As avid cyclists, the team at Crosley Law Firm knows how satisfying—and dangerous—bicycles can be. While it’s always in your best interest to use protective equipment and follow all local ordinances, even careful cyclists can end up in a vehicle collision.
Learn more about common bicycle injuries and when you should contact a personal injury lawyer below.
Common Cyclist Injury #1: Head Injuries
While head injuries occur in 22% to 47% of bicycle accidents, they cause 60% of bicycle-related deaths and serious disabilities. After a bike collision, you might experience traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other head trauma, such as:
During a concussion, or “mild traumatic brain injury,” a trauma causes the brain to strike the inside of your skull, damaging brain cells and changing your brain’s chemistry.
Bleeding around your brain is known as intracranial hemorrhaging, and it reduces oxygen supply and causes dangerous levels of pressure in your skull.
Cuts, abrasions, and debris can damage your corneas and other eye structures if you are struck by a vehicle while cycling.
Trauma can fracture, chip, or move a tooth’s position.
Unfortunately, some brain and head injuries are difficult to diagnose or might take time to develop. If you have questions about a bicycle-related head injury, it’s in your best interest to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
Related Video: Traumatic Brain Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Correct use of a bicycle helmet can significantly reduce your risk of head, facial, or dental injuries. While neither Texas nor the city of San Antonio have mandatory bicycle helmet laws, all riders should wear a properly-fitted helmet on every ride. If you decide not to use a helmet, it may limit your ability to gain financial compensation from an insurance claim or lawsuit if a driver hits you while you are on your bike.
Common Cyclist Injury #2: Broken Bones
Bike riders frequently break bones during a car collision, especially their arms, collarbones, legs, hands, wrists, feet, ankles, skull, pelvis, and ribs. Fractures typically occur when a bicycle rider experiences blunt trauma during a fall or high-speed collision. Sometimes, serious bicycle crashes cause multiple fractures that require intensive medical treatment.
Common Cyclist Injury #3: Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries involve more than just cuts, bruises, sprains, and strains. While many soft tissue injuries heal over time, others have long-term effects. Sometimes, injured bicycle riders require skin grafts, surgeries, and other significant medical treatment.
For example, soft tissue injuries to the neck and back can cause chronic pain and permanent disabilities. Serious “road rash” can cause scarring and traumatic tattooing if dirt or debris becomes embedded in the skin. Organ damage can also occur during a car-bicycle crash or if you forcefully hit your bicycle’s handlebars.
Who Is to Blame for Bicycle Injuries?
Not all bicycle wrecks are caused by rider error. Environmental hazards, mechanical failure, and other people’s negligence are other common causes of bicycle injuries. If you were injured in a bicycle collision, a personal injury lawyer can help you assess who is responsible and what sources of compensation may be available.
Depending on the nature of your crash, you may have claims against:
- A negligent driver or motorcyclist who crashed into you
- A manufacturer or seller if your bicycle had defective or dangerous parts
- A government entity if a road defect led to your injuries
- Your own auto insurance policy if you have coverage for personal injury protection or uninsured/underinsured motorists protection
These are just a few examples of claims that an injured cyclist may have. Speaking to a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney will give you a clearer picture of who is at fault in your bicycle injury lawsuit. In our practice, we find that most clients do not realize that they may be covered under certain provisions of their automobile liability insurance policy even though they were riding a bicycle, not driving a car. In some cases, we have obtained as much as $100,000 in extra settlement dollars for our clients by pursuing such claims. This is one of the reasons why we recommend to our clients that they carry uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Injury?
It’s hard to think rationally after a bicycle crash. Your adrenaline is racing and you might be in severe pain. First and foremost, you should call 911 to get prompt medical treatment for your injuries and get police dispatched to the scene of the collision.
If you can safely move out of the roadway, you should do the following:
- Cooperate with police and emergency medical staff on the scene
- Get contact and insurance information from the negligent driver
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries
- Identify witnesses who saw the crash and get their contact information
These preliminary steps will help document the collision and might provide helpful evidence in your claim. Unfortunately, when a bicyclist is hit by a car, their injuries are often catastrophic.
After getting immediate medical attention, then, one of the best steps you can take to preserve evidence and strengthen a potential lawsuit is contact an experienced San Antonio bicycle injury lawyer. Insurance companies may deny your bicycle-related claim or make an unreasonably low settlement offer. A lawyer can help you understand your claim’s value and advocate on your behalf, giving you time to focus on your physical and emotional well-being.
Crosley Law Firm: Fighting for Bicycle Injury Victims in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
If you were seriously injured in a bicycle accident, contact Crosley Law Firm for a free consultation. We understand the pain and frustration you’re dealing with. We will strive to get the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve.
Thompson, M. (2001, May). Bicycle-related injuries. American Family Physician. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0515/p2007.html.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.