Understanding the Seriousness of Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
We here at the Law Offices of William C. Bibb have over 30 years of experience handling bicycle accident cases. I am committed to representing the legal rights of bicycle accident injury victims, and advocating for their safety and well-being. I know firsthand just how vulnerable bicycle riders are on the road because I am also a cycling enthusiast. Unlike motorists who are physically protected by thousands of pounds of metal when they drive, cyclists are completely exposed to many conditions and hazards they cannot control. Beyond that, a huge number of drivers fail to pay attention and/or take necessary precautions when sharing the road with cyclists.
Unfortunately, very few bicycle accidents result in minor injuries. Wearing a helmet and other safety gear does go a long way to prevent some injuries, but there is only so much any bicycle rider can do to protect him or herself. Being struck by a motor vehicle has the potential to cause serious and fatal injuries, even at low speeds. Bone fractures, ligament tears, and traumatic brain injuries are all too common in bicycle accident victims. Even more concerning is the fact that fatality in rates among bicycle riders is significantly higher than motorists. Cities like San Diego are doing more to be bicycle friendly, promoting bicycle safety and awareness; however, more must be done to safeguard the rights of bicycle riders and accident victims.
Bicycle Injuries and Consequences
Bicycle riders generally understand that they are more vulnerable to injury than others on the road. That does not mean, however, that cyclists should not be protected against avoidable and unnecessary injuries whenever possible. Bicycle accident injuries are typically serious in nature, and can result in lifelong medical issues and disabilities. In fact, advances in medicine are shedding light on the nature and severity of some of the most serious injuries inflicted upon bicycle riders everyday. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions can be difficult to properly diagnose and treat, and it is only recently that they are receiving the attention and concern that they deserve by the public and medical community. Serious and repeat concussions can result in chronic sensory and cognitive difficulties, as the brain can be permanently affected by the trauma.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to understand your rights as an accident victim. Pursuing personal-injury claims against the liable party in your case can be crucial to achieving compensation for your injuries-related medical expenses, loss of earnings, and other related costs. We here at the Law Offices of William C. Bibb have also helped clients recover the damages necessary to receive the long-term medical and rehabilitative treatments needed to fully recover from their serious injuries.
Private vs. Public Property Bicycle Injuries
More than ever, bicycle riders are sustaining serious injuries on public roadways. Sometimes these injuries are the result of driver negligence; other times, they are the result of poor road maintenance and/or repair. Determining liability in such cases is a key aspect in achieving the compensation you deserve. Many injuries are also occurring on private property with mountain bikes and off-road situations.
The Importance of the Police Report
As is the case with any personal injury incident, it is incredibly important to gain access to evidence and witness testimonies related to your case as early as possible. Obtaining the police report for your accident incident is a huge step in the independent investigation of your case, and can impact its overall outcome. In order to achieve damages for your accident injuries, I must first prove liability. The police report can provide insight into details of the incident, as well as assist in identifying and preserving vital evidence for your case. Many times, the police report is only the beginning.
Common Bicycle Accident Causes:
- Drug and/or alcohol use
- Excessive speeds
- Poor road conditions and/or maintenance
- Failing to follow basic traffic laws
- Texting while driving
Bicycle Safety Recommendations
The most important thing that you can do to protect your safety is to always wear a high-safety rated bicycle helmet. Children should never be allowed to ride without a helmet either.
Make yourself visible. Outfit your bicycle with reflective materials and head and tail lights, and outfit yourself in bright and colorful riding attire.
Always ride with the flow of traffic, never against it.
Keep to the right of traffic and always use hand signals to indicate your intention to turn.
Be aware of driver's side doors.
Always keep personal identification (driver's license, medical insurance card, and contact information) on your person when riding.
Always ride with one or more companions whenever possible.
What to do in the Event of an Accident
The “FAQ” page of this website provides an overview of steps that injury victims should take following an accident incident. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a bicycle accident, there are several things that you can do to protect your safety, address your medical needs, and assist in building your personal injury case. Of course, it is recommended that you obtain all of the information that you can from the other party or parties involved in the incident. It is also advisable to take pictures of the accident scene and any injuries that you have. If possible, you should also obtaining the contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
As important than any of that, however, is receiving the emergency medical attention and treatment that you require. Never refuse emergency transportation to the hospital if it is needed. You may not be fully aware of the nature or extent of your injuries immediately following the accident. Some serious injuries can take an extended amount of time to present and/or worsen. Consequently, seeking immediate medical care can go a long way to ensure your recovery. Having medical documentation of your injuries and treatment is also necessary when building your personal injury case. The argument could be made later that if your injuries were severe, you would have sought medical treatment. Excuses for not seeking treatment do not work in court.