Bicycling is a popular and cost-effective means of transportation for many Texas residents. Not only is cycling a healthy form of exercise, it’s also a fun way to explore our gorgeous cities and scenic trails. However, riding a bike can also be dangerous: Texas drivers were responsible for over 12,000 injuries and 300 cyclist fatalities in the years spanning 2007 and 2012.
Most bicycle “accidents” are considered preventable incidents that are caused by distracted, careless, or intoxicated drivers. Unfortunately, accident survivors tend to sustain catastrophic and even fatal injuries because bicycles lack built-in safety features. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the Houston personal injury attorneys at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs today. Our skilled and results-driven litigators have been providing personalized legal services, compassionate guidance, and aggressive courtroom advocacy to Texas residents since 1992. With our assistance, you can obtain a favorable settlement or verdict that covers your projected medical debts and facilitates your ongoing recovery.
Take advantage of our 100+ years of collective legal experience. Contact Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs at (713) 999-3681 to discuss your case with a qualified legal representative.
Determining Liability After a Bicycle Accident
Most American cities are built with motorists in mind, not pedestrians or bicyclists. To avoid a serious accident, riders need to exercise extreme care and caution when sharing the road with drivers. Of course, this standard goes both ways; motor vehicle operators also owe a duty of care to any nearby riders. If a motorist causes an accident because they failed to follow state and federal traffic laws, the injured party may have grounds to pursue compensatory damages by filing a personal injury claim.
A bicycle accident can occur if a negligent motorist engages in one of the following behaviors:
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to yield
- Distracted driving
- Weaving between lanes
- Aggressive driving/road rage
- Driving while intoxicated
- Running red lights or stop signs
A single moment of driver carelessness can completely alter the trajectory of a cyclist’s life. After all, a survivor can face a kaleidoscope of physical, legal, and financial difficulties in the aftermath of an accident. For instance, a survivor struggling with the pain and limitations of an injury still needs to figure out a way to pay their medical bills, a task that can be extremely difficult if their condition prevents them from holding gainful employment.
A bicyclist can sustain a variety of cognitive and physical injuries during an accident, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Multiple bone fractures
- Penetration injuries
- Nerve damage and paralysis
- Concussions and contusions
If you’ve been harmed by a negligent driver, it’s critical that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. In Texas, the statute of limitations for a personal injury or wrongful death claim is 2 years. If you fail to file by this deadline, the court may refuse to hear your case, and the defendant could have grounds to request a case dismissal.
“Do I Need a Lawyer?”
Personal injury cases tend to be nuanced, particularly so in Texas, which is why you need to retain experienced legal representation before filing a claim or negotiating with the defendant’s insurance provider. Our Houston bicycle accident attorneys can investigate your case, calculate your claim’s maximum value, track down evidence, and develop an innovative litigation strategy that proves the defendant’s negligent actions are responsible for your injuries, property damage, and correlating financial losses. By taking legal action, you may be able to recover the compensatory and exemplary (punitive) damages your injuries warrant.
A successful lawsuit can yield the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Existing and potential medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Property damage
- Court costs and attorney fees
It’s important to note that Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence rule” when it comes to personal injury cases. In accordance with this policy, a plaintiff’s damages may be reduced if the court determines that they share some degree of fault for an accident. For example, if a rider is deemed 30% liable for an accident, then their total compensation will be reduced by that percentage. However, a bicyclist can’t recover damages if they’re found to be at least 50% responsible for a collision.
Have You Been Injured by a Negligent Motorist? Schedule a Free Consultation Today.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we understand that the outcome of a personal injury case can impact all facets of your life, from financial stability to general quality of living. For this reason, we aren’t afraid to aggressively negotiate and litigate on your behalf to secure the damages your condition warrants. If you require legal guidance or representation after a bicycle accident, contact our compassionate and knowledgeable litigators today.