Bike accident injuries are more common than most Floridians realize. Bicyclists account for two percent of all traffic-related deaths and injuries every year. This should come as no surprise, as bicyclists are incredibly vulnerable when involved in a vehicle crash.
Motorists and their passengers have the protection of a vehicle frame, airbags, seatbelts, and many other safety features. Bicyclists might have a helmet and some knee or elbow pads. Other than a quality helmet, they lack any sort of protection that could save them from severe or life-threatening injuries. If you or someone you love was recently injured or killed in such an accident, you need a bicycle accident law firm you can trust. Look no further than the Iscoe Law Firm. Our Palm Beach County bicycle accident lawyers understand how devastating bicycle accident injuries can be and aren’t afraid to stand up for your rights.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Survey on Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behaviors, the six most common causes of injury to bicyclists across the nation were:
- Hit by a vehicle (30 percent)
- Fell (17 percent)
- Roadway in poor repair (13 percent)
- Rider error (13 percent)
- Crashed/collision with a fixed object such as a signpost or tree (7 percent)
- Dog ran out in front of them (4 percent)
When motorists hit bicyclists, the most common causes are:
- Distraction with electronics or a smartphone
- Not paying attention—for instance, speaking with passengers in the car or watching something going on outside the vehicle
- Aggressive behavior
- Construction zones
Florida’s Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bike accidents usually result in injuries to the upper and lower extremities. Many of these acute injuries are often minor and will heal completely with time and some limited medical attention. These include:
Similar to motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents often cause road rash, leaving superficial abrasions on exposed skin. When road rash occurs, it might require debris removal from the skin.
Helmets can help prevent and reduce the severity of head injuries. Injured bicyclists are at the most significant risk of a head injury, and these injuries occur in about one-quarter to one-half of all injured bicyclists. Unfortunately, head injuries are often quite severe and sometimes fatal. Most long-term disabilities arising from bicycle accidents are related to head injuries.
Not every bike accident results in serious injuries. That said, when they do, victims often need immediate and intensive medical attention. Some of the more common serious injuries that people can suffer in bike accidents include:
- Skull fractures
- Cranial hemorrhage
The musculoskeletal system may also sustain injuries, including basic strains and sprains, as well as dislocations and fractures.
Other common bicycle accident injuries include:
- Facial fractures
- Dental fractures
- Rib fractures
- Ruptured spleen
- Pancreatic trauma
- Bowel contusions
- Renal contusions
Bike accidents also come with the risk of impalement. Some riders will become impaled by their handlebars, which often causes life-threatening injuries. Pelvic fractures and rectal trauma are also significant causes of concern.
Not all injuries are visible. Bicycle accidents can leave lasting imprints on survivors’ psyche, causing depression, anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, and paranoia, which can severely affect the quality of life. These are no less debilitating than physical injuries and can be very difficult to cope with and manage. Some may require years of counseling or even medication management.
Medical Evaluation After a Bicycle Accident
Even if you’re involved in a minor bike accident, you might have suffered some severe injuries that you don’t notice right away. Symptoms for these injuries often present themselves days or even weeks after the accident. It’s a good idea to seek medical attention after such an accident, even if you feel okay and don’t experience any concerning symptoms. If you experience any o the following serious symptoms, you should seek medical evaluation right away:
- Loss of consciousness, confusion, vision changes, or a cracked helmet
- Difficulty with breathing or painful breathing
- Tender, distended or hard areas of the abdomen
- Numbness, tingling, or the inability to move fingers or toes
- Difficulty moving the neck
- Deep lacerations
- Profuse bleeding
- Shooting pain in an extremity or difficulty moving it
When Can You Pursue Compensation for a Florida Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists and family members of people killed in bicycle accidents may be able to take legal action against a driver if the driver was entirely or partially responsible for the accident. In a successful bicycle accident claim, the injured victim will need to prove that:
- The motorist did something negligent, careless, or in violation of driving rules. All drivers have an obligation to be reasonably safe. When a motorist doesn’t live up to that obligation, it could be a breach of legal duty.
- The violation of legal duty was the direct cause of a bicycle accident. As such, you must prove that the driver’s behavior directly led to the bike crash.
- You sustained actual harm because of the bicycle accident. In other words, you’ll need to show that you sustained physical or financial loss or that you suffered harm because of the death of a loved one.
Motorists make many bad decisions and careless mistakes that can result in bicycle accidents. They may drive while intoxicated, drowsy, or distracted. Others might be speeding or fail to yield immediately before the accident. These and other dangerous behaviors are all examples of situations where a Palm Beach County bicycle accident attorney could help victims and their families pursue a legal claim for compensation.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Palm Beach County Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today for Help
Bicyclists shouldn’t be left holding enormous bills for their injuries. Florida law ensures that this doesn’t happen. The driver who causes the crash is liable for the losses they cause. However, injured parties must pursue their rights under the law. This is usually best done with the help of an experienced Palm Beach County bicycle accident attorney.
The Iscoe Law Firm can help those hurt in bicycle accidents to protect their rights and get the financial recovery they need to pay their bills and help make up for their pain and suffering. Call us at 800 800-6500 to schedule a free consultation with a Palm Beach County Bicycle accident attorney. We know that accidents and injuries can happen at any time; that’s why we man our phones 24/7, 365 days a year.