Bicycle Accident Lawyers
With 2.9 miles of bike line for each square mile, Columbia is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States. Despite that distinction, careless motorists, and drivers who resent having to share the road, pose a serious risk to the safety of bicyclists.
In June, a Jeep struck a bicyclist just northwest of Columbia, and the driver didn’t stop to check on the man, who was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. He suffered moderate injuries in the crash, but many cyclists don’t survive collisions with vehicles. Those that do survive may have lifelong disabilities.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash, you could be entitled to compensation that can help cover medical costs and lost wages.
The Columbia bicycle accident attorneys at Bley & Evans work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing up-front for representation – our fee is deducted from any settlement you may receive. So please don’t hesitate to ask for help. Call us today to request a free, no-obligation case consultation: 1-844-443-8385.
Bicycle Crash Injuries
Head injuries are common in bicycle crashes, which is why doctors and safety officials recommend that riders always wear helmets. However, a helmet may be ineffective, depending on the force of impact. Even wearing a helmet, a cyclist may suffer a concussion or a more serious brain injury, the results of which can be highly unpredictable.
A bicycle crash may also cause neck and spine injuries, which in turn may result in partial or total paralysis. Internal injuries, such as cracked ribs and punctured lungs, are also common in severe bike crashes.
Fatal Bicycle Crashes
Because of the severe injuries common in bicycling crashes, cyclists may be hospitalized for days or longer and undergo multiple surgeries. Unfortunately, when internal injuries are widespread, doctors may be unable to save badly injured cyclists.
In December 2016, a professional Canadian cyclist died five days after being struck by a car. After her death, her friends launched a campaign to enact a law that would require drivers to be no close than a meter (about 3.28 feet), when passing a cyclist on the road.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration advises drivers to pass bicyclists just as they would pass a car – wait until it’s safe to move completely into the adjacent lane before passing. Yet, many drivers leave very little space when passing cyclists, which increases the risk of a vehicle’s passenger-side rearview mirror striking cyclists.
The NHTSA’s other recommendations for drivers focus on the importance of paying attention and looking specifically for bicyclists when backing up, when stopped at an intersection, and when turning right on a red light.
Many drivers seem to be oblivious to the presence of bicycles riding on the road shoulder, while some drivers are blatantly aggressive. Passing too closely, and honking or yelling at cyclists, is a dangerous form of aggression, because startling a bicyclist could cause them to crash. A Columbia city ordinance passed in 2009 made harassing cyclists a Class A misdemeanor, yet even after that law was enacted, a cyclist reported someone throwing a beer bottle at his head.
Because cyclists often report a number of “close calls” – nearly being hit or run off the road by cars – many of them wear a camera on their helmets, and footage from those cameras has helped a few injured cyclists prove to law enforcement that a driver caused their injuries.
Help for Injured Cyclists
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident and you believe a motorist was to blame, you may be entitled to compensation, under the driver’s insurance policy. If you were struck by a commercial vehicle, you might also be able to pursue compensation from the driver’s employer.
Drivers may try to discredit bicyclists after a crash, claiming the cyclist was at fault. Even if you think you might share some blame for the accident, you should still talk to an attorney, because being somewhat at fault doesn’t necessarily prevent you from pursuing a personal injury case.
The personal injury attorneys at Bley & Evans have successfully represented bicycle crash victims and their families, pursuing the best possible outcome. Find out if you have a case. Contact us online, or by calling 1-844-443-8385.