Dallas Bicycle Accident Lawyers
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For some Dallas residents, cycling can also be an environmentally friendly way to save some money on your daily commute. However, unfortunately, cyclists are also at increased risk of serious injury because they often share the road with automobiles with just a thin, white painted line on the ground separating them. After a bicycle accident, contact a biking accident lawyer in Dallas to help represent your interests.
CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Most biking accidents are a result of where the cyclist was riding. It is dangerous for cyclists to be sharing the same roads as automobiles without the safety measures that a car or a truck provides to its drivers. The causes, however, can be broken down further into a few different categories.
Especially in downtown Dallas, drivers often parallel park their cars along the street very close to, or in sometimes in, the bike lane. When a driver or passenger opens their door to get out of the car, their door will sometimes open into the bike lane. If this happens at the same time a cyclist is passing by, serious injuries can occur.
Even when drivers are paying close attention to the cyclists on the road, they sometimes pass within a few feet given the close proximity of bike lanes to driving lanes. If a driver fails to pay attention to where they are driving, even for a second, they can collide with a cyclist. They don’t even need to contact a cyclist to cause injury—a driver who “buzzes” a cyclist might run them off the road.
One of the more dangerous areas on the road for a cyclist can be the approach to an intersection. Cars who are making right-hand turns will often drift into bike lanes in anticipation of their turn. Driving into the bike lane, combined with drivers who don’t always pay close attention to cyclists, can be a recipe for disaster.
Sometimes bicycle accidents have nothing to do with another vehicle at all. If your bicycle malfunctioned because of the negligence of a bicycle manufacturer, then the injuries resulting from a crash can be just as severe.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
After your bicycle accident, you should complete a few important steps to keep yourself healthy and give yourself the best possible chances of receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.
1. Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, it is important to take steps to address any injuries that you may have sustained during your accident. The adrenaline from your accident may mask pain at first, which means that you might have sustained injuries that you aren’t immediately aware of. Seeking medical attention immediately might help alleviate this risk. Your claim may also depend upon being able to establish a link between the accident you were involved in and the injuries that you sustained. Getting medical attention as soon as possible creates strong proof that the accident caused your injury.
2. Report and Document the Accident
If your accident occurred on the roadway, then make sure to file a report with the local law enforcement agency. If it occurred due to a malfunction of your bicycle, then make sure to file a report with the bicycle’s manufacturer. After filing a report with the proper party, document your accident as thoroughly as possible. This can include taking pictures of your bike, the accident site, and other vehicles involved, collecting your receipts and medical records, and obtaining the contact information for any witnesses.
3. Contact a Dallas Bicycle Accident Attorney
Contact an experienced lawyer soon after your accident occurs. An attorney may be able to help you with every aspect of your legal case, including:
- Filing your lawsuit on time
- Contacting and conducting interviews with witnesses
- Researching and analyzing the Texas and Dallas regulations and laws that apply to your case
The first step in seeking compensation for your injuries is establishing that there is another “liable” party. A party is liable when they are the legally responsible party for your injuries. Proving someone’s liability typically means establishing that they had a legal obligation to conform their actions to a certain standard and failed to do so.
In a bicycle accident case, it is most common that establishing liability will come down to the driver of the automobile involved in your accident. Any driver operating a car or truck on the roads is obligated to follow the rules of the road. This includes driving sober, driving within all of the marked lines on the street, and avoiding distractions like texting while driving. If a driver fails to follow these rules, and that failure is the cause of your accident, then there is a good chance that they might be liable for your injuries.
DALLAS BICYCLE LAWS
In addition to the laws that drivers of automobiles are obligated to follow, there are also laws that cyclists need to adhere to. The authority for these laws is the codes for the City of Dallas, and some of the important regulations found within the codes for cyclists to adhere to include:
- Cyclists are subject to the same laws and ordinances applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. This means that the rules of the road apply the same to bicycles as they do to automobiles—cyclists need to stop at red lights and stop signs, signal their turns, and give the right-of-way to pedestrians.
- Cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet under the law. However, wearing a helmet is a good idea for all cyclists to help prevent or lessen the impact of head injuries.
- It is unlawful for a cyclist to ride their bike on a sidewalk anywhere except for the core of downtown Dallas. Even then, cyclists must continue to give pedestrians the right-of-way and should give an audible signal when they are approaching.
HOW TO FILE A BICYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
The first step in filing a claim for your bicycle accident injuries should be to contact an experienced Dallas attorney. A lawyer may be able to help you evaluate your claim and determine what your options and possible outcomes are, and what your next steps should be. Filing an accident claim is comprised of two major components.
Research and Investigation
The first step in the claim filing process will entail your attorney researching and gathering all the necessary information and evidence that your claim might need. This may include putting together all your medical records, researching the case law and statutory law that pertains to your situation, and inspecting the scene of the accident.
Most personal injury claims will end in a settlement with the opposing party’s insurance company. It is therefore important to have a qualified attorney representing you throughout your case. An attorney might be able to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by unscrupulous insurance companies who are out to pay you as little as legally possible. If you can’t reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company, your case may proceed to trial.
Learn More: How to Negotiate with an Insurance Company
WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
Victims of bicycle accidents have many pressing concerns after their accident. These can include not being able to get to work, not being able to enjoy their usual life activities, and the stress of recovering from their physical injuries. One of the main concerns bicycle accident victims have, however, is what their case might be worth. There is no foolproof way to provide an estimate without the facts of your case, but any money that you receive will typically be comprised of two types of damages.
Economic damages are the readily calculable damages you incur that can be tied to some objective measure. These usually include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that you experience as a result of your injuries. Non-economic damages are not tied to an objective measure like economic damages, but they are intended to make you whole again after your accident.
In certain cases, punitive damages may be available. Unlike the other types of damages, which focus on trying to make the victim whole again, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their actions deter other people from acting similarly.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
CONTACT THE ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
Bicycle accident victims have a lot on their plate—the Dallas attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to take some of the stress away by handling the legal side of your affairs. We believe that accident victims shouldn’t have to worry about their ability to afford legal representation, which is why we use a no-win, no-fee policy. You don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.