Bicycle Accidents In Houston
Roberts Markland LLP represents injured bicyclists in Houston, TX. Call 713-630-0900 today for a free consultation and case review.
Bicycles represent fun and freedom for kids and adults alike. Sadly, though, it is not uncommon for drivers not to see bicyclists until it is too late. Hundreds of bicyclists per year are killed in the United States, and tens of thousands visit emergency rooms with serious injuries. Cyclists aged 16-20 have the highest injury rate, while those aged 45-54 have the highest rate of fatalities. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you need the help of an experienced bicycle injury attorney to protect your rights.
Common Bicycle Injuries
Since bicyclists are entirely exposed, when a bicycle is hit by a car, injuries nearly always occur. You can minimize the risks by wearing a helmet, long pants, and sturdy shoes, but there is no such thing as full protection. The most common bicycle injuries include:
· Head injuries
· Spinal cord injuries
· Back injuries
· Joint injuries
· “Road rash”
· Internal injuries
Common Causes for Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents may be the fault of an inexperienced or inattentive bicyclist, or one who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For the most part, though, crashes with motor vehicles are caused by drivers who did not see the bicyclist. Common causes include:
· Distracted driving
· Failure to yield right of way
· Backing up or pulling out without looking
· Making a turn
· Unsafe lane changes
· Drunk driving
What Kinds of Compensation Are Available?
Bicyclists who are injured by a driver may be eligible for different kinds of compensation, depending on the specific details of the accident. These include:
Economic damages: These are quantifiable expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, rehab costs, and loss of earning capacity. Ensuring that you receive full compensation can be tricky, as we must determine not only your current expenses from the accident, but those that will affect you in the future.
General damages: General damages are not easy to quantify, but they are no less real. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages apply only in cases of intentional misconduct or gross negligence, such as drunk driving.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Texas is a comparative negligence state, which means that your damages are reduced by the percentage that you were at fault in the accident. If you are found to have been 51% or more at fault, you are not entitled to any compensation. Of course, the other party’s insurance company and/or lawyer will try to raise your at fault percentage as high as possible to reduce your award. This means that it is essential for an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to fight for your rights.
Please note that Houston has a helmet law for bicyclists under the age of 18. If your minor child suffers a head injury and is not wearing a helmet, he or she may not be entitled to damages.
What Should I Expect?
We will conduct an investigation, as will the other party’s lawyer and both insurance companies. Investigations involve witness statements, police reports, and forensic evidence. All parties will then attempt to negotiate a settlement. If you are contacted by an insurance company or another party’s lawyer, call us right away. Do not give a recorded statement or sign any documents without the guidance of your attorney.
If we are able to reach a fair and equitable settlement, you will receive a financial award. Otherwise, we are prepared to take your case to court to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident in Houston, contact Roberts Markland LLP today at 713-630-0900 for a free case review and consultation.