Injured in an Auto-Bicycle Accident? Here is Your Post-Accident Guide
Any accident on the road can be serious, but the consequences can be even more severe if you are riding a bicycle. An auto-bicycle accident can result in significant injuries that not only have physical effects but emotional and financial ones, too. Your recovery can be painful and difficult.
Furthermore, the accident could be life-altering, preventing you from being able to work or enjoy many of life’s activities. In the aftermath of bicycle-related injuries, you should take some important steps. Speaking with an attorney is a good step. If you can prove that the other party is liable for your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Frequency and Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Just like driving, riding a bicycle in traffic poses risks. Though some accidents are due to the bicyclist’s error, road conditions, or weather, motorists can be at fault as well. There were more than 2,100 bicycle accidents in Illinois in 2020 alone. Twenty-eight of these caused fatalities.
The United States Department of Transportation reports that bicycle accidents are most common in the summer months of June through August, as the weather is better and more people are out and about on their bikes.
Also, about 75% of all bicycle crashes occur in urban areas with more traffic. The most common cause of bike accidents is failure to yield the right of way. Another frequent cause is drivers not seeing bicyclists.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
In a crash between two or more vehicles, drivers and passengers have the protection of the car itself, seatbelts, and airbags. However, bicyclists can be extremely vulnerable to severe injuries in collisions. Equipment like helmets and pads can minimize injuries and reduce some trauma. Still, when there is an auto-bicycle accident, cyclists can suffer extensive injuries.
Head injuries are among the most common. If the cyclist is not wearing a helmet, the likelihood of having trauma to the head is much greater. Even with a helmet, a rider can suffer injuries like a concussion, brain contusion, skull fracture, or cranial hemorrhage.
Injuries to the face and eyes can also occur in the form of fractures and contusions. Fractures are also common in the limbs and chest. Abdominal injuries can also be frequent in bike accidents. Internal organs are suspectable to lacerations and ruptures. Skin and soft-tissue injuries are also common.
When a Motorist Is at Fault and Liable
After a bicycle accident, you may wish to pursue legal action if you believe your injuries were due to someone’s negligence. To prove this, your lawyer will have to show that a motorist breached his or her duty of safety and caused harm to you through his or her actions.
Unfortunately, sometimes an auto-bicycle accident can be the fault of the cyclist. Either party—the cyclist or the motorist—may be liable for the crash due to factors such as impaired visibility, distracted driving, or disobeying traffic laws. If the court determines that the motorist was careless by driving while distracted, failing to follow traffic regulations, or driving recklessly, the motorist acted with negligence and would be at fault.
Another facet of bike accidents and their aftermath is determining whether the motorist’s actions directly caused the accident and injuries. If the person’s actions were the cause of the incident, they will be liable for any damages.
What Your Lawyer Can Do For You
Determining whether the motorist was at fault for the accident is not always apparent. An experienced personal injury lawyer who focuses on bike accidents will closely examine and investigate the incident.
To know whether someone else is liable for your injuries, your lawyer may review the evidence, visit the scene of the accident, look at security footage, or review any police records. It may also be helpful to speak with eyewitnesses of the event.
Getting Medical Attention
It is crucial that you seek medical help after a bike accident. Even minor injuries can have lasting effects. Some injuries might not even be apparent immediately following the accident. If your injuries are serious, you should get to an emergency room or call your doctor right away.
Seeing a doctor and documenting your injuries and necessary treatment are essential if you wish to file a claim and sue for damages.
Speak With An Insurance Provider
You should exchange insurance information when you are in an auto-bicycle accident. If you are injured, you should call the other party’s auto insurance company and file an accident claim. The driver’s auto insurance can pay for your medical expenses. However, insurance companies may underpay claims. A personal injury lawyer can help make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
What A Settlement Can Cover
If you sue for damages against a liable party, a cash settlement can help you pay for many costs in the aftermath of your bike crash. First, the settlement may cover bills for medical treatment, hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, rehabilitation costs, and medical equipment you had or need for your recovery.
You can also recover damages for any lost wages. For example, if your injuries made it impossible to work for a time, you can claim the money you lost by not being able to do your job. Similarly, if you are unable to perform your job duties going forward, you can claim lost wages.
Emotional trauma can be significant and debilitating in a bicycle accident. Your lawyer may sue for pain and suffering damages. The loss of enjoyment and other mental distress you suffered from the accident can be crippling and lifelong. Compensation may be available in such circumstances.
Getting Past An Auto-bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can cause serious and even catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one has had a bike accident and a motorist was at fault, filing a personal injury lawsuit and suing for damages might make sense. A lawyer can review your case and walk you through the process of holding the at-fault party responsible.