Distracted driving involves any activity that takes away a driver’s attention on the road. Some of the more common behaviors of distracted driving include texting and speaking on the phone, eating, or navigating a location on a GPS device. Any of these activities can divert a driver’s eyes from the road and can result in an avoidable accident. When the accident involves someone on a bicycle, the injuries can be life-altering.
Types of Distracted Driving Accidents
It’s not always easy to spot bicyclists on the road, and when drivers are not paying attention, this can be devastating for bicyclists. Some of the most common types of accidents that can often be blamed on distracted driving include:
- Drivers opening car or truck doors in front of a bicyclist
- Drivers sideswiping a bicyclist
- Drivers turning in front of bicyclists
- Drivers rear-ending bicyclists
Possible Injuries and Damages
The types of injuries bicyclists experience when they are in an accident vary depending on the impact of the crash. It’s not surprising that they tend to be severe given that bikes offer no protection to the cyclist—even if riders are wearing a helmet. Some of the common injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- Broken bones
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Organ damage
- Disfigurement or loss of a limb
When cars or trucks are involved in crashes with bikes, the cyclist often needs lengthy hospital stays, surgical treatment, and extensive rehabilitation. It’s crucial that you work with an attorney to file a claim that can help ensure you receive compensation for expenses such as lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If you’ve suffered a permanently disabling injury, having an attorney on your side is vital because your case will include future medical costs and loss of earning potential.
Steps to Take After Your Bicycle Accident
Be sure to seek medical treatment after the crash—even if you think your injuries are only minor. If you don’t, the negligent driver’s insurance company may try to minimize your injuries, saying that they must not have been serious. This can impact the amount of damages you may be able to recover.
You should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your crash. An attorney can gather the evidence you need to support your claim and negotiate an appropriate settlement with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to settle your claim with a reasonable amount of damages, an attorney can file a lawsuit to help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
If the driver admits to distracted driving, this admission can be used against the driver in a personal injury case. However, most drivers are unlikely to admit to distracted driving, so you may need to seek witnesses who saw what the driver was doing in the moments leading up to the crash. If the driver was on their phone, you may need to get records to prove this. Traffic or security footage taken from the crash site might also be used as evidence.
You Can Afford an Attorney for Your Claim
Many people worry about being able to afford an attorney, but because we take cases on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay for our services upfront. Contingency fees depend on the case being successful. If we do not win your case, and there is no settlement or judgment, then you do not have to pay for representation. If you believe you were injured after being hit by a distracted driver, make an appointment for a consultation with The Button Law Firm to learn more.