Texas is teeming with bicyclists, especially in large cities like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin where many Texans rely on bicycles as their primary form of transportation.
Unfortunately, bicycles don’t provide riders with nearly as much protection as motor vehicles, and bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries and even death.
Texas has a lot to offer bicyclists, including warm weather and miles of scenic trails. Unfortunately, Texas consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous places for bicyclists to travel.
Here are some eye-opening Texas bicycle accident statistics:
Bicycle accidents can be caused by several factors, including potholes, defective bicycle parts, and poor weather. However, most bicycle accidents are caused by some form of negligence, either on behalf of the bicyclist or another driver.
These most common examples of biker or driver negligence include:
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the 4 most common road hazards cyclists should look out for include:
Because of the lack of protection surrounding bicyclists, bicycle accidents tend to be more severe than car accidents. Not only that, but bicycle accidents often yield serious injuries to more than one area of the body.
The most common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents include:
In the majority of circumstances, bicycles are considered vehicles and subject to most of the same traffic laws (and have the same rights). This means stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, yielding when required, and taking reasonable care to avoid acts that may injure others on the road.
However, Texas has some specific laws for bicyclists that, when violated, can be grounds for negligence. Most of these laws can be found in Chapter 551 of the Texas Transportation Code and include:
Is it illegal to ride a bicycle without a helmet in Texas?Texas doesn’t have a statewide helmet law. However, certain cities, including Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth, have passed mandatory helmet laws for children under the age of 18.
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, you can sue anyone who may have caused or contributed to the accident. In most cases, bike accidents are caused by a negligent driver. But, sometimes bike accidents are caused by the town (if the road wasn’t properly maintained) or by the manufacturer of the bike (if the bike was defective).
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine who may be liable for your accident.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state. This means that if you’re partially responsible for your accident, the damages you can collect are reduced by your percentage of fault. What’s more, if you’re more than 50% at fault, you’re prohibited from recovering any damages.
For example, if you’re riding your bike on the wrong side of the road and the driver of a parked car opens their car door and hits you, the court might decide that you were 40% at fault and the driver was 60% at fault. In that case, you would only be able to recover 60% of your total damages.
On the other hand, if the court determined that you were 60% at fault and the driver was 40% at fault, you wouldn’t be able to recover any of your damages.
Bicyclists have the same rights as motorists when it comes to collecting damages for their injuries. This means that injured bicyclists can receive compensation for:
First things first, knowing how to respond in the event of an accident can be crucial to receiving proper care and building a strong personal injury case.
If you find yourself in a bicycle accident, you should:
A personal injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Sometimes a case that seems simple at first may become more complicated. In these cases, consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. Read more