Biking accidents can be attributed to several factors. Motorists must be cautious when sharing the road with bicyclists simply because they’re difficult to see on the road. Any distractions could lead to dangerous conditions for bikers. So, what common factors lead to bicycle accidents in Houston, Texas? Keep reading to learn more about what causes biking accidents and how a personal injury attorney can help if one of these accidents ever happens to you.
Leading Causes of Bicycle Crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most serious cause of biking accidents involves the biker getting hit by a car. Such accidents can cause great bodily injury for the cyclist since a car is so much larger than a bicycle, which is basically a wide-open, unprotected vehicle. Some bicycle crashes even lead to death, causing grief and the loss of loved ones.
Other leading causes of biking accidents include:
- Falling off of the bike.
- Hitting something on the pavement.
- Riding on poorly constructed roads.
- Running into a stationary object.
- Swerving into traffic or other dangerous conditions to avoid hitting an animal.
Here are just some of the issues that lead to bicyclists getting hit by motorists:
- Dangerous roads: Roads that are under construction, poorly built, or badly maintained can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal crashes.
- Distracted drivers: Between fiddling with the radio, getting directions from Google Maps, and listening to passengers, drivers can sometimes become distracted, making the roads unsafe for bicyclists.
- Failure to yield: When a motorist fails to yield when a bike rider has the right of way, this could lead to a serious accident.
- Low visibility: Because bicycles are much smaller than motor vehicles, motorists can experience low visibility, putting the biker in danger.
Common Bicycle Crash Injuries
Have you sustained injuries from a bicycle accident in the state of Texas? If so, you should get medical attention immediately. Even if you don’t see or feel any visible injuries, it’s important to get a thorough medical exam just in case you have any internal injuries.
If no injuries are found, pay close attention to your physical condition over the following week. Seek medical attention if you discover that you are actually injured.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the following as common, serious injuries suffered by riders in bicycle accidents:
- Abrasions, bruises, and cuts.
- Head injuries, such as concussions.
- Dental and facial injuries.
- Numbness or tingling.
- Dizziness or headaches.
- Emotional anguish.
- Foot, leg, and knee fractures.
- Muscle or joint tension.
- Abdomen, neck, shoulder, and spinal column pain.
- Wrongful death.
Texas Bike Road Laws and Accidents
According to BikeTexas, the Texas bicycle laws state that bicyclists not only have the same rights as vehicle operators, but they are also responsible for the same duties. This means that as a bike rider, you must:
- Adhere to red lights and stop signs.
- Ride going the same direction as traffic as close to the curb as safely possible.
- Use arm and hand signals, just like motorists use blinkers.
- Keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Not allow anyone to ride on the same saddle as you.
- Have a white light in the front and a red light or a red reflector on the rear.
- Calling Your Insurance Company After a Bike Accident
Although it’s not a law in Texas, experts advise you to have insurance to cover you and your bike in case of a collision. Insurance can also help cover costs if you are found to be at fault for an accident and claims are filed and won against you.
If you are covered, contact your insurance company immediately, whether you’re at fault or not. Give the agent the following information, without accepting or assigning blame:
- The parties who were involved.
- The cause of the crash.
- When the bike accident occurred.
- The contact information of the law enforcement officer who took the report.
- The insurance and contact information of the other party.
- What Not To Tell Your Insurance Company
When calling your insurance company after a bicycle collision, avoid giving an official statement or talking about the following with the agent:
- Your medical information.
- Settlement negotiations.
- Who is at fault.
- Your legal representation status.
In addition, you should never submit medical records, police reports, or other documents or evidence without the advice of a bicycle accident lawyer.
How To Recover Damages After a Bike Crash in Houston
The first step to filing a claim for damages is to establish liability. As the plaintiff, you must prove that the other party was responsible for the accident and your injuries. There are two main ways to do this:
Submit Liability Evidence
These are some of the sources you can use as evidence to support your liability claim:
- An accident report.
- Proof of wages lost.
- Video surveillance.
- Eyewitness testimony.
- Medical records.
Get Expert Witness Testimony
Contact expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction professionals or medical experts, and ask them to testify for you. They must explain how the biking accident was caused or how it relates to your injuries.
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim in Houston?
According to Texas law, you have two years to file a case for a personal injury as an accident victim. This means that once the two-year statute of limitations is up, it may be too late to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Houston Personal Injury Attorney for Bike Riders
Godsey Martin, P.C. is ready to discuss the facts of your case and provide answers to any questions you may have. As your local bicycle accident attorneys, we can help you file your personal injury lawsuit. Our industry experts will engage with all parties involved in the case, take over the legal process for you by acting on your behalf, and negotiate a settlement for you with the at-fault party.
If you’ve suffered injuries or someone you loved was killed due to a bicycle accident in Houston, the attorneys at Godsey Martin, P.C. are industry leaders you can trust. Call us for a free consultation at 800-IGOTHIT (800-446-8448). Or, you can contact us online to learn more about our Houston bicycle accidents services.