Assessing Fault in a Bicycle Accident in Dallas, Texas
After you are in a bicycle accident in Dallas, Texas, you should first make sure you and anyone else involved obtains the necessary medical treatment. Next, you should consider what you need to learn, document, or do to assess fault for the bicycle accident.
Filing a Lawsuit to Obtain Compensation After a Bicycle Accident:
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you may need to file a lawsuit to gain compensation from the at-fault driver. But to seek compensation from the at-fault driver, you need to establish that the other driver is responsible for the accident. Proving liability in a bicycle accident can be more complicated than you might expect.
What Do You Need to Know to Determine Fault in Bicycle Accident Cases?
- If a Party Broke the Law: At-fault parties usually violated one or more traffic laws.
- Right of Way Laws at Intersections: The laws violated in bicycle accidents often relate to the right of way at intersections (and other areas) that determine if the car or bicycle has the right of way that requires the other to yield.
- Bicyclists are Subject to Laws of the Road: According to the Texas Transportation Code, bicyclists have the same duties as drivers unless stated otherwise, so they are required to obey traffic lights and road signs just like motor vehicles. This means that in most cases, the right of way rules for drivers and cyclists are the same.
- Drivers Must Share the Road with Bicyclists: In some cases, drivers fail to share the Dallas roads with bicyclists, which can easily cause a bicycle accident.
- The Speed of the Bicyclist: If a bicyclist is traveling slower than traffic, they must stay as close to the side of the road as possible (Section 551.103 of Texas Transportation Code) with few exceptions.
Assigning Fault in Common Bicycle Accidents:
When a bicycle crash occurs at an intersection with stop signs, and one lane of traffic does not have a stop sign, but the other does, bicycles often pull out in front of cars that have the right of way, and vice versa. In this scenario, the bicycle accident’s fault belongs to the person who violated the right of way. If the bicyclist had a stop sign and didn’t stop, they were at fault for the accident. If the car had a stop sign and did not stop, they are at fault for the accident.
When a bicycle crash occurs at a four-way stop, you must again determine if the right of way laws were violated. The vehicle or bicycle that arrived at the intersection first has the right of way. If two arrive simultaneously, the car or bicycle to the right has the right of way. If the intersection connects a major street and a minor street, the car or bicycle on the major street typically has the right of way.
In these situations, crashes often occur when bicycles attempt to cross an intersection or make a turn.
When a bicycle crash occurs because drivers fail to share the road, refer to Section 551.103, which outlines exceptions to the rule that cyclists must ride as close to the side of the road as possible. (Exceptions include when cyclists are making left turns, passing vehicles on the road, going around road hazards, etc.) The fault is determined by whether the bicyclist had the right to be where they were when the accident occurred. If the rider should not have been there, the bicyclist may be at fault.
If you sustained injuries from a Texas bicycling accident and need help filing a personal injury claim, please contact the Carrollton personal injury lawyers at Hudson Law. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.