On February 1, a woman in a Toyota Camry struck a cyclist, knocking him off his bicycle near the area where West 35th Street becomes West 38th Street in Austin. She declined to remain at the scene of the accident, saying she had ‘somewhere to be,’ but provided a phone number. On May 23, the police determined that the number the woman had given was fake, and an arrest warrant for failing to stop and render aid was subsequently issued. If you are ever involved in a bicycle accident, this is perhaps the least appropriate thing you could possibly do, and it may very well result in your being convicted of a third-degree felony – it is critical to be aware of Texas law surrounding this type of crash.
Statistics Show Specific Trends
Bicycling accidents are common, but among reported accidents, it is possible to determine certain trends and prepare accordingly. For example, statistics from Share The Road Texas seem to establish a possible link between gender and age and likelihood of injury, with 81 percent of recorded crash victims being male, and roughly 60 percent being under the age of 25. While some young people are obviously more careful than others, some do tend to take risks while operating a vehicle, and it can, unfortunately, result in significant injury.
Speed is also a major factor. The data shows that more bicycle fatalities occur on roads with higher speed limits, as one might imagine, but more injuries actually occur on roads with lower limits. Bexar County posted the fourth-highest injury total for bicyclists in the years tracked, and while some of the total is due to sheer population, it can also plausibly be due to speed. Many cities impose 45 mph speed limits, but within Austin, speeds can get as high as 65 mph (or could until recently). The woman in the Camry was allegedly speeding when she struck the cyclist, which may compound her problems.
Criminal vs. Civil
Once the phone number that the woman in the Camry gave was determined to be fake, an arrest warrant for failing to stop and render aid was issued. If you cause an accident in Texas where property damage, injury or death happens, you are required by law to remain at the scene, summon any necessary help, and provide any other assistance to the victim, or to law enforcement. Many people do not realize that failing to do so is an actual crime, which carries anywhere from 1 to 20 years’ incarceration, depending on the severity of the accident, plus a substantial fine.
In most road accident cases, the issue is one of civil negligence, with the remedy being money damages that can help pay your medical bills and cover lost wages. In a case like this, where the defendant does not stop to render aid, you may have to contend with waiting for a criminal proceeding to conclude before you can proceed. Criminal proceedings most often go first, since going second would potentially infringe on the defendant’s right against self-incrimination, while no such issue exists if the civil proceeding is the second to happen.
Call a New Braunfels Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident by someone who failed to render aid, call the Bettersworth Law Firm today at 888-392-0039 to speak to an attorney about how best to proceed. Our dedicated New Braunfels auto accident lawyers are happy to try and assist you through what can be a frightening and confusing time.