What Are the Most Common Bicycle Injuries?
San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney Discusses Bike Crash Claims
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek has served as a personal injury lawyer for many years and has even more experience as an active member of the San Diego cycling community. He knows that a crash can result in a variety of bicycle injuries, which can be devastating for any cyclist. These injuries can cause significant pain and may permanently change the lives of victims and their families.
The only passion greater than cycling for our San Diego bicycle accident attorney is his passion for helping people. This is why he wants cyclists to be aware of the bicycle injuries an accident can cause as well as what to do when these injuries occur. Bicycle accidents often leave victims with long-lasting trauma. This can include broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord injury and, in the most severe cases, wrongful death. After a bicycle accident injury, you may face expensive medical bills, lasting pain and potential lost wages. If you need help after a bike crash or have questions about what to do next, then make a no obligation and no cost call to bicycle accident attorney Frederick Dudek today.
Top Bicycle Injuries Caused by Accidents Our San Diego Bicycle Law Firm Has Handled
Cyclists can experience a variety of different injuries during any kind of crash, whether the bike accident involves a car, commercial truck, another bike rider or a pedestrian. Even solo wrecks caused by defective bike components or roadway issues can cause serious bicycle injuries.
A few of the most common bicycle injuries our San Diego bicycle accident attorney has encountered in his practice include:
- Fractured Collarbone. Injuries to the collarbone, or clavicle, can occur when cyclists fall from their bikes or are involved in dooring accidents. Cyclists who have not learned how to fall to prevent bicycle injuries often brace themselves by placing their hands out in front of them. This causes their hands to absorb the shock from the fall, which can result in collarbone fractures. A collarbone injury can be extremely painful and can keep a cyclist off the wheel for months.
- Fractured Hip. Some bike crashes cause a cyclist to fall to one side, which typically results in a serious personal injury to the hip. Much like a broken clavicle, hip fractures can be painful and take a significant amount of time to heal.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. Injuries to the head occur more frequently than any other type of bicycle accident injury. Unfortunately, these bicycle injuries also tend to cause the most severe damage. Traumatic brain injuries can often cause bicycle fatalities or irreversible damage that requires extensive medical treatment. Wearing a bicycle helmet has been proven to effectively reduce the severity of head trauma in the event of a bicycle accident. Therefore, even experienced cyclists should always wear a helmet while riding.
Other common bicycle accident injuries include leg fractures and elbow fractures as well as facial, dental and jaw injuries. Some of the most serious bike crashes may involve multiple different injuries that result in long-term or permanent medical complications.
Whose Fault Are San Diego Bicycle Injuries?
The severity of bicycle accident injuries is often directly tied to the cause of the crash. Collisions with motor vehicles are most likely to cause severe injuries such as brain injury, spinal cord injury or wrongful death. However, product defects and failure to maintain roadways can be just as dangerous.
Bicycles are legally considered vehicles. Therefore, cyclists must adhere to the same laws as other drivers. As such, when a bicycle accident happens between a cyclist and a car, the legal principle of negligence determines liability. California is a “pure” comparative negligence state. This means that the victim of an accident will receive damages for his or her injuries, reduced by the percentage of fault that they had in the accident. The same principle is true if another cyclist hits you, causing your injuries.
For example, let us say that a cyclist is 30 percent at fault for his or her injuries. The courts wish to award that cyclist $100,000. Due to the comparative negligence doctrine, the cyclist would instead receive $70,000. In California, unlike some states, even if you are 99 percent at fault, you will still be able to recover 1 percent of the damages. So, even if you think a bike accident is your fault, you still may be entitled to damages. That is why it is important to discuss your case with a San Diego bike accident lawyer.
What Should I Do After a Bike Wreck?
After a bicycle accident, the most important step is to care for your own health. If you are able, call 911 immediately after a bike accident, speak to the police and visit the emergency room. If possible, take down the license plate number and insurance information of the other driver. Take pictures of the scene and vehicles or parties involved on your cell phone if you are able, and obtain witness statements and contact information if possible.
If you do not believe your injury requires an ER visit, arrange for a doctor to examine you as soon as possible. Symptoms of some bicycle injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, may not appear until days or weeks later. Establishing a baseline with a medical professional can make detecting the symptoms of a head injury easier and allow you to get the treatment you need.
If the opposing party’s insurance adjuster contacts you, do not give them any more information than they need. Your name, contact information and address should suffice. Do not give them details of your injuries or details of the accident. Instead, politely inform them that they can contact your legal counsel for those details. This helps ensure that the insurance companies do not use your words against you to deny benefits.
How Can a Bike Accident Attorney Help? Bicycle Injuries Representation
If you suffer injury in a bicycle accident, you should talk to San Diego bike accident lawyer Frederick M. Dudek. Many lawyers handle personal injury cases. However, our bicycle accident attorney is a cyclist who understands the specifics of bicycle accidents. In addition to personal injury compensation, he appreciates high-end bicycles and understands the bicycle worth of repairs and replacements. He also has a great deal of experience securing the recovery accident victims need to repair their bicycles and receive treatment for their bicycle injuries.
For a free attorney consultation after a San Diego bike accident or a bicycle accident that happens anywhere in Southern California, call (858) 530-4800 or fill out our online contact form today. If you or your family member is currently in the hospital dealing with bicycle injuries, our bike accident attorney may be able to come to wherever you are to provide your claim consultation.