Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Austin, Texas
The weather, bike routes, and Texas charm make Austin a great city for bicycling. However, a negligent driver or rider can change your life in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re sharing the roadway with vehicles or a bike path with other cyclists, it’s far too easy to sustain injuries in a bicycle accident. If you have been injured while riding your bicycle in Austin or anywhere else in the state of Texas, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. Likewise, if a loved one has been injured or killed while riding a bike, you may be able to pursue compensation.
Rodman Law Office is here to help. As a former insurance defense attorney, I know how insurance companies deny personal injury and wrongful death claims. As a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney for the past two decades, I use that knowledge to work against those who want to deny or devalue your claim. I’m proud to serve clients in Austin and throughout Travis County, Williamson County, and Hays County. Set up a one-on-one consultation to get started.
What Should I Do After
a Bicycle Accident?
Begin with calling 911, just as you would do if you were in a car accident. The dispatcher will know what law enforcement, first responders, and other emergency responders to send to the scene. If you are able, get out of the roadway to a safe place and wait for law enforcement to arrive.
If you were hit by a vehicle, get the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. If you were hit by another cyclist, get their name, contact information, and the name of the insurance company for their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. You should also note the names and contact details of any witnesses to the incident.
Try to document the details of the event and of the scene while things are fresh in your mind. As you remember details, add them to your account of what happened. You will also need to get copies of the crash report completed by law enforcement, your medical records and bills, and any documentation regarding lost wages you suffer as a result of your injuries.
For your own sake, and for the sake of any personal injury claim, you may pursue, seek medical attention right away. You may think your injuries are minor or that you didn’t suffer any, but you may have. Some injuries aren’t readily apparent, but an emergency room physician will know what to look for. You will need documentation of a diagnosis and medical bills to pursue a bodily injury claim.
Hire a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. At Rodman Law Office, I’m ready to put the insurer on notice of a claim, begin investigating the incident, gather documentation, and build your case for compensation. You should focus on recovering from your injuries—I’ll handle the rest.
What Texas Laws Affect Bicycle
Riders & Vehicle Drivers?
In general, bicycle riders must obey the same rules of the road as vehicle drivers. Traffic signs, lanes, stoplights, directional instructions, and so forth pertain to cyclists the same as drivers. However, there are specific laws that apply to bicyclists, designed to keep them safe. These include:
Not riding on the sidewalk;
Riding as close to the curb in the right-hand lane as possible;
Using arm signals to stop, turn, and slow down;
Having lights and/or reflectors on the front and back of the bicycle when riding at night;
Keeping both hands on the handlebars at all times, unless signaling, which means not carrying anything that would prohibit them from doing so; and,
Carrying no passengers unless the bicycle is designed to carry them.
Keep in mind that if you were injured while riding a bicycle and you were violating any of these Texas laws at the time, you can be assigned all or partial fault for the accident. Likewise, any bicycle rider who fails their duty of care and injures another bicycle rider, as a result, is liable for their injuries.
Vehicle drivers must also exercise their duty of care. They may not pass a bicycle rider except as allowed, must give them space and slow down if necessary to maintain it, and be vigilant for riders and their safety. If a vehicle driver fails to uphold their duty of care, they are negligent and may be held liable for the injuries caused to the cyclist.
How Do You File a Claim
in a Bicycle Accident?
Texas is an at-fault state for accidents, so the person whose negligence caused the accident is financially responsible for the damages incurred by their victims.
Although the bicycle rider’s safety is outmatched by the safety of the vehicle operator, that doesn’t mean the rider may not be fully or partially negligent. Texas abides by a modified comparative fault rule. Fault can be assigned to more than one party to an accident. So long as your fault is less than the other party’s fault, you can pursue a personal injury claim. However, your financial recovery will be reduced by any percentage of fault assigned to you.
For example, suppose you are hit by a car when you swerve left in the lane to avoid riding over a grate. You are assigned 40% of the fault for the accident. If you are awarded $100,000 for your injuries and other damages, you would receive only $60,000 because your settlement would be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you were assigned more than 50% of the fault for the accident, you may not recover any damages.
Time is not on your side when filing a personal injury insurance claim in Texas. You have only two years from the date of the accident to either settle your claim with the insurance company or file a lawsuit against the negligent party in civil court.
Bicycle Accidents Attorney Serving Austin, Texas
If you have been injured while riding a bike or a loved one has been incapacitated or killed, let me take a look at your case. If you have a personal injury or wrongful death claim, I will help you pursue a claim or judgment to obtain fair compensation. If someone else was negligent, they should be held accountable. Reach out to Rodman Law Office in Austin, Texas to schedule a consultation.