Who Is Liable After Bicycle Accidents?
Motorists are responsible for sharing the road with cyclists, no matter how much some might disagree. When the vehicle operator causes a collision with a bicycle, they should be held liable for the damages they cause.
However, drivers are not always the only liable parties for bicycle accidents. Other potentially at-fault parties can include:
- Those responsible for road maintenance (property owners, municipalities)
- Manufacturers of faulty parts (whether of the vehicle or bicycle)
- Another bicyclist
The easiest way to determine who is at fault for your accident is by calling Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629. Our Dallas bicycle accident law firm is ready to investigate your accident and help you hold the right people accountable.
Comparative Negligence & Liability for Bicycle Accidents
With modified comparative negligence in Texas, any accident victim must be considered no more than 50% at fault for an accident in order to receive compensation. That means the other party will try to pass off blame to you, if possible, in order to reduce your claim amount or even get it denied. For example, if a bicyclist ran a stop sign, it is possible that they could shoulder more than half the blame for the crash. If in another instance, a bicyclist violated a rule of the road but the driver who crashed into them was driving drunk and speeding, such that some sort of collision would have occurred anyway, that bicyclist would still be owed compensation.
What this does not mean is that you can be blamed for failing to wear a helmet in a bicycle accident. Texas doesn't have a helmet law for bicyclists, and Dallas only mandates helmets for minors under the age of 18. If your injuries were worse in an accident because you weren't wearing a helmet, this shouldn't be used against you. Of course, insurance companies will use anything they can to get you to sign off on a low settlement, or to get away with denying your claim if possible. Our Dallas bicycle accident attorneys are ready to fight to make sure insurance doesn't take advantage of our clients and wrongfully assign any negligence to accident victims.
What Can I Do to Stay Safe While Cycling in Dallas?
While there can be an unfair bias against bicyclists sharing the road with other motorists, and others may try to unfairly blame you for your accident, it can still help you to take extra steps for your safety. Since motorists or other parties are typically at fault for bicycle accidents, you can't depend on those parties to look out for your safety. If you ride a bicycle for pleasure or to get to and from work or school in the Dallas area, you can take a few steps to protect yourself while you're out on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NH TSA) offers the following tips:
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
- Wear bright, reflective clothing.
- Make sure your bike is in proper working order.
- Use a white front light, red read light, and reflectors on your bike.
- Always stay focused and alert.
- Obey traffic laws as they apply to cyclists.
- Never assume that motorists can see or will yield to you.
How Our Lawyers Can Help with Your Bicycle Accident Case
When you're dealing with the emotional and physical trauma of a bicycle accident, you shouldn't also have to deal with all the paperwork and insurance adjustors that come with even the most straightforward accident claims. You certainly shouldn't have to deal with more complicated cases alone either, whether it's disputes over liability, a hit-and-run, an uninsured or underinsured driver, or other issues. Our experienced trial attorneys at Arnold & Itkin can take this off your plate so you can focus on yourself, on healing and moving forward.
We can do our own investigations, examine insurance policies, negotiate with insurance, and even litigate your case if necessary. Our legal team is ready to work tirelessly for you so that you can recover everything that you're owed for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We're here to resolve challenges, not add to them, so we also won't charge you upfront. In fact, we only get paid if we win compensation for you.
Don't wait to find out how our lawyers can help you with a bicycle accident claim! Call (888) 493-1629 today to request your free, confidential consultation.