A bicycle accident rarely ends well for a bike rider when larger vehicles are involved. The lack of protection that cyclists have when they are on the road is appalling, considering the proximity of fast-moving cars. Sometimes the only true protection a cyclist has is good decision-making from all road users. Indeed, the only way to avoid the serious injuries often associated with bicycle accidents in Houston is for all parties involved to obey the traffic laws, be patient while on the road, and exercise caution. However, this is not always the case and every day more and more cyclists suffer injuries or lose their lives needlessly because of bicycle accidents that could have been avoided. At such times, the only recourse left is to approach a bicycle accident lawyer and seek justice and compensation by filing a bicycle accident claim. While that may not be enough to fully compensate victims suffering from bicycle accident injuries or to bring back a loved one killed on the Houston highways, it is still the right thing to do. With an experienced bicycle accident attorney, victims can get the compensation they deserve. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston, Texas have many years of experience dealing with bicycle accident fatalities and severe injuries. They are available right now for a free consultation.
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What Our Clients Have To Say
I have worked with Schuerger Shunnarah twice and they have been very helpful on my personal injury cases. They went above and beyond my expectations and did a great job both times.
- Ashley C.
Schuerger Shunnarah helped me receive a settlement on my case in just months. I was treated with respect and dignity. Thanks to their help, I have been able to get my life back to normal.
- Michael S.
They provided me with excellent service throughout my personal injury case. They were available to answer my questions and helped me understand the process. I am very grateful for them!
- Deshawn B.
Stats for Bike Accidents in Houston
Various departments, such as the Texas Department of Transportation, regularly collect important Houston bicycle accident statistics that, over the years, have painted a grim picture in terms of the high number of bicycle accidents in Houston.
2019, for example, was a very bad year to be a cyclist on the road in Texas. There were no less than 8,499 crashes involving either pedestrians or cyclists.
Of these, bicycle accidents accounted for a staggering 2,547 collisions, with a paltry 183 bike riders walking away from the bicycle accident without any severe injuries.
The rest of the victims were not so lucky, as the following numbers show:
68 bike riders lost their lives
312 bicycle accident victims had severe injuries
At least 1,102 cyclists had minor injuries
The department could not confirm the possible injuries of 878 cyclists
There were a further 44 cyclists that suffered injuries the department could not classify
According to the NHTSA National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, the following are some of the common ways in which a bike accident can cause serious injuries to cyclists:
The dog ran out - 4%
The cyclist crashed with a fixed object - 7%
Cyclist error - 13%
A defective or damaged roadway - 13%
The rider fell - 17%
The cyclist was hit by a car - 30%
Faced with such damning figures, the risk faced by a bike rider on the roads of Texas is plain to see. This is why Houston bicycle accident lawyers are so important in helping to defend the legal rights of the victims of bicycle accidents.
Any bicycle rider that has suffered severe injuries after a collision with a motor vehicle needs to contact a Houston bicycle accident lawyer today to discuss their various options and the best way to tackle the tough legal process of filing a Houston bicycle accident claim.
Texas Traffic Laws for Bicycle Riders
In the contest between a bicycle rider and a motor vehicle, the odds are highly stacked against the cyclist. It is better to avoid the bicycle accident altogether. In that regard, sticking to the Texas law when using the road could be the best way to save lives.
According to the Houston bicycle accident attorneys, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, the following traffic laws can help reduce the number of bicycle accidents in the state:
All cyclists are subject to the same road rules that govern motor vehicle drivers using the road
Riders are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, stop at a traffic light, obey traffic signs and signals, and ride in bike lanes when available and with the traffic flow
When stopping or turning, the use of hand signals is mandatory
There is no statewide regulation imposing the wearing of helmets on Texas roads, but considering the risk of not doing so, it is highly advised
Children under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets whenever riding a bicycle
When moving slower than other traffic on the road, cyclists are required to stay as far to the right curb as possible
The only time cyclists are allowed to ride away from the right curb is when there is no proper bike lane when passing a vehicle, the cycle lane is too narrow, when turning left, or when swerving to avoid an obstacle
Proper safety equipment and functional brakes are a must on all bicycles
It is mandatory to have a night lamp visible from 500 feet installed on a bicycle when riding at night
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
It is often surprising when looking at the different causes of bicycle accidents just how many of these collisions are easily avoidable. Most bicycle accidents are a result of human error and negligence.
There are four main causes of bike accidents that a Houston bicycle accident lawyer routinely has to deal with, and these are:
It is a lot more difficult for a motorist to see a cyclist on the road than it is to see another motor vehicle. This is especially so when the motorist is distracted while driving because of, for example, using a cell phone, talking to other passengers, or eating and drinking.
Distracted driving could also involve simply taking one's hands off the steering wheel to do other things, such as changing the radio station. In other circumstances, it may be a case of cognitive distracted driving whereby the driver is thinking of something else while driving.
When motorists drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their ability to make sound judgments or to react quickly to situations is severely compromised. This means they are likely not to see other road users at all or if they do, they make the wrong decision or react too slowly.
Cases of bicycle accidents caused by impaired driving are often dealt with very severely in Texas. As such, with an experienced Houston bicycle accident lawyer to represent them, bicycle accident victims can win lots of punitive damages.
Aggressive driving can occur in one of two ways. Either the motorist or the cyclists experience a moment of road rage and begin to act in a retaliatory manner towards other road users, or drivers drive too close to other road users in an attempt to "hog" all the available space.
In either case, aggressive driving is a sign of poor decision making and it often results in collisions occurring. In most cases, aggressive driving often results in both parties being found to be partially liable for the bicycle accident.
Carelessness While Parked
Many cyclists suffer serious injuries by simply colliding with a parked vehicle or with passengers exiting the car. This usually happens when motorists or their passengers open car doors without checking to see if the road is clear.
Often, the bike rider has no time at all to react after a car door is suddenly opened in front of them and, as such, they end up colliding with the vehicle at high speed causing serious injuries to themselves or the passengers of the vehicle.
Other common causes of bike accidents in Houston include:
Collision with a pedestrian or another cyclist
Cyclist riding against oncoming traffic
Riding in bad weather with poor road conditions and reduced visibility
A defective, damaged, or poorly repaired bicycle
Failure to signal
Collisions with an object, like a curb or tree
Dangerous left-hand turns
An animal attacks
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
A bike accident can result in catastrophic injuries for the cyclist or the other party, in cases where the bike collides with a pedestrian.
However, the majority of cases of bicycle accidents involve a cyclist being hit by a motor vehicle and suffering the following injuries:
Deep cuts and lacerations
Emotional distress and mental anguish
Serious head injuries such as concussions
Spinal Cord Injuries
Trauma to the back, neck, and internal organs
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Injuries
Crushed Injuries & Amputations
Potentially fatal injuries and wrongful death
Many times, a Houston bicycle accident lawyer has to assist victims that have suffered such severe injuries that they will be disabled for the rest of their lives. When awarding compensation, these are some of the things that a judge will look at.
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What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
The time between experiencing a bike accident and approaching a bicycle accident lawyer is very crucial to the chances of launching a successful bike accident lawsuit.
A lot of the gathering of details and evidence, as well as the groundwork that is needed to win bike accident claims, is done during this time.
Victims should use this time wisely by taking the following steps:
Get Medical Attention
The safety of all parties involved in a bicycle accident is the number one priority at all times. Before considering who is the at-fault party or thinking about a lawsuit, all victims of the bike crash must receive medical treatment.
Not only is this a good choice in terms of saving lives but seeking medical attention will also allow the victims to be given the all-important medical report from the doctor.
This will document the nature of the injuries as well as the treatment the victims had to be given, which is an important aspect in determining fair compensation.
The battle against the insurance company of the negligent driver will most likely be a tough one and the bicycle accident lawyers representing the victims will need all the tools at their disposal.
Important things to gather as evidence include photos of the accident scene, damaged bicycles, injuries, and the location. It will also be beneficial to get statements from any witnesses to the accident as well as the official police report compiled by the attending police officer.
Seek Compensation Through a Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Once all the evidence has been gathered, it will be time to take the first steps toward justice and compensation by hiring experienced Houston bicycle accident lawyers.
Choosing the right bike accident lawyer can be the difference between winning or losing a bicycle accident case.
In that regard, the following are some of the attributes of the best bicycle accident attorneys that give victims a good chance to recover compensation in personal injury cases:
Knowledge of Houston bicycle accident law
Experience dealing with similar personal injury claims
Compassion and a great attorney-client relationship
Track record of winning damages in previous personal injury cases
Availability for a free consultation
Avoid a Bike Accident With These Safety Tips
While getting a Houston bicycle accident lawyer and seeking compensation after a crash is everyone's right, it is far much better to simply avoid the accident. Following a few simple safety tips can save lives and prevent unnecessary suffering.
Cyclists are, therefore, urged to take the following steps to prevent bicycle crashes:
A bicycle rider is expected to obey the road rules just like any other road user
Wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing is a great way for cyclists to increase their visibility
Avoid using headphones, cellphones, or any other devices while riding a bike
The use of a flashing light or front light and a rear reflector is recommended whenever riding at night
Wearing a properly fitted helmet, while not mandatory, is nonetheless recommended along with using various other safety equipment
Always keep both hands on the handlebars
Keep the bicycle in good condition at all times
They were polite and really cared throughout the entire process and made me feel like my case was important. I would highly recommend them to anyone that didn’t get a fair offer from the insurance company like me!
- Brian D.
How Can Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers Help?
Going against a determined insurance company is no easy task! At times, a personal injury lawsuit can drag on for months or even years because of the unwillingness of an insurance company to offer fair compensation to the victims of bicycle crashes.
There is also the statute of limitations to consider, which gives victims only two years to bring their bicycle accident case before the courts.
With all these things considered, it is clear that having a good Houston bicycle accident lawyer on one's side is the best thing to do.
The following are just a few of the many ways a bike accident lawyer can help the victims to recover compensation:
There are many important things to consider when launching a bicycle accident claim that only experiences bicycle accident attorneys will know.
Filing a personal injury claim in Houston can be a very complicated process. One will need the legal advice of a good lawyer otherwise one will end up risking having the entire case thrown out of court.
Top-rated law firms, such as Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston, Texas offer great advice to bike accident victims from the moment they sit down for a free consultation until the day they win the damages they deserve.
Conduct an Investigation
With the aid of accident reconstruction specialists, bicycle accident lawyers can paint a clear picture in the court of how the accident occurred and why their client deserves to be compensated.
Things like the road position of the motor vehicles when they crashed into the cyclist and any underlying causes of the accident, such as impaired driving, need to be investigated and used as evidence in support of the bicycle accident claim.
Fight for Your Legal Rights
If a personal injury claim is not settled out of court and has to be handled through a lawsuit, recovering compensation for injured bicyclists becomes an uphill task.
With the negligent driver and their insurance company also bringing their legal team to the hearing, bicycle accident lawyers have to be ready to go to war.
This is why having a strong legal team, such as Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston, Texas is the best way to ensure that injured victims come out on top at the end of an injury claim.
Win Maximum Damages
It is quite possible for victims of a bike accident to win personal injury claims but walk out of court feeling dissatisfied with the damages they have been awarded.
This is because it takes a lot of experience to convince the courts that the huge sum being asked for is only fair considering the medical expenses and suffering the victims had to endure.
A good bike accident lawyer will fight hard for the best interests of their clients and make sure that they settle for nothing less than the amount they deserve in light of what they had to go through.
Proving Negligence in a Bicycle Accident Claim
The trickiest part of any bicycle accident lawsuit is proving negligence, especially in Texas where partial liability is applied.
Before the court entertains any discussions about compensation, it has to be convinced that negligence lies squarely on the shoulders of the driver and not on the bicycle operators.
To do this, a Houston bicycle accident lawyer may employ the following:
Photos and videos of the scene of the accident clearly showing the damage to the bikes or vehicles and any skid marks that may be visible
Traffic cam, helmet cam, and dashcam footage
Drug and alcohol tests conducted at the scene of the accident
Whether any citations or arrests were made
When Bicycle Accident Victims Are Partially Liable
However, with most bicycle collisions, it is not so easy to blame the entire accident on the drivers of motor vehicles. In other words, the at-fault party in a personal injury lawsuit is not always just the defendant alone but at times the plaintiff too.
What happens then, when the bicycle rider is also at fault? Well, in Texas, even if the victim is partially to blame for the accident, as long as the court rules that their liability does not come up to 50% they will be entitled to receive some compensation.
It is up to the bike accident lawyer to fight hard to ensure that their client is blamed as little as possible for the accident and therefore receives a huge sum of money for the damages they suffered.
Compensation for a Bicycle Accident
The main reason for launching a bike accident claim in the first place is so that victims can recover the compensation they are entitled to under Texas law. The following are some of the things covered under fair compensation:
Economic damages are the easiest to calculate because they address quantifiable losses whose monetary value can easily be assessed and agreed upon by all parties involved. These usually include the following:
Medical expenses as a result of lifetime disability
Now-economic damages are by contrast a lot more difficult to prove and set a monetary value to. In most cases, it is only the skill of the bicycle accident attorney that determines whether the courts will be willing to accept paying the damages.
It will be up to the judge to decide how much compensation, if any, to award for the following:
Pain and suffering
Loss of the enjoyment of life
Loss of companionship
In some cases, the actions of the at-fault driver may be regarded as so reckless and careless that punitive damages may be sought. These will be extra monetary payments made to the victims that suffered in the accident.
Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys Are Just One Call Away!
When faced with a mountain of medical bills, not of your own making, it can be a huge financial blow to anyone.
Victims of bicycle accidents are encouraged to call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Houston, Texas, and stand a chance of winning the compensation they deserve.
A panel of highly experienced super lawyers is waiting to assist all victims of bicycle accidents by offering a free consultation and discussing the best way forward.
When faced with a tough lawsuit, the words "We Go To War For You" will take on a deeper meaning!