Someone is riding their bike, enjoying a beautiful day, and then the worst happens: A vehicle comes along, and there’s an accident that’s not the cyclist’s fault. Maybe the vehicle hits the bike; maybe the vehicle is stopped, and someone, not paying attention, opens the door and hits the cyclist (known as being “doored”). Regardless, a beautiful day outdoors getting some exercise and sunshine is wrecked; when injuries occur, more than the state of mind could be affected. Here are the types of compensation someone might be eligible for after a bicycle accident in Texas.
What’s Included in Potential Compensation After a Bicycle Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
The apparent types of compensation that could be claimed after a bicycle accident are any out-of-pocket medical expenses and payments to repair or replace the bicycle. But those aren’t the only types of damages someone can file for.
Larger scope of medical expenses. It’s not just the cost of a doctor’s visit or hospital stay. Someone injured in a bicycle accident could also receive compensation for the cost of an ambulance, medications, surgeries, medical devices, physical or occupational therapy, or mental health services.
Other property damage. The bike may be replaced, but the compensation may also include any other personal items the bicyclist had with them on the bike.
Lost income. If the accident causes the bicyclist to lose income, they may able to be compensated for that.
Pain and suffering. People who have ongoing chronic pain after a bicycle accident or are emotionally traumatized by it could receive pain and suffering compensation.
Additional services. If someone is injured in a bicycle accident and can no longer perform tasks such as lawn mowing or house cleaning, whether temporarily or permanently, the costs of hiring those services may be included in the damages awarded.
What if I’m Partly Responsible for the Accident?
This can be more complicated. Three types of negligence are used by different states to determine liability in personal injury cases.
Contributory negligence. This is a severe standard that says that if the injured person is even 1% at fault for an accident, they’re not eligible for any kind of compensation.
Pure comparative negligence. This type of judgment says that one person could be 30% responsible for the accident, and someone else is 70% liable. If the person with 30% responsibility is the injured person and would have been awarded $10,000 in compensation, they’ll receive $7,000 instead.
Modified comparative negligence. This is similar to pure comparative negligence in that the injured person can be partly responsible for the accident but still receive compensation. However, it’s stricter than the pure form in that if the injured person is found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, they can’t receive compensation.
Texas personal injury laws operate with modified comparative negligence. If the injured bicyclist is found to be 51% or greater at fault in the accident, they won’t receive compensation.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney if I Was in a Bicycle Accident?
Personal injury cases are complicated. In a modified comparative negligence state such as Texas, it’s in each party’s best interest to try to push at least 51% of the liability onto the other person. Suppose one of the people involved in the accident drove a car. In that case, they’ll likely have an insurance company working to reduce their liability, and either the driver or insurance company (or both) may have an attorney working with them.
These are difficult obstacles to work against. Hiring your own attorney provides you with the experience and knowledge of the relevant laws and how to work with them to present a solid case to reduce your liability. They will have a strong sense of where the liability truly rests and also understand what the compensation should include.
As many cases end up settling after negotiations, having an experienced negotiator is valuable too. They understand the tactics the other side will take and how to counter them to strive for the best outcomes.
What Should I Do if I Was in a Bicycle Accident?
If you are physically able, the first thing to do is call the police to file a report about the accident. This can be an essential piece of evidence if claims or lawsuits are filed later. If there are eyewitnesses, ask them for their names and contact information. Exchange contact info with the other party in the accident, and look at any neighboring buildings that might have security cameras that recorded the accident.
Then you should have a doctor examine you, even if you don’t think there’s anything worse than a bruise or a scrape as a result of the accident. There are many injuries, including serious ones, that don’t always exhibit symptoms right away. Waiting to receive treatment can be dangerous.
Finally, call us 24/7 at 346-818-3311 to set up a free nationwide case review. Personal injury cases can be complex. Having an experienced personal injury attorney working with you can uncover potential bases for compensation, and they understand the legal processes required.
Something not to do: Discuss the accident with the other party’s attorney or insurance representative. Their job is to place as much blame on you as possible, and they can ask leading questions that could cause you to inadvertently accept blame for an accident that isn’t yours. In addition, don’t sign any documents. They could try to get you to accept a much lower settlement than what you’re due. Refer all communications to your attorney.