Last Sunday, former NFL quarterback Joey Harrington was seriously injured in a bicycle accident. Apparently he was riding his bicycle when an SUV passed too close to him and struck him. he was taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having a broken collar bone, a punctured lung, and other injuries. Thankfully, he appears to be okay (and this is obviously a relative term given the serious nature of his injuries).
I’ve represented a number of people who have suffered serious injuries in bicycle wrecks, and Mr. Harrington’s wreck can serve as a lesson in many facets of the lawsuit process.
First, you should learn to wear a helmet. Had he not been wearing a helmet, his injuries could have been much worse.
Second, it can be a reminder of how much damage can occur in a bicycle wreck. While Mr. Harrington is retired, he is still probably in better shape than most of us. And he suffered very severe injuries in this wreck. In our biking cases, I’ve represented everyone from the casual rider to the person who bikes regularly for transportation to professional athletes, and all of them suffered severe injuries. No matter how healthy you are, you need to be careful when you’re on a bike.
Finally, it’s a lesson in potential sources of recovery. In making a claim, a person such as Mr. Harrington will first want to figure out what insurance is available to compensate him for his injuries. He obviously has a claim against the driver of the SUV. If the driver of the SUV purchased enough insurance to cover all of Mr. Harrington’s claims, then he wouldn’t have to look elsewhere.
If the driver didn’t have enough insurance, then Mr. Harrington could turn to his underinsured motorist coverage (at least in Texas). Texas law provides that UM/UIM insurance, which you can purchase as part of your automobile insurance, will step in to help you if you’re injured in a bicycle accident.
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