San Antonio Bicycle Accidents: Pay Attention

Nov 2012

You may have noticed them on a recent Sunday as they pedaled alongside Loop 1604 – over 400 bicyclists with bright orange shirts, emblazoned with the words, “Can You See Me Now?”

San Antonio bicycle accident attorneys understand the cyclists were raising awareness after one of their own was recently struck by a vehicle from behind and severely injured.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, the 39-year-old mother-of-two and triathlete suffered a serious spinal cord injury when an older woman in a pick-up truck hit her on an Interstate 10 access road last month. She is currently still recovering at University Hospital.

In honor of her, the other cyclists organized a 20-mile ride, which they did through word-of-mouth and through a number of bicycling shops in the area. In addition to raising awareness, the group hoped to raise money to help cover their fellow cyclist’s medical expenses, as she had recently been laid off from her medical sales job and had no health insurance. It was estimated about $40,000 had been raised through the sale of the orange t-shirts, at $20 each.

It’s an extremely touching gesture – but one that many injured cyclists are not on the receiving end of. What’s more, it’s unlikely to cover expenses for the years of recovery she may have ahead of her.

Spinal cord injuries can be fatal. But even when they aren’t, they can result in severe and chronic pain, respiratory complications, bladder complications, bowel dysfunction, heart problems and paralysis. The extent to which the person suffers depends on the type of injury, whether it is complete or incomplete. An incomplete injury means that the ability of the spinal cord to deliver messages to and from the brain remains at least somewhat intact. When the injury is complete, it means the person has lost all sensory and/or motor function below the location of the injury.

Recovery, if possible, is often long, painful and expensive.

When such injuries are due to the negligence of others, at-fault parties must be held accountable.

In this case, the cyclist has already undergone surgery and faces many more months of difficult rehabilitation.

At the time she was struck, the cyclist had been training for her second Ironman triathlon, which includes biking, running and swimming. This was a cyclist who knew what she was doing, and had been carefully following the rules of the road.

The driver of the truck was an 82-year-old woman, who hasn’t been initially cited by law enforcement officials. The crash happened just outside of San Antonio limits, where an ordinance instructs drivers to keep a safe distance when they are passing certain “vulnerable” road users. This includes cyclists. Cars are supposed to stay at least three feet away, while commercial vehicles have to give them at least six feet of space.

It’s unclear what that is going to mean for any potential criminal case, but it certainly appears there may be a strong basis for a civil lawsuit.

San Antonio has a history of such crashes. Just two months ago on West Avenue, a 17-year-old driver struck and killed a 55-year-old bicyclist. It’s estimated that the teen had been driving at speeds of over 60 miles per hour. That case is still under investigation.

Other cyclists who joined the solidarity ride reported having been struck also, or having extremely close calls. One cyclist reported he missed work for two months after being hit by a truck several years ago.

“We need to get the word out about the need for safety,” he was quoted as saying.

If you’ve been injured in a San Antonio bicycling accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a confidential consultation.

Leave a Reply