What Types Of Injuries Do People Sustain In Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents are similar to motorcycle accidents. Cyclists do not have the same protections that individuals who are occupying motor vehicles have. As a result, we tend to see a lot of back and neck injuries, from strains to fractures and disc injuries. These can be extremely serious injuries that can have a devastating effect upon the injured person’s continued ability to engage in daily activities and the ability to work. We also see a lot of broken bones involving arms and legs. Hand and wrist injuries are also common.
We frequently see head injuries. Helmets are required to be worn by law in many jurisdictions, but they are not foolproof. Even if one is wearing a helmet, it is still possible to sustain a serious head injury, including concussions or traumatic brain injuries. This frequently happens when the cyclist is thrown from the bicycle against other vehicles or structures. This can cause internal bleeding and damage to vital organs in the body and be life threatening.
How Do You Determine The Viability Of A Bicycle Accident Case?
As in any motor vehicle type of accident, we look to the conduct of the other driver when another vehicle is involved. Did the motorist violate any motor vehicle laws, which would be evidence of negligence? Did the other driver fail to a yield the right of way? Was he or she negligent in the operation of his or her vehicle? We look at what, if any, circumstances may have contributed to a motorist’s failure to see the bicyclist. We’ll also look to the circumstances surrounding the accident to assess what was reasonable conduct or unreasonable conduct at the time.
What was visibility like at the time? Was it nighttime? What was the lighting like? How visible was the bicyclist? Was the bicyclist wearing some article of iridescent clothing that is highly visible, or was the cyclist wearing all black? Did the cyclist have on a headlight, whether on his vehicle or on his helmet? Did he have a strobe light? These are all additional issues that we would examine in a bicycle versus motor vehicle accident.
How Does It Impact My Settlement Amount If I Was Not Wearing A Helmet In A Bicycle Accident?
Not wearing a helmet may adversely affect the outcome of an injured bicyclist’s claim. If a head injury has been suffered by a bicyclist who was not wearing a helmet, some insurance adjustors place a lower valuation on the claim. In some jurisdictions which require a helmet, recovery may be considered as evidence of contributory negligence and result in diminished recovery or no recovery at all dependent upon the laws of the state where the accident happened. Generally, in the District of Columbia and Maryland, bicyclists under age 16 must wear helmets; however, some local jurisdictions in Maryland have more stringent helmet laws. Virginia does not require bicyclists to wear helmets, but leaves to local jurisdictions the right to require bicyclists 14 and under to wear helmets. All laws are subject to change. Considering the potentially devastating consequences of head injuries, it is best to wear a helmet when cycling.
For more information on Injuries Sustained In Bicycle Accidents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 251-0030 today.