I Was Hit by a Car on My Bicycle. What Legal Actions Can I Take?
Today, cycling has grown into one of the most popular means of transportation in many U.S. cities. People are more often riding to get some place (such as work) as opposed to just for exercise or pleasure. Houston, along with other cities, even have an annual “Bike to Work Day.” That means that there’s a heightened awareness of bicycle safety as cities throughout the USA focus on improving roadways to ensure that cyclists have easier access. However, it also means that there’s a greater chance of riders getting hurt in a bicycle accident.
3 common types of bicycle accidents involving vehicles include:
- Being struck by a motorist turning left
- Being struck by a motorist turning right
- Being brushed by a vehicle that’s passing
Taking Action Against a Negligent Motorist After You’ve Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident
You usually don’t have to file a lawsuit against motorists that cause bicycle accidents. In the vast majority of cases, you are able to convince the insurance provider to make a fair settlement during negotiations. However, the process is complex. Hiring an attorney that handles bicycle accident cases can be a big help. Here are some things an attorney can do for your case:
- Investigate the accident and collect all available evidence
- Link your injuries to that accident
- Prove that the driver was negligent
- Calculate the total value of your damages
- Approach the insurance provider with a solid case and demand for compensation
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance provider based on your damages
If the insurance provider doesn’t cooperate and offer a fair settlement, your attorney can file a civil suit for you. In some instances, this is usually enough to bring the insurer back to the negotiating table. Having a lawyer who is dedicated to litigating your case goes much further than threatening to motivate the insurance provider, however. But they won’t be afraid to take your bicycle accident case to trial, if it ever comes to that.
How to Prove Negligence and Liability in a Texas Bicycle Accident
At the heart of all personal injury cases there is negligence, and bicycle accident claims are no exception. To get the compensation you are entitled to, your Houston bicycle accident lawyer must prove that the at-fault driver acted in a careless, unreasonable, or otherwise negligent manner. Your attorney cannot win an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf unless they are able to provide evidence that proves both negligence and liability.
Proving negligence requires meeting 4 elements. Your bicycle accident lawyer will have to demonstrate the following effectively, using evidence:
- The driver had a duty to follow the traffic laws relating to sharing the road with cyclists along with other safety best practices.
- The driver did not uphold that duty, broke the law, or drove negligently and carelessly.
- The failure of the driver to drive carefully and follow the laws caused them to collide with you while riding your bicycle.
- You sustained physical injuries and incurred financial damages due to the accident.
To gather the necessary evidence, your attorney will undertake a full investigation into the accident. During the investigation, they will learn why and how the vehicle collided with you, what role the driver played in causing the accident, as well as how the accident affected you emotionally, physically, and financially. These investigations typically identify a wealth of evidence for supporting your claims, which includes:
- Witness statements
- The police report filed at the accident scene
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Video footage of the accident, if available
- Accident reconstructions, provided by reconstruction experts when necessary
- Medical receipts, bills, and other documents that show your losses
- Your medical records, pictures, and other documentation of your injuries
Damages Available in Texas Personal Injury Actions
If a vehicle hits a bicycle, the rider may sustain serious injuries. Extensive injuries tend to be more expensive to treat, make you stay away from work longer, and there could be additional ongoing costs related to your injuries. That’s why you need to consider the full picture of your damages before you settle your case. It’s a good idea to discuss your accident with a personal injury lawyer before you agree to a payout from the insurance provider. The case might actually be worth more than you may realize.
Here are some of the most common damages bicycle accident victims receive:
- Ongoing care costs
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering damages
- Property damage, such as replacement or repair of your bicycle
- Out-of-pocket reimbursement
- Lost wages and future lost benefits and income
If You’ve Been Hurt in a Bicycle Accident, Call McDonald Worley
If you have been injured by a vehicle while riding your bike, you need to hire a fierce lawyer than not only understands your rights, but also fights to protect them. If you are ever the unfortunate victim of a bicycle accident, our team has the skills, experience, and dedication to maximize the compensation from your case. We also take a personal interest in each case we handle and are always there for you whenever you need us.
At our law firm, we will explain the pros and cons of taking legal actions and subsequently guide you through the process of filing a claim or personal injury lawsuit. We offer bicycle accident victims in Texas free case consultations. Call our Houston personal injury law firm today at 877-721-3423.