National rankings consistently place Austin near the top of most lists of bicycle-friendly cities. Researchers constantly praise Austin for taking measures to encourage bikers that include adding more bike lanes. However, the city had and has a long way to go to protect cyclists, and it is starting from a lower safety baseline.
In addition, the temperate weather draws bicyclists out almost year-round. However, reports from the ground tell a different story. Dangerous Austin drivers still pose major risks for bikers. These drivers are among the worst in Texas in many statistical measures. In one study, Austin drivers ranked 160th out of 200 in terms of safety, which is bad news for bicyclists and everyone else on the road.
If a driver hits you while cycling, you should speak with Austin bike accident attorneys as soon as possible.
Here are some common ways that Austin drivers will cause bicycle accidents:
A very high percentage of bicyclists will be injured in crashes with cars. While wearing a helmet can provide some protection, bicyclists are exposed with little else to cushion them from the impact of the car or the road. Over a six-year span, more than 60% of bicyclists reported injuries after crashes with cars, and the others may have suffered more minor injuries. Roughly one in every 45 bicyclists died in crashes with cars. Bicycle accident injuries can include:
On the whole, bike accident injuries tend to be more serious than those suffered in the average car accident. The lack of physical protection for bikers makes these accidents every bit as dangerous as motorcycle accidents. As a result, settlements for these cases tend to be higher when the driver is at fault for the crash. This will also get the insurance company into action, trying to protect their own bottom line from accident liability.
There are a number of tried-and-true insurance company tactics meant to keep you from recovering in a bicycle accident, the first centers on liability. Since you must prove negligence in a bicycle accident, the insurance company may deny that their driver was at fault. They may also try to blame you for the accident, which could theoretically keep you from recovering.
When it comes to negotiating a settlement, the insurance company does everything that it can to drag out settlement negotiations to tire you out and get you to take less. When it is not doing that, it is trying to pressure you into accepting a quick settlement offer that does not fairly pay you.
Your bike accident settlement should include the following:
After a bicycle accident, one of your first phone calls should be to a lawyer to protect your legal rights. The driver’s insurance company is not about to do you any favors, and they may start trying to pressure you when you are injured. A lawyer will handle the details of the insurance claim. They may file a lawsuit on your behalf if it is necessary. Either way, you can have the confidence that comes from knowing that you have an experienced advocate in your corner.
The Martinez Law Firm has a track record of successfully fighting for our clients when they have been injured in accidents. Insurance companies take notice of us because we have earned a reputation from years of aggressively fighting for our clients. Let us put our experience to work for you as you seek to get the money that you deserve after your bike accident. Call us today at (512) 444-0025 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.