In recent years, Houston has made an attempt to accommodate more than just automobiles on its roads, but this has only increased the caseload a bicycle accident attorney is likely to face. Compared to most U.S. urban centers, Houston has lagged behind when it comes to promoting alternative transportation. As a result, Houston motorists are generally unable to share the road safely with cyclists. Even when the rider yields to vehicles and maintains a safe distance, there is little they can do if a motorist isn’t paying attention or makes dangerous traffic maneuvers.
WHAT KINDS OF CRASHES CAN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY HELP WITH?
The vast majority of wrecks are caused by inattentive motorists. When driving around riders, motorists must maintain their focus on the road, as it is easy for riders to slip out of view with their smaller size. Riders also don’t have the protection that comes with driving a vehicle, so they are much more likely to be severely injured when a wreck does occur. For these reasons, it is largely up to the motorist to ensure a wreck does not occur.
In many cases, though, a motorist mistakenly believes that the rider must yield to them or that they can quickly maneuver around the rider, even if this means putting the rider at risk. Most crashes are referred to as “right hooks” or “left crosses.” A right hook occurs when a motorist in front of or next to the rider makes a sudden right turn, sideswiping the rider. This most often happens when the rider attempts to pass a slow moving vehicle on the right hand side, and the motorist does not check their blind spot or passenger side mirror before making the turn.
A left cross occurs when an oncoming vehicle attempts to make a quick left turn in front of a rider, believing that their superior speed allows them to make this maneuver safely. All too often, however, a motorist overestimates his ability to turn in front of a rider and hits them during the turn. A left cross can cause devastating injuries to the rider, as the full force of the vehicle slams into them head on. Left hooks may also occur when a rider is pedaling next to a motorist. An oncoming vehicle may spot the motorist but not the rider and results in the oncoming vehicle turning in front of the motorist but right into the path of the rider.
WHAT SHOULD A RIDER DO WHEN A CRASH OCCURS AND HOW CAN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY HELP?
When a rider is harmed by a collision with a vehicle, the motorist is usually responsible for the crash. A motorist is responsible for maintaining control of their vehicle and for keeping an eye out for pedestrians and riders. In the aftermath of an accident, it is important that the rider document any injuries if they can and seek medical attention immediately. A rider should never admit fault, even partial, when talking to the motorist or police, as this can damage the victim’s case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can use this information and data gathered during a secondary investigation of the crash, to argue for a favorable settlement on the victim’s behalf. This may be crucial for paying medical expenses and compensating the victim for lost time from work.