Dallas, TX asked in Car Accidents and Personal Injury for Texas

Q: Is it reasonable (legally speaking) to ask the person driving the motorcycle to pay half of my sister’s medical bills?

My sister (17 years of age) decided to ride on the back of her friend’s motorcycle. I am not sure of his age. He could be 17-19 years old. They had an accident. I don’t think the kid was being negligent. I really don’t know, but he had to brake or turn really quickly to avoid another car. The accident caused my sisters head to hit his helmet. I don’t think she was wearing a helmet herself. Two of her teeth fell out. My mom rushed her to the emergency that night. The next day she learned that my sister had a facial fracture, and that she was going to need immediate surgery. She is also going to need dental implants. For the surgery and the implants, she is look to bank over $11,000 (no insurance). This does not include the hospital visit. Do you think she has a case in asking the man driving (or his parents) to pay at least half? What steps does she need to take? No police report was filed at the time.

*** he is uninsured****

3 Lawyer Answers
Steven Pate Harrelson
Steven Pate Harrelson
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Texas

A: She needs to file a claim on the motorcycle owner's insurance policy as soon as is practical.

Paul Hilmon Cannon
Paul Hilmon Cannon
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: That's a difficult case. I would presume the car that caused the braking is long gone. If you have that car's info, she may be able to make a claim against that car. If the motorcycle operator was negligent, she could file a liability claim against his insurance. If the other car was the negligent one and you do not have their information, you will not be able to make an uninsured motorist claim due to the "no contact" rule.

You should check both the motorcycle policy and any other auto policy that your sister is a named insured under for PIP coverage. This will provide some coverage (but usually only 2500 or 5000) for medical expenses.

Robert Simmons agrees with this answer

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: First, she has a claim under his motorcycle policy. Second, she may have a claim under Texas law for what are called underinsured motorist benefits. She may say she doesn't want a claim but I'm sure the kid would rather have a claim on his policy than ask the parents to pay for the teeth, facial fractures.

Also, if another car was involved--and sometimes that's a huge if (i.e. kid says there was, then turns out well it really wasn't) there'd be a case for an uinsured motorist claim but she has to report that if it was within 30 days.

this really isn't d.i.y. time--facial fractures are serious, if they affect the alignment of the eyes she can have vision issues, balance issues--

sorry, this is more than teeth.

Time to contact a member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Assn--they give free consults.

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