Llano Bicycle Accident Attorney
Have you or your loved one been involved in a bicycling accident in Llano, Texas? W. Shane Jennings, your trusted Llano bicycle accident lawyer, will help you get justice against negligent drivers and fitting compensation for your injuries.
Cycling is the most efficient way of getting from point A to point B and the fastest way to get around congested towns. Plus, bikes are fun to ride, cheap to run, and improve your health. What’s not to love about cycling—apart from the perils cyclists face on the road?
Riding a bike can be dangerous, especially on busy roadways and towns. Thousands of cyclists are injured or killed on US roads every year. In 2021, Texas saw 2,267 traffic crashes involving bicyclists, resulting in 92 fatalities.
If you’ve sustained any kind of injury, including bodily harm and property damage, due to a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, the law is by your side. You may claim monetary compensation for your injuries. And working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Llano, Texas, ensures you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen in Llano, Texas?
Cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists are generally considered the most at-risk road users. This is because, apart from a helmet and knee/elbow guards, cyclists have no protection against traffic collisions, unlike motorists with airbags, seatbelts, and the entire shell of the vehicle to keep them safe during impact. For this reason, traffic crashes involving bicycles often result in severe injuries or even death on the cyclist’s part.
Secondly, cyclists are hard for inattentive drivers to spot, often coming into view when it’s too late.
While Llano is a fairly bike-friendly city, as a bicycle accident lawyer in Llano, Texas, W. Shane Jennings knows accidents do happen frequently. Most of these accidents are caused by driver negligence and are completely avoidable. Here are some of the main reasons for bicycle accidents in Llano, Texas:
Distracted driving is a common cause of traffic accidents, including bike crashes. A driver not paying 100% attention to the road may fail to notice a cyclist on their path. Common driver distractions include texting or talking on the phone, snacking, fiddling with the stereo, and rubbernecking.
Sharing a Lane
Drivers are often tempted to share lanes with cyclists, which is wrong. Although a bicycle occupies very little space on the road, it’s entitled to the entire lane width. A vehicle sharing a lane with a cyclist can accidentally sideswipe the cyclist or put them in a dangerous lane-splitting position.
Failure to Yield
Bicycles are pretty small and easily fall in a driver’s blind spot, especially when a car reverses or goes around a bend, causing the driver not to give way to a cyclist. Also, some drivers have less respect for cyclists than fellow motorists and will intentionally cut off cyclists at road junctions and intersections. Failure to yield is a serious peril for cyclists.
An intoxicated driver is a risk to themselves and all other road users. DWI is a persistent traffic safety concern in the US. There were, for instance, 21 drunk driving-related road accidents in Llano, Texas, in 2020 alone. Texan law makes a strong stand against DWI in a bid to discourage drunk driving in cities like Llano, Texas.
Unsafe Turning or Lane Changes
Even when given the green light at an intersection, a driver must always check their surroundings to ensure it is safe to turn. The same caution applies when changing lanes. As a Llano bicycle accident attorney, W. Shane Jennings has seen that making turns or weaving between lanes without checking for bicycles is a common and easily avoidable cause of cyclist crashes.
Driving the Wrong Way
Vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles on the same side of the road are required to travel in the same direction. But you’ll sometimes find drivers going the wrong way, especially in less busy minor roads. A vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road can easily collide head-on with an oncoming cyclist.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Running a red light or stop sign, even when the road seems clear, can result in a serious accident. Again, cyclists can be hard for drivers to spot. There could easily be an unseen oncoming cyclist at a set of lights or intersection.
Rain, fog, darkness, or smoke can make it even harder for other road users to notice the already obscure cyclist. However, it helps if the cyclist wears reflective clothing and fits the bike with appropriate rear and front lights.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Bicycles can easily skid on slippery road surfaces or trip on potholes or debris. Falling off a bike not only hurts, but it can also be life-threatening in heavy traffic. Also, poor road conditions can cause other road users to trend dangerously with little regard for cyclists.
Injured in a bicycle accident and need immediate legal assistance? Speak with a Llano bicycle accident lawyer at the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings.
Drivers Are Required by Law to Share the Road with Cyclists
The Texas Transportation Code § 551.101 entitles all bicycle riders to the same rights, privileges, and duties as motorists. In other words, a bicycle is considered a vehicle in its own right under Texas law. But despite this fact, many drivers treat cyclists as second-class citizens with no right to use the road.
Drivers are legally obligated to share the road with cyclists. In regards to cyclist safety, motorists are expected to observe the following rules (some written and some unwritten):
- Maintain a safe distance (at least 3 feet) when driving behind a bicycle.
- Yield to cyclists when making a turn at an intersection.
- When overtaking a cyclist, move over to the left lane, completely or partially, while maintaining a safe distance.
- Indicate intentions to turn either right or left with appropriate signaling, and only turn when it’s safe to do so.
- Understand a cyclist’s hand signals indicating their intentions to slow down/stop or turn.
- Do not throw objects at cyclists or onto their path.
- Do not maneuver the vehicle in such a way as to harass, intimidate, or threaten a cyclist.
- Refrain from acts of negligence such as distraction, speeding, disregarding traffic rules/signals, driving while impaired/fatigued, etc.
Bicycle Laws in Llano, Texas
A bicycle accident attorney in Llano, Texas, will tell you that legal privileges come with legal responsibilities. Cyclists are legally expected to act responsibly for their own safety and the safety of other road users when riding on public roads. An irresponsible or negligent cyclist can very well cause a traffic accident.
Here’s a simplified overview of Texas cycling laws that are primarily meant to preserve the cyclist’s safety and right to use the road among motorists and pedestrians:
- A bicyclist must keep up with traffic when riding on the road. Otherwise, they must ride as near as possible to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
- Anyone riding a bicycle must do so on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.
- A bicycle should not carry more people or load than it is designed for.
- Every bike should have brakes strong enough to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
- A bicycle operating at night must have a headlamp and a rear red reflector or light.
- Bicyclists must use the appropriate hand signals in traffic to indicate their intentions to stop, slow down, turn left, or turn right.
- A cyclist must always have at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Cyclists on a roadway can ride two abreast as long as they do not impede the normal flow of traffic.
- Do not attach the bike or lean on to streetcars or vehicles on a roadway.
- The local municipality ordinances may prohibit using bicycles on pedestrian sidewalks or on roadways with a shoulder or designated bike lane available.
- Observe all traffic rules (speed limits, lane discipline, traffic lights, etc.)
W. Shane Jennings Holds Negligent Texans Responsible
Bicycle accident lawyer in Llano, W. Shane Jennings is the one to call If you’ve been involved in an accident in Llano, Texas. His team will assemble all the necessary evidence to find the accident’s culprit and get compensation for your injuries. That’s simple enough, but proving negligence and fault in a bicycle accident is actually more complicated than it sounds. There’s a good chance you might walk away with nothing or, worse, get blamed for the accident and have to pay the defendant.
Texas is a modified comparative fault state with a 51% bar rule. This means that both the plaintiff and the defendant can share the blame for the accident in question. Under this rule, you can recover damages based on your involvement in fault. And, you cannot recover damages for your injuries if the court finds you were more than 50% to blame for the accident.
For instance, you (as a cyclist) could be partly or wholly at fault for an accident if you broke any of the cycling rules we listed above, such as failing to signal your turn, riding an unroadworthy bike, or disobeying traffic rules.
Here’s how the 51% bar rule works:
- If you were, say, 30% at fault for the accident, you’ll be entitled to claim 70% of your damages.
- If the situation was reversed and the court found you were 70% at fault, the other party could file a claim to recover 70% of their damages.
- In a case where each party shares exactly half the blame, you may recover 50% of your damages from the defendant, who may also recover 50% of their damages from you.
As your capable Llano bicycle accident attorney, W. Shane Jennings will fight to minimize your percentage of fault in the accident in order to get the maximum compensation possible. He’ll do so by proving you were indeed the victim of another road user’s negligence, which led to bodily injuries, monetary losses, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and/or other damages.
What if the Driver Who Hit Me Was Uninsured?
The person responsible for an auto accident is also responsible for paying the damages. In most cases, such damages are covered by the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or their policy doesn’t cover all the damages, you can file a claim against your own auto insurance. Your uninsured motorist (UM) policy may cover damages such as medical treatment, pain and suffering, and loss of wages and future earnings. Also, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage could take care of medical expenses up to the limit you purchased.
UM and PIP claims also apply in hit-and-run cases where the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident before you can get their insurance information.
How Do I File a Bicycle Accident Claim in Llano, Texas?
The most straightforward way to get compensated for a bicycle accident is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For that, you’ll need to provide enough proof that the driver is liable for the accident and you sustained injuries that caused you enumerable losses.
If everything checks out, the insurance company will honor your claim and write you a settlement check. But that rarely happens. The insurer is more likely to respond with a low-ball settlement offer, circle the blame back to you, or disregard your claim. You must understand that insurance companies will do everything to dismiss auto accident claims.
That’s where a good bicycle accident lawyer in Llano comes in handy. The lawyer knows every trick the insurance company will try to pull on you, from arguing you had a “pre-existing condition” to claiming the accident was your fault. They’ll fight against these tricks with evidence and the power of negotiation. And if that fails, your legal representative will take the matter to court and help you prepare a strong personal injury lawsuit.
How Long Will My Bicycle Accident Case in Llano Take to Settle?
The first few days, weeks, or months after a bicycle accident can be difficult, with medical bills piling up, concerns rising about your job and income, and mounting worries about your long-term well-being and that of your family. So, it’s only natural to wonder how long it will take to get the settlement and address those immediate problems.
Unfortunately, you can never tell for sure how long a personal injury case will take—from filing the claim to obtaining the settlement. The timeline depends on the nature of the case, specifically on the following factors:
- The severity, extent, and long-term effects of your injuries
- Disputes with the insurance company
- The amount of compensation
- The litigation processes
In most cases, the at-fault party or their insurer will try to drag the process for as long as they can because they obviously don’t want to settle. The unnecessary delays can also be a ploy to get you to settle for much less than you deserve. After frustrating you with delay after delay, they may offer you a low-ball settlement as a quick way out.
But your Llano bicycle accident lawyer will do all they can to speed up the process and get your settlement as quickly as possible and in full. It might take a while, but in the end, you’ll get the rightful compensation for your injuries.
Experienced Accident Attorney in Llano, Texas
If you’re looking for a highly experienced bicycle accident attorney in Llano, the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings has your back. With over 2,000 hours in courtrooms arguing criminal and personal injury cases, the W. Shane Jennings team is your best bet at getting rightful compensation for a bicycle accident.
Contact W. Shane Jennings online or call (575) 308-0308 for a free consultation today. In addition to Llano, Texas, W. Shane Jennings also serves Marble Falls, Burnet, Mason, Brady, Fredericksburg, Lakeway, Leander, Copperas Cove, Cedar Park, Anderson Mill, Kerrville, Jollyville, Round Rock, Hobbs, New Mexico, Las Cruces, and more.