Since the City of Austin’s recent construction of new bike lanes in the last five years, bicycling accidents in Austin have drastically decreased. Yet, injuries and fatalities still occur. Travis County saw almost 2,000 serious bike crashes from 2010 to 2016, including 16 that resulted in fatalities. In fact, Guadalupe Street still remains one of the most dangerous areas in the city to ride a bike and overall safety remains a concern for bicyclists in Austin, especially when sharing the road with motor vehicle drivers, who are at fault for the vast majority of bicycle accidents.
If you live in the Austin area and enjoy bicycling, take special care to follow traffic regulations, wear your helmet, and remain aware of your surroundings. If you or your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, you need to call an attorney as soon as possible after seeking medical attention. Contact the skilled bicycle accident lawyers at The Law Offices of George Salinas in Austin at (512) 851-1004 to discuss the details of your case and determine your eligibility for compensation related to your injuries.
Our Dedication to Our Clients
The legal team The Law Offices of George Salinas has helped clients recover millions of dollars in damages from settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases, including those that involve bicycling accidents. Past results in terms of awards vary based on individual cases. With individual attention, and the diligent pursuit of the facts surrounding your bicycling accident, the bicycling accident lawyers at The Law Offices of George Salinas will advocate to get the best possible outcome for your case.
What Kinds of Injuries Might Result from a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents lead to a wide variety of injuries based on the facts of the case, such as the speed at which one was riding and the circumstances of the accident. The lack of bodily protection on bicycle lead to severe injuries, especially when children are involved in an accident. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries that might result in paralysis
- Head trauma, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, especially in those not wearing helmets
Who Might Be Liable for an Austin Bicycle Accident?
Establishing fault in an accident is often challenging for the court, especially when motor vehicles are involved. Unfortunately, motor vehicle drivers are most often at fault for bicycle accidents. Drivers have a duty of care to others on the road and are held to an even higher standard when children are present. Drivers who violate traffic regulations such as driving under the influence of controlled substances, speeding, or driving while distracted put bicyclists at risk when they share the road.
In rare cases, bicycle manufacturers, distributors, and retailers might also be liable for injuries from a bicycle accident. Texas law does not require proof of negligence in these cases, but proof that the bike had a dangerous defect that caused the accident will result in the court holding responsible parties strictly liable for damages.
What Kinds of Damages Might Be Recovered from a Bicycle Accident Injury?
Here are some of the most common damages that the court awards victims of bicycle accident injuries:
- Medical expenses including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, x-rays, doctor visits, surgery, and medications
- Rehabilitation costs including physical therapy and assistive devices such as canes, walkers, and wheelchairs
- Future medical costs in the event of a permanent disability or if your court date or settlement occurs prior to full recovery
- Lost wages for time missed from work, which also applies to parents caring for a child who sustained injuries in a bicycle accident
- Lost earning capacity in extreme cases where the victim’s injury won’t allow a return to work
- Pain and suffering for the emotional trauma and non-economic losses incurred from an injury
- Loss of consortium
How Do Responsible Parties Try to Avoid Paying Damages in Bike Accidents?
When a motor vehicle driver causes a bicycle accident in Texas, the driver’s auto insurance carrier, unless one is uninsured, will be included in the lawsuit. Expect the insurance company to deny your claim or suggest that some or all of your injuries were sustained at a previous time or in different circumstances. Texas applies modified comparative negligence to most personal injury cases. The court determines who is at fault in an accident and assigns a percentage to each party. The court must find the defendant is 51 percent at fault or more for the bicycle accident injuries for you to collect damages. This motivates the defense to attempt to shift fault to you or your child. They might claim that you violated traffic regulations while on your bicycle such as running a stop light, not using hand signals, or turning into traffic.
In cases that include defective bicycles or bicycle parts, the 51 percent modified comparative negligence threshold does not apply. Who caused the accident does not matter to the court; Texas law dictates that manufacturers are strictly liable in products liability cases. In this case, the defense will attempt to prove that the bicycle was not defective or if it was defective, the defect did not cause the accident.
Hire a Skilled Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Austin
A qualified bike accident lawyer will advocate for you and fight against counterclaims from liable parties. If you or your child has been involved in a bicycle accident in Austin, contact an experienced Austin bicycle attorney as soon as possible within Texas’s two-year statute of limitations. During your free consultation, your potential attorney will review your case. Most cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you won’t need to pay attorney fees up front. Your attorney will instead deduct fees from any verdict or settlement that you receive.
The skilled legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas can handle the details of your case, investigate your accident, interview potential witnesses, and guide you through the legal process while you focus on healing and recovery. Call (512) 851-1004 or schedule a free consultation at The Law Offices of George Salinas online.
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