Bicycling has become a mode of transportation for many people in the United States. Unfortunately, the rate of cyclists getting hit on public roadways is increasing in Texas. Bicyclists are at a disadvantage in rural and urban areas, with minimal bike paths on the roadways. Like pedestrians, bicyclists are vulnerable to dangers of the road. And the severity of injuries to bicyclists hit by cars are often very serious.
Drivers of motor vehicles often fail to yield the right of way to bicyclists, are distracted, or drive carelessly and with no regard to bicyclists. Drivers act like they don’t have to share the road with cyclists, but they absolutely must. A driver may fail to yield to a cyclist, may not be paying attention, or just be hostile to cyclists. Because of a driver’s carelessness, they may hit a cyclist, and that can mean that the cyclist gets badly hurt.
Unlike people inside of vehicles, bicyclists have often have minimal protection and can easily be thrown from their bicycles or be struck directly by an approaching vehicle. As a result, the injuries they sustain can often be extremely severe. Some of the more common kinds of driver negligence that often result in serious bicycle accidents include the following: speeding, failing to signal lane changes, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to yield the right of way, following too closely, failing to properly maintain a vehicle, distracted driving, driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, failing to stay in a lane and improper turns.
After an accident, there are certain things that bicyclists can do to protect their rights. If possible, you should take pictures of the aftermath of the accident and collect information from the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident, including his or her name, insurance information, address, and the license plate number of his or her vehicle. In addition, try and obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
Bicycle accidents are can cause extremely serious injuries regardless of whether a cyclist was wearing a helmet or other protective gear. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, occur when a person hits his or her head against another object or when the head is jolted with sufficient force as to cause a disruption in normal brain function. In a bicycle accident, this can often occur when a bicyclist is thrown headfirst over his or her handlebars and strikes another vehicle or the ground head-first. Injuries to a person’s spinal cord can result in significant issues, including loss of sensation and movement below the site of the injury. There are many ways in which a bicycle accident can result in a spinal cord injury, many of which involve a bicyclist being thrown from his or her bicycle in a way that places significant stress on the spinal column. Broken bones, medically referred to as “fractures,” are among the most commonly sustained injuries in bicycle accidents. These injuries occur when a bone is subjected to force that is sufficient to break its continuity. While often treatable, these injuries can leave victims with significant medical expenses, chronic pain, disfigured limbs, and significant scarring.
My law firm can also help if your child was involved in an accident on his or her bike. Learning to ride a bicycle is one of the great moments in a child’s life. While bicycling is a healthy activity that children can do on their own or with friends and family, it also has risks that need to be avoided. According to the Center for Disease Control, 59% of bicycle injuries that were treated in emergency rooms involved children 15 years of age or younger. This accounts for almost 300,000 injuries a year.
Although most injuries happen from a child falling from their bicycle, the more severe injuries happen when a vehicle hits a child riding a bike.
When a vehicle hits a child, it is not always clear who is at fault. Although children are more likely to not know or obey the rules of the road, the driver of a vehicle must watch for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is always best to get legal advice if your child is hit while riding their bicycle, even if you think that the driver was not at fault.
One of the scariest aspects of a bicycle accident involving a child is the possibility of a brain injury. Although lacerations, broken bones and many other injuries may be more frequent in a bicycle accident, the most common severe injury is one to the brain of the child. According to the Brain Injury Association, traumatic brain injuries are the largest cause of death and disability among children in the U.S. Over a million children each year sustain some form of brain injury. The difficult issue with brain injuries to young children is that the effects are not always immediately apparent. A child can seem to recover quickly after a bicycle accident that involved a head injury. But sometimes it can take years for the effect of that injury to become noticeable. Children with brain injuries can suffer from lower IQ or cognitive difficulties, behavioral problems from frontal cortex damage, attention or memory deficits, long-term emotional problems
If you or your child were not taken to the hospital at the time of the accident, then seek medical attention as soon as possible. The adrenaline rush that occurs during a collision may mask any trauma, so the victim may not feel any pain until later. Let a physician examine you or your child. And you should be sure to take pictures of any injuries and equipment damage. The images and medical records may also help your case if you are going to seek damages.
The failure of a government agency or private business that has invited the general public onto its property to adequately design and maintain its property may also cause avoidable bike accidents. When this occurs, bicyclists may be able to bring a claim against the party responsible for the maintenance of the roadway or other surface on which an accident took place. Some of the more common types of road surface hazards that can cause serious bicycle accidents include the following potholes, accumulations of snow or ice (even in Austin), standing water due to improper drainage, inadequate signage, missing or faded lane markers, overgrown foliage, poor road design, unmarked hazards, or poor parking lot design.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident because of a careless driver, we are here for you. I will fight for you to receive just compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other financial losses. While we understand that having a child injured in a bicycle accident is a traumatic time for a family, It is also important to know what you and your child’s legal rights concerning the accident. My experienced attorney understand the complexities of a child bike accident case and we can help you get the financial help you need to ensure your child gets the medical care he or she deserves. With our experience, our attorney will help you if you or your child were wrongfully injured in a bicycle accident.