist collided with a fixed object or simply wiped out, you may still have the right to pursue compensation for the harm you suffered. In these cases, the same parties mentioned above could also be liable.
Here, too, the facts and circumstances of your case will dictate your legal options. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate the accident and determine who may be responsible for your injuries.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you were a passenger involved in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you can take to protect your health and legal claim, including:
- Call 911 and request an ambulance if anyone was injured
- Report the accident to police
- Seek medical attention promptly
- Take pictures or video of the accident scene
- Get the information from any other drivers involved
- Ask witnesses for their contact information
A lawyer can help file an insurance claim on your behalf and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Most motorcycle lawyers in Texas offer free consultations as well; you can reach out to receive legal advice and help at no cost to you.
Contact the Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston motorcycle accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054