With miles of beautiful trails, miles of designated bike lanes, and gorgeous cityscapes, cycling is common throughout Texas. Under Texas Transportation Code, bicyclists not only share the road with other vehicles, but they also have the same rights and duties as other vehicle operators.
However, bicycles do not offer the same external protections as cars and trucks, and sharing the road with other vehicles can prove dangerous for cyclists. In 2020, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 82 fatalities from crashes involving bicyclists, an 8% increase from the previous year.
If you or a loved one was recently injured in a bicycle accident, you may have many questions about your next steps. Should you immediately get medical care or call the police? Should you contact an attorney? Continue reading to learn more about bicycle accidents, including what you should do after a bicycle accident and the benefits of having an attorney during this stressful time.
What Are the Common Causes of Cycling Accidents?
There are many different factors that contribute to bicycle accidents. In addition to safety hazards on the road, such as potholes, cracked curbs, and inclement weather, most bicycle accidents are caused by someone’s action or inaction.
Common causes of cycling accidents include:
- Distracted drivers.
- Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Speeding drivers.
- Drivers in designated bike lanes.
- Riding in a vehicle’s blind spot.
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Product defect in the bicycle design.
Regardless of the causes, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will be able to determine who or what is at fault for your accident and injuries and get you the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Injuries Are Possible in a Bicycle Accident?
Most bicycle accidents result in minor injuries, such as scrapes, cuts, and bruises. However, when other vehicles are involved or the cyclist is not wearing a helmet or other protective gear, more severe injuries are possible, such as:
- Broken and fractured bones.
- Head and neck injuries.
- Spinal cord and back injuries.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Internal organ damage.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Regardless of the severity of the accident, the moments immediately following a cycling accident can be overwhelming, scary, and disorienting. The first thing you should do is assess the environment for safety hazards and serious injuries. If you or someone with you have suffered serious injuries, contact emergency services immediately.
Once you have ensured your safety and the safety of others with you, the following six steps can help safeguard your right to justice and compensation:
Contact law enforcement and emergency services, even if you don’t suspect injuries. Law enforcement and emergency services will further assess the scene and make sure you and others are safe. Be sure to provide as much information as possible, but do not answer any questions you do not know the answer to.
Exchange contact and insurance information. Getting the name, address, and phone number of everyone involved makes it easier to obtain the necessary information after the accident. Don’t forget any witnesses. Be sure to also obtain any insurance and driver’s license information from the other parties involved.
Take photographs. Pictures are valuable evidence and useful in supporting your case. If possible, take pictures of:
- The driver’s license and license plate of parties involved.
- The accident scene, including any traffic signs and tire or track marks.
- Any damage to your bicycle.
- Any damage to other vehicles.
- Your injuries and any injuries others with you sustained.
Get medical care. As soon as possible after the accident, you should seek medical care. Some injuries are not visible, and others may not immediately cause pain or other symptoms. You should not delay medical care because it can negatively affect your claim for compensation for your injuries.
Secure any physical evidence from the accident. You may be tempted to repair your bicycle or replace your helmet. Do not. It is better to preserve the evidence as it currently is.
Contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney. The process of filing a cycling accident claim is a complex process, better managed by an attorney who is knowledgeable about Texas personal injury law. An attorney will be able to manage all aspects of your claim while you recover from your injuries.
How Can Godsey Martin, PC Help Me After My Cycling Accident?
Our experienced and dedicated personal injury attorneys understand that each case is unique and the process of filing a cycling accident claim is a complicated one. With our extensive knowledge of Texas personal injury law, Godsey Martin, PC will assist you with every aspect of your bicycle accident case, including:
- Understanding your legal rights and options.
- Filing your claim with the insurance companies and/or the court.
- Obtaining necessary evidence for the case, such as photographs of the accident, witness statements, and medical records.
- Referring you to qualified medical professionals, including physical therapists.
- Handling all correspondence with insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Negotiating settlements with insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Getting compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages associated with the accident.
The process of filing a bicycle accident claim in Texas may seem overwhelming at first. However, our law firm of over 90 knowledgeable attorneys provides you with a dedicated, professional, and personalized experience from the first day you enter our offices.
Since 2007, our law firm has helped more than 1,000 Texans and their families receive justice and compensation for their personal injuries and accidents they deserve while making sure their voices are heard. We are your Texas-trusted and Texas-tested personal injury law firm and will fight to get you the compensation and justice you and your family deserve.
Contact us online or at 1-800-IGOTHIT (1-800-446-8448) for a free consultation about your bicycle accident case.
There is no upfront cost with us. All of our personal injury claims and cases, including slip and fall claims, are taken on a contingency fee basis. We don’t get paid unless you get paid!