In order to protect our children from car accidents, there are strict laws regarding car seats and seat belts. Surprisingly, however, there are very few laws concerning the safety of children riding as a passenger on a motorcycle.
Children and Motorcycle Laws in Texas
Children nine years old or older may legally ride pillion anywhere in the USA. Only five states actually specify a minimum age limit for motorcycle passengers. In Texas, children as young as five are permitted to ride on the back of a motorcycle.
Here are the requirements related to the safety of motorcycle passengers:
- All motorcycle passengers must sit on a permanent fixed seat or "another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind or to the side of the operator"
- All passengers aged 21 or younger must wear a DOT-certified motorcycle helmet
Making a Claim After a Child Is Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident
Just as in a car accident, after a motorcycle accident the first question we need answered is who's at-fault? Once you answer this question, you'll make a claim against the driver who caused the wreck (and against their insurance company).
If you caused the wreck that led to your child's injury, you'll make a claim against your own insurance.
If someone else caused the wreck and that wreck led to your child's injuries, you should know that you have a right under Texas law to claim compensation for your child's medical bills and emotional trauma, both present and future. In other words, you can sue them (and their insurance company) for money to pay for the costs associated with the wreck.
Not sure who's at fault for your motorcycle accident? You should start here.
You'll Make a Claim on Behalf Of Your Child
At my firm, I get a lot of calls from parents wondering how the claims process works in Texas for hurt children. Simply put, you'll make a claim on behalf of your child.
Of course, there's much more to it than that. You can read more here.
You'll Need Evidence
If you were in a motorcycle accident and a child passenger was hurt as a result, you have a right to file a claim against the at-fault driver (or company, in some instances). However, if you want the other driver's insurance company to pay you anything, you'll have to do more than point fingers. You'll need to prove someone else caused the accident and the accident caused your child's injuries.
You can do this by gathering photo evidence, talking to witnesses at the crash scene, keeping track of all doctor's appointments and medical paperwork, and more. I've written more on the subject here.
At this point, some people choose to hire an attorney to handle their case for them. Either the evidence is not obvious, the family is too stressed to handle the claim on their own, the victims have had trouble with the insurance company, the case is too serious to risk handling alone, etc.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Not everyone needs an injury lawyer. If your damages and your child's injuries are relatively minor, you can probably do without one. However, if your bills are more than you think you could pay out of pocket, it could be worth setting up a free consultation with an attorney.
To help you figure out if your case warrants a lawyer, I've written this helpful article.
Motorcycle Injuries Can Be Serious
As a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer, I know that motorcycle injuries can be serious - and so can the medical bills that come with them.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Scars, lacerations and other disfigurements
- Head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Blunt force trauma
- Amputation/loss of limbs
Call the Anderson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation consultation with a board certified Fort Worth personal injury and wrongful death attorney. Call toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally at 817-294-1900.
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