Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Shipping companies commonly employ drivers to operate the trucks they use to transport packages. People that drive for a living are bound by the same laws and regulations as all other Texas motorists, but they nonetheless often ignore their statutory duties and drive negligently. If a driver for a shipping company causes a collision that injures another party, both the driver and the company may be deemed liable. Whether a corporate representative from the company can be compelled to testify at trial is unclear, however, as demonstrated in In re Zach Brown, No. 20-0992, a case arising out of a motorcycle collision recently upon by the Supreme Court of Texas. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from multiple parties, and you should meet with a Texas motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was operating his motorcycle on a Texas highway when he collided with a truck owned by a commercial shipping company and driven by its employee. The plaintiff sustained serious bodily harm in the crash and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the shipping company and its employee. A week before the trial, the plaintiff served the shipping company commanding the presence of a corporate representative that lived within 150 miles of the county courthouse at trial.

It is reported that the shipping company moved to quash the subpoena, arguing that there was no legal authority that would allow the plaintiff to compel a corporate representative to appear at trial. The court denied the motion, and the defendant petitioned for writ of mandamus. The court granted the petition, after which the plaintiff petitioned for writ of mandamus. Continue Reading

All licensed Texas drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, including police officers. While police officers are not invulnerable to being involved in collisions, they are largely immune from liability. Recently, a Texas court discussed what a police officer must show to demonstrate they are entitled to immunity, in City of San Antonio v. Riojas, No. 20-0293, a case in which the plaintiff sought damages after he sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash involving a police cruiser. If you were hurt while riding a motorcycle, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a seasoned Texas motorcycle accident lawyer regarding your rights.

The Subject Accident

It is alleged that a police officer employed by the defendant city was driving on a Texas highway that had three lanes of traffic traveling in each direction. He was preparing to exit the highway when he noticed traffic slowed down markedly due to a white sedan crossing all three lanes and then making a sharp turn to leave the highway. The officer pulled to the shoulder and activated his patrol lights to warn approaching drivers of the sudden slowdown of traffic.

It is reported that the plaintiff was riding a motorcycle on the highway in the direction of the defendant. The car in front of him slowed down, and he attempted to brake but lost control of his motorcycle and crashed. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing that the officer’s negligent operation of his emergency lights caused the collision. The defendant filed a plea to jurisdiction, averring that the officer was entitled to official immunity. The trial court denied the defendant’s plea, and the appellate court affirmed. The defendant then sought further review. Continue Reading

An east Texas car, truck, or motorcycle accident can happen any time of the night or day and under many different types of weather conditions. However, some kinds of weather tend to make an accident more likely. Snow, ice, rain, sleet, and fog can all interfere with a driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle and interact safely with those in other vehicles. When an accident does occur under such conditions, it is the job of the jury to determine which driver was at fault.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recently decided case (Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas; No. 01-17-00509-CV) was the representative of the estate of a man who died in a motor vehicle accident in late January 2014. The plaintiff’s suit alleged both negligence and gross negligence against the defendants, the driver and owner of the 18-wheeler with which the motorcycle of the plaintiff’s decedent collided. Several witnesses testified, offering conflicting testimony as to who was to blame for the crash. The one thing that everyone agreed upon was that there was a heavy fog on the morning of the accident, limiting visibility. Continue Reading

Most east Texas motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of an individual – a motorist, a truck driver, a motorcyclist, etc. However, some motor vehicle collisions may be caused by other entities, including the government (or government employees).

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to pursue fair compensation when one of the defendants in an personal injury or wrongful death case is the government or a government employee. While it is not necessarily impossible in every case, it certainly does present some additional challenges beyond what would be necessary to prove liability against a more typical defendant.

Facts of the Case

Although east Texas motorcycle accident lawsuits in which a governmental entity is named as the defendant can be difficult to win, there are many situations in which such claims can be successful. Since the government enjoys immunity unless it is expressly waived by statute, a would-be plaintiff’s case must fit squarely within the statutory exceptions in order for him or her to prevail, however.

It should be noted that, even when a plaintiff does win a case against the government, there may be caps on damages. Still, in a one-vehicle accident in which the government’s negligence played a significant part, such a lawsuit may be the plaintiff’s only hope for assistance with medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.

Facts of the Case

In an east Texas motorcycle accident, the burden of proof rests on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the accident. This requires proof of four elements:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. If any of these elements is missing, the plaintiff cannot recover a monetary judgment against the defendant.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case (No. 04-16-00712-CV; Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas), the plaintiffs were the parents of a man who died after he lost control of his motorcycle in December 2013. During the accident, the decedent was thrown off his cycle and hit by three separate vehicles. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendant motorcycle repair shop, alleging that the decedent lost control of the motorcycle because the defendant failed to properly repair the bike when the decedent took it in for repairs a few weeks before the accident.

In an east Texas car accident lawsuit, a jury has three options:  find that the defendant was totally at fault, decide that the plaintiff alone caused the accident, or determine that the parties shared in the blame for the accident.

When both the plaintiff and the defendant are found to have contributed to a crash, the plaintiff can only recover compensation if he or she is less than 50% at fault. In such cases, the plaintiff recovers damages in proportion to the defendant’s fault. Recently, a jury in a truck/motorcycle crash found that the plaintiff had suffered damages of $7 million, but, since the plaintiff himself was 75% at fault in the wreck, he received nothing.

Facts of the Case

Usually, the defendant in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident case is the driver who was allegedly at fault in the crash. However, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, there are other parties – businesses, governmental entities, etc. – whose negligence may have caused or at least contributed to the cause of a particular accident. An example of such a situation was highlighted in a recent appellate court case.

Facts of the Case

As most people know, a common place to have an accident is in or near a construction zone. For this reason, it is wise to slow down and leave plenty of room in front of one’s vehicle when driving in such areas.

Rush hour traffic also can be a frequent occasion for an accident because there are more vehicles than usual on the road, many drivers are distracted, and a disproportionate number of automobiles tend to speed.

Recently, an east Texas court was called upon to determine whether a jury made a mistake with regard to assigning fault in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred near a construction zone in rush hour traffic.

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Under Texas tort law, a person who is hurt due to the negligence of another individual, a business, or a governmental entity has the option of filing a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.

In order to establish a prima facie case of negligence, the plaintiff must provide proof of four distinct elements:  duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

Once this hurdle is met, other issues, including the amount of damages necessary to fully compensate the plaintiff for his or her injuries, must be decided. One of the most common issues that arise in Texas car accident cases is that of proportionate responsibility.

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