Bicycle Accident Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas
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Millions of people ride their bicycles every day using the roads shared with other cars. Whether someone is riding for their commute or for a leisurely activity, they are in danger of becoming one of the thousands of people injured in bicycle accidents each year. Bicycle accidents can lead to injuries that can have a lasting impact on your physical, mental, and financial well-being for months or years to come. That’s why it’s important to call a San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident.
If you feel your accident was caused by the negligence of another, you may wish to file a claim against those you feel are responsible. You should meet with a San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your case and decide how best to proceed with your claim.
BICYCLE ACCIDENTS: CAUSES AND INJURIES
Bicycle accidents can easily be prevented when you have the requisite knowledge and skills before heading out on the road. In addition to knowing the bicycle riding laws of your area, knowing the common causes of accidents can help you avoid becoming the victim of one.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
There are several things people do or fail to do that lead to collisions with cars and other bike riders. Human-error causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Failing to signal
- Failure to yield
- Impaired driving
- Blowing red lights and stop signs
- Weaving through Traffic
- Distracted Driving
Aside from human error, there are environmental causes of bicycle accidents that you should be aware of. Road conditions, such as icy roads or potholes, can present dangerous situations for riders. Always ride safely and remain aware of your surroundings when on the road.
Common Injuries from Biking Accidents
Injuries from bicycle accidents can range from minor, such as cuts and bruises, to severe, such as head trauma and broken bones. Riders can suffer from a combination of the two. Common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Scrapes and bruises
- Broken and fractured bones
- Facial injuries
- Neurological damage
- Ruptured discs
- Wrongful death
HOW TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT
There are preventative steps you can take to lower your risk of becoming a bicycle accident victim. For example, most bicycle-related accidents occur from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and from midnight to 3 a.m., so be extra careful during those times. The following guidelines can help you ensure the safety of you and other cyclists around you.
Prepare for Your Ride
Make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment before you get on the road. In addition to a helmet and a properly sized bicycle, you should wear bright clothing when riding during the day. At night, wear reflective clothing, and be sure to have a white front light and red backlight on your bicycle to ensure visibility even in poor conditions. Also, sure there is only one rider per seat and keep your hands on the handlebars at all times, aside from when signaling turns.
Drive Defensively and Predictably
Driving defensively means staying focused and alert, as well as doing these things:
- Keep an eye out for traffic signals and stop signs and obey each.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Just as with driving, avoid texting while riding.
- Be sure to look out for potholes and other obstacles.
- Always signal before you turn.
It is best to avoid weaving in and out of traffic or frequently switching between riding on the road and the sidewalk. If sidewalk-riding is allowed in your area, it is best to stick to either the road or sidewalk for much of your ride. If you choose the sidewalk, avoid riding into the road unless the sidewalk ends, or when you are avoiding pedestrians.
Know Your Local Bicycle Riding Laws
Bicycle riders need to follow the rules of the road that all drivers do. Texas riders have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers and should be aware of the laws in this state governing both. For example, like drivers, riders are prohibited from traveling at excessive speeds, riding through red lights and stop signs, and riding under the influence.
There are additional bicycle riding laws that cyclists in San Antonio need to be aware of. These laws include helmet laws, sidewalk prohibition laws, and laws specifying where a rider should be on the road when there is no bike lane. For example, San Antonio has adopted a Bike Light Ordinance, which requires riders to have a front white light and rear red reflector or red rear light on their bicycles. Failure to comply with the ordinance is a class C misdemeanor.
San Antonio has also adopted a Safe Passing Ordinance, which sets a requirement of safe passing by motor vehicles for vulnerable road users. This ordinance establishes a duty of due care and the requirement of a motor vehicle operator not to interfere with vulnerable users’ legal use of the road. Safe passing distance is defined as 3′ for cars and 6′ for commercial or large trucks that only applies when road conditions allow. Violation of the ordinance is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor and fine not to exceed $200.00.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT
As with all accidents, the steps you take afterwards are important to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your claim. The following steps should be followed as closely as possible in your given situation:
1. Seek medical assistance.
First, you should seek medical assistance. Even if you seem fine, you may have a less noticeable injury that requires medical attention. Be sure to document your injuries both with pictures and paperwork from your doctor. If your injuries are severe, call 911 to ensure you are treated immediately.
2. Call the police.
Second, call the police. The police will investigate and make a report of the accident. If you are not severely injured and are still on the scene, use your phone camera to take pictures of the area and the damage to your bicycle. These pictures will be useful to your personal injury lawyer later when investigating your claim.
3. Contact a San Antonio personal injury lawyer.
Finally, if you believe that your accident is the result of negligent or intentional misconduct on behalf of another rider, a pedestrian, or an automobile driver, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A skilled San Antonio bicycle accident attorney will be able to help you file a claim and hold the at-fault party responsible for your injuries. Zinda Law Group’s personal injury lawyers have experience with claims involving bicycle accidents and an outstanding record of success in handling matters like these for our clients.
Texas Statute of Limitations
If you wish to pursue a personal injury claim against another party to your bicycle accident, contact an injury attorney right away, for there are time constraints called statute of limitations, which determine how long you have to file your claim.In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case involving a bicycle accident is two years. This means that you would have two years from the date of your accident to file an injury claim.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE AND HOW?
An at-fault party can be held responsible for your injuries in a civil court if the four elements of a negligence claim are met: duty, breach of that duty, causation, and damages. A lawyer must prove that the driver or other rider owed you a duty, which is typically to act as a reasonably prudent person would under similar circumstances.. Next, a lawyer must show that, but-for the at-fault party, your injuries would not have occurred. Damages are proven by showing you suffered an injury, whether physical or financial (such as damage to your bike) from the accident.
If all these elements are met, you may recover the monetary costs of the accident from them. Typically, the first two elements (duty and breach) can be proven by showing the driver violated a law which was meant to a certain group of people. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in identifying any laws that may have been violated to show these first two elements are satisfied when pursuing your claim.
WHAT YOU CAN RECOVER
You may be able to recover the costs associated with your injury and recovery through a personal injury claim. Your injury may leave you unable to work or perform daily tasks, and you might require ongoing medical care and extensive rehabilitative therapy. You may be able to recover the costs in the form of compensatory damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Recoverable damages include both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are the actual, monetary costs of your injury. Noneconomic damages cover the mental and emotional toll the injury has taken on your life and are recovered in the form of compensation for pain and suffering.
The following are common economic and noneconomic damages you may be entitled to recover:
You may be able to recover the cost of medical bills you have paid out of pocket since the accident. This includes doctor’s visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and medication. You may also be able to recover the costs of any future appointments, medication, or treatments necessary for your recovery.
If you are out of work due to your injury, you may recover what you would have earned from the time of the accident until you can return to work as a part of your economic damages.
Diminished Earning Capacity
In addition to lost wages, you may be able to recover loss of earning capacity. If your injuries from the accident prevent you from going back to your job, you may be able to recover the difference between what you were earning before the accident and what you are earning now.
If you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you may be able to recover any costs for their medical care or funeral expenses through a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Your non-economic damages include pain and suffering that result from the accident. Any kind of bike accident takes emotional and mental tolls on a person and their family.You may be able to recover for this mental anguish itself, as well as the cost of mental health treatment that may stem from the accident.
How Zinda LAW GROUP’s SAN ANTONIO BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYERS Can HELP
Suffering from an injury or losing a loved one after a bicycle accident can be a source of immense emotional and financial stress on you and your family. It is important to get as much help and support as you can following a bicycle accident. Our San Antonio injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group can assist you with recovering the costs associated with your or your loved one’s injury and recovery.
Our experienced bicycle accident lawyers will guide you through the often-complex legal system to help file your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. We will take care of the legal work so you can focus on yourself and your family. If we do not win your case, you will not owe us anything. This is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.