Apr 27

Bicycle Accident? What to Do in SATX

I was emailed an person who works for  personalinjury-law.com and she wanted to contribute to my blog by writing about what cyclist need to do to in the event that they are in an accident. She tailored her post to San Antonio, Texas. I believe this will be a great resource for all San Antonio, Texas Cyclists.

The only thing I would add to this post that it is also important to file reports on ALL bicycle/vehicle run ins because the city uses the statistics from these incidents to raise funding for cycling infrastructure through grants and they also map this data to see where improvements are needed. – Matthew 

The following article was provided by the staff of http://www.personalinjury-law.com/

What to do in SATX in the event of a bicycle accident: 

Cycling is not only an easy and fun way to get around town, but a great form of exercise. Unfortunately, even the safest cyclist could be involved in a crash. Even if you find yourself mostly uninjured, you could still face bike repair bills or medical costs down the road.

Fortunately, drivers are required to carry auto insurance to cover you in the event of a crash. As long as you follow the right steps, you can be awarded damages to pay your medical bills, your bike repairs, and even lost wages if you have to miss work due to injury.

To prevent as many crashes as possible, all San Antonio cyclists should obey cycling law. If you find yourself in a crash, keep calm, and try to get as much evidence of what happened as possible. Even if you don’t think you’re injured at the time, you might be happy you did later.

Cycling Law in San Antonio, Texas

In general, cyclists are required to obey all the same traffic laws as automobiles. This includes obeying stop sights and red lights and not unduly blocking traffic. In addition, San Antonio has some unique ordinances and laws pertaining to bicycles.

  • Bike Light Ordinance – Bicycles are legally required to have functional front and back lights, and to turn them on at night. The front light must be white and visible at least 500 feet from the bike. The rear must have a red reflector, and also a red light visible from 500 feet from the bike. Any reputable biking gear shop will have lights that fit these requirements.
  • Safe Passing Ordinance – San Antonio has a Safe Passing Ordinance to protect cyclists on the road. Cars are allowed to pass you, but they must maintain a minimum distance of 3’ from you at all times (6’ for large trucks). Exceptions are made when road conditions do not permit this distance, but drivers always have a duty to “not interfere with vulnerable users’ legal use of the road.”

That means that as long as you are obeying the law and riding safely, the law is on your side in the event of a crash. The Safe Passing Ordinance is particularly important, since it’s often a key factor in determination of fault in a collision. Always maintain situational awareness while riding, and watch out for cars that get too close. It’s a good safety habit, and being able to provide a clear account of events can make all the difference if you need to make an insurance claim.

What to Do Right After a Crash

If you are involved in a crash, stay calm and follow these steps. Even if you feel like you’re uninjured, it’s absolutely vital to not only set up the framework for an insurance claim, but to make sure that you’re healthy. Injuries can take time to present themselves, and you might be surprised how bad you feel the next day. By following these steps after a crash, you’ll be ready to file an insurance claim later if you need to.

  • Photographic Evidence – Use your smartphone or other camera to take pictures of everything. Your bike. The car. The road. Your surroundings. Your own injuries or torn clothes. If you find yourself in an argument or legal battle, this can be key evidence in making your case.
  • Speak with the Driver – Exchange information with the driver of the car. Just like in an auto collision, you should take down their contact and insurance information. That includes their name, phone number, address, insurance information, driver’s license number, and license plate. If you possibly can, speak with witnesses or bystanders as well and get their contact information. If you’re unable to do this because you’re hurt, ask a bystander.
  • Speak with the Police – Shortly after the crash, a police officer should arrive to write an official report. Make sure you talk to the officer! It’s not unheard of for an apparently uninjured cyclist to be ignored by the police, and for them to only take a statement from the car driver. Don’t let that happen. Talk to the officer and give your side of the story. Show them your bike, your injuries, and give a clear account of the crash.
  • Keep your Stuff – It might be counter-intuitive, but don’t get your bike fixed just yet. Don’t throw away your ruined clothes or helmet. All of it can be used to make your case to an insurance company or to a court. It is advisable to get an estimate of your bike repair costs, but if at all possible, don’t go through with the repair until after you’ve claimed damages.
  • Go to the Doctor – On the other hand, you are not your bike. Your very next stop after leaving the scene of the crash should be a nearby hospital. There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, even if you don’t feel like you are badly injured, you may have internal injuries. Medical problems can take time to present themselves, so it’s vital to your safety to get checked out. Secondly, having your injuries documented at a hospital will greatly help you in the event of an insurance claim. If you file a claim and never went to the hospital, then you don’t have a great argument that you were injured in the first place.

Hospitals in San Antonio, Texas

This is a list of major hospitals in San Antonio where you can go after a crash. Print this article and keep it in your bike bag.

  • Methodist Hospital – 7700 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229
  • Metropolitan Methodist Hospital – 1310 McCullough Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
  • University Health System, 701 S Zarzamora St., San Antonio, TX 78207
  • Northeast Baptist Hospital – 8811 Village Dr., San Antonio, TX 78217

What’s Next – How to Write a Demand Letter

After you’re back from the hospital, feeling very sore and sorry for your poor ride, it’s time to plan your next steps. The driver of the car likely has auto insurance. Because the car struck you, the insurance may have an obligation to cover your medical and repair expenses. The way to start that process is by writing a demand letter.

This is a standard business letter, the purpose of which is to explain to the auto insurance company who you are, how you were damaged, and how much it will cost to fix. The costs include your medical expenses, repair or replacement of your property (the bike!), and can potentially include things like lost wages if you have to miss work.

In the letter, give a detailed, specific, and accurate account of the crash and the events that led up to it. Be sure to mention if the car was driving unsafely or speeding, and if they came too close to you while passing.

Also give a detailed summary of all your expenses. Include supporting documentation like your medical bills and bike repair estimates. If there were any witnesses to the crash, include statements from them as well that support your claim.

Be sure to include the actual, specific amount of money you need to make things right.

By gathering as much evidence ahead of time as possible, you’ll place yourself in the best possible position to get a quick insurance settlement and get back to what’s important: recovery.


IMPORTANT NOTICE*This article was not written by an attorney, and the accuracy of the content is not warranted or guaranteed. If you wish to receive legal advice about a specific problem, you should contact a licensed attorney in your area.


The following article was provided by the staff of http://www.personalinjury-law.com/