Both motorists and bicyclists are required to follow the rules of the road in Austin, Texas. When an accident occurs, the police and lawyers for both sides work to establish who was at fault. Since Texas is a comparative negligence state, you can receive compensation for the accident as long as you are less than 50 percent at fault. Let’s go over some common bike accident scenarios, so you’ll have a better understanding of fault.
Failure to Yield
Failure to yield at a stop sign is a common cause of bicycle accidents. Both cyclists and motor vehicles must stop at stop signs. If it’s a two-way stop, the cyclist or motorist at the stop sign must make sure that traffic is clear before proceeding. At a four-way stop, the person who arrives first has the right of way, meaning they can proceed while the other person waits. If someone violates the right of way and causes an accident, they are at fault, and the victim can recover damages.
Failure to Share the Road
Cyclists are often involved in accidents caused by a failure to share the road. Motorists are required to give a least three-foot clearance to cyclists. They also need to look for bicyclists before parking or opening their doors.
Motorists aren’t the only ones with responsibilities. Cyclists are supposed to stay as close to the shoulder as they can. If either party fails to adhere to the rules of the road, an accident can occur. The motorist or cyclists that breached the duty of care will be found liable.
Distracted Driving or Riding
Both cyclists and motorists can get distracted when on the roadways. Looking at smartphones or engaging in other distracting activities can lead to an accident. The distracted driver or rider will generally be found at fault if an accident occurs. Proving that the other driver was distracted can be difficult, though, so make sure you get a lawyer to help.
Failure to Look Before Turning Right
Right-turn accidents are some of the most dangerous on the roads. These accidents occur when a driver or cyclist fails to look before turning right. The driver then collides with a bicyclist. While cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings, these accidents are usually the motorists’ fault.
Failure to Signal
Both motorists and cyclists are required to signal when on the road in Austin. However, many switch lanes or make turns without letting others know of their intentions. When an accident occurs, the party that didn’t signal will often be found liable.
Get Legal Help
These are just some of the causes of bike accidents in Austin. While these instances are straightforward, the evidence often isn’t quite as clear-cut. Hiring a lawyer is often necessary to figure out if one side is solely at fault or if both parties are responsible. Remember, even if you
are partially at fault, you might still be eligible to collect damages. Contact a Steven C. Lee & Associates to go over the evidence to see if you have a case.
Steven C. Lee is a personal injury lawyer in Austin, Texas specializing in truck accidents, car accidents, bicycle accidents, drunk driving accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction site accidents and wrongful death cases.