Bicycling is one of the most popular recreational activities in the US. It is a source of fun for families on the weekends and an increasingly common mode of transportation and exercise. But bicycling is not without danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2010 alone, 618 cyclists died, and an additional 52,000 suffered injuries in traffic crashes. Cyclists made up 2 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes during that particular year. 2011 and 2012 saw an increase in the number of bicycle accident fatalities.
Bicycling can be fun, but it is a dangerous activity that can result in serious and permanent injury. If you sustain injuries in a bike accident, you may want to speak to our attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt about your rights to recover compensation for your injuries.
Alabama Bicycle Facts
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation Crash Facts, in 2012, 225 people were injured in bike crashes. There were nine fatalities. These numbers are higher than in the prior five years. One hundred and thirty-eight of the injured were adults over the age of 20. Eight of the nine fatalities were also adults. The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that between 1998 and 2002, there were 477 reported of traumatic spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury reported in Alabama attributable to bike injuries. Men were almost three times more likely to suffer one of these devastating bicycle injuries than women.
Traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord can cause paralysis and loss of brain function. They can cause permanent memory loss and a life of pain, suffering and constant medical needs. If you are hurt in a bike accident, attorneys at Farris, Riley and Pitt have the experience you need to recover damages for your injuries.
Bicycle and Car Accidents
It is not hard to imagine the damage that a large automobile can cause. Even the smallest vehicle can forcefully throw a full grown adult from a bike and seriously hurt them. Because a cyclist is completely unprotected, injuries from a bicycle accident can result in a lifetime of physical problems, developmental disabilities, and medical expenses. The Centers for Disease Control reveal that data from 2005 showed that fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $5 billion.
If you are injured in a bike accident, you will need to determine whether the driver of the car was negligent or reckless and caused your injuries. If so you may be entitled to monetary compensation.
It can be tricky to determine liability in accidents involving bicycles. When determining fault, there are several factors to consider. Was the driver speeding or texting or driving under the influence of alcohol? Were you driving in an appropriate bike lane? Were you adhering to required safety precautions? Were the road conditions a factor in the accident? You will need to collect data about the traffic light schedules, previous accident history and road conditions. The bike accident attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt have experience investigating bike accident cases. We have access to experts and can help you compile and present information. We can also assess whether you have a substantial claim for damages against the driver. Our team also knows how to navigate large insurance companies. Our bicycle accident attorneys will work hard to secure the best possible outcome for you and your family.
Injuries to bike riders according to the American Academy of Family Physicians and other sources include:
- Torso or Abdominal Injury: ruptured spleen, liver laceration, kidney bruising, pancreatic trauma, vascular perforation, and hernia
- Facial Injury: contusions, cuts, facial fractures, dental fractures,
- Ocular Injury: corneal abrasions from foreign bodies, bruising
- Skeletal Injury: fractures, breaks, and dislocation
- Muscular Injury: strains, tears, and sprains
- Chest Injuries: rib fractures, lung injury
- Injury to the Pelvic Region: urethral, genital, or rectal trauma, pelvic fracture
- Head Injury: skull fracture, concussion, brain contusion, and intracranial hemorrhage
- Spinal Injury: nerve damage, paralysis
Bicycle Safety Tips
Although you cannot always avoid being hurt in an accident, you can take steps to minimize your risk. Here are some important basic tips for all riders to follow:
Wear a helmet: Your helmet must fit properly in order to be effective. See the NHTSA website for information on how to fit a bike helmet. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles
Increase your visibility: Wear bright or fluorescent clothing or reflective lights when there is not much daylight. Equip your bike with lighting front white lights or rear red lights. Try not to ride at night.
Obey traffic rules: Always travel in the same direction as cars do. Never ride against traffic. Ride single file. Stop at all stop signs and red lights just as cars do. Always cross at intersections, in a crosswalk.
Stay alert: Watch out for things in your path like potholes, cracks, grates. Be extra careful in wet weather. Do not cycle while tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Check your equipment: Brakes are the most important part of the bicycle. Be sure they work properly in all weather.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys if You Have Been Injured
If you are injured in an accident while bike riding, you may be suffering from significant injuries. Perhaps you have broken bones, a concussion, cuts and bruises and pain. You may worry about scarring or permanent disability after a car knocks you off your bike. It may be difficult to return to work and provide for your family while you try to heal from your accident. Attorneys at Farris, Riley, and Pitt have what it takes to help during this time. We understand bicycle accident laws in Alabama and have the experts needed to help prove your case. We can help navigate your claim for any damages you may be entitled to. You may be awarded money to cover medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost wages. Let us help.