Cyclists are a common sight in Humble. Many people have responded to the high price of gasoline by riding a bicycle to work or school. Others are more focused on exercise and can be seen riding along the shoulder for many miles in a bid to get in shape. Regardless of why people are on a bicycle, they deserve safe streets and to be treated with respect by other motorists.
The Stano Law Firm represents many cyclists who unfortunately are injured in an accident. These accidents have different causes, but they all can leave bicyclists in serious pain. If you were hurt in any kind of bicycle wreck, please contact our law firm today. Our bicycle accident lawyer in Humble can assist with your claim for compensation.
Where Do Bicycle Accidents Happen in Humble?
Cyclists face many hazards, but the two major ones are aggressive drivers and road defects. Either one can lead to an accident that will send you to the emergency room.
You might have been hurt at any of the following places:
- Parking lots
- Major highways
- Side streets
- Public parks
Even seasoned cyclists can be injured in the following types of crashes:
- Sideswipes. Many drivers are angry that they must share the road with cyclists, so they pass at the first opportunity. Careless or aggressive drivers will pass too closely and end up clipping our sideswiping a cyclist.
- Head on collision. A distracted motorist can drift over the center line and hit a cyclist head on. These are very dangerous, often fatal accidents.
- Open door accidents. Someone sitting in a parked car might open the door without checking for a cyclist coming up from behind. Because cyclists usually ride close to the shoulder, they can go directly into the opened door and tumble over it.
- Pothole or road upset. A bicyclist can lose control due to some defect on the road which a four-wheel car would ride smoothly over. Unfortunately, a bicyclist can suffer injury in the fall and even be run over.
Assigning Fault for Your Accident
Generally, victims can seek compensation from anyone who is at fault for the crash. In many cases, that person will be a driver of a vehicle who was reckless or negligent. Some common reasons for accidents include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting while driving
- Intoxication or chemical impairment
- Failure to yield
- Running a red light
If a road defect led to a crash, we might sue the governmental entity responsible for fixing the roads. This is particularly challenging in Texas, so reach out to a lawyer as soon as you are hurt.
Determining fault is a complex process. The Stano Law Firm has years of experience reviewing all evidence, such as witness testimony, your bicycle, any photographs of the car or hazard, and other information. Once we “see” how the accident happened, we can point the finger at the person responsible.
Shared Responsibility & Your Accident
Texas law recognizes that accidents are not always black-and-white. Sometimes, both parties were negligent. For example, a speeding motorist might have hit you, but you were also looking at your phone as you rode your bicycle. Both you and the driver who struck you were at fault. In the language of Texas law, you “share responsibility” for the collision.
Under Texas law, you can sue if you are not more than 50% responsible for the crash. We have seen defendants blame our clients for weaving in and out of traffic or failing to yield. One of our most important jobs is arguing that your own fault was minimal.
If you were less than 50% to blame, you can seek compensation—but your amount is reduced proportionally. This means that you will receive 20% less in compensation if you were 20% at fault.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Many cyclists suffer severe injuries in a collision. These injuries might take months to heal and possibly require surgery or extended rehabilitation. We highly encourage all cyclists to get to the hospital as soon as possible to receive treatment for:
- Broken bones. Cyclists often fracture legs, arms, hands, or ribs in a collision. Broken bones can then slice veins and lead to extensive bleeding or puncture an organ, like a lung.
- Skin injuries. Cyclists can suffer abrasions and lacerations on any exposed area of skin. Road rash is a type of abrasion injury which might require skin grafts to close the wound.
- Nerve injuries. Damaged nerves can weaken limbs and lead to chronic pain. Any traumatic blow could damage nerve endings.
- Neck injuries. Cyclists can suffer whiplash, cervical fracture, and pinched nerves in the neck.
- Back injuries. A back injury can leave you unable to walk or even sit for months. Some of the most serious are herniated discs, spondylosis, and spinal cord injuries.
- Head injuries. Serious head injuries include traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, contusions, and intracranial bleeding.
- Emotional trauma. The experience of getting hit can lead to depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Some victims will never ride a bicycle again due to fear.
Compensation for Your Humble Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident settlement should compensate you for damages stemming from the crash. Ideally, we will negotiate a settlement for you with the at-fault party. When that’s not possible, we might need to file a lawsuit in court to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages:
- Economic damages: medical treatment, lost income, loss of earning capacity, damage to your bicycle, and future medical treatment.
- Non-economic damages: Pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, disfigurement, loss of consortium.
Of the two, economic damages are the easiest to quantify. Share with your lawyer copies of your medical bills, pay stubs, proof of gig work or self-employment income, and receipts for bicycle repairs. We can use this information in your settlement negotiations.
Non-economic damages are subjective. How much is physical pain from a broken shoulder worth? No two people will agree on a sum of money to compensate you. Still, our firm has negotiated many settlements, and we know how much insurers offer for these types of injuries.
Texas Bicycle Laws
Texas law tells bicyclists and other motorists how to share the road. If everyone followed these rules, then the number of accidents in Humble and surrounding communities would fall.
Some of the more important rules in the Texas Transportation Code include:
- Section 551.103. Cyclists should ride near the curb and travel in the same direction as traffic. This will protect you from a head-on collision.
- Section 551.102c. Cyclists should have at least one hand on the handlebars. Unless you are signaling a turn, you should have both on the bar.
- Section 545.107. Bicyclists should use hand and arm signals to notify drivers of where they are going. Please learn these signals before going out, even if you are only taking a leisurely ride on the weekend.
- Section 551.101. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as the operators of motor vehicles. This means you must obey all traffic signals, but it also means that motorists must treat you no differently than they would another car.
The law of negligence also applies to bicycle accidents. This law requires that everyone use reasonable care in their activities, including driving. If a motorist doesn’t, they are liable for those they injure, including bicyclists.
What You Should Do after a Bicycle Accident
Accidents are terrifying. Many people are in incredible pain and cry out for help. Others can stand up and possibly move around. We recommend that victims do as many of the following as possible:
- Call the police to report the accident. An officer should arrive at the scene to create a police report and talk to witnesses. Even if the driver flees the scene, call the police.
- Ask the driver for personal information such as name, license number, insurance information, and phone number.
- Document the accident scene, if possible. Someone who can move around should use their phone to photograph any hazard (like a pothole) or the car that struck them. You can also photograph where your bicycle ended up.
- Talk with witnesses. Ask what they saw and request a phone number or other method of contact. Your attorney might interview them later.
- Go to the hospital soon after the police finish. Tell the doctor you were in a bicycle accident.
- Avoid giving any type of recorded statement to an insurance company without a lawyer.
- Never accept a settlement offer from an insurer without first running it by a bicycle accident lawyer in Humble.
You Can Afford Our Services
Money is usually tight after an accident. Because of your injuries, you might not be working, but your bills have only increased. Many accident victims report feeling intense financial stress. Helpfully, our firm can step in and provide legal services without any upfront fees.
This is as good as it sounds. Our “no win, no fee” promise means that you will never owe legal fees unless we win your case. And if we do win, we take an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement. Because there is no risk, you should schedule a consultation at a convenient time to learn more about how we can help.
A Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Humble is Standing By
The Stano Law Firm has the credibility and experience bicyclists need following a crash. If you call us today, we will schedule a consultation to discuss your accident. Please avoid any delay.