Motorcyclist Dies in Hit and Run Accident & Compensation for Motor Vehicle Injury in Houston

A young man from Houston is dead after a pick-up truck hit him head-on and then left the scene of the crash.

25-year-old Jose Portillo was riding his motorcycle just after midnight on a Friday in late April 2017. While heading east on Westheimer, a gray Toyota Tacoma pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction crossed over the centerline and into Portillo’s lane.

The pickup truck hit the motorcycle which left Portillo fatally injured. The driver of the truck, David Legate, had fled the scene of the crash but one month later was arrested and charged.

Why Riding a Motorcycle Can Be Risky?

Riding a motorcycle can be a lot more dangerous than operating a passenger vehicle or a pickup truck due to a number of unique risk factors:

  • Motorcycles are less visible to cars
  • Motorcycles are significantly less stable
  • Operating a motorcycle requires more skill than operating a passenger vehicle
  • Road hazards that have little effect on a passenger vehicle (i.e. uneven road surfaces, wet pavement, debris, etc.) can cause a motorcycle to slip and crash
  • Riders may engage in higher-risk behaviors (particularly if driving a sport or supersport bike)

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, the actions you take immediately and shortly after the accident can have a major impact on your claim.

  1. Take notes as soon as you are able. Note the weather, time of day, people present, and all other details you feel are important
  2. Take pictures of the crash scene and your injuries. If you do not have a camera on you, ask a witness to take pictures and send them to you
  3. Obtain witnesses. Ask for the name, address, and phone numbers of all individuals who witnessed the accident
  4. Document all injuries and losses. Report your injuries to your medical provider and keep track of medications, treatments, loss of sleep, and other issues which may arise because of the accident

Getting the Best Compensation for Your Motor Vehicle Injury

Motor vehicle and car accidents can be one of the most frightening and traumatic experiences that an individual will go through in his or her life. Unfortunately, this is also the reason why many of those involved in one neglect to take the proper steps necessary to ensure that they will receive the highest settlement from their insurance company.

According to the Department of Transportation, the chances of you being involved in a car accident in Texas are higher than most other states, making it increasingly important that every Houston driver proactively protects himself or herself by taking the following 4 steps to get the most out of his or her personal injury claim:

1.  Call the Police. No matter how major or minor the car accident, call the police and obtain a copy of the police report. The police report is an invaluable third party account of the accident that will include several details that will help back up and support your claim, including information about who was at fault.

2.  Document it yourself. Once physically and emotionally able, write down your own notes about the auto accident. Some key points to include are:

  • Where you were traveling and in what direction (i.e. Westbound on I-10 at T C Jester Boulevard)
  • Detailed notes about how the accident occurred
  • Weather conditions
  • Accident-related expenses, such as car repair, medical bills, and lost wages (and retain any receipts)
  • Also, be sure to take photographs of any damage to your vehicle and of your injuries.

3.  Send a Letter of Notification. A general letter of notification should be written to the other party’s insurance company to alert them of the claim. While it does not need to be a detailed account of the actual accident, the letter should include:

  • Your first and last name
  • The date of the letter
  • The date and location of the car accident
  • Information stating you were injured
  • If you carry personal injury protection, send the same letter to your own insurance company.

4.  Contact a Personal Injury Attorney. Far too many innocent victims place full trust in their insurance company, assuming that it is working on their behalf to deliver the compensation needed and deserved. Sadly, this often is not the case.

Auto insurance companies make millions of dollars every year by taking advantage of injured individuals by under-compensating them. By hiring experienced personal injury attorney Charles J. Argento prior to filing your accident claim, you are guaranteeing yourself a fair and possible full settlement from the insurance company.

Get Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Claim

Charles J. Argento has helped motorcycle crash victims obtain maximum compensation for their personal injuries in the Houston area for over 36 years. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash that was the result of another’s negligence, and want to learn more about your legal options, schedule a free consultation with Charles J. Argento today by calling (713) 225-5050.

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