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You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney Who Will Fight Until a Fair Settlement is Reached
As a bicycle accident attorney who represents victims in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, NM, Mr. Enriquez has seen a variety of personal injuries involving innocent bike riders.
The Southwest is a beautiful place to take in the sights of the desert, especially on a bike. It is extremely unsettling when someone’s favorite pastime or means of commuting is ruined by a negligent driver.
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bike, please contact our law firm today. At the Enriquez Law Firm, we fight for the rights of bicyclists as their injuries generally require considerable medical attention and personal care. Contact us today to receive the legal assistance you deserve.
Texas and New Mexico Have Laws Designed to Protect Bicycle Riders
Unfortunately, in both Texas and New Mexico there are bicycle-related accidents that reinforce or create new state mandates. Safety should always be the first priority for drivers and bicycle riders alike.
New Mexico residents should adhere to the following laws:
- When riding at night, bicyclists should have headlights and taillights with rear reflectors.
- There should be at least three feet of space to the right of bike riders.
- Bicyclists should always follow the flow of traffic.
- Minors must wear a helmet.
- A bike can only carry the number of people it’s designed to hold.
- No person shall operate a bicycle unless it’s equipped with a bell or a device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet.
- Bicycles must have a functioning brake.
Texans must obey the following regulations:
- Bicyclists should follow the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle operators.
- Bicyclists should signal or point to the direction they plan on turning.
- One rider per saddle is permitted.
- When riding at night, bikes must have a white light on the front and a red reflector or red light on the rear.
- A person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than traffic can ride as near or as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
- In a shared-use area, bicyclists can pass vehicles cautiously, after giving notice of the pass to the pedestrian or other bicyclists they are passing.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Although traveling on a bike only accounts for one percent of travel in the U.S., bicyclists are faced with a higher possibility of injury or fatality. One of the common reasons for bicycle accidents is a collision with other vehicles, especially in areas with heavy vehicle congestion. Consider these national statistics:
- In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data showed that 726 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes.
- In 2015, NHTSA reported 818 bicyclist deaths.
- Roughly 37% of bicyclist deaths had alcohol involvement, either for the motor vehicle driver or bicycle rider.
- According to the National Safety Council, the total cost of a bicyclist injury and death is over $4 billion per year.
Reasons for bicycle accidents include:
- Inattentive drivers or riders
- Driving too close to a bike lane
- Failure to see bicyclists
Bicycle Injuries Range From Minor Cuts and Bruises to Fatalities
According to the CDC, in 2015 the U.S. saw over 1,000 bicyclists die and a total of 467,000 bicycle-related injuries. Adults between the ages of 50 and 59 pose the greatest risk of death rates and children between the ages of five to 14, as well as adolescents ages 15-19, account for the highest group of non-fatal bicycle accidents. The majority of accidents tend to take place in urban areas and at non-intersections. Moreover, bicyclists have a higher risk of crash-related injuries or death than passengers of motor vehicles.
Common injuries that result from bicycle accidents include:
- Dental and jaw injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Fractured clavicle
- Broken legs
- Hand fractures
- Joint dislocation
- Elbow fractures
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
Knowing What to Do Following a Bicycle Accident is Extremely Important to Your Health and Well-Being
Being struck by a vehicle while riding a bike is one of the most horrendous experiences a person can face. As a victim of a bicycle accident, the moments following the event are vital to your health. Here’s what you should do if you are struck or witness the accident:
- Contact the police. Immediately inform the operator of your location and the people involved in the accident. Wait for the police to arrive and report the facts of the event.
- Gather key information. You will need the name of the driver, his or her license plate, phone number, and insurance information. Make sure to collect the names of witnesses and document any objects present at the scene, as well as photographic evidence.
- Seek medical attention. Even if the injury appears to be minor, you should see a doctor or nurse who will examine the damage. Often times, minor injuries may lead to unforeseen internal complications.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. You will need assistance securing a compensation to help cover your medical bills and any other damages that were lost as a result of the accident. Our law firm will immediately provide you with guidance and answers to your initial questions.