Bike riding has become a favorite activity for many. Not does it provide exercise and a way to get out with friends and family, but in busy city areas, it also serves as a convenient mode of transportation. However, while biking is excellent for the heart and body, it is not always the safest activity.
We will discuss how a bicycle accident lawyer can help you, what you should know about, and the legal remedies you may have if you suffered harm in a bicycle accident.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about 2 percent of all automobile collision deaths are bicyclists. However, while this data also shows that child bicyclist fatalities have decreased over the years, deaths among bicyclists aged 20 years and older have quadrupled.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1,000 bicyclists die every year, and over 130,000 suffer injuries in accidents.
- Individuals between 55 and 69 have the highest bicycle death rate.
- Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas.
- Approximately 64 percent of all bicycle fatalities occur on roads away from intersections, while 27 percent occur at intersections. Experts believe this is because traveling speeds are usually faster in these areas away from intersections.
- Around one-third of all crashes that lead to a bicyclist’s death involve alcohol.
- Bicyclist deaths peak from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and from 9 p.m. to midnight on weekends.
- Every year, the costs associated with bicycle injuries and death from accidents exceed $24 billion in the United States. This includes costs related to health care, lost work productivity, and costs associated with the loss of quality of life.
Risks Related to Sex and Age
- Individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 account for nearly one-third of all bike-related injuries seen in the Emergency Department in the United States
- Teens, adolescents, and young adults have the highest rate of bike-related injuries treated in the Emergency Department.
- Males have the highest death rate due to bicycle accidents. It is six times higher than females.
- Males also have a higher injury rate due to bicycle accidents. It is five times higher than females.
Further, the National Safety Council indicates that bicycle-related fatalities are highest in the warmer months, beginning in May, and remain high through October. As a result, the most bicycle deaths tend to occur in August and the fewest in February.
As you can see, as a bicyclist, no matter where you ride, safety on the roads is never predictable. That is why if you suffered harm in a bicycle accident, consider reaching out to an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can help you figure out not only if you have a viable legal claim, but they can also go over your legal options and help you fight for the financial damages you deserve.
What Financial Damages Can You Pursue After a Bicycle Accident?
If you suffered harm in a bicycle accident, you might be able to recover compensation for your damages and losses.
This compensation usually includes payment for:
- Medical expenses related to doctor appointments, prescription medications, surgeries, hospital stays, and other types of medical treatments
- Ongoing medical care
- Lost income, lost business opportunities, or loss of earning capacity
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Replacement services
- Personal property damages, such as bike repair costs or replacement expenses
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Disability or disfigurement
Working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney following a bicycle accident can help you figure out which of these damages you can pursue and allow you to calculate the full extent of your losses, so you can seek the maximum financial recovery you are entitled to.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Unfortunately, when it comes to bicycle crashes, various causes can lead to this devastating accident, here some common causes:
When drivers speed, not only can this decrease the time they have to make decisions on the road, but it can also increase their stopping time, causing devastating bicycle collisions.
Distracted driving occurs when motorists do not pay attention to the road but other activities while driving, such as eating and drinking, texting or talking on the phone, or playing with the radio. Consequently, when motorists do not concentrate on the road, it can cause them to crash into bicyclists resulting in catastrophic accidents.
Turning Without Looking for a Bicyclist
Even when a light is green, motorists must check for bicyclists and pedestrians around them before proceeding. When motorists do not look before turning, they may run into a bicyclist and cause severe and debilitating injuries.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol can impair a person’s brain function, leading to impaired thinking, poor muscle coordination, and a lack of reasoning. All abilities that help people drive safely. This means that when individuals get behind the wheel under the influence, it can lead to tragic bicycle accidents.
Unsafe Road Conditions
When roads and streets are unsafe to ride on because they are not appropriately maintained, it can lead to horrific bicycle accidents, causing significant injuries and damages. Public entities are typically responsible for ensuring these roads are kept safe and properly maintained.
Opening Front Doors
When a motorist opens a door in a cyclist’s path, it can become a major hazard. Not only can these doors injure a bicyclist, but they can also force them to shift into oncoming traffic.
In addition, to the above causes, when motorists do not leave enough room behind a bike, run traffic lights and signs, or perform unsafe lane changes, these actions can also result in dangerous bicycle accidents on the road.
However, being harmed in a bicycle accident does not mean you automatically will be able to pursue legal action. Instead, if you want to figure out your legal options following a bicycle collision, reach out to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Your attorneys can review your accident, determine if you have a valid legal claim, and determine what you should do to go after the compensation you need for your harm and losses.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
While bike riding has many benefits, those involved in a bicycle collision are known to suffer from devastating and, at times, fatal injuries.
However, while this trauma will vary in type and severity depending on the circumstances of the crash, some of the more common injuries following a bicycle accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones, including pelvic fractures
- Facial injuries
- Foot, ankle, and knee problems
- Internal organ damage and bleeding
- Rectal injuries
- Wrongful death
However, even if injuries are minor following a bicycle accident, the resulting financial losses can be catastrophic, especially with the extensive medical expenses and ongoing care resulting from these injuries.
For these reasons, even if you believe that your injuries are not severe enough to pursue a legal case, consider discussing your case with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. These lawyers can help you determine not only the total extent of your losses following an accident but also assist you in going after the maximum compensation you deserve.
Who Can You Hold Liable Following a Bicycle Accident?
Before going after financial damages after a bicycle accident, you first need to determine who was responsible for your crash.
While numerous parties can be held accountable for these accidents, some of the more common individuals and entities that you can hold responsible for your harm and losses include:
- The at-fault motorist who hit you and your bike
- The owner of the at-fault motor vehicle
- A bike manufacturer, if a defective part caused your accident
- A repair shop that worked on your bike before your accident
- A governmental agency responsible for taking care of the roads if a road defect causes your bicycle accident
Yet, if you are not sure what or who caused your bicycle accident, contact a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney immediately. These experienced lawyers can promptly begin investigating your case, obtain evidence to figure out what happened and who was responsible, and help you hold those liable for your harm and losses accountable.
The Deadline to Bring Your Bicycle Accident Legal Claim
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and want to bring legal action to collect compensation for your injuries and damages, you mustn’t delay filing your claim. According to the statute of limitations, a law that designates how much time a victim has to bring legal action after an alleged offense, individuals will typically have between one to four years to file after a bike crash, depending on the state. In addition, if any exceptions apply, this period can also change.
For these reasons, it is a good idea to go over your bicycle accident with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. These legal professionals can help you figure out the amount of time you have to file your case in your state and get your legal motions and files submitted before this period expires.
How Can an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney Help You Fight for the Justice You Deserve, Following a Bicycle Accident?
Regardless of the statistics, if you suffered harm in a bicycle accident due to another person’s wrongful actions, you deserve financial relief for everything you endured and lost. More importantly, you should not have to go after this compensation alone. Fortunately, with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer fighting for your rights, you will not have to.
Rather, when you hire these attorneys to take on your case, they can go over your bicycle accident in detail, figure out your legal options, and help you get started with this legal process.
They can also:
- Thoroughly investigate your bicycle collision, look for the evidence necessary to show what happened and who was at fault, and help you hold those responsible for the crash accountable for everything you went through.
- Hire experts to validate your legal claims, such as accident specialists, financial specialists, and medical professionals.
- File your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
- Negotiate with the other parties and fight for a fair settlement offer.
- Take your case before a judge and jury and go after maximum compensation if the other party refuses to offer a fair settlement.
If you or a loved one endured injuries in a bicycle accident due to another person’s wrongful actions, contact an experienced attorney today for a free case evaluation and find out how these attorneys can help you pursue your injury claim.