San Antonio Bicycle Accident Lawyer
As San Antonio continues to grow, more residents are switching to more environmentally friendly transportation options. As more cyclists are sharing the road with drivers, the risk of being involved in bike accidents increases. Many drivers don’t know how to share the road with cyclists. Since bicycles offer very little protection, bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death to the riders.
You could file a personal injury claim if you were injured in a bicycle accident due to another’s negligence. To schedule a free consultation with one of our bicycle accident lawyers, call us today at 210-366-4949.
How Many Bicycle Accidents Happen in the U.S. Every Year?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, 938 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents. This is a 9% increase from 2019. In fact, bicycle fatalities alone made up 2% of all motor vehicle fatalities.
In 2020, a Consumer Product Safety Commission report stated that 425,910 emergency room injuries were associated with bicycles. These injuries were both preventable and intentional.
Every year the costs of these injuries and deaths usually exceed $20 million in the United States, according to an NHTSA report released in 2019.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in San Antonio, TX?
Unfortunately, San Antonio is not a very bike-friendly city. In 2016, 62 bicyclists were killed in car accidents in Texas. San Antonio had five of those bicycle fatalities happen in their city, which is a 25% increase from the previous year. Despite San Antonio increasing bicycling infrastructure by widening sidewalks, etc., it’s still listed at the bottom of the list when it comes to bike-friendly cities. In 2021, a study conducted by Arris Composites rated bike-friendly cities and showed that Texas overall is not a bike-friendly state, with San Antonio and Fort Worth at the bottom of the list of Texas cities. The study factored in weather, bike accidents, and infrastructure.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
When bicyclists are injured in accidents, they almost always sustain serious injuries. When put up against a motor vehicle, the bicycle offers no protection, especially if the rider isn’t wearing a helmet. When you’ve been injured in a bike accident, it’s important to contact a bicycle accident attorney so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
One of our experienced bicycle lawyers can help you recover damages from the following injuries:
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The most common causes of bicycle accidents are:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Not knowing who has the right-of-way
- Failure to yield
- Ignoring traffic laws and signs
- Poor visibility
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Listed below are some of the most common ways that a cyclist and motor vehicle driver can collide.
- Right hook collisions occur when a driver hits a cyclist while trying to make a right turn. These accidents happen in crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and turning lanes.
- Left hook collisions occur when a driver tries to turn left and overtakes a bicyclist. These accidents usually happen when a driver turns left without yielding.
- Riding against traffic: Bike riders should follow the flow of traffic. When bicyclists ride against traffic, serious injuries can happen. When an accident occurs due to the bike rider riding against traffic, this usually results in the injured bicyclist being held responsible.
- Vehicles overtaking bikes can lead to serious injury. When a car improperly passes a bike rider, this can cause the cyclist to swerve off the road, causing them to crash.
- Rear-end bicycle accidents can occur when a driver is following too closely, speeding, or not paying attention.
- Pedestrian collisions can happen if a pedestrian steps into a bike lane in front of a bicycle. If the bicycle cannot stop, serious injuries can occur. Like drivers, bike riders must be on the lookout for pedestrians.
- Red light bicycle accidents can happen either when a driver runs a red light and hits a bicyclist or if a bicyclist runs a red light creating an accident.
- Wrong-way bicycle accidents can occur when a bike rider or driver travels down the wrong side of the road.
- Road rage accidents: When drivers become emotional behind the wheel, they can lose control and cause an accident.
- Right cross collisions occur when a driver comes out of a side street or driveway and hits a bike rider on their right.
If you’ve been injured in any of the above accidents, call a San Antonio bicycle lawyer today at Janicek Law to learn more about your rights and what compensation you could be entitled to.
San Antonio, TX Bicycle Rules
San Antonio has several bike ordinances in place to keep bike riders safe:
- Bike Light Ordinance: San Antonio requires a front white light and a rear red reflector or red light on all bicycles. Failure to comply will result in a $200 fine and Class C Misdemeanor. The State of Texas has a similar law in place.
- Safe Passing Ordinance: This ordinance requires safe passage for defenseless road users. Safe passage for a vehicle is 3’ and 6’ for large trucks or commercial vehicles as long as the roads allow. Violation will result in a $200 fine and Class C Misdemeanor.
- Ordinances Sec. 19-286: Bicycles are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks unless they’re law enforcement or emergency personnel.
Bicyclists must also follow Texas’ bike laws:
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- No riding the wrong way against traffic (this is illegal in all 50 states).
- Bike riders may ride side by side as long as they do not disrupt traffic flow.
- Anyone riding at night must have a white light and rear reflector. Both must be visible from at least 500 feet.
- When riding on a one-way road with two or more lanes, bicycles must ride as close as possible to the left curb edge of the roadway.
- Riders traveling side by side on a striped road must be in a single lane.
- A bicycle may not carry more people than it was originally designed to. Riders must have at least one hand on the handlebar at all times.
- A bicycle may not be attached to a vehicle or streetcar in motion.
- Bikes must have brakes.
- Cyclists must yield to pedestrians.
Failure to obey a bike law can result in a Class C Misdemeanor and fines of up to $200.
Proving Fault in a Bicycle Accident
To determine who is at fault in a bicycle accident, it’s key to know exactly how the accident happened. For example, if a bike rider was riding in a bicycle lane and the driver hit them due to texting while driving, the driver would be at fault.
Texas follows comparative negligence, which means that the compensation that you receive will be reduced depending on your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re found to be 10% at fault, your total compensation will be decreased by 10%.
Bicycle Accident Damages
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash, you could be entitled to the following damages:
- Lost wages: If your bicycle injuries caused you to miss work.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical and mental disability: If your injuries temporarily or permanently alter your quality of life or mobility.
- Pain and suffering: If you suffered from emotional trauma from the bicycle accident.
- Property damage includes bicycle repairs or replacement.
- Wrongful death
Texas Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accidents
If you suffered injuries due to a bicycle accident, it’s important to contact a San Antonio bike accident attorney as soon as possible. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the accident occurred. This statute of limitations also applies to insurance claims. While you do have two years to file, it’s best to file as soon as possible.