The Legal Rights of Bicyclists Injured in Traffic Accidents

The Legal Rights of Bicyclists Injured in Traffic Accidents

As a bicyclist, you are entitled to share the road with motorists. However, you also face increased risks of car accidents when cycling alongside cars and trucks. If you are injured in a traffic accident while biking, you have legal rights to recover damages. Understanding these rights is crucial, as bicyclists are vulnerable road users. An injury attorney can advise you on building a strong case and getting fairly compensated if you are hurt by a negligent driver. This article explains key laws that protect bicyclists and how an attorney can help you exercise your rights after an accident. With knowledge of the legal system, you can take action to gain the financial recovery and justice you deserve.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Texas

Negligence of Automobile Drivers

A leading cause of bicycle accidents in Texas is negligence on the part of automobile drivers. This includes failure to yield the right of way, improper turning, failure to check blind spots, and distraction or inattention. As bicycles share the road with larger motor vehicles, their smaller size and lack of protective equipment mean that any collisions can easily lead to severe injury.

Road Hazards

Road hazards are another frequent factor in bicycle accidents. These include potholes, debris, cracks or uneven pavement, drainage grates, and railroad tracks that can catch bicycle tires and cause loss of control or falls. Proper road maintenance and repair by cities and counties can help reduce accidents from road hazards.

Lack of Bicycle Infrastructure

Many areas in Texas lack proper infrastructure for safe bicycling, such as dedicated bike lanes, paths, and signage. This forces bicyclists to share narrow roads with fast-moving vehicle traffic, increasing the risk of an accident. Continued advocacy for bike-friendly roads and paths is important for preventing bicycle accidents statewide.

Failure to Follow Traffic Laws

Some bicycle accidents are caused by the bicyclists themselves, failing to follow the rules of the road. This includes riding against traffic, ignoring traffic signs and signals, lack of lighting/reflectors when riding at night, and general reckless behavior. Following the same laws as motor vehicles can help keep bicyclists safe.

In summary, the most common factors leading to bicycle accidents in Texas are driver negligence, road hazards, lack of proper infrastructure, and failure to follow traffic laws. Continued education, advocacy, and cooperation between bicyclists and motorists can help create a safer environment for all road users.

Insurance Claims

As a bicyclist injured in a collision with a motor vehicle in Texas, you have the right to file a claim with the driver's auto insurance policy to recover damages. The driver is typically considered at fault in accidents involving bicycles and is liable for your injuries and losses. You should contact the driver's insurance company as soon as possible to report your claim. Provide details of the accident and your injuries, and keep records of all correspondence.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

If the driver's insurance does not fully compensate you for your injuries, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver to recover additional damages. A personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses directly resulting from your injuries. You will need to prove that the driver's negligence caused the accident and your resulting harm. Consulting with a personal injury attorney regarding your legal options is advisable.

Statute of Limitations

Texas law imposes time restrictions, known as statutes of limitations, on filing insurance claims and lawsuits. For personal injury claims, the deadline is two years from the date of the accident. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to recover compensation. It is important to act promptly in pursuing your legal rights.

By understanding your key legal rights and responsibilities, you can take appropriate action after a bicycle accident to hold the at-fault driver accountable and gain fair compensation for your injuries. While the process can be complicated, seeking legal counsel and advice will help ensure your rights are protected under Texas law.

Proving Liability in a Bicycle Accident Case

To prove liability in a bike accident case, you must show that the other party acted negligently.


The other party (whether a motorist, pedestrian, or another cyclist) must have failed to exercise reasonable care. For example, a driver failing to properly signal, yield the right of way, or follow the rules of the road. As the injured cyclist, you must show how the other party's negligence directly caused your injuries and damages.


Gathering evidence is key. Get witness statements from anyone who saw the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and your injuries. Get copies of police reports. All of these provide evidence to support your claim.

Expert opinions

In some cases, expert opinions from accident reconstruction specialists, biomechanical engineers or physicians may be needed to prove liability. They can analyze evidence and testimony to determine fault.

Comparative negligence

If you are found partially at fault for the accident, the amount of damages you can recover may be reduced. This is known as comparative negligence. For example, if you are found 25% at fault, you may recover only 75% of damages. Some states follow "contributory negligence" where if you are found even 1% at fault, you cannot recover any damages.


Many bicycle accident cases settle out of court. Settlements can benefit both parties by avoiding a lengthy trial and possibly higher legal fees. However, if liability is disputed, you may need to go to trial to prove negligence and recover full damages. Discuss options with your attorney to determine the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

With diligent evidence gathering and a skilled attorney, cyclists injured due to another's negligence have a good chance of recovering damages. But you must be able to prove liability by showing how the other party failed to exercise reasonable care, directly causing your injuries. Comparative or contributory negligence may reduce damages, so work closely with legal counsel to build the strongest case possible.

Damages Available for Injured Bicyclists

As a bicyclist injured in a traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages incurred. These damages typically include economic losses like medical bills and lost wages as well as non-economic losses like pain and suffering.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to quantifiable losses with a specific monetary value. This includes expenses for medical treatment, rehabilitation and physical therapy. It also includes lost wages from time off work during recovery. To claim these damages, you will need records and documentation of all accident-related expenses and lost income.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to losses that are not easily quantified monetarily, such as emotional distress, trauma, and a reduced quality of life. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate you for physical discomfort and emotional anguish experienced due to injuries sustained in the accident. Loss of consortium damages may be awarded if your injuries negatively impact your relationship with your spouse or partner. These non-economic damages are more subjective but still very real costs of a serious accident.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded as punishment for reckless or malicious behavior that caused the accident. These are rare but can result in substantial compensation. Punitive damages aim to deter such egregious conduct in the future and are only awarded in situations where the at-fault party acted with willful disregard for the safety of others.

As a bicyclist injured by the negligence of another motorist, you deserve fair compensation for all losses and harm. Speaking with an attorney about your legal options can help you pursue damages to cover both economic losses as well as the pain, trauma and life disruptions caused by your accident. An experienced attorney can determine which types of damages may be applicable in your unique case and work to build a strong claim on your behalf.

Why Hire a Texas Car Accident Lawyer for Your Bicycle Injury Claim

Expertise in Bicycle Accident Law

Bicycle accident cases can be complex, involving laws specific to cyclists. An experienced Texas bicycle accident attorney will have a strong understanding of bicycle laws and regulations, as well as experience handling bicycle injury claims. They can determine who is at fault, properly assess the value of your injuries, and file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Ability to Investigate the Accident

Conducting a thorough investigation after a bicycle accident is key to building a strong case. A lawyer has the resources and experience to gather evidence from the accident scene, obtain witness statements, review police reports, and consult with medical experts to understand the full extent of your injuries. They can use this evidence to prove liability and determine appropriate compensation.

Negotiation and Litigation Skills

Insurance companies may offer a quick settlement that does not fully cover your losses and damages after a bicycle accident. A lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance adjusters to reach a fair settlement that provides just compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses. If negotiation does not work, they can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.

Contingency Fee Arrangements

Most bicycle accident lawyers work on contingency, meaning you pay nothing upfront and they only receive payment if they recover compensation for you. Their fees are deducted from your settlement amount. This arrangement means you have nothing to lose by hiring an attorney to handle your claim. They are motivated to maximize your recovery so they can earn their fee.

Hiring an experienced Texas bicycle accident lawyer is the best way to ensure you receive full and fair compensation after suffering injuries in a collision. Their legal expertise and dedication to your case can make a big difference in the outcome. Do not delay—contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident for the best chance of success.


You have a right to safe passage when riding your bicycle on public roads. If you are injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, you have legal recourse to seek compensation for damages. Consult with a personal injury attorney from lawyers at Fletcher Law to understand your rights under the law in your jurisdiction. An attorney can help build your case, determine viable legal claims, and negotiate a settlement or take the matter to trial if needed. Don't assume you don't have rights or that the motorist's insurance will provide fair compensation. Protect yourself by asserting your rights with experienced legal counsel. Riding a bicycle shouldn't mean forfeiting your physical and financial well-being in the aftermath of an accident.