The Benton Law Firm Can Help if You’ve Been Injured While Riding a Bike
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the Dallas bike accident attorney at The Benton Law Firm as soon as possible. Bicyclists are prone to more serious injuries in accidents because they are relatively defenseless when they are involved in a collision. If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you could be owed compensation for what happened to you.
To get the justice you deserve, it is a good idea to contact an experienced Dallas bike accident lawyer immediately. The law is on your side, so contact the injury attorneys of The Benton Law Firm to help you understand your options and get the compensation that you may be owed. Call us at (214) 777-7777, chat with us live or fill out a contact form to schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your case today.
Do I Need a Bike Accident Lawyer?
A bike accident is a disorienting event. When a bike accident occurs, it may lead to severe and sometimes catastrophic injuries. Overcoming this pain is stressful enough without also creating a strong legal strategy to overcome the tricks of insurance companies.
A bike accident lawyer will put their experience to work on your case. We can investigate the accident, consult with medical experts, and handle negotiations with insurance representatives. Research has shown that hiring a lawyer in such cases results in more compensation for your claim, meaning not only will you be able to focus on recovering from your injuries, but you may also be able to secure more compensation for your claim.
Why Choose The Benton Law Firm to Handle My Case?
The Dallas bike accident lawyers at The Benton Law Firm represent people who have been seriously hurt in bike accidents. Our award-winning lawyers have won millions for our clients. No matter the opposition we face, we have used our knowledge and skill to make sure our clients get the full and fair amount of compensation they need to rebuild their lives.
This is why our clients highly recommend us to others, as shown by our superb rating according to Avvo’s customer satisfaction metrics. When it comes to getting a lawyer who understands the law around bicycle accidents and knows the best strategies to succeed, no one in Dallas can compete with The Benton Law Firm. We have a long history of taking care of our bike accident clients. The passionate, aggressive legal advocacy we provide against the negligent drivers in Dallas can help you with any of your biking accident concerns.
What to Do When You’re in a Bicycle Accident in Dallas
If you have been in a bicycle accident, these are common steps that a recommended to take after the incident.
Contact the Police and Leave a statement
Immediately after a bicycle accident takes place, your number one priority is to get yourself to a safe place. Get out of the road and away from other cars. Then, call 911.
Once you’re safe, it’s time to start gathering evidence related to the accident. Start by collecting information from the at-fault driver, such as:
- Their full name
- Their contact information
- Their car insurance provider and policy number
- Their driver’s license or permit
You’ll need information about their vehicle, too. This includes the year, make, and model of the car, as well as their Vehicle Identification Number and license plate number.
Listen and Document
Listen closely to what the at-fault driver says after the crash. Have they admitted fault or said that they weren’t paying attention? If so, write this information down as soon as you can.
Be sure to take pictures of the scene, too. Get pictures of your bicycle, your injuries, the surrounding area, and the at-fault driver’s car.
Be as thorough as possible when documenting the accident. It’s better to have too much information than not enough.
Look around for witnesses who can corroborate your story, too. If anyone saw the crash happen, get their name and information and ask them to write a statement about the incident for you.
Check Out the Scene
Look around for hazardous road conditions while you’re waiting for the police or ambulance to arrive.
Is there broken pavement? Potholes? A hard-to-see stop sign that the driver missed?
If poor road conditions contributed to your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim with the county or state government, especially if you live in a city that’s considered to be dangerous for cyclists.
Watch What You Say
When you’re at the scene, be very careful about what you say to the at-fault driver. Avoid comments like, “It’s fine” or “I’m okay.” These could be used against you during a settlement negotiation and could make it harder for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Visit a Doctor
See a doctor as soon as you can after the accident occurs.
Even if you don’t think you have any injuries, it’s still important to get checked out. Sometimes, it takes a few days for symptoms to present themselves.
If you assume everything is fine and go about your life without seeing a doctor, it can be harder to prove that your accident is what brought on your symptoms.
Don’t minimize your symptoms when you’re at the doctor’s office or talking to a paramedic. Tell them everything, no matter how mild it seems. Again, it’s better to over-share than to not provide enough information.
Attend your follow-up appointments, too. If you don’t, you could end up undermining your claims.
Document Your Recovery
Be sure to carefully document the recovery process, too. Obtain copies of your x-rays or other scans. Take pictures or make videos documenting your injuries in all stages, too.
Should your case end up in court, this information can help to convince a jury of the severity of your injuries and the effect the accident had on your quality of life.
Keep Your Paperwork Organized
Be sure to hang on to all the paperwork you have regarding the accident.
This includes all the information you have about the at-fault driver, as well as accident reports, medical bills, and copies of your scans. You’re going to need all of this information in order to build a solid case for yourself.
If you’re not sure if you need a particular document, hang on to it just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Keep all of these documents organized in a binder or folder. That way, you’ll be able to find and refer to them whenever you need them.
Hire an Attorney
Most injury cases do not need to go to trial. But, it’s still good to have a personal injury attorney on your side.
One of the main benefits of hiring an attorney is that they can communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider on your behalf. This is a must if you want to get a fair settlement.
It’s best to avoid talking to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider until you are able to hire a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for collecting information about the accident and then using it against you to reduce the amount of money they have to pay out.
Compensation You Might Be Entitled To In An Injury Claim
Texas follows a fault system when it comes to insurance claims. That means the at-fault driver becomes liable for the victim’s injuries when an accident occurs. Their auto insurance company should offer a settlement that can compensate you for your various losses.
Examples of losses you might have suffered are:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
At The Benton Law Firm, our team of dedicated Dallas bicycle accident lawyers will seek the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. The insurance company should pay what they owe you for the harm their policyholder caused. You could seek compensation up to the maximum coverage available through their policy.
Texas law requires all drivers to purchase auto insurance with liability limits. These limits provide compensation to injured drivers and passengers after an accident. They are:
- Bodily injury per person – $30,000
- Bodily injury per accident – $60,000
- Property damage – $25,000
When we file your claim, we will fight for the maximum available coverage. If the insurance company denies your claim or won’t provide an adequate settlement offer, we won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit and bring your case to court. We’re experienced trial lawyers who don’t back down from a fight.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents The Benton Law Firm Can Handle
More and more Texas cities are trying to become biker friendly, particularly with the expansion of bicycle lanes. However, this new push toward a biking community in every city is not without its unfortunate side effects. Texas is a state that heavily relies on motor vehicles. Many of these drivers are not used to having to look out for bicyclists on city streets.
Bike accidents happen every day around Dallas and the rest of Texas. They can result from any number of factors, but knowing the most common causes can help bikers, pedestrians, and motorists look out for risks ahead of time. Though this is in no way an exhaustive list, here are some of the most common causes of bike accidents we see in our Dallas office:
- Turning into a bike lane – Designated bike lanes allow bicyclists to ride on the road separately from vehicles. Unfortunately, there isn’t a barrier that prevents drivers from drifting into that lane when they’re taking a turn.
- Turning left into an intersection without signaling – Right of way laws are crucial at intersections. Motorists aren’t allowed to proceed unless they have a green light or there’s enough time to avoid oncoming traffic. If a driver doesn’t signal that they’re planning to turn, a bicyclist will think they can continue through the intersection and may be hit by the turning car.
- Switching lanes suddenly into a cyclist – Some bicyclists ride on the road when there aren’t any bike lanes. A distracted driver might not see someone cycling in their blind spot and change lanes, crashing into the bicyclist.
- “Dooring” a cyclist, or opening a door without warning into a cyclist’s path – When someone parks their car, they’re supposed to look in the sideview mirror and over their shoulder before opening the car door. If they fail to do so, they could open their door into the path of a passing bicyclist.
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or stoplight – Disobeying traffic signs and signals is dangerous. Blowing through a red light could cause an accident with a bicyclist crossing at the intersection.
- Rear-ending a cyclist – Motorists who aren’t paying attention to the road ahead could unknowingly drift into another lane or the bicycle path, sideswiping someone on their bike.
- Debris on the road – Hazards can create obstacles for drivers. A last-minute maneuver to avoid hitting something on the roadway could result in a collision with a nearby bicyclist instead.
- Potholes and other road hazards – Poor road conditions require anyone on the road to adjust their driving so they can maneuver around a pothole or other hazards safely. Speeding over cracked pavement could cause the driver to lose control and crash into someone on their bike.
- Dog or other animal chasing a cyclist – Unleashed dogs could chase bicyclists, preventing them from noticing vehicles in their way or roadway hazards, or perhaps driving them into traffic.
These are only some ways a cyclist can end up in a severe bike accident, but in many cases, it is the fault of others that the cyclist has ended up injured. That means the cyclist often has the right to press a claim for compensation.
Common Injuries Caused By Bicycle Accidents
Any of the above scenarios can result in a severe injury. Some of the most common are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Scrapes, bruises, and lacerations
- Back and neck injuries
- Loss of limb or amputation injury
- Significant disfigurement
- Permanent disability
Many of these can lead to permanent damage to an individual’s quality of life and profoundly affect the individual, the individual’s family, or their community. Additionally, many bikers tragically die as a result of their injuries after a crash. Such harm should not go unpunished. A lawyer can help you win money from the person who harmed you for costs, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, physical therapy, pain and suffering, and more. Similarly, if your loved one was tragically killed in a bicycle accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for their final expenses, as well as your loss of support and companionship.
Texas Laws for Filing A Lawsuit
You could file a lawsuit against the careless driver for compensation of your losses. However, there’s a strict deadline you must follow. The statute of limitations in Texas is two years. That means you have two years from the accident date to sue the driver, or you could lose your right to seek legal action.
This might seem like plenty of time to prepare, but you should start working on your case immediately. Don’t wait until the last minute to hire a lawyer. You could encounter obstacles along the way that you don’t know how to overcome. Unforeseen circumstances could also delay the progress of your case. If you wait too long and the statute passes, you won’t have the opportunity to recover a monetary award through the court system.
Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions
At The Benton Law Firm, we understand the aftermath of a car crash can be stressful and confusing. You might not know the steps you should take next or how to handle an insurance claim. We answer the most commonly asked questions below.
There’s information you could provide that would be useful to us. We can perform our own investigation into the bike accident but if you have documentation or other evidence readily available, bring it with you. Some examples include:
- Police reports
- Pictures of the damage to your bicycle and all cars involved in the crash
- Evidence collected from the accident scene
- Your driver’s license, health insurance cards, and auto insurance policy
- A detailed list of any out of pocket expenses you incurred
- Medical records and bills associated with the injury you sustained
- The names and phone numbers of witnesses
- Your doctor’s names, contact information, and treatment dates
Yes. Even though you were on your bicycle at the time of the accident, you could file a claim with your auto insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) is a form of coverage offered to anyone who owns or operates a motor vehicle. If you opted to purchase UM insurance, you can file a claim under that coverage. It provides compensation when the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance or high enough policy limits.
When you file a UM claim, you could seek the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Out of pocket expenses
- Property damage
No. Let your attorney communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. If they try to ask you any questions about the case, inform them that you hired a lawyer and provide our contact information.
The Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Benton Law Firm understand the devastation that occurs after bicycle accidents and the frustration with local authority’s lack of response about negligent drivers. While the Dallas area is slowly becoming more bike-friendly, most streets still do not include bike lanes or adequate lighting so that motorists can be aware of bicyclists. Other motorists should understand that bicyclists should not be shunned and ignored on the roads but given extra protection.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact our personal injury attorney today, and we can begin developing a strategy to get you the compensation you deserve. You should not be held responsible for paying thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage due to a driver’s negligence. Contact us today at (214) 777-7777 to ensure you receive justice and that your rights are not compromised.