On June 3, around 1 a.m., a vehicle struck a bicyclist from behind near downtown San Antonio. The cyclist was found on the ground on West Ashby by a passerby. The responsible driver was nowhere in sight, having fled the scene of the accident. Emergency medical personnel took the cyclist to a nearby hospital. Initial reports indicated the victim may have had head injuries.
Reports like this hit-and-run accident act as a reminder for motorists and cyclists to focus on safety when they are on the roads. As summer gets underway, more cyclists will head out to commute to and from work, participate in long-distance races, and enjoy leisurely rides. While cyclists have to be ready to take common sense precautions and obey the rules of the road, motorists may need to consider how to best drive around bikes.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Bikes
There is no denying that cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs all have advantages on the road versus bicycles. They are larger, heavier, and faster. If there is a competition between the two – the vehicle will win. Unfortunately, this means that when there is a collision between a passenger vehicle and a bike, the cyclist is the individual who suffers the most injuries. What could be considered a mild crash between two cars could cost a cyclist his or her life. That is why motorists should consider the following safety tips to share the road with bikes:
- Watch out for bikes;
- Specifically check for cyclists, motorcycles, and pedestrians when making a left turn;
- Do not follow too closely behind a bike;
- Only overtake a cyclist when the vehicle can be three to four feet away;
- Understand that cyclists probably cannot hearing you approaching from behind;
- Slow down when one or more cyclists are on the road;
- Treat bikes like other vehicles and follow right-of-way rules; and
- Learn cyclist’s hand signals so you know when they are turning.
Drivers Who Cause Accidents Will Be Held Responsible
Not all cyclists are perfect. They can break the rules of the road just as easily as motorists. However, it is often motorists who cause bike-vehicle accidents. If a cyclist is hit and injured by a car, then he or she can hold that driver responsible and seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disfigurement; and
- Physical limitations.
In most situations, a cyclist can make a claim against the driver’s auto insurance. However, if the driver does not have auto insurance or the policy limit does not cover all of the cyclist’s expenses and non-economic damages, then a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. During a personal injury suit, the cyclist will be required to prove that the vehicle driver was negligent, and this negligence is the reason for his or her injuries. The cyclist will also have to present evidence regarding his or her amount of economic and noneconomic damages.
Were You Injured in a Vehicle-Bike Accident?
If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, contact the experienced New Braunfels personal injury lawyers of The Bettersworth Law Firm today. You may have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries.