Sir Arthur Conan, the author of Sherlock Holmes, once said, “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” But with bicycle accidents occurring every day due to the negligence of automobile drivers, bicyclists may not be as free as they once were. Many drivers still refuse to accept bikers as travelers on the road. Car collisions with bikes account for one-third of biking accidents.
Recently a California jury awarded 21-year old Alan Casillas $34 million after he was struck by a truck trailer when a negligent employee made an improper turn. A 55-foot trailer drove over the sidewalk, striking Casillas’ bike and knocking him to the ground. The rear wheels of the trailer ran over Casillas’ left leg. His leg was amputated and he suffered from severe emotional distress. He was hospitalized for a total of 54 days, and has now been forced to wear a prosthesis. As Virginia (VA) car accident injury attorneys we know this is just one of the many examples of serious injuries caused to bikers by negligent drivers.
Below are a few of our VA personal injury firm’s case results of pedestrian and bike injuries:
Other injuries caused by car-bicycle accidents include head injuries. The reason is that in accidents where cyclists are hit from behind or sideswiped, this can lead to the person being thrown off the bike without control over where they land. Especially in cases where the cyclist is thrown over their handlebars, it is likely that the person lands on their head or neck. Even with a helmet, the brain of the cyclist can still suffer damaging impact against the side of the person’s skull, leading to brain injuries like concussions. Traumatic brain injuries result in damage such as memory loss, headaches and in more serious cases, mood changes and permanent disability.
Neck and spinal injuries: Bicyclists are especially vulnerable in the case of an accident with a passenger vehicle and generally lack the kind of safety restraints that are common in cars and trucks. In the event of a collision, even a low speed crash, the bicyclist may be toppled off the bike, landing awkwardly on his or her head, neck or back. Being thrown from a bicycle can cause serious damage to a person’s vertebrae and in the most serious cases, paralysis.
Broken bones: In even the least serious bike accidents it is very common for a cyclist to suffer a broken bone. Arms, shoulders, legs, hips and hands are all exposed and many lack the kind of cushioning needed to safely absorb the impact of a car accident. Broken bones require trips to the doctor, casts, X-rays and a variety of treatments that can quickly become expensive. Though the damage may not be life threatening, the pain and expense associated with broken bones can still be substantial.