Without an engine, bicycles seem to be the safest means of transportation around, but that is just a misconstrued opinion. Theoretically, bicycle accident injuries are supposed to be nothing more than an inconvenience. However, nothing can be further from the truth.
By law, cyclists and other motorized vehicle drivers have equal rights and responsibilities while on the road. This means you can sue and recover damages after a bicycle accident. Call a bicycle accident lawyer for legal representation if you plan to recover legal remedies from those who negligently or intentionally caused your accident.
Below are five common types of bicycle accident injuries.
1. Spinal Injuries
The blow from a fast-moving vehicle can have devastating and even fatal effects on the cyclist’s spine. Unlike the head, protected by the helmet, the body has no known safety gear to reduce the accident’s impact. Consequently, the spine can twist, break, or shift the intervertebral discs.
Twisting or fracture of the backbone pinches the spinal cord leading to extensive nerve damage. This results in loss of movement and sensation, extreme pain, breathing trouble, altered sexual function, and inadequate bowel control. Breathing problems, paralysis, and even death may occur in severe cases.
2. Mental Injuries
The mind and emotions are not spared either in a bicycle accident. Concussions result when the brain crushes against the skull, causing brain swelling. Brain swelling and other forms of brain damage interfere with normal mental and body function, negatively affecting the victim’s social and financial life.
Other mental and emotional injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, and anxiety disorders. Normal activities the victims previously enjoyed become arduous, and sleep a treasured luxury. As a result, they need lots of therapy sessions to resume everyday life.
3. Bone Fractures
Bone fractures are the visible impacts of a bicycle accident. The sheer force of limbs colliding with metal and the tarmac can snap or crush human bones. Arms and legs are commonly affected, with the femur, knees, wrists, and feet bearing the greatest impact.
A person who previously led a normal life becomes incapacitated and dependent on others for domestic tasks. This limits the enjoyment of life and disrupts income-earning activities.
4. Head Injuries
Make a mental note that a bicycle helmet can only bear some impact, after which the head suffers too. In unfortunate events, the helmet may come off, exposing the head. According to CDC, around 1000 bicycle accident fatalities occur nationwide, with South Carolina contributing 14 in 2020. Most fatalities result from head-related injuries.
Common examples of head injuries include:
5. Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding is a leading cause of fatalities in bicycle accidents. The accident impact ruptures and causes malfunction of vital body organs. Fractured bones penetrating the flesh are also a major cause of internal bleeding, which is fatal without urgent surgical intervention.
Legal remedies or damages are monetary compensation after winning a personal injury claim. If you didn’t cause the bicycle accident, the defendant should pay you the following damages:
Special damages help restore the victim to their financial position before the crash. They are the main source of compensation in personal injury lawsuits and claims. Examples of economic or special damages include property damage, medical bills, lost earning capacity, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are monetary compensation for intangible injuries. A bicycle accident can trigger anxiety, emotional trauma, mental distress, and psychological harm. Examples of recoverable non-monetary losses include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, forfeiture of life enjoyment, and loss of affection.
Although rare, punitive damages are also recoverable if you can prove that the defendant showed intention or acted grossly negligently, causing the bicycle accident.
There are five types of bicycle accident injuries depending on the area affected. They include spinal, mental, and head injuries, bone fractures, and internal bleeding. A legal remedy, or damages, is monetary compensation you receive after winning a personal injury claim. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover legal remedies. Three main categories of recoverable damages in a bicycle-related personal injury lawsuit are economic or special, general or non-economic, and punitive damages.