Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers Working Towards Justice for Injured Cyclists
As many people take up bicycling as a means of maintaining good health by getting exercise outdoors, more people are becoming involved in bicycle accidents resulting in injury and death. Bicycles are considered among the least formidable of motor vehicles on the road, and in recent years their numbers have skyrocketed in metropolitan areas like Houston where there is a large population and viable bike-able roads and paths.
The number of people injured or killed by automobiles when riding a bike is staggering. Even under ideal conditions, competing with cars for space on city streets is hazardous. In non-ideal situations, where a car or truck driver is distracted, speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, intent on ignoring the presence of those on bicycles who have as much right to be on the road as cars do, injuries and fatalities can happen even more readily.
Our Houston bicycle injury law firm believes that what makes a successful personal injury claim against an at-fault party in a bicycle accident case is gathering sufficient evidence – evidence of negligence – to defeat any potential argument from the defendant about mitigating circumstances such as contributory negligence. In order to ensure that bicyclists’ rights are protected and justice is served for injured cyclists, it is important to hire an experienced Houston bike accident lawyer.
The repercussions of a bicycle crash can vary from case to case. The most common causes of bicycle crashes include:
Bicycle-motor vehicle collisions account for a majority of bicycle accidents. These collisions can involve automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and even pedestrians. Some common causes of these types of crashes include:
- Unsafe road conditions
- Improper turning by a motorist which puts the driver into the path of an oncoming cyclist
- Speeding by a motorist or failure to obey traffic laws like the right of way laws
- Distracted driving or failing to yield when making turns, especially right-hand turns
- Motorists overtaking bicycles at high speeds in no-passing zones
- Drunk driving
Ultimately, this negligence can lead to minor or severe injuries that include broken bones, head injuries, neck injuries, back injuries, and even fatal injuries.
For the best possible results following a bike crash, reach out to our Houston personal injury lawyers today to get the representation you need for your bicycle accident claim.
If a Car Hits a Cyclist, Who Is at Fault?
In Texas, drivers share many miles of roadway with bicycles, and accidents are relatively rare. However, as more cyclists take to the streets and rural highways, statistics show that cyclist fatalities and injuries are on the rise. Bike accidents involving motor vehicles might pose more risks to the cyclist, but drivers might also be injured while trying to avoid a bicycle or at sudden stops.
Accidents involving cars and bicycles can cause serious injuries, and an experienced bicycle accident attorney might be needed to sort out who was at fault in an accident. Texas law uses a system of modified comparative negligence or “proportionate responsibility” in determining who is responsible.
What are the Rules of the Road for Bicycles?
Texas bicycle laws give cyclists the same legal duties and rights on the road as other vehicles, with some exceptions and additional requirements.
- Bicycles must ride as far to the right as is feasible and follow all traffic laws.
- Riders must keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Bicyclists must signal turns using hand and arm signals.
- Only one rider is allowed per seat on the bicycle.
- Two bicycles may ride next to each other if it does not impede traffic.
- When riding at night, bicycles must have a red light or reflector on the rear and a white light on the front.
- Cyclists must maintain brakes capable of creating a tire skid.
- Bikers may “take the lane”:
- To perform a left turn
- To avoid an obstacle
- When the roadway is too narrow to allow a car and bicycle to share the lane
The law recognizes that bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadway, and they are entitled to the same rights as other vehicles. If a car accident involves a bicycle and someone is injured, insurance companies and law firms are likely to be involved. The driver might be found responsible if they did not follow basic safety rules like these:
- Watching for bicycles before turning left or right at intersections
- Checking for bikes before merging into or across bicycle lanes or trails
- Yielding to bicycles as if to another car or truck
- Giving bicycles at least three feet of clearance when passing or sharing a lane
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents with cars can cause serious injuries, not only to the rider but to the driver as well. If the worst happens, you may need legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney in your area. Take immediate steps to:
- Seek emergency medical attention for anyone who has been injured.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Avoid taking the blame for the accident.
- Provide factual information to law enforcement.
- Obtain a copy of the accident report and contact information for witnesses.
- Do not state that you are fine, as symptoms of injuries may take hours or days to develop.
- See a doctor to determine if you have been injured in the accident.
- It is highly recommended that you speak to a lawyer before you meet with insurance companies.
A bicycle accident lawyer from our law firm can help you recover compensation for medical bills, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages related to your accident. We can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company involved in your case or protect your rights in court. Get the legal guidance you need for your bicycle accident case today and reach out to our Houston bike accident lawyers.
How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Protect My Rights After an Accident?
It may be that both the driver and the cyclist share some margin of responsibility for the accident. Because it will be very important who is found negligent and to what degree, you will probably want to consult with personal injury attorneys that you trust with your interests.
If both sides agree on who was responsible and by what percentage, a car accident attorney can help you with reaching a fair settlement to cover the injuries and losses that occurred. When the case is more complex, one or both parties might file a lawsuit seeking compensation. In all of these situations, legal advice you can trust is essential to recovery.
In Houston, TX, our law firm has more than 45 years of experience helping individuals with personal injury cases. We have a successful track record in winning lawsuits and reaching equitable settlements with all the major insurance companies. If you’ve been involved in a car accident with a bicycle, contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation.