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Texas is known for its wide, open highways, and most people commute or travel by car. However, bicyclists enjoy riding through urban centers or along scenic biking trails, especially in mild weather. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are a reality for some cyclists. Drivers sometimes forget that they are sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, and they may pull out from a stop or turn suddenly—colliding with a bicyclist. Cyclists struck by cars or trucks can suffer severe injuries, which may require lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, and other ongoing medical treatment. If you have sustained an injury as a bicyclist in the Houston area, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault driver to help cover the costs associated with your injuries. This process can be overwhelming, especially when you are focusing on your recovery. Consider enlisting the guidance of an experienced and empathetic personal injury attorney to help you move through the claims process. Below are some tips for maximizing your settlement offer so you can secure the compensation you need to support your recovery.
There are many reasons that bicycle accidents occur. Most of these situations involve inattentive or distracted drivers who fail to look out for cyclists when operating their vehicles. For instance, a driver or passenger may open their car door directly into the path of a cyclist. Or, a car may be turning right and fail to look for cyclists before completing the turn. Drivers may back out of a driveway without checking the rearview mirror for cyclists. In all of these circumstances, the driver bears the responsibility of checking for pedestrians and cyclists before turning, backing up, or opening the door.
Even the most attentive and cautious cyclists may find themselves struck by an inattentive driver at some point. The aftermath of a biking accident can be chaotic and overwhelming, so it’s helpful to understand what steps to take to ensure you receive the medical attention you need. Additionally, there are steps you can take at the scene to improve your chances of securing compensation from the at-fault party later on.
First, assess your injuries. Call for an ambulance right away, especially if your injuries are severe and require immediate care. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, schedule an appointment with a doctor within the next day or so. Some injuries, like concussions or internal bleeding, do not exhibit obvious symptoms, so it’s essential to have a medical professional assess you for any harder-to-detect injuries. Additionally, your visit will establish medical records, which will serve to strengthen your personal injury claim by demonstrating the costs incurred from the collision.
Notify local law enforcement that a biking accident has occurred. The responding officer will arrive at the scene and compile a police report. This document serves as an objective account of the factors contributing to and resulting from the collision. Important details, such as witness statements and road conditions, will help to capture the events of the incident. You can request a copy of the police report to include with your personal injury claim, as it may help to establish the driver’s responsibility for causing the accident.
Collect the contact information for the driver and any other parties involved in the accident, including witnesses who may be able to shed light on the events leading up to the collision. You should also gather the insurance information from the driver. As you interact with others at the scene, refrain from discussing the details of the incident. Even saying “I’m sorry” may undermine the strength of your claim, as the other party may attempt to use your apology as an indication of your guilt. Instead, say as little as possible about the accident until you have contacted a personal injury lawyer.
Use your phone to take pictures of the scene. Having visuals of your damaged bike and your injuries can strengthen your claim, as you can illustrate the impact of the collision. Your attorney can help you use these photos to prepare an effective claim.
Suffering a bicycle accident injury can be devastating. As you cope with your physical recovery, you are likely worried about the medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the incident. During this overwhelming time, consider reaching out to a caring and dedicated personal injury attorney to help you navigate the claims process. Together, you and your attorney can pursue and secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
If you need help collecting compensation following a biking accident in Houston, call DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, at (832) 745-4878 to speak with a trusted and caring personal injury lawyer.
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