News

Bike Accidents and Injuries – A Serious Matter in California – Legal Reader

Bicycle accident injuries are far more common than what people think. Based on a data sheet published online by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents involving bicycles have been on the rise since 2009.


Bicycle accident injuries are far more common than what people think. Based on a data sheet published online by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accidents involving bicycles have been on the rise since 2009. In 2018, approximately 900 bike riders lost their lives as a result of traffic accidents. In the same year, an additional 47,000 cyclists suffered non-fatal injuries in traffic accidents across the nation. 

Bicycle accident injuries can vary greatly from accident to accident, and while some will result in minor injuries, other accidents will result in catastrophic injuries. Depending on the severity of the injury, extensive medical treatment may be needed. In addition, some injuries may result in temporary or long-term disability. 

Obtain the Compensation You Deserve After a Bicycle Accident

There are a wide-range of factors that can lead to a bicycle accident, but when the accident is caused as a result of negligent driver’s wrongdoing, financial compensation may be obtained. In accordance with the personal injury laws established in California, negligent drivers will face accountability when their actions cause the injury of a person. 

Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

A vast majority of bike accidents will result in injuries to the upper and/or lower extremities of the rider’s body. In some cases, these injuries can be minor, thus resulting in injuries that typically heal fast. Minor bicycle accident injuries can include:

  • Muscle sprains, 
  • Bone fractures, 
  • Lacerations,
  • Abrasions, and/or
  • Head contusions

Sadly, bicyclists are at a great disadvantage when they collide with a moving vehicle. Unlike motor vehicle occupants, cyclists do not have the protections offered by a vehicle. As a result of their lack of bodily protection, cyclists are prone to unique injuries. The following are some of the most severe injuries commonly sustained by cyclists.

Diffuse axonal brain injury; image by Hellerhoff, via wikimedia.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, no changes.
Diffuse axonal brain injury; image by Hellerhoff, via wikimedia.com, CC BY-SA 3.0, no changes.

1. Traumatic Brain Injuries – According to some reports, helmets are the single most effective ways to prevent traumatic brain injuries in bicycle accidents. Under California law, however, the use of a helmet is only required when the rider is under the age of 17. Traumatic head injuries are serious and they can change the trajectory of a person’s life. Upon a traumatic head injury, a person can suffer from the following debilitating medical conditions:

  • Slurred speech, 
  • Seizures or convulsions, 
  • Headaches, 
  • Restlessness, 
  • Loss of coordination, and/or
  • Numbness or weakness in the extremities

2. Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by a serious blow to the person’s spine, which ultimately fractures or dislocates his or her vertebrae. A vast majority of spinal cord injuries do not fully sever the spine, nonetheless, these injuries usually have lifelong consequences. 

Individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury can undergo medical complications involving:

  • Respiratory issues, 
  • Heart problems, 
  • Chronic pain, and
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction

3. Internal Injuries – In a serious accident, a person can suffer damage to his or her internal organs. Internal injuries are dangerous and they can sometimes go undetected. It is important to recognize that these injuries can be life threatening. Depending on the severity of the injury, a person can suffer a lack of oxygen or a loss of blood to vital parts of the body. 

An Opportunity for Compensation after a Bike Accident

Although many counties throughout California have invested in bicycle safety measures, including infrastructure, bike accidents continue to occur at alarming rates throughout the state. When a bicycle accident occurs as a result of another’s wrongdoing, financial compensation can be obtained to cover medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

Related Articles