Beaumont Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Whether in Gulf Terrace Park or the Folsom Hike and Bike Trail, Beaumont is an ideal place for people to ride bicycles. While Texas has no statewide law concerning motor vehicles passing bicyclists, Beaumont is one of several cities that have enacted their own laws requiring drivers to provide a minimum of three feet distance when passing bicyclists.
Texas requires all bicyclists to comply with all state traffic laws. However, bicycle accidents will still frequently occur because of the negligence of motor vehicle operators. Bicyclists have little to no protection when involved in such collisions, which can often lead to victims sustaining catastrophic injuries.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries or a loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in Jefferson County, be sure to quickly find legal representation for help recovering all of the compensation that you are entitled to.
Portner Bond, PLLC understands how complicated automobile insurance policies can become for victims in these cases and works to make sure that people are able to obtain everything they need and deserve. Call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with our Beaumont bike accident attorneys.
Do I Need A Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Many bicycle accident victims do not believe they will need an attorney because they generally feel that they were the clear victims. People need to understand that insurance companies will generally do everything they can to avoid paying any amount to an injured bicyclist.
You should be extremely cautious in all dealings with the insurance company for a negligent driver. While agents for such insurers may express concern and seem willing to help you out, the initial conversation is usually intended to create a sense of false hope.
In actuality, an insurance company is immediately looking for ways to pin as much blame as possible on the bicyclist. One way this gets accomplished is through recorded statements made by a victim – which is exactly why you should never provide such a statement.
In other cases, insurance companies offer lump sum settlements in an attempt to quickly close cases. Some people are quick to accept what seem like large sums of money, but the settlements turn out to fall far short of what will be needed to cover all future medical expenses.
Why Choose Portner Bond, PLLC To Handle My Case?
Chris Portner was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2007 and 2008 as a rising star by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service). He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Jefferson County Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association, and American Association for Justice.
Trent Bond is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which only about 10 percent of lawyers in Texas can also claim. He is the current vice president of the Jefferson County Bar Association, a former director of the Jefferson County Bar Association, and was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers.
Portner Bond, PLLC serves Beaumont as well as Port Arthur, Houston, Orange, Nederland, Port Neches, Baytown, Humble, Pasadena, Bronson, Conroe, Vidor, Galveston, Crystal Beach, Jasper, Sugar Land, Friendswood, Texas City, Groves, and The Woodlands. We handle cases in Jefferson County, Galveston County, Jasper County, Fort Bend County, Hardin County, Orange County, Liberty County, Chambers County, and Tyler County.
Portner Bond, PLLC can negotiate a settlement that provides for every expense that you have incurred or will incur because of your accident, but we can also file a lawsuit when settlement negotiations are unproductive. Our firm handles every case on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay when you obtain a financial award.
Types of Bicycle Accident Cases We Handle
While bicycle crashes occur for a number of reasons, many accidents involve motor vehicles and are caused by negligent drivers. Some of the most common kinds of bicycle accidents include:
- Intersection Accidents
- Distracted Driving Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Sideswipe Accidents
- Failure to Yield Accidents
- Head-On Collisions
- Right-Turn or Left-Turn Accidents
Not all bicycle accidents necessarily involve motor vehicles. Some crashes may involve the negligence of other parties. For example, when a bike crash is caused by a defective part, a manufacturer may be liable. Bicycles that were improperly repaired could make a maintenance company responsible, and rented bicycles that malfunction could make those rental companies liable.
No state or local laws require bicyclists to wear helmets. Helmets reduce the chances of serious head injuries, but they cannot prevent other injuries to the rest of a person’s body.
Some common injuries bicyclists sustain include, but are not limited to:
- Nerve damage
- Neck injuries
- Road rash
- Muscle strains
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
If a bicyclist is killed in an accident, the family members of the deceased person may be to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party or parties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bicycle Accidents
If you’ve been the victim of a bicycle accident in Texas, you probably have questions about what to do. The following commonly asked questions will provide insight on taking legal action, liability, compensation, and more.
What should I do if I am involved in a bicycle accident?
At the scene of your accident, use a camera (or your smartphone) to take as many pictures as you can of the entire accident scene. You want photos of everything that was involved before this evidence disappears. Also, try to take pictures from many different angles and distances. If people saw your accident, ask them for their names and phone numbers in case you need them as witnesses. If you are unable to do these things yourself, ask someone you know to do it for you. Be especially cautious about who you discuss your accident with, take special care to avoid posting anything on social media or talking to an insurance company until you have legal representation.
After any bicycle crash, EMS will either transport you for immediate medical care, or you should go visit a doctor on your own as soon as possible. Keep in mind that some injury symptoms may be delayed. waiting to get medical care can prove costly later if an insurance company argues that the delay was evidence that the injuries were not that serious or not treated properly. File a police report for your accident, even if the other party involved asks that you resolve the matter without involving the authorities or insurance.
How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim?
Texas law gives a person two years from the date of their bicycle accident to file a lawsuit. One exception to the two-year statute of limitations is when a person is considered to be “under a legal disability,” which includes any person who is of unsound mind (unconscious or in a coma) or younger than 18 years of age. The time of a disability will not be included in a limitations period and such individuals have two years to file a lawsuit after they turn 18 years of age or their disabilities have been removed. A member of the United States Armed Forces can also have their limitations periods tolled (delayed) when they are serving overseas.
Will I still be able to file a lawsuit if I was partially at fault for my bicycle accident?
Texas is known as a modified comparative fault state, which means that a plaintiff can only recover the amount of damages that is not attributable to their own negligence. When a person was primarily at fault for their accident (more than 50% responsible), they cannot recover any damages. Texas law establishes that a person can recover damages only when their percentage of responsibility is not more than 50%, and a court is required to reduce damages by a victim’s percentage of negligence. This means that a person who is awarded $100,000 but is found to have been 30% at fault would have their damages reduced by $30,000 and ultimately receive $70,000.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported that there were 2,687 total pedalcyclist (bicyclist) crashes in Texas in 2017. This total included 58 fatal crashes causing 58 fatalities, including 18 rural crashes and 40 urban crashes.
According to TxDOT, there were 340 suspected serious injury pedalcyclist crashes that included 64 rural pedalcyclist crashes and 276 urban pedalcyclist crashes. There were also 1,231 non-incapacitating pedalcyclist injury crashes that included 129 rural crashes and 1,102 urban crashes.
TxDOT reported 913 possible injury pedalcyclist crashes that included 116 rural crashes and 797 urban crashes. Only 176 crashes were classified as non-injury, including 23 rural crashes and 153 urban crashes. There were also two unknown injury crashes, both in urban areas.
Contact a Beaumont Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident in the greater Beaumont area, do not let an insurance company tell you that you were somehow responsible for a crash you know was someone else’s fault. Portner Bond, PLLC will fight to make sure that you are treated with respect and fairly compensated for your losses.
Our firm has over 85 years of combined experience handling bicycle accident cases. We can discuss all of your legal options when you call (409) 838-4444 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.