Bicycle Accident Attorney in Houston
United States Centers of Disease ControlBicycle accidents are a major cause of serious injuries and death to both adults and children in Houston and all over Texas. If you or a loved one have been hit by a car while cycling, you need competent, Houston bicycle accident lawyers working for you from the start.
One of the Best Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Houston
Since cyclists usually have every right to be in the main traffic lanes, they must follow the rules of the road like folks in motor vehicles. Likewise, drivers of cars must respect the rights of way of cyclists and owe a duty to avoid injury to them. The bicycle accident attorneys at Fleming Law represent cyclists that have been hit by motor vehicles such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
How do You Prove Liability if You Have Been Hit While Cycling?
Proving liability under Texas law is the same as in car accidents. As in any negligence case, a bike injury claim is proven by showing a duty, breach of that duty, causation, and resulting damages. Everybody has a duty of reasonable care in their interactions with other people. An example of this would be the duty to be on the lookout for cyclists and take care when passing them.
Breach of duty could be speeding or not paying attention when driving around a bike rider. Causation simply means that the breach of the duty of reasonable care caused the injuries or damages. For example, when a speeding motorist hits a cyclist and the accident would not have happened but for the speeding, negligence is proven. The injuries sustained by the rider would be the resulting damages.
What Should You Do After a Cycling Accident in Houston?
Depending upon the severity, police are often not called after a cyclist is hit by a car. Therefore, in order to protect your right to compensation certain steps should be taken by you or somebody acting on your behalf at the accident scene. Specifically, after a bike accident, you should:
1. Call the police. Even if you don’t call 911 and nothing is broken, you should notify the police if you are injured. They will create an accident report with the names and addresses of the driver and any witnesses. If the car driver was at fault, a citation will be issued. If the driver is intoxicated, they will be arrested.
2. Exchange information. Get the insurance and driver’s license information from the other party. It is also a good idea to take a picture of both items and of the license plate.
3. Take photos. Take pictures of:
- The accident scene
- Any skid marks
- Damage to the car
- Damage to your bike
- Your injuries
4. Get medical care. Even if you don’t call an ambulance or go to the emergency room, you should always seek medical care if you are hurting. Refusing medical care when you are in an excited state is always a mistake. Especially in bicycle accident cases, significant injuries may not manifest until the next day or two. Delaying medical assistance because you are hoping the pain will subside can delay recovery and hurt your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies always claim that a delay in treatment is evidence that there were no injuries.
Types of Injuries That Can Occur in Bicycle Accidents
Here are some of the most common bicycle accident injuries our law firm sees:
- Head injuries: Head injuries are the most common type of injury in bicycle accidents. They can range from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can cause a wide range of problems, including cognitive impairment, paralysis, and even death.
- Facial injuries: Facial injuries are also common in bicycle accidents. They can include broken bones, cuts, and bruises. Facial injuries can be disfiguring and can also lead to problems with vision, breathing, and eating.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries: Neck and spinal cord injuries can occur when a cyclist is thrown from their bike and lands on their head or neck. These injuries can be very serious and can lead to paralysis.
- Chest injuries: Chest injuries can occur when a cyclist is hit by a car or another object. These injuries can include broken ribs, internal bleeding, and heart problems.
- Abdominal injuries: Abdominal injuries can also occur when a cyclist is hit by a car or another object. These injuries can include organ damage, internal bleeding, and even death.
- Limb injuries: Limb injuries are common in bicycle accidents. They can include broken bones, sprains, and strains. Limb injuries can make it difficult for a cyclist to walk, work, or participate in activities that they enjoy.
In addition to these physical injuries, bicycle accidents can also cause psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. These injuries can be just as debilitating as physical injuries and can require long-term treatment.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. You should also contact a Houston bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you to understand your rights and to file a claim for compensation.
Lack of Protected Bike Lanes
In many cities, there are no protected areas for cyclists to ride and they must use the main lanes of vehicle traffic. In fact, many cities require bicycles to be in the main traffic lanes. Some places have started using protected bike lanes such as the one shown in the photo at left. Even these are no guarantee of protection as some drivers either don’t know what the bike lanes are for or ignore the signs restricting them to bicycle traffic.
Houston has begun installing bike lanes in the downtown area but this does not come close to covering the hundreds of miles of roadway used by cyclists in the area every day. It seems that the only truly safe place for cyclists to ride in is in large parks such as Terry Hershey Park. However, the increasing number of bicycle riders in Terry Hershey interferes with pedestrian traffic.
The solution is probably dedicated, new, bike lanes that don’t reduce traffic lanes. It seems that these new, expensive, dedicated lanes that take up a whole lane of traffic do nothing to create a safe place for leisure bikers because they are in parts of town that are not conducive of an enjoyable riding experience. Just look at the dedicated lanes in downtown Houston on any given day – they are empty while automobile traffic in the remaining road lanes is worse.
What are the Dangers of Cycling Collisions?
The United States Centers of Disease Control reports that over nine hundred cyclists are killed and 500,000 severely injured every year in this country. While these numbers include those killed and injured NOT involving a motor vehicle, the measures that can easily be taken to escape injury and death are the same. It basically involves two things – the use of a helmet and riding on safe terrain.
Helmets are obviously common sense for children but adults can avoid serious injuries by also using protective gear. In fact, the City municipal code Section 45-326 makes it illegal for anybody under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet and it is a crime for any parent to allow a child under the age of 14 to do so.
What are the Common Causes of Cycling Traffic Collisions in Texas?
Our Houston bicycle accident attorneys have seen several types of bike accidents.
Bicycle crashes with cars can be caused by many factors including:
- Car Driver Distraction due to cell phone use, texting, or other reasons
- Items Left in the Road
- Other Cyclists
A bicycle accident caused by a car driver or other reason can result in terrible injuries including:
- Catastrophic Injury
- Amputation Injury
- Broken Arms
Michael Fleming (June 25, 1963 – July 1, 2020) participated in the MS 150 charity bike ride from Houston to Austin many times. He understood the dangers and needs of cyclists and as a board-certified bicycle accident lawyer, he knew what has to be done to protect your rights after being hit by a car. Call the expert Houston bicycle accident lawyers at Fleming Law today for a free consultation.
Helpful resources for victims of bicycle accidents
- The National Bicycle Accident Reconstruction and Litigation Center (NABARC) is a non-profit organization that provides information and resources to bicycle accident victims, their families, and their attorneys. NABARC offers a variety of services, including:
- A free online library of resources, including articles, videos, and webinars on bicycle accident law and safety
- A network of experienced bicycle accident attorneys
- A support forum for bicycle accident victims
- A legal hotline for bicycle accident victims
- The Bicycle Law Project (BLP) is a non-profit organization that provides legal assistance to bicycle accident victims. BLP offers a variety of services, including:
- Free legal consultations
- Representation in court
- Help with insurance claims
- Help with getting medical care
- The League of American Bicyclists (LAB) is a non-profit organization that advocates for the interests of bicyclists. LAB offers a variety of resources for bicycle accident victims, including:
- A state-by-state guide to bicycle laws
- A guide to filing a police report
- A guide to getting medical care
- A guide to getting compensation
In addition to these resources, there are many other organizations that can provide assistance to victims of bicycle accidents. These organizations can provide information, support, and referrals to legal and medical professionals.