bicycle in the road after collision with carYou don’t head out on your bicycle expecting to be hit by a car, but it can happen when you least expect it. If you live in one of the several Texas cities that have been recognized as bicycle-friendly communities by the League of American Bicyclists, you might feel like you are safe. Houston specifically has been awarded bronze status for being safe and accessible for bicyclists. However, despite this, there are, in fact, many collisions between cars and bikes.

How Cars Collide With Bicycles

Negligent drivers cause bike crashes in several ways. Some of the most common causes of accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Failure to check blind spots
  • Disobeying traffic laws
  • Intoxication

Sometimes it is unclear who or what caused the accident. If you are hit by a car while on your bike, get a medical examination right away. Then, contact an attorney to investigate. It is never too early to protect yourself in case you need to pursue compensation from the negligent driver.

Injuries That Can Occur in a Car and Bike Accident

Since a car is so much bigger and stronger than a bicycle, the bike rider will almost always incur injuries. Bike injuries that can result from a collision with a vehicle include:

  • Facial lacerations and fractures
  • Dental trauma
  • Neck and back fractures
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Road rash
  • Bone fractures
  • Dislocated joints
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis

Even if you think your injury is minor, it is still important to see a doctor. Many injuries go unseen or progress over time, and having your medical examination documented will help strengthen your case.

How to Recover Damages

If you have been injured in a bike accident, it is your legal right to recover damages related to the incident. The best way to do this is to work alongside an attorney to build your case. First, gather your evidence. Even if they are damaged to the point of now being unusable, keep your helmet, bike, and any other gear you had at the time of the accident. Next, file a police report and give your honest perspective as to what occurred.

The driver’s insurance company may try to offer you a settlement to avoid litigation. Do not accept this offer. The same is true of your own insurance company. Take the time to follow the necessary steps: File a police report, seek medical help, and contact an attorney. These actions will assure that you receive the damages owed to you, not just what an insurance company is willing to pay to keep things simple.

Recovery for damages is more than just medical bills. It can also include:

  • Income lost while you are unable to work
  • The future earning capacity you have lost because of your injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement and permanent physical limitations

In the unfortunate circumstance of a fatal accident, the victim’s next of kin can also seek damages for funeral costs and other recoveries related to the loss.

When to Contact an Attorney

If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. At the very least, they can offer advice and guidance that you may not have thought of otherwise. And, if you do decide to litigate, you will already have an experienced professional on your side.

An accident attorney does more than just defend you in court, and the earlier they are brought into the process, the stronger your case will be. A good lawyer will go straight to the scene of the accident to determine what happened and ensure that the appropriate people will be held accountable for the harm that has been caused. An attorney will also do the following to support your claim:

  • Obtain your medical bills and records
  • Submit lost wage and medical compensation documents to your insurance company
  • Navigate informal settlement negotiations.

If it is necessary to go to trial, your attorney will file the lawsuit and:

  • Gather depositions from all witnesses and doctors
  • Run mediation or a settlement conference
  • Represent  you in court
  • Go through any appeals process 

The whole litigation process can be overwhelming. At SJ Injury Attorneys, we have the experience needed to win your case and recover the damages you deserve. Contact us today to arrange a consultation.