Denton Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Experienced Bike-Riding Personal Injury Lawyer for Denton
Have you recently been injured while riding your bike in Denton, TX? Were your injuries the fault of a driver, another cyclist, or a pedestrian? If so, you have rights. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for your injuries, medical care, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and damaged equipment.
What you do immediately after getting medical care for your injuries will determine whether you’re able to win financial compensation, as well as the amount you’re ultimately awarded. If you want the best chance at receiving the money you’re rightly owed, working with a knowledgeable and experienced Denton bike accident lawyer is in your best interest.
Bill Shirer, Esq., Cyclist at Law, is a board-certified personal injury trial lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience advocating on behalf of injured cyclists. When you need an attorney who has your best interests at heart and who deeply understands Texas cyclist and motorist laws and rights, there’s no better lawyer than Bill.
As an avid cyclist since 1987, Bill rides more than 5,000 miles each year and regularly competes in road races. He understands how profoundly a cycling injury can impact your life and future and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you’re owed.
If you’re ready to discuss your case and how Bill can help, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Determining Liability for a Bicycle Accident
When a cycling accident occurs, the first question on everyone’s mind is: Who’s at fault?
While it’s possible that a single party is liable for your injuries and damaged equipment, it’s also possible that multiple parties had a role to play in the incident. Determining liability in a bicycle accident can be complicated, which is why it’s in your best interest to partner with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help.
Generally, motorists who strike cyclists are at fault for biking accidents, as drivers have a duty of care to bikers on the road, in parking lots, on sidewalks, and in other spaces. When a motorist fails to honor their duty of care to vulnerable cyclists, they may be found guilty of negligence.
But drivers aren’t always completely at fault for cycling accidents. If you, the cyclist, failed to heed Denton cycling laws — for example, riding through a red light, failing to use appropriate hand signals, or failing to use required lights and reflective gear — you may be found partially at fault for your injuries and/or property damage associated with the accident.
In some cases, a bicycle manufacturer may also be partially or completely liable for a cycling accident. Faulty equipment can easily contribute to unanticipated, damaging, and injurious biking incidents, and if that applies in your case, you may be able to claim compensation.
Given the nuanced nature of determining liability in a cycling accident, a thorough review of all details related to your case is crucial. Personal injury attorney Bill Shirer will carefully review every minute detail involved in your accident to ensure the liable party or parties are held responsible and that you receive the compensation you so rightly deserve.
Cyclist Laws in Denton, TX
All Denton cyclists are required to adhere to Texas cycling laws, not only when operating a bicycle on a roadway but also when riding in other areas. And although cyclists have the same right to the road as motorists, they are not permitted to ride on certain Denton roads.
To ensure you’re operating your bicycle in a legal fashion, you must:
Only operate your bike on roadways, paths, and routes that are designated for cycling.
- Ride as close to the right side of the roadway as is reasonably possible or remain in a designated bike lane. You may take the vehicle lane only when necessary.
- Ride your bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Be the only cyclist in the saddle. Only tandem bicycles are allowed to carry two riders.
- Use the appropriate hand and arm signals when changing directions or stopping.
- Have a brake that’s capable of making skid marks on dry pavement.
- Use a front-mounted headlamp at night that can be seen from at least 500 feet in front of you.
- Use a rear-mounted red reflector at night that can be seen from at least 300 feet away from the rear of your bike.
- Not impede the flow of traffic when riding in lanes designated for motorists.
- Ride single file unless you’re operating your bike in a lane specifically designated for cyclists.
- Yield right of way to pedestrians on sidewalks and give audible notice when you are approaching pedestrians or other cyclists.
Car Drivers’ Rights and Responsibilities to Cyclists
Although many Denton drivers are not aware of it, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists on the road. And that means vehicle drivers have a duty of care to cyclists, since bike riders are far less protected than motorists traversing roadways. If a vehicle operator strikes a cyclist because they were not upholding that duty of care, the motorist will likely be charged with negligence.
In Denton and throughout the State of Texas, motorists are required to watch for cyclists in areas that are difficult to see, such as blind spots. Drivers must also exercise caution and give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing riders on roadways.
Motorists should also be aware of the potential for injuring an approaching cyclist when opening vehicle doors, especially on highly trafficked streets. Ultimately, drivers are required to remain constantly aware of their surroundings to ensure they can always see and respond appropriately to approaching cyclists.
Cyclists’ Rights and Responsibilities
As a cyclist on Denton roadways, bike paths, sidewalks, and other safe-cycling areas, you not only have rights but also a responsibility to keep yourself and others safe.
When riding on a sidewalk, you must share the space with other riders and pedestrians. When you are approaching another party on a sidewalk or bike path, you must sound an audible bell or vocalize your presence to alert others of your approach.
Although you may ride on many Denton roadways, you are not permitted to ride on any highway, freeway, expressway, or interstate. Should you venture onto such a roadway and find yourself in an accident, liability for injuries and damages will lie with you.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Although the aftermath of a cycling accident can be overwhelming, the manner in which you handle the situation will ultimately determine the outcome of your personal injury case.
Immediately after an accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical evaluation and care even if you don’t believe you sustained any serious injuries. Often, injuries may not be noticeable immediately following an incident, but as adrenaline subsides, they become far more pronounced.
After calling emergency medics and the police, do your best to document every detail of the incident if you can, as you’ll need that information for your police report. If you have a camera on you, take photos or videos of yourself, the area, your bike, and any vehicles or other people involved in the accident. If anyone in the immediate area was a witness to the accident, get their contact information as you may need their testimony later.
After documenting everything you can and receiving medical attention, contacting a Denton bike accident attorney is the most important thing you can do to ensure you receive any compensation you’re owed.
When you reach out to Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law, he will review your case during your initial consultation to determine if you have solid legal footing to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your case qualifies, your lawsuit could result in a settlement or court award for injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, and more.
Elements of a Bicycle Accident Claim
Filing a bicycle accident claim and being compensated for damages is a complicated process that requires the expertise of a seasoned and knowledgeable Denton personal injury attorney.
Every bike accident case begins with a police report. From there, your attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case to determine all liable parties, assess damages, interview witnesses, and gather any and all information related to the incident. Your attorney will also negotiate on your behalf with opposing counsel and any involved insurance companies to ensure you receive any compensation you’re entitled to.
Many times, bike accident claims are settled outside of court, but in some cases, trial becomes necessary. The overarching goal of your cycling personal injury claim is to obtain a settlement or court award that covers all past, current, and future expenses related to the accident and your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Denton
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2020 alone, there were more than 2,000 bicycle accidents across the State of Texas, and unfortunately, many of those incidents occurred in Denton County. From 2016 to 2020, there were 747 cyclist and pedestrian crashes in Denton County, many of which were fatal, and many of which involved serious, life-altering injuries.
Although Denton may not be the worst Texas city for bicycle accidents, local riders and motorists must know and exercise their rights and responsibilities to ensure they and others remain safe on the road.
Best Bike Trails in Denton
The city of Denton is packed with safe and scenic bike trails that offer cycling enthusiasts safe and beautiful places to ride. Some of the most popular bike trails in and around Denton include:
- Denton Katy Trail
- Ray Roberts Greenbelt Trail
- Lake Ray Roberts State Park
- North Lakes Recreation and Park
- Cooper Creek Trail
- Corinth Community Park Trail
- Bowling Green West Trail
- Denia Park Trail
- A-Train Trail
- Highland Village City Trail
- The Rail Trail from Denton to Lake Dallas
Worst Areas for Bike Riding in Denton
Heavily trafficked roadways that feature large, busy intersections are the most dangerous areas for Denton cyclists. Poorly lit roadways and other areas are also dangerous for cyclists at night and should be avoided.
Denton biking routes that present the highest potential danger for cyclists include:
- Elm Street
- Locust Street
- Teasley Lane
- Sherman Drive
- McKinney Street
How to Avoid a Bike Accident
Although many cycling accidents are not the cyclist’s fault, there are things you can do to protect yourself on the road. Always use appropriate hand and arm signals to alert motorists of your intentions and wear brightly colored and reflective clothing to ensure you’re highly visible on the road. Use bicycle lights and reflectors at night so that drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists are aware of your presence.
Test your tire pressure and brakes periodically and have your bicycle serviced regularly to ensure it remains in optimal condition. Always wear a helmet when you ride and never ride with more than one person on your bike if it is not designed to accommodate more than a single rider.
Most importantly, always remain hypervigilant while you’re cycling on roads where vehicles travel. Keep an eye out for parked vehicles’ doors to ensure you’re able to respond appropriately should someone suddenly open a door and exit a vehicle.
Contact the Denton Cyclist at Law
If you or someone you love has been involved in a Denton cycling accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law, for help. Bill has proudly represented countless Texas clients throughout their personal injury cases, and when you need knowledgeable, compassionate legal representation, he’s here for you too.