Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident Injury Attorneys
Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident Law Firm
Over the past decade, bicycling has become an increasingly popular form of transit for residents and visitors throughout the Coastal Bend. Whether for commuting, fitness, or recreation, cycling is an important aspect of life for Corpus Christi citizens. To ensure cyclists can conveniently and safely enjoy riding in their communities, the Corpus Christi Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has developed a comprehensive Bicycle Plan, fostering cycling as meaningful alternative transportation.
Although cycling provides a host of community benefits, there is an inevitable downside: A rise in cycling means a rise in bicycle accidents. The MPO’s Bicycle Plan makes safe cycling a top priority, but in reality, cyclists will always face dangers when sharing Corpus Christie-area roads with motorists. Collisions with motor vehicles, in particular, put cyclists at risk of serious injury and deadly accidents.
The Patel Firm is dedicated legal team of Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers who represent victims of Corpus Christi-area bicycle accidents. Our mission is to hold motorists and others accountable when their careless, reckless, or inattentive actions leave area cyclists severely injured or worse. Read on to learn more about how we can help you and your family after a bicycle accident disrupts your life, and contact us today.
Our Law Practice
The Patel Firm is a Corpus Christi-based law firm that represents victims of unexpected accidents, injuries, and fatalities throughout Texas. Our sole mission is to help our clients recover the compensation they deserve from those whose actions did them harm. Having lived and worked in the Corpus Christi area for most of our lives, we have experienced both the benefits and tragic consequences of the growth of cycling in our community.
Attorney Minesh J. Patel founded The Patel Firm with only one interest in mind: supporting his fellow Corpus Christi citizens after an unexpected injury causes some of the most difficult moments of their lives. Attorney Patel and his colleague Attorney Justin P. Green, together with an outstanding team of paralegals and litigation assistants, have recovered millions of dollars for Texans and their families who have been injured as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct.
Attorney Patel cannot guarantee he will recover compensation for you after a Corpus Christi bicycle accident. But he promises you that he and his team will work tirelessly in pursuing justice for you and your family.
Common Causes of Corpus Christi Bicycle Accidents
Texas law gives cyclists the same rights and responsibilities as any other road user. For cyclists, that means stopping at stop signs and red lights, using hand signals when turning, and generally conducting themselves the same way a vehicle driver would on the road. For motorists, it means treating cyclists as equals on the road. In fact, in 2012 Corpus Christi enacted an ordinance specifically aimed at protecting “vulnerable road users,” including cyclists that require motorists to:
- Only pass cyclists on the left;
- Pass cyclists at a safe distance, defined as three feet for a car, and six feet for a truck; and
- Return to the right only after the vehicle is safely clear of the bicycle.
Despite these laws, bicycle accidents still happen. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018, in Corpus Christi, alone, there were 67 reported bicycle accidents, some of which resulted in incapacitating and even fatal injuries. Cyclists and motorists should safely share the road, yet too many factors frequently cause accidents. More reasons for the MPO’s safety Plan.
What factors contribute to these accidents? Here are some of the most common:
- Failure to yield right of way. Perhaps the single most common factor in all bicycle accidents involving a collision with a motor vehicle is the motorist’s failure to yield the right of way to a cyclist. While this can happen in a variety of scenarios, typically, collisions result from a driver’s inattention or even purposeful failure to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist. For example, a driver may heedlessly change lanes, unaware of the cyclists in their blind spots or may inadvertently turn, crossing an opposing cyclist’s lane of travel.
- Failure to look before opening doors. In urban areas like Corpus Christi, where cars park parallel to the curb, cyclists face a constant danger of “doorings” when riding on the streets. A “dooring” refers to the scenario when a car driver or passenger opens a door directly into the path of a cyclist who doesn’t have time to react, causing the cyclist to crash into the open door. This can result in serious injury to the cyclist.
- Aggressive driving. Anyone who cycles on public roads, at one time or another, has had a frightening encounter with a motorist who seems angry to be sharing the road with the cyclist. At times, the angry driver may engage in aggressive driving behavior. Commonly reported behaviors include: passing a cyclist at an unsafe distance, speeding past a cyclist, cutting off a cyclist, riding a cyclist’s tail, or (in the worst cases) shouting at or throwing trash at cyclists. Often, aggressive driving behavior can result in a catastrophic Corpus Christi bicycle accident.
- Inattention. Drivers suffer lapses of attention for all sorts of reasons. Some of the most common include drug and alcohol use, fatigue, or getting distracted by screens and other in-car distractions. Whatever the cause, inattention frequently results in motorists cutting off or colliding with cyclists.
- Poor visibility. Because cyclists must ride to the right-most side of a travel lane, they run the risk of not being seen when conditions hinder driver visibility. Cyclists, of course, can do their part to increase their own visibility by wearing bright colors and equipping their bikes with appropriate head and tail lights. Although effective at times, these precautions cannot protect cyclists on roads with poor sight-lines (because of dense vegetation or other visual obstructions).
Common Injuries to Cyclists
Corpus Christi bicycle accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries with varying degrees of severity. At The Patel Firm, we believe that any injury or loss a cyclist suffers in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, recklessness, or inattention deserves compensation. Especially when a cycling accident results in a tragic fatality, or causes catastrophic injuries that may require a lifetime of medical care and treatment, such as:
- Traumatic brain injury. In Texas, while it is strongly encouraged, the law does not require cyclists to wear a helmet. In the event of a bicycle-motorist accident, wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Brain injuries can leave unprotected cyclists with an assortment of serious, and often irreversible, side effects. For instance, TBIs can cause immobility and loss of cognitive functioning, including difficulty speaking or reasoning.
- Spinal cord injury/paralysis. In any bicycle accident, and especially a head-on-collision with an object or vehicle, cyclists run a high risk of flying over the handlebars and landing violently and awkwardly on a hard road surface. This type of fall dramatically increases cyclist’s risk of spinal cord injury, which frequently leads to partial or total paralysis.
- Cuts and abrasions. Landing on and sliding across pavement can inflict severe injuries on cyclists involved in accidents. Because cyclists are exposed (unlike motorcyclists, many rarely wear protective clothing), they are particularly susceptible to “road rash” in an accident. “Road rash” refers to the injuries resulting from friction with the road surface, which scrapes, tears, and burns exposed skin, often leaving dirt and debris embedded in the tissue. Treating severe road rash can require skin grafts and extreme measures to avoid infection.
- Orthopedic injuries. Cyclists commonly break bones, dislocate joints, and tear or sprain muscles, ligaments, and tendons in cycling accidents. Some of these injuries might heal with relatively minimal treatment and therapy, but others can cause permanent disabilities and lifelong discomfort.
Of course, these are just some of the types of detrimental harm cyclists involved in an accident may undergo. No matter how an accident has injured you, the team at The Patel Firm stands ready to help you recover compensation from those whose actions left you suffering.
Four Important Steps After a Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident
Sustaining serious injuries or a tragic loss in a bicycle accident is never something you will expect. It is impossible to prepare for the range of physical, emotional, and financial impacts that tragic accidents can have on those involved and their families. Nevertheless, if you become the victim of a tragic bicycle accident, take the following four steps to protect your and your family’s rights and wellbeing.
1. Seek Immediate and Appropriate Medical Care
Cycling poses a high risk of sustaining serious injuries in an accident, particularly in a collision with a motor vehicle. It is important to know that not all severe or even life-threatening injuries show symptoms right away. It is almost always a bad idea to self-diagnose or try to treat your injuries at home t when you’ve sustained serious trauma. Instead, go see a doctor right away. Not only does doing so protect your health and wellbeing, it also generates important medical records that will be necessary should you decide to pursue legal action against the person responsible for your accident.
2. Don’t Fix or Throw Away Your Bike
After a serious Corpus Christi bike accident, your bicycle becomes important evidence, telling the story of what happened and who should be held t accountable for your injuries. Do not take your bike to the shop for repairs, and do not leave it by the curb for the trash collector. Instead, stash it somewhere safe—a garage or basement works fine—along with any loose parts that fell off during the accident. It is important to keep your bicycle stored away, untouched, until you have spoken with an experienced Corpus Christi bicycle accident attorney.
3. Be Wary of Talking to Insurance Companies
It is unlikely you can entirely avoid speaking with an insurance company after sustaining injuries or a tragic loss in a Corpus Christi bike accident. For example, your need for medical care may require you to contact your health insurance company. If you must speak with a representative of your own insurance company, keep the conversation short and disclose only the most basic facts. You may not realize that an offhand comment, such as “I should have seen the other guy coming,” can be used against you as evidence of your own fault.
If a representative or adjuster from someone else’s insurance company contacts you, you must use extreme caution. If at all possible, decline to engage in the conversation at all and refer the caller to your attorney. Individuals representing the interests of another party involved in your bicycle accident is not concerned with your wellbeing. The only reason to contact you is their belief that by speaking with you directly, they can minimize their own financial exposure to costs for your injuries and losses. Don’t fall for their tactics. They use their skills and experience to influence injured cyclists to accept a sum of money much lower than you deserve in exchange for giving up your legal rights.
4. Talk to An Experienced Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Of course, we would prefer you call us, but talking with any Corpus Christi bicycle accident attorney will help to protect you not only from unscrupulous insurance tactics, but also from the financial and emotional burdens associated with the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident. Think of a lawyer as a shield who can protect you from people attempting to take advantage of your situation and allow you the time and space you need to process your trauma and begin to heal. A lawyer can also advise you about your rights to compensation for your injuries, investigate your accident to identify parties with potential legal liability to you for damages, and pursue those parties through negotiation or legal action.
Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident FAQ
When a car or truck collides with a bicycle, the bicycle rider can suffer serious and traumatic injuries. The only protection afforded to bicycle riders in an accident is a helmet, and even helmets can crack if a bicycle rider falls to the ground with enough force during a collision. Excluding the helmet, riders do not have any outer covering or shell protecting them from harm should an accident occur.
If you or someone you love sustained an injury in a bicycle accident caused by another person’s negligence, there are legal options available to you. The Corpus Christi bicycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm PLLC can assist you with investigating your bicycle accident case and how it occurred, filing a claim or lawsuit for monetary compensation on your behalf, and, if necessary, litigating your case through the state court system.
What types of injuries occur in Corpus Christi bicycle accidents?
There are many types of injuries that an accident victim can suffer in a Corpus Christi bicycle accident. An accident victim’s injuries are usually the most severe when a bicycle rider falls from their bike and directly onto the ground. If the accident victim strikes the ground and lands on their head, neck, or back, traumatic and possibly permanent injuries can result.
Common injuries in Corpus Christi bicycle accidents often include:
- Bone fractures
- Soft tissue injuries (including sprains, strains, and muscular contusions)
- Spinal cord injuries (including the various forms of full and partial paralysis)
- Traumatic head and brain injuries
Any of these injuries can require a significant amount of medical care and treatment and may even leave the accident victim with a permanent injury and its related symptoms for the remainder of their life.
If you have suffered an injury in a bicycle accident that someone else caused, the experienced team of Corpus Christi bicycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm PLLC can handle all of the legal aspects of your case so you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Once you complete all of your medical treatment, we can assist you in filing a legal claim against the at-fault party and pursuing the compensation that you deserve for the injuries you suffered in your bicycle accident.
Why do Corpus Christi bike accidents occur?
There are many reasons why bicycle accidents occur in and around Corpus Christi. Accidents result from negligence and carelessness on the part of other motor vehicle drivers. A small bicycle is no match for a larger motor vehicle, even if the motor vehicle is moving at a relatively slow speed. The sheer force of the impact could cause the bicyclist to fall from their bike directly onto the road and possibly into other traffic.
Another problem is that motor vehicle operators sometimes resent the fact that bicyclists are on the road in the first place, even when riders are only present in their designated bicycle lane. These drivers often believe that bicyclists impede the flow of traffic and cause major disruption on local roadways.
In any case, motor vehicle operators have a duty to drive their vehicles safely and carefully at all times. This duty of care includes being on the lookout for bicyclists who are on or near the road. Drivers are also responsible for operating their motor vehicles by following all of the applicable driving regulations, traffic signs (including traffic control devices), traffic laws, and rules of the road.
This responsibility includes refraining from tailgating or following other vehicles (including bicycles) too closely and avoiding abrupt and unsafe lane changes on roadways (including making those without using a turn signal). When motor vehicle drivers choose to operate their vehicles in violation of Texas traffic laws and rules of the road, it can cause an impact with another vehicle, including a bicycle.
Likewise, motor vehicle operators should not engage in distracted driving, such as driving while paying attention to a cell phone or another electronic device with them in the vehicle. When a motor vehicle operator’s distracted driving leads to a collision with a bicycle, the negligent motor vehicle operator can be held responsible.
In addition, motor vehicle operators must not operate their vehicles while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When individuals drive their vehicles while intoxicated, they may suffer vision impairment to the point that it becomes difficult to determine depth and distance. In addition, their reaction time may slow down significantly. All of these impairments could prevent a motor vehicle operator from seeing a bicyclist on the road, resulting in a serious collision. Alternatively, the intoxicated driver may see the bicyclist but cannot slow their vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
Dooring accidents can also cause bicycle riders to suffer severe injuries. These accidents happen when a motor vehicle driver or passenger opens a vehicle door into an oncoming cyclist’s travel path. Such accidents commonly occur in parking lots, parking garages, and along the side of the road. When a cyclist collides with the motor vehicle door, they could suffer an injury by falling off the bike and directly onto the ground.
In addition to negligence on the part of motor vehicle operators or their passengers, there are other common causes of bicycle accidents that occur in and around Corpus Christi. Sometimes, bicycle parts malfunction or equipment does not work the way it is supposed to function. When a bicycle’s braking system, seats, or handlebars do not operate properly, the result can be a serious accident for the bicycle rider. Often, these equipment malfunctions take place because the bicycle or bicycle part suffers from poor manufacturing or a flawed design. In addition, the manufacturer may not have tested the bicycle properly before it was made available to the public for sale and distribution.
Companies that manufacture bicycles and bicycle parts owe a duty of care to the public. Specifically, they must ensure that they manufacture their parts safely and carefully and that they use all of the necessary precautions. If a Corpus Christi bicycle accident victim can demonstrate (often through the testimony of an expert) that a bicycle part malfunction led to their accident, then the accident victim could bring a claim or file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor for monetary compensation and damages resulting from the injury or injuries they suffered.
Finally, defective road conditions are frequently a cause of bicycle accidents in and around Corpus Christi. The roadway or sidewalk where the accident occurred may not have been properly maintained or might have contained dangerous defects, including deep cracks or potholes. These defects can dislodge a bicycle rider from their bike, leading to serious injuries.
Many entities, such as construction companies and municipalities, including counties and cities within the state of Texas, are responsible for ensuring that roadways are properly maintained and that hazards and defects are corrected promptly. If the bicycle accident victim can demonstrate that the responsible party knew about the roadway or sidewalk defect but did not take action to remedy the defect promptly, then the bicycle accident victim could name the appropriate party to any claim or lawsuit that they file in the state court system.
Bicycle accidents frequently result from carelessness, recklessness, or negligence on the part of some individual or entity. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in a bicycle accident, the experienced Corpus Christi bicycle accident lawyers at The Patel Firm PLLC are ready to help. Our legal team can investigate the source or cause of your bicycle accident and pursue the necessary legal action against the appropriate parties at fault for the accident.
Where do bike accidents typically occur around Corpus Christi?
Bicycle accidents in and around Corpus Christi can occur almost anywhere. They are especially common around traffic intersections and on roadways where there is a designated bicycle lane. These accidents can also happen in parking lots and parking garages, especially those where driver visibility is low. If the motor vehicle driver is distracted or does not observe the bicyclist, the driver could collide with the bicycle, often knocking the rider off to the ground.
Roadways that are narrow or have low visibility are also common locations for bicycle accidents, such as roadways with very sharp turns or hills. Bicycle accidents happen in both urban and rural environments, including in parks that might feel safer for a cyclist. No matter where you are riding, there is always the chance that a driver could hit you, or you could encounter a road hazard and crash.
If you or a person you love has suffered an injury in a bicycle accident that occurred in one of these locations near Corpus Christi, you may be eligible to take legal action against the person who caused the accident. The skilled Corpus Christi bicycle accident attorneys at The Patel Firm PLLC can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve for all of the injuries you suffered in your accident.
What are some common injuries that Corpus Christi bicycle riders can suffer in an accident?
Bicycles riders are no match for an oncoming car, truck, or another motor vehicle. When a negligent motor vehicle driver causes their vehicle to collide with a bicycle, the injuries to the bicyclist can be catastrophic and sometimes deadly, especially if the collision occurs at a high rate of speed and knocks the bicyclist to the road.
One of the most serious dangers associated with riding a bicycle is the lack of protection. Bicyclists are entirely exposed to the environment around them, and a serious injury can lead to many months of medical treatment, surgeries, and other medical procedures, as well as physical therapy. In some cases, the injuries that a bicyclist suffers in an accident end up being permanent.
If a bicyclist falls to the ground and strikes their head, even with a helmet on, the bicyclist could suffer a traumatic head injury. In addition, if the bicyclist falls directly on the ground, they could sustain a fracture or broken bone. Even if a bone break does not occur, the accident victim could suffer a muscular contusion, sprain, strain, or some other type of soft tissue injury. Finally, victims of bicycle accidents frequently sustain injuries to their spinal cords, including the various forms of paralysis.
In cases where a bicycle accident victim dies because of someone else’s negligence, the accident victim’s surviving loved ones can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit directly against the person or entity that caused the accident.
When it comes to proving medical damages, a bicycle accident victim is responsible for showing not only that someone else was negligent and caused the accident but that the accident proximately led to the injuries they suffered. An experienced Corpus Christi bicycle accident attorney at The Patel Firm PLLC can help you prove the legal elements of your case and pursue the compensation that you deserve.
What types of monetary compensation could I pursue following injuries sustained in a Corpus Christi bicycle accident?
If you have suffered one or more injuries in a Corpus Christi bicycle accident that was not your fault, you may be in a position to pursue monetary compensation of damages from the party who was at fault. Available monetary compensation and damages in Corpus Christi in a bicycle accident case depends largely upon the severity of your injury or injuries, as well as the type and extent of the medical treatment that you had to endure.
You can pursue monetary compensation for all of your medical expenses, regardless of whether or not health insurance covered some or all of those expenses. If your injuries caused you to miss time from work, you could file a claim for loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity.
In addition to these economic damages, you could pursue non-economic damages. These damages include compensation for all of your mental anguish, emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, inability to use a body part, or inability to enjoy previous life activities resulting from your bicycle accident.
Your Corpus Christi Bicycle Accident Attorney
Attorney Minesh J. Patel and his team at The Patel Firm make it their mission to help Corpus Christi residents and visitors recover from devastating bicycle accidents. They have the experience, the resources, and the reputation to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Calls us today at (361) 400-2036 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
The Patel Firm
1129 Airline Road
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412
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