Every year, bicycle accidents account for about 2% of road fatalities in the US. For a safe riding experience, it’s helpful to understand the most common types of bicycle injuries and what you can do to protect yourself against them. Here’s a bit more about bicycle injuries, along with some bicycle safety tips from experienced personal injury attorneys in Atlanta:
Common Types of Bicycle Injuries
Some of the most frequently occurring bicycle injuries include:
Concussions are traumatic injuries that cause the victim’s brain to hit the skull. Concussions may result from bumps, jolts, or sudden impact. Consequences include headaches, disorientation, memory loss, and various neurological symptoms.
Brain contusions usually result from a powerful, direct blow that causes bruising and sometimes cerebral hemorrhage. Like concussions, brain contusions may lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and memory loss.
3. Facial and Dental Fractures
A large percentage of bicycle accident victims arrive at the ER with oral and maxillofacial injuries, even those wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Facial trauma includes tissue injuries, nasal and jaw fractures, and eye injuries.
4. Rib Fractures
One dangerous aspect of cracked or broken ribs is sharp edges that can puncture a lung. If taking a deep breath hurts, the accident victim must seek emergency medical care immediately.
5. Internal Damage
Impact on a bicycle’s handlebars can harm vulnerable vital organs and soft tissues in the abdominal area. A tender, painful, or swollen area could indicate internal damage, while a firm or distended abdomen is an alarming sign of internal bleeding. Any possibility of damage to internal organs requires urgent medical attention.
6. Spinal Cord Injury
Neck and back injuries can lead to extensive musculoskeletal damage. Simple self-checks, such as moving one’s fingers and toes or slowly turning one’s head to the left and right, can help identify possible injuries. Any signs of spinal injuries require an ambulance to transport the victim to the ER with minimum jolts.
7. Bruising, Abrasions, and Lacerations
Bruising, scrapes, and cuts often occur when a rider falls off a bicycle. Although minor bruises and scrapes will usually heal on their own, any open wound is prone to infection. It is possible to self-treat minor cuts by cleaning the wound with alcohol-free wipes and covering it with sterile gauze.
In case of any significant bleeding, apply direct pressure on the wound and call for emergency help.
How to Protect Yourself Against Bicycle Injuries
Every rider must exercise caution on the road to ensure bicycling is a safe and enjoyable activity. It is important to remember that bicyclists are subject to the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles, such as riding in the same direction as traffic flow, yielding right of way to pedestrians, and abiding by traffic signs and lights.
Sometimes, a driver won’t give you the right of way even when required to do so. Keep in mind that, as a bicyclist, you are always more vulnerable during a collision. It is better to give up your right of way and wait for another minute than become involved in an accident.
Other helpful safety tips include:
- Always keep your bicycle in good repair
- Wear a protective helmet with an appropriate fit (bicycle helmets are only mandatory in Georgia for cyclists under 16, but wearing one is highly advisable for all ages)
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective gear after dark to keep yourself visible
- Avoid cycling in inclement weather conditions
- Stay alert and avoid distractions such as mobile phones
As a Bicycle Accident Victim, Do I Have Grounds for a Personal Injury Claim?
If you believe that your bicycle injury resulted from another party’s negligence or unlawful actions, you may have a basis for a personal injury claim. Examples include excessive speeding, disobeying traffic rules and regulations, and hit and run accidents.
Try to obtain relevant photo and video evidence from the accident site and, if possible, collect the names and contact information of the liable party and any witnesses.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Georgia is two years from the date of the accident. Still, it is best to file a claim with an Atlanta bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible for easier collection of evidence and witness testimonies.
Were You Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Contact Greathouse Trial Law Today
As you recuperate after an accident, you need a solid local legal team to help you seek compensation. Your search for a “personal injury lawyer near me” ends here. At Greathouse Trial Law, we specialize in personal injury claims from accidents of all types in the Greater Atlanta area. To schedule a case review, call 678-310-2827 or fill out our contact form.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.