Motorcycle enthusiasts love the feeling of freedom that comes with riding on the open road. Many bikers fondly comment on how fun and interesting their commutes are, or how their motorcycles do not pollute the air as much as cars and trucks do. Like all other motorists using public roadways, however, there are specific laws that motorcyclists must follow.
Helmet laws are a controversial topic among motorcyclists. Proponents of helmet laws argue that requiring helmets keeps motorcyclists safer. Those opposed to helmet laws argue that wearing a helmet should be a personal choice.
In Texas, those under 21 years of age must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle.
Those over 21 years of age are not free to simply go without a helmet, however. To ride without a helmet in Texas, these individuals must show that they have taken a motorcycle safety course or that they carry health insurance that would cover their injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident.
There are many motorcycle safety courses available throughout the state of Texas. These safety courses are broken into three categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The beginner class is required for those seeking a Class M license, which is the license that motorcyclists must have.
Class M Licenses
As stated, those who wish to ride a motorcycle in Texas must have a Class M license.
To obtain a license, riders must present the certificate of completion from a motorcycle safety course to a driver license office. This requirement is waived if the individual already has a motorcycle license from another state. Minors are subject to additional requirements.
Motorcyclists must also meet the requirements of regular driver’s licenses.
All motorcycles in Texas are required to have the following:
- Motorcycle, serial, or vehicle identification
- One head lamp
- One tail lamp
- One stop lamp
- Steering mechanism
- Wheel assembly
- Exhaust system
- License plate lamp
- Rear red reflector
Those riding a motorcycle without one of the above pieces of equipment may be ticketed.
When compared with cars, trucks, buses, and other motor vehicles, motorcycles take up much less space on the road. Therefore, some motorcyclists ride side by side in one lane. Others may ride between two lanes of traffic. However, such practices, known as lane splitting, are illegal in Texas.
What Happens if I Am Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with an experienced Texas motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation.
Accident victims may be entitled to compensation if they are able to prove that another driver was negligent and that this negligence directly caused the victims’ damages.
Examples of negligence include texting while driving, speeding, drunk driving, and other dangerous behaviors.
There are many different types of damages that are available in a Texas motorcycle accident claim. These may include:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
- In the case of serious injuries, the cost of hiring in-home health aides may be claimed
- The cost of equipment necessary to accommodate an injury, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, and even the installation of wheelchair ramps in the home
Other types of damages may also be claimed, depending on the nature of the accident. Experienced Texas personal injury attorneys work hard to ensure that all possible damages are identified and listed in an accident claim.
Without the help of an attorney, many accident victims are unaware of damages that they are entitled to. Because motorcycle accidents often result in devastating injuries, having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to obtaining a favorable outcome.
If You Have Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident, Call Patterson Law Group Today
The Fort Worth, Texas personal injury attorneys at Patterson Law Group are experienced in all types of personal injury claims, including motorcycle accident cases. We offer a free consultation so that you may learn about your legal options. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact us today.