Bicycle accidents happen in Austin all the time, especially in the high traffic areas, like in the dreaded “Doughnut of Danger.” There were 50 bicycle-crash related fatalities in Texas in 2015 alone, putting the state in third place for the highest number in the nation. As a bustling metropolitan area, vehicles and bicycles on the same roadways often cross paths. When unsafe road conditions and negligent drivers collide with bicycles, the injuries can be devastating.
Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries in Austin
Bicycle accidents can cause some of the most serious and life-threatening injuries of any vehicle crash. Bicyclists do not have the protection that occupants of a motor vehicle have, so they always sustain much worse injuries. While wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce a bicyclist’s risk of sustaining a traumatic head or brain injury, it does not prevent catastrophic injuries from occurring.
The 6 Most Common Types of Bicycle-related Injuries Include:
- 1 Fractures and broken bones
- 2 Lacerations and abrasions
- 3 Traumatic head injury
- 4 Traumatic brain injury
- 5 Facial and dental fractures
- 6 Injuries to the chest and abdomen
If a bicyclist falls under a vehicle in a collision, his or her injuries will most likely be fatal. Nonfatal injuries can still result in temporary or permanent disability, including cognitive issues and physical impairments. Injured bikers may never fully recover from the accident, and they may suffer paralysis or other disabling conditions that keep them from returning to work. The majority of these accidents are 100% preventable.
Driver Negligence and Bicycle Accidents
The majority of bicycle accidents result from collisions with motor vehicles. Bicyclists can be difficult to see, and drivers do not always pay attention to the road. A distracted driver only has to take his or her eyes away from the road for a few seconds to strike a bicyclist or pedestrian. Drivers and bicyclists have a duty to obey the rules of the road and pay attention while driving.
When a vehicle driver does not see a bicyclist, fails to yield at a crosswalk, follows too closely to a bike, or otherwise drives negligently, the victim of an accident may be eligible for compensation. An Austin bicycle accident attorney will be able to investigate the crash and tell the victim if he or she has a personal injury case. To have grounds for a lawsuit in Texas, the bicyclist must prove that the driver was negligent, and this negligence caused the crash.
Texas’ comparative negligence laws state that the courts can reduce the victim’s compensation if the plaintiff was partly at fault for an accident. If, for example, you were riding a bike and used a crosswalk without waiting for the signal and a distracted driver (who reasonably could have prevented the accident) hits you, the courts may find you both at fault. You may be 10% at fault for the accident for failing to wait for the signal before crossing, while the driver is 90% responsible for not paying attention to the road.
The courts would reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault. In this case, you would receive $9,000 from a $10,000 settlement. Our state’s comparative fault rules make it important to hire a competent Austin bike accident lawyer.
Choose the Experienced Austin Bike Accident Attorneys at Briggle & Polan, PLLC
Millions of Texans ride bicycles every year, putting themselves in danger at the hands of careless drivers. The Austin personal injury attorneys at Briggle & Polan, PLLC serve citizens in Austin and the surrounding area who have been victims in bicycle crashes. Our Austin bike accident lawyers know how life-changing a serious accident can be, and we understand the intense medical treatments necessary to fully recover. We are passionate about defending the rights of those who sustained terrible injuries in avoidable accidents, and we provide high-quality representation. If a negligent party causes your bicycle accident, contact our team for legal assistance. Call us in Austin today at 512-472-1926 for a free consultation!