Bicycle Accident? – Here are Six Vital Steps To Take if you were in one!
Last updated Thursday, May 18th, 2023
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can be more serious than most people realize. Consequently, taking steps immediately after a bike wreck to protect your health and your legal rights is important. In 2013, more than 900 people were killed and 494,000 people were injured seriously enough for a trip to the emergency room because of bicycle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Many bicycle accidents involve head injuries which can leave victims with a lifetime of neurological problems that can diminish their employment and earning prospects and quality of life.
Some Bicycle Accident Statistics You Should Be Aware Of
When you look at bicycle accident statistics it should become clear why learning to ride safely is so important. Did you know that in 2018 there were 857 people killed in an accident while riding their bikes?
Cyclists are much more vulnerable on the road since they are far more exposed. In fact, cyclists are even more vulnerable than motorcyclists simply due to the fact that a bicycle weighs so little. If you’re on a bike and you hit or are hit by any type of motor vehicle, you have a high likelihood of sustaining serious injuries.
That means that when you’re riding a bike. you need to wear protective gear and you also need to learn how to ride defensively while looking out for cars on the road.
Important Bicycle Accident Statistics You Should Be Aware Of If You Ride A Bike Regularly
- Forty-seven (47). That’s the average age of cyclists who are killed in accidents. That means it’s not just kids riding their bikes that are at risk. Adults are at risk as well.
- In 2010 the lifetime medical costs and loss in productivity due to a bicycle accident were approximately 10 billion dollars .
- In 2017 there were 5,977 pedestrians and 783 cyclists killed in accidents involving a motor vehicle. That means that 18.2% of all fatalities involving a motor vehicle involved a pedestrian or a cyclist.
- In 2003 the percentage of cyclists and pedestrians killed in an accident with a motor vehicle was 12.6% . So, the risk of being killed while riding or walking on the street is higher than before. This means that safety should be an even bigger priority.
- Most pedestrian and cyclist fatalities involving a motor vehicle do not happen at intersections .
What Precautions Should Cyclists Take When They’re On The Road?
Cyclists should be focusing on two areas when they’re riding. The first is preventing accidents and the second is lessening the injuries they suffer if they’re in an accident. Since many accidents involving a car and cyclists end up with the cyclists suffering serious injuries, attempting to prevent an accident should take precedence.
That means riders should wear bright-colored clothing, have reflectors on their bike, and have a light on their bike as well. You should also avoid riding at night whenever possible. Increasing visibility will help to prevent accidents.
The second thing that cyclists should do is wear a helmet and other protective gear like knee and elbow pads when riding. While these precautions may or may not make a huge difference, any edge you can get when you’re talking about a car hitting you is an edge that you should take.
Helmets are particularly important since they protect your brain. If you’re hit by a car while riding, your head will likely be struck by the car or by the ground. In either case, the risk of serious brain injury is very high.
How To Avoid Bicycle Accidents Through Defensive Riding
Pay attention to the road and the actions of other road users. One good way to avoid bicycle accidents is to assume the driver hasn’t seen you and act accordingly. The sooner you’re able to predict and then react to a mistake from a driver, the safer you will be.
Don’t listen to music and don’t check your cell phone while riding. Follow the traffic signs and road markings as you would if you were driving a car. Look ahead to see hazards that could cause you problems, like obstacles or potholes.
Steps To Take If You're Involved In An Accident
If you become involved in a bicycle accident and are seriously injured, ask someone to call 911. If you’re not seriously injured, take the following steps:
1. Get off the road – Staying on the road can result in further injuries if more traffic comes along. If you’re able to move, your priority needs to be getting off the road to a safe area.
2. Call the police — If someone hasn’t done it for you.
3. Self-assess your injuries – Check your body. Do you have a full range of motion for all extremities? Have you sustained cuts or gashes? Do you feel dizzy or disoriented? Can you walk? You may be injured even if you don’t feel anything instantly. If you feel pain or see any injuries, don’t move more than you have to and wait for help to arrive.
4. Document your injuries – If possible, document your injuries using a smartphone. It can come in handy if you need the services of an accident lawyer later. Collect contact info for witnesses if you can.
5. Seek immediate medical attention — within 24 hours of the accident even if you don’t feel or see any pain. Failing to do this may compromise the compensation you deserve.
6. Get in contact with an experienced injury attorney – Call a bicycle accident attorney when you are able and describe the details of the accident. Your attorney can help you with any legal steps that may be necessary to safeguard any rights to compensation you may have.
When someone else is responsible for causing the accident, you’ll find that there are many legal actions you can take. Your lawyer will help you with this. For example, when a vehicle driver is liable for the accident, you’ll be able to file a compensation claim against that driver.
When your rights aren’t respected fully, there’s even the possibility of filing a lawsuit if that’s necessary. No one enjoys going to court, but it may be necessary to pay for medical expenses and provide other compensation that you may need.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT,
CONTACT US AT (800) 722-9744 NOW
To Speak To An Experienced Injury Lawyer FOR FREE
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Shuman Legal® have been helping bicycle accident victims, all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, auto accidents, compensation, and wrongful death attorneys in Chicago, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.