Biking is one of the best ways for active people to get around. However, when you have to share the road with drivers who often fail to treat cyclists fairly on the road, riding a bike could become incredibly dangerous. When drivers fail to watch out for cyclists or intentionally try to pressure bikers, they could put their lives and safety at risk.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bike accident, contact the Houston bike accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. Our experienced injury attorneys work to help accident victims recover financial compensation for the injuries they faced. These injuries are often quite severe in bike accidents, and our attorneys will fight to see that your rights are protected and that you receive payments for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after a bike accident. To set up a free legal consultation, call our Houston bike accident lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing for a Bike Accident in Houston, TX
Cyclists, pedestrians, and others who share the roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks in Houston are often involved in accidents with dangerous drivers. In many cases, the driver is in the best position to avoid the accident by following the rules of the road and giving cyclists the proper distance, yielding to them like they are other vehicles, and generally keeping an eye out for vehicles other than cars. When these drivers cause accidents with bikers, they can often be sued for their negligence.
While you might be able to file a car insurance claim for a crash while riding your bike, this might not cover your injuries entirely. Many cyclists face very severe injuries after being hit by a car. These victims may need substantial funds to cover expensive medical bills, rehabilitation, and other costs. If you file an insurance claim, you may be limited in what type of damages you can claim and how much the insurance company will pay. A lawsuit can instead include a claim for the full value of all damages related to the crash.
When you file a lawsuit, your lawyer can help you manage all the paperwork and filings. This will include an initial complaint that lays out the details about what happened and why the other driver was responsible. It will also explain how their negligence caused your injuries.
Determining Fault in Houston, TX Bike Accident Cases
In some cases, the defendant might accuse you of being the one who was really at fault, and our lawyers will have to review the facts and make a clear argument as to why it was them, not you, that caused the crash. Many times, bikers get a bad reputation for darting in and out of traffic, violating traffic laws, or otherwise cycling in unsafe ways. In some cases, these laws do come into play, but they often weigh in favor of the cyclist when determining who is at fault in a Houston bike accident case.
Houston Bike Laws
Under Texas law, bikes are vehicles. This means that when they are on the road, cyclists get all the same rights that a driver would. Sometimes bikes are allowed on sidewalks, but most areas in Houston have signs that say no biking on the sidewalks, and other local ordinances might say the same. This means that if a bike accident happened in the street, the bicycle rider is likely to be treated like another car, and the car’s driver will be held accountable for anything they did wrong if it would have been illegal to do it to another car. If the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk or in a crosswalk, they might be considered partly at fault for the crash.
Examples of Fault in a Bike Accident
Drivers often hit cyclists because of one of the following errors or mistakes:
- Failing to look for bikes on the right side of the car while turning right
- Failing to watch out for cyclists making left turns in traffic
- Tailgating bicycles
- Passing too closely
Cyclists also end up in crashes many times because of obstructions in the bike lane, such as parked cars, traffic cones, construction, and even trash. If they have to leave the bike lane to avoid dangers, they are usually entitled to share the road with cars, so drivers need to be on the lookout for this as well.
Assigning Fault in a Bike Accident
If the driver committed any of these errors or mistakes, the court should hold them accountable for the crash. If the cyclist shared some responsibility by committing errors themselves (such as riding on the sidewalk or failing to signal before a turn), the court could find each party shares partial fault for the accident. This allows the cyclist to still “win” the case, but their damages might be reduced to account for their share of the fault. This is usually calculated by assigning a percent fault to each party involved and having them pay that percentage of the damages, leaving off the portion the victim is responsible for.
Call Our Houston Bike Accident Lawyers for Help
After a bike accident, it is important to get the medical care you need for your injuries and to talk to an injury attorney. The Houston bike accident lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm represent injury victims after bike accidents and other serious injuries throughout the Houston area. For a free case consultation, call us today at (817) 476-1797.