The Texas Bicycle Accident Guide was created by the Law Firm of Ricardo A. Garcia to help injured residents earn maximum compensation from the insurance companies. Call today for a free consultation.
Riding your bicycle is a very economic activity. A good bicycle is more affordable than a car, you don’t have to pay for gas, and parking is free. Sometimes on a bicycle, things can go wrong. It is hard to share the road with cars and one small error can cause a serious accident. If you are reading this page, you have probably been badly injured in a bicycle accident. We want to express our sympathy for you. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. After you read about your bicycle accident case, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up your free consultation.
Bicycle Accident Statute of Limitations
If you are unfamiliar with the term ‘statute of limitations’ it means the amount of time given to bring your claim or settle it in civil court. If you miss your statute of limitations, you will not be permitted to seek compensation from the liable party’s insurance company. In Texas, you are given two years from the date of your accident to be within the statute of limitations. Two years may seem like a long time and you may be tempted to put off calling an attorney. We warn you not to do this as waiting could damage your case. Evidence that has been collected from the scene needs to be protected and your witnesses should be interviewed. If a lot of time passes, your evidence might disappear and your witnesses might forget very important details about your accident. Act quickly after your accident to ensure that you are on the right track to getting everything done on time.
How Shared Fault Compensation Works
In Texas, there are modified comparative fault laws that have to do with how much compensation you can get after your role in the accident has been factored in. Generally speaking, compensation is made up of medical bills both past and future, lost wages both past and future, and pain and suffering. If your injuries are bad, then you tend to have more compensation. However, if you played a role in causing the accident, you might have a reduced award. If the accident was mostly your fault, you will not be allowed to collect compensation. For example, if you are more than 50 percent at fault, you get nothing. If you are 50 percent or less at fault, then you get a reduced award. A $10,000 award would turn into a $7,000 award if you were 30 percent at fault. We do our best to keep you from getting a reduced award. In fact, our goal is always to get a full and fair compensation award for you. The insurance company has bullying tactics they try to use, but when you hire an attorney to protect you, those tactics are ineffective.
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents are extremely scary because your body takes the whole impact of the vehicle and often people neglect their helmets. Because of the nature of bicycle accidents, it is not at all uncommon for people to suffer very bad head injuries, broken bones, fractures, strains, scarring and disfigurement. There are more serious injuries such as nerve damage, concussion, spinal cord injury, and paralysis. We will stress how very important it is that you seek medical attention as soon as you can to get treatment for your injuries. It is the most important thing you can do for yourself after your accident.
Talking to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company
There is something you absolutely do not want to do and that is talking to the liable party’s insurance company. They will reach out to you shortly after your accident looking for a recorded statement. It is not uncommon for them to call you while you’re still in the hospital where you may have pain medications that could impair your reasoning skills. They know this. Their goal is to protect their bottom line. They do not want to lose money on your case and when you agree to give them a recorded statement, they will use anything they can against you. It is important that you not take that call. You are in no way legally obligated to talk to them. There is no need to do so and if you are talked into it, you could ruin your chance at full and fair compensation. All they need is for you to say one wrong thing and they have ammunition against you.
Frequently Asked Questions | Texas Bicycle Accident Guide
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
The other day a family came into the office and wanted to talk about a case involving a bicycle accident involving one of their family members. We told them that there are four things they should consider in making a decision as far as who the best lawyer is that they should hire. They should ask every lawyer the following questions.
They should ask whether or not they are a personal injury trial lawyer. In other words, is the lawyer a personal injury lawyer? Does he handle anything other than personal injury cases? He shouldn’t. We here do not handle divorces, bankruptcies, or criminal cases; we devote ourselves to personal injury.
The next thing is whether or not he is a trial lawyer. That means that he goes to court, goes in front of a judge, goes in front of a jury, and fight the defense. That’s when an insurance company won’t be fair with you. The other thing is whether or not he has had successes in handling these cases, whether or not he has won these cases and has obtained good verdicts for his clients.
The last thing is whether or not that lawyer is board-certified. In other words, he has been recognized by the state of Texas. Having certification means you are in the top three percent of lawyers in this area of law. If you have any questions in those areas, we’d be happy to answer them for you. Please call our office.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid?
Some of the common mistakes that we see people make after being involved in a bicycle accident is that they don’t call 911 to report it. This is very important in order to have that documentation on record and to preserve evidence for later in the future.
Another mistake that we typically see is that they don’t get any witness information, if there are any, which is needed for your case in order to better advocate for you. Another mistake that we commonly see people make is that they don’t seek attorney advice and don’t hire attorneys who specialize in personal injury. This can be a big mistake because people who specialize in this type of field are better equipped to handle your claims because they have more experience and better techniques to advocate for you.
What Do I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
There are several things that must be done after a bicycle accident to make sure you have a solid claim. The first thing is you need to make sure that the accident gets properly reported. This means reported to either the police department, the DPS, or the local sheriff’s office.
Another thing that’s important to do is to make sure that you seek immediate medical attention. Don’t wait. If you’re hurting, go to the hospital immediately. It’s also important that you follow up with your family doctor or some other doctor of your choice because you may have injuries that were left untreated at the hospital that need to be treated immediately.
It’s also important to hire a lawyer who is experienced in this type of accident, so they can make sure that everything is done in a timely manner. There may need to be additional investigation to go get surveillance videos of the area. There may need to be an examination of the area where the accident happened. They may need to examine the bicycle to see if it had any reflector lights on it or if it had any problems, and so it needs to be preserved. There may also need to be an expert that gets hired to do additional investigation and studies. All of this is important. If you have any questions, we are here to help you.
How is a Bicycle Accident Different Than Other Accidents?
I had a young man come in the other day who was involved in a bicycle accident, and one of the questions he had was how this was different than any other type of accident. It’s very different in the sense that, first of all, the amount of injuries that somebody suffers could be significantly greater because they’re not going to have the typical protection of being in a car. They’re also different in the sense that the juries typically are going to put responsibility on the bicycle rider, so it’s important to have an experienced lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected and the jury can see the full picture if the case goes to trial. If you have any questions, we are here to help you.
How Much is My Case Worth?
When it comes to bicycle accident claim value, the things we’re going to look at is how and why the accident happened. Did the accident happen during the day? Did it happen during the night? There are several more things we’re going to look at. For example, if you’re on a bike, did you have your reflector lights on? Did you have some sort of light on? Did you have reflective gear on, such as clothes that somebody’s going to be able to easily see?
From the driver’s perspective, what we’re going to look at is if they were texting and driving. Were they talking on their phone? Were they distracted by somebody in the car? Were they distracted by a dog that was in the car? All of these are factors that we need to look at to determine the value of the bicycle case.
Lastly, we’re going to need to look at what type of vehicle hit the bicycle. Was it an 18-wheeler? Was it a car? Was it a bus or garbage truck? There are various things we’re going to look at, and all of those affect the value of the case because there are different regulations that are going to apply to each one of them. The last thing is the amount of insurance that’s involved, and all of this depends on the type of vehicle that hit the bicycle.
Does Insurance Cover My Injuries?
The other day we had a client come in who wanted to know if auto policies cover bicycle incidents. The answer is, it depends. All insurance policies are different. Most of the time, though, we do see that bicycle accidents are covered by insurance policies, especially if you have what’s known as PIP – personal injury protection – under your insurance policy. It’s always beneficial that you purchase that if you don’t have it. We always recommend it.
It’s also important that you reach out to an attorney right away, especially someone who is specialized in personal injuries. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
How Long Will This Case Take?
A bicycle accident claim in the state of Texas is dependent on how badly the person was hurt. If the person was hurt moderately, it could take about a year and a half to resolve the case. If the person was hurt severely, it will probably take longer. The factors that are going to be looked at are going to be the injury, how quickly you heal, and whether or not the insurance company will be fair with you. If the insurance company isn’t fair with you, then we have to file suit.
In filing suit, we have to worry about the court’s docket, and then we have to worry about the date the court gives us. We work hard to try to resolve these cases quickly. If you have questions with regards to the time period or the factors involved that it will take to resolve your case, please feel free to call us.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Company?
We had a client come in the other day whose child had suffered a severe bicycle accident, and they wanted to know if they should answer the insurance companies that are calling. Our answer to you is no. Don’t talk to insurance companies. They’re not there for your aid or benefit. They are there to protect whoever their insured is. Because of that, any statement that you do make, they will record it and use it against you later on. Our suggestion to you is that you contact an attorney right away who specializes in personal injury claims, and you tell insurance companies to contact your attorney directly. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We’re always here to help.
Please Call Our Office Today for Free Consultation
If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation with our dedicated, experienced, and supportive Texas bicycle accident attorneys. We will be here for you every step of the way and fight the liable party’s insurance company to get you the fullest and fairest amount of compensation possible.