If you were you seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Texas, you are probably dealing with pain as well as stress as you begin the healing process. You may be worried about being able to get back to the active life you had before the accident. If your bicycle was your main mode of transportation, you may be concerned not only about returning to your regular work schedule, but also how you will get back and forth to work.
We are sorry that you have to face these struggles, and we want you to know you don’t have to face them alone. Our Texas bicycle accident attorneys want to help you by taking the weight of a bicycle accident claim off your mind so that you can focus on healing. Call us today at 713-574-7777 to set up your free consultation to review your case and your options for being compensated for your injuries.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
Since bicycles share the road with other vehicles, they get into accidents with all kinds of other vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, trucks, and scooters. Of these various vehicles, cyclists are more vulnerable than others. Bikes are less easy to see and hear, and they offer less protection in collisions than other means of road transportation. As a result, bicycle accident injuries can be severe, even deadly.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, the first thing you need to do is get medical attention. It is important to rule out internal injuries, even if you think you may be uninjured. In response to trauma such as a bicycle accident, the body’s natural response is to get flooded with stress hormones. These can cause you to be less sensitive to pain long enough to leave the scene of an accident without getting checked by a medical professional.
Having an EMT check you at the scene or being checked in the emergency room is important not only to make sure an injury is not overlooked, but to establish a timeline of your injuries should you need it later for a bicycle accident case. The absence of this information can give an insurance company an opportunity to challenge your injuries and devalue a claim.
Having someone on the scene for evidence collection in the form of photos, videos, and contact information for witnesses will be of great help, especially if you need to leave the scene for medical attention. The person who helps with this should also collect the insurance information of the other party involved in the accident, such as a motorist. This can be done by a friend, family member, or attorney. Any police who are called to the scene will also be speaking to witnesses and gathering evidence. You will need as much information as you can get from the accident to build an accident case.
One of the most important steps you can take after a bicycle accident is contacting a personal injury attorney who has experience handling bicycle accident cases. Don’t assume all lawyers can handle all types of cases. There are many types of law, and each requires knowledge and skill in bringing those specific types of cases to a favorable settlement or, if necessary, through a successful trial.
Call our Texas bicycle accident attorneys today to discuss the details of your case, as well as your options for receiving compensation.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
The term bicycle accident covers a wide range of possibilities. Here are just a few types of bicycle accidents:
- Experiencing a crash while on a bicycle that was not your fault (such as someone unexpectedly opening a car door as you pass, or hitting a pothole)
- Experiencing a collision with another bicycle, a car, or a pedestrian while riding a bicycle
- Being hit by a bicycle, when driving a car, walking, or cycling
- Being a passenger on a bicycle when it crashed
How Will I Be Compensated?
A bicycle accident claim will seek financial compensation for two types of damages, economic and non-economic. Economic damages provide compensation for monetary losses due to your injuries, such as lost wages because you have been out of work. They may also include future lost wages, if it is determined that you either won’t be able to return to work for some time, won’t be able to return in the capacity you used to, or cannot return at all. Economic damages also cover medical expenses you have had due to the accident, and, like lost wages, can be estimated with regard to future surgeries and ongoing physical therapy or counseling that may be needed. A value can be attached to the elements involved in economic damages, making them easier to quantify than non-economic damages.
While the less objective nature of non-economic damages makes them harder to pin a value on, it does not diminish the importance of these losses. They include things like mental anguish, loss of companionship, depression, anxiety, pain and suffering, and a reduced quality of life. Our knowledgeable Texas bicycle accident attorneys with The Bowen Law Firm, PLLC know how to assess your losses, both non-economic and economic, to ensure that you receive the fullest compensation possible for your injuries.
How Much Time Do I have to File a Claim?
The state of Texas requires that a bicycle accident claim be filed no later than two years from the date of injury. Observing this deadline is critical to making sure you don’t miss your chance for justice. If you don’t file your claim completely, correctly, and on time, you will most likely not get another chance. Twenty-four months may seem like forever right after your accident, but it can fly by in the blink of an eye, especially if you are healing during that time, dealing with financial strain caused by your accident, and trying to get your life back on track.
Limitations When Filing Against a Government Entity
If your bicycle accident involved a party attached on any level to the government, you need to find out what the deadlines and requirements are to file your claim. Texas not only has very specific rules for filing an accident claim in which a government party was involved, it allows much shorter timelines in which to file. Depending upon the municipality, you may have as little as 45 days. There may also be limitations on the damages you can collect. An experienced Texas bicycle accident attorney will guide you through the process of filing against a government agency or entity if necessary. These exceptions are another reason to reach out to our experienced attorneys right away if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence.
How Does Shared Fault Affect My Case?
When making a bicycle accident claim in Texas, the Shared Fault rule makes it possible for you to be assigned a level of liability in the accident that injured you. If you are found to be anywhere from 1% to 49% liable for the accident, your claim will be lowered according to your percentage of responsibility. It’s important to know about this, because while it does not automatically rule out being able to get compensation, it makes eligibility for full compensation very challenging. Insurance companies will apply the Shared Fault rule to your case to reduce their liability by increasing yours if they can. This is yet another reason why having our Texas bicycle accident attorneys on your side will help protect your right to compensation. Call us today at 713-574-7777 for your free consultation.
What Factors Will Strengthen My Case?
In addition to taking the steps mentioned earlier, you will want to make sure to avoid a few common mistakes that can jeopardize your case. One of these is getting rid of a damaged bicycle. If you are building a case for compensation for your bicycle accident injuries, rather than getting rid of your damaged bicycle because it was in an accident, you should keep the bicycle because it was in one. It has become evidence that you will need to support your injury claim.
Another mistake to avoid is giving a recorded statement to the insurance company. It is important to know that insurance adjusters are trained to get you to disclose information that they can use against you to lower the value of your claim. They will probably even sound sympathetic when doing it. Remember that the adjuster’s job involves saving the company money, and the less they pay out in claims, the more money the company can hold on to.
Speaking to the insurance company or doing anything else that enables them to devalue your claim will give them leverage to try and get you to sign off on an early settlement. It is important to let your Texas bicycle accident attorneys handle communications for you. This will minimize the insurance company’s ability to wheedle information out of you, and it will prevent them from tossing you settlement offers that you may not realize are disgraceful. The Bowen Law Firm, PLLC is familiar with the tactics employed by insurance companies, and know how to counter them. Call us today at 713-574-7777 to step in on your behalf.
Call Our Texas Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today
Because of the high level of exposure you have while riding a bicycle, these accidents commonly cause injuries that are serious to the level of catastrophic. You are in a vulnerable place while you are healing from injuries that are very likely mental and emotional in addition to physical. It’s not only unwise to expect you to wrangle with the insurance company from this position, it’s unfair.
Your first concern after a serious bicycle accident injury needs to be your wellbeing. Hiring an experienced Texas bicycle accident attorney to fight for your right to fair and full compensation while you recover is crucial. Call 713-574-7777 today for your free consultation.