Laws in McKinney Bicycle Accident Cases
Bicycling is a favorite pastime for many McKinney residents, but sharing the road with motorcycles and cars can be dangerous for a cyclist. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you may have injuries or other difficulties that seriously impact your life. An experienced attorney who understands the laws in McKinney bicycle accident cases could help you fight for compensation.
Bicycle Laws in McKinney
The same traffic laws apply to bicycles, cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles in McKinney, and a bicyclist must obey them just as motorists do. Bicyclists have the right to use:
- Any road throughout Texas, except for some controlled-access highways with exits and no stoplights
- A full lane of traffic
- Any lane on large regional roads, although it is recommended that the bicyclist move to the farthest right lane unless making a left turn
Bicyclists are distinct in that they have to use hand signals instead of electronic signals for turning. They are also supposed to have a light on their bicycle if they ride at night. Most bicyclists have flashing red lights and wear reflective gear at night, but there still have been serious accidents with night-riding in the McKinney area. When there is construction work, it can be difficult for drivers to see bicyclists.
Wearing a Helmet
In Texas, neither a bicyclist nor a motorcyclist is required to wear a helmet. Because closed-head and other brain injuries are common in wrecks, helmets are recommended for both bicyclists and motorcyclists. Statistically, it is undeniable that helmets prevent a large number of very serious head injuries. McKinney cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets every time they ride in order to prevent closed-head injuries.
In bicycle accidents, cyclists often fall to the ground and hit their heads. Wearing a helmet can help protect riders in a bicycle accident by reducing the amount of impact force directly on the head. Closed-head injuries can occur in other ways, but direct impacts to the head can result in stronger forces that make injuries more likely.
A bicyclist on the road is riding on concrete or asphalt, and if they hit the ground they will hit hard. Not only can they have a closed-head injury to the brain, but sometimes they experience orthopedic injuries to the skull itself, or skull fractures. If the skull fractures in a bicycle accident, the odds of a brain injury increase. It is a much more common injury because of where bicycles are used, the speeds involved, and the forces involved at the time of impact.
Relevance of Helmets in Bicycle Accident Cases
The issue of whether a helmet was worn in a bicycle accident may not be admissible as evidence for fault or liability in Texas, but juries will see that a person was not wearing a helmet and could hold that against the injured person. If the injured person was not wearing a helmet or other safety gear, a defense attorney will often find some way to highlight that fact, whether it is admissible evidence or not.
Some judges could allow the defense to request to have the jury determine how responsible the plaintiff was for their own injuries by not wearing a helmet. The defense could use that to try to reduce the verdict or even eliminate a verdict for an injured person. The short answer is that the laws in McKinney bicycle accident cases do not require helmet use, but not wearing a helmet could still have negative effects on a trial.
Contacting a McKinney Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries or other difficulties in a bicycle accident, an experienced accident attorney could help you fight for your rights. A lawyer who understands the laws in McKinney bicycle accident cases could be your advocate if you are entitled to damages. Call a skilled McKinney attorney today, and know that you are in capable hands.