Every day, thousands of Hossiers cycle to work, to school and for recreation. For most, the journey is pleasant and uneventful. For some, however, what begins as a relaxing ride ends in a crash and unexpected injuries.
Bike Accidents – Understanding the Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Indiana was the 18th deadliest state in the nation for cyclists in 2017. Its record of 1.95 cyclist deaths per million people was higher than the rates of 1.63 and 1.57 reported by nearby Ohio and Kentucky respectively.
The fatality rate in the city of Indianapolis was even higher than in the rest of the state. NHTSA reporting shows that the city recorded 2.32 cyclist deaths per million people in 2017. In comparison, Columbus, OH reported just 1.14 deaths per million and Detroit, MI did not report a single death.
In total, 783 cyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2017.
How Do Bike Accidents Happen?
Many bike accidents are caused by car and truck drivers behaving irresponsibly on the road. A brief list of the most common maneuvers that can injure or kill a cyclist includes:
- Failing to check blind spots before changing lanes
- Opening a door in front of a passing cyclist
- Running through a stop sign or red light
- Exiting a driveway or parking lot without watching out for passing cyclists
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Making turns in front of an approaching cyclist
- Sideswiping a cyclist traveling on a road shoulder or in a bike lane.
When one of these actions causes an injury or death, the driver likely faces legal liability for the cyclist’s damages under Indiana law.
What Injuries Are Common in Bike Accidents?
Because bike accidents can happen in a variety of different ways, they can also cause a broad range of injuries. Some of the most common injuries sustained by cyclists in accidents include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur when a cyclist’s head absorbs a blow, jolt, or penetrating injury, typically when a collision throws the cyclist to the ground. Even when cyclists wear helmets, these injuries can result in lifelong motor, cognitive, and emotional impairments.
When a vehicle strikes a cyclist, it is not unusual for the cyclist to suffer severe bone fractures that take months and multiple surgeries to heal, and which leave the cyclist permanently disabled and in chronic pain.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Soft Tissue Damage
Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue injuries are quite common after bicycle accidents. These injuries can be extremely painful and may take weeks or even months to heal.
The cost to treat these injuries can often run into thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If the accident resulted from the careless or reckless actions of someone other than the cyclist, then the cyclist may recover these costs through a personal injury lawsuit.
What Damages Can Be Recovered After a Bike Accident?
Medical bills are by no means the only damages that can be recovered after a bicycle accident. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the collision, the cyclist may also have the right to recover compensation for:
- Ongoing medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
For a more complete breakdown of the compensation, you may seek in your particular case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Doehrman Buba – Fighting on Behalf of Indiana’s Cyclists
For years, the experienced attorneys at Doehrman Buba have helped the people of Indianapolis fight for compensation after catastrophic cycling accidents. If you have sustained injuries in a bike accident, give us a call today to set up an initial consultation with a member of our talented team.