Negligent motorists who crash into and injure bicyclists may or may not be charged with a crime, but either way, if you are a bicyclist who has been injured by a negligent motorist, you should arrange at once to discuss your rights with an Austin personal injury attorney.
Serious bicycle accidents happen far too frequently. Almost 700 bicycle riders died in accidents in the U.S. in 2020. Most of those fatalities occurred in three states: Texas, Florida, and California. Thousands of others sustain serious injuries every year in bicycle accidents.
If you’ve been injured, what steps will you need to take after a bicycle accident? How do you recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and related losses? How quickly should you speak to an attorney? What will an attorney’s advice and services cost?
These questions are about to be answered in this brief discussion of bicycle accidents, your rights, and the law in Texas. If you keep reading, you’ll also learn what kind of compensation you may receive and where to find the legal help you may need.
What Injuries Are Common in Bicycle Accidents?
Because bicycles don’t have the safety features that motor vehicles have – enclosed space for drivers and passengers, seat belts, and air bags – even when they ride as safely as possible, bicycle riders can suffer catastrophic injuries in an accident with a car, bus, motorcycle, or truck.
Bicyclists in accidents may sustain traumatic brain injuries, severe spinal cord injuries, multiple broken bones, and injuries that require amputation. If you sustain a catastrophic or disabling injury in a bicycle accident, you may need medical care for years or for the rest of your life.
You will also need an Austin bicycle accident attorney who knows how to recover the maximum compensation amount available to you. When your health and your future are at stake, you can’t put your case in the hands of an untested or inexperienced attorney.
When a Bicycle Accident Happens
When a bicycle accident happens and you are the injured bicyclist, summon medical attention and the police immediately. When the officers arrive, cooperate and make sure that you know how you’ll be able to obtain a copy of their written police accident report.
Exchange full contact information with the driver who injured you. Get the name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, and complete contact information for that driver’s auto insurance company.
If you can, take photos of the crash site, the damages to your bicycle and the other vehicle, and your own visible injuries. Get the names of any eyewitnesses and a way to contact them. Photos and eyewitness statements can be powerful evidence in support of a personal injury claim.
Do not confess or admit any fault, do not sign any insurance papers, and do not even speak with the negligent driver’s insurance company before you’ve consulted an Austin personal injury attorney.
Why Is a Medical Examination So Important?
If you’re not rushed to a hospital or treated at the scene – and even if you feel perfectly healthy – have a medical exam within at least 24 hours after a bicycle accident to protect your health and to protect yourself legally.
Some of the injuries sustained in a bicycle accident may be latent or hard to detect immediately, so after any bicycle accident, a full medical exam is imperative. A latent or difficult to detect injury could emerge days later – or even weeks later – as a serious medical condition.
Additionally, if a serious medical condition emerges and you seek compensation with a personal injury claim, an immediate medical examination after a bicycle accident provides the medical documentation of your injury and proves that you were not injured in some other way.
How Will Your Attorney Handle Your Injury Claim?
Your injury attorney will immediately launch an investigation of your bicycle accident in order to establish the liability of the driver who injured you. Your attorney will then develop a strategy to recover the full compensation that you are entitled to as an injured victim of negligence.
The negligent driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement amount that is far below the actual value of your personal injury claim. You might be tempted to accept a settlement offer for less than your injury claim is worth. Don’t.
Your attorney routinely negotiates with insurance companies, understands their tactics, and will negotiate for a more generous settlement on your behalf.
However, if your injury claim is denied or disputed, an Austin bicycle accident attorney will take the case to trial, explain to jurors how the accident happened and how you were injured, and ask the jurors to order the payment of your compensation.
When Should You Speak to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
To file a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver after a bicycle accident, there is a strict deadline. The statute of limitations in Texas gives an injured bicyclist two years to take legal action. However, you should not wait two years or even two weeks to speak with an attorney.
In fact, as soon as you’ve had a medical exam after a bicycle accident, schedule a legal consultation. Your attorney needs to see any evidence in the case while it’s fresh and needs to speak with any eyewitnesses before they disappear or their memories start to fade.
What Will It Cost to Take Legal Action?
Do not let worries about money keep you from seeking justice and obtaining the compensation you need after you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident. You will pay a Texas injury attorney nothing up front, and you owe no attorney’s fee until your attorney recovers your compensation.
If your personal injury claim does not prevail, you pay your attorney nothing. It’s a system that allows every injured victim of negligence – without regard to finances – to have a day in court.
Your first legal consultation with a Texas bicycle accident attorney is also provided with no cost or obligation. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, take advantage of your free first consultation to learn more about your rights and about how the law applies to your own case.
If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver while bicycling in Texas, and if you and your personal injury attorney can prove it, you will be compensated, and the law will be on your side.