This is the next post in our series on the handling of Fort Worth, Texas bicycle accident cases. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to retain an experienced personal injury attorney if you or a loved one have been injured. It is important that you retain representation immediately. Doing so will help to ensure that you receive the highest amount of compensation possible. In this article we will discuss a topic which often leads to confusion – how comparative fault, and the wearing of a helmet, impacts such matters. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
A Fort Worth bicycle accident victim may recover damages even if they were partially at fault
Texas allows a victim to recover damages even if they were partially to blame for an accident. We previously discussed this idea when explaining how comparative fault applies to a car accident case. Those same concepts apply to matters involving an injured bicyclist. Under Texas law, a victim may still receive compensation as long as they were no more than fifty percent responsible for the accident. A victim’s damages award will be reduced in proportion to their share of fault for the incident. A victim will not be able to recover, however, if the jury finds that the victim was fifty one percent, or more, responsible for the incident. How the jury will rule, in any given situation, is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case.
The foregoing rules are best explained by way of example. Suppose a Fort Worth cyclist is riding and veers too far to their left, into traffic. The rider is hit by a car. Clearly, the rider was negligent. Now suppose, however, that the driver of the car was texting on their phone while driving and was not paying attention to the road. The driver was also speeding. Under this scenario, it is possible that the jury would find that the driver of the car was more responsible for the incident than was the bicyclist. If the jury found that the driver was sixty percent responsible for the accident, and that the victim’s damages were $100,000, then the victim would receive $60,000 ($100,000 x 60 percent).
Liability in a Fort Worth bicycle accident cases involving children will be impacted by whether or not a helmet was worn
Texas, as a state, has no legal requirements that the riders of bicycles wear a helmet. Fort Worth, however, has passed an ordinance which requires helmets to be worn by those under the age of eighteen. If a minor is struck, while not wearing a helmet, then their right to recovery may be limited. The victim would not be able to recover damages which could have been avoided had a helmet been worn. The issue of the extent to which damages were caused, by the failure to wear a helmet, can involve complicated issues of fact and law. Again, this issue will only arise in matters involving victims under the age of eighteen.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Fort Worth bicycle accident, then it is important to retain an experienced lawyer as quickly as possible. We suggest you retain a firm with the resources necessary to handle such matters, and which is selective in the cases that it takes.