San Antonio Bicycle Accidents
While San Antonio is bicycle friendly community, riding a bicycle here can be more dangerous than driving a car. If you get hit by a car it could result in severe injuries.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation to help cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to contact Lorenz & Lorenz to schedule a risk-free, no-obligation consultation with a San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer. We are prepared to review your situation and determine the legal options available to you.
Our firm has two decades of experience advocating for Texas residents, recovering millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we help you obtain compensation. Founder and co-owner Ted Lorenz is a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 and Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
Why Should I Consider Hiring a Lawyer?
Bicycle accident victims with legal representation may have a better chance of recovering fair compensation than those who do not. Hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you after a bike accident means that you will have someone who is well-versed in Texas personal injury and bicycle laws.
Your lawyer’s knowledge may be invaluable as he or she works to prove the other party is liable for the accident and any resulting injuries and damages. He or she can help determine if any traffic laws were violated and if the at-fault driver’s actions may have been negligent.
A qualified San Antonio bicycle accident attorney from our firm is ready to help with the following:
- Investigating to try to prove negligence played a role
- Gathering supportive evidence
- Interviewing witnesses who saw the accident
- Filing insurance claims and court documents in a timely manner
- Handling all communication with insurance companies
- Negotiating a favorable settlement after evaluating your damages
We are here to answer your questions and determine how we may be able to help you.
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How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
This is a question our legal team is prepared to answer during a free initial consultation. Not every bicycle accident is the same, which means factors unique to your situation will need to be evaluated, such as the extent of your injuries, medical care you have received and your expected recovery time.
Bike accident cases generally center around the legal concept of negligence. Negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. This can be difficult to prove without hiring a licensed lawyer.
Negligence has four elements, all of which must be proven by your San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer:
- Duty of care – The driver owed you a duty of care to obey all traffic laws (speed limits, traffic signals, etc.) to prevent a crash.
- Breach of duty of care – The driver breached a duty of care. Examples of this include speeding, driving under the influence or not checking for blind spots before making a turn.
- Causation – You would not have been harmed unless the other party was negligent.
- Damages – You suffered damages, such as medical expenses or loss of income.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims
Injured bicyclists may be eligible for economic damages (actual monetary losses) and noneconomic damages (physical and emotional problems):
- Medical costs
- Physical therapy and/or rehabilitation services
- Lost wages and income from missing work while in recovery
- Lost earning capacity if permanent injuries keep you from working
- Pain and suffering experienced, both physical and mental
- Lost enjoyment of life
Lorenz & Lorenz is ready to fight on your behalf. Over the past 20 years, we have developed working relationships with medical and vocational experts we are ready to use to assess the value of a case.
How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action?
Most bicycle accident claims are resolved through an insurance settlement. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit in Texas is generally two years from the accident date.
Although two years sounds like plenty of time to take legal action, it also takes considerable time to investigate an accident, gather supportive evidence and build a strong case. The sooner you file, the better. If you fail to file before the deadline, the court will likely dismiss the case.
If you have any questions about the statute of limitations or are unsure if your time to file has passed, we recommend that you reach out to one of our San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys for advice.
Insurance Coverage for Injured Bicyclists
Most auto insurance policies cover injuries, medical expenses, and lost wages caused by accidents involving a car and bicycle. This applies to the insurance policy on a vehicle that hit a bicyclist and, in many cases, the bicyclist’s own car insurance.
While every insurance policy is different to an extent, your auto insurance will likely cover a bike accident if the following criteria is met:
- The accident must involve a motor vehicle.
- You have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in your auto insurance policy. This coverage can help pay your medical bills and up to 80 percent of your lost income and other nonmedical costs.
What if the At-Fault Driver Lacks Enough Insurance to Cover My Claim?
Unfortunately, some drivers do not have insurance, or they lack enough coverage to pay all your damages. Even if the at-fault driver has insurance, he or she may flee the scene. When this happens, you may be able to file a claim against the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your insurance policy, if you purchased this coverage.
Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Claim?
You may still be eligible to seek compensation if you were not wearing a helmet in a bicycle accident.
However, the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company may try to use the helmet defense to avoid liability for your injuries. The burden of proof is on the at-fault party to prove your injuries were made worse because you were not wearing a helmet. This can be difficult since many bicyclists sustain more than just a head injury after an accident.
Even if the helmet defense can be proven, any compensation awarded is unlikely to be reduced by much. In any case, it is important that you retain the services of a licensed San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer to help counter this defense and obtain full compensation.
Bicycle Riding Laws in Texas
Under Texas law, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as drivers operating motor vehicles. This means bicyclists, and drivers, must abide by all traffic signals and signs.
Traffic rules for bicyclists include:
- Stopping at red lights and stop signs
- Riding near the curb and going in the same direction as traffic
- Riding with at least one hand on the handlebar
- Having a bike equipped with brakes
- Using hand and arm signals to alert drivers when stopping or turning
Additionally, bicyclists can ride side by side with another bicyclist if it does not impede traffic. They can ride at night if the bike is equipped with a white light in the front and red light in the rear.
The city of San Antonio also has its own regulations, including a Safe Passing ordinance. This ordinance requires motor vehicles to allow a certain safe passing distance for bicyclists. A safe passing distance is three feet for cars and six feet for commercial vehicles or large trucks when road conditions allow it.
Violating this ordinance is a Class C misdemeanor and may be punished with a maximum fine of up to $200.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
Several steps can be taken after a bicycle accident to help protect your wellbeing and preserve your claim for compensation.
- Step one: Seek medical care right away to have your injuries evaluated and documented by a doctor. That way it will be harder for the insurance company to argue that you were not seriously injured.
- Step two: Call 9-1-1 so police can assess the scene and write up a report on what happened.
- Step three: If physically capable, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries as well as damage to your bike and other property.
- Step four: Be sure to obtain personal and insurance details from all parties involved and obtain contact information from anyone who witnessed you getting hit.
- Step five: Write down how the accident happened while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Step six: Be careful when talking to insurance companies. You should avoid giving a recorded statement or accepting an initial settlement offer. Insurance companies are trying to find something to use against you or get you to settle for far less than the full value of your claim.
- Step seven: Consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss your potential legal options.
Lorenz & Lorenz is available anytime, 24/7, to take your call.
Types of Bicycle Crashes
Some of the most common types of bike accidents include:
- Door-prize crashes – When the driver of a parked car opens his or her car door directly in the path of a bicyclist it could cause a dangerous crash.
- Left-cross crashes – When a car traveling in the opposite direction makes a left turn in front of or directly into a bicyclist’s path, the results are often fatal.
- Rear-end crashes – A car running into the back of a bicyclist happens more often than you may realize. These crashes are also the most difficult for a bicyclist to avoid.
- Right-cross crashes – When a car pulls out of a driveway, parking lot, alley or side street to the right of a bicyclist, a bicyclist could get hit from the side or hit the side of a car.
- Right-hook crashes – This can happen when a car passes a bicyclist on the left and makes a sudden right turn in front of or directly into a bicyclist’s path.
- Wrong-way crashes – A car traveling the wrong way against traffic can hit a bicyclist head-on or from the side when making a turn.
Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists do not have the same kind of protection as motor vehicles, making them more vulnerable to serious injuries in a crash, including:
- Broken bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
Prompt treatment may help to limit the extent of your injuries and prevent further complications.
Call a Bicycle Accident Attorney in San Antonio Today
The attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz know how devastating a bicycle accident can be for you and your loved ones. We have many years of experience helping victims of negligence recover compensation for their damages. Contact our firm to learn more about your rights and whether you have a valid claim.
Our initial consultations are completely free and confidential. We charge no upfront fees if you decide to have us represent you. We only get paid at the end of the legal process if we help you get compensated.