When a vehicle collides with a bicyclist, the outcome can be disastrous. A bicyclist can suffer catastrophic injuries such as multiple bone fractures, traumatic brain damage, or permanent paralysis. If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a bike accident in Texas, contact our law office. Our San Antonio bicycle accident attorney can help you gather evidence, file a civil claim, and fight for the compensation a negligent party lawfully owes you.
Clients Can Count on the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo
- Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers give each client undivided focus and attention.
- Our attorneys – not paralegals – are always available to answer client questions.
- Our firm has a history of success, with over $150 million in compensation awards.
- Our lawyers have more than 20 years’ experience representing injured clients.
- Our office takes cases on a contingency fee basis.
Do I Need To Hire a Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Hiring a lawyer is not mandatory during a personal injury lawsuit in Texas. It will, however, give you a better chance of securing the compensation you require to move forward. Insurance companies are much more likely to offer fair settlement amounts when they realize the claimant has hired an attorney. Insurance companies want to avoid a legal battle, so they may increase their original settlement offers to appease the victim. Your San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer will handle these settlement negotiations or take your case to trial in pursuit of the compensation you require.
Who Bears Responsibility for Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Liability, the legal term for legal and financial responsibility, for a bicycle accident will go to the at-fault party under Texas’s tort-based insurance system. In Texas, the driver or party at fault for causing a bike accident has to pay for damages through his or her auto insurance company. Before you can recover compensation for your injuries or for the loss of a loved one, you must prove that someone else is legally responsible. Proving liability generally takes establishing four key elements:
- The driver or defendant owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- The defendant breached or violated the duty of care.
- The defendant’s carelessness or negligence caused your bicycle crash.
- The bicycle accident gave you specific compensable losses.
Most bike accident cases name the driver involved in the collision as the liable party (defendant). For example, a driver could bear responsibility for your injuries and losses if that driver committed an act of negligence or recklessness that caused the crash, such as texting while driving or driving under the influence. Other parties could also bear responsibility for your bicycle accident. If a bike rider crashed because of a road defect, such as a pothole, the government in charge of roadway maintenance could be liable. If the crash was caused by a part defect, the product manufacturer could bear liability. The best way to determine the defendant(s) responsible for your accident is by consulting with an experienced attorney before you file an accident claim.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
San Antonio bicycle accidents can inflict serious to catastrophic injuries on victims. A catastrophic injury in personal injury law is one that has a major, long-term or permanent impact on the victim’s life and ability to earn a living wage. An example is a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis, or the loss of feeling and function below the point of injury. Common injuries suffered in bicycle accidents include:
- Broken bones: cracks or fractures caused by too much force exerted against the bone. A bicycle accident victim could suffer fractures in the legs, arms, pelvis, ribs, spine or skull.
- Soft-tissue injuries: damage to a bicyclist’s muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves caused by an accident, including bruising, contusions, sprains and strains, dislocations, and disc herniation.
- Traumatic brain injuries: a common injury suffered if a biker hits his or her head in an accident. Examples include concussions, coup-contrecoup injuries, and bleeding or swelling. Brain injuries can occur even while wearing a bicycle helmet, although this reduces the risk.
- Neck and back injuries: harm caused to the bones, soft tissues, discs or nerves in the neck, back or spine from the impact of the accident, potentially resulting in chronic pain or paralysis.
- Facial trauma: if a cyclist strikes his or her face on the road surface, this can result in painful and disfiguring facial trauma, including lacerations, abrasions, facial fractures, eye or vision damage, a broken nose, road rash, or dental injuries.
- Internal injuries: blunt-force trauma to the biker’s midsection or being crushed beneath a vehicle can lead to internal harm such as a ruptured spleen, bowel contusion, hernia and other organ damage.
If you get injured in a bicycle accident, you may notice symptoms such as pain, swelling, difficulty moving, immobility, bleeding or bruising. However, your adrenaline from the collision could be masking the signs of an injury. You may also have an injury with delayed symptoms that do not appear until hours or even days later. This is why you should visit a hospital or emergency room after a bicycle accident, even if you initially feel fine.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
After suffering personal injuries in a bicycle accident, call the police to report to the scene of the accident. Remain calm and do not admit fault. Check yourself and others for injuries. Request an ambulance, if necessary. Stay at the scene and gather as much information as you can. Get the name and insurance information of the driver, a description of the accident, and photographs. When police arrive, give them your side of the story. Takedown your police report number for future reference. Seek immediate medical care for your injuries. Keep copies of all your medical records, bills, and transcripts. Then, call the at-fault party’s insurance company. Texas is a fault state, meaning the party responsible for causing the wreck will be liable for damages. Report the crash to the at-fault driver’s insurer. Next, contact the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo. Our bicycle accident attorneys in San Antonio can listen to your story, walk you through the claims process, and help you protect your rights along the way. We will make sure an insurance company does not take advantage of you.
What Causes Most Bicycle Accidents in San Antonio?
Bicycle accidents are almost always preventable. It is up to every driver to obey applicable roadway rules, operate vehicles prudently, and reasonably avoid causing collisions. Unfortunately, many drivers do not take this duty seriously. Acts of negligence or recklessness can lead to harmful, preventable bicycle accidents.
- Driver distraction
- Texting and driving
- Ignoring biker right-of-way
- Drunk or drowsy driving
- Red-light running
- Poorly designed intersections and crosswalks
- Ignoring bike lanes
- Unsafe roadways
- Bicycle or vehicle defects
It is important to determine the exact cause of your recent bicycle accident and injuries as a plaintiff. Identifying who or what caused your collision is one of the first steps in bringing a claim. Common defendants include drivers, part manufacturers, property owners, and the city government. Some injury claims involve multiple defendants.
How Much is a Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
A bicycle accident in San Antonio can cause life-changing injuries and losses. You and your family may face thousands of dollars in medical bills alone. If you were not at fault for the bicycle accident, Texas law states that you should not be the party that has to pay for these expenses. The person who carelessly or recklessly caused the accident will bear financial responsibility instead. Bringing a successful injury claim against someone in Texas could result in damages for the following losses:
- Past and future medical care
- Surgeries and rehabilitation
- Medical devices and medications
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Bicycle repairs or replacement
- Lost wages and lost capacity to earn
- Permanent disability or disfigurement damages
- Loss of limb or bodily functions
- Emotional injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Lost quality of life
- Punitive damages
If you are curious about the potential value of your motor vehicle accident case, consult with a San Antonio car accident lawyer about how much your damages are worth. A lawyer from our law firm can review your claim, evaluate your losses, gather evidence to prove your damages and negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. Your bicycle accident lawyers will help you fight for maximum financial compensation for your serious injuries.
Can I Recover Compensation for a Bike Accident if I Was Partially At-Fault?
Many different factors could affect the final value of your bicycle accident case, including the comparative negligence defense. This is a defense the liable party may use to limit its financial responsibility. If the at-fault party can prove you are also partially to blame for the accident, this could reduce or even eliminate your financial recovery. In Texas, the modified comparative negligence law states that as long as an injured victim is less than 51% at fault for an accident, he or she can still recover a financial award. With less than 51% fault, a victim’s financial recovery will be reduced by a dollar amount that matches the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. With more than 51% of the fault, however, a plaintiff in Texas will be barred from financial recovery. The comparative negligence defense is one of many reasons to hire a bicycle accident attorney in San Antonio. An attorney is prepared for defense tactics and has strategies to negate them. Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your financial recovery.
How Long You Have to File a Bicycle Accident Claim in San Antonio
Do not wait to speak to an attorney after getting injured in a bicycle accident in San Antonio. Your personal injury claim is subject to Texas’s statute of limitations. This is a law that places a strict time limit on your ability to file a claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations on most personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. With delayed injury discovery, however, the clock won’t start ticking until the date that you noticed or reasonably should have noticed your injuries with due care.
If your bicycle accident was caused by a road defect, you may have grounds to bring a claim against a government agency in Texas. In this case, your statute of limitations may be much shorter than two years. Each city or municipality in Texas has its own deadline for tort claims against the government. In San Antonio, notice of a claim brought against the city for personal injuries or property damage must be filed within just 90 days.
Although there are rare exceptions to the rule, in general, if you do not bring a bicycle accident case by your deadline, the courts will bar you from seeking a financial recovery. This is why you need to contact a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio as soon as possible. Prompt claims filing can also help by providing more evidence to support your case, such as accurate eyewitness statements and records or documents that may otherwise be lost or destroyed.
Call the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo Today
Our San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys will answer the phone 24/7 to discuss your bicycle accident claim. We want to give you peace of mind during this difficult and often traumatic time. Our lawyers can meet with you at home or in the hospital for your free consultation if you cannot make it to our local law office. We will discuss your situation, list your rights, and give you an honest evaluation of your case’s potential worth. Contact us today to schedule your meeting. Call (210) 922-2200.