Were you hurt in a Texas bicycle accident? Is an irresponsible motorist at fault?
You don’t have to deal with your pain alone. You deserve compensation for your injuries, and we’ve dedicated our careers to making sure you receive it.
After suffering injuries in an accident, victims should consult our experienced Texas bicycle accident lawyers to learn if they may be entitled to compensation. Our dedicated attorneys can help victims understand the claims process and the expected value of their claim, allowing them to make informed decisions during this stressful time.
After you suffer injuries someone else caused, contact the Texas personal injury lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, to learn more about your legal rights. We are a national law firm based in Houston with multiple offices around the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in most states that share our focus and dedication to excellence. No matter where you are located, we may be able to help you, so call or contact us now. We are open, for FREE, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-898-4877, or you may contact us now by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for review.
Be Wary of Insurance Companies’ Tactics to Discredit Your Claim!
Insurance providers, just like any other business, always aim to maximize profits. As a result, when handling Texas bicycle accident claims, they act with only their best interests in mind, not the interests of the injured victim.
Does this sound familiar? Have insurance companies given you the runaround?
Oftentimes, when victims suffer injuries in a bicycle accident, it’s clear that the other driver caused the accident. However, after you file your claim for compensation, insurance representatives do whatever they can to discredit the value of the claim and invalidate your hardships.
Luckily, the at-fault party may have admitted fault at the accident scene or the police report may clearly assign liability to the other party.
Typically, when the cause of the accident is clear, the at-fault party’s insurance company will quickly provide the injured party with a settlement offer. The offer is usually prepared before an injured victim has had an opportunity to fully assess their injuries or determine the extent of their recovery and expenses.
Be cautious when evaluating the fairness of a quick settlement offer. The insurance company is swooping in, hoping to trick you. Once victims accept an offer, they will likely be prohibited from seeking further compensation for any accident-related expenses.
Accepting an early settlement offer can be problematic for injured victims for several reasons. As mentioned, agreeing to a settlement can prevent injured victims from seeking further compensation. An initial offer from the at-fault party’s insurance provider frequently does not reflect the full value of the claim. Insurance companies hope to entice victims to accept an inadequate settlement by offering quick cash.
If they accept an early settlement, injured victims who later discover the extent of the limitations caused by their injuries will be personally responsible for covering future costs. Additionally, unexpected complications may result in significant medical bills that were unknown at the time the settlement was accepted. Victims cannot claim additional damages, even when they are faced with unexpected expenses later.
Experienced Texas bicycle accident lawyers like the team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, fight for the rights of injured victims every day. We pursue the compensation they are entitled to. For best chances of maximizing recovery, injured parties should contact our Texas bicycle accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. Attorneys can help their clients accurately predict and calculate the value of their claim, as well as identify all parties that may share liability for bicycle accident injuries.
Compensation for Texas Bicycle Accident Injuries
So, how much compensation can injured victims expect for their injuries after a bicycle accident? The amount of compensation an individual is entitled to claim depends on many factors. Because each claim is unique, the amount an individual may recover will be different in every case. An accomplished Texas bicycle accident attorney has experience calculating damages for injured parties.
Ultimately, the amount of compensation one can seek in a Texas bicycle accident claim depends on the answers to the following questions:
Who Caused the Accident?
Did you know that multiple parties can share liability for a single bicycle accident? Even if only one vehicle contributed to causing the accident, there can still be multiple liable parties.
Fortunately, in some bicycle accident claims, liability for damages is fairly straightforward. For example, the driver or passenger in a non-commercial vehicle may open their door into a cyclist’s path, causing them to wreck and suffer severe injuries. In this case, the individual who opened the vehicle door is clearly liable for the bicycle accident.
On the other hand, some accidents are the result of many contributing factors. Depending on the circumstances leading to the accident, more than one party may be responsible for accident-related injuries.
Some examples of situations that may implicate multiple parties include:
- Commercial drivers. Truck drivers and other commercial drivers are more strictly regulated than average passenger vehicle drivers. Truck drivers may not drive more than a set number of hours each day. An employer that pushes the commercial driver to exceed those hours may share liability for a resulting accident. The employer may also share liability when an accident is caused by an employee who consistently breaks the law behind the wheel. An employer’s liability may stem from hiring employees with poor driving history or their failure to appropriately reprimand employees who receive traffic citations.
- Uber or Lyft drivers. Ride-share companies require their drivers to carry insurance policies that offer a higher degree of compensation than a typical individual auto insurance policy. In some cases, Uber or Lyft may be construed as the driver’s employer, rather than just a service that facilitates contracts between driver and passenger.
- Mechanical failures. Unfortunately, unexpected mechanical failures often lead to loss of vehicle control. Disastrous accidents ensue. Tire blowouts, brake failures, and engine failures are all extremely dangerous when they occur on the road. In addition, mechanical failures of a rider’s bicycle can also prohibit their ability to control the bicycle, leading to an accident. For example, failed brakes on a bike can prevent riders from stopping in time to avoid an accident or a hazard on the road. In the case of mechanical failure, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the failed part may share liability for the accident. A mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle may also share liability for the accident if the maintenance performed was inadequate.
A skilled attorney can help injured victims investigate the conditions that led to causing their accident to determine all parties that may be liable. When appropriate, expert witnesses may help identify potential contributing causes to an accident that may not have otherwise been discovered.
How Severe Are the Injuries?
The severity of accident-related injuries undoubtedly affects the costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation. In most Texas bicycle accident claims, the liable party will base the compensation offered on the victims’ injuries and their medical expenses. By nature, bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries. Riders, even when equipped with appropriate protective gear, are offered little protection from the hard road surfaces or roadside objects in the event of an accident.
Common bicycle accident injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a bicycle helmet can decrease the risk of head injury by as much as 50% in an accident. Unfortunately, wearing a helmet does not completely eliminate the risks of head injury. Traumatic brain injuries oftentimes have life-altering consequences for victims.
Individuals who sustain a traumatic brain injury may suffer from:
- Inability to maintain focus and concentration
- Difficulties in cognitive functioning
- Memory loss
- Tunnel vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Challenges with emotional regulation
Many victims with traumatic brain injuries cannot return to their former professions due to the cognitive challenges they face as a result of their injuries. Victims of only minor traumatic brain injury may still suffer symptoms for more than a year after the accident. Other victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries may find themselves coping with symptoms for the rest of their lives. Because traumatic brain injuries may require life-long treatment, medical expenses are almost always significant. In the most severe cases, victims may need round-the-clock care to complete daily tasks and prevent poor decision-making.
Spinal cord damage. Due to the lack of protection, bicycle accident victims’ bodies may forcefully impact the road surface or other objects, including the vehicle involved in the accident. The body’s impact on roadside objects such as lamp posts or mailboxes can also cause severe damage to the spinal cord. Many spinal cord injury victims suffer complete paralysis below the site of the injury. Individuals suffering from incomplete spinal cord injuries may eventually regain some function below the site of the injury. However, victims with complete spinal cord injuries often suffer paralysis for the rest of their lives. Paralysis may limit the function of vital organs below the site of the accident as well as decreased motor function in the affected limbs. Spinal cord victims often suffer lifelong medical expenses as well as lost ability to work in their former professions.
Amputation. Bicycle accident victims may suffer amputation from the sheer force of impact or due to crushing damage caused by the accident. Sometimes, lack of blood flow to the impacted limb may cause the tissue to die, ultimately requiring amputation of the limb. Amputees typically face a long road to recovery. Some choose to use prosthetic devices to help aid in mobility and independence. Others, due to the condition of the limb or other complications, might never successfully adapt to a prosthesis. Amputations make it difficult to return to work immediately or at all. Many victims require extensive rehabilitative therapy and deal with ongoing medical expenses.
Broken bones. Broken bones may be commonplace in the game of life, but suffering multiple broken bones in an accident can leave a victim feeling entirely helpless. The more broken bones the victim suffers, the more it can impact mobility. Victims with severely broken bones may require surgery to properly set the bones and treat other internal damage. Broken bones may continue to cause problems for the victim long after the initial accident. Recovering from multiple broken bones may prevent bicycle accident victims from returning to work for weeks or even months after the accident.
Road rash. Severe road rash causes damage and symptoms similar to a burn. Road rash abrasions typically affect several layers of skin, exposing the raw flesh underneath. Not only can the abrasions cause extreme pain for bicycle accident victims, they substantially increase the risk of infection. The skin provides a vital level of protection that gets stripped away in cases of severe road rash. Victims with severe road rash may also experience extensive scarring and disfigurement, which can cause psychological trauma.
How Much Missed Time From Work Did the Injuries Cause?
Bicycle accidents, like all other accidents, typically leave injured victims with substantial medical bills. These bills, along with missed time from work, can create a significant financial burden for accident victims.
Victims may suffer extreme pain or lack of mobility that prevents them from taking on their usual job tasks. Victims with traumatic brain injury may not think clearly as a result of their injuries, or might struggle with the emotional regulation needed in a customer service position. Pain medications can also make it difficult for many victims to function at their usual cognitive level.
Some employers will work hard to accommodate injured employees to help them return to work as soon as possible. Employers may implement modifications to assist employees in returning to work. For example, employees may be allowed to work from home or take on fewer work responsibilities during their recovery. Some positions may not enable employers to make the necessary changes to enable their employees to continue working in the same capacity. Accommodations for factory workers, for example, may not help victims experiencing limited mobility from their injuries.
Lost wages from missed time from work due to limitations caused by accident injuries can be included in a Texas bicycle accident claim. This includes wages lost as an immediate result of the accident as well as wages lost during your recovery.
How Much Suffering Did You Experience as a Result of the Accident?
In addition to financial expenses, an accident takes an emotional toll on a victim as well. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help victims understand how their pain and suffering can be included in their claim. Most Texas bicycle accident claims include an element for pain and suffering, which aim to compensate victims for the impacts they have experienced as a result of the accident.
An attorney may explore the extent of the impacts of an injury by asking:
- How much have your injuries prevented you from engaging in the activities you usually enjoy?
- How much pain did you suffer from your injuries?
- Have your injuries caused a sense of social isolation or lack of association with people you usually enjoy time with?
- What psychological problems have you suffered as a result of your injuries?
Recovery for pain and suffering can vary dramatically depending on the circumstances of the accident and the resulting impacts on victims’ lives.
Texas Bicycle Accident FAQ
Choosing a bicycle as a mode of transportation is an environmentally friendly option with the added benefits of exercise and an opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape. Cycling offers a unique sense of freedom and connection with the outdoors that can’t be experienced when riding in a motor vehicle.
While Texas provides some stunning areas for bicycle riding, the city’s heavy traffic congestion increases the risks of accidents involving cyclists. In one recent year, more than 2,000 bicycle accidents took place on Texas roadways, resulting in 72 deaths and more than 200 serious injuries.
Victims injured in a bicycle accident in Texas likely have questions concerning their medical bills and how they can afford to cover costs associated with their injuries. Below are the answers to some of our client’s most frequently asked questions about bicycle accidents.
How do I recover damages that I sustained in a Texas bicycle accident?
Individuals who sustain injuries in a bicycle accident caused by another’s careless or reckless behavior may be entitled to recover compensation for their losses. To obtain compensation, injured victims may file a Texas bicycle accident lawsuit in the civil court located in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred. A Texas bicycle accident claim requires injured parties to demonstrate that another individual caused the accident and their injuries, and is therefore liable for the resulting damages.
What kind of damages can I recover after a Texas bicycle accident?
In Texas, bicycle accident victims may be entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are specific, tangible costs resulting from the accident, which may include:
- Medical treatment: Compensation for medical expenses can cover initial costs, such as emergency treatment at the scene or costs of transportation to a hospital’s emergency department. Medical expenses also include diagnostic testing, surgical and physician services, prescription medication, and physical therapy or other rehabilitation services.
- Lost wages: When injuries prevent victims from returning to work or require that they miss work for treatment, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Loss of future earning capacity: Victims with injuries causing permanent disabilities, rendering them unable to return to work in their former capacity may be entitled to compensation for lost future earning capacity. Permanently disabled victims may recover wages they would have earned had their injury not prevented them from returning to work.
- Property damage: Compensation for any damage to your bicycle, equipment, or other personal property caused by the accident may be listed in a Texas bicycle accident claim.
- The cost of household services: If victims’ injuries prevent them from performing household tasks, they may pursue compensation for the costs of hiring others to perform those services. For example, costs of services associated with laundry, cooking, lawn care, or child care may be included in a claim for damages.
Non-economic damages refer to the intangible impacts that the injury has on victims’ lives. A claim for non-economic damages may include losses associated with:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Under certain circumstances, Texas law provides the opportunity for victims to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages—also known as exemplary damages—are not related to economic or non-economic damages the victim faces. Rather, punitive damages act as a form of punishment to deter especially egregious behavior in the future. An experienced Texas bicycle accident attorney can advise a victim whether punitive damages are available in their case.
How are non-economic damages from a Texas bicycle accident calculated?
Calculating economic damages is usually a pretty straight-forward process. Victims can easily prove the expenses reflected in their medical bills or the wages they would have earned from missed time from work.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are not easily quantifiable. Consequently, determining the costs of non-economic damages is more difficult and takes an experienced Texas bicycle accident lawyer to calculate.
After determining the appropriate amount, your Texas bike accident attorney may add the sum of non-economic damages to the victim’s total economic damages to demonstrate the value of the case. If the circumstances of the case invite the victim to seek punitive damages, your Texas bike accident lawyer can add that amount to the calculated value of the claim.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a Texas bicycle accident?
The statute of limitations in Texas sets the time limit within which injured victims may file a Texas bicycle accident claim. Generally, a claim for damages must be initiated within two years of the date of the accident. Although there are a few exceptions, victims should be aware of this timeline to ensure they will not be barred from bringing a claim. When appropriate, an attorney may advise injured victims whether the circumstances of their accident meets an exception, providing additional time to file.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of my Texas bicycle crash. Can I still recover damages?
Bicycle accident victims are entitled to recover damages even if they were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Cyclists are not legally required to wear a helmet in Texas. However, even if there were laws requiring riders to use a helmet, victims may still be permitted to recover damages if the accident was caused by another’s actions.
What if a defective roadway caused my Texas bicycle accident?
Roadways are owned by state governments and maintained by municipal or state agencies. Over time, natural erosion of the road’s surface is expected, and these agencies are responsible for maintaining the roadways to ensure they are safe for travel. However, it can be difficult to prove that a governmental agency is responsible for accident injuries caused by their failure to properly maintain a roadway.
To show liability, an injured victim must demonstrate that the agency knew, or had reason to know, that the defect existed and posed a danger. For example, victims may show that the agency was aware of previous accidents because other cyclists had previously encountered the hazard and reported it to the agency.
My Texas bicycle accident was caused because I swerved to avoid a car door. Who is liable?
Dooring typically results from a passenger carelessly opening a car door in a way that impedes traffic and creates a hazard to other roadway users. Dooring is a major cause of bicycle collisions. A dooring accident occurs when the occupant of a parked car swings the car door open into the path of an approaching bicyclist. The individual who threw open the door (or the car owner) may be liable for this type of accident.
If I file a Texas bicycle accident lawsuit to recover damages, will my case go to court?
Filing a Texas bicycle accident claim does not necessarily mean victims will be required to go to court. In fact, the vast majority of Texas bicycle accident lawsuits are settled outside of the courtroom. Oftentimes, insurance companies try to avoid the expenses of litigation by engaging in negotiation with an injured party’s attorney. In addition, litigation increases the risks that insurance companies will be required to pay court costs and fees along with the full value of the claim.
What is the average settlement in a Texas bicycle accident case?
Because the circumstances of every claim are unique, it is impossible to determine an average settlement for bicycle accident claims. The amount of any specific settlement will depend on a variety of factors. The costs of treatment for injuries and the extent of the impact they have on a victims’ life will vary in each case. In sum, there is no average settlement because there is no average bicycle accident case.
However, some factors that may impact the value of a claim may include:
- The amount of coverage provided by the at-fault party’s insurance policy. Insurance coverage is how most bicycle accident settlements are paid. While it is possible to sue an uninsured person, it may be difficult to collect your award. Oftentimes, individuals cannot afford to pay bicycle accident expenses out-of-pocket. However, victims who were injured by an uninsured driver should consult with an attorney to determine whether there are additional options available for obtaining compensation.
- Whether the actions constituting negligence are apparent. In some accidents, it is blatantly clear that one party’s negligence contributed to causing the accident. In those cases, determining liability is much easier. On the other hand, in circumstances where the causes of the accident are unclear, it may be more difficult to definitely assign fault and liability.
- The severity of the injuries. More severe injuries require more extensive medical treatment with more expensive medical bills. For example, a claim involving a spinal cord injury that causes permanent disability will have a higher value than an accident with minor soft tissue injuries that heal in a matter of weeks or months.
- Pre-existing injuries. Victims who sustain an injury in a bicycle accident to an area of their body that was previously injured, may have difficulty proving the extent of the accident injury. Insurance companies will try to show that the existing injury is the source of a victim’s pain, rather than the accident injury.
- The victim’s age. While all lives have equal value, the age of a victim can impact the value of their Texas bicycle accident claim. Young adults who are in the peak of their careers will undoubtedly be entitled to seek higher compensation for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity than a child or individual who is retired. However, younger victims who sustain permanent, debilitating injuries resulting in significant life impacts, may obtain a higher amount of non-economic damages. Young victims who are severely injured will be impacted by the limitations caused by their injury for the majority of their lives.
Do I need a Texas bicycle attorney for my case?
Injured victims are entitled to initiate and progress through the claims process without an attorney. However, all victims should at least consult with an experienced Texas bicycle accident before trying to navigate the claims process without representation.
The Texas bicycle accident claims’ process is complex, particularly for those without legal experience. Experienced attorneys have years of education and training, which enable them to provide their clients with the best advice and services possible.
Some essential services an attorney may provide include:
- Guidance on the legal options that are available for injured victims based on the specific facts of their case.
- Determination of the value of the case based on the full extent of expenses incurred, as well as those the victim can expect to incur in the future. In addition, an attorney can assist in determining the value of the impacts of the injuries on a victim’s life.
- The timely filing of paperwork in the proper jurisdiction, completion of other court requirements, and appearance on the victim’s behalf at all court proceedings.
- Gathering of evidence and witness testimony to help prove the case in court. Evidence may involve expert testimony from professionals in the medical industry or accident reconstruction specialists.
- Skilled negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to ensure victims can maximize their recovery and obtain a fair settlement.
- Should negotiation prove to be unsuccessful, an attorney will be prepared to litigate the matter.
- Assistance in collecting the settlement or award.
- Further representation if the defendant in the case chooses to appeal the verdict.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents often cause serious injuries and major expenses. Our team at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has a wealth of experience in resolving Texas bicycle accident claims. Let us help you make decisions that are in your best interests. For a free consultation or case evaluation, contact us today.
In Need of a Texas Bicycle Accident Attorney?
If you have suffered injuries in a Texas bicycle accident, do not wait to seek compensation. Contact the team of legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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 in a Texas bicycle accident, call our office right now for a free consultation! Because we take all of our Texas bicycle accident 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 today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
Let us help you get your life back.
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