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Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Austin

Fighting for the Rights of Injured Cyclists & Their Families

Bicycle crashes are serious – they are so much worse than a car on car accidents. We know. We have handled hundreds of bike crashes and helped cyclists recover what they deserve after a crash.

As cyclists ourselves, we understand how important cycling is, and how devastating it can be to be hit on a bike and what it feels like to lose the ability or desire to ride. Our goal is to be the very best advocates for cyclists, get them a full recovery, and we work hard to help our clients get back up riding as soon as possible.

Once we get a case, our bicycle accident lawyers in Austin work with the police to get the facts and fault right, we guide you through medical treatment and billing, negotiate with insurance companies, and, when necessary, we file suit and go to trial to get you every penny you deserve.

Call (512) 430-4844 or fill out a confidential contact form to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Austin.

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Advocate for cyclists, attorney Sean Breen. We Are Advocates for All Cyclists

As Austin bike accident attorneys, we are advocates for all cyclists. That means commuters, racers, professionals, beginners, and advanced riders. If you ride a bicycle for any reason, for pleasure, for transportation, for sport, we advocate for your bicycling rights and safety.

We are here to protect you in the courtroom and on the road. By going after the inattentive drivers, the aggressive drivers, the texting drivers or the speeding driver who hit you, you send a message to other drivers and also insurance companies. You are saying we aren't going to take it anymore! Drivers and cyclists need to be mindful, drive carefully, and share the road. We both pay for it with tax dollars and we both need to obey the rules established on the road.

Was Your Bicycle Accident Caused by a Negligent Driver?

Austin is known as a vibrant and passionate cycling city. But as more people move here, more drivers clog the roads, and cyclists face greater risk. With many Austin residents choosing to cycle to work or simply ride for fun, bicycle accidents have become a fairly common occurrence.

Sadly, many of these accidents are the result of negligence. All too often, motorists use their cell phones and fail to notice or yield to bicyclists—with catastrophic consequences. Even with the proper safety gear, such as helmets and reflective clothing, bicyclists are relatively unprotected in the event of a collision, and they are the ones who suffer the most severe injuries.

If you or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident and you believe another party is at fault, contact Howry Breen & Herman for a free consultation. Our Austin bicycle accident attorneys will help you determine if:

  • Another person or entity acted negligently; and
  • Their negligence led to your injuries or the injuries/death of a loved one.

With nearly 25 years of litigation experience, we are prepared to aggressively advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.

Who Is At-Fault for a Bicycle Accident?

If a motor vehicle driver fails to exercise reasonable care, violates traffic laws, or engages in reckless behavior, they may be held liable for a collision with a cyclist.

In a bicycle accident claim in Texas, you generally need to prove the following elements:

  1. Duty of Care: This means showing that the party you are holding responsible (usually a motorist) had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others on the road.
  2. Breach of Duty: Provide evidence demonstrating that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care expected, such as violating traffic laws, driving recklessly, or engaging in negligent behavior that led to the bicycle accident.
  3. Causation: Demonstrate that the defendant's breach of duty was a direct cause of the bicycle accident and resulting injuries. This involves showing that the accident would not have occurred but for the defendant's actions.
  4. Damages: Provide evidence of the injuries, losses, and expenses you incurred as a result of the bicycle accident. This can include medical records, bills, lost wages, property damage, and any other relevant economic or non-economic damages.

Oftentimes, insurance companies try to blame a cyclist for the accident. Under Texas comparative fault law, a bicyclist may recover compensation for their damages if they were no more than 50% at-fault for the accident. The at-fault percentage is decided by a jury if the matter proceeds to trial. For example, if the jury determines that a cyclist suffered $10,000 worth of damages, but was 30% at fault for the accident, the cyclist is entitled to recover $7,000 ($10,000 minus $3,000, or 30%).

To determine fault, the jury looks at specific circumstances involved in the accident. They will determine if the bicyclist, the motorist, or any other involved party acted negligently and, if so, to what degree they were responsible for the accident. While every situation is unique and it is therefore impossible to say exactly who was at fault for your accident, it is very common for a motorist to be mostly, or fully at fault. The cycling attorneys at Howry Breen & Herman have significant trial experience in handling complex issues involved in cycling accidents.

A bicycle accident may be the result of driver negligence if the motorist:

  • Failure to Yield: Motorists may fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections, leading to collisions.
  • Red Light Violations: Accidents can occur when a driver runs a red light and crosses the path of a cyclist in the intersection.
  • Right-Turn Conflicts: A right-turning vehicle can pose a threat to a cyclist traveling straight, especially if the driver fails to check for cyclists in the bike lane.
  • Left-Turn Accidents: A vehicle turning left at an intersection may collide with an oncoming cyclist traveling in the opposite direction.
  • Overtaking Collisions: Motorists overtaking cyclists need to provide sufficient space. Unsafe passing can lead to sideswiping or collisions.
  • Dooring Accidents: When a driver or passenger opens a car door without checking for approaching cyclists, it can lead to serious collisions.
  • Distracted Driving: Drivers distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or other distractions may fail to notice cyclists on the road.
  • Speeding: Higher speeds reduce reaction time, making it more challenging for drivers to avoid collisions with cyclists.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Signals and Signs: Ignoring traffic signals or signs by both cyclists and motorists can lead to dangerous situations at intersections.
  • Impaired Driving: Alcohol or drug impairment can impair a driver's judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents with cyclists.
  • Lack of Visibility: Low visibility, especially during dusk or dawn, can contribute to accidents if drivers cannot see cyclists.
  • Inadequate Infrastructure: Inadequate road infrastructure for cyclists can increase the risk of accidents with motor vehicles.

Of course, not all bicycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Poorly maintained roads, defective bicycle design, and even untethered dogs can all cause bicycle crashes. Sometimes, cyclists may fail to follow the rules of the road, running stop signs or red lights, failing to use hand signals, or riding on the sidewalk. In such instances, they may be found partially at fault for the accident and therefore entitled to receive a percentage of the full amount for their damages. Our attorneys know how to handle those situations to help aggressively prosecute the case and seek full recovery for the cyclist.

Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries

Like pedestrians and motorcyclists, bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injury or death on the road. Without airbags and the “cage” of a passenger vehicle or truck, the cyclist will likely be directly hit by another vehicle and thrown from their bike. The higher the speed, the more likely the cyclist is to sustain a permanent or fatal injury. Common injuries from bicycle accidents include:

  • Abrasions and lacerations. Commonly referred to as “road rash,” abrasions occur because of the friction between the cyclist’s skin and the street. Debris from the accident may cause more serious skin or soft tissue damage, leading to dangerous levels of blood loss.
  • Broken bones. The impact of a crash may simply bruise a cyclist but will more often break bones. A break or other severe injury to the spine may result in disability or paralysis.
  • Head injuries. Helmets offer limited protection to cyclists. In a catastrophic accident, they will not protect the cyclist from traumatic brain injury. Examples of head injuries include concussions, skull fractures, brain contusions, and intracranial hemorrhages. Any serious brain injury may pose serious and lifelong consequences for the cyclist’s ability to function.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, contusions, and lacerations are common soft tissue injuries resulting from falls or impacts. Road rash, caused by sliding on pavement, is a type of abrasion that can lead to skin injuries.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Severe accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, which may lead to paralysis or other long-term disabilities.
  • Facial Injuries: Cyclists may suffer facial injuries, including fractures, cuts, and bruising, especially if they are not wearing protective gear.
  • Internal Injuries: Internal injuries to organs, such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, can occur in more severe accidents.
  • Joint Injuries: Dislocations and injuries to the joints, such as the shoulders, knees, or elbows, can occur in bicycle accidents.
  • Psychological Trauma: In addition to physical injuries, individuals involved in bicycle accidents may experience psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety related to cycling.

Bicycle accident injuries can be excruciating and debilitating. They may require weeks, months, or even years of recovery time—some cyclists will never fully recover. No matter the degree of your injury, our legal team will fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

cyclist on the road after accident

Recoverable Damages After a Bicycle Accident

The financial impact of a bicycle accident can be extreme because the injuries are so often severe. Extensive hospital stays get expensive and push the limits of most healthcare insurance plans. Missing time off work for so long also exacerbates the situation by halting income as expenses add up. As your chosen Austin bicycle accident lawyers, we will do all we can to get you as much compensation as possible.

The financial compensation that might be attainable in your bicycle accident claim:

  • Medical bills: All past, current, and future medical costs like hospitalization, rehabilitative therapy, and prescription medications can be paid to you through a successful settlement or verdict.
  • Lost wages: Any wages that you lost because you were unable to work can be rewarded to you through your claim or lawsuit, even if you are collecting a portion of your typical wages through disability insurance.
  • Pain and suffering: The emotional pain, physical agony, and mental scarring you are enduring due to your bicycle accident can be answered with compensation meant to help you find closure and a sense of justice.
  • Wrongful death: After losing a loved one in a bicycle accident, you can file a wrongful death claim for damages particular to their untimely passing, such as funeral expenses and their final medical bills.

What About Damage to My Bike?

If your bicycle is damaged our bicycle accident lawyers will assist you in getting it repaired or replaced. We never charge you a fee to resolve your property damage. In addition, this part of your case can be handled right away; you do not wait for your injury claim to be resolved. You may be entitled to the replacement value of your bike, not “depreciated” value insurance companies will try to offer you.

Texas Bicycle Accident Statutes of Limitations

In Texas, bicycle accident claims are regulated using the state’s base personal injury claim statute of limitations of only two years. For nearly all bicycle accident cases, the statute of limitations will begin on the day the victim was hit by the negligent driver or pedestrian. Once two years have passed since that date, any claim you try to file as the victim of a bicycle accident will be invalid and the court will reject it before it ever gets a chance to be processed.

When an injury caused by a bicycle accident is not immediately obvious to the victim, the two-year statute of limitations will begin on the day that the injury does or should have become apparent. For example, a brain injury might not become noticeable until days or weeks after a collision when an MRI is ordered by a concerned doctor. However, this delay is rare, as it is assumed that a bicycle accident victim would be injured enough to feel their injuries and seek comprehensive medical care that same day.

What Laws Protect Bicyclists in Austin?

In addition to Texas bicycling laws, the city of Austin has certain laws meant to protect the safety of cyclists and others who share the road with them. Whenever cyclists ride on the street or on bicycle paths in Austin, they must follow all traffic control devices (signals, stop signs, etc.) and follow the general rules of the road. Additionally, cyclists in Austin can use the entire lane when cars are permitted to park on the right side of the road, but should ride as far to the right as possible when cars are not allowed to park on the side of the road or when a road has no lanes.

City statutes also require cyclists to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and vehicles when cyclists are exiting from alleys, buildings, and driveways, and all children should wear bicycle helmets when riding. The law also stipulates that riding a bike on the sidewalk in certain areas of the city is prohibited; this includes certain blocks along Congress Avenue, Guadalupe Street, Brazos Street, Colorado Street, and other areas. You can see the full list of where it unlawful to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in Austin here.

Graphic showing the following three topics: bicycle safety tips (keeping bikes well-maintained, staying aware of other vehicles and always wearing a helmet), cycling law in Austin (such as following the traffic laws and biking on sidewalks) and what to do after a bicycle accident.

Evidence Collection & Preservation

The evidence that you can collect from the scene of your bicycle accident is only useful if it can also be preserved. Far too often, injured claimants encounter serious complications when pursuing compensation because they have lost the evidence they were intending to use for their case. Do your best to preserve every photograph, video, and testimony you collect.

Nowadays, digital evidence is far more common than physical, so you should be thinking about how you can back up any important digital files after your crash. For example, saving your pictures to your smartphone is not enough. You should also use your smartphone to email those files to yourself, where they will be saved to your email host’s server as an attachment. Better yet, go to your computer, laptop, or tablet and save those attachments to a hard drive. In a matter of minutes, you will have made two backup files of what could be the best evidence you have for your bicycle accident claim.

Can Expert Testimony Help My Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?

Getting into the fine details of your bicycle accident could spell the difference between a successful case and one that ends in the defendant’s favor. To create the clearest picture about what happened and why our attorneys can work with a bicycle accident reconstructionist. These professionals can effectively recreate the scene of an accident down to surprisingly small details in order to understand what unfolded. They can also make presentations to bring to court and act as expert witnesses for a testimony.

Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

Because of the many various factors involved, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Austin if you were involved in a collision or cycling accident. These types of accidents often lead to extensive medical treatment and victims often have to take time off work to recover. In some cases, they are unable to return to work at all. In very severe cases, a bicyclist may be killed by a negligent motorist.

At Howry Breen & Herman, we help injured cyclists and their families fight for the full recovery they are owed. We can help you seek a fair recovery and financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, funeral costs, and other damages. No matter your unique situation, our firm is prepared to fight for you. Our attorneys are skilled trial attorneys who can aggressively advocate for you.

Here's how we can help:

  • Legal Consultation: Our team understands the complexities of bicycle accident cases, and we provide a complimentary consultation to assess the details of your situation.
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Our experienced attorneys will gather evidence related to your bicycle accident, including witness statements, police reports, and any available surveillance footage.
  • Expert Analysis: When necessary, we collaborate with accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other experts to build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Determining Liability: Identifying the party at fault is crucial. Whether it's a negligent driver, a poorly maintained road, or another factor, we work to establish liability and build a compelling case.
  • Insurance Negotiations: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Our attorneys negotiate with insurers to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and property damage.
  • Medical Records and Bills: We assist in obtaining and organizing medical records and bills related to your injuries. This is essential for accurately assessing the damages in your case.
  • Legal Representation: Our skilled attorneys will represent your interests in negotiations or, if necessary, in court. We are committed to securing the best possible outcome for your case.
  • Compensation Recovery: Our goal is to help you recover the compensation you deserve, including damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
  • Settlement or Litigation: Whether through settlement negotiations or courtroom litigation, we guide you through each step of the legal process, advocating for your rights and best interests.
  • Client Support: Throughout the entire process, we offer personalized support, keeping you informed and addressing any concerns you may have.

Our firm serves clients throughout Austin, Georgetown, and the surrounding areas. Call us at (512) 430-4844 or fill out a confidential contact form to schedule a free case evaluation today.

Related Informations:

Bicycle Accidents
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2023
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 9 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Texas Lawyer Austin Best of 2020: Personal Injury Firm
    Howry Breen & Herman, LLP was selected the Top Personal Injury Law Firm in Austin by Texas Lawyer, “Best of 2020”. The annual special supplement contains the results of Texas Lawyer readers’ poll, wherein readers cast their votes for the best providers of services and goods to the legal profession.
  • Attorney Sean Breen and Attorney Chris Lavorato placed in California’s Top 100 Settlements for 2019, as tracked by The Recorder and VerdictSearch.
  • Our law firm is proud to have been recognized in the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame. Texas Lawyer in conjunction with VerdictSearch, recognize attorneys and law firms for their verdicts of $10 million or more. In 2011 Sean Breen was a Hall of Fame Award Recipient for the #1 Premises Liability Top Texas Verdict, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for the jury verdict award in the case VanDusen v. Aspen Square Management. In 2016 Sean Breen was inducted into the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for an outstanding verdict in Nester v. Textron.
  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys 2021
    Selection to America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identity the nation’s most exceptional litigators for high-value personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice matters. HBH is proud that Sean Breen has been selected for this award. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community. (2017-2022)
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2016
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 7 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Litigation - Trusts & Estates (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Personal Injury - Plaintiffs (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Lifetime Achievement selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments and impact on the legal profession merit a Lifetime Achievement award. Selection is not achieved based on a single accomplishment or a single great year of success, but rather on a lifetime of hard work, ethical standards, and community enriching accomplishments that are inspiring among the legal profession. Both Sean Breen (2017) and Randy Howry (2018) are honored to receive this award.
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters. To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration. Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through comprehensive Qualitative Comparative Analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state. HBH is privileged to honor Partners Sean Breen (2017- 2021) and Randy Howry 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for selection of this award.
  • Expertise- Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin 2020
    Expertise - Howry Breen & Herman was recognized and featured in an article by as one of the Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin. 2020
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100, a highly respected legal organization that limits its members to premier trial attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by strict qualification requirements. Sean Breen Top 100 Civil Plaintiff, 2009 – 2020.
  • Top 10 Business Tort Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers. Randy Howry 2012-2013; Sean Breen since 2016.
  • Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes the top 5% of the most skilled attorneys in the nation. The robust selection process requires attorneys to nominate and review fellow lawyers based on their ethics, skill, knowledge, and ability to obtain results for their clients. The Best Lawyers in America® list is a way for plaintiffs to identify the leading attorneys in their region, known for their ability to get results with honesty, strength, and skill. Tim Herman, Sean Breen & Randy Howry have been featured by The Best Lawyers in America® (2006-2020) running alongside some of the most qualified firms in the nation. More info here.
  • Texas Monthly Top Attorneys - Sean E. Breen
    Top Attorneys As Published In Texas Monthly
  • Top 50 US Verdicts All Practice Areas Texas 2017
    Sean Breen was honored by for recovering one of the Top 50 Verdicts in Texas in 2017. This is an honorable distinction, reserved for those attorneys that achieve the highest settlements and verdicts in the state.
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Sean Breen is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a renowned legal organization whose membership is restricted to trial attorneys who have achieved seven-figured settlements and/or jury verdicts. 2011.
  • Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    We are proud to have Sean Breen who is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In order to become a member, an attorney must demonstrate that he or she has successfully achieved at least one six-figure settlement or jury verdict. 2011.
  • AV Preeminent
    Martindale-Hubbell® is widely regarded as one of the most renowned peer-review rating organizations in the legal field. Randy Howry (2018), Sean Breen (2001), Tim Herman (1998), Glen Wilkerson (2014) and Chris Lavorato (2014) at Howry, Breen & Herman have achieved the organization’s highest distinction of AV Preeminent®.
  • Super Lawyers
    Each year, Super Lawyers® magazine publishes its list of peer-nominated/evaluated and independently reviewed attorneys. We are proud to have attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers® List, by Thomas Reuters since 2003, running through 2020.
  • Top American Lawyers
    Membership in Top American Lawyers is limited to only 1% of all attorneys in the United States. Randy Howry is proud to be honored with a Lifetime Charter Membership in this exclusive organization (2017).
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