Dedicated Bike Accident Attorney for Pasadena, TX, Residents
Bike accidents are a specific type of personal injury law. While you can get a personal injury lawyer, what you really want is an attorney who understands the rules of the road and any associated intricacies.
Experienced Bike-Riding Personal Injury Lawyer for Pasadena, TX
When you’ve been injured in an accident on your bike or as a bicyclist, you need to know what your rights are and how best to protect those rights. If you have sustained serious physical injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is understandable that you will want to fight for full compensation for all your medical expenses, lost income, and even damage to your bicycle and other equipment.
Your first priority should be to get medical treatment for your injuries. Many people make the mistake of just walking away from an accident and declining medical attention. Even if you just feel you have bruises and scrapes, you should be seen by a medical doctor. You should have everything thoroughly documented. Frequently, injuries can become worse in ways that you don’t expect.
Determining Liability for a Bicycle Accident
When you get into a bike accident, the incident will be investigated just like any other car accident. The police officer who responds to the scene of your bicycle accident will fill out a report that details what happened and includes information about both of you. A Pasadena personal injury lawyer can compare these reports with yours and use this information to make certain that your rights are protected.
But because it’s very easy to say the wrong thing or remember things incorrectly, it’s usually in your best interest to contact a lawyer right away. A lawyer should be contacted before even your own insurance company. You should also record all details of the incident, either in photographs or video.
Your Pasadena personal injury lawyer can work with insurance companies to ensure that you get full compensation for your medical costs, help you bring suit against an individual responsible, and help you pursue a reasonable settlement to cover your costs.
Cyclist Laws in Pasadena, TX
Annual fatalities for cyclists in Texas have tripled since 1975. Much of this has to do with a lack of helmets. The state of Texas doesn’t require helmets if a cyclist is over 18 years of age, so many decline to wear one.
There are many areas of Pasadena that don’t have bike lanes, forcing cyclists into the same streets as vehicles. When cyclists are operating in the same streets as vehicles, it’s understandably dangerous. In Pasadena, you are allowed to ride your bicycle on sidewalks, however.
Car Drivers’ Rights and Responsibilities to Cyclists in Pasadena
To protect cyclists, you should know your responsibilities when driving a car near one. At night, you are required to have headlights on in order to maintain your visibility. This is for both cyclists and other vehicles. Cyclists also have the right to take up an entire lane of traffic if it is necessary that they do so.
Know that cyclists can be anywhere, so you need to be conscientious of them. As you turn, don’t just look for other vehicles. Look for smaller cyclists and people on foot as well.
Cyclists are trained to operate their bikes in traffic, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk of injury. Whenever you see a cyclist on the road, make an effort to look out for them and give them space. The most common types of bicycle accidents involve cars turning into the path of cyclists or vehicles that turn left in front of cyclists.
Cyclists’ Rights and Responsibilities
Cyclists are responsible for making themselves visible on the road. They need to be conscientious of other vehicles, especially when they have the right of way. Cyclists are allowed to ride in bike lanes, on the roads, and on the sidewalks, but they must exercise the appropriate levels of caution and care. They should avoid putting themselves in dangerous positions, should make sure they’re visible at night, and should follow all the same rules of the road that drivers do.
You should take action to mitigate dangers on your end. For instance, if you are riding late at night, you shouldn’t be wearing dark clothes. There are things that a car driver should be reasonably expected to be aware of and things that they cannot be reasonably expected to be aware of.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a cycling accident, a Pasadena personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether or not the motorist was responsible. If he or she is responsible for your injuries, you may receive compensation for your medical expenses and other losses.
Rules may differ regarding bike-bike, bike-pedestrian, bike-terrain, and bike-car accidents. Let’s say that you get into an accident because someone has left something obstructing a bicycle lane, or you get into an accident with another cyclist. Who determines fault?
After a bicycle accident, call an attorney immediately. Record everything around you through video. Only talk to your attorney and make sure you describe to your attorney what happened as quickly as possible.
If you’ve already talked to the police and other people, you should still talk to an attorney. The insurance company wants to protect itself, as does the other party. Even eyewitness accounts aren’t always correct.
Finally, you need to get medical attention. As mentioned, some people decline medical attention. But because you’re full of adrenaline when you get hit or when you hit someone else, it’s very easy to not be aware that you’ve experienced damage. People have walked away from an accident only to discover they have fractured bones later. Don’t trust yourself. Trust a medical professional.
Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, then you should get that information forwarded to your attorney as well.
Elements of a Bicycle Accident Claim
What’s the legal process involved with a bicycle accident claim? First, you’ll work with your attorney to initially file a claim. Usually, you’ll be working with your insurance company or their insurance company (or both) first. Then, there will be the determination of liability: Who is liable?
Split liability can happen if you’re partially at fault and they are partially at fault. This can control how the damages are determined. But it may not all be resolvable through insurance. There are times when a claim will need to go to court.
Ideally, though, most claims will either be settled by insurance or be settled out of court. It’s really to no one’s advantage to actually go to court, as this only eats up time.
The insurance company will likely pay for medical treatment and damage costs as well as any other out-of-pocket losses you’ve experienced. But you will need an attorney to help you determine how much your costs are and who was at fault.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Pasadena, TX
Throughout Texas, there are about 3,000 accidents involving bicycles every year. Over a quarter involve children younger than 15, while another 13% are between the ages of 16 and 25.
You can protect yourself by wearing a helmet and always following the rules of the road, whether you’re riding your bicycle on the sidewalk or through a park. Always make sure you’re going at a reasonable speed and that your maneuvering is predictable and telegraphed.
Additionally, the majority of accidents involving cars and bicycles occur when there is no crosswalk or stop sign involved. Pay attention to the right of way and whether there is someone coming. Don’t assume that someone is going to stop for you automatically because you’re on a bicycle.
Best Bike Trails in Pasadena, TX
When biking, it’s always best to stick to areas that you know and areas that are as far away from vehicles as possible. Consider some of the most highly rated trails in and around Pasadena, TX: Armand Bayou Hike & Bike, Armadillo Mountain Bike Trails, and Holly Bay Court Park.
That being said, even on bike trails rather than roads, it is possible to get into an accident. Sometimes, you can get into an accident with another cyclist. You might collide going opposite directions on the street. Other times, it’s possible that you could collide with someone walking down the trails.
So don’t let your guard down when you’re on bike trails in Pasadena, TX. There can still be incidents, and you still need to be as well insured and well protected as possible.
Worst Areas for Bike Riding in Pasadena, TX
In general, you should always avoid areas of Pasadena, TX, that don’t have bicycle lanes. Frequently, drivers just aren’t used to sharing the road with cyclists and may not know how to maneuver around cyclists. Unlit paths, busy highways, higher-speed areas, or congested areas, in general, can be bad areas for bike riding. Stick to well-lit roads and backroads.
The most common accidents often involve cyclists turning into cars or cars turning into cyclists. Cyclists may expect vehicles to yield for them, while cars may not even be looking for cyclists.
Cyclists should also remember to ride defensively. Don’t assume that other drivers will see you or yield to your presence — be sure that they see you and that they’re going to yield. In an ideal world, people would be looking out for cyclists. But this isn’t always possible, especially if there are confounding factors (such as cycling at night or coming around blind corners).
How to Avoid a Bike Accident
There are several precautions you can take to avoid bicycle accidents. First of all, make sure your bike is in good working order. This includes the brakes and any lights or reflectors that may need to be replaced. Wear bright clothing when biking at night. Always ride with traffic on busy streets instead of against it.
When riding your bike, always be aware of what’s going on around you. You should give yourself enough room between yourself and cars or other pedestrians to avoid collisions. Avoid headphones and always make sure your cell phone is out of reach and out of sight (in a bag or back pocket). Always wear a helmet.
Be sure to obey all traffic laws and use the bike lane if there is one available. Never ride on sidewalks — stay out of pedestrian areas as much as possible, since they likely won’t be expecting you.
Contact the Pasadena Cyclist At Law
If you’ve had an accident with your bike, contact the Pasadena Cyclist at Law. You can speak to an attorney who will advocate for you today. It’s always best for you to have representation, even if you think that your case is open and shut. It isn’t just a matter of getting a favorable outcome. It’s a matter of getting all the financial support that you need to make yourself whole. Give me a call or reach out online.