Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Dallas
While bicycle accidents are common, no one ever thinks a horrible event like this could happen to them. But the facts beg to differ: in 2002, 662 bicyclists were killed and 48,000 were injured in traffic crashes. Every 6 hours a bicyclist is fatally injured and approximately one million children are injured each year in a bicycle incident. One-third of bicycle accidents involve a vehicle- and most often, the motorist is at fault for the crash.
After a bicycle crash happens to you or a loved one, it can be difficult to think rationally and know what to do. But after receiving medical attention, if another party was responsible for the crash, you can file a personal injury claim- and the sooner you do that, the better (Texas’ statute of limitations allows victims a duration of 2 years to file a claim). You should not have to pay out-of-the-pocket for medical expenses that are the result of another person’s negligence.
What to Do After an Accident
Bicyclists have the same rights as motorists. After an accident occurs, you should call the police and make an accident report. This will allow you to have a record of your injuries and property damage on file. You should also gather the contact information (name, address, e-mail, phone number, driver’s license number, name of their insurance company and policy number) of the party responsible for the accident.
Also, record the name and badge number of the police officer who reports to the scene and the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle that careened into you. Take any pictures of the property damage and bodily injury that occurred. Preserve whatever evidence you can, such as the wrecked bike or your dented helmet- to show that you were abiding by the law. Keep a journal of the accident- what lead up to it, why you think the other party was responsible and what steps you took after the accident. Writing this information will allow the details to stay fresh in your mind. Did any witnesses see the accident occur? Their testimony could be helpful in proving the negligence of the other party.
When You Could be At Fault
Filing a personal injury claim is only helpful if another person was at fault for the accident that occurred- if you were negligent or comparatively negligent, the claim could be dismissed. In what way could you have been partly responsible for the accident? Questions to ask yourself include the following:
- Were you wearing a helmet?
- Were you obeying traffic laws?
- Did you obey traffic signals, such as red lights and crosswalk lights?
- Did you have all the safety gear, that your community enforces when on the road? For example, side and rear reflectors, front headlamp and high visibility clothing.
- Were you riding negligently- did you take drugs or alcohol shortly before riding?
- Did you have headphones on? Your impaired hearing could have contributed to the crash.
On the other hand, if the motorist was driving distractedly or disobeying traffic laws (such as failing to yield), he/she can be held responsible for the accident.
Other Causes of Bicycle Accidents
At other times, a bicyclist can be injured when a manufacturer installs a defective part- and in this case, the company that makes the bicycle can be held responsible. Or at other times, the city is responsible for not upkeeping roads and potholes, cracks in the road and other hazards can cause a cyclist injury. Sometimes it is not immediately obvious who was at fault or why an accident occurred, which is why it can be helpful to bring a Dallas bicycle accident attorney to do some investigation. If you contact Zinda Law Group, our Dallas personal injury lawyers can examine your case and see if the carelessness of a third party- such as a motorist, the city, or bicycle manufacturer- was responsible for your accident. Call today!