From 2010 to 2016, there were 16,807 accidents in Texas involving bicycles. These accidents resulted in 9,769 injuries and 362 fatalities. 11% of cyclists involved in crashes are under the age of 15, and another 13% are between the ages of 16 and 25. The unfortunate reality is that bicycle accidents continue to devastate individuals and families across the state, with nearly one-quarter of the victims being under the age of 25.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP is here to help support you in your recovery. We are a firm of passionate legal advocates who are committed to doing whatever we can to help accident victims and their families pursue the justice they deserve. Our firm is proud to serve clients in Pearland, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi — so call today to schedule your own free case consultation.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Being hit by a car while riding a bike can be a scary situation. If you ever find yourself in this situation, there are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself and strengthen your case:
Call 911 – Having the police there to file a police report and having medical professionals on-site to do a check-up and take you to the hospital if needed is always a good idea. This can not only strengthen your case, but will also ensure that your health and safety are in good hands.
Record All Personal Information – Get the information of not only the person who hit you with their car but any witnesses on the scene as well. For the driver, you will need their insurance information. For witnesses, their contact information is sufficient. Be sure to ask them if they can stick around to give the police information or if they can be contacted later on.
Document The Details – If you can, take photos of any damage that has occurred. This includes damage to your bicycle, to the car (if applicable), and to yourself.
Seek Medical Treatment – Even if you feel fine, have a doctor check you out. You never know what injuries could be deemed serious by a medical professional. When it comes to your health, it is always better to err on the side of caution.
Hire A Personal Injury Attorney – In the aftermath of the accident, hiring a personal injury attorney to assess your case and discuss your legal options with you is the best way to figure out how best to proceed with your case.
GET THE JUSTICE YOU DESERVE
Texas Laws Affecting Bicycle Riders
According to the Texas Transport Code, bicycle riders are entitled to all of the rights and are equally obligated to all of the duties of the road that apply to motor vehicles. They are not required to wear a helmet statewide, but many cities and municipalities do have their own helmet mandates, so it’s important to be aware of your local laws and how they apply to you. With that in mind, here are a few other laws that are important for cyclists to be aware of:
Bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road, as close to the curb as possible, except when safely passing a vehicle or turning left.
Bicyclists cannot ride on the sidewalk.
Bicyclists have to use arm signals when turning.
Bicyclists must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear of their bicycle when riding at night.
A person may not use a bicycle to carry more people than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry.
A person operating a bicycle may not carry any object that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
Filing a Claim
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim, there are three important Texas statutes that all riders should be aware of:
Texas is Considered an At-Fault State
Texas is considered an at-fault state. This means that whoever was responsible for causing the accident can be held liable for any injuries or damages suffered by the victim. This includes expenses such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.
Modified Comparative Fault Rule
When it comes to figuring out fault and damages owed, Texas does follow the modified comparative fault rule. This means that a percentage of fault will be assigned to all parties involved in the accident. The damages you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that you are assigned for the accident. If the court rules that you are over 50% at fault for the accident, you will be unable to recover any compensation.
For example, if you are involved in a bicycle accident, but the court rules that you are 20% at fault for the accident because your bicycle did not have a red reflector on the rear, your total compensation will be reduced by 20% to account for your level of fault. This means that if the court awards you $100,000 in compensation, you will only be eligible to collect $80,000.
Statute of Limitations
For a personal injury case, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident, unless you are suing the government. In that case, the statute of limitations is six months after the injury occurs. It’s important to note that the clock begins ticking from the date of the accident, not from the date you discovered your injuries or began receiving treatment.
BICYCLE ACCIDENTS ATTORNEYS SERVING PEARLAND, TEXAS
At the end of the day, you deserve trusted legal guidance for your personal injury claim. Navigating a personal injury claim may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Our firm, Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP, is proud to help injured clients and their families pursue the compensation they need and deserve. Our firm proudly serves clients in Pearland, Texas, and the surrounding areas of Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. Call today to set up your own free consultation!