Common Bike Accident Injuries
Being in a bicycle accident is more than just an annoyance or inconvenience. In many cases, these frightening accidents can lead to personal injuries, some of which can be serious and cause significant damage.
By law, bicyclists on the roadway have the same rights and responsibilities as any other motor vehicle on the road. If you are injured in a bike accident, it’s important to understand your rights and options.
What Are The Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?
- Head injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries. Bicycle accidents can cause concussions, which is a brain injury with lingering effects that can be difficult to diagnose. In severe cases, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can cause brain damage, memory loss, and even potentially life-altering changes. Even bicyclists who wear helmets should receive prompt medical treatment in the event of any head or brain injury in order to increase the chances of recovering as fully as possible.
- Back, neck, and spinal injuries. Another serious concern is injury to the back and neck. Some of these injuries can be quite severe—including paralysis. Some spinal injuries may require surgical intervention immediately, while some may have delayed symptoms. Back and spinal injuries can lead to lifelong pain, continued and worsening degeneration, and life-altering economic and quality of life impacts.
- Broken bones. One study of bicycle accident injuries reported that 73 percent of bicyclists involved in a crash suffered fractures. Some minor broken bones can heal on their own with proper care, rest, and recovery, but others may be more complex and require surgical intervention. Fractures can also have more serious consequences, such as internal bleeding and even hemorrhagic shock.
- Abrasions, bruising, and contusions. Road rash and other abrasions are common in bicycle accidents. While this is often not as serious as other injuries, it is painful and can increase the risk of infection after an accident.
- Internal bleeding and other complications. In a bicycle accident, your organs can be seriously impacted by what is known as “trunk trauma,” causing them to bleed internally or stop functioning properly. You may need surgery to stop the bleeding and repair blood vessels and sometimes even remove the damaged organ surgically, such as in the case of a ruptured spleen.
- Emotional and mental injuries. Being in a bicycle accident can wreak havoc on a person’s well-being, and not just physically. When an accident brings trauma, you may be dealing with anxiety, mental anguish, sleep difficulties, and avoidance of daily activities. Bicyclists experiencing these symptoms should consider therapies for their emotional and mental health in an effort to return to normal life.
Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Occur?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 78 percent of bicycle crashes occur in urban areas. The NHTSA also noted some other significant risk factors — and myth-busting facts — about crashes involving bicyclists.
- Bicyclist deaths occurred most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Bicyclist deaths were 6 times higher for males than females in 2019.
- Three in four fatal bike crashes in 2019 did not include bicyclists who were intoxicated.
Organizations like the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative work globally to reduce common misconceptions about bicyclists on the road, gather data about bicycle accident safety measures, and work with local governments to reduce risks to their cycling citizens, such as examining road conditions, design, and other factors.
Because most cities are so car-centric and the rights of bicyclists may not be well understood, people who have been injured in a bicycle accident may not believe they have a chance when it comes to recovering damages — especially if their accident involves a car. However, the bike accident attorneys at FVF have successfully represented Austin cyclists and provided guidance to them as they make decisions about their recovery.
What’s the Process of Recovering Damages for Bike Accident Injuries?
The first step in recovering damages is to consult with an experienced Austin bicycle accident lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to trial. Juries are a valuable part of the community, especially when it comes to seeing justice done. In your initial consultation, you will be asked a series of questions to help the attorney get a better idea about what has happened to you.
If the attorney believes you have a case, they will investigate the circumstances of your case in order to determine — and prove — what caused the driver to act negligently or recklessly, diving as deep as needed to make sure all relevant factors are uncovered. You do not have to be perfect to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, either. In Texas, you may recover damages in a personal injury claim as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for your injuries.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents are directly caused by automobile drivers. These include:
- Driving while distracted
- Following cyclists too closely
- Changing lanes unsafely
- Turning without looking
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Failing to yield
- Feeling fatigued
- Driving while impaired
All drivers have an obligation to watch out for others on the road, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers. When they behave in a way that endangers others, people who have been injured often have a right to sue to recover damages.
Damages in a bicycle accident lawsuit may include compensation for cyclists’ medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering — along with other economic and non-economic compensation. If the driver has a history of causing injury to others or behaves in a particularly egregious way, such as driving drunk, juries may award punitive damages. This is a way that your community can make a statement to punish the person who was responsible for your accident and, hopefully, prevent others from suffering the same way.
How Can FVF Help?
Each person’s circumstances and needs are unique, which is why FVF does not just review cases — we talk to people. We want to get to know you and understand more about what happened to you so we can provide you with the education and information you need to determine what is best for your needs. Sometimes, we genuinely believe people who have been injured are better off not spending their money on an attorney, and we will tell you so.
We understand the ways that insurance companies and other parties try to avoid financial responsibility, especially when they believe the claimant is an easy target. Whether it’s using sneaky tactics or blaming you for your own injuries, when the case starts getting tough, we are not too busy or afraid to stick around to advocate for you.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced bicycle accident attorney by your side is essential, even if you are just trying to figure out whether you should accept the insurance company’s offer: they can help confirm that you are receiving necessary medical treatment, investigate the circumstances of your accident, and preserve and obtain the evidence that will be needed to build the strongest case possible.
After an accident, the first priority is getting any medical help you need. Then, a personal injury law firm can support you by determining the relevant details in your particular situation that could help you in your case. FVF’s attorneys have handled hundreds of injury cases in Austin and surrounding areas, so you can expect to walk away from that first conversation feeling more educated about your unique situation and next steps.
Our initial consultations are focused on educating you about your rights and options, and always without obligation to hire us. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us today to discuss your options and talk about how you can move forward.