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Legal Bike Accident Guidance in Dallas and All of Texas

Biking can be a great way to explore, exercise, and get some fresh air. Many of us love going for a bike ride when we want to enjoy our community parks and get our heart rates going a little. But bike riding is not always easy or safe. With no real safety features other than a helmet, a bike accident can be devastating.

If you have suffered injuries from a bicycle accident that occurred as the result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to a substantial amount of financial recovery. At The Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas bike accident lawyers make our clients’ cases our top priority and help them fight for the compensation they rightfully deserve. We have seen just how debilitating a bike accident can be and know firsthand that proper compensation may be the only key to recovery.

Contact us today by calling (214) 295-1008 or toll-free at (888) 473-2820 to find out how we can help you navigate your case.

Staying Safe While Riding Your Bike

Unfortunately, not everyone will take the responsibility of safe driving seriously. There are those on the road that do not seem to care about their duty towards others. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control your own behavior. Be sure to follow these safety tips to keep yourself, and those around you, as safe as possible.

  • Wear reflective gear to increase your visibility
  • Never use a device, such as your phone or headphones, while biking
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Ride with the flow of traffic
  • Try to avoid riding during poor seeing conditions, such as at night or during bad weather

Whether you are driving a car, operating a motorcycle, or riding a bike, the roadway can be dangerous. Neglecting important safety laws can lead to serious consequences and injuries. Failing to follow local traffic laws can also make it more difficult for you to receive proper compensation, as at-fault insurance companies will take every chance to discredit your claim.

What Causes Bicycle Accidents in Dallas

There are a number of factors that contribute to bike accidents, but a major cause is driver negligence. One of the biggest threats for cyclists is distracted driving where motorists may not notice cyclists on the road. This distraction can lead to dangerous situations, including side-swiping or rear-ending a bicycle. Cell phone use is a common cause of driver distraction, and that’s why Texas Law prohibits the use of handheld devices while driving.

Intoxicated drivers are a serious hazard for everyone on the road. Drinking impairs judgment, reflexes, reaction time, depth perception, coordination, and other important driving skills. That’s why Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.

Failure to yield is another frequent cause of bicycle accident injuries, occurring when drivers do not respect a cyclist's right-of-way at intersections or when merging.

Dooring accidents are also unfortunately common. This happens when a parked car's door suddenly opens in a cyclist's path, leaving the rider with insufficient time to react.

Pedestrian collisions with bicycles are an overlooked issue that can have serious consequences. In crowded urban spaces like Dallas where pedestrians and cyclists often share close quarters, cyclists may find themselves suddenly confronted by a pedestrian stepping into a bike lane, leading to an accident that may cause significant injuries to both parties.

Road conditions in Dallas can significantly impact the safety of cyclists. Poorly maintained roads, characterized by potholes and uneven surfaces may cause cyclists to lose control and crash. Debris left on bike paths or roadsides also presents a risk, as cyclists may need to swerve suddenly to avoid obstacles, potentially moving into the path of oncoming traffic. Inadequate bike lanes that are not clearly marked or are too narrow can lead to cyclists traveling closer to fast-moving traffic than is safe.

Dangers Involved in a Bicycle Accident

There are inherent dangers to riding a bike, especially considering the general lack of physical protection that a cyclist has. The protection provided by helmets prevents a majority of serious injuries in a crash; but in severe bike accident cases, brain injuries are still possible.

When a bike accident occurs at high speed or involves a vehicle, the cyclist could be thrown from the point of impact and suffer a catastrophic injury.

Common injuries that may result from a bike accident include:

Treatment for such physical damage can be extensive, sometimes lasting for years, and will likely have a detrimental effect on the victim's life enjoyment and activities. An accident victim, therefore, has every right to retain a skilled Dallas bicycle accident attorney to represent them and help them fight for coverage of their medical bills and emotional distress.

"He was referred to me by one of our executives at my office after I was involved in a bicycle/car accident…The outcome was more than I imagined, and I am back to riding my bicycle again..."
- Michelle

Bike Laws in Texas

Before receiving our drivers’ license, we all had to learn about the rules of the road. There are many laws and regulations for drivers meant to help protect everyone on the road. But there are also rules that bike riders should be aware of as well.

Helmets: Minors under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding on a bike. That includes whether they are the one operating the bike, or if they are simply a passenger riding tandem. Individuals 18 years of age or older are not legally required to wear helmets, but they are always recommended.

Number of riders: Those on a bike may only sit on the actual seat of the bike. Sitting on the handlebars, or in a basket, is illegal. A bike may also only carry the number of people it is designed to carry. So, you may only ride with another person if your bike was meant to carry two riders.

Rules of the road: Bike riders are expected to follow all the same traffic laws that drivers follow. For example, you must always stop at a stop sign, pay attention to and follow lane markers, and make yourself visible to other people on the road at night or in poor weather conditions. A cyclist can do this with reflective clothing and reflective patches on the front and back of their bike.

Duty of care: Bike riders, much like car drivers, have a duty of care to those sharing the roads with them. This means, that you have a duty to keep others from harm. If you break this duty of care, either by acting in negligence or purposefully trying to harm another, you may be held liable for the damages you caused. In the same situation, cyclists can hold each other liable for injuries they caused by disobeying Dallas traffic laws.

Establishing Liability in Dallas Bicycle Accidents

Negligence is a critical concept in the context of bicycle accidents in Texas. It refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. When determining liability, it must be established that the driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care, breached that duty, and caused the accident leading to the cyclist's injuries.

If a driver was texting, for instance, and didn't notice a cyclist legally crossing an intersection, that could be deemed negligence. The Lenahan Law Firm scrutinizes accident reports, witness statements, and other evidence to prove negligence in building a compelling case for our clients.

In Texas, bicycles are considered vehicles, and this means cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. When a bicycle accident occurs, Texas law examines the actions of both the cyclist and the driver to determine liability. This process involves looking at whether each party adhered to traffic laws and exercised reasonable care. For example, if a motorist failed to yield at a stop sign, they may be found negligent and thus liable for the collision. Texas follows a modified comparative fault rule, which allows for compensation only if the cyclist is less than 51 percent at fault for the accident.

When The Lenahan Law Firm files a bicycle accident injury claim or lawsuit, liable parties may include:

  • Drivers
  • Pedestrians
  • Other cyclists
  • Property owners
  • Municipalities and government agencies
  • Trucking and delivery companies that hire unsafe drivers
  • Contractors responsible for maintaining safe roads
  • Bars and restaurants that serve people under 21 or obviously intoxicated patrons

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim for a Bicycle Accident Fatality

Wrongful death claims are designed to provide financial support for those who depended on the victim for emotional and financial support. Damages in a wrongful death claim may include compensation for lost wages that the deceased would have earned, loss of companionship, and emotional suffering. It is essential for family members to know their rights and to act promptly, as there are statutory deadlines for filing wrongful death claims in Texas.

Typically, the immediate family members, such as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased, have the right to seek compensation. In some cases, extended family members like siblings or grandparents may also have the right to file a claim, depending on their dependency on the deceased.

Determining recoverable damages is a critical component of wrongful death claims in the context of Dallas bicycle accidents. Calculating these damages often requires a detailed analysis of the deceased's life expectancy, career prospects, and the emotional impact on the family.

What To Do Following a Dallas Bike Accident

After being involved in a serious Dallas biking accident, you may be at a loss as to what to do next. Bike accidents are often not taken as seriously as car accidents, so there are few lessons on what you should do to get help and receive proper compensation. That is why we at The Lenahan Law Firm have put together these tips for you.

Seek medical help: Bikes do not travel nearly as fast as cars, so you may assume that following a bike accident, medical assistance is unnecessary. However, that may be as far from the truth as possible. Bikes have very little protection during an accident, and if you collided with a car, chances are you are suffering from catastrophic injuries. Your health is of the utmost importance, so be sure to call for medical help.

Collect evidence and information: If you are able to do so, speak to the other people involved in the accident and collect their insurance information. This information is incredibly important for the process of filing a claim. Also, be sure to take pictures of the scene of the collision and of any injuries you may have suffered. Your bike and clothing are also invaluable pieces of evidence, so avoid repairing, cleaning, or throwing them out before having an expert inspect them.

Follow your doctor’s orders: Your doctor will be able to do a full evaluation of your injuries and will know what steps you should follow in order to heal as quickly as possible. Following these instructions is important not just for your health, but also for receiving as much compensation as possible. If there is evidence you did not follow your doctor’s orders, the adverse insurance company may use that to claim you are not as injured as you said and do not deserve high compensation.

Speak with an experienced Dallas bicycle injury attorney: Filing a claim against a large insurance company can be daunting, especially if you are doing it alone. Insurance adjusters know how to make a lowball offer seem like the best possible deal and will do everything they can to pay you as little as possible. With a skilled personal injury attorney by your side, however, you have a far greater chance of getting every penny that you are owed.

Enlisting the Help of The Lenahan Law Firm

Without a competent attorney to assist you in winning the payout you deserve, you may end up facing financial stress as you try to pay your medical bills on your own. No one who has suffered a bicycle accident because of someone else should ever be subject to this.

Each Dallas personal injury attorney at The Lenahan Law Firm researches each detail of a case and fights aggressively for a full recovery. We know that insurance companies do not always offer maximum compensation to bike accident victims and we will do everything in our power to unveil and obtain the payout you deserve.

Call our firm today at (214) 295-1008 or toll-free at (888) 473-2820 to learn more.

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- Charles D.