Riding your bicycle is not only a fun activity but is also a way to get around town. More and more people are using their bicycles as a pollution-free alternative to expensive gas-powered vehicles. While riding your bicycle has many advantages over driving a car, it can also be more dangerous. Bicycle accidents happen all too frequently and when they do, they often cause serious injuries to bicyclists.
Some of the most serious injuries occur when vehicles are traveling at speeds of 40 MPH or faster, but major injuries can happen at any speed. The most common injuries that bicyclists sustain include broken bones, head trauma, back and neck injuries, internal injuries, bruises and cuts. A head injury can range from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury.
There are a few things you should do immediately following a serious bicycle accident.
- Call the Police: You should report the crash, so police and paramedics will respond. The police will investigate the crash and take witness statements.
- Seek Medical Attention: It is important that you seek medical care after any bicycle accident, even if you do not feel hurt. Some internal injuries can be serious, and others may not be immediately apparent.
- Contact an Attorney: Not all accidents require legal assistance, but a serious one might require guidance from an attorney. The negligent party should pay for medical expenses and other damages caused by the accident.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents
Prevention is the best way to stay safe while on a bicycle. Bicyclists and vehicle drivers share responsibility for road safety. Bicycles are required to follow the same rules of the road as motorized vehicles. Bicycle riders should always ride with traffic and stay to the far-right side of the lane. If there is a bicycle lane, motorists must stay out of it.
Bicyclists must obey traffic signals and should always use hand signals to indicate their turns and stops. Motorists need to watch for bicycle riders and pay attention at intersections. Bicycle riders should wear a helmet as well as protective gear, including the proper shoes and reflective clothing at night.
While adults are not required by law to wear helmets, safety gear can protect your head from serious injury in an accident. Head trauma is one of the most severe bicycle injuries and can be life-threatening. Wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of the impact. A Houston ordinance requires that children under age 14 wear a helmet while riding their bicycle or as a passenger on a bicycle. Parents can get ticketed and face fines if they fail to ensure that their child wears a bicycle helmet.
When a bicyclist is injured in an accident with a vehicle, the injured party may be entitled to compensation. If the driver of the vehicle was negligent, the victim could be owed money for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you or a loved one were hurt in a bicycle accident, we are here to help get you the money you deserve. Contact our legal team today at Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss your case.