Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Austin, TX
In a busy city like Austin TX, motorists frequently share the road with bicycle riders. Riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. You might also ride your bike to and from work. Some cyclists make a living as interoffice couriers or pedicab operators. Whatever your reason for riding, it’s important for cyclists to obey traffic rules, watch out for errant drivers and make safe decisions. Bike accidents have the potential to cause severe and possibly fatal injuries. The risk of severe injuries in a bicycle accident is extremely high because riders have little or no physical protection aside from gloves and a helmet. Some of the most common injuries associated with these types of accidents are road rash, closed head injuries, brain damage, contusions, lacerations and broken bones.
Regardless of how severe the injuries are, the elements of proving a bicycle accident case are similar to any other auto accident. To recover compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost earnings, diminished earning capacity and other damages, your bicycle accident lawyer needs to prove that the motorist was negligent. This can be a complex process. First, a professional personal injury lawyer will gather the facts, document the accident scene and work with professionals to establish the conditions and situation that caused the collision. In a case like this, you might be fighting against a league of attorneys who work for the driver’s insurance company and who will try to blame you. At the law office of Joel A. Levine, we have been handling bicycle and pedestrian accident cases since 2008. We are committed to recovering the fullest compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The statistics on bicycle collisions are shocking. In Texas alone, approximately 42 cyclists die each year after collisions with cars and trucks. Nearly three-quarters of cyclists are concerned about safety and accidents. However, motorists are often oblivious to the bicycles that are on the road with them. In Austin TX, the police department reports that the city experiences an average of 315 bike collisions annually, including some 280 with injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges that accidents involving bicycles are under-reported. It’s estimated that only 10 percent of injury cases are ever reported by law enforcement. Nevertheless, statistics are grave.
- Intoxicated motorists are responsible for 40 percent of fatal bike accidents.
- About half of all reported bike accidents involve motorized vehicles.
- Approximately 75 percent of accidents occur at or near intersections.
- Most fatal bicycle collisions take place between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- One-fifth of fatal accidents occur between 8 p.m. and midnight.
- Cyclists accounts for 2 percent of all accident-related deaths.
Bicycle Accidents and Negligence
To determine responsibility in an accident case, your attorney will review the facts to establish whether the driver’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident and subsequent injuries. The driver might be responsible if your attorney can prove that they cut into a designated bike lane, ran through a stop sign, were distracted or failed to observe a cyclist. Your bicycle accident lawyer can secure phone records to see if the driver was talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident. Violations related to speeding, drunk driving and traffic signals are extremely effective pieces of evidence when establishing the driver’s negligence.
Occasionally, cyclists are responsible for accidents. When bicycling in Austin or anywhere in central Texas, cyclists are expected to follow state and city laws. City ordinances and sections of the Texas Transportation Code require bicycles to have functional reflectors and headlights. Under these laws, a bicycle is a vehicle. Therefore, all bicycles are required to follow traffic signals and obey all traffic laws. For example, bicycles are required to use the right-most lane or shoulder and ride in the direction of traffic. A violation of any state or city rule permits law enforcement officers to initiate a traffic stop. Tickets are issued for violations and can become part of the cyclist’s permanent driving record. Frequent bicycle violations recorded by the Austin Police Department include missing reflectors, failing to use a headlight after dark, running red lights, failing to obey stop signs, cycling the wrong way on a one-way street and cycling on sidewalks in business districts.
Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in an accident, you need effective representation from a qualified personal injury attorney. Injuries sustained in a bike accident can be severe and have long-lasting implications. In extreme circumstances, an accident lawsuit can become a wrongful death case if the cyclist dies due to their injuries.
At The Law Office of Joel A. Levine, we provide professional, competent representation and legal assistance to cyclists and other accident victims throughout central Texas. We offer free consultations and a contingency fee plan, so you don’t have to pay anything unless we win your case. If you are unable to come to our office due to your injuries, our bicycle accident lawyer will come to you. Whether we provide legal advice or take your case to a jury trial, we aim to make the process clear, transparent and as easy as possible for you and your family. Call us today to take the first step toward recovering the compensation that you deserve after a bicycle accident injury.