Every year, thousands of bicyclists are injured by negligent and reckless drivers across the nation. Accidents between motorists and cyclists can have devastating consequences because the injuries sustained by bicyclists tend to be particularly severe and in some tragic cases, can even be deadly. Even treating minor injuries can quickly overwhelm a victim’s finances, making it especially important for cyclists who are injured in collisions with vehicles to seek compensation from the negligent parties.
Similar to accidents between vehicles, collisions between bicyclists and motorists can occur in a number of different situations. However, these types of accidents are most likely to take place as a result of:
- A driver’s failure to obey traffic signals;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- A driver’s failure to check his or her blind spot before turning or changing lanes;
- Poor road conditions, including those caused by inclement weather; and
- A malfunctioning traffic signal.
Collecting compensation from the responsible parties is especially important for injured bicyclists who may be required to undergo months of rehabilitation as a result of their injuries.
Bicyclists are more at risk of sustaining injuries in collisions because, unlike motorists, they do not have access to seat belts and airbags. Furthermore, cyclists have little to no protection from direct impact with the vehicle or the road. As a result, injuries suffered by cyclists are usually severe and could include:
- Broken bones;
- Severe lacerations;
- Spinal cord damage;
- Organ damage and internal bleeding; and
- Traumatic brain injury.
Treating these types of serious injuries often requires surgery, physical therapy, ongoing care from a physician, lengthy hospital stays, and nursing care. Furthermore, the cost of these services can quickly overwhelm a victim and his or her family. Fortunately, injured parties can collect compensation for these expenses if they can demonstrate that another party’s negligence or recklessness was the cause of their accident.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents
Not all bicycle accidents can be prevented. However, taking the following preventive measures can help bicyclists reduce their chances of being involved in a collision with a vehicle:
- Obeying all traffic laws;
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing when riding;
- Using a front headlight and a rear red light when visibility is poor;
- Refraining, when possible, from riding on sidewalks or outside of the bike lane; and
- Remaining vigilant for road defects and other vehicles.
It is also critical that drivers remain aware of bicyclists in their vicinity and that they check for cyclists when turning or changing lanes. Refraining from using bike lanes unless conducting a legal turn can also go a long way towards avoiding an accident with a bicyclist who may be in a driver’s blind spot. Finally, drivers should also attempt to give cyclists plenty of room when passing.
Call an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
Injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can take months or even years to fully heal and in some cases, may affect a victim for the rest of his or her life. To learn more about collecting compensation for your losses, please contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 today.