Injured in a Bicycle Accident – What To Do?
Any accident involving a motor vehicle can result in injuries, but an accident with a bicycle can cause particularly serious trauma. Dangerous conditions on the road or uncontrolled animals can also cause bicycle accidents. Attorney Stewart J. Guss is an avid cyclist and participates in many charitable bicycle rides around Houston. 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.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be injured, you may have questions about “what to do next,” and you may not even know where to start. Please know that we offer a FREE consultation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us right now at 800-898-4877, or click HERE to send us a question, or get more information. There is NO cost to get a free consultation right now. If you decide to hire us, you pay us nothing up front, and you will pay absolutely nothing at all unless and until we’ve won your case.
No matter how careful you are when you ride your bicycle, and even if you wear a helmet and other protective gear, you face severe injuries in a bicycle accident. Stewart Guss 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 bicycle accidents due to other people’s negligence.
Why Choose Our Team?
As an active cyclist riding regularly around Houston on his bicycle, Stewart Guss is particularly aware of the real risks his fellow riders face. After practicing personal injury law and representing many cyclists during his 20-year career, he is in a unique position to empathize with and represent his fellow riders when a bicycle accident injures them.
- Stewart Guss and his team believe in respect, integrity and family values.
- Our attorneys and staff will always be there for you!
- With thousands of miles on his bike and more than 20 years of experience representing victims of bicycle accidents, Stewart and his team will work tirelessly to recover as much compensation as possible on your bicycle accident injury claim.
- You don’t pay us anything unless we win your case!
Choose an Attorney with Strength and Experience
For these reasons, if you are ever injured while riding your bike, hire an effective and experienced attorney to protect your rights. In the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident, Stewart Guss and his team have the experience, skills, and dedication to maximize the compensation from your case. Moreover, he takes a personal interest in every case he handles and will always be there when you need them.
If you were in a bicycle accident, call the attorneys at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law and talk about it. Do not sign anything until you speak with us because you risk losing some or all of the compensation you deserve.
Stewart Guss and his team will do everything possible to obtain the most compensation possible from your claim, and we take pride in treating our clients like family. Pick up the phone and call 800-898-4877 to talk to us about your bicycle accident. Remember, your consultation is FREE, and you pay NOTHING unless we win your case!
Below are some facts regarding the frequency of bike crashes across the State of Texas.
Texas Trends Over Recent Years
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports the number of pedalcyclist accidents, injuries, and fatalities for each year. The following are the statistics for the most recent year available:
- Reported crashes = 2,687
- Non-injury crashes = 173
- Possible injuries = 917
- Non-incapacitating injuries = 1,231
- Serious injuries = 334
- Fatalities = 57
As you can see, it’s far more likely that a Texas bike crash results in serious or non-serious injuries than no injuries at all. The following is a look back at the trends of Texas bicycle accidents in prior years:
A year earlier, the total number of reported crashes was lower, at 2,624, but fatalities were higher, at 66.
Going back to 2015, the numbers were all lower, as follows:
- Reported crashes = 2,452
- Non-injury crashes = 150
- Possible injuries = 849
- Non-incapacitating injuries = 1,101
- Serious injuries = 314
- Fatalities = 52
- Reported crashes = 2,001 (2010) and 2,452 (2017)
- Non-injury crashes = 75 and 150
- Possible injuries = 615 and 849
- Non-incapacitating injuries = 996 and 1,101
- Serious injuries = 284 and 314
- Fatalities = 43 and 52
Why did about 450 more crashes happen in 2017 than in 2010? Did more people in Texas start riding their bikes? Did more drivers start engaging in distracting activities? It’s likely a combination of factors—but whatever the reason, bicyclists are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries today than in past years.
Texas versus the United States
The trends for the United States as a whole also mirror that of Texas, with bicycle accident fatalities increasing from 621 in 2010 to 840 in 2016. While Texas had the third-highest total for 2010 through 2012 of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Lone Star State ranked 16th based on the average annual deaths per million residents (1.9).
Unlike in Texas, the national statistics show that bicycle accident fatalities peaked in 2016 and decreased again in 2017, from 840 to 783. However, from 2008 to 2017, the number of fatalities rose by a whopping 31 percent, demonstrating that the risks have not only increased in Texas, but also nationwide.
How Bicycle Accidents Happen
One way to lower the risk of bicycle accidents and injuries is to stay aware of locations, times of day, and other factors commonly involved in bicycle accidents. Data indicates the following ten Texas counties had the highest numbers of reported bicycle crashes:
- Harris County = 1,149
- Travis County = 1,112
- Dallas County = 681
- Bexar County = 595
- Tarrant County = 459
- Collin County = 217
- Denton County = 159
- Nueces County = 154
- El Paso County = 163
- Hidalgo County = 137
As you can see, the top four counties are home to the largest cities in Texas, including Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. Harris County also had the largest number of bicyclist fatalities by far, with 46 occurring within county lines. The second-most fatalities happened in Dallas County, with 16 deaths occurring in a year.
Within each county, look at what types of roads have the most bike injuries and fatalities. For example, bicycle injuries occurred on the following roads over a five-year period:
- City streets = 69 percent
- U.S. and state highways = 15 percent
- Farm to market = 8 percent
- County roads = 5 percent
- Interstate highways = 3 percent
The numbers for bicycle fatalities are quite different, as follows:
- U.S. and state highways = 33 percent
- City streets = 31 percent
- Farm to market = 19 percent
- Interstate highways = 9 percent
- County roads = 8 percent
While more accidents may happen on city streets, fatalities are more likely on U.S. and state highways. Often, the higher the speed limit on a road, the greater the chance for more severe injuries to bicyclists.
In addition to the type of road involved, Texas bicycle accidents happen in the following locations:
- Driveway access = 40 percent
- Intersections = 24 percent
- Non-intersection = 20 percent
- Intersection-related locale = 16 percent
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that intersection accidents are common, though you may not expect crashes, injuries, and fatalities to happen in driveways. However, if you think about it, many drivers may turn out of driveways without adequately looking to see if a bicyclist is coming or not, which can commonly cause a collision.
Age also plays an important factor in your risk of a bicycle crash, and the following numbers show the ages of Texans involved in bike accidents over five years:
- Age 14 and younger = 25 percent
- Age 15 to 24 = 24 percent
- Age 25 to 34 = 14 percent
- Age 35 to 44 = 11 percent
- Age 45 to 54 = 13 percent
- Age 55 to 64 = 7 percent
- Age 65 and older = 3 percent
The older you get, the lower your chances of a bike crash. Children and young adults may not be as aware of bicycle safety as they should, and they also may just ride their bikes more often.
Half of all bicycle fatalities happened in the dark. If you’re riding at night, you should always use lights, reflective clothing, and other tools to make yourself as visible as possible.
Bicycle Safety Tips
While Stewart Guss is dedicated to representing those who were injured in automobile-bicycle collisions, he would prefer that these accidents not take place at all. As an active cyclist himself, he is keenly aware of the steps that bicycle riders can take to minimize the risks of automobile-bicycle collisions 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 bicycles in Texas. By remembering and following these rules, we can all do our parts 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:
(1) a provision of this chapter alters a right or duty; or
(2) 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.
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 at 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) a lamp 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 nonmotorized 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.
What Should You Do if You Were Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?
While following the bicycle accident tips above can significantly reduce your risk of injury in an accident, you can never fully account for the negligence of others. In the unfortunate event that you are hurt in a wreck caused by a driver, you can maximize your chances of recovering compensation by:
- Collecting information – If you are not too injured to do so, gather information about the way your accident occurred and the people involved. Get the name of the driver as well as the car’s license plate number. If possible, take pictures of the aftermath of your accident and get contact information from any witnesses.
- Seeing your doctor – Always see a doctor after an accident. This is true even if you believe that your injuries will resolve without medical treatment. Doing so will generate evidence you can use to establish your damages with the insurance company or the court.
- Retaining an attorney – The best way to protect your legal rights is to secure the representation of an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. A lawyer will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that you do not say or do anything that will hurt your claim. In addition, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement that adequately compensates you for all of your losses. Finally, if the insurance company does not make you a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney may file a personal injury lawsuit.
Contact a Texas Bike Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Options
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is nationally recognized for protecting the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured on a bicycle or via another kind of traffic accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us to learn more about your rights today at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
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