One night in late August, a bicyclist was rear-ended by a small SUV while riding in the center lane of Ben White Boulevard, near Alvin Devane Boulevard. The cyclist was unfortunately pronounced dead at the scene, though the driver remained near to assist and did not face any charges as a result. Another fatal bicycle crash happened exactly two minutes later, in the 13700 block of Research Boulevard, near Lake Creek Parkway. While the crashes do not appear to be related to each other, they do illustrate the potential hazards that bicyclists face on Texas roads. If you have been injured in a crash while riding your bicycle, understand that you do have potential options for seeking compensation in most cases.
Bicycles Are Vehicles
Bicyclists and other pedestrians deal with significant hazards on Texas roads, given that the primary focus of state officials is on making the roads safer for drivers, not pedestrians. Texas has some of the highest speed limits in the country, as well as most of its cities ranking low on pedestrian infrastructure in several studies. Texas as a whole also ranks near the top in terms of the pedestrian danger index (the measure quantifying how potentially hazardous its roads are for people walking, bicyclists, and other non-drivers).
It is important to keep in mind that colloquially, bicyclists are seen as pedestrians because their conveyances are not motorized. However, under Texas law, bicycles are seen as vehicles and thus are covered under all of the state’s vehicle safety laws (except those that do not apply by their very nature). A bicyclist has the same rights as the driver of a car, which means that if you are injured in an accident, you can use any provision in the law that applies to vehicle drivers to press your case.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, getting your medical bills paid can feel impossible, not least of all because insurance companies will very often try to blame a bicyclist for their own injuries. This is the time when filing suit may do the most good, as it both convinces an insurer you are serious, and if you believe that your injuries were caused by the other driver’s negligence, you may be able to establish that to the satisfaction of a judge or jury.
Texas law requires that you be able to establish certain factors in order to find a defendant liable. You must show that the defendant breached the duty of care that everyone on Texas roads owes to all other vehicles and their drivers (which does include bicyclists), and that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries, with no other intervening cause. In some cases, you will be able to establish negligence even more quickly if you can point to a law the defendant has violated; this may allow you to use the principle of negligence per se (as a matter of law).
Call a New Braunfels Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accidents can take lives, or leave you with long-lasting injuries. If you have experienced this type of crash, contacting a dedicated New Braunfels bicycle accident lawyer from the Bettersworth Law Firm is a good idea. We can sit down with you to try and answer your questions, and help to try and guide you through the legal process while you focus on recovery. Call our offices today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.