Common Bicycle Injuries
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of George E. McLaughlin with McLaughlin Law Firm.
Bicyclists are relatively unprotected when compared to passengers in standard vehicles. Even motorcyclists might be more likely to wear heavy protective gear than a bicyclist. However, injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can be serious and even fatal. It’s important to take precautions whenever you find yourself riding a bike or sharing the road with someone riding a bike.
Due to the smaller size and lower speed of bicycles, motor vehicle-on-bicycle collisions are not uncommon. However, driving or riding under the influence, side-swiping, and dooring accidents are additional common hazards that bicyclists may face. Among bicycle accidents, some injuries are more common than others. If you or a loved one suffered a bicycle injury due to the negligence of another party, reach out to a bike accident attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
Common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents may include the following:
- Knee injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Wrist and forearm injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
It’s important to note that many of the injuries a bicyclist may sustain over time can occur from overuse just as easily as it can occur in an accident. For example, many knee injuries arise when the muscles in the area have been overworked or the tendons are damaged by repetitive movement. However, head injuries are generally the result of a collision; while it is highly recommended to wear a helmet while riding, just because a bicyclist wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash does not necessarily mean they can’t make some kind of recovery in court.
If you are injured in a bike accident, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Call 9-1-1 to the scene of the crash. It’s important to call law enforcement to the scene of a bike accident, not only because this ensures immediate medical care if the injury is severe, but it also ensures an official record exists documenting what happened, where it happened, and who was involved. That said, police reports are not always accurate simply due to human error, and that unless the person writing the report actually witnessed the accident happening, they will likely have to go on hearsay or conjecture.
- Seek medical care. It’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible even if you don’t feel particularly injured. Waiting to seek medical care can actually have a negative impact on both your case and your health further down the road. Some injuries may take days or even weeks to become symptomatic, but if you do not seek medical treatment soon after the crash it could lead the other party to suggest that you weren’t that injured to begin with if you were able to wait to seek care.
- Take pictures. If you are able, take pictures of the bicycle as well as any other vehicles or damaged property which may have caused or contributed to the accident. Factors such as weather or debris in the road should all be documented to help recreate the accident later on. If you are too injured to take pictures yourself, a family member or attorney may do so on your behalf.
- Collect witness information. It’s also important to collect the contact information of anyone who might have witnessed the accident. If the witness agrees, you may also choose to record their testimony at the time of the accident. It can be hard to track down witnesses after the fact, so it’s important to get names and numbers as soon as possible, even if this means having a friend or family member driving to the scene because you are too injured to collect the information yourself.
- Talk to an attorney. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, chances are you will face significant expenses, including but not limited to medical bills, lost wages, and more. If you believe your accident occurred due to the negligence of another party, it’s important to explore your options for recovery by talking to a bike accident attorney. Like most personal injury lawyers, bicycle accident attorneys generally offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis; this means that clients do not have to pay for their legal services unless they win.
To learn more about what type of injuries are common in bicycle accidents or for help filing a claim, reach out to a bike accident attorney as soon as possible.