There are many unique factors that can cause a cycling accident. All too often, accidents resulting in death or injury involve a combination of these. 2012 statistics on the common causes include the following:
- 4 percent of cycling accidents result from dogs running in front of cyclists and/or dogs attacking cyclists while riding.
- 7 percent of cycling accidents involve two bicycles or a bicycle and a pedestrian.
- 13 percent of accidents are caused by bad roads or pathways.
- 17 percent of cycling accidents are caused by falls; however, these accidents often involve children and/or are instigated by a motor vehicle causing them to swerve.
- 29 percent (the most percentage) of cycling accidents are caused by collisions with motor vehicles.
The type of injuries sustained from a cycling accident can be caused by one or more of the following:
- Type of protection a cyclist wears
- Impact direction and type
- Motor vehicles involved
- Road conditions
The most common injuries sustained from bicycle accidents:
Facial injuries can include a break or fracture in the jaw or nose, teeth knocked out, or even eyes lost. Scrapes to the face can cause road rash, permanent scarring, and other damage.
Commonly reported broken bones include the wrists, arms, ankles, legs, and collarbones.
Spinal Cord Injuries
With nothing to restrain cyclists in high-impact collisions, they are often ejected onto the road or nearby objects. This can be damaging to the spinal cord and result in fractured vertebrae, nerve damage, or displaced discs. Back injuries can be difficult to recover from and may end up in resulting chronic pain or paralysis.
A cyclist thrown over the handlebars or impacted in certain ways will have a difficult time catching the fall. Common head injuries include skull fractures and concussions.
Brain injuries are usually the most extreme and serious. While wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the impact to the brain, a high-impact collision often leaves protected cyclists injured. Traumatic brain injury can occur and may be permanently debilitating.
What To Do After a Cycling Accident
For those involved in bicycle accidents, it is important to proceed carefully and record everything. Personal injury claims often require intricate details and careful documentation in order to be successful. Follow these 8 steps for best results in a bicycle-related injury claim:
1. Seek Emergency Medical Attention
If you are in a bicycle accident, always tend to any immediate medical concerns first. If injuries are severe, you should call 911 immediately and receive appropriate attention from a medical professional. Some injuries can be treated on site, while others require an ER visit.
2. Wait for Police
A police report is one of the most useful documents a lawyer can have when defending your claim. Furthermore, police serve as a valuable mediator between yourself and the other party involved. Unless you are receiving necessary and immediate medical attention, you should wait for the police to arrive on the site of the accident.
3. Share Your Story
For best results in a court hearing, having your side of the story taken down on the police report is key. Often times, your first statements are held in the highest regard, as small facts and details will be forgotten down the road.
4. Gather Witnesses
If possible, gather contact information of unbiased individuals whom witnessed the accident and encourage them to speak with the appropriate authorities.
5. Document Events
Write down everything you remember leading up to and during the event.
6. Document Injuries
Keep track of all negative impacts and medical treatments received due to the bicycle accident.
7. Preserve Evidence
Take photos if possible and leave your bicycle unrepaired to give your lawyer and other experts comprehensive access to the physical evidence.
8. Get a Lawyer
Successful cases that include bicycle-related injuries require professionals that have extensive knowledge in areas such as bike traffic laws, bicycle manufacturers, parts and their relevant values, and who can get a network of expert witnesses who are knowledgeable in areas like motor vehicle physics and injury rehabilitation.
Personal injury claims of this type are specific and require knowledge and experience in this area. Contact a bicycle accident attorney in the event of a crash caused by negligence or wrongdoing of a motor vehicle operator.