When a driver neglects to watch the road and crashes into you while you are riding your bicycle, your injuries are likely to be severe. Let the best personal injury attorney in Nashville advocate for your legal rights. The Nashville bicycle accident lawyers at Meyers Injury Law, listed on the Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association, will work to get you fair compensation.
Even though there are traffic laws to limit the risk of bicycle crashes, these accidents are common. Bicycle collisions can lead to severe injuries and death, especially when bicycles collide with motor vehicles. Bicycle accidents can occur for many reasons, such as road conditions, sudden lane changes, and intoxication. Bicycle laws can be complicated. Therefore, if you were involved in such a crash, a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing a bicycle accident case.
What Are the Most Common Bicycle Injuries?
A bicycle accident can result in serious injuries, including the following:
Often bicycle accident victims suffer head injuries, such as concussions and contusions. Head injuries can lead to further complications if not treated properly. Sometimes there can be delayed symptoms of head injuries that appear hours or days after the accident. Common head injuries from a bicycle accident include traumatic brain injury, skull fractures, and intracranial hemorrhages.
Bicycle accidents can lead to face injuries because bicyclists typically do not have external protection other than a helmet. Soft facial tissues are prone to get damaged after a fall in a bicycle accident. Such accidents can also result in facial bone fractures and maxillofacial trauma.
Although jaw and neck fractures are not as common, they can be caused by a severe bicycle accident. Bone fractures are another common serious injury suffered in bicycle accidents. Bones of the hip, wrists, knee, and shoulders are prone to fracturing after a deadly bicycle collision.
Even a minor bicycle accident can lead to skin injuries such as soft tissue damage, bruises, lacerations, and abrasions. Minor bruises and cuts can heal quickly without much treatment, but an open wound would require medical assistance before it gets seriously infected. Deep cuts or lacerations can also lead to excessive bleeding. Another common skin injury sustained by injury victims in a bicycle accident is road rash, which can take several days or weeks to heal.
Chest and Abdominal Damage
During a crash, bicyclists can suffer serious chest and abdomen injuries from a collision with the handlebars or the road. In severe cases, these injuries can lead to rib fractures, pancreatic trauma, and lung damage. A symptom of internal bleeding and abdominal damage is a distended abdomen. These kinds of injuries require immediate medical care.
How Do You Determine Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case?
Determining fault in bicycle accidents is often complicated. In most cases, the liability is established based on which party fails to fulfill their duty of care. All bicyclists and drivers of motor vehicles are required to provide a duty of care to other road users and obey all traffic laws, including the following:
- Follow safe bicycling practices
- Wear reflective clothing
- Obey traffic signs
- Not ride against the traffic flow
- Have working headlights and rear lights
The fault in bicycle accidents can be determined by proving who violated the right of way. For example, bicyclists can be liable for causing an accident when they don’t follow traffic laws, such as riding the wrong way on a one-way street or cycling through a stop sign. On the other hand, if a negligent driver was speeding, did not yield to the bicyclists, drove right into the bike lanes, or didn’t follow other laws, they can be liable for causing the bicycle accident.
Not every accident is caused by a single party. Instead, there could be multiple parties liable for the accident. In such cases, comparative negligence laws might be applicable. According to these laws, the compensation the plaintiff can recover is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a bicyclist is found to share 30% at fault in the accident, they would only be able to recover 70% of the total compensation award.
Determining fault in an accident can be challenging, so you should hire a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer to get professional legal guidance through the process.
Bicycle Accidents Statistics
- Approximately 1,000 bicyclists suffer fatal injuries.
- Over 130,000 bike riders are injured every year in a bike accident.
- Only 17% of people who get involved in bicycle accidents wear helmets.
- Bicyclists account for only about 2% of people who suffer fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.
- Most bicycle-related fatalities occur in urban areas and not at intersections.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Bike Accident?
You can recover two types of compensatory damages in bicycle accidents: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are awarded in bicycle accidents to reimburse you for your financial losses and additional out-of-pocket expenses. These damages can include medical bills, loss of income, long-term rehabilitation costs, loss of future earning potential, and property damage.
In rare cases, if the at-fault party is proven to have acted with extreme recklessness and complete disregard for safety, the plaintiff can be awarded additional damages other than their full compensation by the court. These are known as punitive damages.
Non-economic damages are the compensation for your emotional and mental suffering. These damages are for the pain and suffering of the individual. You can be compensated for any disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
What are the Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
The most common causes of bicycle accidents are distracted driving, alcohol intoxication, an open car door in the path of a bicycle, and bicyclists not driving within the bike lanes.
Who Can Be At Fault for the Accident?
Everyone using the road, whether it is a bicyclist, pedestrian, or driver of a motorized vehicle, must obey traffic laws. If any party fails to do so, they can be responsible for the accident. For example, if bicyclists fail to give the right of way to other motorists or run a red light, they can be responsible for causing the bicycle accident. On the other hand, if drivers fail to show reasonable care, such as yielding to bicyclists, they can be responsible for the accident.
What Mistakes Should Be Avoided After a Bicycle Accident?
A common mistake is not to report the accident to the local authorities. Not reporting the accident can be detrimental to your personal injury claim. Similarly, not getting the required medical attention is a common mistake. It is bad for the victim’s health and can be used by the opposing party to prove that the injuries were not serious enough to need immediate medical attention.
Another mistake is to neglect to collect witness information or statements. When a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit progresses, your Nashville bicycle accident attorney can use witness statements to build a strong case.
It would be a mistake not to consult with an attorney. Professional representation from a Nashville bicycle accident lawyer can increase your chances of securing maximum financial compensation from the insurance company or opposing party. The insurance company will try its best to make you accept a lowball offer, but with our guidance, you will not fall for such tactics. You are welcome to contact us at Meyers Injury Law to schedule a free consultation. We offer our services to residents of the Nashville area and surrounding locations.
The Nashville bicycle accident attorneys at Meyers Injury Law are committed to fighting for victims’ rights. We’ve recovered millions each year for our clients and will work to help and support you. Contact us today!