Dedicated Bike Accident Attorney for Pearland, TX, Residents
Experienced Bike-Riding Personal Injury Lawyer for Pearland
Were you recently injured in an accident while riding a bike in Pearland? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation even if the incident was partially your fault. But navigating the complex claims process and obtaining that compensation without expert legal representation can be remarkably stressful and difficult. Only about half of individuals who try are successful, and those who are can rarely obtain the maximum payout they’re entitled to.
If you need help, Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law, one of Pearland’s most respected board-certified personal injury trial lawyers is here for you.
As an avid cyclist himself, Bill rides more than 5,000 miles annually, regularly racing in the Masters 50+ road division. Not only does he deeply understand the challenges you face as a cyclist, but he also has extensive knowledge of Texas bike-riding and motorist laws. For nearly 30 years, he has proudly represented and advocated on behalf of injured Texas residents and will fiercely fight for justice in your case too.
Being involved in a cycling accident can forever change your life. If you suffered trauma, you deserve to know you’re in good hands. You deserve compensation for your injuries, property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other damages associated with the aftermath of the incident.
Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law, will work tirelessly to ensure you receive what you’re owed. Whether your case involves a settlement or must go all the way to trial, he’ll be there for you every step of the way.
Determining Liability for a Bicycle Accident
Although you may be entitled to financial compensation after involvement in a bike accident in Pearland, obtaining that money can be complicated. And proving liability for the accident is imperative when presenting your case. But determining liability isn’t always straightforward, and in some cases, there may be more than one at-fault party.
Determining liability when a motorist and a cyclist are involved in an accident all comes down to one crucial thing: evidence that establishes negligence. That evidence includes the police report, witness statements, photos or videos of the accident, damaged equipment, and medical reports, all of which help prove:
Whether the motorist failed to act with reasonable care and was negligent while driving
- Whether you violated a traffic law and were partially at fault for the incident
- Whether another cyclist’s or pedestrian’s actions contributed to the incident
- Whether a bike manufacturer or repair shop is liable for a faulty part that either contributed to or caused your accident/injuries.
Even if you’re found partially liable for the accident, you can still receive compensation to help offset the costs associated with the incident. Bill Shirer will work diligently to analyze the evidence in your case, establish liability for all involved parties, and advocate for a fair settlement or court award that reflects the severity of your injuries and how they’ll impact your life long term.
Cyclist Laws in Pearland, TX
Although cyclists are far less protected than vehicle operators, they must follow the same rules of the road as motorists. This means Pearland cyclists must:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Ride in the same direction as other traffic.
- Yield to pedestrians.
- Avoid making unsafe lane changes.
- Use appropriate arm signals when changing directions and stopping.
Aside from following the same rules of the road that motorists must adhere to, Pearland cyclists must also:
- Avoid riding on roads, routes, and paths not specifically designated for bicycles.
- Ride in designated bike lanes when possible and remain as close to the right side of the road when no bike lane is available.
- Ride with at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.
- Ride single file (unless riding in a bike lane with ample room for two or more cyclists to ride abreast).
- Have a properly functioning brake.
- Avoid slowing down traffic flow when riding in motorist-designated lanes.
- Use appropriate headlamps and rear-mounted reflector lights.
- Avoid carrying more persons than a particular bike is equipped to carry (one rider per saddle).
Car Drivers’ Rights and Responsibilities to Cyclists
All motorists have a duty of reasonable care to cyclists using the road. That means they have a legal duty to act responsibly while driving to avoid injuring others on the road. To avoid breaching that duty of care, vehicle drivers must:
Obey all traffic laws.
- Give cyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance when passing on the side.
- Avoid opening vehicle doors in the path of oncoming cyclists.
- Be vigilant and watch for cyclists in blind spots and other difficult-to-see areas.
- Yield to cyclists in designated bicycle lanes when preparing to turn through such lanes.
If a driver acts in a way that puts a nearby cyclist at risk and ultimately causes or contributes to an accident, they may be found guilty of negligence and held either partially or fully liable.
Cyclists’ Rights and Responsibilities
Like motorists, cyclists also have a duty of reasonable care to others using the road. And just like vehicle drivers, cyclists who fail to act responsibly while riding can be found guilty of negligence and held partially or fully liable for an accident. This is true even if the cyclist was the only injured party.
To avoid breaching their duty of reasonable care, Pearland cyclists must follow all traffic laws that apply to them. In addition to adhering to the same rules of the road that motorists are subject to, cyclists must also:
- Make their presence known by giving an audible warning when approaching other cyclists or pedestrians (this can be done either vocally or with a bicycle bell or horn).
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks.
- Be vigilant while riding, watching carefully for motorists, pedestrians, opening vehicle doors, etc.
- Wear a helmet (this is not required by law but could save your life and can significantly impact your case when head, neck, or facial injuries are involved).
Ultimately, cyclists also have a responsibility to themselves. Because they’re highly vulnerable to injuries of all types and severities, it’s imperative that cyclists take measures to protect themselves on the road.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
After a bike accident, it’s imperative that you keep your wits about you. What you do immediately after the incident can have a significant impact on the amount of money you’re able to recover for your injuries and any other damages you suffer. If a lawsuit is ultimately involved, your actions immediately after the accident can affect the outcome of litigation too.
Whether your accident involved a vehicle, another cyclist, a pedestrian, or defective equipment that caused your bike to fail on rough terrain, here’s what you should do after a bicycle accident:
Call the police immediately and wait for them to arrive.
- File a police report. Give the police a statement of your version of the incident. Do this even if you don’t think you’re injured as some injuries take time to become apparent and can later develop into serious problems. Make sure you thoroughly detail all of your injuries, regardless of how minor they might be.
- If applicable and possible, get the other party’s full name and contact information. If there was a motorist involved, get their insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number. Do not apologize to or attempt to negotiate with any other involved party.
- If anyone witnessed the accident, get their names and contact information if possible. If you can’t get this information for any reason, ask a bystander for help.
- Document what happened. If you have your phone on you, make a video or voice memo so you can write everything down later.
- Seek medical attention for your injuries, even if you think they’re minor. You never know whether they’ll grow more serious over time. Getting medical care will also establish a record that you were indeed injured in the accident. Take multiple photos of your injuries as promptly as possible after the incident. Write down any symptoms you have and continue to document them periodically.
- If your bike or any of your other property was damaged in the accident, leave it as is. Take photos of the damage. The same goes for your helmet, clothing, and anything else you had on you when the incident occurred. Don’t wash anything or try to repair anything. Your attorney will need these pieces of evidence to help build your case.
- Call an experienced Pearland bike accident attorney. The sooner you call, the better. A lawyer can handle the claim-filing process, gather and review evidence, and help you obtain any additional medical care you may need.
Elements of a Bicycle Accident Claim
All bicycle accident claims begin with formal documentation of the incident, any injuries suffered, and any property damaged. From there, your Pearland bike accident attorney will assess the evidence — police report, your statement, witness testimony, photos, video, medical records of any treatment obtained, etc. — to identify all liable parties. Then he’ll file property damage and personal injury claims with the appropriate parties.
He’ll then gather information about expenses related to the accident, including the value of damaged property, your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and so on to begin ascertaining the amount of damages associated with the accident. If the opposing party doesn’t dispute liability, your property damage claim will be resolved first. If you need ongoing medical care for your injuries, your treatment expenses must also be factored into the settlement package.
When treatment is complete and you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, your attorney will gather all of your medical bills, records, and other necessary supporting documentation. He’ll send a settlement package to the opposing party’s insurance company and wait for them to make an offer. From there, negotiations ensue, and if a reasonable number cannot be agreed upon, he’ll file a lawsuit and take the case to trial.
The claims process can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. The duration of your case depends on several variables, including the severity of your injuries and the type and length of treatment you need.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Pearland
In 2019, 312 Texas cyclists were seriously injured while riding their bikes, and more than 1,000 cyclists suffered less debilitating accident-related injuries. In 2020, 82 Texans lost their lives due to biking accidents, putting Texas in the top five US states for cycling fatalities.
Best Bike Trails in Pearland
If you love cycling but prefer to stay off the road, consider giving these Pearland biking trails a go:
- Tom Bass Regional Park
- Dixie Farm Road Park
- Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail
- Brays Bayou Greenway Trail
- Shadow Creek Nature Preserve
- Buffalo Bayou Trail
- Fault Line Trail
- George Bush Park Hike and Bike Trail
Check out Pearland Safe Cycling Initiative’s map of the city’s cycling trails for more information.
Worst Areas for Bike Riding in Pearland
To stay as safe as possible while riding, Pearland cyclists should avoid highly trafficked roadways and congested areas of town where accidents are much more likely. As well, cyclists should stay out of poorly lit areas after dark and keep off busy roadways where there’s little space to ride.
How to Avoid a Bike Accident
Avoiding a bike accident isn’t always possible, but as a cyclist, you can take measures to protect yourself. Always wear a helmet, be vigilant, keep your bike in excellent shape, and follow the rules of the road, as well as cyclist-specific laws. If you see other drivers or pedestrians who don’t appear to be actively watching the road, take caution. Move out of the way, slow down, or announce your presence loudly. Ultimately, staying safe on the road is your responsibility too, so protect yourself!
Contact the Pearland Cyclist at Law
If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident and are looking for knowledgeable, compassionate legal representation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law. Call the office at 972-392-1249 or contact me online to discuss your case.