Bikes allow you the freedom to head out and enjoy Nashville's mild weather and beautiful scenery, to reduce your carbon footprint, to be where you need to be when you need to be there – all while getting in some exercise. In other words, biking has a lot to offer. When you head out on your bike, however, you're also far more vulnerable to being seriously injured in a traffic accident. If a motorist's negligence leaves you injured in a bike accident, don't wait to consult with an experienced Nashville personal injury attorney.
Bike Accidents: The Sobering Statistics
Bike accidents happen, and they're often caused by negligent motorists who don't take the necessary precautions when it comes to seeing bicyclists in their midst and safely sharing the road with them. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shares all of the following sobering statistics related to bike accidents:
- While child bike fatalities have gone down over the years, the fatality rate for bicyclists who are at least 20 years old has tripled since 1975.
- The majority of bike-accident deaths are caused by injuries to the head.
- The vast majority of fatal accidents occur in urban areas.
- In 2018, 854 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents, which is a 7 percent increase over 2017 and a 38 percent increase over 2010.
Bicycle Accidents Can Extremely Serious Injuries
No two bike accidents are exactly the same, but there are some types of injuries that are closely associated with these dangerous accidents. The fact that bicyclists don't have the protective shield of a car's outer body and have nothing other than their helmets to protect them from the impact of an accident leaves them especially vulnerable to serious injuries that can include all of the following:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
As noted, most bicycle fatalities are caused by head injuries like traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are generally caused by a blow to the head, neck, or shoulders, and the effects of serious TBIs tend to be as dangerous as they are difficult to predict. Our brains are finely calibrated, and even the slightest injury to them can have significant physical and emotional repercussions.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can happen anywhere on the spinal cord, and the impact of a bike accident (not to mention being thrown and/or dragged during the course of the accident) can do serious damage to the spinal cord. These injuries can lead to a significant decrease in range of motion and to chronic pain – and can even be physically debilitating. When the injury severs the spinal cord, it can lead to permanent paralysis in the area of the body that lies below the corresponding site of the spinal injury.
It's not unusual for a bike accident to cause multiple broken bones, and these injuries are not only exceptionally painful but are also slow to heal. When a broken bone doesn't heal correctly, it can become a source of chronic pain and can leave the sufferer with a permanent disability.
Bike accidents often cause the victim to be pulled, pushed, dragged, or thrown across the pavement, which can lead to the serious scrapes, cuts, and abrasions that are known as road rash. Road rash is susceptible to dangerous infections, is often slow to heal, and can lead to unsightly scarring (which can be disfiguring if it's on or near the face).
The physical injuries associated with bike accidents are often quite serious – as are the attendant emotional and financial damages.
If a driver leaves you injured in a bike accident, the damages you endure can be overwhelming. Consider all of the following:
● Your Medical Costs – The physical injuries sustained in a bike accident tend to be so serious that medical expenses add up quickly and can include emergency care and transportation to the hospital, your hospital stay, surgery and follow-up care, treatment from doctors and therapists, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and much more. It's important to note that your injuries can have overarching effects on your health and can require ongoing medical attention into your future.
- Your Lost Earnings – If your physical injuries are serious, you will not only experience mounting medical costs but are also likely to face decreased earnings as a result of time lost on the job. If your injuries have lasting effects, you could experience a downturn in your ongoing earning potential – or even an altered career path.
- Your Pain and Suffering – While it's more difficult to quantify, the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure in the wake of a violent bike accident can be tremendous and can be just as difficult to overcome. The pain and suffering component of your bike accident is serious and should not be overlooked or diminished.
All told, your physical, financial, and emotional damages are likely to be significant, and obtaining compensation that covers them in their entirety is critical to your ability to reach most complete recovery.
The Insurance Company
The insurance company covering your claim is invested in keeping your compensation as low as possible – in an effort to continue bolstering its profits – and towards this end, they have a variety of successful techniques at their disposal, including:
- The insurance agent is adept at guiding vulnerable accident victims like you to make statements that damage their claims.
- The insurance company may make an early settlement offer in an attempt to get you to sign off on an amount before you are fully aware of the extent of your damages.
- Conversely, the insurance company may play the long game in an effort to frustrate you to the point of giving up or giving in to a lowball offer.
While you attend to regaining your health and well-being, allow your dedicated personal injury attorney to handle the insurance company on your behalf.
Call a Nashville Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law have vast experience skillfully guiding bike accident claims like yours toward beneficial resolutions that support our client's legal rights and best interests. To learn more, please don't wait to contact or call us at (615) 338-9500 today.