Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Austin, Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than 2,000 bicycle riders in Texas were involved in collisions with automobiles in 2020. Hundreds of cyclists were injured and 79 were killed. As you can imagine, in a battle between a motor vehicle and bicycle, the motor vehicle will prevail.
Other vehicles are not the only ways cyclists are injured. Hazardous roadway conditions and bicycle manufacturing defects can also cause accidents and injuries. There is simply little protection for the rider when riding a bicycle.
If you have been injured while riding a bicycle, or if your child or loved one has been hurt or killed, call me at Greenway Law Firm to schedule a consultation. I have been helping clients in Austin, Texas, Georgetown, Bastrop, and Marble Falls obtain compensation for damages sustained while riding bicycles for nearly 30 years. I will do the work so that you can take time to recover.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
The first thing to do after an accident is call 911 so the proper law enforcement agency and emergency responders can be dispatched.
If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you are not sure of the extent of your injuries, seek medical treatment at an emergency room, urgent care center, or from your doctor as soon as you leave the scene.
If your injuries do not prohibit you from doing so, get the other party’s name and insurance information. Get the contact information of any people who witnessed the incident.
As soon as possible after the accident, write down any details you can remember from the incident while it’s fresh in your mind.
Call a personal injury attorney so they can begin investigating the accident and providing guidance about the claims process.
Texas Laws Regarding Bicycle Riders
Bicycle riders are allowed to use Texas roadways and are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicles. This would include the direction you travel in a lane, obeying traffic signs and signals, and yielding to vehicles and pedestrians as required. You also cannot ride while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The law obligates you to ride a bicycle as far to the right and close to the curb as possible unless you are passing a vehicle or turning left. You must use hand signals for turns and stops and otherwise keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. If you are giving someone a ride, there needs to be two seats on the bike.
Your bicycle is required to be equipped with a brake that makes the braked wheel skid on dry pavement. Riding at night requires a headlamp visible from at least 500 feet and a red rear reflector that can be seen 50 to 300 feet away when a vehicle’s headlamps are on bright.
There is no statewide law requiring anyone on a bicycle to wear a helmet, but many cities and towns have local laws that require children under the age of 18 to wear helmets. Austin, for example, requires minors to wear them.
Vehicles must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists just as they do other vehicles. When they pass bicycles on the left, they must maintain a safe distance between them. Vehicles are permitted to pass bicycles in no-passing zones if they have the space and sightlines to do so safely.
What to Know About Filing Personal Injury Claims
The same laws apply to all bodily injury claims in Texas. As an “at-fault” state, whoever causes the accident is also responsible for compensating injury victims for their damage. Texas also follows a modified comparative fault rule — meaning more than one party can be held responsible. As long as you are determined to have been less than 50% at fault, you can sue the other driver, but your recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are 20% at fault, your settlement amount would be reduced by 20%.
Personal injury claims must be settled with the insurance company — or a lawsuit filed — within two years of the date of the accident.
Trust Your Claim to a Skilled Attorney
There are many ways the insurance company for an automobile driver will attempt to prove fault on your part. They will reduce the value of your claim by alleging that you failed to obey the laws that apply to cyclists. If they can assign enough fault to you (greater than 50%), you won’t be allowed to pursue a claim at all. The best thing you can do is have an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney in your corner who is driven by your best interests.