Houston Bike Accident Lawyer

If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, do not hesitate to call AK Law Firm. One of our Houston bicycle accident attorneys will meet with you confidentially to answer your questions and discuss your legal options for pursuing a claim.

Bicyclists are more vulnerable in accidents and likely to incur lifelong pain and injuries. They face staggering medical bills, missed work, and property damage. Too often, insurers are little or no help, and motorists blame bicyclists for any accidents.

At AK Law Firm, our Houston bike accident lawyers are:

  • Successful advocates with a proven track record fighting for victim compensation
  • Client-focused in planning your legal strategy
  • Educated in specific Houston bicycle rules and regulations

If you receive an offer from an insurance adjuster, do not sign any statement or accept any payment without speaking with one of our experienced bicycle accident attorneys. You may sign away your right to much more compensation.

Houston Bike Accident Lawyer

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How Can a Lawyer Help After a Bike Accident?

After we review and accept your bicycle accident claim, the skilled Houston bike accident lawyers at AK Law Firm will do the following:

  • Pursue your claim including handling all the costs of investigation and filing your case
  • Collect and respond to all accident-related correspondence
  • Obtain any evidence such as police reports, medical records, and receipts
  • File a claim with the insurance companies
  • Identify all possible sources of compensation
  • Consult with experts regarding your injuries and prognosis. If needed, we may consult with accident reconstruction specialists, vocational rehabilitation
    experts, life care planners, or any other professionals
  • Retrieve your bike or other personal property if you cannot
  • Notify creditors of your accident and status
  • Advise you of all settlement offers
  • If necessary, take your case to court

Accident victims should never pay for their losses. There are time limits to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in Texas, so call our Houston bike accident attorneys today.

How Much Does a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Houston Charge?

Many people are hesitant to seek legal representation for bike accidents because of the potential cost. Legal fees are often very expensive, and for victims with recent injuries, paying for these services on top of existing damages can seem impossible.

However, most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay for your attorney’s representation unless he or she secures a settlement on your behalf. If you do not receive compensation, you do not have to pay these legal fees.

AK Law Firm uses a contingency fee system for maximum affordability and accessibility. We will take an agreed-upon percentage of your final settlement as payment for our services, limiting your upfront, out-of-pocket expenses. The average contingency fee is approximately 33% of your final settlement.

What are Common Causes of Biking Accidents?

Bicyclists lack the protection a vehicle provides its passengers. Cars are larger, heavier, and faster than bicycles, and collision with vehicles causes approximately 90% of bicycle deaths. However, bicycle collisions with motor vehicles make up only about 30% of bicyclist injuries.

There are common causes of motor vehicle and bicycle collisions, including:

  • A motorist cuts off a bike rider when entering the roadway
  • A motorist makes a right turn in front of a bicyclist traveling straight in the bike lane
  • A motorist rear-ends a bicyclist trying to avoid a car parked in the bike lane
  • The driver of a parked car opens their door into the bicyclist
  • The bicyclist is riding against oncoming traffic
  • A motorist or a bicycle rider runs a traffic light or stop sign
  • The bicyclist makes an unpredictable move

Bicycle accidents not caused by motor vehicles are the following:

  • Falls from the bicycle because of a poorly-maintained roadway
  • A defective, damaged, or poorly repaired bicycle
  • An animal attack
  • Collision with a pedestrian or another cyclist
  • Falls from the bike due to loss of balance
  • Falls as a result of drunkenness
  • Collision with an object, like a curb or tree

Texas Bicycle Crash Statistics

The Texas Department of Transportation collects data related to all motor vehicle accidents that occur within the state, including crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists. According to the Department’s 2019 data, 8,499 pedestrian and cyclist collisions took place on Texas roads. Out of those 8,499 accidents, 2,547 involved a cyclist. Only 183 of these accidents did not involve any injuries.

The remaining accidents resulted in the following types of injuries.

  • 68 cyclists died in Texas collisions during 2019.
  • 1,102 cyclists suffered non-incapacitating injuries.
  • 312 cyclists suffered suspected serious injuries.
  • 878 cyclists experienced possible injuries that the Department was unable to confirm.
  • 44 cyclists suffered unknown injuries that the Department was unable to classify.

A number of factors may contribute to these bicycle crashes. Negligent driving behaviors, such as driving under the influence or engaging in distracted driving, may lead to accidents, as well as simple lapses in judgement. Inclement weather, low visibility, and poor road conditions may also play a role in motor vehicle-cyclist collisions.

The impact of a bicycle collision can be very severe. Whatever the cause of the accident, you may suffer from severe physical injuries and deal with lasting psychological consequences for years following the accident. You may also have to pay for unexpected medical costs, lose wages during your recovery, and replace your bike and safety equipment.

Texas Bicycle Laws

Like motor vehicles, bicycles are also subject to state regulations. The Texas Transportation Code outlines a number of laws that cyclists must follow to stay safe and avoid collisions with other cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians on the road.

  • All cyclists must adhere to Texas motor vehicle laws while riding on public roadways. This means that you will need to obey traffic signs and signals, ride with the traffic flow and in bike lanes when available, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. You must use hand signals when stopping, turning left, or turning right.
  • While helmets can protect you from severe injuries, Texas law does not impose a statewide helmet mandate. However, Houston has a city ordinance that requires children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while cycling.
  • If you are cycling on a roadway and moving slower than the rest of traffic, you must ride as far to the right curb or edge as possible. You must follow this rule unless you are passing a vehicle, turning left, avoiding hazardous conditions, or riding in an outside lane that is too narrow for side-by-side travel or does not have a proper bike lane.
  • All bicycles must have functional brakes and proper safety equipment. If you are riding your bike at night, you will need to have a white lamp at the front of your bike that is visible from at least 500 feet. On the rear of your bicycle, you will need a red reflector visible from 50 to 300 feet or a red lamp visible from 500 feet.

These laws are important to maintain safety on Houston roads, but the truth is that precautions cannot always protect you against negligent drivers. While you should always strive to stay safe and follow these regulations, collisions can still occur — and if you suffer injuries in a bike accident, you deserve justice.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident?

Texas follows a fault-based system when it comes to accidents involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. This means that the person responsible for the accident must pay for the damages that the other victims incur. To prove you deserve these damages, you will need to establish the at-fault party committed an act of negligence.

You can prove the at-fault party’s negligence by establishing the presence of four key elements. First, the at-fault party must owe you a duty of care at the time of the accident, and you must establish that the defendant breached that duty in some way. You must establish that the at-fault party’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries, and that you suffered damages as a result of your injuries.

In bicycle accidents, there are multiple parties that may be liable for your damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident.

  • A motor vehicle driver may be liable for your damages if he or she committed a negligent act or violated a traffic law that ultimately led to your injuries. For example, a driver failing to check for cyclists before making a lane change committed an act of negligence. Other examples include failure to yield right of way, running a traffic light, or driving under the influence.
  • If you suffered injuries due to dangerous road conditions, such as loose gravel or potholes, your local government may be liable. You must prove that it was the agency’s responsibility to respond and prevent the hazard that caused your accident.
  • Your bicycle may contain defective parts, such as malfunctioning brakes, or have an inherently dangerous design that causes your accident. In these situations, you may hold the manufacturer of the bike liable for your injuries.

To identify the at-fault party and begin the lawsuit process, you will first need to determine the cause of your accident. The bicycle accident lawyers at AK Law Firm will launch an in-depth investigation into your collision to help you understand how the accident occurred and the evidence you will need to collect to establish your need for compensation.

What to do After a Bicycle Accident

The moments after a bike accident can feel overwhelming. You may suffer from severe injuries and be unable to move without further injury or danger. In these situations, your top priority should be your health and safety.

Call 911 immediately to bring law enforcement and emergency medical services to the scene. Provide as much information as possible to the responding officer, but do not admit fault or try to answer questions you do not know the answer to. Afterwards, seek medical attention as soon as possible and save all documentation related to your treatment.

Remember, you may not know how the accident occurred or the extent of your injuries at this time. Do not admit fault or make any statements about your injuries until you seek medical treatment and speak to a lawyer. Doing so may harm your chances at seeking compensation later on.

If you are able to move around without putting yourself at risk, you may want to collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Take the following steps to protect your future personal injury claim and best interests.

  • Take photos of your injuries and any damage to your bicycle, as well as the motor vehicle. You should also photograph the area around the accident, including any traffic signs, and the driver’s license plate.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the driver. If there are any witnesses in the area, ask them for their contact information.
  • Preserve all physical evidence from the accident and send these items to your Houston bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Do not attempt to repair your bike or throw away your helmet. Preserve any clothing or safety equipment you were wearing at the time of the accident — do not wash or throw away these items.

After your accident, an insurance adjuster may contact you asking for a statement or offering an early settlement. It is important that you do not make any statements until you speak to your lawyer first. The insurance company’s best interest is to save itself money, not to provide the maximum possible settlement on your behalf, and any offers you receive at this stage will likely be too low to pay for your injuries.

In addition, the insurance company may use any statements you make as evidence against you in the future, even if you learn new information later that could impact your case. Your lawyer will advise you on how to best approach these conversations, evaluate the settlement offers you receive, and handle any negotiations on your behalf.

Compensation for a Bicycle Accident

Victims of bicycle accidents generally request both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are subjective and often hard to calculate.

Compensation for a bicycle accident may include:

  • All medical bills and medical expenses
  • Expenses related to the accident
  • Compensation for lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Payment for future medical treatment or procedures

Contact Our Houston Bike Accident Lawyers Today

To learn more about bicycle accident compensation, including wrongful death, contact AK Law Firm. Our dedicated Houston bike accident lawyers will work diligently to recover the full compensation you deserve for your bicycle accident injuries. Call today for your free consultation and to explore your legal rights.