Dedicated Bike Accident Attorney for Plano, TX Residents
Experienced Bike-Riding Personal Injury Lawyer for Plano
An injury suffered while biking has the potential to change your life for the worse. In fact, a biking injury might even render you immobile and unable to work. If you suffer any type of injury while riding your bike, do not suffer in silence. Aside from obtaining medical attention, the most important thing you can do in the aftermath of a bike accident is connect with a personal injury attorney.
Bill Shirer, Cyclist at Law, is ready and willing to fiercely advocate on your behalf in and out of court to ensure justice is served. He is board-certified in personal injury trial law. In total, he has nearly three decades of trial law experience. If you suffer even a minor injury while riding your bike and suspect another party might be even partially responsible, let the Cyclist at Law spearhead your quest for justice, and you will stand a good chance of receiving financial compensation for this unfortunate incident. Contact him today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Determining Liability for a Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a cycling accident of any type, do not apologize or admit guilt. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, there is still a good chance you will be able to obtain financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In general, drivers are typically considered liable for bicycle accidents, as they often negligently collided with bike riders. “Negligence” is a term commonly used in legal circles, referring to the failure to provide due care to those in one’s vicinity. However, it is also possible that both the driver and bike rider are partially liable for the accident. As long as you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still receive compensation for your injuries.
Keep in mind, it is not only drivers who can be found liable for a bicycle accident. Property owners who fail to take care of their property, bike manufacturers, bike sellers, bike mechanics, and even pedestrians who get in the way of cyclists can also be found legally liable for the accident and subsequent damages. As long as you followed the rules of the road — meaning you yielded to pedestrians, did not make unsafe lane changes and adhered to the directions of traffic signs and signals — there is a good chance your personal injury attorney will be able to obtain compensation on your behalf through a personal injury lawsuit.
Cyclist Laws in Plano, TX
Bicyclists in Plano are required to operate their bikes in accordance with Texas Motor Vehicle Laws when traversing the roads. This means bicyclists must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, stop at all stop signs, use sufficient illumination when riding when it is dark, and ride with the flow of traffic on one-way streets. If bicycle lanes are designated, bicyclists should ride in those lanes as opposed to the road. Bicyclists are required to pass pedestrians, other bike riders, and slow-moving vehicles in a cautious manner, giving notice of passing to those in their vicinity. In short, Texas law states that bicycles qualify as vehicles, meaning the individual riding the bike has the same duties and rights as a driver of an automobile. In other words, bike riders are required to obey all traffic laws, signals, and signs.
A bicyclist who is riding on a roadway slower than the rest of traffic is to ride as close as possible to the road’s edge or the curb. However, there are a couple exceptions to this law. Bicyclists can use the entire lane of travel when passing a slower vehicle moving in the same direction, when preparing to perform a left turn, when the road is unsafe, or when the lane has insufficient width.
All bikes must have a brake mechanism capable of executing a braked wheel skid. Cyclists are legally required to use hand signals to communicate their intent to turn and stop. A bike rider cannot attach a person or any other item to the bike while on the road. Those riding in groups can ride two abreast on the road within a single lane. However, those who ride two abreast cannot impede the flow of traffic. It is illegal to ride more than two abreast unless on a segment of the road designated for bicycles.
Car Driver’s Rights and Responsibilities to Cyclists
Drivers must understand that cyclists have the same rights as vehicle drivers. Furthermore, bike riders face unique challenges on the road, as they are comparably small in size and difficult to see. Above all, drivers must share the road with cyclists. Drivers should be on the lookout for cyclists in areas where vehicles do not appear, such as at intersections.
Drivers must remain patient when driving in the vicinity of a bicyclist. Drivers are required to wait until it is completely safe to pass a bicyclist ahead of them. If passing is absolutely necessary, it should be done when three feet of space, at a bare minimum, are between the biker and the vehicle. If the situation calls for it, the bicyclist should be given the right of way. Drivers must also provide bicyclists with more time to pass through intersections. Drivers should also exercise caution when opening their car door after parking to prevent the door from hitting an adjacent or oncoming bike rider.
Cyclists’ Rights and Responsibilities
Bicyclists are to ride on the road in the same direction as auto traffic. This means bike riders are legally entitled to ride in the road, yet they should do so as close as possible to the side of the road unless passing another vehicle, preparing to perform a left turn, or in unsafe conditions. In general, bicyclists riding on the sidewalk have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians walking on the sidewalk. However, most business districts and some other areas bar bicyclists from riding on sidewalks. Bicyclists are to ride in a manner that does not interrupt pedestrians’ path of travel. When approaching a pedestrian, the bike rider should make a noise, such as ringing a bell or speaking, to announce the pass. Bicyclists on the road are required to use their arm to signal a turn or lane change unless that arm is needed to control the bike.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Nothing is more important than your health. If you are involved in a bicycle accident of any type, obtain immediate medical attention. It will also help to write down the name, contact information, insurance information, and description of the person or people who contributed to the accident. Even if you were partially at fault for the accident, it is in your interest to write down the information of those involved in the accident.
Take pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your bike, the damage to your person, and the damage to other vehicles involved in the crash. If your accident did not involve another vehicle, it is still sensible to document the entirety of the accident scene including the terrain where the accident occurred and the condition of the bike and your person after the accident. Be sure to contact the police so an official police report can be created and filed to detail the accident, ultimately facilitating the ensuing legal action and quest to obtain financial compensation.
Elements of a Bicycle Accident Claim
Biking accident claims begin with reporting the accident to the police. The police document the accident with a formal police report that will be referenced during litigation. The next step is to determine whether there is solid legal footing for a personal injury lawsuit by reaching out to a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will review the police report, medical records, and other evidence related to the accident to determine whether one or several parties might be legally liable. If there is solid legal footing to file a lawsuit, your attorney will do so on your behalf.
The aim of the ensuing personal injury lawsuit is to maximize the financial compensation you receive from this unfortunate event. Your attorney will tirelessly work on your behalf to obtain financial compensation that pays for all costs causally related to the biking accident. This means your personal injury lawsuit has the potential to obtain financial compensation to cover the cost of past, current, and future medical care, diminished earning capacity, lost wages, pain, suffering, property damage, and additional losses. It is quite possible the insurance company will float out a tempting settlement offer before the trial begins. You can choose to accept this settlement offer or proceed to litigate in court in your quest for justice.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Plano
The Texas Department of Transportation reports the state’s bicycling accidents are up 26% on a year over year basis. More biking fatalities occur in Texas than almost any other state. Sadly, more than 70 bicyclists die on Texas roads each year. Those in the age cohort of 50 to 59 comprise the largest age group of cycling fatalities, with men being six times more likely to pass away in a biking accident than women. Most biking fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Best Bike Trails in Plano
Plano is a bike rider’s paradise. With beautiful, sunny weather nearly year round, Plano provides a seemingly endless number of opportunities for cyclists to get outside and have a blast while riding. The best Plano biking trails include:
- Chisholm Trail Greenbelt
- Oak Point and Bob Woodruff Park
- Lakes Willow Springs and Bobcat Run Loop
- Hoblitzelle Park Trail
- Russell Creek Park Trail
- Bluebonnet Trail
Worst Areas for Bike Riding in Plano
Some parts of Plano are better for bike riding than others. When in doubt, do your best to avoid busy downtown streets, especially those that do not have biking lanes. It is also prudent to refrain from riding your bike on Plano highways. Avoid riding on unlit paths and difficult terrain resulting from potholes and changes in elevation.
How to Avoid a Bike Accident
Most bicyclists are aware of the fact that helmets and elbow and knee pads are recommended when riding on the roads. However, there are some other tips that will help cyclists avoid an accident and survive collisions should they occur. Bicyclists are encouraged to wear bright-colored clothing when riding in the early morning hours or at night when there is minimal light.
It is also prudent to look at the tires of vehicles in your vicinity if you suspect those vehicles are veering toward you. The direction of the tires indicates where the vehicle will move in the ensuing seconds. Be particularly cognizant of the potential for drivers to open their car doors when parked on the side of the road, especially on busy urban streets. Keep your guard up at all times, maintain your bike for optimal performance, wear protective gear, and you will have done your part to avoid an accident.
Contact the Plano Cyclist At Law
Bill Shirer is the experienced personal injury attorney you need to obtain justice in the form of financial compensation. If you suspect a person, business, or other party is even slightly at fault for your accident while bicycling, reach out to the Cyclist at Law right away to schedule an initial consultation. Bill Shirer relates to everyone who suffers an injury while riding a bike, as he rides over 5,000 miles per year, races in the Masters 50+ road division, and has been an avid rider since the late ’80s. You will not find a better personal injury attorney to handle your biking accident case. Give him a call or contact him online to schedule an initial consultation.