Hobbs Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycling in Hobbs, New Mexico, provides excellent recreation, exercise, and sustainable transportation opportunities. But, like many urban areas, Hobbs features challenges for cyclists. Bustling intersections, distracted drivers, and, once in a while, vehicles running red lights can quickly turn a simple bike ride into a dangerous one.
If you, or someone you know, has sustained injuries in a bicycling accident in our vibrant city, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the best path forward. The commitment of the Hobbs bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings is to guide and assist you during these trying times with care and expertise.
How and Why Are So Many Bicycle Accidents Occurring in New Mexico?
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents aren’t uncommon throughout the United States and can result in serious injuries or fatalities in some cases. When we look at New Mexico’s statistics, the numbers highlight concerning trends.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 398 total fatalities resulting from various types of road accidents in New Mexico. Out of these, 8 were pedal cyclist fatalities. This means that bicycle-related fatalities comprised approximately 2% of the total fatalities. Although this percentage might seem small at first glance, each number represents a life lost, underscoring the importance of bicycle safety.
To help you paint a clearer picture, our Hobbs bicycle accident attorneys have outlined some of the most common causes of these accidents:
- Crashed or collided with fixed object. Objects like poles, barricades, or parked cars can be hazardous. Cyclists might crash into them if they’re not paying attention or visibility conditions are poor.
- Dog ran out. It’s not unusual for a wandering pet or a stray animal to suddenly dash onto the road, causing cyclists to swerve or crash.
- Falls. Sometimes, a simple fall can lead to significant injuries. Loose gravel, slippery roads after rain, or a sudden swerve can cause a rider to fall off their bicycle.
- Hit by a car. This is one of the most frequent causes of bicycle accidents. Due to distracted driving, speeding, or failure to yield the right of way, cyclists can be at high risk, especially at busy intersections or roads without designated bike lanes.
- Rider error. Not all accidents are due to external factors. Sometimes, riders might misjudge a situation, not signal properly, or make abrupt maneuvers, leading to accidents.
- Roadway not in good repair. Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, or lack of proper signage, can pose significant dangers to cyclists. A single pothole can throw a cyclist off balance, leading to severe injuries.
Who Is At Fault if a Car Hits a Bicyclist in Hobbs?
It’s a common misunderstanding, but drivers and bicyclists have the same rights when they’re on New Mexico’s roads. This means that just as cars need to watch out for bikes, people on bicycles must follow the same traffic laws as those driving cars.
Figuring out who’s responsible when there’s an accident between a car and a bicycle isn’t always straightforward. To understand the situation, our bicycle accident lawyers in Hobbs, NM, look at the following:
- Data from phones or cars
- Official reports from the police
- Photos taken right after the accident
- Videos from cameras around the area
- What people who saw the accident have to say
Sometimes, it’s pretty straightforward, like if a car is on video ignoring a stop sign and hitting a bicyclist who was doing everything right. But sometimes, things are fuzzy. That’s when your Hobbs bicycle accident lawyer might step in, using all the information and special tools to recreate a clear picture of the accident.
What If the Car Driver Was At Fault?
If it turns out the person driving the car caused the accident, their insurance should cover the bicyclist’s costs. This includes doctor bills, money they missed out on if they couldn’t work, costs of fixing the bike, and even their pain and discomfort. But if the insurance company doesn’t agree to pay what’s fair, the bicyclist might decide to go to court. In such cases, having a good Hobbs bicycle accident attorney can make all the difference. They’ll work hard to determine what happened and help the bicyclist get adequate compensation.
When the Bicyclist May Be At Fault
Not all bicycle accidents are because of car drivers. Sometimes, the person on the bicycle can cause an accident. Here are some ways a bicyclist might be responsible:
- Ignoring traffic lights or signs
- Not paying full attention to the road
- Not signaling where they’re going
- Riding in the opposite direction of traffic
For safety, bicyclists should always be careful, follow traffic rules, respect pedestrians, and stay alert.
I Was Partially At Fault; Do I Still Have a Case?
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident in Hobbs, don’t lose hope, even if you think you were partially to blame for the accident. In many cases, you can still seek help for your injuries. In New Mexico, the court understands that accidents aren’t always black and white and that both sides might have made errors.
For instance, let’s consider alcohol. Some reports point out that many bicycle accidents involve drinking. But, even if a bicyclist has been drinking, it doesn’t mean they’re entirely at fault or can’t get help for their injuries. The key is they shouldn’t be 100% responsible for the accident.
How New Mexico’s Comparative Negligence Law Works
In New Mexico, there is a rule which all Hobbs bicycle accident lawyers are familiar with called comparative negligence. It means that when an accident happens, the court will examine how much each person’s actions contributed to it. If a court finds that you were partly at fault, it doesn’t mean you get nothing. Instead, they’ll adjust any help you receive based on your part in the accident.
For example, imagine you were seeking $10,000 in compensation but were found to be 75% at fault. You might still be able to get $2,500.
Here’s something else to consider: if a child wasn’t wearing a helmet during a bike accident, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically to blame. This is because not wearing a helmet doesn’t cause accidents. So, parents can still claim if their child gets hurt. Insurance companies are familiar with these laws. So, when discussing settlements, they will consider everyone’s actions in the accident, and you want a reputable bicycle accident lawyer in Hobbs on your side to help you navigate this trying time.
New Mexico Laws for Bicycle Riders
As bicycle accident attorneys in Hobbs, we know that bicycling in New Mexico isn’t just about being outside and enjoying the scenery; it’s also about understanding and respecting the laws that keep everyone safe. New Mexico has specific laws in place to ensure the well-being of bicycle riders, pedestrians, and motorists alike that include:
- Equipment standards. All bicycles must have a bell or other audible signal (but not a siren or whistle). If you’re riding between sunset and sunrise, you must outfit your bicycle with a headlamp that is visible from at least 500 feet in front and a red reflector on the back that is visible from 50 to 300 feet.
- Group riding. Bicyclists can ride two abreast on roadways but shouldn’t impede the normal traffic flow.
- Hand signals. Bicyclists should use hand signals to inform other road users of their intentions when turning or stopping.
- Helmet use. While helmets are always a good idea for safety, New Mexico doesn’t have a statewide law mandating their use. However, some state cities have regulations, so it’s crucial to be aware of local ordinances.
- Riding on sidewalks. Each municipality in New Mexico sets its own rules regarding bicycles on sidewalks. So, it’s vital to be familiar with local regulations.
- Riding on the road. In New Mexico, bicyclists have the right to use the road like any other vehicle. They should ride as close as practicable to the right-hand side of the roadway, especially when overtaken by a car.
Is There a Way to Calculate Settlements for Bicycle Accident Claims?
Our Hobbs bicycle accident lawyers know that if you’re involved in a bicycle accident, it’s common to face physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Compensation, or what’s legally termed “damages,” aims to restore the injured person to the position they’d be in if the accident never occurred. However, calculating the exact amount for settlements can be complicated because there are two primary categories of damages: economic and non-economic.
These are tangible costs directly related to the accident. The court can calculate them with relative accuracy because they often come with bills, receipts, or financial statements. Examples include:
- Medical expenses. This includes past, present, and future medical bills. These expenses could be for emergency care right after the accident, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, assistive devices, or any future medical care you’ll need because of the accident.
- Lost wages. If the accident and your injuries prevented you from working, you’re entitled to compensation for the wages you would have earned during that period. This also extends to reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to your previous job or work the same number of hours.
- Property damage. If your bicycle or equipment got damaged or destroyed in the accident, you could seek compensation for repair or replacement.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses. This can include transportation costs to and from medical appointments, home modifications if necessary, or hiring help for household chores you cannot do because of your injuries.
These damages are more subjective and don’t have a fixed price tag, making them trickier to quantify. They relate to the intangible losses a victim experiences due to the accident.
- Emotional distress. Accidents can lead to psychological impacts like anxiety, depression, PTSD, or loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of consortium. If the accident affects the victim’s relationship with their spouse or partner, they might be compensated for the loss of companionship, affection, and other relational aspects.
- Pain and suffering. This addresses the physical pain and discomfort you’ve experienced and might continue to experience.
While the points give you a general outline of potential compensation, it’s essential to remember that every accident and its consequences are unique. Various factors, including the severity of the injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the clarity of fault, will influence the final settlement amount.
To navigate the complexities and ensure you receive adequate compensation, it’s wise to retain a skilled bicycle accident attorney in Hobbs. Your attorney will understand how to evaluate economic and non-economic damages, advocate on your behalf, and ensure you receive the maximum settlement you’re entitled to.
Serving Hobbs, New Mexico
Hobbs, NM, is more than just a city; it’s a vibrant blend of rich history, modern amenities, and an unparalleled community spirit. Its location amid the Permian Basin, one of the nation’s richest oil-producing areas, has given it an economic boost, but Hobbs prides itself on more than its resources. The city is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, making it a unique place to visit, work, and live.
One of the unique draws of Hobbs is its dedication to outdoor activities and recreational pursuits. From the expansive parks to the well-maintained golf courses, there’s no shortage of spaces for residents and visitors to indulge in their favorite pastimes. For those who love cycling, Hobbs offers several noteworthy spots to cater to their needs.
Rsb Cycles stands out as a premier service destination for bike enthusiasts. Whether it’s routine maintenance, repairs, or just some expert advice you’re seeking, their seasoned staff ensures your two-wheeler is always road-ready. On the other hand, for those new to the biking world or looking to upgrade their gear, the Bike Shop at Hobbs Supercenter offers a wide range of bicycles and essential accessories like helmets, ensuring safety and style go hand in hand.
Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and when they do, physical therapy becomes an invaluable resource for recovery. In Hobbs, residents are fortunate to have top-tier rehabilitation services. Therapy Services Associates boasts a team of skilled professionals offering personalized treatments to ensure patients regain strength and mobility. Similarly, Revival Physical Therapy in Lea County, NM, is renowned for its patient-centric approach, merging the latest therapeutic techniques with genuine care and concern.
Experienced Bicycle Lawyer in Hobbs, NM
Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident requires expertise, compassion, and dedication. In Hobbs, NM, W. Shane Jennings is a beacon of hope for many who have faced such unfortunate incidents. As an experienced Hobbs bicycle accident attorney with a proven track record in representing clients with unyielding determination, Jennings combines his vast knowledge of the law with a genuine concern for the well-being of his clients.
His deep roots in the community and extensive experience make him a trusted ally in seeking justice. When protecting your rights and securing the compensation you deserve, you can confidently trust W. Shane Jennings, a bicycle accident lawyer who truly understands your journey.