Even if you are an experienced cyclist with a well-maintained bike and all the necessary safety equipment, a negligent driver can cause you serious harm.
When a distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise reckless driver crashes into a cyclist, the physical, emotional, and financial consequences can be devastating.
If you have been injured in a bicycle wreck in Houston, you have a right to seek compensation for any resulting injuries and property damage.
Bikes are a healthy, economical, and environmentally safe mode of transportation.
In a perfect world, bicycling would be encouraged for all and roadways would be designed with the safety of bicyclists in mind. Sadly, the opposite is often true. Cyclists may have no choice but to share dangerous roadways with their motorized counterparts.
Why You Need a Lawyer if You’ve Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Houston
If another’s negligence has caused you harm, it is in your best interest to contact an injury attorney immediately.
At DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, we have represented countless clients in bicycle wreck injury cases, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining substantial settlements.
Your attorney will investigate the details of your case, gather pertinent evidence, and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. The last thing you want to do after a traumatic event is deal with merciless insurance companies.
In fact, it is in your best interest to not talk to the other party’s insurance company without legal representation. It is the insurer’s job to pay out as little as possible, and they can use your words against you to reduce or deny your claim.
At DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC we know how the insurance companies think, and we will work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement. Although our goal is to settle out of court, we are prepared to go to trial if necessary.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bike accidents have a million potential causes, but the most common scenarios involve:
- Dooring accidents—Dooring occurs when the door of a parked car opens into a cyclist’s path. These accidents are particularly common in busy, urban areas where cyclists have no choice but to ride in close proximity to parked cars. It is the driver’s responsibility to check for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles before opening their door.
- Side swiping accidents—When a motor vehicle driver attempts to pass a cyclist but fails to leave enough space between them, the cyclist may be side-swiped by the passing car or truck. Drivers should always leave plenty of space when trying to overtake a bicyclist.
- Read-ending accidents—These accidents are commonly attributed to distracted driving. When a driver is texting or adjusting the stereo, for example, he/she may notice that the cyclist ahead has slowed down or come to a complete stop. Rear-ending accidents often result in serious injuries or death.
- Right and left cross accidents—These collisions occur when a car or truck crosses into the path of a cyclist in an intersection, or while exiting a driveway. Distracted driving is the primary cause of right and left cross accidents.
Another common bicycle-traffic collision occurs when a vehicle is turning right and a cyclist on the vehicle’s right side is hidden in the driver’s blind spot.
Regardless of how your accident occurred, a Houston bike wreck injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Accident Statistics and How to Prevent Becoming One
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a total of 783 bicyclists were killed in crashes involving motor vehicles in 2017.
Although bike accidents can occur in any location and at any time of day, they are most common in the evening, between the hours of 6 pm and 9 pm, and 75 percent of bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas.
Men are eight times more likely to be killed in bicycle accidents than women, and more than one-third of all cyclist traffic fatalities involve alcohol.
Follow the safety tips below to dramatically reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a bicycle accident.
- Make sure that your bike is well maintained and is the right size for you. It is difficult to control a bike that is too big or too small for your build.
- Wear brightly-colored clothing and gear at all times, but use reflective gear, bike reflectors, and a headlight if you ride after dark.
- Use hand signals to alert motorists that you are about to make a turn.
- Whenever possible, choose roadways that are less congested and that use slower speeds.
- Avoid cycling in adverse weather conditions if possible.
- Avoid riding after dark if possible.
- Always drive defensively. Never assume an approaching driver can see you.
- Ride with the flow of traffic.
- Obey the rules of the road, including street signs and traffic signals.
- Never text while cycling.
- Never cycle when under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.
- Do not listen to music while riding.
- Avoid hazards, such as loose gravel, potholes, and grates.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
If all else fails and you are injured in a bike accident, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances of obtaining compensation from the at-fault party.
- Even if you don’t think you’ve suffered serious injuries, call 911. Certain life-threatening injuries do not present immediate symptoms. In addition to dispatching emergency personnel who can treat you for injuries, calling 911 will result in an official police report, which will be helpful if you file an injury claim.
- Get contact and insurance information from all parties involved and any witnesses, but do not discuss the accident with anyone until you have obtained legal counsel.
- Take photos of any resulting injuries and property damage from as many angles as possible.
Contact a Houston bike accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will thoroughly analyze the details of your case to determine the next steps.
If you decide to face a bicycle accident claim, your attorney can help you determine fault, gather evidence to substantiate your claim, calculate a fair settlement, and negotiate with the insurance companies to obtain the compensation you deserve.
Types of Compensation for a Bike Accident in Houston
If you have been injured in a bike accident due to another’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for any damages suffered. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover damages. The most common damages awarded in bicycle accident cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Property damages
- Wrongful death
If you have been injured in a bike wreck, a Houston injury lawyer can help you protect your rights.
Texas Bicycle Accident Laws
In Texas, bicyclists must obey the same rules of the road as drivers of other vehicles, including signaling before making a right or left turn.
Bikes must be well-maintained, and nighttime riding is not permissible unless the bike is equipped with a headlight, and a red reflector or red lamp visible from a minimum of 500 feet.
As long as cyclists obey the rules of the road, including riding with the flow of traffic, they are permitted to share the roadways with motor vehicles.
Motorists have a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to protect the safety of those with whom they share the road. If they fail to do so, they are negligent and may be found liable for any resulting damages.
Texas Statute of Limitations on Bike Accident Claims
Keep in mind that in Texas, the statute of limitations on all personal injury cases is two years. If you fail to file a claim within that time frame, your claim will likely be dismissed. Waiting until the last minute is a bad idea for multiple reasons.
For starters, doing so can seriously undermine the severity of your case in the eyes of the court. Secondly, waiting too long limits your attorney’s ability to build a solid case against the negligent party.
Contact DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, the skilled legal team at DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC can help.
Our compassionate, knowledgeable lawyers have extensive experience with bike wreck injury lawsuits, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC today at (832) 745-4878 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.