The number of people riding bicycles is on the upswing, but that growth isn’t necessarily due to leisure bike riding. Since the economic recession that started in 2007-2008, more of us are riding bicycles as a primary method of transportation. More bicycles are on city streets, so more mishaps now involve bikes. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2011, 38,000 injuries were due to traffic accidents involving bicycles, and 677 people lost their lives in these tragedies.
When another vehicle crashes into a bicycle, whether it’s a motorcycle, bus, truck, or automobile, the bicyclist almost always receives the more severe injury. Bicyclists are at a substantially high risk for spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, limb injuries, and paralysis. And while most automobile drivers carry auto insurance, most bicyclists ride without the benefit of insurance.
Males are at a higher risk; they are 6 times more apt to be in a bicycle accident than females, according to NHTSA figures. Bicycles also tend to be creatures of the city; 78% of all crashes involving bikes occur in urban rather than suburban or rural locations. While bad weather and unfavorable road conditions are occasional culprits, negligence by drivers and defectively designed bicycles are by far the two primary causes of accidents involving bicyclists.
If you are in an accident involving a bicycle, it’s imperative to know your rights. Obtain the services of a personal injury attorney immediately. Do not acknowledge any personal fault, and do not agree to sign any insurance forms prior to speaking to a personal injury attorney. It’s a good idea to take photos of your injuries or vehicle damage, if you can. Keep copies of any legal, medical, or other forms or paperwork generated the accident.
If you are injured, a personal injury lawyer will fight for your rights and for your rightful compensation. It’s possible that you may recover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Protecting your well-being and your legal rights must be your priority after any accident, and a personal injury attorney is the person who will help.