Bicycle injuries are a serious problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 47,000 bicycle-related injuries in 2018—and that’s just counting incidents that resulted in emergency room visits. The number of bicycle accidents is likely much higher, given that many people don’t seek medical care after an accident for minor scrapes and bruises.
Even if you don’t ride a bicycle, you could still find yourself helping an injured friend or family member. For this reason, it’s essential to know how bicycle injury law works, what you can do if you find yourself or a loved one in this situation, and when you need to reach out to a Columbia bicycle accident lawyer.
Different Types of Bike Accident Injuries
There are many different kinds of bike accidents, and they can all result in injuries and/or property damage. Here are the most common types of injuries you might experience during a bike accident:
- Road rash
- Head injury (also called a traumatic brain injury)
- Spinal cord injury
- Facial fractures
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
Some injuries aren’t evident immediately after a bicycle accident but can still be quite serious–this might be due to the adrenaline rush people often experience during an accident. Even if you’re feeling completely fine, it’s important to get checked by a doctor.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are many variables that can go wrong when riding a bicycle. Here are some of the most common causes of these accidents:
- Distracted driving–Drivers may be distracted by anything from cell phones to kids in the backseat, leading to a collision with a bicycle.
- Pedestrians walking on the road–Pedestrians who cross against the light or walk into a bike lane without looking can cause you to swerve out of the way and get hit by a vehicle traveling at high speeds.
- Poor road conditions–Potholes, gravel, and other debris on the road can cause you to lose control of your bike and crash into a vehicle or pedestrian or hit an object off to the side of the road, such as a tree or fence post.
- Poor visibility–Poor lighting, rain, or fog can make it difficult to see vehicles and pedestrians on the road.
Who Is at Fault When There’s a Bike Accident?
The laws surrounding bike accidents vary from state to state, but there are some general guidelines that can help you figure out who was at fault for your accident.
When you contact a personal injury attorney, they will help determine who is liable for a bike accident and if your accident was caused by negligence. To do this, there are three factors that need to be considered:
- Was there something wrong with the road that contributed to your accident?
- Was something wrong with the vehicle or equipment used by the driver that contributed to your accident?
- Did you do anything that caused or contributed to your accident?
If none of these conditions existed, it’s unlikely that anyone will be found liable for your bike accident.
Possible Legal Actions After a Bicycle Injury
There are several types of legal actions you can pursue after a bicycle injury. The reasons for filing an action could be to get:
- Medical bills paid by a health insurance company
- Reimbursement from an auto insurance company for damages sustained in the accident
- Compensation from the driver at fault
- Compensation from the government if your injuries were caused by a defect in the road or other public property
- Compensation from the bike manufacturer if a faulty component on your bike caused your injury
To help with any of the above-mentioned claims, you can hire a personal injury lawyer who has experience with bicycle accidents, such as those at Strom Law. They know how to help victims of bicycle accidents pursue compensation from those responsible for causing the accident.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
A personal injury lawyer who works on bicycle accidents can help you in several ways:
Getting Fair Compensation
You may have received medical bills, lost wages if you couldn’t work, or incurred other damages that need to be considered. Insurance companies often try to settle claims quickly before victims realize how much they may be entitled to cover their injuries and losses.
A good lawyer will fight for a fair settlement and make sure that the victim gets what they deserve from insurance companies and anyone else responsible for the accident.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
Negligence by the driver of an automobile is often to blame for bicycle accidents, but proving this can be difficult without an attorney.
Your lawyer will gather evidence and witness testimony that helps establish the negligence of an irresponsible driver, which not only helps you get compensated for what happened but also can make the roads safer for everyone else.
Defending Your Against a Lawsuit
In some cases, a bicycle accident victim may be sued by the driver at fault or their insurance company. A lawyer can help defend you against any legal action and ensure that your rights are protected.
If you or someone you know was involved in a bicycle accident and sustained injuries or damage to property, reach out to Strom Law to see what we can do to help you get what you deserve.
Wondering if car insurance covers bicycle accidents? Be sure to read our latest post.