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What Texas and New Mexico Drivers Need to Know About Motorcycle Accidents — How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents are more likely to lead to fatality than other accidents.
In 2014, the U.S. saw approximately 4,000 deaths in motorcycle-related accidents. With heavier traffic and construction on the rise in both El Paso and Las Cruces, motorcycle accidents are likely on the rise. Knowing what to do in the event of an accident and how to prevent them is critical for all drivers.
If you were involved, injured, or lost a loved one as a result of a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney who will protect your rights at all costs. In El Paso and Las Cruces, that attorney is Humberto Enriquez. As a motorcycle accident attorney since 1992, Mr. Enriquez has fought to provide justice and peace of mind to numerous injured drivers and their families. The severity of these accidents may affect you for years to come, which is why it’s important to get the compensation you deserve.
We can help you recover the following:
- Physical damages
- Loss wages
- Future loss wages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Psychological damages
New Mexico and Texas Laws Regarding Motorcycles
New Mexico motorcycle drivers must follow these regulations:
- Lane splitting is prohibited.
- Drivers must have a valid Class M license.
- Drivers 17 and younger must wear a helmet.
- Passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. Bikes must also have a seat and footrest for passengers.
- Riders must wear appropriate eye protection unless the bike has a windshield.
Texas motorcycle drivers should adhere to the following:
- Drivers can split lanes.
- Drivers must hold a valid Class M driver license.
- Drivers 20 and younger must wear a helmet.
- Passengers must be at least 5 years old and those under 21 must wear a helmet. A driver cannot carry a passenger if the motorcycle does not have a permanent passenger seat.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While causes may range from negligence to driving under the influence, these reasons to tend to be the most reported:
- Negligence of other drivers
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease (CDC), emergency rooms in the U.S. saw approximately 1.2 million non-fatal injuries as a result of motorcycle accidents across a span of seven years. Of those injuries, there were common areas of the body that were wounded. About 30 percent were in the lower body and 22 percent were in the head and neck. Unsurprisingly, drivers of motorcycles face worse injuries than drivers of cars and trucks.
Here are some of the most common injuries:
- Head and neck injury
- “Biker’s Arm” – damage to the nerves of the arm
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Muscle damage
- Leg and foot injury
Best Practices for Motorcycle Safety
Although Texas and New Mexico have laws regarding motorcycles, it’s impossible to fully protect drivers from harm’s way. Non-motorcycle drivers should also practice safety on their part to help keep the roads safe.
Here are some of the ways we can help prevent motorcycle crashes:
- Helmets. Given the severe impact falling from a motorcycle has on the head, wearing a helmet can help prevent life-altering damage and fatality.
- Training. While many motorcycle drivers learn to drive through others or practicing on their own, it’s recommended that drivers take a safety training course to improve their driving and safety practices.
- Caution on behalf of other drivers. Other drivers play a key role in preventing motorcycle accidents. Always checking twice before switching lanes and checking blind spots are a few ways other drivers can help prevent motorcycle accidents.
What To Do If You Have Been Injured or Witnessed an Accident
- Call 9-1-1. Even if the injury appears to be minor, you should call 911 and report the accident. You should receive medical attention immediately. As a bystander, you should speak to police if the person injured is unable to.
- Get out of the roadway. If possible, try moving to the median of the highway or onto a sidewalk, any place that is away from traffic.
- Take notes of the surroundings. It’s important to take notes of the scene and watch for any objects that were damaged as a result.
- Speak to witnesses. Witnesses will be able to assist you with gathering key evidence of the accident and how events unfolded. They will also be able to help you gather key information such as the names of people present at the scene, license plates numbers and other valuable facts.
- Seek legal advice from a motorcycle accident attorney. If you were injured at no fault of your own, you are entitled to a compensation that will help you protect your health and financial situation, especially if you are unable to return to work right away or permanently.