request a free consultation

What Causes Tire Blowout Bicycle Accidents?

Friday, September 17, 2021

There are many reasons why a bicycle could crash. One is the failure of a part or piece of equipment, such as the tires. A tire blowout is different from a flat tire. A blowout is abrupt and explosive, creating a frightening experience for a biker, such as an accident and serious injuries. Understanding the most common causes of tire blowout bicycle accidents can help you determine whether you have grounds for a bicycle accident claim in Dallas.

Poor Bicycle Maintenance

The most common cause of a bicycle tire blowout is wear and tear on the tire. Even the normal use of a bicycle could lead to a blowout in some circumstances. Repeatedly using a bicycle brake, for example, can heat the rims of the tire and elevate the temperature of the tire tube. This can cause the tube to expand and explode. However, factors such as a low-quality tire, incorrect tire pressure, improper tire installation and a lack of bicycle maintenance can increase the risk of a tire blowout.

It is the owner of the bicycle’s responsibility to consistently inspect, maintain and repair the bicycle to make sure that it is in proper working order. This includes inspecting and maintaining the tires. If you were injured in a blowout accident while on someone else’s bicycle, including a rented bike, electric bicycle or company bike, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against the owner for negligent (careless) maintenance. This could be a possibility if poor tire maintenance, an old tire in need of replacing or an overinflated tire caused the blowout.

Tire Defects

Many tire blowouts on both motor vehicles and bicycles trace back to defects with the tire. A product defect, such as an issue in how the tire was designed, made or marketed, can increase the risk of the tire popping or exploding while in use on a bicycle. If the tread was defectively manufactured to wear down faster on one tire than the other, for example, the tire may become worn down or bald faster than it should, eventually tearing apart and blowing out in transit.

If a tire contains a defect that makes it more prone to a blowout than a typical bicycle tire, an injured bicycle accident victim may have grounds to file a product liability claim against the tire manufacturer or distributor. If your lawyer can prove that the tire had a defect and that this is what caused the crash, you will not need proof of negligence to secure financial compensation. This is called the strict product liability law. It is in place to protect consumers from large and powerful manufacturers.

Potholes and Road Hazards

A tire may suddenly release all of its air at once if it gets tripped or punctured by a roadway hazard or defect. If the bicycle tire hits a pothole, for example, this could pop the tire and cause a blowout. You may have grounds to file a premises liability case if a property defect caused or contributed to your bicycle tire blowout accident in Dallas. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of a public road, and a property owner’s responsibility on private property.

Were You Injured in a Bicycle Tire Blowout Accident?

Most of the top causes of tire blowouts are preventable. They trace back to human error, such as defectively designed tires, poor installation or lack of bicycle maintenance. If you or a loved one gets injured in a bicycle tire blowout accident in Dallas, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file an insurance claim or lawsuit in pursuit of financial compensation for your related medical bills, bicycle repairs and other losses. An experienced attorney can investigate your accident, determine the cause of the tire blowout and assist you throughout the claims process.

Posted by admin at 9:25 pm

Texas Bicycle Laws You Should Know 2021

Monday, September 13, 2021

As a bike rider in Texas, understanding the laws and rules that apply to you is your responsibility. Obeying Texas’ bicycle laws, as stated by the Texas Transportation Code, can keep you out of the path of motor vehicles and make your actions more predictable to drivers. Learning the Texas bicycle laws for 2021 can improve your safety and reduce your risk of getting into an accident.

Rules of the Road

In Texas, bicycles are treated much the same way as standard motor vehicles (Section 551.101). Bicyclists are subject to many of the same traffic laws and roadway rules as motor vehicle drivers. For example, a cyclist must travel in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic on the road. It is against the law to ride against traffic. A bicyclist should stay as close to the right-hand edge of the road as possible, except when avoiding a hazard or making a left-hand turn.

Bike riders may ride two abreast with one another in the same lane, as long as they do not impede traffic (551.103/551.103c). They cannot, however, ride abreast of a motor vehicle. If a motor vehicle driver wishes to pass a bicyclist, the driver must keep a safe distance from the biker when doing so (545.053). In general, bicyclists should use bicycle lanes when available. However, this is not a legal requirement. Cyclists can also ride on sidewalks under state law, although this is prohibited by municipal law in most major cities.

Bicyclists in Texas must obey all traffic signs and signals, including red lights and stop signs. They must also yield the right-of-way to vehicle and pedestrian traffic at intersections, when applicable. Under current Texas law, riding a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not against the law. However, the cyclist could face legal liability for causing a bicycle accident while under the influence.

Bicyclist Requirements and Responsibilities

In addition to obeying most of the standard rules of the road that apply to motor vehicle drivers, bicyclists also have other responsibilities that are unique to them. For example, all cyclists should keep at least one hand on the handlebar for appropriate vehicle control, but two hands are optimal (551.102c). Cyclists should not carry anything that prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars. Bicyclists should also use hand and arm signals to tell surrounding drivers of their intentions to turn or stop (545.107).

Bicycle Equipment Requirements

A bicycle that is being operated on a public road must be equipped with a brake that is capable of stopping the bike on dry, level, clean pavement. If a bicycle is being used to ride at night, it must be equipped with a white light on the front of the bicycle that is visible for at least 500 feet, as well as a red reflector or light on the rear of the bicycle (551.104b). All bicycle riders or passengers must have their own saddles.

Helmet Law

As of 2021, Texas does not have a universal helmet law. There is no state law that requires all bicycle riders to wear safety helmets. However, several cities in Texas have passed their own laws requiring helmets by children and/or adults. In Dallas, for example, cyclists under the age of 18 must wear helmets. Research the laws in your municipality.

Bicycle Safety Tips

Following all of the laws that apply to you as a bicyclist in Texas can reduce your risk of getting into a serious accident. Other tips for reducing your risk of a wreck include wearing brightly colored clothing or a reflective vest, being aware of your surroundings, not listening to music or talking on the phone while you ride, and stopping at all red lights and stop signs. Being a prudent and responsible bicyclist in Texas is the safe thing to do.

Posted by admin at 9:22 pm

How Is Fault Determined in Bike vs. Car Accidents in Texas?

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Automobile and bicycle accidents take place relatively often in Texas, especially in bustling downtown areas such as Dallas and Houston. In Texas, the fault-based insurance law requires injured accident victims to determine fault before filing insurance claims. This is because claims are filed with the insurance companies of the at-fault parties. Find out how fault is determined in a bicycle vs. car accident so that you know how to pursue financial compensation as a victim.

Similarities

Bicycle and car accident investigations in Texas use the same processes in many ways. Both investigations begin at the scene of the crash and extend into interviews with eyewitnesses and other evidence analyses. The goal of an investigation is to determine how and why the crash took place, such as whether one party violated a traffic law or broke a roadway rule. An investigation of either type of accident will rely on evidence that may be available, such as:

  • Police crash report
  • Admissions of guilt by either party
  • Evidence from the accident scene (skid marks, road hazards, etc.)
  • Photographs and videos
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Opinions from experts
  • Medical records

This list of potential evidence can apply to a bicycle accident as well as an automobile accident. Investigators used by the police, an insurance company and/or a personal injury law firm will search for signs and evidence of fault to piece together how the crash took place. In many cases, fault will go to the person or party who broke a rule, such as running a red light or failing to yield the right-of-way.

Differences

There are certain variances, however, in how a bicycle accident is investigated compared to a car accident. For example, investigators may not be able to rely as much on property damage to determine fault for a bicycle accident. In a standard car accident case, the damage inflicted on both vehicles can establish the directions in which both vehicles were traveling, as well as their point of impact. This can allow accident reconstruction experts to determine how the crash took place, including which driver was in the wrong.

In a bicycle accident case, on the other hand, the damage to the bicycle is often so severe as to be inconsequential for investigative purposes. Bicycle damage may not clearly show where or how the bicycle was struck by the motor vehicle. Damage to the car, however, may be inspected for signs of which part of the car collided with the cyclist. If the front of the vehicle shows damage, for instance, this could be proof that the driver was in the wrong and struck the cyclist. Damage to the side of the vehicle, on the other hand, could show that the bicyclist ran into the motor vehicle.

Shared Fault in Both Types of Accidents

Both types of accidents come with the possibility of shared fault. In Texas, the statute that deals with shared fault in an auto accident case is the modified comparative negligence law. This law states that if an injured victim (plaintiff) contributed to the bicycle or car accident, he or she can still recover financial compensation – as long as the victim is less than 51 percent at fault for the collision.

If the plaintiff does share fault with the defendant in an accident case, his or her financial recovery will be reduced by the amount of fault. For example, if a cyclist is 15 percent at fault for an accident for failing to pay attention, but a driver is 85 percent at fault for running a stop sign, the driver would only be responsible for 85 percent of the cyclist’s damages. The settlement or judgment award granted to the bicyclist would be reduced by 15 percent.

If you get injured in a bicycle or car accident in Dallas, consult with an attorney for assistance determining fault, proving your claim and fighting for fair compensation.

Posted by admin at 9:19 pm

Know Your Bicycle Rights in Texas

Monday, June 15, 2020

Being a bicyclist in Texas comes with several inherent risks. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, roadway hazards and an increased chance of head injuries are some of the risks you take on as a cyclist. How you address these risks could determine whether or not you get into a bicycle accident. Texas crash statistics for 2018 show 72 pedal cyclist deaths in motor vehicle accidents. Protect yourself from an accident by knowing and exercising your rights as a cyclist in Texas.

what are the bicycle laws in texas?

The Right to Ride in the Road

 Many drivers show signs of anger, frustration and road rage when driving behind bicyclists in Texas. They may tailgate you, honk their horns or pass too closely. It is your right as a biker, however, to ride in the road alongside motor vehicles. Bicycles are vehicles in Texas (Section 551.001). You have the right to take up a full lane of traffic when riding in the road. For safety reasons, keep as far to the right side of the road as possible except when avoiding obstacles or turning left. If a driver was infringing upon your right to the road, you may have grounds for a case against him or her after a collision.

 If your city has a bicycle path available, use this to reduce your risk of getting into an accident. Texas law, however, does not require you to use a bike path if you would rather use a standard traffic lane. You may also have the right to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk if the area does not have any municipal rules forbidding it. Texas does not have a statewide rule against riding on sidewalks. Many major cities, however, including Dallas, have municipal laws prohibiting bicyclists from riding on sidewalks in central business districts. Learn the laws in your city before riding on the sidewalk.

The Right-of-Way

 Bicyclists in Texas receive the right-of-way when a motorist would have the right-of-way in the same situation. When at an intersection, for example, if you came to a stop first on your bicycle, you will have the right-of-way. It is against the law for a driver to ignore your right-of-way as a bicyclist. If a driver does not yield and causes an accident, he or she could be liable for your injuries and damages. You must also respect others’ rights-of-way. It is your duty as a cyclist in Texas to obey all roadway rules and traffic signs, including stop signs and traffic lights.

The Right Not to Wear a Helmet

 Texas does not have a universal bicycle helmet requirement. Currently, the State of Texas does not require any bicycle rider to wear a helmet, regardless of age or level of experience. It is your prerogative to wear a helmet or not wear a helmet, unless the municipal rules in your city say otherwise. Cities that require the use of a bicycle helmet include Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Houston and Bedford.

 A defendant in a personal injury claim in Texas could not hold it against you if you were not wearing a helmet in a bicycle accident. You have the right under state law not to wear one. Even if the accident gave you a head, face or brain injury, the defendant could not use your lack of helmet wearing in a comparative negligence defense. Wearing a helmet, however, is a wise choice for your personal safety as a bicyclist. Wearing a helmet drastically decreases your chances of a serious brain injury in an accident.

The Right to Expect Reasonable Care From Drivers

 Finally, as a bicyclist, you have the right to expect drivers and others on the road to treat you with reasonable care. All drivers owe duties of care to other drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. These duties include obeying traffic rules and state laws. Driving drunk, texting and driving, driving negligently, and reckless driving are examples of common breaches of the duty of care by drivers in Texas. If a driver fails to respect one of your rights as a cyclist and this causes a collision, you could have the right to bring a claim against the driver for negligence. A Dallas bicycle accident lawyer could help you bring a cause of action in Texas.

Posted by admin at 5:25 pm

Bicycle Safety Tips

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bicycles are responsible for more injuries than skateboards, trampolines, playground equipment, and swimming pools combined across all age groups, according to significant findings from a 2015 report by the National Safety Council. According to this study, nearly half a million people received treatment in emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries. For comparison, this number is significantly higher than the number of injuries sustained playing football, at 399,873.

The report noted that 1,100 cyclists lost their lives in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2015. There are more than 80 million bike riders around the country, all at risk of injury. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can remain safe on the road. Follow these bicycle safety tips to reduce your risk of injury.

Wear a Helmet

The importance of this simple safety tip cannot be overstated. While most people know that wearing helmets is the safest option, they don’t know how much of a difference it makes – according to the National Safety Council, cyclists who don a helmet reduce their risks of injury by 60% and a traumatic brain injury by 58%. Bicyclists who lose control or collide with an object are most likely to fly forward and contact with the ground at high speeds can prove devastating, even fatal.

For maximum safety, choose a helmet that meets minimum federal safety standards. Always wear a helmet snugly with the strap flush with your chin.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Motorists and bicyclists have an implicit duty to “share the road.” Motorists must provide a safe passing distance and be aware of bicyclists, but cyclists also must follow the rules of the road. If you routinely take the same route, become acquainted with local traffic laws and ride single file in the direction of traffic.

Cyclists are most vulnerable at intersections, so use extra caution in these areas. Look to the right, to the left, and over the shoulder before crossing or entering traffic. Use appropriate hand signals when turning and be aware of hazards like opening car doors.

Equip Your Bike

Make sure your bike has proper safety features like reflectors. At minimum, your bike should have them on the front, rear, pedals, and spokes. Attach a rear-view mirror for enhanced visibility and use a horn or bell to alert drivers to your presence.

Suit Up

If you’re biking in traffic, dress for the occasion. Wear bright or reflective clothing that makes you visible to drivers. Avoid biking at night if possible, but if you must ride at night, all your clothing should be reflective.

Be Aware of Common Hazards

Some bicycle accidents are more common than others. In an urban environment, a common scenario called a “right hook,” occurs when a cyclist travels in the same direction as a vehicle, and the motorist turns to the right and into a cyclist’s path. This is most common at intersections, by highway entrance and exit ramps, and driveways. Mitigate your risk of injury by glancing over your left shoulder frequently and using exaggerated hand signals to make your intentions known to other drivers.

Another common hazard is car doors – specifically, a vehicle door opening and striking someone when a motorist exits his or her car. The best way to avoid this risk is to assume that every door in your path will open. Leave a door-sized space between you and the side of the road when passing parked or stopped cars.

Bicycling can be a wonderful way to commute while getting a little exercise, but it’s not without its dangers. Observe these basic safety tips to reduce your risk of injury.

Posted by admin at 5:11 pm