Dallas Law Firm Blog

Dallas Motorcycle Accident Kills 42-Year-Old Man

Dallas Motorcycle AccidentOn April 18, 2015, a motorcyclist was killed in West Dallas when a driver failed to yield the right of way for him. Dwight Williams, 42, was riding a 2001 Suzuki 600 motorcycle on Canada Drive. The motorcycle crashed into a 2014 Dodge Challenger that was making a left turn from the westbound lane of Canada Drive. He was turning to go south on Ladale Drive. Williams had the right of way, but the Challenger failed to yield. Tragically, he was pronounced dead that the scene of the car accident.

Because the other driver did not yield to the motorcycle’s right of way, he could be liable for the wrongful death of the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist’s family could bring the suit and request damages for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings and more.

Motorcycle Risks

Motorcycle liability is very similar to regular vehicle liability, and fault is generally assessed in the same way. However, there are a few unique aspects to motorcycle crashes. One of the major differences is that motorcycles are generally not as safe as cars; they do not enclose the driver in a “safety box” of metal like other vehicles. They are also much smaller and lighter than other vehicles. This generally makes riding a motorcycle much more dangerous than other vehicles, especially because they are difficult for other drivers to see.

Head injuries are the most common injury that causes death for motorcyclists, which is why wearing a helmet is so important. Helmets decrease the likelihood of death on a motorcycle by 37%, and they decrease the likelihood of brain damage by 67%. However, only 19 states and the District of Columbia require motorcycle riders to wear helmets. It is unclear whether the driver in this case was wearing a helmet, but Texas law does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets while on their bikes in some situations.

Texas State Motorcycle Laws

Like all states, Texas has specific laws that apply to motorcyclists. The following is a short overview of motorcycle laws (for on-road bikes) that motorcyclist should be aware of:

  • Daytime use of headlights is required unless the motorcycle was manufactured before 1975
  • Texas does not require eye protection for road motorcycles
  • Helmets are required for riders under the age of 21; helmets are not required for riders over 21 if they have completed the rider training or have medical insurance coverage for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident
  • Lane splitting is not authorized
  • There are no restrictions on maximum sound level or muffler sound
  • Each bike should have at least one left or right mirror
  • Passengers are only permitted if they are over the age of 5, and a passenger footrest is required
  • Rider education is only required when the driver is under the age of 18, but it is available for all riders; a skill test is available to waive the rider-education requirement
  • Turn signals are not required

A Dallas Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

If you have lost a loved one in a Dallas motorcycle accident or a similar crash, you may want to speak to a wrongful death lawyer.  We will review your case and do everything we can to ensure your family gets the compensation and justice you deserve. Nothing we do can bring back your loved one, but we can hold those who caused it responsible for their actions. Call 972-774-9800 or contact us online for your free case evaluation today.