Common Bike Accident Injuries
Severe injuries frequently result from bicycling accidents. Some of the more common ones are road rash, lacerations, traumatic brain injury and paralysis. Over half of a million Americans have been required to seek some form of emergency treatment for injuries sustained from a bike accident. These injuries and fatalities often result from driver negligence.New Hampshire Bike Injury Case Sheds Light on the Seriousness of Bike Accidents
One example that illustrates the potential severity of the consequences of a biking related accident involves one of our former clients, a 23 year old named Anna. Anna was training for a long distance biking trip when she was hit by a passing motorist and severely injured. Immediately before the accident, she noticed a car was coming up behind her. As the vehicle passed her, the car’s side view mirror struck her and she blacked out. She regained consciousness as she was on a stretcher being taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
Anna suffered a severe rash on her face along with serious oral lacerations. Her recovery time was lengthy. By the time she had completed her medical treatment, her bills totaled over $30,000.
Anna expected that the motorist’s insurance company would compensate her injuries, only to find out that they were only willing to pay her slightly more that her medical bills. After she hired our firm, we received similar push-back from the insurance carrier. Among other things, the insurance carrier claimed that, over time, her scars would fade to the point they would not be noticeable. While this argument was patently absurd, even more ridiculous was the insurer’s claim that Anna’s ongoing severe facial pain was not as bad as she claimed. Simply put, according to the insurer, Anna was exaggerating her injuries. In order to address these arguments, we hired an expert plastic surgeon to examine Anna’s scars to determine (1) if they would fade over time and, if so, to what extent; and (2) what, if anything, could be done to improve the appearance of the scars. The plastic surgeon reported that there would be only minor improvement in the appearance of the scars over time and that Anna could possibly benefit from scar revision surgery. Because she could not be assured that there was a reasonable likelihood that surgery would be beneficial and was informed of the surgery would expose her to potential infection, Anna ultimately opted not to have the surgery.
We also hired an expert who specialized in facial pain disorders who provided an opinion that, based on the nature and extent of the damage to Anna’s face, the type of pain she was experiencing was a likely result and would, unfortunately, be something she would have to live with for the rest of her life.
To make a long story short, based on these opinions and after over four months of negotiation, we were able to settle Anna’s case for nine times what she was offered by the insurance company before she contacted our firm.Severe Injuries Due to Bicycle Accidents
Some of the more serious injuries that can result from bicycle/motorist accidents include:
- Brain injury: The impact of the bicyclists’ skull with the motor vehicle, pavement, or any other object often results in violent movement of the skull within the brain, even if the cyclist is wearing a helmet. Brain injuries can range from the mild concussion to the very serious traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries may have devastating results, including loss of memory, decreased bodily function, and even permanent disability.
- Spinal cord injury: If a victim of a biking accident is unfortunate enough to land on any part of the back or neck or be struck from the side by a motorist, they may end up facing serious spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries almost always result in some permanent impairment ranging from pain and numbness to partial or total paralysis.
- Facial injury: Frequently occurring facial injuries from a bicycle accident are broken jaws, noses, orbital bones (bones that surround the eye), and teeth. Even more common is scarring from road rash or surgery to repair damaged facial bones.
- Broken or fractured bones: Because of the awkward way cyclists frequently land when they are hit or driven off the road by a motorist, our clients have experienced almost every type of bone fracture possible. While fractures to the bones in the shoulder are the most common, broken ribs, arms, wrists, elbows, hips, legs, ankles also frequently result from bicycle accidents. Although some breaks need only time and bracing to heal, often surgery is required to repair the damage. When surgery is needed, generally metal hardware is installed to secure the bone. Although the bone may end up healing with the additional support, the hardware itself frequently causes pain and discomfort which, if it is sufficiently bothersome or limiting, may require removal.
- Death: Over 700 deaths related to biking accidents occur every year. This is an unfortunate but prevalent risk that occurs when a driver is not acting with due care and/or passes closer to a cyclist than the law requires.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a bicycle accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates today. Our expert and compassionate team of attorneys, paralegals, investigators, and medical consultants can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Call us at 800.804.2004 or contact us online.