Bicycling is a growing trend in the US. The activity is fun, healthy, and an efficient form of transportation around the city. However, bicyclists do not always have the luxury of a bike lane in Houston, and drivers are not completely comfortable driving around bicyclists yet. As a result, many local bike enthusiasts face serious injuries in vehicle-related accidents. At the Nielsen Law Firm, we know a bicyclist’s rights under Texas law, and we are here to protect that freedom and secure the financial support you need after a collision.
WHAT MAKES A BICYCLE ACCIDENT DIFFERENT?
Like pedestrian and motorcycle accidents, bicyclists are completely exposed to the elements. Their bodies receive the force of impact with only a helmet for protection. As a result, bicyclists often suffer serious injuries and may never have the opportunity to ride a bike again.
Brain and spinal trauma, broken bones, friction rashes, and lacerations are all possible injuries after a bicycle accident. Every incident is different based on the force of impact, the point of impact, and the surrounding environment.
TEXAS BICYCLE LAWS
Bicyclists and drivers should maintain current knowledge of local bicycle laws. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties on the road as drivers, and vehicles are responsible for sharing the road with them. Here are the laws you should know:
- Riding in traffic. Bicyclists should ride with traffic (in the same direction) and as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Bicycle signals. Bikes do not have turn signals, but riders should use the following signals to indicate movements:
- Left turn. Extend left arm out to the side.
- Right turn. Extend left arm extend, but bent up at the elbow—OR extend the right arm out to the side. Extend left arm down at the side of the bike.
- Night riding. At night, bicycles must use a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red rear reflector or lamp.
State and local laws in Texas are not as comprehensive as laws in other states, but that does not mean that drivers can care less when operating a vehicle in the vicinity of bicyclists. Motorists should look for bicyclists going through intersections, when making right turns, and when passing bicyclists on the left.
INSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS IN BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
Many of those involved in bicycle accidents wonder about who will pay for their injuries after an accident. If the other driver was at fault for the incident, his or her auto insurance will cover the costs of your injury. If the bicyclist is at fault, auto insurance may not cover the injury, but a homeowner’s or renter’s policy may. If you are at fault, you may need to seek coverage through your existing medical insurance policy. Hit and run bicycle accidents are some of the toughest legal cases. When a negligent driver takes off after hitting a bicyclist, the bicyclist may still need to file a claim against his or her own auto or medical insurer to receive compensation. Always report your bicycle accidents to the police.
Determining liability is a key point in bicycle accidents. The Nielsen Law Firm is prepared to carefully investigate your case and find all possible sources of compensation. We will aggressively pursue insurance providers who are unwilling to pay a fair settlement and negligent drivers who caused your pain and suffering. Count on us to handle the tough matters while you focus on recovery.
If you or a loved one has suffered in a pedestrian accident, act quickly. A timely and thorough investigation will improve your ability to obtain compensation. For a free case evaluation, reach out to our team in Houston, Texas, today.