people riding bike

Whether it’s to save money or improve their health, more and more people are using bicycles to get around. However, bicycle trips still only account for 1% of all trips in the US. Despite this low number, 130,000 cyclists are injured, and 1,000 die in motor vehicle crashes every year.

How to Win Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

Since the vast majority of bicycle accidents occur due to driver negligence, there’s a high possibility you’ll win compensation for your injuries. But you need to wear proper safety gear, such as a helmet and reflective vest, to get a fair settlement from a bicycle accident lawyer.

To increase your chance of getting the maximum amount, call the authorities immediately after the accident. The police will be able to take the motorist’s statement and draw a crash diagram. This evidence, along with photographs and witness testimonies, will help you build your case.

Speak to a lawyer after going to the doctor. Even if a medical professional doesn’t consider your injuries life-threatening, there’s a chance they could get worse over the next few weeks.

How Common are Bicycle Accidents?

According to the National Safety Council, the amount of preventable deaths from bicycle transport is on the rise. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of fatal injuries increased by 16%, and between 2011 and 2020, the total number of bicycle-related deaths went up by 44%.

However, the number of preventable nonfatal injuries is on the decline, from 536,412 to 325,173 between 2011 to 2020. This could indicate that cyclists are taking better safety precautions.

Some groups are at higher risk for bicycle injuries and death, including:

  • Adults ages 55-69
  • Male Cyclists
  • Adolescents, teens, and young adults
  • Cyclists who travel to dangerous places
  • Cyclists that travel in urban areas

Certain behaviors will also increase your likelihood of getting in an accident. Distracted cycling, poor visibility, and counter-traffic cycling can be very dangerous. At the same time, drivers are often the biggest risk to a cyclist’s safety, as they’re less likely to pay attention to bicycles.

What Injuries Could Result After a Bicycle Accident?

A combination of ride errors, motorist errors, mechanical failures, and environmental hazards can cause a wide variety of bicycle-related injuries. Faster riding speed, the distance and duration of the trip, and road cycling can all increase your risk of severe or fatal injury.

While overuse injuries are more common than acute injuries, they’re less likely to occur due to an accident. However, a previous overuse injury could contribute to an accident-related injury.

Most bicycle-related injuries occur on the top half of the body, such as the face, heart, neck, thorax, and abdomen. These injuries are typically surface-based traumas, such as roach rash, lacerations, and contusions. Sprains, fractures, dislocation, and breaks are also common

Some common bicycle-based accident injuries include but aren’t limited to:

  • Head Injuries: Concussion, skull fracture, or contusion
  • Face and Eye Injuries: Facial or dental fractures
  • Neck and Back Injuries: Lower back pain and cervical strains
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: Stains, dislocation, and fractures
  • Wrist Injuries: Ulnar nerve or median nerve damage
  • Chest Injuries: Parenchymal lung injuries or rib fractures
  • Abdomen Injuries: Pancreatic trauma, rupture, hernias, or renal contusion
  • Genital or Urinary Injuries: Pelvic, urethra, and vulva trauma.
  • Saddle Injuries: Skin chafing, ulcerations, impotence
  • Hip Injuries: Iliopsoas tendonitis and trochanteric bursitis
  • Knee Injuries: Patellofemoral syndrome and knee fractures
  • Foot or Ankle Injuries: Achilles tendonitis or paresthesias
  • Skin and Soft Tissue Injury: Road rash and lacerations

Head injuries occur in nearly 40% of cyclists and are responsible for most bicycle-related accidents. Cyclists are less likely to be injured if they bike on roads or paths that are separated from vehicular traffic. Helmet use is also associated with lower rates of injury and mortality.

Published by HOLR Magazine.