Car accidents involving bicycles are particularly injurious due to the exposure of the bicyclist. Even with a helmet, bicyclists can be severely injured or killed in accidents involving motor vehicles. The law obligates drivers to be aware of bicyclists while behind the wheel and to give bicyclists plenty of room on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these laws and end up hitting unsuspecting bicyclists.
What Does Texas Law Say About Bicycles?
Clients involved in bicycle accidents often ask about bicycle helmet laws in Texas. No state in the United States currently enforces a law that makes it mandatory for adults to wear helmets. However, Dallas has its own city ordinance requiring bicyclists of all ages to wear a helmet while riding.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident and sustain a head injury, the jury will look at your use of a helmet. If the city you were in required helmets while riding and you failed to obey this rule, the courts may be less likely to grant you compensation for your injuries. Some plaintiffs have to prove the accident would have caused a head injury even if they had worn a helmet.
In Texas, the law states that bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers operating a vehicle. Bicyclists must take due care to follow state laws, such as having the correct lights on the bike to ride at night. Many drivers get irritated by bicyclists on the roadway and ride too closely to them. Although the law allows bicycles on the road with other vehicles, many motor vehicle operators ignore this rule and drive recklessly near bicyclists.
Who Is Responsible in a Bicycle Accident?
Often, a negligent driver causes accidents involving bicycles. Distracted driving, such as texting, eating, or personal grooming, can result in a driver failing to notice a bicyclist on the roadway or crossing an intersection, leading to a collision. Bicyclists are at increased risk at intersections, where it is common for a turning vehicle not to watch for crossing bikers while executing a turn.
If driver error caused the accident, the courts will hold the driver responsible for the plaintiff’s damages, including medical costs and pain and suffering. In Texas, it is possible for the courts to allocate fault between both parties if the plaintiff is partially responsible for the accident. Do not assume the defendant is automatically at fault because you were on a bike.
Cyclists who ride negligently, do not keep a proper lookout, or ignore the rules of the road may share responsibility for an accident. For example, if a biker crossed an intersection without waiting for the walk signal, but the driver was texting and did not notice the biker crossing, the courts may split fault between both parties for an accident. In this case, our state’s comparative negligence system would allocate a certain percentage of fault between both parties.
If the court finds you over 50% at fault, you will receive zero compensation for damages. It is important to invest in a quality lawyer to decrease your chances of the courts finding you more than 50% at fault. Hire a personal injury attorney to ensure the best chance of winning fair compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Bike Accident Lawyers Who Make a Difference
Our skilled personal injury attorneys believe you should focus on recovery instead of maneuvering a difficult court case. For a free case evaluation, contact us to speak with one of our friendly representatives. Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC, can help you get back on your feet. With almost 40 years of legal expertise, Ted Smith and his team of attorneys know what it takes to win a bicycle accident case involving someone else’s negligence. Call us today for expert legal advice.