Injured in a Bicycle Accident - What To Do?
Any accident involving a motor vehicle can result in serious injuries, but an accident with a bicycle can be particularly nasty. Bicycle accidents can also be caused by dangerous conditions on the road or uncontrolled animals. Stewart Guss is an avid cyclist and participates in many charitable bicycle rides around Houston. Attorney Stewart Guss actually sponsors his own law firm’s riding team for the BP MS150 and rides from Houston to Austin every year to help the fight against Multiple Sclerosis.
As a regular and active cyclist riding regularly around Houston and surrounding areas on his bicycle, Stewart Guss is particularly aware of the very real risks of his fellow riders. After practicing personal injury law and representing many cyclists in his almost 20 year career, he is in a unique position to empathize with and represent his fellow riders when they are injured in a bicycle accident.
“We had tried to work with the insurance company on our own; that was a BIG mistake. We almost settled on our own but called Stewart for a second opinion… He got us almost five times as much as we were about to settle for before we talked to him! He and his staff always returned our calls and always kept us up to date on the case. Hes the only lawyer for us as far as my family is concerned.”
No matter how careful you are when you ride your bicycle, and even if you wear a helmet and other protective gear, you face the potential of suffering severe injuries in a bicycle accident. Stewart has had the sobering task of representing many of his fellow cyclists in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Harris County and throughout Texas when they were injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another.
For these reasons, if you are ever injured while riding a bicycle, it is particularly important that you hire an effective and experienced bicycle accident attorney to protect your rights. Stewart Guss has the experience, skills and dedication to vigorously pursue your rights in the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident.
How many bicycle accident lawyers in Houston will actually pick up the phone and talk to their clients when they call and have a question? Not very many. Stewart Guss will, and he takes pride in treating his clients like family. Pick up the phone and call 281-664-6500 to talk to him about your case. Remember, your consultation is FREE, and you pay NOTHING unless we win your case!
Bicycle Injury Statistics
According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, there is good news and bad news when it comes to bicycle accident statistics. While the total number of bicycle accident fatal injuries is showing a slight decline from a national total of 786 in 2005, the number of bicycle accident fatalities as a percentage of overall traffic fatalities is on a steady rise. These trends tell us that, as a society, we are becoming better able to substantially decrease the number of fatal traffic injuries overall, but we are not having the same success in limiting fatal bicycle injuries. One interesting data point, although not surprising, is that 37% of all auto bicycle accidents that resulted in fatal injuries involved alcohol, either on the part of the cyclist or the driver of the vehicle.
Table 1 – Total Traffic Fatalities vs. Bicycle Injury Accident – Fatal Injuries
Percent of Total
Houston Bicycle Injury Accident Attorney Stewart Guss is dedicated not only to representing those who are injured in bicycle accidents, but to making the streets safer for bicyclists overall. To that end, Stewart developed and published his Interactive Houston Accident Map, allowing the public and public officials easy access to easy visual representations of bicycle accidents in Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball as well as the surrounding counties in the Houston metro area. Stewart hopes that the public and officials take advantage of this unique data source to examine the trends and “hot spots” for bicycle injury accidents in Houston and the surrounding areas, thus opening a dialogue and, hopefully, a pathway to safer streets and less accidents for cyclists in the Houston area.
Bicycle Safety Tips
While Attorney Guss is dedicated to representing those who have been injured in an auto bicycle accident, he would prefer that these accidents not take place at all. As an active cyclist himself, he is keenly aware of the steps that the bicycle rider can take in order to minimize the risk of being involved in an auto bicycle collision in the first place:
- Remember that under Texas law, those on bicycles are considered vehicle operators and must obey all traffic laws;
- Bicyclists should increase their visibility by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing whenever possible;
- Bicyclists should use a front light and a rear reflector or flashing red light, especially near dawn or dusk;
- Never use headphones while riding on a bicycle;
- Do not use your cell phone while riding on your bicycle – if you need to make or receive a call – pull over and stop;
- Finally, to decrease the chance of a bicycle accident causing a fatal injury – ALWAYS WEAR A PROPERLY FITTED HELMET
Bicycle Laws of Texas
Below find many of the primary laws regarding the operation of a bicycle in Texas. By remembering and following these rules, we can do our part to keep the streets safe for cyclists and lower the number of auto bicycle accidents resulting in injuries in Houston and throughout Texas.
Sec. 551.101. Rights and Duties
(a) A person operating a bicycle has the rights and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle under this subtitle, unless:
a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or a right or duty applicable to a driver operating a vehicle cannot by its nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.
(b) A parent of a child or a guardian of a ward may not knowingly permit the child or ward to violate this subtitle.
Sec. 551.102. General Operation
(a) A person operating a bicycle shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.
(b) A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is designed or equipped to carry.
(c) A person operating a bicycle may not use the bicycle to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle.
(d) A person operating a bicycle, coaster, sled, or toy vehicle or using roller skates may not attach either the person or the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.
551.103. Operation on Roadway
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:
(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;
(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway;
(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or surface hazard prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway; or
(4) the person is operating a bicycle in an outside lane that is:
(A) less than 14 feet in width and does not have a designated bicycle lane adjacent to that lane; or
(B) too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
(b) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of the roadway.
(c) Persons operating bicycles on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.
(d) Repealed by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1085, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
Sec. 551.104. Safety Equipment
(a) A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
(b) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:
(1). A lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of a least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and
(2). on the rear of the bicycle:
(A) A red reflector that is:
(i) of a type approved by the department; and
(ii) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle; or
(B) lamp that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.
(C) In addition to the reflector required by Subsection (b), a person operating a bicycle at nighttime may use a lamp on the rear of the bicycle that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.
Sec. 551.105. Competitive Racing
(a) In this section, “bicycle” means a non-motorized vehicle propelled by human power.
(b) A sponsoring organization may hold a competitive bicycle race on a public road only with the approval of the appropriate local law enforcement agencies.
(c) The local law enforcement agencies and the sponsoring organization may agree on safety regulations governing the movement of bicycles during a competitive race or during training for a competitive race, including the permission for bicycle operators to ride abreast.