Bicycles and motorcycles offer their riders minimal protection in an accident scenario. The force of a collision may cause a cyclist to fall to the ground, sustaining severe injuries as a result. Bicyclists may even suffer head injuries if they are wearing a helmet and other protective gear. This is because helmets can still crack if they strike the ground with significant force.
Bicyclists who suffer head injuries in an accident may need continuous medical treatment. They can also suffer cognitive impairments that affect every aspect of their lives going forward. These injuries and related losses are compensable items of damage in a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit.
If you or someone you care about suffered a head injury in a recent bicycle accident, a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer in your area can help. In addition to investigating the circumstances of your accident, your lawyer can help you move forward with a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement that truly compensates you for your head injury or litigate your case to a favorable conclusion in court. In either instance, your lawyer can be an invaluable help and will do everything possible to maximize the monetary recovery you receive for your traumatic head injury.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
What Are Some Common Head Injuries in Bicycle Accidents?
The extent of a bicyclist’s head injury will depend upon various factors, including the force of the bicycle crash, whether the cyclist struck their head on the ground directly, whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of their accident, and whether or not their helmet cracked in the accident.
Generally, a well-constructed, sturdy helmet can withstand the force of a powerful blow, though brain injuries can still occur. However, a poorly constructed helmet is more likely to break in an accident, exposing a driver’s head to the ground.
When bicyclists strike their heads in an accident, they may experience immediate symptoms and suffer severe injuries. Head injuries may be both external and internal. External head injuries might involve deep cuts and lacerations to the head. Sometimes, a cyclist may suffer a penetrating head injury that pierces their head or skull. Many cyclists suffer internal head injuries, like concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic head and brain injuries cause the disruption of the brain’s neurons and axons. These brain components serve as the central internal hardware system for the brain and are responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the body. A forceful blow to the head in a bicycle accident may disrupt one or more neurons and axons, subsequently limiting brain functioning.
One common type of traumatic head injury that a bicyclist may suffer is a concussion. Many people underestimate the seriousness of concussions, the treatment these injuries need, and the lasting effects a concussion can have on their lives.
Concussions may cause both short-term and long-term symptoms, depending on the specific injury. Common short-term symptoms associated with concussions include nausea, dizziness, and frequent headaches. Concussion sufferers may also experience fatigue and short-term memory loss.
In some cases, these short-term symptoms will subside, and the accident victim will make a full recovery. However, other individuals who suffer concussions may experience lasting effects.
Some persistent effects of concussions might include:
- Long-term or permanent memory loss
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Confusion or dizziness
- Cognitive impairments
- Anxiety or depression
- Fatigue and insomnia
- Physical impairments
All of these can affect daily life in many difficult ways.
Some head injuries lead to temporary or even permanent comas. In the worst-case scenario, a bicycle accident victim may end up in a permanent vegetative state or with very limited brain functioning. In these instances, the accident victim may need to permanently reside at a nursing home or long-term care facility and require around-the-clock medical care.
If you or a person you love suffered one of these head injuries in a bicycle accident, you should seek experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible.
Your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene of the bicycle crash, review property damage photographs, interview witnesses, and read police reports, to determine how your accident happened. Your lawyer can then help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and pursue the total monetary damages you deserve.
How Do Bike Accidents Happen?
Bike accidents frequently happen when people drive negligently and carelessly. However, these accidents may also occur because of roadway defects that dislodge a cyclist from their bike.
One common type of driver error that can lead to a bicycle accident is failure to yield the right-of-way to a cyclist. Some drivers are in a hurry to arrive at their final destination and may feel the temptation to run a red traffic light, yield sign, or stop sign. However, these reckless actions may cause the driver to inadvertently strike a cyclist who has the right-of-way at that time, causing serious injuries.
Another common cause of bicycle accidents is speeding. When drivers exceed the speed limit, they are less likely to notice a cyclist in the vicinity or stop in time to avoid hitting a cyclist. A driver who speeds and fails to leave sufficient stopping distance may negligently rear-end a cyclist, dislodging them from their bicycle.
Next, some bicycle accidents occur when people drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances may slow down a driver’s reaction time and reflexes, preventing them from stopping in time to avoid a cyclist. Alcohol may also cause a driver’s vision to become blurry, preventing them from seeing the cyclist in the first place.
When a police officer arrests a driver for DUI and the driver ultimately incurs a criminal conviction, they can be looking at jail time and other penalties. Moreover, if the intoxicated driver causes a bicycle accident that leads to injuries, the driver and their insurance company may have to pay monetary damages.
Additionally, some bicycle accidents result from distracted driving. Distracted drivers are those who fail to give sufficient time and attention to the road. A distracted driver may turn their head to the side or look down, failing to see a nearby bicyclist. Electronic devices in a driver’s vehicle, such as cellular phones, tablets, radios, and GPS navigation systems, may divert a driver’s attention away from the road, ultimately causing a severe crash.
Drivers can also cause bicycle accidents when they drive while fatigued. Commercial truck drivers are especially susceptible to drowsy driving when trucking companies encourage them to drive for hours on end without taking breaks. A fatigued driver may not notice a bicyclist in the vicinity, or they may become so tired that they cannot react in time to avoid hitting the cyclist. Alternatively, a fatigued driver might fall asleep at the wheel, causing them to lose control of their vehicle and strike a bicyclist.
Finally, some bicycle accidents result from roadway defects, including cracks and potholes in the macadam and grooved pavement. Roadway defects are especially coming around construction sites. When a municipality or construction company fails to maintain roadways in a safe manner or post the necessary signage to warn cyclists, they may be responsible for any bicycle accidents and injuries that result.
Roadway defects may cause a cyclist to lose their balance and fall to the ground, sustaining severe injuries. In those situations, the cyclist can file a personal injury claim against the construction company or municipality that caused the defect. However, always remember that when you file a claim against a municipality, a short notice period may apply. Therefore, you should retain a bicycle accident lawyer to handle your claim as quickly as possible after your accident.
How a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Assist You After Your Injuries
Following a bicycle crash, a bike accident lawyer can be an invaluable help.
After your bicycle accident, a lawyer can:
- Gather up pertinent documentation in your case, such as medical treatment records, police reports, witness statements, and lost wage documentation from your employer
- Draft a settlement demand letter on your behalf and send it, along with the demand package, to the appropriate insurance company
- Negotiate with insurance company adjusters on your behalf in pursuit of favorable settlement compensation for your head injury
- Threaten the insurance company with litigation if they fail to offer you sufficient monetary compensation for your head injury
- File a lawsuit and litigate your case to a conclusion, either through trial or alternative dispute resolution
A lawyer can also answer all of your questions and help you make informed decisions throughout your case.
Potential Monetary Recovery for Bicycle Accident Victims Who Suffer Head Injuries
When a bicycle accident victim suffers a severe head injury, they may have lifelong complications. Specifically, they may experience ongoing pain for the rest of their life, or they may suffer long-term memory loss and other deficiencies.
Because of the severity of many bicycle accidents, the resulting injuries are often permanent. A permanent injury is unlikely to get better with time. A medical provider can establish, based upon a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your injury or injuries are permanent in nature. In that instance, you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for your permanent disability or disfigurement.
A bicycle accident lawyer in your area can help you recover the monetary damages you deserve via settlement or litigation. First, bicycle accident victims can recover economic damages for their lost wages and other tangible losses if their head injury prevents them from working.
To prove lost income, an accident victim must introduce documentation from their employer that shows the total amount of money they lost from not working. In addition, if the bicycle accident victim suffered a permanent injury-related impairment that prevented them from performing their former job duties, and they had to take a pay cut and switch jobs, they may be eligible for loss-of-earning-capacity damages.
In addition, accident victims can recover monetary damages for their intangible losses, like mental distress, emotional anguish, inconvenience, and pain and suffering. If their head injury limits their quality of life, they can recover monetary compensation for loss of life enjoyment. Finally, if they suffer a head injury that prevents them from using one or more body parts, they can make a loss-of-use claim.
A bicycle accident lawyer in your area can determine your eligibility for each of these types of monetary damages. Your lawyer can then help you recover the financial compensation you need through a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Contact a Bike Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
If you sustained a head injury in a recent bicycle accident, you should retain skilled legal representation as quickly as you can. As with all injury cases, time is of the essence in a bicycle accident claim. This is because bicycle accident victims must file their lawsuit for monetary damages within two years of their accident date, absent some minimal exceptions.
If a bicycle accident victim fails to take the necessary legal action within two years, the court will prevent them from recovering monetary damages for their accident-related injuries. Therefore, the best time to take action in your bicycle accident case is now.
Most of the time, you, or better, your lawyer, will be dealing with an insurance company regarding your claim. You should remember that your lawyer has experience dealing with insurance companies and more than likely knows best how to approach them.
A bicycle accident lawyer in your area can investigate your accident circumstances, file a claim on your behalf, and begin settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver or other responsible entity’s insurance company.
If the insurance company refuses to make you a reasonable offer, your lawyer can swiftly file a lawsuit in your case well within the statute of limitations time frame. Your Personal Injury Lawyers in Edmonton can then litigate the case on your behalf in the court system, represent you at all legal proceedings, and work to maximize the monetary recovery you receive for your injuries.
Seek the legal assistance you need right away.