Table of Contents
Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users because of their forced proximity to large, fast-moving vehicles, which has resulted in some of the most severe injuries.
As a result, many legislative changes have been made to protect bicyclists and reduce the rate of bicycle accidents, such as the rule that forces all riders to wear a helmet while using their bicycles. However, despite such efforts, many bicycle users experience life-threatening injuries daily.
If you are a cyclist who has been involved in an accident, you need someone to fight for your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Michael Ehline has dedicated many years of his professional career to assisting the victims of bicycle accident injuries like you.
Visit our law offices for a free case evaluation, or give us a call at (833) LETS-SUE and talk to one of our highly experienced lawyers.
When riding a bicycle, your chances are that an accident could happen. Neither bikes nor cars have the same characteristics. In bicycle collisions, you may get severe injuries and escape relatively unscathed in another.
It is an adventure for most people. But some hard facts give you an idea of how you can make a better bike and reduce the chances that you’ll fall into accidents. Males were 82 % of those injured in motorcycle crashes. If you think about alcohol, it can impact cycling deaths.
In most cases, bicycle accidents occur during the warmer months when many cyclists take to the roads. This means that the period stretching from May to October in the United States is the deadliest time to ride a bike, with July being the worst.
Biking at night is also much more dangerous than during the day because of the reduced visibility, especially if the cyclist is not wearing proper night riding gear, such as bright colors or a reflective vest. 6 pm to around 9 pm is considered the “danger zone” for bicyclists. The quieter roads also encourage motorists to drive much faster, meaning that any bicycle accident is more likely to cause serious injuries.
Nearly 75% of all bike accident injuries are a result of incidents that happen in urban areas. A more significant portion of these occurs at road intersections than any other section of the road. Other places that have witnessed many bike accidents are sidewalks, medians, trails, roadsides, and parking lanes.
Adolescents, teenagers, and young adults are the most likely to suffer bike accident injuries. However, while children are always vulnerable when cycling on the roads, the average age of cyclists killed in crashes is much higher, at around 47 years old. Of these, about 80% of the victims are usually males.
A large percentage of Americans use bikes as a way to commute to work. Bike rides help improve the quality of the environment and keep us active in our daily life. In many cases, people ride bikes for fun. A federal government study found that around 800 people die annually from motor vehicle accident accidents.
When you approach a personal injury lawyer at Ehline Law Firm, one of the first things we will do is to try and determine the cause of the accident. While in some of the cases we have handled, environmental hazards have been the cause, the majority of the blame usually rests on the shoulders of the driver.
Causes of bicycle accidents can be separated based on the age groups of the victims (in this case, adults or children), as follows:
The prevalent use of cell phones while driving has caused an ever-increasing number of fatalities on our roads, of which bicyclists make up a significant portion. These crashes usually result in traumatic injuries because the drivers will be so distracted that there is no attempt to brake or slow down until the cyclist has already been hit.
On the majority of highways, provisions are made for cyclists by leaving space for them to use on the shoulders of the roads. However, whether this space is there or not, attentive drivers must ensure that they safely pass bicycles without side-swiping them.
One of the chief causes of bicycle-related deaths is motorists driving at high speeds because it reduces the reaction time while increasing the stopping distance needed in case of an emergency. While severe injuries usually occur during high-speed accidents, even relatively slow-moving vehicles can cause significant damage to cyclists because of how exposed the riders are.
Visibility usually works against cyclists when riding among much more significant and noisier vehicles. Most fatalities happen when drivers do not pay extra attention and switch lanes without first checking to see if the way is clear.
At times, drivers forget to check for cyclists at an intersection about to make a turn. This is one of the most frequent causes of bicycle accident injuries, although the low speeds used when turning to mean that the rate of fatalities is usually low.
When drivers intentionally run a red light or stop sign, all their attention is usually focused on the prevention of a collision with other large vehicles. As such, they usually fail to notice cyclists, causing serious bicycle crashes. Substance abuse is also a factor that results in poor judgments in such situations.
Drivers of motor vehicles often forget that yielding to traffic that has the right of way also includes giving way to bicycles, and this can result in a bicycle accident that could have been easily avoided.
Children go out on the road very vulnerable to being involved in bicycle accidents due to poor judgment and reluctance to wear helmets. Their relative size and position also put them at a higher risk of suffering acute injuries such as dental fractures, rib fractures, parenchymal lung injury, pelvic fractures, traumatic hernia, and other serious bicycle injuries.
Some of the causes of bicycle accidents that lead to children being injured are:
The injury resulting from a bicycle accident may be immediately apparent, or the symptoms may take longer than anticipated. Your injuries may be acute or severe, depending on the nature of the accident. The following are some injuries you are likely to suffer in a bicycle accident:
Head injuries are the most common injuries associated with being involved in a bicycle accident. Many types of head injuries can be caused by a bike accident, such as dental fractures, road rash, internal bleeding, and other injuries. Seeking medical treatment is always a good idea because the head injury can be much worse than it might seem initially.
As far as serious injuries go, there are few things worse than a concussion and traumatic injuries to the brain. They are some of the leading causes of death and long-term disabilities among bicyclists. For this reason, the law requires all cyclists to wear a crash helmet at all times.
The bad thing about such injuries is that they are straightforward to overlook and estimate if you are not a medical professional. This is due to the difficulty of verifying things like concussion, nerve compression, brain contusion, and other forms of acute trauma to the brain.
While suffering from painful facial fractures is not usually life-threatening on its own, it does, however, almost always require extensive reconstruction surgery. This head injury is also a source of severe pain caused by a fractured jaw, lost teeth, a broken nose, eye damage, or road rash.
Injured bicyclists usually experience low back pain, spine problems, and related complications around the neck and shoulder region due to the whiplash effect of being struck by a motor vehicle. Even slow-moving cars can cause serious neck and back injuries due to how bicycle riders are exposed while riding their bikes. Suffering back injuries carries a considerable risk of paralysis and usually requires extensive physical therapy on top of regular medical treatment.
While the above bicycle crash injuries occur in most cases, they are certainly not the only ones bicyclists need to be concerned about.
Here are some other cycling-related injuries:
Unfortunately, in the contest between vehicles and bicycles, the odds are stacked against the cyclists; as a result, death is widespread in a bike accident. However, even after the victim’s death, motor vehicle drivers can still be sued. If your loved one dies in a bicycle accident, you can approach Michael Ehline for assistance in a wrongful death claim and be awarded huge damages.
Special mention needs to be made regarding head injuries because they result in the most fatalities and are always the first thing doctors check for when treating patients in a bike accident.
Unlike other types of injuries, a head injury may require a professional diagnosis, especially in cases where the injuries are not immediately apparent, such as road rash, dental fractures, and facial bruising.
There is always a risk that victims will think they are fine and therefore decide not to seek medical treatment, only to suffer complications much later. If left until too late, head injuries can result in long-term disabilities that make leading an everyday life impossible.
To be on the safe side, cyclists must wear helmets at all times while they ride their bikes and always seek medical attention after a bike accident, regardless of whether or not they exhibit any head injury symptoms.
There are some cycling-related problems and bicycle injuries, called overuse injuries, that are not caused by an accident or the actions of a third party but rather by repetitive cycling motions. These are some of the common complaints made by cyclists and how to solve them:
Cycling for long periods is very strenuous on specific body parts, and aches in the knees are widespread. While it cannot be eliminated, using knee guards and other protective gear will help.
Lower back ache is a common cause of complaints among bike riders, especially those who are using the wrong size bike and saddle height. If left untreated, moving forward, this sort of spine injury can quickly develop into chronic pain.
Hip injuries and stress to muscles in the lower extremities are quite common among competitive cyclists who regularly push their bodies to the extreme. Giving yourself time for recovery is the only long-term solution to hip complications.
If you use the wrong type of saddle, it is only a matter of time until you start developing saddle sores or numbness in the lower parts of your body. These soft tissue injuries can be treated with rest and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories without medical attention.
Cyclists usually prefer riding during the summer when conditions are perfect for road and mountain biking. However, it carries the risk of sunburn on exposed parts of the skin, such as the neck, face, upper arms, hands, wrists, and legs. This can develop into melanoma if left unchecked. Using a good sunscreen lotion for your skin, or at least wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts, a helmet, and padded gloves, is always advised.
Achilles tendonitis and other related foot injuries are common among bike riders. The long-term solution to this sore foot problem is wearing the correct type of cycling shoes that provide maximum comfort and support to the feet from the heel to the toes.
The following steps are essential for victims of a bicycle accident:
The first step when dealing with any personal injury is to seek medical treatment, which is even more important in a bicycle accident due to the risk of head injuries. You can start considering your legal options only after your well-being has been assured.
Any future lawsuit will depend a lot on the type of evidence your personal injury attorney can present to the court. In that regard, witness statements, pictures of the bicycle accident scene, and a medical report detailing the extent of the bike accident injuries will carry a lot of weight when pleading with your case.
The amounts of damages that can be awarded to a person for personal injury depend on the injuries that can be proved. For this reason, a detailed medical report from a licensed professional is very important.
When all the evidence is gathered, it is time for you to approach one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ehline Law Firm for a free initial consultation. A statute of limitations needs to be considered for personal injury lawsuits, so it is best to talk to our lawyers as soon as possible.
Regardless of motorist errors resulting in the person losing control and injuring you, you are still entitled to receive a fair settlement. Our personal injury lawyers can help you win the following damages:
The time you spend getting treated for your injuries until you heal is time you could have spent working and supporting your family. Spending even one week in the hospital because of injured neck muscles can lead to huge financial losses for any person. It is, therefore, vital that you are compensated for lost wages.
In some severe cases, the nature of the injuries will require costly medical treatments for which you will need to be compensated. This is usually common with bicycle accident injuries such as a renal contusion, vascular perforation, splenic rupture, hepatic laceration, or other traumatic injuries. At times, even soft tissue injuries can result in huge medical bills, for example, when skin grafts are required and a prolonged rehabilitation process.
It is not only the serious cases, such as traumatic brain injuries, which can lead to lifetime disabilities. Even something as simple as a neck injury or compression of the ulnar nerve can result in reduced function of the arm, which will leave you unable to return to your normal life and levels of productivity.
Going against insurance companies that do not want to compensate you for your bike accident injuries can be very difficult, especially if you decide to do it on your own. Often, they will try to put the blame for the accident on you for not wearing a helmet while riding your bicycle or blame environmental hazards, such as bad weather or loose gravel on the roads.
However, our super lawyers will not allow that! We can assist injured bicycle users with the following:
If you or your loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident while riding a bicycle, then Michael Ehline is here to help. Do not risk losing out on the damages you deserve because you chose the wrong attorney. Visit our law offices for a free case evaluation today, and join the thousands of satisfied clients who have walked away with millions in compensation.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.