Bicycle Accidents Attorneys
According to Share the Road, a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) website, there were 16,807 crashes in Texas involving bicycles between 2010 and 2016 that resulted in 9,769 injuries, 5,646 possible injuries, and 362 fatalities. Harris County had the highest number of crashes each year during that period (359 in 2010, 319 in 2011, 514 in 2012, 511 in 2013, 536 in 2014, 503 in 2015, and 545 in 2016) as well as the highest total number of crashes with 3,287.
Harris County also had the highest number of bicyclist fatalities each year with seven in 2010, 10 in 2011, eight in 2012, nine in 2013, 12 in 2014, nine in 2015, and 11 in 2016 as well as the highest total with 66. This was more than double the next highest county, Bexar County, which only had 24 fatalities.
A significant number of fatal bicycle accidents involved people not wearing helmets, as Share the Road reported that 53 fatalities did not wear helmets while only 12 were wearing helmets in 2016. The ages of bicyclists who are involved in crashes is incredibly diverse, as people of all ages could be injured and Share the Road reported that the age groups with the most fatalities were 51 years of age to 55 years of age with 49 followed by 46 years of age to 50 years of age and 56 years of age to 60 years of age both with 42.
While helmets can indeed help reduce the chances of head or brain injuries, they can still only offer so much protection. Bicyclists are generally exposed to all kinds of other significant harm when they are involved in an accident.
If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you want to be sure that you are doing everything that you are supposed to do after a crash. Do not try to figure everything out by yourself.
Contact the bike accident lawyers of Chandler McNulty LLP as soon as you can so our firm can help you take the necessary steps in your case and give you the best chance at recovering everything you need and deserve. Call (713) 997-8310 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The first thing that you need to understand about a bicycle accident is that while you may be justified in thinking of yourself as a victim, the insurance company for the driver involved in your case is more than likely to going to say you were the cause of your crash. There is an incredible bias against bicyclists in the insurance industry, and you will want to be sure that you retain legal counsel so you can get a fair review of your claim.
Some of the most common causes of bike accidents are:
- Failure to leave a safe distance between a vehicle and cyclist
- Failure to observe bike lanes
- Obstructed bike lanes
- Potholes, road debris, and other municipal negligence
- Right-turn accidents across bike lanes
- Intoxicated drivers
- Tailgating drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Defective bike design or parts
One of the primary reasons you will want to seek the help of an attorney right away is so they can conduct a thorough investigation into your crash. You will want to get a lawyer involved right away so relevant evidence in your case can be preserved.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
All bicyclists must be sure to get medical attention after a crash to protect their health and any potential injury claim. You should go to a hospital even when you do not think you were hurt, as insurance companies will use any delays in treatment to argue that injuries were not treated properly and are thus not compensable.
In most cases, bicycle accident injuries require major medical care that can involve lengthy hospital stays as well as many different rounds of aftercare. On top of this, bicycle crash victims may not be able to go back to work because of their injuries, and some people might be completely disabled by their injuries.
Bicycle accident injuries commonly include, but are not limited to:
- Road rash
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
It could also be possible that some bicyclists will die because of their injuries. When your loved one has been killed in a bicycle accident, you could still be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Type of Compensation Am I Owed?
If you were hurt in a bike accident, you could be owed compensation for damages including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Repairs or replacement of your damaged bicycle
- Replacement of damaged personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and post-traumatic stress
Texas does also allow for punitive damage awards, but such awards require proof of fraud, malice, or gross negligence by clear and convincing evidence. Punitive damages are generally rare in all cases and especially so for bicycle accidents because they are intended more to punish defendants for egregious conduct than to compensate plaintiffs.
How Could a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
There is a good chance that an insurance company could be hoping to resolve your case rather quickly and may offer you a lump sum settlement, but you need to know that whatever you are being offered is probably far short of what you are entitled to. You will want to have an attorney who knows what the actual value of your case is to negotiate a far more just settlement, and they can also file a lawsuit when a settlement is not possible.
Chandler McNulty LLP has nearly four decades of combined legal experience. We have handled cases throughout the country and have not been afraid to take on major corporations.
Troy Chandler is a member of the American Association for Justice, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and National Crime Victim Bar Association. He was named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, and is licensed in Texas, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.
Devin McNulty is a member of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice licensed in Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. He was named a Super Lawyer in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, one of the Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings in 2015, and one of the Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers in 2013.
Chandler McNulty LLP will also provide legal representation on a contingency fee basis. You will only pay if you obtain a financial award.
Will automobile insurance cover a bicycle accident?
In most cases, automobile insurance certainly covers accidents involving motor vehicles. You could also be entitled to compensation through your insurance policy in certain cases, even when you were the bicyclist injured in a crash.
What happens in a hit and run case when a driver does not stop?
If a driver leaves the scene of a bicycle accident, they have committed a criminal offense. You will want to immediately contact the local law enforcement agency, as police will then be motivated to try and find the driver and bring him to justice.
You should also contact an attorney in these cases because a lawyer can conduct an investigation and may be able to locate a driver on their own or assist police in finding the driver. Even if the driver is never brought to justice, you could again be entitled to compensation for your injuries through your own insurance company.
What rights do bicyclists have in Texas?
Texas Transportation Code § 551.101 establishes that a person operating a bicycle has all of the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle.
This means that bicycles must stop at red lights and stop signs, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and have a light on the front of the bike as well as a red reflector or red light on the back.
Bicyclists must ride near the curb and in the same direction as traffic with at least one hand on the handlebars. Bicyclists are expected to use hand and arm signals to indicate intended turns.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Hurt in a bicycle accident? Be sure to hire a lawyer with the right experience to help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. You are likely owed significant compensation, and our team will be here to help you get it.
We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (713) 997-8310 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our bike accident lawyers today.