Our Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers Are Here To Help
Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to get around. It’s quicker than walking and healthier and more earth-friendly than driving.
But riding a bike can also be dangerous, especially for cyclists who ride on the road as opposed to bike-only paths.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, our Houston bicycle accident lawyers can help you file a claim and will work hard to improve your chances of recovering your full compensation award. Please call today to learn more and get started on a bicycle accident case.
Bicycle Accident Laws in Houston, Texas
Before you start cruising around on your bicycle in Houston, Texas, it’s important to know Texas’s rules regarding bicycles.
Not only can following these rules help to keep you safe by reducing your risk of a bicycle accident, but following the law is also in your interests should you be involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. If you breach the law and this contributes to the accident, this could be used against you to reduce the value of your claim (more on this below). Some important bicycle laws that you should know include:
- You have the rights and responsibilities of all other motor vehicle operators;
- You must travel in the same direction of traffic;
- You must use hand and arm signals;
- When riding at night, a red reflector or rear red light and white light on the front of the bike is required; and
- The bike must be equipped with brakes.
Note that while Texas does not have a statewide bicycle helmet law, some cities or counties do have mandatory helmet laws.
"Mr. Milano is very professional."
"My experience was great! Mr. Milano is very professional. He made sure he stayed on top of everything and was available for any questions and concerns. He was able to answer all questions and made the process go smoothly. I would highly recommend!"
Behaviors that Lead to Bicycle Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths
When drivers operate their vehicles in a negligent and careless manner, bicyclists are at risk of being injured in a crash. Examples of driver behaviors that lead to bicycle accidents and deaths include:
- Driving while intoxicated or impaired;
- Driving while excessively fatigued;
- Running stop signs or red lights;
- Turning or lane-changing without double-checking for cyclists (or pedestrians) first;
- Failing to provide bikes with enough following distance;
- Driving while distracted; and
- Violating any posted traffic rules or signs.
If you have been in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver in Texas, our bicycle accident attorneys can help you to pursue a claim for damages and recover the compensation award that you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Houston, TX
Being involved in a bicycle accident can certainly be a traumatic experience, and if you’re feeling a little shell shocked immediately afterwards, that’s normal—no one expects you to be functioning normally right after a bicycle accident. But as soon as you can, you should start the process of filing an accident claim and taking steps to preserve your right to compensation. These steps include:
- Get as much information as possible. It’s important that you collect as much information as possible about how the bicycle accident occurred and who’s to blame as you can. Much of this information can be collected right at the scene. If injuries do not preclude you from doing so, be sure to get the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information; the names and contact information of any witnesses; photographs of the accident scene; a copy of the police report; and any other important information. You should also write down what you remember about the bicycle accident and how you think it happened as soon as possible.
- Get the medical care you need. The next thing that you should focus on is getting the medical attention you need. Not only should you get medical attention, but you should follow your doctor’s orders and be sure to keep thorough records of all care received and medical bills.
- Start the insurance process. Even if you were riding your bike, you may have coverage for your injuries under your own car insurance policy, and you will certainly be covered if you have health insurance. But if the driver involved was to blame, then you should file a claim against that driver’s liability insurance. You must provide the insurer with notice of the accident as soon as possible after a crash, as the insurer has the right to investigate the accident, too.
- Call a bicycle accident lawyer. Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident on your own can be traumatizing. To help you along the way and to offer support and legal guidance, don’t overlook the value of working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
Proportionate Responsibility in Texas
As mentioned above, if you breach a bicycle-related law and this breach causes or contributes to the bicycle accident and your injuries, or if you commit another act of negligence that contributes to your accident, this can be used against you to reduce the value of your claim.
This is because Texas recognizes a rule of proportionate responsibility, which bars plaintiffs from recovery in the event that their degree of fault is more than 50 percent, and which diminishes the value of recovery in proportion to the plaintiff’s degree of fault if fault is 50 percent or less.
For example, if you are hit by a car and suffer $100,000 in damages but are found to be 20 percent to blame because a) you weren’t wearing a helmet and b) your bike wasn’t equipped with a light, then you will only be able to hold the driver liable for $80,000 worth of your damages.
"I always got an answer."
"Every time I called, they always called back, always gave me the best options, I always got an answer. Thank you, Mrs. Elif."
Hire a Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
When you hire a bicycle accident lawyer from the Milano Legal Group Accident Attorneys, you can take confidence in the fact that you are hiring a legal professional who cares about you and will work hard on your behalf.
Our Houston personal injury attorneys work on a 100 percent contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid if you don’t. To learn more about working with us and how we can serve you, please call us today or send us a message requesting a free case review.
Houston Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney if I've been hit by a car while riding my bike?
If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, you should strongly consider hiring a bicycle accident attorney, particularly if your accident resulted in an injury. Successfully handling this type of personal injury lawsuit from start to finish requires a deep knowledge of the law and years of experience. In other words, if you attempt to represent yourself in a bicycle accident lawsuit, the odds are stacked against you. In fact, even if you represent yourself and are successful, studies indicate that plaintiffs who are represented by legal counsel net up to three times more than those who represent themselves. Finally, with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side, the defendant’s insurance company is far less likely to present you with a lowball settlement offer.
How can I choose a Houston bicycle accident lawyer?
The first step in choosing a bicycle accident injury attorney to represent you is to identify an attorney who not only specializes in personal injury law, but also has experience with bicycle accident cases. Although there is some overlap, bicycle accident cases are quite different from other types of personal injury cases. This makes hiring an attorney with bicycle accident experience imperative if you want your case to succeed.
Next, although most personal injury cases settle prior to trial, the bicycle accident lawyer you choose should have litigation experience. The reason for this is simple: if your case does go to trial, you need someone on your side who possesses the experience and knowledge to successfully try your case in court. In addition, lawyers without trial experience will often attempt to settle their cases at all costs, even if doing so isn’t in the best interests of their clients.
Finally, when it comes to attorneys, results are everything. Therefore, you should ensure that the attorney you choose has a strong track record of success in personal injury and bicycle accident cases. And although past results can’t guarantee future success, choosing a bicycle accident attorney with a long string of successful cases is a great sign that your case is in good hands.
How much is my bicycle accident case worth?
Damages are a monetary amount that the court awards to victims in personal injury lawsuits. The damages to which you may be entitled will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injury, the behavior of the negligent party, and the type of evidence available to you and your Houston bicycle accident lawyer. Although it is impossible to assign a dollar amount to your unique case without reviewing these factors, there are several types of damages that are commonly available in bicycle accident cases in Texas, including:
Medical expenses: A serious injury can result in stacks of medical bills for things such as medication, surgeries, hospital stays, therapy, and other procedures. If your personal injury claim is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for these expenses.
Lost earning capacity: Some injuries can affect your ability to work and to provide for yourself and your family. If this is the case in your situation, the court may award you damages for past, present, and future lost earning capacity and wages.
Property damage: If your bicycle was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damage that the defendant caused to your property.
Loss of quality of life: Some injuries are so severe that they can affect your ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed. If this applies to you, you may be eligible to obtain damages for loss of quality of life.
Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium damages may be available to you if you are no longer able to maintain an intimate relationship with your spouse due to the injuries suffered in your Houston bicycle accident.
Loss of companionship: If your bicycle accident injury is preventing you from having a relationship with friends or relatives, the court may award you compensation for loss of companionship.
How much does a bicycle accident attorney charge?
Bicycle accident attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is a sum of money that an attorney receives as a fee only if your case is successful. In other words, unless your case is successful, you won’t owe your bicycle accident lawyer anything. Contingency fees usually range from 33 1/3% to 40% of the gross settlement before a lawsuit is filed and 40% to 45% of the gross settlement or verdict following the filing of a lawsuit.
Will I have to go to trial for my Houston bicycle accident case?
Most bicycle accident injury cases settle before trial. However, going to trial is always a possibility. If any of the following situations apply to your case, there is a chance that you may have to go to trial:
- The defendant’s insurance company doesn’t want to set a precedent for settling your type of bicycle accident lawsuit
- The defendant’s insurance company believes it will win the case, so it offers you a very low settlement or nothing at all
- The defendant’s insurance company believes that the amount demanded by you and your bicycle accident lawyer is too high to settle without fighting the claim
Is there a deadline for filing a claim in a bicycle accident case?
The date by which you must file a claim in your Houston bike accident case is called the statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is two years from the date you were injured. If you fail to file a lawsuit by this date, you will be barred from recovering compensation for your Texas bicycle accident injury. So, if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to file your case.
Can I get lost wages if I've been injured in a bicycle accident caused by negligence?
After a bicycle accident, you may be forced to miss a substantial amount of work due to your injuries. If your bike accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you can sue to recover lost wages. Lost wages are any income lost due to injuries from the accident. Lost wages can include:
- The regular wages you would have earned but for the time you were forced to take off
- Overtime you ordinarily work or would have had to work
- Vacation days or sick days you missed while you were off work
- Commissions and bonuses you would have been paid
- Merit raises, salary increases, or pay raises you were scheduled for or likely to receive
- Perks of employment, such as insurance and transportation allowances
- Missed retirement fund contributions
Can any type of attorney help me with a bicycle accident injury claim?
When it comes to bicycle accidents in Texas, not just any attorney will do. Personal injury law is a highly specialized legal area, and it requires years of experience to truly understand. Therefore, after a bicycle accident, you should hire an attorney with years of personal injury law experience. Further, your personal injury attorney should also be highly experienced in handling bicycle accident cases for clients. Bike accident lawsuits are very different from other types of personal injury cases, so it’s important that your attorney understands the nuances of this highly specialized area of the law. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Houston, please contact our experienced attorneys today.