Sharing the road with cars is a stressful part of being a cyclist in Texas. Serious accidents can occur if one party or another makes even the smallest of errors while on the move. Have you or someone you know been injured in a bicycle accident in Texas? Luckily, Texas has laws that help protect cyclists.
Texas is unique to many other states when it comes to cycling accidents. The state considers bicycles as a type of vehicle. This means cyclists and other motorists are required to follow similar traffic laws and, as such, both have similar legal rights. There are specific Texas bicycle laws on the books that every cyclist should know; cyclists must follow rules such as yielding to pedestrians, riding with the flow of traffic (in most cases), using arm signals when turning, keeping at least one hand on the handlebars while operating the bicycle, riding on the right side of the road except when passing another vehicle or turning left, not riding one’s bicycle on sidewalks, having a red reflector or light on the back and a white headlight on the front of any bicycle ridden at night, etc. Not following these rules is illegal; they are included in Texas law to keep cyclists safe. But sometimes, accidents still occur.
When a bicycle accident occurs, the consequences can be dire, ranging from serious injury to death. For instance, between 2010 and 2016 in Texas, there were 16807 crashes involving bicycles. Of those crashes, 9769 resulted in confirmed injuries and 362 fatalities. Further, from 2014 through 2018, 43% of all cycling deaths in the US happened in three states, with Texas adding 7% behind California and Florida which contributed 18% each. There were 3642 total vehicle fatalities in Texas in 2018, 69 of which were cyclists, ranking the state third in the nation for bicycle fatalities.
After a bicycle accident in Texas, the first step for a cyclist to take towards ensuring a rock-solid legal claim is making sure to properly report the accident to law enforcement and seeking immediate medical attention for any injuries. The next thing to do is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice. A qualified lawyer can handle communication and negotiations with insurance companies, secure evidence (e.g., surveillance videos, witness statements, etc.), and help with any additional inquiries before filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the injured cyclist.
If you were injured on a bicycle or in any other kind of traffic accident in the Austin, Texas area, reaching out to the caring and competent team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law is your best next step. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available from the experienced, professional team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law, contact their office online or by phone at 512-359-3030.