Serving Justice

Houston Bike Accident Lawyer

Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Bicyclists are virtually unprotected, making them particularly vulnerable to serious injuries in an accident. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a Houston bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Ramsey Law Group. Our Houston bike accident lawyers can discuss your legal options in a free consultation; call (888) 335-7477 or message us online today. 

Why Choose Ramsey Law Group? 

  • Our Houston personal injury lawyers promise to treat and prepare your case not as a number but as a person.
  • We believe that victims of negligence and their families deserve knowledgeable and compassionate support.
  • Professional legal groups recognize our commitment to and expertise in serving personal injury victims. 

Bike Accident Resources

How a Houston Bike Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case

Bike accidents can involve complex legal problems, and injured victims often face an uphill battle when dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies are profit-oriented and aren’t likely to pay you all to which you are entitled unless you have a skilled Houston bike accident attorney in your corner. Your lawyer will look out for your best interests and protect your rights by: 

  • Investigating your accident, collecting evidence such as photos or video of the crash scene, the police report, and testimony from eyewitnesses to determine liable parties and prove fault.
  • Accurately evaluating your claim and assessing its worth. 
  • Dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf while protecting your rights.  
  • Ensuring you receive the proper medical treatment. 
  • Gathering and organizing medical records and bills to prove your injuries, as well as pay stubs to demonstrate lost income. 
  • Skillfully negotiate with the liable parties. 
  • Holding insurance companies and the at-fault parties accountable for paying the amount of compensation you deserve. 
  • Handling every aspect of your case and taking it to court, if necessary. 

The at-fault driver’s insurer will try to find ways to avoid paying you, and if they can prove you are partially to blame, your compensation can be reduced or eliminated. On the other hand, if the insurer knows their policyholder was at fault, they will try to convince you to settle quickly and for an amount that is much less than you deserve. All of this and more is why it is in your best interests to hire a bike accident attorney. 

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident in Texas

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, bicycle accidents can still happen. Cyclists who are involved in a collision should follow these steps: 

  1. Move to Safety

In the aftermath of a collision, it’s difficult to think straight, but you should immediately get off the road and move to a safe spot to avoid any oncoming traffic.

  1. Call the Police

If you are injured, in shock, or can’t get the driver’s details, you should contact the police immediately. They’ll be able to assist you and will create an accident report, which will be critical to your claim. 

  1. Seek Medical Care

Even if you feel fine, you should still see a doctor. Injuries often take a few days to show up. Give your doctor the full details of your accident.

  1. Take Photos

Gather as much information as possible at the accident scene,  especially photos of the scene, the vehicle, your bike, and your injuries.

  1. Witnesses

If you decide to pursue a claim, witnesses will play an essential part in helping you recover compensation. Take note of any witnesses and ask for their contact information. 

  1. Don’t Discuss Fault

Never discuss or admit fault at the scene of the accident. Also, don’t accept money from the driver, as this might affect your claim. 

  1. Contact an Experienced Houston Bike Accident Lawyer

The next best thing to do is contact a lawyer who has dealt with cases involving bicyclists before and can advise you on what to do next.

Determining Fault in a Houston Bike Accident 

If you were hurt in a bike accident, you can sue any party responsible for causing your injuries. Many drivers do not exercise care when sharing the road with a bicyclist. A distracted driver, for example, may not see a bicyclist until they strike the victim. In these cases, a claim can be brought under a legal theory of liability known as negligence. Proving negligence to hold a party accountable for a bike accident requires you to demonstrate the following: 

  • A Duty of Care: there was a legal duty for the defendant (at-fault driver) to act how another reasonable person would have in the same situation. For example, Texas drivers must obey traffic laws and signs to keep themselves and others on the road safe. 
  • Breach of Duty: the defendant breached their duty of care. For example, if the driver was texting while driving when they hit you, they have violated their duty of care by engaging in unlawful behavior. 
  • The Breach Caused Injury: you, as the plaintiff, must prove that the at-fault driver’s breach of duty directly caused your injury. That means there must be evidence that links the driver’s negligence to your injury, such as the police report, eyewitnesses, cell phone records, medical records from immediately after the accident, etc.
  • Damages: lastly, you must have suffered financial losses due to the defendant’s negligence. That can mean you have extensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Bicycle accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim in Houston. If you can prove liability in your case, you can recover compensation from the at-fault parties.

How Will Fault Affect My Settlement? 

Any party that is negligent or careless and contributes to a bicycle accident can be responsible, and that includes bicyclists. In most cases, the motorist is at fault for a bicycle accident since they are held to a higher duty of care. However, both the driver and the bicyclist can be partially responsible. When accidents involve shared fault, Texas’s rule of modified comparative negligence comes into play. This rule reduces your compensation by your percentage of fault. However, if you are found over 50 percent liable, you cannot collect anything from the other at-fault party. 

Here’s an example. A bicyclist is hit while turning left at an intersection because they did not yield to an oncoming vehicle, but the driver was driving while drunk and failed to see the bicyclist. At trial, a jury finds the bicyclist 30 percent at fault for causing the accident while the driver is 70 percent at fault. If the bicyclist’s damages amount to $20,000, they can recover $14,000 or 70 percent of their total damages. 

To avoid liability, bicyclists must refrain from violating traffic laws, such as making unsafe lane changes, failing to yield to vehicles or pedestrians, riding on the sidewalk, etc. 

How Do I Recover Compensation for My Bicycle Accident

After a bicycle accident, your attorney can help you file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. As a victim, you can generally be compensated for:

Medical Expenses

Reimbursement for past and future medical care, including emergency room visits, surgery, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, in-home care, prescription medications, and any other medical-related costs. Your attorney will use your medical records and bills for proof. If necessary, they will hire a medical expert to explain the extent of your injuries, the time you need to recover, and any permanent repercussions.

Lost Income

Any current and future income lost due to your injury. Your attorney will typically gather your pay stubs or tax records to explain the amount of compensation you were expected to make.

Diminished Earning Capacity

Compensation for the difference in the amount of income you can earn now and what you could have earned if you were not injured. 

Pain and Suffering 

The physical pain and suffering you have had to endure due to your injuries may entitle you to compensation, but this amount can be difficult to measure. An experienced attorney will consider the severity of your injury, the type of accident, your age, physical limitations, and more to help in coming up with a monetary value. 

Emotional Distress

Often combined with pain and suffering damages, but differs in that this compensation is related to the mental anguish resulting from the accident instead of the physical. Common symptoms include terror, anxiety, shock, sorrow, confusion, and lack of sleep. Proof of intensive counseling and lifestyle changes are often required. 

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If you are physically limited due to your injury, making you unable to engage in hobbies, recreational activities, exercise, and any other activities you were previously able to enjoy.     

Loss of Consortium

Compensation for the impact your injury has had on your relationship with your spouse, such as a loss of companionship and/or inability to engage in sexual intimacy. 

Punitive Damages

They are only awarded in cases where there is evidence of malice, oppression, or fraud. 

Bicycle Accident Statistics for Houston

Houston is a bicycle-friendly city, but accidents are still prevalent. Harris County, where Houston is located, had the highest total number of bicycle crashes in Texas between 2010 to 2016, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). 

Overall, the state of Texas is the third most dangerous state for bicyclists. 

What are the Most Common Causes of Bike Accidents in Houston, TX

The most frequently cited causes of bicycle accidents in Houston include: 

Driver Inattention

Distracted driving is an extremely dangerous type of driver error that includes activities like using a navigational system, talking to other passengers, or using a cell phone. Texting and driving is hazardous because it takes the driver’s eyes off the road, hands from the wheel, and their focus off of driving. 

Failure to Yield

Many accidents occur due to drivers and bicyclists not being fully aware of when they are responsible for yielding the right of way on the road. 

Speeding

When drivers travel at high speeds, they reduce their ability to react quickly and avoid bicyclists on the road. Speeding also increases the likelihood of severe injuries in an accident. 

Alcohol

Alcohol consumption before getting behind the wheel leads to diminished cognitive abilities that increase the chances of a motorist not seeing a bicyclist. 

Aggressive Driving

Motorists sometimes refuse to give cyclists the right-of-way or are not willing to share the road. Some types of aggressive behaviors can be:

  • Following a bicyclist too closely.
  • Honking or flashing their lights.
  • Yelling at or threatening the bicyclist.
  • Dangerous passing.
  • Accelerating to pass a rider then turning directly in front of them.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Although cities are obligated to maintain roadways, including bicycle lanes, many bike injury accidents are due to hazardous road conditions.

Riding at Night

The most bicyclist deaths occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Cyclists may not be visible to drivers, especially if they don’t use reflective gear while riding.  

Rider Inattention

Bicyclists can easily cause an accident by veering into oncoming traffic or failing to stay in the designated bicycle lane if distracted. There is little to no protection when riding a bicycle, which is why riders must exercise extreme caution when sharing the road with vehicles. 

Common Injuries that Result from Bicycle Accidents

Bicyclists are more likely to suffer catastrophic or even life-threatening injuries in an accident. Injury claims are commonly filed for:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Abrasions (“road rash”)
  • Burns
  • Internal organ damage
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

These injuries can lead to overwhelming medical expenses and extended time away from work. A Houston bike accident lawyer will fight to secure the fair amount of compensation you need to cover your current and future care. 

Injured? Ramsey Law Group Can Help Call (888) 335-7477

Texas Bicycle Laws

Traffic laws in Texas apply to bicycles just as they do to any motor vehicle on the road. However, there are also specific regulations for bicyclists that include:

  • Ride in the designated bike lane or on the far right-hand side of the road.
  • Use hand signals for turning and stopping.
  • Use the required lights and reflectors for nighttime rides.
  • Obey local ordinances that prohibit riding on sidewalks.
  • Do not attach a wagon or trailer.
  • Do not carry another person on your lap or back while cycling.

Failing to follow these and other traffic laws can contribute to an accident, which can lead to a bicyclist being held partially liable. 

How Much Does a Houston Bike Accident Lawyer Cost? 

Most bike accident lawyers in Houston take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means they do not charge an upfront fee or make you pay out-of-pocket for any case-related expenses. Your attorney will advance the costs involved in handling your case, such as filing fees, copies, transcripts, fees for medical records and bills, and others. 

Your attorney’s legal fees will be dependent on the amount you are awarded in your settlement or verdict. Most Houston firms will deduct between 33 to 40 percent of your recovered compensation, plus court costs. Some bike accident lawyers may reduce or increase their fee based on how your case is resolved. For example, 33 and a third percent if your case quickly settles, or 40 percent if your case goes to trial. 

Other bike accident attorneys may work on a sliding scale fee. A sliding scale fee, for instance, could be 30 percent of any recovery up to $25,000 and 20 percent of any recovery up to $50,000, etc. However, it will depend on the type of case you have, the work involved, and your attorney. Make sure to discuss the agreement with your bike accident lawyer, so you understand the terms. 

Contact a Houston Bike Accident Lawyer Today

At Ramsey Law Group, our team will work tirelessly on your behalf to recover the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Call our office at (888) 335-7477 or contact us online for a free evaluation of your case.