New Jersey bicycle accident lawyers at Davis & Brusca, seek compensation for victims injured in bike accidents that are quickly becoming more common as the popularity of cycling continues to rise. The United States Census Bureau reports that, between 2002 and 2012, bicycles were the fastest-growing mode of commuter transportation. When you think about it, this is not so surprising. Bicycling is a great source of exercise. It saves money on gas and reduces the amount of pollutants emitted into the air. However, for all the positives of commuting by bike, cyclists remain vulnerable to injuries in a crash. Helmets and protective clothing help mitigate the danger, but cyclists remain at risk for serious injuries from bicycle accidents. These can range from simple scrapes and bruises to broken bones, head injuries. In a serous wreck, the injuries can even prove fatal.
Examples of injuries which commonly occur in a bicycle crash include:
Broken bones: Any bone can be broken in a bicycle crash, but fractures to the upper extremities are among the most common. This is because a cyclists often reflexively extend their arm or hand to break a fall, frequently resulting in a broken wrist, finger, arm, or elbow.
Dental and jaw injuries: Bicycle helmets protect the head, but do not cover the face, mouth and jaw as would a “Full face” helmet used by a motorcyclist. As such, injuries can include cuts to the lips, cheeks, and tongue, broken or chipped teeth, or a broken jaw, and can require extensive dental procedures.
Head injuries: Cyclists often suffer head lacerations, skull fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. Wearing a helmet can mitigate some injuries, but the risk of serious injury remains. Anytime a rider hits their head in a bicycle accident, they should seek immediate medical attention.
Joint dislocation: This type of injury occurs when there is a separation in the joint where two bones meet. It can cause intense pain, swelling, and bruising. Only a trained medical professional should return the joint to its normal position. Splints or bandages help hold the joint in place as it heals.
Neck injuries: The sudden impact of a collision can affect the cyclist’s neck resulting in a variety of injuries. Neck pain, stiffness or “radiating” pain or numbness to the arms or hands can signify injury.
Nerve damage: Some injuries can cause chronic nerve damage, affecting the arms, finger, legs, and toes. Physical therapy may help alleviate certain symptoms, but numbness and pain can be permanent.
Paralysis: In extreme cases, an injury is so severe that it causes the victims to become paralyzed. Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to injuries which can cause paralysis, such as spinal injury and brain injury.
Safety Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents
Even a relatively minor bicycle accident can cause chronic injuries that can have a serious impact on your quality of life. If you tend to ride your bike to work, or are regularly sharing the road with other vehicles, it is crucial that you follow these important safety tips:
Always wear a bike helmet
Be alert and aware of your surroundings
Use appropriate hand signals to let others know if you are turning
Wear bright-colored clothing during the day and reflective gear at night so that you are visible in the dark
Obey the rules of the road
Slow down at intersections in case you need to brake quickly
Ride in the same direction as traffic, not against it
Never pass a car on the right as you approach an intersection
If riding with other cyclists, try to ride single-file when cars are around and keep a following distance between yourself and the rider ahead of you which is safe and matches with your skill level and the conditions. Alert your fellow bicyclists if there is a potential safety hazard ahead.
Common Misconceptions About Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle can provide you with great exercise and a transportation option. Unfortunately, however, bicyclists can also get into accidents with vehicles. If you were injured while riding your bicycle, it’s important to understand the facts about bicycle laws and your right to compensation. Here are some common misconceptions about bicycle accidents.
Bicycles shouldn’t be on the road. This just isn’t true. Bicyclists have just as much right to be on the road as motorists. In fact, bicycling on the sidewalk is more dangerous because cyclists may run into pedestrians and hurt them.
Cyclists should ride facing traffic. The opposite is actually true. Cyclists need to ride with the traffic to make themselves more visible to motorists. If they ride facing traffic, cyclists are more likely to get into accidents.
Bicyclists are usually responsible for accidents. While bicyclists can be at-fault for some accidents, the majority of bicycle-vehicle accidents are caused by negligent motorists. These motorists may crash into bicyclists if they are distracted by something else, drowsy, speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Bicyclists often disobey traffic laws. Another common belief people have about bicyclists is that they frequently disobey traffic laws, like failing to stop at red lights and not using proper signals. However, the majority of bicyclists actually follow the rules of the road to reduce their risk of getting into an accident.
Bicyclists don’t require medical care if they feel fine. Some bicyclists who get hurt in accidents don’t feel symptoms initially because of the adrenaline rush. They might think they are perfectly fine and avoid getting medical care. Then, they might experience severe discomfort several days later. That’s why all bicyclists should seek emergency medical care after an accident. A doctor will properly diagnose their injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment.
The driver’s insurance company will want to help me. Even if there’s clear evidence that the driver was at-fault in the accident, the insurance company likely won’t go out of their way to help you. In fact, they may try to find ways to devalue your claim. Insurance companies care about their bottom line first and aren’t concerned with helping accident victims.
Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer is too expensive. Unfortunately, some cyclists who get hurt in accidents assume they can’t afford to hire a lawyer. However, most bicycle accident lawyers work on a contingency basis, so they will only collect a fee if you win your case.
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I was seriously injured in a car accident. Mark Davis represented me to the fullest. Besides delivering results I was hoping for Mark did so much more. Mark checked in with me time and time again to see how I was feeling, how I was doing, how my family was, did I need anything, etc. Mark Davis cares about his clients. Most importantly Mark Davis fought for me. He fought hard for me through long nights, over the weekends. He fought endlessly til I got what I deserved which, by the way, didn’t take long at all. Mark Davis, from my family and I, thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication towards us.
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