According to bicyclinginfo.org, there are more cyclists in California than any other state. While most find cycling to be a fun, healthy recreational activity or an excellent transportation alternative, there is a risk of serious injury and death when bicyclists attempt to “share the road” with cars, trucks, motorcycles and buses.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include the drivers of cars, trucks and buses failing to see, yield or “share the road” with bicyclists. These situations can occur when drivers are distracted (talking on cell phones or texting – which is illegal in California), driving while intoxicated or simply not paying attention to the bicyclists that may be right in front of them.
The bottom line is that when motor vehicles collide with bicycles, the results can be devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 48,000 bicycle-related injuries and 677 deaths were reported in 2011. That accounts for over two percent of all motorcycle vehicle accidents and that percentage has increased every year over the past decade.
Are You Looking For a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, call our Irvine and Riverside bicycle accident attorneys at 1.888.333.5009 or contact us online. Avrek Law Firm, represents clients throughout Orange County and Riverside County. We will provide you with a free, no-obligation initial consultation and answer any questions you might have.
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Severity Of Bicycle Injuries After An Accident
Bicycle riders who are injured due to an accident with a car can suffer serious, life threatening injuries which can result in costly medical bills. The severity of most bicycle accident injuries is simply due to the fact that bicyclists are much less physically protected from harm. In addition to death, bicycle-related injuries can result in severe injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can last months, years or a lifetime and completely change a victim’s life, as well as the lives of his or her family. This is especially true when the victim was a primary financial provider.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can lead to complete or incomplete paralysis in the form of quadriplegia / tetraplegia (which affect all four limbs), paraplegia (which affects the lower limbs only) and a host of other immobility impairments which can require lifestyle modifications such as wheelchair use, stair and chair lifts, vans specifically designed to transport wheelchairs, ramps and the widening of hallways and bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs.
- Loss of limbs. Losing limbs are also life changing events that may require victims to go through rehabilitation to learn how to use prosthetic devices (if available) and affect the overall quality of life for the victim and his or her family.
All of these injuries, as well as fractures, broken bones, scrapes and contusions, can result in extensive hospital stays which can place an extreme financial burden on families – especially when the injured victim isn’t able to work.
Hospital Costs For Bicycle Injuries in California
Although the extent of bicycle injuries depends upon the facts and circumstances of the accident, the type of injuries sustained, the types of medical care required and the length of treatment, the bottom line is that those costs can be overwhelming.
According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization which focuses on healthcare issues, the average hospital adjusted expenses per inpatient day in California are $2,706 – the third highest in the nation only behind Oregon and Washington State – and that figure does not include the cost of surgeries or special / non-standard procedures.
Injured victims who remain in the hospital for a week will incur $18,942. Add another week and the total jumps to nearly $37,000. Jump to a month of hospital care and you’re looking at a bill over $80,000. Unless you’re lucky enough to have healthcare insurance that covers 100% of hospital stays (which most do not), you’ll likely be financially strapped for a very long time.
Other Expenses From California Bike Accidents
In addition to hospital costs, injured bicycle victims can suffer other types of expenses and damages such as future medical care / rehabilitation, loss of income, physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and others.
- Future medical care/rehabilitation. Putting aside the overwhelming hospital costs listed above, bicycle accident victims who have been seriously injured may need months, years or a lifetime of future medical care and rehabilitation.
- Loss of income. Bicycle accident victims may not be able to work full time, or at all, after their injury. While other forms of supplemental income may be available, such as short or long term disability, those are generally only a fraction of one’s total income. When a bicycle accident is due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to income you’ve already lost and income that you would have earned in the future.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering. Personal injury damages can include compensation for the past and future physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure due to someone else’s negligence.
- Loss of quality of life. Injured bicycle accident victims may no longer be able to have the quality of life they were used to due to their injuries. For avid bicyclists, not being able to ride anymore is a prime example. However, it can affect many other areas of your life such as being able to play sports, exercise or simply go on a long walk.
These are just some of the damages for which injured bicycle accident victims may be compensated. It’s important to understand that every case is different. Having an experienced bicycle accident injury lawyer represent your best interests can get you every bit of the compensation you’re entitle to by fully investigating the accident, determining your overall medical costs, lost income and other damages and making certain that insurance company representatives do not try to bully you into accepting a settlement for less than you deserve.
Contact Our California Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Riverside & Irvine Today
If you or a loved one has been injured on a bicycle due to the negligence of another driver we can help you establish liability and collect the damages you deserve. An injured cyclist requires an experienced and committed attorney to protect his or her legal rights and to obtain full and fair recovery. With more than 30 years of combined experience and tens of millions of dollars recovered for injured clients, Avrek Law Firm, attorneys know what it takes to achieve top results. To schedule a free case review, contact us online or call 1.888.333.5009.
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