Dallas is a great bicycling city. We have several bike trails and multi-use paths in parks and pathways around the community. Riding on the roadways, however, can be dangerous. Motor vehicle drivers engaging in hazardous activities like distracted driving or failing to follow the rules of the road can cause an accident in an instant.
Bicycle accidents can be extremely serious. Their smaller profile and lack of protection can turn even minor accidents into an injurious event. Bicyclists are susceptible to head, musculoskeletal, and spinal cord injuries, all of which can lead to lengthy recovery times and significantly change a person’s life forever.
If you or a family member has been in a serious bicycle accident in Dallas or the surrounding area, the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. may be able to help. We can review your recent accident and search for signs of negligence, such as someone who was texting and driving. Then, we can fight for fair financial compensation on your behalf through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Contact us for a free initial consultation today.
Why Choose Our Dallas Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
We have a great deal of experience in all areas of personal injury law, including successfully resolving many bicycle accident cases.
We specialize in personal injury trial law. Aaron A. Herbert is one of only 2% of attorneys with certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
We provide personal attention to each client. You will have direct contact with your attorney, not an associate or assistant, at all times during your claim.
We operate on a contingency fee basis. Our lawyers do not charge for their services unless they secure the client financial compensation. You will pay $0 upfront.
Facing the Aftermath of a Bike Accident
Injured bicyclists may have to take time off of work while juggling increasing medical bills, bike damage bills, and loss of quality of life. For those with catastrophic injuries and the families of deceased victims, the impact of a bicycle accident can last a lifetime.
In addition to dealing with insurance companies that are always looking for the best deal, bicyclists may also face negligent drivers who refuse to face the facts. To get opposing parties to honor a fair settlement claim, a lawsuit may be the only course of action. Negligent drivers and insurance companies may not understand the application of the law in your accident case, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help with so much more than the development of a case.
At the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, our team of attorneys can help you find quality medical treatment, pursue a 3rd party investigation of your accident and secure expert witnesses to help clarify the facts of the case, and deal with insurance adjustors on your behalf. The only thing that an accident victim should be concerned with is healing and learning how to cope with any long-term injuries. Don’t let the complex paperwork and logistics after an accident keep you from taking the time to heal. Talk to a trusted attorney to understand your rights in a case and the best course of action for obtaining compensation.
Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities in Dallas
Something that can reduce your risk of getting into a bicycle accident is learning your rights and responsibilities in Dallas. Cyclists are their own type of road user, with special rules that apply to them on a state and local level. Obeying these laws can keep you out of the path of motor vehicle traffic, in many cases. It can also protect your right to file an injury claim against someone else after a collision, as you won’t be the party who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. These are some of the rules enforced in Dallas, Texas:
Minors must wear bicycle helmets. Anyone riding on a bicycle under the age of 18 years old must wear an approved bicycle helmet. Adults do not have to wear helmets.
Sidewalk riding is not allowed. Inside of Dallas’s central business district, it is against the law for bicyclists to ride on sidewalks. Instead, they must ride in bicycle lanes or the street, traveling in the same direction as traffic.
Right to the road. Although many drivers get frustrated when stuck behind cyclists, bikers have the legal right to ride in the road. Drivers must keep a proper distance between their cars and a bicycle when following and passing.
Where to ride. If a bicycle lane or path is available in Dallas, cyclists legally must use it. Otherwise, they should keep as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible, except to make a left turn or avoid debris. Cyclists may ride two abreast of one another, but not of motor vehicles.
Standard roadway rules apply. Bikers must follow most of the same laws as motor vehicle drivers, including all traffic signals, signs and rights-of-way.
Dallas used to be one of the most dangerous cities in the country for bicyclists. Now, after passing further bicycle safety laws, it is not even the most dangerous city for bicycle accidents in the state. Bike laws have the power to reduce the number of bicycle accidents when followed. If you believe that a motor vehicle driver infringed upon your rights as a bicyclist in Dallas and this caused your collision, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance policy.
What to Do When You’re in a Bicycle Accident in Dallas
While you can’t predict a bicycle accident, you can prepare for one. There are important steps that you should take after getting in a bicycle accident in Dallas. Knowing what to do and say after a crash can help you stay calm and protect yourself legally. Otherwise, you may say or do the wrong thing – compromising your ability to recover fair financial compensation. If you can, take the following steps after a bicycle accident:
Stay where you are. Never flee the scene of an accident. If you’re in the road, move to a safe location with your disabled bicycle, if possible.
Check for injuries. Although it may be your first instinct, try not to jump up immediately after a crash. This could exacerbate a serious injury. Carefully check yourself for pain, swelling, bleeding or other signs of injury.
Call the police. Use your cell phone or someone else’s to call 911 from the scene of your bicycle accident. Request an ambulance, if necessary. Crash reporting can result in an accident report that can help your insurance claim later.
Exchange information. While you wait for the police to arrive, give your name and phone number to the driver who hit you and get theirs as well. It can also help to document details about the driver’s vehicle and insurance company.
Tell your story. Give the police your version of events for the record. Do not admit fault for the accident. Write down the police report number before you leave.
Take photos. While you’re still at the scene of your bicycle accident, take pictures. Capture wide-lens shots of the entire crash scene, as well as close-up shots of important details and your bicycle damage.
Go to a hospital. Don’t delay in getting medical care for your injuries. Going to a hospital or doctor right away shows an insurance company that you suffered injuries in the collision and you did what you could to mitigate their impact.
Collect records. Document everything connected to your bicycle accident. Keep your helmet and the clothes that you were wearing on the day of the crash, make copies of photographs that you took, collect statements from eyewitnesses, get a copy of the police report, and ask for copies of your medical records.
File an insurance claim. Call the driver’s car insurance company to file an initial claim. Again, do not admit fault. Do not give the insurance company a recorded statement, either. Don’t sign anything sent to you by the insurance company – especially not a settlement agreement – until you’ve spoken to an attorney.
Contact a bicycle accident lawyer. Most importantly, consult with an attorney to understand your rights after a bicycle accident in Dallas. An attorney will be on your side, advocating for your best interests every step of the way.
At The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., we offer free initial consultations to prospective clients who have been injured in bicycle accidents in Dallas. We can listen to your story and let you know what to do next at no cost or obligation. You can use your consultation to learn more about your case, legal rights and options moving forward. If we decide to take your case, we can begin investigating your bicycle accident and pursuing the results that you deserve immediately.
Most Common Injuries in Dallas Bicycle Accidents
According to Share the Road Texas, from 2010 to 2016, bike accidents resulted in 9,796 confirmed injuries and 362 fatalities. Dallas County was fourth in Texas for the total number of bicycle accidents in this time. Bicycle accidents are often physically devastating for victims. The injuries suffered by bicyclists when struck by drivers can be catastrophic. A catastrophic injury is one that will affect the victim for the foreseeable future – or for life, in some cases.
When a motor vehicle driver hits a vulnerable, unprotected cyclist, the cyclist will always sustain the more severe injuries. These injuries can include:
Spinal cord injuries
Neck and back injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Scarring and disfigurement
Scrapes and lacerations
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from serious injuries in a bicycle accident. Even with a helmet, however, you could suffer an injury or disability that you must live with for the rest of your life. Permanent injuries can cost millions of dollars over your lifetime, in the most extreme cases. Even more minor injuries can be painful, debilitating and take you out of work temporarily. No matter what type of injury you or a loved one was diagnosed with after a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents in Dallas?
Identifying the cause of your bicycle accident is one of the first steps toward obtaining a compensation award in Dallas. Who or what caused your bicycle collision could give you grounds for an injury claim against the at-fault party. In Texas, the civil justice system permits accident victims to seek reparation for someone else’s negligence. You may be eligible for financial recovery depending on the cause of the crash.
Distracted and dangerous drivers. Negligent and reckless drivers are the most common reason for bicycle accidents in Dallas. Drivers who text and drive, eat and drink behind the wheel, drive drowsy, speed, drive drunk, or ignore pedestrian rights-of-way could be legally responsible for an injured accident victim’s damages.
Unsafe roadways. It is the government’s legal duty to maintain reasonably safe public roadways, bicycle lanes and sidewalks. Defects such as potholes, loose rubble, malfunctioning traffic lights, obscured signs or dangerous construction zones could contribute to bicycle accidents and injuries. A poorly designed or badly maintained road could point to the city’s liability for related damages.
Defective bicycles. A bicycle defect such as a broken chain or bad brakes could contribute to a serious and preventable accident. Every manufacturer and bicycle distributor has a legal responsibility to produce safe bikes for consumers. A design, manufacturing or marketing defect that causes an accident could lead to a product liability claim.
If you are not sure what caused your recent bicycle accident, retain a law firm to investigate on your behalf. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert works with professional investigators and accident reconstructionists to uncover the truth. Then, our Dallas personal injury attorney helps clients prove another party’s fault using a preponderance of gathered evidence. We may be able to help you hold one or more negligent parties accountable for your damages in Dallas.
Texas Laws for Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
If one or more parties is at fault for causing your bicycle accident in Dallas, you can file a claim against that person’s insurance provider in pursuit of financial reimbursement for your medical bills, bicycle repairs and other costs. Most bicycle accident cases in Texas settle, meaning they do not go to court. If the insurance company in charge of your case isn’t treating you fairly or offering an adequate settlement for your injuries, however, you may have no choice but to take the case to trial.
If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit for a bicycle accident in Texas, the state’s statute of limitations gives you no more than two years to do so. The clock starts ticking on the date of the accident unless you didn’t discover your injuries right away. In that case, the clock will start counting down on the date that you discovered or reasonably should have discovered your injury. If you plan on holding the Dallas city government responsible for your bike accident, such as for a pothole or dangerous roadway defect, you will only have six months to file instead.
You can file a lawsuit by preparing and submitting the required personal injury claim documents with the civil courthouse in the county where your crash took place. An attorney can help you correctly fill out the legal paperwork and submit it by the deadline. From there, the defendant will have a chance to respond to your lawsuit. The defendant will either accept the claim and offer a settlement or reject it. Rejection or the inability to reach a settlement can result in an injury trial.
When to Call an Attorney
Some injured bicyclists may wait to see how the days after an accident pan out. Waiting to contact an attorney can make a difference in case investigations and can hinder your chances at obtaining the highest amount of compensation. In some cases, a product manufacturer may be to blame for a devastating accident. Understanding the evidence can play a pivotal role in holding the manufacturing company responsible for its role in your injuries.
Contact an attorney before you speak with insurance adjustors to get a free case evaluation. An experienced attorney can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about pursuing a case. If you talk to an adjustor first or wait to consult a legal professional, your own statements can work against you in any future cases.
When Bicyclists are Negligent
Under Texas law, if a bicyclist is found to be responsible for 50% or more of an accident, he or she may be unable to obtain any compensation in an accident case. When bicyclists fail to follow the rules of the road by running stop signs, turning quickly into traffic, or riding the wrong way down a one-way street, they are acting negligently. Make sure that you understand the local and state laws for bicycling before you head out on the roadways. Doing so could save your life and prevent a lawsuit aimed at you.
A successful bicycle accident claim in Texas could result in payment for your economic and noneconomic damages. The state of Texas does not cap the amount of damages a bicycle accident victim may receive. With a lawyer’s assistance, you could seek recovery for a range of losses.
Existing hospital bills
Future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
Lost capacity to earn
The value of your claim will vary according to the specific damages you suffered in the accident. In general, the more serious your injuries, the more your case could be worth. A lawyer can review your case and give you an accurate estimate of damages.
Contact a Dallas Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
A bicycle accident lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Do not let an insurance company take advantage of you during settlement negotiations. Hire an attorney to help you combat insurance bad faith and optimize your odds of securing compensation. Contact the attorneys at the Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert for a free case evaluation or to learn more about our approach to personal injury law.