Victims of bicycle accidents face numerous risks that other motorists do not because of their unprotected exposure to the road and large vehicles. In many cases, when bicyclists are hit by a car or truck, they suffer serious injuries that will need extensive medical treatment. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you might be entitled to compensation for damages.
Head and Brain Injuries
Even if a bicyclist is wearing a helmet, they are vulnerable to head injuries. Depending on the impact of the crash, head injuries suffered can result in skull or facial fractures and soft tissue damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) refer to a variety of injuries to the brain, including contusions, concussions, or cerebral hemorrhaging.
Any head injury can have a long-term impact on an individual. Some of the difficulties TBI victims have include the following:
- Impulse control
- Ability to focus
- Motor skills
- Smell and taste
Although bicycle accident broken bones may not seem as serious as other possible injuries because most people will fully recover, they are still considered major injuries. A broken bone can cause a cyclist pain and other complications, including the need for surgery. Depending on how bad the break is, it can take months to heal properly.
Dislocations and Sprains
These injuries include damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and discs. They can be painful and prevent you from going about your daily life.
Soft Tissue Injuries
These injuries include sprains, whiplash, and burns, as well as injuries to the abdomen, which can be very severe. A bike crash can cause serious damage: a ruptured spleen, a punctured lung, perforated bowel, torn liver, bowel contusions, pancreatic trauma, bruised kidneys, or vascular perforation. Many of these conditions are life-threatening.
Eye injuries are less common, but they can still happen—especially if the bicyclist is not wearing eye protection.
Road rash is categorized by degrees the same way burns are. First- and second-degree road rash generally heals with at-home treatment and presents a low risk of complications. Third-degree road rash, however, involves the scraping away of skin and fatty layers and the exposure of the muscle and bone beneath it. Severe road rash can cause scarring and permanent disfigurement.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord are devastating because there is no way to repair the bundle of nerves the spinal cord protects. If the spinal cord is damaged through a spinal cord injury, there can be a disruption of signals to other areas of the body, resulting in paralysis.
In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 857 bicyclists died after being involved in a car crash—a more than 6 percent increase from the year before. If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for damages in a wrongful death claim.
Why You Need a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident
Even a bicycle accident that is labeled “minor” by law enforcement can mean considerable pain and suffering for victims. Major accidents can lead to life-changing injuries. If you have experienced an injury in a bicycle accident because of another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
You do not have to worry about being able to afford a lawyer. At The Button Law Firm, we take cases on a contingency basis. This means you do not have to pay for legal help upfront or give us a retainer. Give us a call today so we can review the details of your case.