Midland Bicycle Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A MIDLAND BIKING ACCIDENT LAWYER FOR FREE
Bicycling is a wonderful form of exercise and means of transportation. However, cyclists often share the road with automobiles, which can mean fatal collisions.
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury from a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Midland bicycle accident lawyers.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
When a cyclist rides near the side of a car, he or she risks being involved in a door accident. This is because a driver who attempts to exit a car generally does not pay attention to oncoming cyclists. As a result, a cyclist can crash into the driver-side door and suffer serious injuries due to the impact and due to the fall.
Drivers often get impatient behind a slow-moving cyclist. As a result, many drivers try to overtake the cyclist. However, when they do so, they sometimes do not give enough space between themselves and the cyclist. Consequently, the driver may hit and injure the cyclist.
This type of accident usually occurs when a driver doesn’t see a cyclist. When the cyclist suddenly appears in their field of vision, it is too late, and they cannot stop in time to avoid an accident.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Cars these days come with so many features to distract drivers that can cause accidents. For instance, a driver may fidget with the onboard GPS while driving and not see a cyclist.
Impaired Driving Accidents
Alcohol and driving do not mix well. Cyclists may hit by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Excessive speed can lead to a crash, as a driver cannot stop in time to avoid the crash.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Automobile drivers are not the only cause of bicycle accidents. Poorly maintained sidewalks and other property damages can cause bicycle accidents. Below is a list of some dangerous road conditions:
- Slippery or wet roads
- Inadequate signs
- Missing or faded lane markers
Texas Laws Specific to Cyclists
Cyclists are subject to the same laws as the operators of other vehicles in Texas. Obviously, this means that cyclists must stop at stoplights and stop signs, but there are also laws that apply specifically to cyclists. Below is a list of some of these laws:
- Cyclists are required to ride close as possible to the right curb when on a roadway. However, a cyclist can disregard this rule if he or she is turning left or passing another vehicle.
- Cyclists should not carry more persons on the bicycle than it is designed to carry.
- A cyclist may not ride a bicycle while carrying an object if that object prevents him or her from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Cyclists should make sure that their brakes work.
- Cyclists who decide to ride at night should equip their bicycles with a lamp in the front and a red reflector in the back.
- Though cyclists may not receive a DUI if caught while drinking alcohol, they may be charged with public intoxication.
Note that Texas does not require that cyclists wear helmets.
Read More: Texas Bicyclist Laws
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, can occur when a cyclist hits his or her head against another object or if the head is shaken with a force strong enough to cause disruption in brain function. TBIs can occur in bicycle accidents because a bicyclist is often thrown headfirst over the handlebars, striking either the ground, vehicle, or another object.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause the loss of sensation and movement below the affected part of the spinal cord. Depending on the severity of the impact, a bicyclist who falls off his bike due to a crash may suffer a spinal cord injury.
Broken bones or fractures are the most common injuries suffered in bicycle accidents. Fractures can occur when a bicyclist is subjected to sufficient force that breaks his or her bones. Though treatable, bicyclists can suffer from long-term pain even after the injury has been healed.
Road rash is a type of skin injury that occurs when the skin slides against the road.
Avoiding Bicycle Accidents
- Wear a helmet
- Have a bell or horn to alert pedestrians, drivers, and other cyclists
- Be alert to traffic signs and signals.
- Ride in bicycle lanes if possible
- Ride with the flow of the traffic rather than against it
- Avoid riding near the side of cars
- Check your surroundings when proceeding through an intersection
- Wear reflect clothing
- Do not wear headphones or earbuds that prevent you from hearing your surroundings
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
1. Report the Accident to the Police
Always be sure to report a bicycle accident to the police. Once a police officer arrives, he or she will generally write a report of the accident. This report often determines who was at fault, and this report will be essential if you decide to file a claim. It also can be valuable evidence if you decide to go to trial.
2. Collect Evidence
Document and retrieve all evidence from the accident scene. Collect the name, address, license number, plate number, and insurance information from all the drivers involved in the accident. Also, if a driver involved in an accident was working for an employer, you should obtain the name and contact information of the driver’s employer.
Witness testimony is also key. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get the names and contact information of the witnesses. If any of the witnesses took photographs or video recordings of the accident, ask them for copies. If you have a camera at the scene of the accident, take some photographs of the scene.
3. Get Medical Attention
Because your health is your number one priority, you should get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. Furthermore, by getting medical attention, you also get the benefit of having doctors to record your injuries. Do not refuse to go to the hospital just because you think you are fine after the accident. You want to make sure that you have all your potential injuries recorded to have a chance of getting just compensation.
4. Notify Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company even if you were not at fault for the accident. This is because your insurance company may be able to give you some compensation for the accident. However, do not make the mistake of saying that you were responsible for the accident. If your insurance company asks for a recorded statement, do not do so without advice from an experienced lawyer.
5. Get a Lawyer
If you decide to file a claim and you believe that you may be able to file a claim on your own without hiring a lawyer, it may be still useful to at least consult with a lawyer to find out if there are any pitfalls in your case. This is especially true if you believe you were injured due to a poorly maintained public road, as legal actions against the government follow a different set of legal rules than standard lawsuits.
You may be eligible for compensation for economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses may cover expenses, such as past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, damaged property, and past and future loss of earning capacity. Non-economic losses, on the other hand, compensate for intangible losses, such as past and future emotional anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of activities.
Time Limit to File Personal Injury Lawsuit
In Texas, any civil action for personal injury must be filed within two years from when the injury occurred. In other words, if you experience a bicycle accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. It is important to speak with an attorney to understand more about the legal time limits to avoid missing the deadline.
There are generally two circumstances when a plaintiff may file a personal injury lawsuit beyond the two-year time limit. For instance, if the plaintiff was under the age of 18 when the injury occurred, the two-year time limit does not begin until he or she turns 18. The time limit also may also be extended if the injured person becomes mentally incompetent after the accident. In such cases, the time limit does not begin until the plaintiff becomes mentally competent.
Furthermore, a plaintiff may have more time to file a lawsuit if the individual responsible for the injury leaves Texas. The time to file a lawsuit will stop if the responsible individual leaves Texas. In general, however, courts take the two-year time limit seriously. Even if your claim is extremely solid, if you file beyond the deadline, the court will likely dismiss your claim.
CONTACT A MIDLAND BIKING ACCIDENT LAWYER
The experienced Midland attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your bicycle accident claim. We have helped many personal injury victims seek compensation for their injuries. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Midland bicycle accident lawyers. We are currently offering virtual consultations to ensure the safety and health of our clients during the COVID-19 crisis.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.