Common Bicycle Injuries in Car Accidents
Riding a bicycle can be very dangerous, especially in a traffic-heavy state like California. If you were riding your bike when a car hit you, you may have gotten one of the common bicycles injuries that happen in car accidents. It’s imperative to learn about your injuries and what to do following your accident so you can potentially receive compensation.
Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with bicycle injuries. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that’s rightfully yours.
Common Bicycle Injuries that Occur During Car Accidents
Getting struck by another car when you’re driving can cause injuries. Getting hit when you’re on a bike can be much more serious. You’re more vulnerable since you don’t have the car’s protection, and if you aren’t wearing a helmet or other gear, your injuries could be even worse. You could suffer from one or multiple injuries in a car accident.
A driver could injure your arms or legs when they hit you. You could get road rash, and you are much more likely to suffer from a broken arm or leg or a fracture. When the car makes impact, you could fly off your bike and hit your head. Even if you are wearing a helmet, you could get anything from a simple bump to a traumatic brain injury, which could affect you for the rest of your life. You may have to get surgery, as well as use medical equipment to function from day to day.
Face and neck injuries are common amongst bicycle riders who get into car accidents. Riders may suffer from a broken neck, an eye fracture, or a facial fracture. They could injure their ribs if they slam chest first onto the pavement, or they might ram into the handlebars or be thrown about so violently they rupture their spleen. A spine or back injury could occur; and this could lead to a herniated disk, or even paralysis.
Most accidents are unavoidable. Drivers may not be paying attention to the road, opting to text their family and friends while behind the wheel. Even if riders are wearing reflective gear, car or truck drivers with bad eyesight or looking elsewhere may not see them. Additionally, if there are potholes or other road hazards, drivers may steer to avoid them and could end up hitting a cyclist.
However, by taking the right steps, a bicyclist can lower their chances of being injured and ensure they have the best chance possible of staying safe.
Staying Safe While Riding a Bike
If you’re going to ride a bike on the street, then it’s critical to always wear a helmet. It’s a good idea to buy the helmet from a cycling store so that you know it’s been tested and it’s a good fit. If you buy it online, it may not provide you the protection you need.
When cycling at night, wear reflective gear and put lights on your bicycle so that drivers can see you. Whatever time of day you’re on the road, follow traffic laws. Stop at stop signs and red lights, signal using your hands, stay in the bike lane, and don’t try to cut drivers off. Never get on a bike if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.
You can also minimize the likelihood of accidents by staying off the road certain times of the day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, bicyclist deaths happen most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Bicyclist deaths also happen more often in urban areas (75%) as opposed to rural areas (25%).
If you live in a city and you use your bike to commute to and from work, you may not be able to avoid biking at certain times and in certain areas. But by being vigilant and paying attention to the road and the cars around you at all times, you will be much more likely to stay safe.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you get injured in a bicycle accident, you have to take some important steps to ensure you will get the care you need and compensation you deserve.
First, try to get out of traffic and to a safe place, if you are able. If you can, get someone to approach the driver and ask for their name and insurance information. Have someone take photographs of the driver’s car, including their license plate, your bicycle, and the scene where the accident occurred. Call to get a police report taken as well.
If there are witnesses, get their contact information. If you see any surveillance or traffic cameras, note where they are located so you or your attorney can get that footage at a later date.
The driver may offer you money to settle right on the spot because they don’t want their insurance rates to go up. Don’t accept. It probably won’t be enough. You could hurt your chances of getting a more suitable settlement down the line.
Go to the hospital for a medical evaluation. When you’re at the hospital, tell the doctor about all pains you’re suffering. Even if it doesn’t seem like you received any broken bones or internal injuries, X-rays probably should be taken. Follow the doctor’s orders and stay on top of your care by going to additional appointments as needed and taking medication as prescribed.
Then, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer ASAP to help you with your case. They will investigate further and do things necessary to deal directly with the insurance company to get you the highest settlement possible. Insurance companies are known for offering very low settlements to injured parties, so it’s best to get a lawyer involved who knows what they are doing. If at any point the insurance company offers you a settlement, refer them to your attorney. Again, you’ll hurt your chances of getting a higher settlement without the help of a lawyer.
The best part of hiring representation is that your personal injury lawyer won’t charge you anything unless they win your case. This means they will only take on cases they believe they have a chance of winning. Their motivation, above all else, is to get you the compensation that you deserve to cover your medical bills, loss of wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other economic and non-economic damages.
Get in Touch with Heiting & Irwin Today
If you were riding on a bicycle when a driver hit and injured you, then it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with thousands of personal injury cases over 40+ years and will work hard to get you the settlement that’s rightfully yours. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to initiate your case.