Our founder, Derek Merman, has been an avid cyclist for his entire life. When he was in college, he took a semester off school (unbeknownst to his mother and grandmother) to ride his bicycle from London to Amsterdam via Paris. He brought only what he could carry on his bike and returned lean, bike-less (it was stolen in Amsterdam) and smelly enough to command an entire row on the flight home.
He has also personally been involved in three auto-bicycle accidents where he was run over by a car while riding his bike. The first occurred when he was only 10 years old riding his bike home from school – the driver fled the scene and left a bloodied Derek to carry his bike the rest of the way home. He was also run over twice while in college at Baylor University. Derek was injured, though not severely, in every accident – car v. bicycle just is not a fair fight.
Since becoming a lawyer, Mr. Merman has successfully represented dozens of cyclists in their claims against motorists. In fact, his first trial ever was on behalf of a cyclist hit by a van. Mr. Merman won that case, which you can read about here.
The Merman Law Firm knows that riding your bicycle can be one of the highlights of your day, especially after a stressful time at the office. While riding bicycles for exercise is certainly no new trend, there certainly seems to be more people riding bicycles for exercise on public roadways. Although this is perfectly legal in Texas, many bicyclists sustain injuries or even die while out riding their bikes.
Unfortunately, bicycle fatalities account for about 2% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. In fact, in 2013, Texas had the 3rd highest bicycle fatality rate in the United States. The statistics from 2013 also indicate that almost 30% of all injuries to a bicyclist were caused by the bicyclist being hit by a car. The other sources of bicyclist injuries included the road not being in good repair, or from someone’s dog chasing or attacking the bicyclist.
Arguably the most important factor in bicyclist accidents in which a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle is the reality that there is no protection for the biker from the 2,000 (or more) pound vehicle that is traveling at speed. Many times, in a collision between a bicyclist and a vehicle, the biker is the only one who is injured or killed. Additionally, the person driving the vehicle is often on their phone, intoxicated, or just not paying attention.
Riding a bicycle is certainly not without risks; however, the Houston Bicycle Lawyer at the Merman Law Firm believes some of the risks can be mitigated if both bicyclists and drivers take the following precautions: bicyclists can and should wear helmets, reflective clothing, and attach headlights and tail lights to their bikes if they are riding at night (in fact, both headlights and taillights are required in Texas). Also, both drivers and bicyclists should pay attention, avoid being distracted or intoxicated while driving, and should follow the rules of the road.
The Houston Bicycle Lawyer at the Merman Law Firm understands that bicyclists generally are aware of the rules of the road and of the fact that they must follow the same rules that vehicles do. However, even if a bicyclist follows every law, it does not guarantee that they will not get in an accident. Many vehicles and bicycle collisions occur because many people are unfamiliar with bicyclists being on the roadway, and consider bicyclists a nuisance.
Bicycling, whether for exercise, commuting, or for pleasure is here to stay. No matter what the reason you ride your bicycle is, The Houston Bicycle Lawyer at the Merman Law Firm believes that you should be able to ride your bicycle knowing you are safe and that, if anything happens, you will have someone to argue on your behalf. The Houston Bicycle Lawyer at the Merman Law Firm will take your case seriously and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured while riding a bicycle, contact the Houston Bicycle Lawyer at the Merman Law Firm today for immediate assistance.