A bicycle accident can happen in McAllen because of any number of factors cyclists can’t control. Many, for example, result from the careless or reckless actions of motorists, some of whom do not share the road well with bicyclists. Others have more complicated root causes. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common ways that clients of Patino Law Firm could get injured in a bicycle crash.
Texas law says that McAllen bicyclists have every bit the same right to use the roads as drivers of cars and trucks. Unfortunately, motorists do not always see things that way. For whatever reason, some drivers do not take well to sharing the roads with cyclists, and their attitude shows in the way they drive.
Aggressive driving behaviors that can lead to a deadly bicycle accident in McAllen include:
- Passing cyclists at high speed;
- Passing too close to cyclists;
- Honking or shouting at cyclists; and
- Throwing debris at cyclists.
Friendly as McAllen is for bicycling, ride a bike long enough and you are sure to have a scary experience with one of these types of dangerous driving behaviors. Any of them can throw a cyclist off balance and cause a crash.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
Traffic laws in Texas also require motor vehicles to yield the right of way to bicyclists in many instances, just as they would to any other vehicle. Unfortunately, drivers often fail to consider cyclists as they would other vehicles, either because of the aggressive attitudes described above, or out of carelessness. Sometimes, drivers do not even see cyclists right in front of them, a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness.
Whatever the reason, failing to yield the right of way can cause a dangerous bicycle crash. Often, these accidents happen when drivers turn left across an oncoming lane right in front of a cyclist. The cyclist collides with the side of the car, with potentially catastrophic results. Other right-of-way accidents include cutting off a bicyclist by turning right or changing lanes.
Doorings and Back-Into Accidents
Bicyclists who ride on the side streets in downtown McAllen where cars and trucks can parallel park must stay alert to avoid getting doored. A dooring happens when the occupant of a vehicle opens a door into the path of a bicyclist approaching from behind. The cyclist does not have enough time to avoid the door and instead slams into it. The collision can send the cyclist flying over the door and onto the pavement ahead.
Other areas in downtown McAllen allow vehicles to park at an angle to the sidewalk. On these streets, bicyclists face the hazard of a vehicle backing into the path of the bicycle, resulting in a collision between the bike and the rear end of the car. As with dooring, these collisions can send cyclists over their handlebars and onto the street beyond.
As we said, some bicycle accidents in McAllen have causes that do not necessarily reflect the unsafe practices of motorists. Many of these other accidents instead occur when a bicycle rider in McAllen encounters a dangerous, preventable road condition that someone should have fixed or at least warned the cyclist about. These conditions might include debris or spills in the streets, broken pavement, or a sudden transition from pavement to gravel. Road hazards like these that would not have much, if any, effect on a car or truck can throw a bicycle out of control, resulting in a serious wreck.
No matter how a bicycle accident happened in McAllen, Dr. Louis Patino has the experience and know-how to get injured cyclists the compensation they need for their injuries.
Compensation for McAllen Bicycle Accident Injuries
Victims of McAllen bicycle accidents have rights. Under Texas law, they can seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial burden of their injuries by taking legal action against anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions caused their crash. Patino Law Firm can help.
Liability for McAllen Bicycle Crashes
Experienced lawyers like Dr. Patino know that to obtain maximum compensation for their clients injured in a McAllen bicycle accident, they must first identify all parties who owe their client money damages under Texas law.
Every case is different, of course, but Dr. Patino will often explore whether the following parties have potential legal liability for his clients’ bicycle accident injuries:
- Drivers of cars and trucks, whose careless or dangerous actions behind the wheel lead to a crash;
- Employers of drivers who cause a bicycle accident while driving a work vehicle;
- Manufacturers of auto or bicycle parts, if a defect in one of their products played a role in causing the bicycle crash; and
- Local government, which has a basic obligation to the public to keep roadways free of unreasonably dangerous hazards, or at a minimum, to warn cyclists and other road users of hazards that exist.
These are just a few examples of the parties who could face legal liability for a McAllen bicycle accident. Speak with Dr. Patino at Patino Law Firm today to learn about who may owe you money for your bicycle crash.
Money Damages for McAllen Bicycle Accidents
Dr. Patino also works closely with his clients to evaluate the full impact of a McAllen bicycle crash on their lives.
His clients are often surprised to learn that taking legal action can secure compensation to pay for a wide range of damages, including:
- Medical expenses relating to bicycle accident injuries, such as for emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and medication;
- Other expenses connected to the accident and the victim’s injuries, such as the cost of replacing a damaged bicycle or of hiring extra help around the house or with errands while the victim recovers;
- Lost wages that the victim missed out on earning while recovering from a McAllen bike accident injury and that the victim might not earn in the future because of disabilities caused by the injury;
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and harm to life and relationships caused by the bicycle accident injury; and
- In some cases, punitive damages that aim to punish the responsible party’s extreme conduct that led to the bicycle accident in McAllen.
Dr. Patino cannot promise that every client will obtain compensation. He can, however, put his considerable medical and legal knowledge to work in making sure that any legal action he takes for a client seeks the maximum compensation Texas law allows.
McAllen Bicycle Accident FAQ
Cyclists in McAllen, whether they ride for exercise, recreation, or to get around, benefit from bicycle-friendly roads and a climate that makes it possible to ride all year round. Unfortunately, the popularity of cycling in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley region also means our streets and highways see their fair share of serious bicycle accidents.
Victims of cycling accidents in and around McAllen often have numerous, pressing questions about their legal and financial rights. Below, we answer some of the questions we hear most frequently. For answers to your specific questions about a bicycle accident in McAllen that left you or a loved one injured (or worse), contact our experienced bicycle accident injury attorneys today.
I was hurt in a bicycle accident in McAllen. Can I sue someone for damages?
It all depends on what happened, but there is a good chance you can.
In Texas, anyone whose dangerous or reckless actions cause someone else injury is legally liable to that person for money damages. In our experience, most McAllen bicycle accidents occur because of the wrongful conduct of someone other than the bicycle rider. That’s why we say there’s a good chance you have a case.
Speak with an experienced McAllen bicycle accident injury lawyer as soon as you can to explore whether you have a claim.
If I have a McAllen bicycle accident case, who can I sue?
The particular circumstances of your bicycle accident will determine who may be legally liable for your damages.
Commonly, at least one of the parties below may are liable to a McAllen bicycle crash victim:
- Drivers of cars and trucks, when their careless or reckless actions behind the wheel led to a collision with a cyclist or a cyclist losing control and crashing;
- Employers of those drivers, if the driver caused a bicycle accident while operating a work vehicle;
- Passengers in motor vehicles who caused a bicycle crash by yelling or tossing debris at cyclists, or by opening a car door into the path of a cyclist;
- Local government, if the government’s unreasonable failure to keep roads in a safe condition for cyclists or to provide safe operating space for cyclists led to a preventable McAllen bicycle accident; and
- Manufacturers of bicycle equipment, including safety equipment like glasses and goggles, if that equipment had a dangerous defect that contributed to an accident or to causing the cyclist’s injuries in a crash.
These are just examples, of course. To know for sure whom you may have the right to sue for damages after getting hurt in a McAllen bicycle crash, contact an experienced lawyer today.
What is my McAllen bicycle accident claim worth?
Every case is different.
The value of a McAllen bicycle accident injury claim usually depends on factors such as:
- The severity of the injury. The worse the injury and the greater the impact it has on the bicycle accident victim’s life, the more money the victim may have the right to seek as damages.
- The strength of the case. To secure money for an injured McAllen cyclist, an attorney must collect and present evidence to prove who is legally liable for the cyclist’s injuries, and how much that party should pay. A strong case, supported by clear and convincing evidence, typically has a higher value than a case with weak or disputed evidence.
- The financial resources of the party who is at fault. The amount of money the law says you should recover does not always equal what you realistically can recover, because the party who is liable might have limited financial resources from which to pay your damages.
Experienced lawyers work with their clients to understand the full impact an injury has had on their lives, investigate claims to build a strong case, and identify as many parties as possible who may be legally liable for a client’s injuries, to give the client the best possible chance of securing maximum compensation for their bicycle accident injuries.
What do McAllen bicycle accident damages cover?
Texas law entitles McAllen bicycle accident victims to seek compensation for the full range of harm—physical, emotional, and financial—they suffer as the result of a crash.
Typically, the categories of damages a lawyer can seek to secure for a victim include:
- Medical costs associated with treating bicycle accident injuries, including the costs of emergency care, hospitalization, long-term rehabilitation, physical therapy, mental health care, doctor’s visits, and medication;
- Other expenses that the bicycle accident victim can attribute to the crash and resulting injuries, such as the cost of replacing damaged property or of hiring someone to help out with daily chores and errands while the victim recovers;
- Lost wages resulting from the bicycle accident victim missing work while recuperating, or from suffering a disabling injury that prevents the victim from returning to work in the future;
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life inflicted by the bicycle accident injuries, which can include harm to personal relationships and loss of the ability to enjoy hobbies and activities; and
- In some (rare) cases, punitive damages, which courts sometimes award to punish especially outrageous or reckless actions by the at-fault party.
No lawyer can guarantee that a McAllen bike accident victim will recover compensation in each (or even any) of these categories. However, the most reliable way to give yourself the best possible chance of securing full compensation is to retain the services of a skilled, knowledgeable bicycle accident injury lawyer right away.
Can I seek damages even if I wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet?
Yes, although it might affect the amount of money you have the right to receive.
Currently, Texas does not have a bicycle helmet law, and neither does McAllen. Your decision not to wear a helmet should not affect your basic rights to seek compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s dangerous actions.
That said, bicycle helmets save lives and reduce the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury in a crash. A court or insurance company may take your decision not to wear a helmet into account in deciding the amount of compensation you receive, especially if you suffered injuries that wearing a helmet may have prevented. Hiring an experienced McAllen bicycle accident injury attorney gives you the best shot at overcoming these objections and securing maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.
How long does a McAllen bicycle accident case take?
Bicycle accident cases in McAllen do not have a fixed timeline.
You and your lawyer usually cannot control many of the factors that affect the timeline of a case, which typically include:
- The nature of your injuries and how long it takes for doctors to give a firm prediction for the extent of your recovery;
- The number of parties involved in the case;
- The level of dispute among the parties over issues like who is legally liable for the accident or how much money you should receive as damages;
- The availability of evidence and the difficulty your attorney encounters in obtaining it; and
- The personalities and working styles of the parties’ representatives.
You can, however, control one critical aspect of the timeline of your case: When you contact an experienced McAllen bicycle accident injury lawyer for a free case consultation. The sooner you take that step, the sooner the rest of the process can begin. Because we work on contingency, we have incentives to conclude your case as efficiently as possible while securing you as much compensation as the law will allow. (See the next question for more information about contingency fees.)
How much will it cost to hire a lawyer at the Patino Law Firm for my McAllen bicycle accident case?
It costs nothing, unless and until our lawyer gets you results.
An initial consultation with an experienced lawyer to discuss your McAllen bicycle accident case is always free of charge. In the consultation, which can happen in person wherever is most convenient for you or via a video or phone call, you can get a feel for the lawyer’s experience and working style, and the lawyer can ask you questions about your crash. At the end of the meeting, the lawyer can give you an initial impression about whether you have a case the lawyer can help you pursue. All of this happens without you spending a dime.
If the lawyer tells you that you have a case, and you want to hire the lawyer to represent you, then in virtually every circumstance the lawyer will agree to represent you on contingency. This means the lawyer will receive a percentage of whatever money the lawyer succeeds in securing on your behalf. In other words, the lawyer only gets paid if you get paid. You pay nothing upfront and nothing as the case moves along.
McAllen bicycle accident injury lawyers generally agree to work on contingency to make their services available to anyone who needs them. They know their clients frequently face financial strain after an accident. By working on contingency, clients can get top-notch legal representation and access to justice no matter how financially strapped a bicycle accident has left them.
The insurance company for the driver of the car that hit me on my bike in McAllen offered me a cash settlement. Should I sign the papers they sent me?
No. Do not sign anything, and do not agree to any settlement, without first consulting one of our experienced McAllen bicycle accident injury lawyers.
Insurance companies sometimes offer a quick cash payment to bike accident victims in the hope that you will jump at what seems like easy money before you talk to a lawyer. The problem is, the amount of money the insurance company offers virtually always falls far short of the amount you have a right to receive and that you will need to support you financially while you recover your health and rebuild your life.
The insurance company knows this. That’s the point of making the quick offer—they want you to take the money and to sign papers to give up your legal rights on-the-cheap.
Do not fall for these underhanded tactics. Instead, say “no, thanks” to an offer from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and tell them to contact your lawyer.
What can I do to help my McAllen bicycle accident injury case?
We’re glad you asked!
Here are three easy steps you can take to protect your legal rights and financial interests after getting hurt in a McAllen bicycle accident:
- Seek medical care and do what the doctor tells you. Always go to the doctor after any bicycle crash, even if you think you survived it without serious injury. Some deadly injuries—such as brain trauma and organ damage—may not show immediate symptoms. If you wait to seek medical attention, they may worsen. Be safe instead of sorry. Go to the doctor right away after crashing on your bike and get a full exam that can spot all potential injuries. Then, do as the doctor tells you: go to follow-up appointments, take your medicine, and do your physical therapy. Taking these basic measures protects your health, first and foremost. It also creates valuable medical records your lawyer can use in your case.
- Collect and save the evidence. Lawyers for bicycle accident victims like you need evidence to prove who owes you money and how much they should pay. Do your lawyer a favor by collecting and saving as much of that evidence as you can. If possible (often, it’s not), take pictures at the scene of the crash. Collect contact information from anyone involved or who witnessed what happened. Then, save everything related to the crash that injured you. And we do mean everything: medical bills, insurance statements, receipts for over-the-counter pain meds, the clothes and helmet you were wearing, and even your damaged bicycle. Do not throw anything away and (importantly) do not get your bike fixed. It may constitute a key piece of evidence in proving your case.
- Contact an experienced McAllen bicycle accident injury lawyer right away. You have valuable legal rights, but you can also lose them if you do not act quickly. Do not wait to seek the help of a skilled attorney who can build a case on your behalf and get you the money you need and deserve.
A Lawyer With Medical Training for McAllen Bicycle Accident Victims
A bicyclist can suffer catastrophic injuries in a bicycle accident. In the aftermath of that trauma, the cyclist needs a lawyer who truly understands exactly how the injuries happened and the impact they have on the cyclist’s life.
In McAllen, injured cyclists and their families can find that kind of skilled, knowledgeable legal representation at the Patino Law Firm. If a bicycle accident in McAllen has caused devastation in your life or the life of a loved one, contact Dr. Louis Patino, attorney-at-law, today online or at (956) 255-0023 for a free legal consultation.