Hit by a Car While Cycling in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia?
Bicycle Accident Lawyers Explain Common Injuries and Fault
Cyclists have all the rights and duties as any car driver on the road. However, other motorists often fail to account for bicycle riders and overlook them due to distraction and negligence. This can create dangerous situations for cyclists and may result in catastrophic bicycle accidents. Since a bike rider is relatively unprotected, these crashes often cause serious injuries and wrongful death. Injured cyclists may face mounting medical bills, missed work and lost wages, and may be unable to return to riding. Still, since many bicycling accidents result from motorist negligence, victims may be able to recover these expenses through an insurance claim against the at-fault driver, an uninsured/underinsured claim with their own provider, or a personal injury lawsuit.
If you were injured in a bike accident, then the lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you take legal action. You should not have to pay the consequences for someone else’s mistakes. Our bicycle accident lawyers can help you file a claim to recover the compensation you need to pay for injury-related costs, such as medical care and lost wages. Recently, our firm obtained a settlement of $3 million in a bike accident claim against WMATA. In this case, we worked on behalf of a bicyclist whose leg injuries resulted from an accident caused by a Metro bus.
What are Common Bike Accident Injuries?
Like crashes involving pedestrians, bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the cyclist, since a bike rider has little to no protection from the force of the vehicle. Some of the most common cyclist injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury. These injuries may have long-term symptoms and effects, including permanent impairment. Wearing a bike helmet can help decrease your risk of brain trauma, although insurance companies cannot reduce your settlement if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
- Spinal cord injury. The force of impact with a vehicle or surrounding objects may cause neck and spinal cord injuries. Depending on the extent of the damage, permanent paralysis below the site of the injury may result.
- Bone fractures. Broken bones and multiple fractures may require surgical intervention, extensive healing times, and serious permanent disability.
- Nerve, muscle, and tissue damage. In some cases, a cyclist may suffer extensive and potentially disfiguring lacerations and de-gloving injuries. This may cause permanent impairment if nerves and muscles are damaged.
- Wrongful death. All too often, cycling injuries may be widespread and serious enough to cause wrongful death. This is especially true if the accident occurs at high speeds.
A bicycle injury may require extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, you may be unable to return to cycling, work, or your previous standard of living. You may be entitled to substantial compensation in these situations. This should cover the cost of your medical bills, bike repair or replacement, and other damages, including full compensation for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. However, insurance companies often try to dismiss bike accident claims or offer low settlements. To obtain a full and fair offer, consult with one of our bicycle accident lawyers.
What are the Most Common Types of Bicycle Accidents?
A bike accident can occur in virtually any circumstance, especially if a negligent or distracted motorist fails to notice a bicyclist. While cyclists cannot always avoid crashes caused by negligent drivers, you may be able to lower your risk of serious personal injuries by being familiar with common types of bicycle accidents, such as:
- Accidents due to failure to yield the right of way. One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is negligence or ignorance concerning the right of way. At stop signs and lights, cyclists have the same rights and privileges as vehicles. Therefore, motorists must yield when the cyclist has the right of way, although they often fail to do so.
- Left cross accidents. These accidents occur when a motorist turns left, striking a cyclist traveling in the same direction. This may happen at an intersection, where the cyclist has the right of way, or at other turns, such as parking lot entrances and driveways.
- Right hook accidents. A right hook accident happens when a motorist turns across oncoming traffic and strikes a cyclist traveling in the opposite direction. This usually happens when drivers fail to notice oncoming bike riders.
- Dooring accidents. If a cyclist is riding along a line of parallel-parked cars and a motorist suddenly opens a car door, then the cyclist may be unable to avoid striking it. The cyclist may be thrown over the open door, sustaining serious dooring accident injuries.
- Side swipe accidents. When motorists misjudge the amount of space between the car and a cyclist riding to the right, a side-swipe may result.
- Rear end collisions. If a negligent motorist fails to stop behind a cyclist or travels too closely, then a rear-end collision may occur. This can cause severe injuries to the cyclist, especially if he or she falls under the vehicle.
Hurt in a Cycling Accident? Contact Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, we are proud to have more than 100 years of collective experience, which has given us the opportunity to handle a wide range of bike accident cases. Our Washington DC bicycle accident lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Our law firm also assists the surviving family members of individuals who died in bike accidents. If you lost a loved one due to a bike accident, we can help you file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
We assist injured cyclists in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, and other states. If a cycling accident caused your personal injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, then contact us today for a free initial consultation.