According to ShareTheRoadTexas.org, from 2010 to 2016, there were 16,807 reported crashes in Texas involving bicycles, resulting in 9,769 injuries, 5,646 possible injuries, and 362 fatalities. That averages to approximately 2,401 bicycle accidents each year. These accidents result in medical bills, emotional stress, lawsuits, and more.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you may not know what comes next. I want to help share that information and lead you down the right path. If you live in Edinburg or the surrounding areas of McAllen, Mission, or the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, call my firm — The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca.
I focus my efforts on helping individuals and families through challenging situations involving personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents. Reach out to me today to schedule a consultation.
When you have been in a bicycle accident, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to do. There are certain things that should be done quickly, especially if you want to file a personal injury claim or insurance claim.
Immediately after your accident, you need to remember to do the following:
Call 911 — The first thing you need to do after being involved in a bicycle accident is call 911. It is important to seek assistance right away in a situation like this.
Get the Driver’s Information — You should then get the driver’s information as well as any eyewitness information. It will help your case to do this now, especially with eyewitnesses, since they can be hard to identify and locate later on.
Document Details of the Crash — Any information you can obtain at the scene of the accident will help you later on. This includes pictures of the scene, insurance information, license plate numbers, etc.
Get Medical Attention — If you are injured, you need to get medical assistance. Even if you do not think you are injured, you should seek medical assistance anyway. Some injuries do not appear right away, and medical assistance can help prove that there was physical harm caused by the crash.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney — You need to hire a personal injury attorney whose experience will help you navigate the uncertainty of your situation.
The more you can do initially, the better it can be for you later on in the legal process.
It can be dangerous riding a bicycle in Texas, as shown by the statistics mentioned above. There are laws in the state of Texas that pertain specifically to bicyclists.
There are a series of laws regarding the equipment of the bicycle and the bicyclist. These laws include:
Every bicycle must be fitted with a white headlight.
Every bicycle must be fitted with a red reflector or a red light on the rear.
Bicyclists cannot carry more people than the bicycle they are riding was designed to carry.
Bicyclists must not carry objects that prohibit them from keeping at least one of their hands on the handlebars at all times.
There are also laws pertaining to how a bicyclist must operate the bicycle:
They must ride their bicycle on the right side of the road as close to the curb as they can. (Exceptions include when they are passing vehicles or turning left.)
Bicyclists may not ride on sidewalks.
Bicyclists must utilize hand signals when turning.
It is important to note that, while it is not required by state law to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, some local communities, such as Austin, Fort Worth, and Houston, do have laws in place that require children under 18 to wear helmets.
Since bicycles are considered vehicles in Texas, other vehicles must treat them as such. They must give them space and use reasonable care when near them.
If you have been hit by a car while riding a bicycle, you will likely want to file a claim. There are a few things to consider when you decide to file a claim.
Texas is an “at-fault” state. This means that the individuals determined to be responsible for the accident are held liable for damages. It is possible that you could be found partially at fault for your accident.
Texas uses a “modified comparative fault” rule, which dictates that the damages you can collect are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you are not eligible to pursue compensation.
For example, if the driver is determined to have been 80% at fault for the accident and you are found to have been 20% at fault, then the amount of compensation awarded to you will be subtracted by 20%.
Keep in mind, there is a statute of limitations for bicycle accidents. You must file a claim within two years of the date the crash happened.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney. If you live in Edinburg, McAllen, Mission, or the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, I want to help guide you through this process. Call me at The Law Office of Aaron Fonseca today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.