Bicycling is a healthful pastime enjoyed by millions of Americans, including many Texans, for much of the year. But bicycling isn’t without its dangers, especially when sharing the road with motor vehicles. Accidents that would be minor fender-benders between automobiles quickly turn into life-threatening situations that can cause severe and permanent injuries to a cyclist.
Here are some facts about bicycle accidents in Texas, including common injuries, what to do if you’re in a bicycle accident, and how you can get legal help to recover financially from your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains national statistics for traffic accidents of all sorts, including bicycle injuries and deaths. The latest NHTSA data from 2015 shows that 818 bicyclists were killed in accidents involving motor vehicles, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. A further approximately 45,000 bicyclists were estimated to be injured in 2015.
Common Bicyclist Injuries
Bicyclists are very vulnerable physically at the best of times, even while wearing appropriate protective gear such as a helmet and knee and elbow pads. Automobile drivers have the advantage of several thousand pounds worth of metal and plastic forming a protective cage around. Cyclists simply do not have similar protection, meaning that a collision can be devastating to the rider while leaving the car relatively completely unharmed.
Some of the most common injuries that bicyclists suffer in collisions with vehicles may include the following:
- Head injuries. Trauma to the head from impacting the vehicle or the pavement can cause severe cuts, scrapes, friction burn or “road rash,” and skull and facial bone fractures.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A blow to the head can easily result in a serious injury to the brain, including concussions, contusions (bruising) of the brain, coup-contrecoup injuries on opposing sides of the brain, diffuse axonal shearing injuries, and more.
- Neck and spinal cord injuries. A sudden impact that causes a fast change in speed and direction can result in whiplash-like injuries and may damage the spinal cord, causing permanent nerve damage or paralysis.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage. Some of the deadliest “silent” injuries can appear to leave no marks at all on the body immediately after an accident. Symptoms may not appear for minutes or even hours after the initial injury took place, turning a serious injury into an unexpected crisis.
- Broken bones. Collisions often result in broken hands, arms, legs, feet, collarbones, and cracked or broken ribs. In severe crashes, broken bones can tear through the skin, leading to a dangerous loss of blood, shock, and the risk of a severe infection.
After any bicycle accident it’s always a good idea to be seen by a medical professional, even if you don’t feel like you’ve been hurt immediately afterwards. The body reacts to stress and injury by releasing a flood of hormones designed to protect you from immediate danger, but when those stress hormones wear off, painful and life-altering injuries can suddenly become a real problem. Even a muscle sprain, strain, or damaged tendon or ligament could develop into a debilitating permanent injury if left untreated.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Once you’re safe and medically secure after your crash, your next move should be to contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced with bicycle injury accidents. An attorney will be able to review your situation and determine if you are eligible to seek compensation from the negligent party responsible for your crash. You may be able to receive a financial award covering your hospital bills and follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy and rehabilitation, skilled nursing care, repair or replacement of your bicycle and other property, pain and suffering, and more. Your attorney can help you negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company so that you receive what you are owed for your injuries, or file a lawsuit and take the battle to court to protect your legal right to fair compensation with a lawsuit.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been injured in bicycle accident, the attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We make it our responsibility to stand up for your legal rights in a court of law so that you can receive the justice that you deserve, and we are here to serve you today.
To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, call Wayne Wright by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.