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.