According to data provided by Share the Road Texas, approximately 2,000 cyclists suffer serious injuries in accidents with motor vehicles in the state each year. Too many drivers in Southeast Texas fail to safely share the roads with cyclists. Following a serious bike accident, injured victims need to be able to access compensation to cover their costs and to support their family.
At The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, our Houston bicycle accident attorney is a skilled advocate for injured victims. Andrew Seerden has been certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization — a distinction that is held by less than 2 percent of attorneys in the state.
Prior to founding his own law firm in 2002, Mr. Andrew Seerden worked at a large law firm and gained experience representing corporations and insurance companies. He has a comprehensive understanding of the strategies that these defendants use in personal injury claims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a bicycle accident in Texas, our law firm will protect your rights.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation initial consultation.
How Our Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Being involved in a serious bicycle accident is stressful and overwhelming. After a crash, it is imperative that you seek guidance from a qualified Houston personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to take the proper measures to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.
Andrew Seerden is a top-rated Houston bicycle accident attorney who knows how to hold large insurance companies accountable. He helps injured victims maximize their financial compensation.
After your accident, our legal team is prepared to:
- Listen to your story and answer your questions during a free consultation
- Explain your legal options to you, including the steps we will take in handling your case
- Investigate your accident, uncovering all additional supporting evidence
- Build a strong, persuasive legal claim on your behalf
- Undertake settlement negotiations with the defendant or the insurance company
- If required, file a personal injury lawsuit
While the majority of personal injury claims that are brought in Texas are eventually settled, there are also plenty of exceptions. You need a trial-tested Houston bike accident injury attorney. We are ready to take your case as far as it needs to go to get you justice and fair financial compensation.
Compensation for Cyclists Hurt in Crashes
Under Texas law, injured cyclists can seek financial compensation for both the monetary losses that they suffered and for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, in reality, recovering full and fair compensation for a bike accident can be difficult. Insurance companies want to deny liability. If they cannot do so, then they will try to settle the personal injury claim for the lowest figure possible.
At The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, our Houston personal injury attorney knows how to help bike accident victims maximize their settlement offer or jury verdict. We can help you and your family seek financial recovery for the following:
- Emergency medical expenses
- Other related medical bills
- Future medical costs and rehabilitative treatment
- Lost current and future income
- Pain and suffering
Notably, personal injury claims are handled under the state’s comparative negligence standard. This is an extremely important point for injured cyclists: access to compensation is based, in large part, on their ability to prove fault. In many cases, defendants and their insurers will try to push at least some of the blame for a collision back onto the injured victim. Under comparative negligence rules, an injured victim’s compensation could be reduced if they are found to be partially at fault for an accident.
As an example, imagine that a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle in downtown Houston. In the collision, the bicyclist suffered $40,000 in total damages. If that cyclist is found to be at fault for 0 percent of the accident, then they would have a right to seek financial relief for the full value of the damages: $40,000. However, if an investigation determines that the victim was actually at fault for 30 percent of the accident — perhaps because they violated a basic bicycle safety rule — then financial compensation would be reduced proportionally. In other words, it would be reduced by 30 percent. In this hypothetical, that would mean a reduction from $40,000 down to $28,000.
The bottom line: Injured bicyclists must avoid an unfair assignment of fault for an accident. If the defendant or their insurance company unjustly blames you for a collision, it could take many thousands of dollars directly out of your settlement. Our aggressive Houston bicycle accident lawyer can help.
What to Do If You Were Hit by a Car While on Your Bike
The scene of a bike accident can be hectic. If you or your loved one was hit while on a bike, it is crucial that you take the appropriate steps to protect your health, your safety, and your legal rights. Injured victims should do the following four things after being hit by a vehicle while on a bike:
- Seek Emergency Medical Aid. Absolutely nothing should come before emergency medical needs. In emergency circumstances, injured victims require immediate medical attention. For the time being, other issues are secondary. Once the emergency has stabilized, the victim can begin assessing their legal options. Notably, even if you do not need emergency assistance, you still need to see a doctor. Some potentially life-threatening conditions may not show immediate symptoms.
- Report the Bicycle Accident. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) explains that all motor vehicles accidents must be reported if any injuries were sustained. If you were injured, even if it is a seemingly minor injury, you should make sure that your accident is reported. An officer from the Houston Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, or another law enforcement agency should be dispatched to secure the scene and draft an official accident report.
- Secure Evidence at the Scene. To the best of your ability, it is strongly recommended that you secure all evidence pertaining to your bike collision. Should any type of dispute arise over fault for the crash, this evidence will be extremely important. Some common forms of evidence include the driver’s contact information, relevant vehicle information, the police report, photographs, and contact information for any eyewitnesses. Ask someone on the scene to do this for you if your injuries prevent you from doing it.
- Consult With a Houston Bike Accident Lawyer. The vast majority of bicycle accident claims are defended by large insurance companies. These for-profit businesses are focused primarily on protecting their own financial interests. They are not interested in paying out a full settlement of your bike accident claim if they can avoid it. Do not go up against them alone. Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or any other insurance company representative, please be sure to speak to an experienced Houston bicycle accident attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights.
Help After a Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
In Texas, any driver who strikes a bicyclist has a legal obligation to stop their vehicle, remain at the scene of the collision, render emergency aid to the best of their ability, and to exchange information with others involved in the accident. Indeed, the Texas Transportation Code imposes criminal penalties — potentially even felony charges — on drivers who leave the scene of an accident.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run crashes still happen, especially when a bicyclist is the victim. If you were injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident, you should contact an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer immediately. Being struck by a hit-and-run driver is especially frustrating and it puts victims in a potentially vulnerable situation. The good news is that there are still legal options available.
Our Houston bike accident lawyer will help you assess every option for financial recovery. In some cases, the at-fault driver can be identified and tracked down. By working with law enforcement and conducting an independent investigation, our legal team is prepared to take action to find the responsible driver.
Even if the driver is never found, you may still be able to bring a claim with your own insurance policy, particularly if you have uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Your auto policy’s UM coverage may also cover your children and other household members if they are hurt by a hit-and-run driver while riding a bike. Finally, in some cases, negligent third parties may also share liability for your accident. Our team is prepared to assess and pursue all available options.
Statute of Limitations on Bicycle Accident Claims in Texas
Injured cyclists must bring their claim before the statute of limitations expires. In Texas, injured cyclists have two years to initiate their legal claim. Should a plaintiff fail to take action prior to this deadline, then they will almost certainly be prevented from pursuing a lawsuit at all. In other words, the victim will be denied compensation.
While two years may seem to be plenty of time to bring a claim, it is generally a big mistake to wait too long to get started with your case. The quicker you get a Houston personal injury lawyer on your team, the sooner your legal advocate will be able to start building a winning case.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents in Houston
Bicycle accidents occur in a number of different ways. In many cases, negligent drivers simply fail to notice that they are near a bike. Even more alarming, some reckless and aggressive drivers intentionally give bicycles little to no space to operate.
Bicycles have every right to the road in Houston. While cyclists certainly have to follow basic traffic rules just like other motorists, drivers must also make room for bikes to use the road. Some of the most common causes of bike accidents in Harris County include:
- Failure to yield. When making a turn, drivers must yield the right of way to any other vehicles, including bicycles, that are going straight ahead. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to consider bikes at all. They simply do not yield the right of way, instead turning directly into the path of an oncoming bicycle.
- Crossing in front of a bike. Another major cause of bike accidents is drivers merging directly in front of or right into a bike. Typically, this occurs when drivers are making a right hand turn and fail to recognize that a bicycle is riding relatively close behind them or is riding directly to their right.
- Recklessly opening a car door. On certain streets, the doors of parked cars open directly into bike lanes and bike paths. Occupants of vehicles have a duty to ensure that the path is clear before opening their doors. Otherwise, they could cause a very serious dooring accident.
- Rear-end collisions. For cyclists, rear-end collisions remain a huge problem. In far too many cases, drivers fail to give enough space to bikes. By tailgating a cyclist, a driver is putting them at serious peril. Should any type of incident occur, they may not have sufficient time to stop their car.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving is a growing problem in Texas. With the rising prevalence of smartphones and other handheld devices, drivers are increasingly tempted with distractions. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents occur because a distracted driver failed to account for a bike.
Our law firm handles all types of bicycle accident claims. No matter the specific cause of your collision, we are prepared to conduct a comprehensive investigation. Our Houston bike accident lawyer will determine precisely what steps need to be taken to seek the full financial compensation you deserve.
Were You Injured In a Bicycle Accident in Houston, Texas?
We can help. At The Seerden Law Firm, PLLC, our Houston personal injury lawyer has deep experience handling the full range of bicycle accident cases. If you or your loved one was hurt in a bike accident in Harris County, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team for a free, fully confidential case evaluation.