What Is The Most Common Bicycle Injury?
Given the vulnerable state of a bicyclist on the road, any area of the body could sustain a severe injury. However, the majority of injuries occur to the upper and lower extremities. The severity of injuries depends on a variety of factors, including the type of impact, speed of the vehicle, and the safety gear the cyclists wore. When a collision occurs between a bicyclist and a motor vehicle, the question arises of who pays for the damages. If you suffered an injury in a bicycle accident caused by a driver, you should not have to worry about the financial consequences of your injuries.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
The type of injuries caused by a bicycle accident vary significantly, but some of the most common include:
- Lacerations occurring anywhere on the body
- Contusions, abrasions, or bruises all over the body
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Fractured bones, typically in the arms, legs, wrists, hands, feet, and ankles
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, hematomas, and other closed head injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
Even minor accidents can result in painful injuries, which is why states have safety gear regulations for cyclists on the road.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
- Blind spots in the vehicle make it difficult for the driver to see someone on a bicycle.
- Speeding makes it difficult for the driver to slow down for others.
- Driving too close to a cyclist increases the risk of rear-end collision.
- Drivers opening doors while using street parking can cause a cyclist to crash.
- Driving or cycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs either party’s decision-making ability and slows their reaction time.
- Changing lanes or directions without checking mirrors is dangerous for drivers and cyclists.
- Driving while fatigued can be as risky as driving under the influence.
- Aggressive driving endangers everyone on the road and often accompanies speeding.
- Distracted driving can be visual, cognitive, or manual. Any time a driver’s mind, eyes, or hands are off the road, they are a danger to others.
If you decide to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses, the question of liability will arise. As the plaintiff in the case, you must present supporting evidence to show the other driver’s negligence and how it directly related to your accident and injuries.
Liability in Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists and motor vehicles share the same roads and must abide by the same road laws. This also means that either could be liable when a collision occurs. When you file a lawsuit to claim someone else’s negligence caused your accident and injuries, you should expect them to respond with allegations of their own. Should the court find you partially to blame for the accident, state law determines your eligibility for compensation.
Comparative Fault Rule
Most states apply one of the two comparative fault rules. Comparative fault dictates the reduction of your compensation by your percentage of guilt for the accident. For example, if you are 25%, you can receive 75% of the total damages. However, the rules are different depending on the state where you live.
Most states use the modified version of the comparative fault. This allows you to receive compensation only if your percentage of responsibility is less than 50%. If the court finds you 51% or more at fault, you no longer have the right to compensation. If you live in a state that adheres to the pure comparative fault rule, your percentage of blame does not matter as long as it does not exceed 99%.
What To Do if You Are Hit by a Car While Riding a Bicycle
In the seconds following a collision with a car, you will think about little more than making sure you have no significant injuries. However, you can take certain steps to protect your right to compensation. Should you find yourself in this situation, try to remember the following:
- Assess your body for injuries. The adrenaline in your body can stop you from feeling pain. This is why taking a visual assessment of yourself before you move is crucial.
- Call for help. Call 911 or ask someone to call for you. All first responders, including the police, will arrive. If you need medical assistance, that is the priority. If not, you still want to remain on the scene to speak with the police. They will question everyone, including witnesses.
- Gather contacts. The driver’s contact information is very important. Ask them to provide their name and insurance card. Take a photograph of the card and driver’s license for later use.
- Document the crash site. Use your phone to take photos of the car, including any damage from the crash and the license plate. Include pictures of the bike and the vehicle to show the placement of both where they collided, and photograph any injuries you can see on your body. If you prefer to take a video, you can narrate the actions of yourself and the driver before, during, and after the crash.
- See your doctor. If you do not have a primary care physician, you can go to urgent care or the emergency room for a medical evaluation. Even in minor collisions, you should have a full scan to ensure there are no internal injuries that could cause significant damage if you delay treatment. Additionally, a doctor’s medical record of your injuries is a significant piece of evidence your attorney can use to support your claim.
- Talk to a bicycle accident attorney. You may be surprised how a severe accident can affect your life beyond just physical injuries. An attorney will build your case while you focus on healing.
Not all bicycle accident cases require legal representation. However, if you have questions about the specifics of your case, you risk nothing by reaching out to a professional.
When to Call a Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you could file a claim with their insurance provider to receive compensation for losses related to your injuries. In a no-fault auto insurance state, the driver’s no-fault insurance policy would cover a bicyclist injured in the accident. However, if your injuries are severe, exceeding the maximum allowance of a PIP policy, you could file a personal injury lawsuit with the help of a bicycle accident attorney.
At Mike Morse Law Firm, our experienced bicycle accident attorneys have helped many victims receive the compensation they deserve. We understand the devastation this type of accident can cause, including the financial strain it can place on you and your family. That is why we will take on your case without upfront payment. We work on a contingency fee basis, allowing you the relief of legal presentation with the burden of cost. We get paid only when we settle your case. If you have questions about your case and how to reach a favorable outcome, contact Mike Morse Law Firm today and speak with a bicycle accident attorney. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 855-MIKE-WINS. You can also schedule your free consultation online through chat or by completing our online case evaluation form.