San Antonio Bicycle Accident Attorney
San Antonio is hardly a safe city for bicyclists. One national ranking gave the city one-and-a-half out of five stars, and one survey gave the city a score of 42 out of 100 for being biker-friendly (or, in this case, unfriendly). This is the worst score of any city with a population above one million people.
The city’s layout and lack of bicycle lanes do not make it conducive for people to enjoy the day outside on their bike or use it as a means to get from point A to point B. Only 1,340 people each day use bicycles to commute in San Antonio, but the fatality rate for San Antonio bicyclists is 243 out of 100,000 bicycle commuters. This is the 16th worst rate in the entire country.
There have been numerous incidents in San Antonio when drunk drivers strike and kill bicyclists. In a recent year, two bikers died within one month of each other on San Antonio streets and authorities suspected that drunk driving played a role.
If you suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident or lost a loved one while they rode a bike, do not wait to reach out to our San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys at Wyatt Law Firm. Our proven approach involves getting to know you and your family to best understand the impact your accident and injuries had on your lives.
We received many recognitions for our dedication to excellence and service, including:
- The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- The Top 100 American Trial Lawyers
- Inclusion in the list of Texas Super Lawyers
Our legal team is ready to fight for you just like we fight for every client who hires our firm. Reach out today for a completely free, no-obligation case evaluation to start standing up for your rights after an injury.
Table of Contents
With bicycle fatalities on the rise across the country, the number of bicycle fatalities in San Antonio is also increasing. Nationally, since 2010, the number of people killed in bicycle crashes has increased by 36 percent.
The city (and the entire country) is becoming a more dangerous place for bicyclists. Some cities are investing money in becoming more bike-friendly, encouraging people to ride bikes as an alternative means of transportation. Ours has promised new bike lanes, but it is very late in increasing cyclist safety.
Here is why things seem worse for bicyclists than they were a decade ago:
- Initiatives that encourage cyclists bring more of them out onto the road. Naturally, this will increase the number of accidents and fatalities. However, the number of fatalities has risen faster than the increase in bicyclists.
- Drivers have become far more distracted behind the wheel, taking their eyes from the road and putting them on their phones or elsewhere in their cars.
- Drivers are moving away from sedans and towards heavier SUVs and trucks. Bugger cars will mean more serious injuries for the cyclists that they hit.
- People are driving more, and there is more competition between drivers and cyclists for space on the road.
San Antonio bicycle accidents usually happen because one or more drivers are negligent under the circumstances. Negligence means acting unreasonably.
In bicycle and motor vehicle accidents, negligence usually involves:
- Violating traffic laws – Car and truck operators must drive their vehicles in accordance with the prevailing traffic laws and regulations in Texas. This means that they must yield the right-of-way when it is appropriate to do so. They must also maintain their speeds within the proper limits and refrain from tailgating and weaving in and out of traffic. Motor vehicle operators have to be especially careful at traffic intersections in the downtown area. There are many bike lanes on these roadways, and car and truck operators should be on the lookout for cyclists at all times. When motor vehicle operators weave in and out of traffic abruptly, they can miss a bicyclist traveling in the vicinity, striking him or her. In addition, motor vehicle operators should be careful not to run yellow or red traffic lights at intersections in the downtown area. When they do this, they might be in such a hurry that they do not see an oncoming cyclist in the opposing direction.
- Engaging in distracted driving – Distracted driving means failing to pay attention to the road when operating a motor vehicle. People engage in distracted driving when they listen to loud music in their vehicles, fiddle with GPS devices, and make cellular phone calls with or without using an approved hands-free Bluetooth device. They also engage in distracted driving when they turn their heads to discipline children who may be roughhousing in the backseat. Anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road, even for a second or two, constitutes distracted driving. In fact, it doesn’t take any longer than a second for a driver to miss a bicyclist in the vicinity and collide with him or her. Motor vehicle drivers have to be especially alert for bicyclists because their vehicles are so low to the ground. When a driver is not alert, he or she might not see an approaching cyclist and can inadvertently bring about a collision.
- Intoxicated driving – Motor vehicle operators have a moral and a legal obligation to refrain from driving while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, the driver is per se under the influence of alcohol. Even if the driver has a BAC of less than 0.08 percent, his or her abilities might be compromised. Alcohol is a depressant, and it slows down the central nervous system’s ability to function. If a driver is under the influence of alcohol, he or she can experience blurred vision and delayed reaction time, among other manifestations. In the context of a bicycle accident, the driver might not see the bicyclist at all, or if he/she does observe the bicyclist, may not stop in time to avoid a collision.
Bicycle accidents tend to be among the most serious motor vehicle crashes because of the bicyclist’s lack of protection. Bikers have even less physical protection than motorcyclists because they do not have additional safety gear that they can wear in addition to a helmet.
When a bicyclist gets hit by a car, one of two things will happen:
- They will go through the windshield of the car
- They will fall from their bicycle to the ground
Either outcome will have devastating consequences for the cyclist, and they are almost guaranteed to suffer a physical injury. Since there is little to cushion the blow, that injury will usually be more severe than one suffered in a car crash.
Statistically, there is very little chance that a cyclist will walk away from a crash unscathed. Even if they do walk away, they probably suffered an injury.
These are the most common injuries in bicycle accidents:
- Traumatic brain injuries – even though helmets protect bicyclists to some extent, hitting their head on a car or the pavement can still cause a brain injury. Often, these are lasting injuries that cause permanent disability.
- Spinal cord injuries – when there is trauma to the head or neck, the vertebrae can break and compress or sever the spinal cord
- Neck and back injuries – the impact from the car or falling from the bicycle can cause other serious neck and back injuries, including herniated disks, bone fractures, and injured vertebrae
- Internal injuries – the crash can cause injuries that you may not immediately see, but they are no less dangerous. These can include organ damage, internal bleeding, and collapsed lungs.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
The most important thing to tend to after a bicycle accident is your health. If you suffered serious injuries, make sure to get all of the medical care that you need and follow all the medical recommendations. Keeping doctors’ appointments and taking all of your prescriptions can become an issue in your case.
Even if you do not think that you suffered harm, see a doctor anyway. Internal injuries are a silent problem, and they will worsen if they do not receive treatment quickly. The same goes for neck and back injuries. Treatment time is valuable, and losing it can harm your long-term prognosis.
In addition, you might not file a claim for compensation until you know the full extent of your injuries. The insurance company will need medical records to assess your damages, and you will not have them without seeing a doctor. If you wait too long to get medical help, it might reduce the size of your settlement.
Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer After a Car Accident
After getting medical help, you should also call an experienced lawyer. If you are not in the condition to do it, your family can make the call. The legal process may begin right after your accident, whether you are ready for it or not. The insurance company may start calling when you are not in a condition to handle it, not even knowing that you do not have to speak with them.
Hiring an attorney will begin to put you in a position to fight for financial compensation. The first thing that you will have to do is show that someone else was to blame for your accident. The requirement is to prove negligence in your case, meaning that you show that the driver who hit you did something unreasonable.
Acts of Negligence that Cause Bicycle Accidents
Here are examples of unreasonable conduct in a bicycle accident:
- Opening up a car door into a bike lane when a cyclist is passing by and knocking them off their bike
- Making an illegal turn and striking a bicyclist
- Hitting a bicycle when trying to pass on the right
- Not seeing a cyclist because the driver was texting and looking down at their phone
Proving negligence requires evidence of what happened. It may mean a witness who saw the accident or pictures of the scene. You may be in a situation where the driver denies responsibility, and it is your word against theirs. The driver may have injured you to the point where you are not in a physical position to prove yourself right. This is exactly why you need a lawyer.
San Antonio Bicycle Accident FAQs
What if the Insurance Company Tries to Blame Me for the Accident?
An insurance company may try to escape responsibility entirely for paying for your accident or may attempt to reduce what they need to pay by blaming you for what happened. You may need to defend your actions in the lead-up to the accident. If the insurance company is wrong, you can challenge them. If they do not accept your position in negotiations, you can always take your case to court and have the jury decide this issue because the insurance company does not get the last word just because they are trying to save money.
How Do I Know if the Insurance Company Offered Me Enough Money in a Settlement?
You will rely on your lawyer’s ability to estimate the value of your claim. Without an attorney, you can only guess about how much your claim is worth, and you may consider accepting a settlement offer that pays you far less than you deserve. Your lawyer will review the settlement offer after you receive it and advise you whether the insurance company has offered you enough money. Chances are that this will not happen on the first offer and maybe even the next offers after that.
What Happens if My Loved One Died in a Bicycle Accident?
Your family has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is your family’s personal injury case to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one. A wrongful death case will still require that you prove that someone else was negligent, but the damages will differ. Your family will lose out on the earnings that your loved one would have earned had they still been alive. You will also suffer grief and emotional distress when your loved one dies in an accident. In addition, you will lose out on the support and love that a family member will provide. A wrongful death claim may lead to significant damages in a settlement or jury award. The estate can also receive money for what the accident victim endured between the accident and their death.
How Long Will My Bicycle Accident Case Take?
Many factors can influence how long it takes for your case to conclude. The value of your case can make it take longer. It may take longer to negotiate a settlement when your case is worth more because there is a far greater chance that the insurance company will begin your negotiations with a very low offer. While the insurance company is usually very difficult to negotiate with, you may get lucky and settle your case quickly, but that is rare. If you need to file a lawsuit, your case may take years to resolve. The key is to be patient and hold out for the money that you deserve.
Why Should I Choose Wyatt Law for My Bicycle Accident Case?
To us, justice is why we come to work every day. We believe in fighting for our clients to the fullest extent possible. Our law firm has a long track record of financial recoveries on behalf of our clients, including several multi-million dollar recoveries. We get to know you and your story, learning about your needs and your situation. We are not afraid of corporate interests or insurance companies, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf.
How Long Do I Have to File a Texas Bicycle Accident Claim?
Texas has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country. Generally speaking, absent some extremely limited circumstances, a bicycle accident victim only has two years from the date of his or her collision in which to file a claim or lawsuit in the court system. If the injured cyclist does not bring a claim within this two-your deadline, he or she cannot claim monetary damages in the future for injuries sustained. Therefore, in virtually all bicycle accident claims, time is of the essence.
A knowledgeable San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer at Wyatt Law Firm can file a lawsuit on your behalf to protect the two-year statute of limitations. Even after your lawyer files the lawsuit, he/she can continue negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf and working to obtain favorable compensation for you. When you let our experienced legal team handle your bicycle accident case, you can rest assured that we will timely comply with the Texas statute of limitations and zealously advocate for your interests.
What Damages Can I Recover for my Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Victims of San Antonio bicycle accidents can suffer severe injuries and remain debilitated for a lengthy time. In some instances, bicycle accident victims suffer permanent injuries and disabilities that leave them incapacitated for the remainder of their lives. For example, accident victims who suffer paralysis injuries might not have the ability to move the top or bottom halves of their bodies, resulting in the need for round-the-clock care at a nursing home or rehabilitation center. Even in the case of non-permanent injuries, bicycle accident victims may still experience a tremendous amount of pain, suffering, and inconvenience from their injuries.
To recover monetary compensation for bicycle accident injuries, you must first satisfy the legal burden of proof in your case. Therefore, you must show that it is more likely than not that the at-fault driver did something wrong under the circumstances. You must also demonstrate that you suffered at least one injury in the accident and that it resulted from the accident. Once you satisfy this legal burden of proof, you will be eligible to recover various types of damages.
Not all bicycle accident claims are the same and some bicycle accident victims will be entitled to recover more damages than others. The damages that you can recover from your bicycle accident claim will depend on a variety of factors. Those factors include the types of injuries you suffered, the cost of your medical treatment, the length of your medical treatment, and whether or not you suffered a permanent injury or disability in the accident.
First of all, you can pursue compensation for all of your related medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs. If you had to miss time from work following your accident, you can claim lost wages. Likewise, if you suffered severe injuries in your accident and can not return to your former employment, you can seek compensation for loss of earning capacity.
Likewise, you may recover compensation for the inconvenience, emotional distress, mental anguish, pain, and suffering you experienced following the collision. If you suffered a permanent disability that prevents you from using a specific body part, you can bring an impairment claim. Likewise, you can seek compensation for loss of life enjoyment if you cannot take part in activities that you enjoyed before the accident.
A knowledgeable San Antonio bicycle accident lawyer at Wyatt Law Firm can help you prove the legal elements of your claim and work to get you the compensation that you deserve and that is fair. In some cases, insurance companies will settle the case with the accident victim’s lawyer. However, at other times, the insurance company may be unreasonable and fail to compensate you adequately. When that happens, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the court system and litigate your case to a conclusion there.
An attorney at the Wyatt Law Firm can:
- Assess your case and advise you of your legal options.
- Gather the evidence necessary to prove your case.
- Put a dollar value on the damages you suffered.
- Speak to an insurance company on your behalf.
- Keep the driver’s insurance company from contacting and hassling you.
- Negotiate an adequate settlement, and barring that, if necessary, fight for your claim in court
As you can see, you really cannot afford to be without an attorney, and the sooner you call one, the better off you are.
At Wyatt Law, we have a proven approach to helping our clients. We work as a team, leveraging our decades of experience working for clients just like you. We make sure to learn your story so we can tell it to the jury if we need to. You are more than just a number to us. In fact, the number that we care about the most is the total compensation we can get for you. In fact, we have helped our clients recover over $500 million in the life of our law firm.
Excellent knowledge from all staff aspects. Paula knows how to work in her clients corner and she brings so much experience and energy to make sure her clients are treated fair. She helped fight with Tricare on my husbands behalf and she will not stop fighting until the client is happy. My husband won his case with her and her staff. I highly recommend if you need someone to listen and go fight for you let this Lady do the work. Gabby is a great asset and kept my husband very informed during the whole process. They deserve more than 5 stars.
Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC
21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10
San Antonio, Texas 78218