Seattle Bike Accident Injury Lawyers
Help for Injured Cyclists
Riding a bike is economical, good for the environment, and beneficial to your health. Pacific Northwest cycling is popular and rewarding, but there are risks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 726 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes on the nation's roadways in a recent year. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), bicyclists over the age of 70 accounted for 86% of those fatalities, and cyclists under the age of 20 accounted for 13%.
In a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that the number of traumatic bicycle injuries suffered by adults nearly doubled in the period studied (1998-2013). The increase in the number of injuries and hospitalizations found in the study was attributed to several possible factors:
- An increase in the number of street accidents overall;
- Faster speeds associated with an increase in sports cycling; and
- More adults over the age of 45 riding bicycles.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
As reported in an article published by American Family Physician, the areas of the body most frequently injured in bicycle accidents are the upper and lower extremities, followed by the head, face, abdomen, and neck. Traumatic injuries sustained by cyclists include injuries to the:
- Head: Concussion, brain contusion, skull fracture, intracranial hemorrhage.
- Face and Eyes: Facial fractures, dental fractures, contusions, foreign bodies in the cornea.
- Musculoskeletal: Fractures, strains, and dislocations.
- Chest: Rib fractures, lung injury.
- Abdomen: Rupture, laceration, contusion, or perforation of internal organs or blood vessels.
- Genitourinary: Damage to the urethra and vulva, pelvic fractures, and rectal trauma.
- Skin and Soft Tissue: Severe abrasions (road rash), lacerations, and contusions.
Between 22 and 47% of injured cyclists suffer head injuries, often the result of collisions with motor vehicles. Head injuries account for more than 60% of all bicycle accident-related fatalities and the majority of bicycle accidents that leave victims living with permanent impairments.
Bicycle Accident Injuries Caused by Negligent Drivers
Bicyclists can and do crash on their own, and some collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles are caused by the bicyclist. In far too many cases, however, bicycle accidents are caused by negligent motor vehicle drivers. Inattentive, distracted, or aggressive drivers cause collisions in which bicyclists, who lack the protection provided by an enclosed vehicle, almost invariably suffer the most serious injuries.
Negligent drivers cause bicycle accidents in a variety of ways, including:
- Rear-End Collisions: This is a common type of bicycle accident, caused by motor vehicle operators who violate the bicyclist's right-of-way or follow too closely in traffic. When a negligent driver crashes into the rear of a bicycle with a 3,000 lb. vehicle, the bicyclist may suffer serious injuries.
- Left Turns at Intersections: Bicycles have a smaller profile, and are less visible, and drivers sometimes fail to register their presence in the road. When a bicycle is travelling straight through an intersection, a collision can occur when a motor vehicle traveling in the opposite direction fails to yield the right-of-way and turns left – directly into the bicyclist's path.
- Pulling Out on the Cyclist's Right: Drivers exiting parking lots, side streets, alleys, and driveways on the right side of a cyclist may hit the bicycle when it has just passed the front of the vehicle, or pull out into the cyclist's path at the last moment, causing the bicycle to crash into the vehicle.
- Collisions When Driver is Making a Right Turn: Drivers turning right onto a side street may overtake a bicyclist then cut him or her off while making the right turn, causing the bicyclist to slam into the vehicle. Another right-turn accident scenario is when the driver simply fails to see the bicycle in the cross street, and hits it while executing the turn.
- Opening Car Doors in a Bicycle's Path: When a vehicle is parked on the street and a driver or passenger suddenly opens the car door, blocking the path of an oncoming bicycle, there may not be enough time for the cyclist to swerve out of the way or come to a stop and avoid a collision.
Bike Accident Injury Attorney in Seattle
Bicyclists can sustain serious injuries in collisions with cars, trucks, or other vehicles. If you have been seriously injured on your bike in a collision caused by a negligent driver, our experienced WA bicycle accident injury attorney at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help.
We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to thoroughly investigate your accident, obtain supporting evidence in for a claim or lawsuit, and aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for all injuries and other losses. Contact us for a free consultation and find out how we can help with your Washington bicycle accident injury claim. We can be reached at (888) 228-3860.
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