Motorcycle Laws in Texas
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and have questions about how Texas motorcycle laws may affect your case, the experienced lawyers of Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, can help. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have years of experience helping crash victims pursue claims for fair compensation. Our legal team is here to answer your questions about Texas motorcycle laws and the impacts they may have on your legal rights.
Contact us today for a free case review to speak with one of our knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyers. With our firm, you will never owe any upfront fees for our advice or our legal representation, so there’s never any risk to you. We get paid only when we win compensation on your behalf.
Texas Motorcycle Helmet Law
Under Texas law, motorcycle riders are not required to wear a helmet if they are 21 or older and have either completed a DMV-approved motorcycle operator training course or have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage for motorcycle accident-related injuries. Police may not stop a motorcycle simply to check whether a helmetless rider meets the requirements for the exception from the helmet rule.
All riders under the age of 21 or who do not otherwise meet the requirements for the exception must wear a helmet. Helmets should meet U.S. DOT safety standards. Helmets that bear certification stickers from reputable independent testing laboratories, such as Snell or ANSI, will likely meet DOT standards.
Motorcycle License Requirements in Texas
Anyone wishing to apply for a motorcycle license (Class M) in Texas must first meet the requirements to obtain a regular driver’s license, which include:
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.
- Evidence of residency in Texas
- Proof of identity
- Social Security number
- Proof of registration and insurance for each vehicle owned
Applicants for a motorcycle license must be at least 15 years old. Applicants must take a department-approved motorcycle safety course (unless they are in possession of an out-of-state motorcycle license being surrendered for a Texas license). Applicants who are obtaining a full motorcycle license for the first time in any state must also pass an on-road motorcycle driving test. Applicants 18 and older transferring a full motorcycle license from out-of-state are exempted from the driving test requirement.
Minors ages 15 through 17 must possess a Class C learner’s license and have completed the classroom phase of a driver’s education course. Applicants under 18 must also take the driving test regardless of whether they possess an out-of-state motorcycle license. Applicants who are 15 years old are limited to motorcycles with an engine displacement no greater than 250cc.
Additional Motorcycle Safety Requirements
All motorcycles in Texas are required to have the following equipment attached to the motorcycle and in working order for the motorcycle to be lawfully operated on public roads:
- Tail lamp
- Stop lamp
- License plate lamp
- Rear red reflector
- Exhaust system
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle in Texas due to another driver’s negligence, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers of Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC, today for a free consultation. We’re ready to discuss the circumstances of your accident in detail and explain your legal options.
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What if I'm partially at fault for my motorcycle accident?
If you are found to be partly at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim for compensation—as long as you are not more than 50% to blame. Under Texas’s rule of modified comparative negligence, you may recover compensation after an accident for which you are partly at fault if your percentage of fault does not exceed that of the other party/parties involved.
However, you cannot recover the full amount you are seeking in compensation if you are found to be partly at fault. Instead, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. So, for example, if the insurance adjuster and/or court finds you 25% to blame, you can only recover up to 75% of the full amount you are seeking in damages.
All too often, insurance companies use the rule of modified comparative negligence to devalue and underpay claims. It is important that you work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can aggressively negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
How much is my motorcycle accident case worth?The exact value of your claim depends on several factors, including the severity of your injury, the cost of your medical care, how much time you had to take off work during your recovery, whether you were disabled because of your injuries, whether you were partly at fault for the accident, and more. Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries and the more extensive your damages, the greater the value of your claim.
How long will my motorcycle accident case take?Every case is different, and the amount of time it will take to resolve your case depends on numerous factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether liability is disputed, and more. Some motorcycle accident claims are settled within several months of the accident; others take years to reach a resolution. In any case, you can count on the team at Pines & Goldenzweig, PLLC to work efficiently on your behalf. We strive to resolve our clients’ cases as quickly and favorably as possible, whenever possible.
Will I have to go to court for my motorcycle accident case?Not every motorcycle accident case goes to court. In fact, many settle during pre-trial litigation or even before. However, if the insurance company or another liable party refuses to settle your claim, there is a chance you will need to go to court. Our attorneys will advise you on whether or not going to trial is in your best interests and, if so, can fully prepare you for what to expect.