If you were hit by a car while biking, you can be seriously injured, and it is important to take steps that increase the chances of having your damages paid by the negligent driver who caused your injuries.
Here are some things you need to do after getting hit while biking, as long as you are physically able:
- Call 911 to get police and emergency medical assistance to the accident scene and get your injuries treated.
- Gather evidence by taking pictures of the accident scene, the car and bike, their damages and positions, and your injuries.
- Get contact and license information from the car’s driver, the car license plate number, and the contact information for any witnesses. If you are too injured and cannot get the names of witnesses, ask someone to do it for you.
- Tell the police officer your version of what happened; provide your name and address, and ask the police to write the driver a ticket.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible and document all injuries, which may tend to worsen over time. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of a serious injury, such as headaches that could be a sign of brain injury, numbness or tingling that could indicate nerve or spinal damages, abdominal pain that could be internal bleeding, and chest pain that could mean injured lungs or ribs.
- Get a copy of the accident report and make sure it is accurate.
- Consult with an attorney before you make a claim on the driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies will try to get you to settle for as little as possible and will use anything you say against you. Do not discuss the accident until you have consulted with an attorney, and let your lawyer deal with the insurance company. Attorneys who are experienced with bicycle accidents can help determine who was at fault and how much compensation you’re entitled to.
- Keep all documents related to the accident and a journal of how you are feeling and how the injuries affect your life. This can be used as evidence in your case.
Drivers May Be Liable for Your Damages
Bicycle riders have little protection, so if they are hit by a car, they may suffer serious injuries that can lead to death. When driving near bicyclists, drivers should be especially vigilant, but they may become negligent, distracted, drowsy, impaired, aggressive, or reckless. When an at-fault driver hits you or causes you to have a bike accident, they can be found liable for compensation that covers both your financial expenses and the non-economic damages you suffer as a result.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died after being hit while biking, the bicycle accident lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help. We know the laws, the system, and the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying, and we are fully prepared to fight for the settlement you deserve. We promise to thoroughly investigate your accident, collect evidence and hold the negligent party accountable. More importantly, we will offer you all our firm’s resources to help you in your journey back to your normal life.
The Houston car accident attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law understand what you are going through and the painful consequences you and your family must deal with into the future. We work hard to help you get the full and fair compensation you need to pay your medical bills and support your family. We offer a free consultation to discuss the individual circumstances of your case and determine the best way to move forward. You pay nothing unless and until we win an award for you.
What Are the Chances of Getting Hit by a Car While Biking?
Most U.S. roads were not built with biking safety in mind, and chances of a serious accident increase if you are biking in cities and towns with higher populations, traffic, and limited bike-friendly infrastructure. In Texas, crashes involving bicyclists claimed the lives of 82 people in 2020, up from 68 deaths the previous year.
There are many factors that go into determining the chance of getting hit by a car while biking. These include:
Obeying laws while biking. Failure to obey laws increases chances of accidents. Bicyclists are required to obey all traffic signs and signals, including stopping at red lights and stop signs. They must use hand signals when turning or stopping, ride with traffic, use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb, and, when riding at night, make sure their bikes have a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.
Biking at night: Half of reported bike accidents happen when it’s dark. Bikers who fail to wear appropriate gear and reflectors make it difficult for drivers to see them and increase chances of accidents.
Unsafe road conditions: Poor infrastructure, like crumbling roads and sidewalks, contribute to 13% of bike accidents. Although cities and towns are obligated to keep streets and sidewalks safe for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, they’re not always in good condition.
Distracted, aggressive, or negligent drivers: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings cause 30% of bicycle accidents. Drivers who fail to yield to oncoming bikers can cause severe injury.
Distracted bikers: It’s important to be extremely aware of your surroundings when biking and avoid using any kind of technology. Biking around cities and towns with busy roads, higher populations, and limited bike-friendly infrastructure can result in accidents.
What Is the Penalty for Hitting a Biker with a Car?
Motor vehicle drivers are not automatically at fault for bicycle accidents, and the resulting penalties depend on the situation.
In Texas, the law requires accident victims to determine fault before they can file insurance claims or lawsuits to pay for their injuries and losses. Motor vehicle drivers are not always at fault when they hit a bicycle; determining fault depends on the circumstances and the laws that apply in the situation. Laws regarding stop signs, stop lights, safe following distance, and other rules of the road apply to both vehicles, so either the car or the bike or both may be found at fault for the accident
Drivers can be guilty of many actions and errors that risk the lives of vulnerable bicyclists. Drivers are required to pass bicyclists at a safe distance to the left and pass bicyclists heading in the same direction in a non-passing zone only when safe to do so. If drivers are negligent and hit a bicycle, they can be found at fault and liable for the accident.
However, bicycles are defined as vehicles and generally have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. Texas has some specific laws for bicyclists that can be found in Chapter 551 of the Texas Transportation Code. If cyclists were negligent or violating a traffic law at the time of the crash, they may be found at fault. In some situations, such as if a driver was distracted, but the bicyclist was riding in the middle of the road, both parties may have contributed to the accident.
Texas has a 51% modified comparative fault rule (CPRC §33.001). This means that an injured party can recover damages if they are 50% or less at fault, but the amount would be reduced by the degree of fault they had in contributing to the accident. Therefore, it is critical that injured bicyclists demonstrate that the car’s driver was at fault for the accident. Our attorneys will be able to evaluate your case and find ways to prove that the driver was at fault and is liable for damages. Even if you shared in fault for the accident, you can still receive partial compensation for your damages.
Damages You May Be Awarded if You’re Hit by a Car While Biking
In a successful personal injury case for a bicycle accident, our attorneys can help you win compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages you received.
Economic damages are for quantifiable losses that have a specific dollar value, such as medical and rehabilitation bills, expected future medical expenses, and lost wages and earning capacity, and any property damage. Texas law does not put a cap on how much a victim may receive in economic damages.
Non-economic damages are for losses that are no less real, but that don’t have a specific dollar figure attached to them. Examples include pain and suffering, emotional stress, and loss of quality of life.
Call Our Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Help
If you or a loved one was hit by a car while biking, the personal injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help you get compensation for your losses. We will:
- Investigate your bike accident thoroughly, often in conjunction with law enforcement.
- Gather evidence such as videos from traffic cameras, statements from eyewitnesses and first responders, and police and medical reports.
- Thoroughly assess all your damages, including current and future medical bills, all forms of lost income, damaged property and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Demand damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and negotiate for maximum compensation.
- If negotiation isn’t possible, we are fully prepared to fight to win full and fair compensation for your injuries in court.
Terry Bryant is a Board Certified* personal injury attorney and former judge** in Texas (*Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; **Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, Texas, 22 years). He and his hand-picked team have the experience, resources, and skill to get clients the compensation they deserve. We work with clients to get their lives back to normal. We get to know their friends and family. Our team visits clients when they’re unable to come to our offices. If they need help finding medical care, we make sure they get the treatment they deserve. We will be there for you throughout the entire process, keeping you informed and answering your questions and concerns.
Call us now at 713-973-8888 to get started.