According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 726 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2012- that’s almost two people every day in the United States. An additional 49,000 cyclists were injured. Obviously, there are risks associated with riding a bicycle, and riders should take every precaution to keep themselves safe. Wearing a helmet, regardless of age or skill level is the number one way to protect yourself in the event of an accident. Sometimes, however, despite the best of intentions, bicyclists are involved in an accident. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about bicycle accidents:
Statistics from 2012 show that 726 bicyclists were killed in bicycle-vehicle accidents across the U.S. According to the Denver Police Department, in July of 2012, there had already been 228 bicycle accidents, which nearly reached the total number of collisions throughout the entire year in 2011.
Head injuries are by far the most common type of injury sustained in a bicycle accident. Head injuries can be minor concussions or more serious traumatic brain injuries. Spinal cord injuries are another serious type of injury commonly sustained in bicycle accidents. When a bicyclist lands on the back, neck, or head with sufficient force, vertebrae fractures and paralysis can result. Facial injuries, including eye injuries, broken jaws, chipped or broken teeth, extreme scarring, and broken noses are another common type of bicycle injury. Finally, almost any bone in the body can suffer breaks or fractures. Multiple bone breaks are common, leading to extensive treatment and rehab.
If the driver was at fault in your bicycle accident, then yes, you can sue for damages. You may also be able to sue the manufacturer or retailer of your bicycle, bicycle accessories, or bicycle parts if a defective product was responsible for your accident. If poorly maintained City, County or State roads caused your accident you may be able to name these entities in your lawsuit as well. In the state of Colorado, the at-fault party is ultimately responsible for paying your medical expenses; however, you are only able to make one claim with the at-fault party‘s insurance company.
If you were not wearing a bicycle helmet, the defense could argue that you were partly to blame for your accident. Thus, your compensation could be diminished. If you are determined to be 25% to blame for the accident and your injuries, you would only be entitled to recover 75% of the damages. An experienced Colorado bicycle accident attorney can fight for your rights to full compensation by building a solid case against the driver of the vehicle.
If you have been injured in an accident, you are entitled to recover damages – both economic and non-economic. Examples of economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, and rehabilitation costs. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and decreased quality of life.
At Fuicelli & Lee, our Longmont bicycle accident attorneys have the experience and resources needed to tackle complex bicycle cases. We know how to build a case that is designed to maximize compensation and protect your rights. Contact the Denver personal injury law firm of Fuicelli & Lee, PC, for a free case evaluation. You pay nothing unless you receive a financial settlement or award. Call our office at 303-355-7202 or fill out our confidential contact form.
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