Houston Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bike Accidents in Texas
Every year, thousands of Texans are seriously injured and hundreds more are killed in bicycle accidents. These accidents often result from the carelessness or recklessness of others, including negligent motorists. Statistics show that Harris County is consistently in the top 10 worst counties in the state when it comes to bike crashes and bicycle accident-related fatalities.
If you were injured or if someone you love was killed in a bicycle accident in Houston or the surrounding areas, turn to The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC. Our experienced trial lawyers are prepared to aggressively advocate for you and your family’s recovery. We understand just how devastating these incidents are, which is why we provide compassionate, client-focused legal counsel and personalized support throughout the legal process. We are here for you and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights and best interests are protected.
Here are some of the key advantages of choosing our Houston bicycle accident attorney to represent you in your bicycle accident case:
- Expertise and Experience: Our team of skilled attorneys specializes in personal injury law, including bicycle accidents. We have a deep understanding of Texas laws and regulations related to these cases, allowing us to provide you with the most effective legal representation.
- Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We take the burden of investigating the accident off your shoulders. We have the resources and experience to thoroughly investigate the incident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with experts when necessary to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Protection of Your Rights: We are dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring that you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident. We will advocate for your best interests throughout the entire legal process.
- Negotiation with Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often aim to minimize their payouts. Our experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators and will work tirelessly to secure a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Litigation Support: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we are prepared to take your case to court. Our experienced trial attorneys will provide you with strong representation in the courtroom, fighting for your rights and seeking the compensation you deserve.
- Peace of Mind: Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming, especially when you are recovering from injuries. Hiring us allows you to focus on your recovery while we handle the legal aspects of your case, providing you with peace of mind during a challenging time.
- Maximized Compensation: Our goal is to help you secure the maximum compensation available under the law. This includes not only current expenses but also future medical costs, ongoing rehabilitation, and any other damages you may be entitled to.
- Personalized Attention: Our Houston bicycle accident attorneys prioritize personalized client care. We take the time to understand your unique situation and tailor our legal strategy to meet your specific needs and objectives.
Texas Bicycle Laws
Bicycle laws in Texas are established to ensure the safety of cyclists and others sharing the road. Understanding these laws is essential for both cyclists and motorists to promote safe and harmonious coexistence on the roadways.
Here's an overview of key bicycle laws in Texas:
- Traffic Rules Apply to Cyclists: In Texas, bicycles are considered vehicles, and cyclists are subject to the same traffic laws and regulations as motor vehicles. This includes obeying traffic signals, stop signs, and yielding the right-of-way when required.
- Riding on Roadways: Cyclists must generally ride on the right side of the road, in the same direction as traffic flow. They should use the rightmost lane that is safe for their speed and should stay as far to the right as practical.
- Sidewalk Riding: Texas law allows cyclists to ride on sidewalks unless prohibited by local ordinances. However, when riding on a sidewalk, cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and exercise caution at driveways and intersections.
- Passing Vehicles: Cyclists can pass vehicles on the left or right, but they must exercise caution and not pass on the right if it's unsafe to do so. Cyclists should use hand signals when turning.
- Helmets: While Texas does not have a statewide mandatory helmet law for adults, some local ordinances require helmet use, especially for riders under the age of 18. It is strongly recommended that all cyclists wear helmets to reduce the risk of head injuries.
- Lights and Reflectors: Cyclists must have a white front light visible from at least 500 feet and a red rear reflector or red rear light visible from at least 300 feet when riding at night. Additional reflectors are recommended for added visibility.
- Bike Lanes and Shoulders: Cyclists are not required to use designated bike lanes or shoulders, but they are encouraged to do so when available and safe. Motorists should also respect the presence of cyclists in these lanes.
- Safe Passing: Motorists must provide at least three feet of clearance when passing cyclists on the road. If it's not possible to pass safely, motorists should wait until it is safe to do so.
- No Harassment: Harassment or aggressive driving directed at cyclists is illegal and can result in fines and penalties.
- Electric Bicycles (e-Bikes): Texas law classifies e-bikes into three categories based on their maximum motor-assisted speeds. Each category is subject to specific regulations. For example, Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes can be used on roadways and bike paths unless prohibited.
What Are the Most Frequent Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Generally speaking, negligence is the most common cause of bicycle accidents. While bicyclists should always be careful when sharing the road and follow all traffic laws, they cannot always predict when motorists’ carelessness or recklessness will lead to a collision. These crashes happen fast, and there is often nothing bicyclists can do to prevent them.
Specifically, some of the most frequent causes of bike accidents include:
- Texting while driving
- Distracted driving
- Excessive speed
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Unsafe or illegal turns
- Following too closely
- Failure to leave adequate space
- Failure to see bicyclists
- Disobeying traffic control devices (stop signs, traffic signals, etc.)
- Unlawful passing
- Failure to share the road
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Turning without looking
Other common factors include:
- Poorly maintained roadways
- Defective roadway design
- Inclement weather
- Poor visibility
- Bicyclists swerving to avoid hazards
- Bicyclists falling
- Bicyclists failing to obey traffic laws
- Failure to wear a bike helmet
- Biking while intoxicated
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, we work alongside accident reconstructionists and other experts to investigate exactly what happened and, most importantly, who was at fault. Under the state’s rule of modified comparative negligence, you may still be entitled to compensation if you were 50 percent or less to blame, but the amount you can recover in damages will be reduced by your at-fault percentage. Contact our Houston bicycle accident lawyers to learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation.
Common Injuries Resulting from Bicycle Accidents
Even when bicyclists wear helmets, reflective clothing, and other protective gear, they are simply no match for large, heavy, fast-moving vehicles. As a result, they are the ones who suffer the most severe injuries in bicycle-vehicle collisions.
Some examples include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Road rash, or friction burns
- Serious cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Broken bones/fractures
- Shoulder, neck, and back injuries
- Facial injuries
- Dislocations, sprains, and strains
- Punctured lungs and other organ damage
- Internal bleeding
As a result of these and other catastrophic injuries, injured cyclists often require immediate medical attention and extensive, ongoing care. Many suffer permanent disfigurement, significant scarring, and lasting disabilities that greatly affect their everyday lives.
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, we recognize just how severe bicycle accidents are, which is why we fight tirelessly for maximum compensation for victims and their loved ones. We are committed to holding the responsible party accountable and seeking the full, fair recovery you deserve.
Holding Negligent Drivers & Other Liable Parties Accountable
Identifying who is liable for a bicycle accident can be challenging. Often, negligent motorists are to blame, but sometimes additional factors may complicate liability. For example, if a bicyclist swerved to avoid a pothole and was struck by someone who was texting while driving, resulting in severe injuries, the injured cyclist may have a claim against the texting driver and the municipal entity responsible for roadway maintenance.
When it comes to determining liability and pursuing maximum compensation for our clients, our Houston bicycle accident attorneys leave no stone unturned and no avenue unexplored. Our award-winning legal team is committed to developing innovative and creative legal strategies based on the unique details of each individual client’s case. Our collaborative approach has helped us succeed in complex legal matters throughout our years in practice, and we are prepared to put all of our resources, experience, and skill on your side.
As a client, you can expect to receive a high level of personal service, compassionate counsel, and dedicated, one-on-one attention from your attorney. We are here to help you navigate the legal process every step of the way. And, because we provide our personal injury services on a contingency fee basis, you do not owe anything unless/until we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Car Accident $20,000,000
Oil Rig Settlement $2,000,000.00
Dram Shop Settlement $1,200,000
Illegal Sexual Recording $800,000
Dog Attack $750,000
Car Accident $300,000
Practicing Law for Two DecadesHaving practiced law for 20 years, you can be confident attorney Steve Shellist can successfully handle your case.
Extensive Trial ExperienceAs a former chief prosecutor, Mr. Shellist knows how to present a compelling case in front of a jury.
Highly Personalized RepresentationAt Shellist Law, we believe every case requires tailored representation in order to achieve the best possible outcome for the client.
Legal Analyst on ABC-13Over the years, Mr. Shellist has been called on by ABC-13 News to share his expertise on many newsworthy cases.