Motorcycles provide riders with limited protection in serious accidents, which sometimes lead to catastrophic injuries.
When another party is at fault for your accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for the injuries you suffered and the damages incurred. Texas motorcycle accident law recognizes three categories of damages.
1. Special damages
Special, or economic, damages refer to financial costs associated with the physical injuries sustained in your accident. These may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Medical expenses include any projected costs for future treatment. Some severe injuries result in lifelong disabilities or extended rehabilitation. Lost wages include future lost earnings as well.
Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident also fall under economic damages. Examples include travel expenses for medical appointments, hiring in-house help, and home modifications to accommodate a disability.
2. General damages
General, or noneconomic, damages include losses with no direct monetary value, such as pain and suffering. Experiencing post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression affects your overall quality of life. Using evidence, such as medical records, to prove the severity of your injury and how it negatively affects your life helps determine a dollar value for pain and suffering.
3. Punitive damages
Punitive damages are available in cases where the at-fault driver engaged in gross misconduct. Texas law limits the value of punitive damages to $200,000 or the total sum of general damages plus the doubled value of special damages up to $750,000.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents are poor road conditions, disobeying laws, and driver error. Knowing and following Texas motorcycle laws may save lives.