Texas is full of bicyclists, especially in larger cities like Houston, Dallas, and Austin where many rely on bicycles as their primary form of transportation.
Bicycles do not provide their riders with nearly as much protection as a motor vehicle, and being in an accident can mean serious injuries for cyclists.
Bicycle accidents can include collisions with cars, other bicyclists, or road conditions/hazards like potholes or uneven pavement.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your injuries.
First thing’s 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:
Bicycles offer their riders little to no protection from road hazards or motor vehicles. Because of this, bicycle accident injuries can be particularly severe and damaging.
Catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage are some of the most common injuries that bicyclists can receive from an accident, and they can result in months or years of recovery. This means that damages will likely be high when your attorney is adding up your compensation.
High damages means that a case can become complex more easily. Insurance companies will not want to fork up thousands of dollars for your recovery, and it may take more time and negotiation to settle on the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Those who have been involved in a bicycle accident can sue the cyclist, the motorist, or even the city depending on how the accident occurred and who is determined to have been at fault.
It all comes down to what or who was responsible for the injury in the first place. However, if you do decide to sue, know that you must be able to prove that whoever you are suing showed negligence and that negligence is what directly caused your accident and damages.
It’s possible to sue a city for dangerous roadways, a lack of warning signs around construction, a failure to repair damaged roads, etc. as long as there was negligence involved.
One party, whether motorist or cyclist, is not always solely responsible for bicycle accidents.
It’s very possible that two or more parties may be partially responsible for an accident. If this is the case, damages may still be collected, but it may not be as much as you think.
Texas is a comparative fault state. What this means is that, if there is more than one party responsible for an accident, their respective damages are adjusted based on how responsible they are.
For example, if a bicyclist is riding on the wrong side of the road and is determined to have been 35% responsible for the accident, he or she will be responsible for paying 35% of the total damages.
However, if you are proven to be more than 50% responsible for an accident, you forfeit the right to receive compensation.
Bicyclists have the same rights as motorists when it comes to collecting damages for injuries. This means that injured bicyclists can receive compensation for:
In the majority of circumstances, bicycles are considered vehicles and are subject to many of the same traffic laws. This means stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, yielding when required, and having an overall awareness of one’s surroundings.
However, Texas has its own set of laws for bicyclists that, when broken, can be grounds for negligence in an accident.
These laws include:
Additionally, there are certain laws that Texas has put into place to protect bicyclists from dangerous situations and hazards. This includes:
If you’ve suffered serious injuries, are having problems with insurance companies, or if you’re not sure who exactly was responsible for the accident, an attorney can certainly help.
More serious injuries can call for more compensation, and other parties involved will likely not want to comply. Your attorney will better be able to negotiate with insurance companies, add together your due damages, and fight legal systems for your rights to compensation.
If you want to know more about staying safe, the Texas Department of Transportation provides excellent safety tips for staying safe while riding a bicycle and driving close to a cyclist.
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