Determining the cause of your bicycle accident is an important part of recovering appropriate damages for your injuries. Whether your crash was caused by the negligence or recklessness of a driver, unsafe roads, or a combination of both, it is important to hold all responsible parties accountable.
The Smith Law Center is headquartered in Virginia, and predominantly serves the surrounding areas of West Virginia, D.C., and North and South Carolina. We also handle cases with nationwide reach, and have achieved billions of dollars in recovery for our clients and their families.
Our attorneys know what is required to prove the cause of a bicycle accident in court. When you entrust The Smith Law Center with your case, you have proven experience on your side. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 — let us gather the physical evidence, testimonies, and expert witnesses needed to show the cause of your accident. By doing so, we maximize your potential compensation, and help identify dangerous actors or circumstances for the good of your entire community.
What Is the Main Cause of Bicycle Accidents?
Bicycle accidents that involve cars, trucks, or other automobiles share many of the same causes as car-to-car accidents. Distracted driving is a predominant factor, as are driver intoxication and driver exhaustion. According to a survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the top six most common causes of bicycle accidents and injury were:
- Collision with a car — 29%
- Falls from the bike — 17%
- Poor roadway/walkway conditions — 13%
- Rider error or inattention — 13%
- Crashes with a fixed object — 7%
- Dog ran out — 4%
While there are numerous types of bike crashes and accidents, the most frequent cause (collision with a car) is also the most deadly and damaging. The disparities between a car and a bike in the categories of weight, speed, and crash resistance are overwhelming. When the human body is impacted by a moving vehicle, the immediate results can be life-altering or life-ending injuries. One split-second crash can wreck a person’s future, or rob a family of their loved one.
If your bicycle accident causes serious harm or injury, you likely need resources for medical treatment, repayment for lost work, and fair compensation for your pain and suffering. A personal injury lawsuit may be your only opportunity to seek justice.
What Is the Most Common Bicycle Injury?
An article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that the most common bicycle injuries involve:
- The upper and lower extremities: These include breaks, strains, and “road rash” injuries to arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
- Head, eyes, face, and neck: Disfiguring lacerations, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries are some of the profound injuries a person can experience.
- Abdomen (thorax): Injuries to the torso area, including fractured ribs, organ damage, and potential impalement during a crash.
Common injuries from even the mildest bicycle accident injuries can be costly and painful. For example, road rash injuries can range anywhere from superficial abrasions to deeply embedded debris (rocks, glass, asphalt) that if left untreated can cause “traumatic tattooing.” The more serious injuries to limbs can lead to long-lasting or permanent handicaps, preventing a person from returning to work and recreation. A traumatic brain injury or damaged spinal cord could require life-long assisted care.
Where Do Most Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that most bicycle accidents happen:
- In urban areas: Bicyclist deaths are far more likely to occur in urban (80%) vs. rural (20%) areas.
- On the open road: A majority (63%) of bicycle fatalities occur on the open road at higher speeds, not in bike lanes or intersections at lower speeds (37%).
- Between 6-9 PM: Regardless of the season, most fatal bicycle accidents occur around the hours of sunset between 6-9 in the evening.
Demographically, men are 4 times more likely to be injured and 6-8 times more likely to be killed than women in bicycle accidents. Adults between the ages of 50-59 have the highest occurrence of bicycle fatality, while young people (under 20 years old) have the highest rate of non-fatal bicycle injury.
The previously cited AAFP article also reports that off-road cyclists have a 40% lower incidence of head, face, and dental injuries when compared to on-road bicyclists. This is largely because they are separated from dangerous vehicular traffic.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 130,000 bicyclists are injured each year, and nearly 1,000 lose their lives due to bicycle accidents. That’s over 350 injuries and 2-3 deaths every day.
These accidents cost over $23 billion annually in the United States when you add up the cost of healthcare, the decreased work productivity, the estimated expense associated with lowered quality of life, and the loss of life.
Contact Experienced Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyers
The joy, exercise, and positive environmental impact of bicycle riding can suddenly be interrupted by damaging and fatal crashes. When these accidents occur, the consequences are often far more severe for the bicyclist than they are for the vehicle driver. Nothing can reverse these injuries, but there are real, tangible benefits to filing a lawsuit after a bicycle accident. A damages award can improve your healthcare access, secure your family’s financial stability, and incentivize safety reforms that could save another person’s life.
At The Smith Law Center, we excel in achieving justice for catastrophic injury survivors and their loved ones, especially in cases of traumatic brain injury. Our founder has a scientific background in neuroanatomy, and our firm is uniquely experienced in litigating brain injury cases. Our successful case results are due to an in-depth understanding of the true cost of life-altering injuries, and the various causes that contribute to bicycle accidents. By understanding the nuances of the law, we do everything in our power to access all the resources available to you.
Reach out to The Smith Law Center online or by calling (757) 244-7000 as soon as possible. There are deadlines known as “statutes of limitations” for cases of bicycle accident injuries, so the sooner you empower an attorney to handle your case, the better. We are ready to put our decades of experience at your service — you may be just one phone call away from a brighter future.