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Texas Bicycle Accident Law: A Claimant’s Guide

  1. Texas Bicycle Accident Law: A Claimant’s Guide
  2. Overview of Texas Bicycle Laws
  3. Bicycle Accident Liability: Filing a Claim and Negotiations
  4. Possible Complications for Your Bike Accident Case
  5. Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
  6. Will Adams Law Firm Protects Texas Bicyclists

Texas Bicycle Accident Law: A Claimant’s Guide

Bicycle riding is increasingly popular in Texas. Whether you do it to get exercise, save gas money, or reduce pollution, you’re part of a growing and admirable trend in our state.

However, as more and more bicycle riders share the road with motor vehicles, bicycle accidents have also become increasingly common. And without the protection of large, enclosed vehicles, cyclists often endure serious injuries. In 2021, 90 people in Texas lost their lives in bike accidents—up from 79 the year before. Further, a bicycle accident can forever change lives and feelings about riding in the open air.

Anyone who’s been injured by someone else’s actions on the roadway deserves compensation for their losses. However, convincing the insurance companies or a jury isn’t always as easy as one might hope. Fortunately, experienced Katy and Houston bicycle accident lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help injured people secure the money they need.

This article will guide you through that process. We’ll outline the basics of bicycle law in Texas, explain how you can pursue financial compensation for your losses, and flag the things that might complicate your bicycle accident claim. We’ll also discuss how a personal injury lawyer can increase your chances for full and fair compensation.

Overview of Texas Bicycle Laws

In general, bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as motor vehicle drivers. They may use the road and must follow all the same traffic laws and signals. Most cyclists adhere to this, though in some cases they do cause accidents.

That said, most bicycle accidents are the fault of drivers who aren’t properly sharing the road with cyclists. The results could be life altering injuries or even death.

To minimize this risk, bicyclists are to:

  • Keep up with traffic when riding in the car lane.
  • Ride as far to the right as possible if slower than traffic (unless the lane is too narrow or hazards are in the way). You may ride on the left if the street is one-way.
  • Use appropriate hand signals for stopping and turning left or right.
  • Have working brakes.
  • Keep at least one hand on the handlebars.
  • Only have one rider per bike seat.
  • Wear or carry proper reflective gear and lighting. At night, you must have a forward-facing white lamp and a rear-facing red lamp, both visible for at least 500 feet. (A rear-facing red reflector only has to be visible for 300 feet.)

Two bikes may ride abreast (next to each other) in the same lane as long as they don’t inhibit the flow of traffic.

Cars are allowed to pass bikes riding on the shoulder or next to the curb as long as they take proper precautions.

Bicycle Accident Liability: Filing a Claim and Negotiations

If cyclists and drivers observe the rules above, the roads are generally safe enough for everyone to ride without issues. However, bike riders are too often injured by the careless actions of those in motor vehicles.

Because Texas is a fault state, someone who causes a crash and injuries is liable for those damages. An injured person begins pursuing compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Among the damages you may claim are:

  • Medical expenses, including hospital bills, treatment, medications, surgery, therapy, and more
  • Lost wages due to your inability to work after being injured
  • Pain and suffering, including physical discomfort, mental anguish, and missed opportunities

When you file a bicycle accident claim, do not enter conversations about the incident with an insurance representative. Simply provide the police report and complete necessary forms. Any discussion beyond that puts you at risk of saying something they may try to use against you.

Insurance agents are trained to close claims as quickly and cheaply as possible. If they can get you to even suggest you contributed to the accident, it could impact the entire case. It’s in your best interest not to say anything.

Once you file a claim, the insurance company will respond, most likely with either a denial or a lower offer than you seek in your claim. Never accept a lowball offer, no matter how tempting. It probably won’t come close to what you need for your recovery.

Most people injured in a bike or car accident are not prepared to negotiate effectively with trained insurance representatives. Further, trying to do so can create stress that slows healing and takes time away from your home life. This is why it’s so important to work with an experienced attorney who can take that burden on for you and your family.

RELATED: Hit Riding Your Bike? Know Your Legal Options

“Will treats his clients with great kindness and compassion. He fully understands the pain and injustice each victim is going through. This compassion and understanding allows Will to prosecute your case to the fullest. Will is tenacious in pursuing what he feels is the correct settlement for his clients.”

- B & ES – Dallas, TX

“Will, Chris & Sarah. K and I just want to thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us and our family. Throughout this process you have kept us informed and been patient with us (especially me) as we navigated through unchartered territory. Putting things in your hands allowed Karl and I to focus on him getting better.”

- SC – Katy, TX

“Hi Will, I just wanted to take a minute and let you and your wonderful staff know just how much we appreciate each one of you! All of you have been so great to us. Y’all have always answered any and all questions immediately and never left us hanging or wondering about anything. All of you have made this.”

- SB – Katy, TX

"Dear Sarah, you are the best legal assistant in the history of such creatures of legend and lore. (And Brian is in the tribe too) Do take a copy of this email to your next annual performance review... you have raised the bar. Thank you for all your help!"

- AM – Houston, TX

"I wanted to thank you both for a job well done and for an outcome that far exceeded my expectations. I appreciated your expertise and your thoroughness of preparation, as well as keeping me informed of the possible outcomes at each major point.Will, I think that Chris did an excellent job and wanted to bring that to your attention."

- MJ – Katy, TX

Possible Complications for Your Bike Accident Case

Beyond negotiations, the circumstances of your case may complicate the process. For example, a significant portion of bicycle accident claims involve a driver who fled the scene. How are you supposed to focus on getting better when you aren’t even sure where to file a claim?

Even if the driver stuck around and provided their information, their insurance policy might be too small to cover your needs, or they might not have any insurance at all. While you can look to your own insurance policies to supplement, an attorney will bring additional insight that keeps the process moving.

Bicycle Rules Vary Across Texas Municipalities

Depending on where your bike accident happened, the local laws might not be what you expect.

For example, while Texas does not have a helmet law, certain cities require riders to wear them. Or consider Houston, where cars must stay at least three feet away from cyclists (six feet for commercial vehicles). Another example is biking on the sidewalk—some municipalities allow it, while others do not.

All of these factors are important to your case. Unless you’re an authority on the various bike laws across Texas, it’s well worth your time to entrust these aspects to a personal injury lawyer.

Texas’ Modified Comparative Fault

Like many other states, Texas observes comparative fault when determining liability. Comparative fault means that more than one person or entity may be at fault for the incident, but injured parties may still recover damages even if they bear some of that fault.

Texas’ comparative fault rule is modified. This means that anyone more than 50% at fault for the incident may not receive any compensation. Further, compensation may be reduced according to your share of the legal responsibility.

For example, imagine you were hit by a car when the driver turned left while you rode through the intersection. Clearly, the driver misjudged their timing. However, if your injuries were worsened because you weren’t wearing a helmet in a municipality that requires them, you may be found, say, 15% at fault.

If full compensation was $100,000, it may be reduced by 15%, leaving you with $85,000.

While it is not illegal for cyclists to have alcohol in their system, being under the influence when injured may affect liability in your case.

Anti-Cyclist Bias

Unfortunately, many drivers, police officers, and potential jurors hold negative stereotypes about bike riders—for example, that they frequently disregard traffic laws and drive recklessly. Many drivers simply do not like sharing the road with bicycles.

This bias can mean that cyclists are less likely to get the benefit of doubt when the facts are unclear, and may be determined to be partially or even completely at fault in cases where they do not deserve it. Working with an experienced attorney can help gather the evidence you’ll need to counter these stereotypes, particularly in tough situations (like when you disagree with the police report).

Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help

As you can see, the potential for complications in your bike accident case are numerous. If your injuries are serious, you and your family could wind up spending countless hours trying to figure out the best path forward, all the while inhibiting physical and mental healing.

Fortunately, experienced personal injury attorneys are ready to take those complexities on. Not only are they great negotiators, but they often work with networks of medical and traffic experts to better understand your case and how to present it to the insurance companies.

For the sake of your health, your finances, and your home life, a bicycle accident lawyer is an invaluable part of your personal injury case.

RELATED: What Injured People Need to Know About Foot Injury Lawsuit Settlements

Will Adams Law Firm Protects Texas Bicyclists

The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney after a bicycle crash, the better. The bike accident lawyers on our team have been part of the Katy community for decades and are ready to do what it takes to help you secure the financial compensation you deserve.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced bicycle accident attorney at Will Adams Law Firm today if you or someone you love has been injured by a driver while riding a bike. You may call (281) 371-6345 or fill in the simple contact form on our website. We look forward to working with and helping you!


Laws and regulations FAQ. (n.d.). Texas Department of Transportation. https://www.txdot.gov/safety/bicycle-pedestrian-safety/laws-regulations-faq.html

Annual Texas motor vehicle crash statistics archive (n.d.). Texas Department of Transportation. https://www.txdot.gov/data-maps/crash-reports-records/motor-vehicle-crash-statistics/archive.html

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