Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Bike injuries can be more serious than you think

Have you ever gotten "doored" by a car as you were cruising along in the bike lane obeying all traffic laws? This is a very common bicycle injury. If it happened to you, you are lucky to walk away with a few scrapes, bumps and bruises.

Some cyclists are not that lucky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,000 cyclists were killed while riding here in America in 2015. Furthermore, the number of cycling injuries was close to 467,000 in that same year.

Dooring only one type of danger

Of course, not all of those deaths and injuries occurred when an inattentive motorist opened their car doors into cyclists' paths. Another very dangerous site for bicycle accidents is at intersections and near driveways as cars back out into the flow of traffic.

What injuries are common for cyclists?

Head trauma in the form of concussions is a likely consequence of a bicycle accident. The more serious the accident, the worse the traumatic brain injury (TBI) may be. While wearing a bike helmet can protect your head to some degree, the harder the hit, the risk rises that the rider will suffer permanently disabling brain injuries. Some unfortunate riders who survive the initial impact require years of rehabilitative and supportive services. Some may never again be able to complete any activities of daily life (ADL) without assistance.

Broken clavicles are also commonly found in bicyclists after a bike accident occurs. It takes approximately six weeks for a collarbone to properly heal.

But the most common injury for bicyclists when they wreck is road rash. Most instances are not so serious, but in the worst cases can be disfiguring. At the least, riders are often left with slow-healing scabs and scars that may never completely fade from sight.

What to do after a wreck?

If you were injured in a cycling wreck caused by an at-fault driver, your first priority should be to seek immediate medical care. This is particularly vital for anyone who suffered a head injury — no matter how minor you may believe it is initially. Some people who have suffered deadly trauma to their brains can walk around and talk coherently immediately after their accidents.

Your secondary focus may then be to seek compensation from the negligent individual(s) who caused the wreck that injured you. Learning more about your right to pursue civil justice can help you decide what to do.

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