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Most Common Bike Accident Injuries

Bike accident injuries are more common than people think. Bicyclists account for 2% of all traffic-related deaths and injuries per year. Of course, injuries can also occur from simply falling off the bike or hitting a curb.

Before we go into the actual bike accident injuries that cyclists need to worry about, let’s learn a little more about the accidents.

Worst Times to Ride a Bike and Age Group Statistics

If you ride a bicycle, you know that you’re at a much higher risk of injury if an accident occurs. A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle. You’ll be severely injured in some bicycle accidents and escape relatively unscathed in others.

It’s a game of chance for most people.

But there are some cold, hard facts that provide us with information we can use to be safer when riding a bike, such as:

  • 20% of deaths occur between 6pm and 9pm
  • 71% of deaths occur in urban areas

Males are statistically at a much higher risk of being involved in a bicycle accident. Males account for 88% of all people, age 20 – 24, injured on bicycles.

If you’re wondering about intoxication, it does play a major role in the death of bicyclists. Around 20% of people killed in bicycle crashes have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.8 grams per deciliter. This metric is higher than all states in the country allow.

The biggest factor that isn’t talked about is negligence.

A lot of bicyclists do not follow the rules of the road. Cyclists can make the road much safer if they all looked out for each other. It’s a matter of a community effort, which can help save the lives of cyclists.

Simple hand signals can help, or alerting another person of potential dangers ahead.

There has also been a major uptick in the amount of people that cycle to work. Between 2000 and 2012, the amount of people biking to work increased by 64%. People are trying to save money and limit their impact on the environment, yet it does come at a much higher risk of serious, traumatic injuries if an accident does occur.

In 2015, 817 bicyclists were killed by motor vehicle crashes. This figure was up 13% from the year prior and marks the highest number of bike related deaths since 1995.

But while deaths do happen far more often than people hope, injuries are far more common. These injuries can be as simple as scrapes, or they can be traumatic brain injuries that demand the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Most Common Bike Accident Injuries

Bike accident typically cause injury to the upper and lower extremities. The good news is that these acute injuries are often minor, such as:

  • Contusions
  • Abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Strains
  • Fractures

Road rash occurs often, and this will leave superficial abrasions in many cases. When road rash does occur, it may require debris removal from the skin. If you believe that you might have a broken bone or fracture, this may be seen with the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Difficulty moving
  • Lack of movement
  • Bruising

If you do believe that you’ve broken or injured your bone, you’ll need proper imaging to confirm. The only way to know for sure if a bone is broken is through imaging. Do not take the advice of a massage therapist or some other individual that lacks proper training.

Head Injuries

There’s a reason that everyone should wear a helmet. Head injuries. Injured bicyclists are at the greatest risk of a head injury, and these injuries occur in 22% – 47% of all injured bicyclists. The problem with head injuries is that they’re very serious.

The majority of long-term disabilities from bike accidents have to deal with head injuries.

And 60% of deaths are caused by head injuries.

The neck isn’t as common of an injury area as many people would think. While neck injuries can and do occur, they’re far less common than head injuries and other injuries. In fact, neck injuries are quite rare in the whole spectrum of bike accidents.

Traumatic Injuries

Not all bike accident injuries are traumatic, but the ones that are account for the worst injuries. A person may suffer from overuse injuries, but these are often not serious and do not occur due to accidents.

Instead, traumatic injuries are directly attributed to an accident.

The most common injuries in this category, include:

  • Skull fracture
  • Cranial hemorrhage
  • Concussions
  • Contusions

Your musculoskeletal system may also face injuries, and these would include your basic strains (not much of a concern), dislocations and fractures.

You may also suffer from:

  • Facial fractures
  • Dental fractures
  • Rib fractures
  • Ruptured spleen
  • Pancreatic trauma
  • Bowel contusions
  • Hernia
  • Renal contusions

There is also a risk of being impaled. Some riders will become impaled by their handlebars, which often causes life-threatening injuries. Pelvic fractures and rectal trauma are also major causes for concern.

You can also break or fracture any bone in your body, from your hip to your ankles or femur.

Eye injuries are less common, but they can still occur. A person that is wearing eye protectant may be able to lessen their risk of eye injury while cycling.

Evaluation After a Bike Accident

Even if you’re involved in a minor bike accident, there may be some serious issues that you don’t realize right away. These issues often present themselves days or weeks after the accident.

There are a few things that you can check for following an accident if you don’t feel like something is wrong:

  • If you hit your head, it’s a good idea to have it checked out. Head injuries are something that most people ignore, but they’ve very serious. Your brain could be bleeding and you didn’t even know it. Signs of a head injury may include loss of consciousness, confusion, vision changes and a cracked helmet. When your helmet has a crack, this is a good indicator that you’ve been involved in a rather serious accident.
  • Breathe. There’s a risk that you broke your ribs or punctured a lung. A lot of people assume there’s nothing that can be done in these cases, so they ignore medical treatment. This is a big no-no. What you should do is contact medical emergency services if you have any trouble breathing. The general rule of thumb is to take a very deep breath. If you feel any pain when breathing in deeply, this demands a visit to the emergency room. A cracked rib, while it may seem minor, can puncture your lung, which is a serious issue.
  • Stomach Check. Did you hit the handlebars? If so, this may be cause for concern. If hit hard enough, there are organs and soft tissue in the stomach that can become damaged by the impact. A great test to see if injury occurred is to use your hands and palpate the abdomen. What you want to look for are areas of the stomach that are more sore and tender than others. If your stomach seems hard in one area or distended, this may mean that you have internal bleeding. In the case of internal bleeding, you’ll want to seek medical assistance immediately.
  • Spine and Neck. Spine injuries are extremely serious. If you believe you’ve damaged your spine or neck severely, stay still and wait for medical attention to arrive. A few signs of a potential injury to the spine or neck include numbness, tingling, inability to move fingers or toes. If you have issues moving your neck, go to the emergency room immediately. The last thing you want to do is continue to move your neck and risk permanent injury to your spinal cord.
  • Bleeding. Bleeding is easy to spot when it’s external, but bleeding can also be internal. You’ll want to check for distended or firm areas to see if there is a potential internal bleeding situation. If you have external bleeding, you’ll want to use basic first aid and apply pressure to the area. Seek medical treatment if you believe that you’ll need stitches or some form of advanced medical treatment.

Of course, move your extremities to determine if a bone is fractured or broken. You’ll often feel a shooting pain if a bone is broken or fractured. You may not be able to move the extremity without pain, or you may not be able to move it at all.

The only way to know for sure what injury you have is to have a medical professional conduct imaging on the area.

Nonsurgical treatments are ideal. These treatments will require you to have a cast or suture. While not ideal, the length of treatment time will vary based on the injury’s severity. Surgical treatments may be needed when you have a fracture, break or a potential organ injury.

Tendon and ligament injuries may also demand a surgical procedure.

Bike accident injuries can be life-changing, and if you’ve been injured in a bike accident, a lawyer may be able to help. Your injuries, if sustained by the negligence of another person or party, demands compensation.

Your injuries may have long-term consequences.

What You Need to Know About Slip and Fall Settlements

Slip and fall settlements are complex. The National Floor Safety Institute states that 8 million emergency visits per year are related to slip and fall accidents. Slips and falls are also the leading reason for workers’ compensation claims.

Injury can be no fault of another person. One-in-three people over the age of 65 fall in their home every year. But injury can also be caused by the negligent act of a property owner, worker or manager.

Your slip and fall case will need to be examined by a lawyer to determine if you have a case.

If you have a case, there is a lot to know about slip and fall settlements. I’ll cover a lot of the questions that my clients have had when they pursued settlements.

Understanding Claim Values

Claims are based on the negligence of another person. If you fall in your own home due to your own negligence, you won’t be able to sue someone else. But, when you slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may be able to seek a settlement under premises liability.

When pursuing a settlement for a slip and fall injury, a law firm will try and determine the value of a potential settlement.

I’m going to assume you have a valid claim that you’re now trying to determine the value of prior to pursuing the case.

Medical Bill Consideration

If you slip, fall and get right back up with no injuries at all, you won’t have much of a lawsuit to pursue. Medical bills and documentation strengthen your case. When determining the value of a slip and fall lawsuit, your lawyer will try and determine:

  • Present medical bill costs
  • Future medical bill costs

Your location will play a big role in the medical bill category. Some providers will agree to accept less than the entire amount of your potential medical bills. In other cases, the healthcare provider will want the entirety of the bill paid.

In most circumstances, your case is worth a minimum of the value of your medical bills.

But present and future medical bills are just part of the equation. You’ll find that pain and suffering is also a major consideration. If you fell in a parking lot and broke your back, you may suffer from permanent injuries.

These injuries need to be considered in a settlement.

Pain and Suffering

When pain and suffering is considered, you cannot consider a pre-existing condition into the settlement. The pain and suffering needs to derive from the fall injury. The issue is that it’s very difficult to predict a person’s pain and suffering.

The cost of your medical bills will be a starting point when determining pain and suffering.

An insurance company will often have adjusters evaluate your claim and use a multiplier to determine your pain and suffering. This multiplier, used alongside your medical bills, will be used to determine the value of your pain and suffering.

But a lot of injuries don’t present until well after a slip and fall, so it’s important to consider future pain and suffering.

Using the same example as above, a person may suffer from compressed discs or arthritis in the future, which is pain and suffering that isn’t present right now.

The multiplier in this case may be four times the amount of your medical bills. It all depends on what future pain and suffering you may deal with in the future. If a dangerous condition leads to a lifetime of pain and suffering, you’ll be able to seek much higher damages.

Lost Wages and Earning Capacity

Your verdict will also have to consider lost wages and lost earning capacity. The jury will first include the wages that you would have earned if you didn’t have your injuries. This is determined from your:

  • Tax return or
  • Pay stub

An employer will need to verify these values. Your typical salary or wages will need to be provided by the employer. You’ll be able to claim the full value of these lost wages into your settlement amount.

But then comes something that a seasoned slip and fall attorney will be best suited to help you with: loss of earning capacity.

Your injuries, if they’re such that you can no longer perform certain tasks, will cause you to lose some or all of your earning capacity. A person who broke their back may no longer be able to perform certain tasks at work.

So, your attorney will try and determine lost earning capacity.

Maybe you can no longer work as a parcel delivery man, so you’ll need to take a lower paying position within the company or work elsewhere for a pay cut. This means you have lost some of your earning capacity.

You may also miss out on potential raises and promotions.

A personal injury attorney will often hire a vocational rehabilitation specialist to support your claim. The expert will need to evaluate your injuries and how they will impact your earning capacity. Prospects for future work will also be included.

The owner of the premises may have to provide compensation for loss of earning capacity by providing:

  • Lump sum value for the reduced earning capacity; and/or
  • Payment for training or education in another field

You’re the victim, and if you’re injured, you should consider how your future earnings will be impacted. It’s your right to be made whole again. This means being able to recover damages for your future wages lost.

Incidental expenses can also be provided to the injured party. These expenses are often small, but they add up over time. A good example of these expenses, which should be included in your slip and fall settlement, would include:

  • Costs for gas to go to doctor appointments
  • Costs related to going to physical therapy
  • Costs to buy different shoes that allow you to walk easier with your current injuries

All of these incidental expenses need to be related to your injury in some way. A lawyer will be able to help you determine potential incidental expenses.

San Diego City Releases Recommendations on Pedestrian Injuries

A long overdue report has just been released by the San Diego City Auditor, giving details of 18 recommendations on how the City can improve pedestrian safety and save lives. It just so happens that this report coincides with 4 pedestrian fatalities and injuries in just the past 5 weeks, all of which were hit and run events.

In the fourteen years from 2001 to 2015, more than 270 pedestrians lost their lives due to accidents with vehicles and 8,000 suffered injuries. From 2013-2015, which were particularly bad years, 66 pedestrians lost their lives, while 2,000 were involved in accidents.

The report indicated that such dramatic events changed the lives for families forever. The economic costs alone were staggering, with the two worst years’ costs exceeding $134 million. The financial cost on the quality of life for families affected by a pedestrian accident reached an estimate that exceeded $1 billion.

Vision Zero: A Pedestrian Safety Initiative

Vision Zero is a City Council initiative that began in 2015, based on the idea that all pedestrian accidents were preventable if certain measures were taken, including infrastructural improvements, education and enforcement. Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the aim of Vision Zero is to prevent all traffic related fatalities by 2025.

Since Vision Zero’s commencement, data has been examined closely. The findings indicate that the majority of crashes involving pedestrians happened at intersections. 3% of the intersections encountered 8 repeat accident events, while 9% had five repeat crash events. Intersections where safety improvements were made experienced up to a35% decrease in crashes. Apart from these improvements made at intersections there are methods that the council intends to use that will prevent dangerous driving, such as awareness programs targeting issues affecting pedestrian safety.

On the 29th September a Vision Zero Neighborhood Symposium took place, emphasizing traffic safety, street design, public health and law enforcement as a means of addressing the high pedestrian accident rate.

San Diego Pedestrian Deaths are Double the National Average

The 4.9 fatalities per 100,000 people were said to be double the national average according to Department of Transport figures for 2011. Along with the announcement of San Diego’s alarming accident rate for pedestrians there have been plans drawn up to target improvements for pedestrians in 22 cities affected by the problem which includes San Diego where 11 deaths of pedestrians have occurred just in the first 3 months of this year.

Just 3 weeks ago, a woman aged 66 made an attempt at crossing Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in the absence of a crosswalk and other safeguards for pedestrians. The report further emphasized that pedestrians think they are given priority on road sides when crossing but in truth pedestrian’s rights are solely related to the presence of crosswalks and traffic signals.

San Diego has started the ball rolling on the issue by having a larger police presence in more heavily congested areas like Hillcrest and downtown. But the issue is not just about pedestrians. It’s about the behavior of drivers as well, such as not texting while driving and other common driver distractions these days.

A Personal Injury Lawyer is Needed in a Pedestrian Accident

If you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the driver who was the cause of your injuries. Even if the accident did not happen at a crosswalk, this doesn’t mean you are to blame.

The only way you can be sure of gaining any sort of financial compensation is by arranging a free consultation with Robert Hamparyan at the Hamparyan Law Firm in San Diego. Robert Hamparyan is an experienced and highly successful personal injury lawyer, who will assess your situation and determine if you are likely to win a settlement if a personal injury claim is filed on your behalf.

Personal injury lawyers will check the availability of reliable witnesses and their statements, study medical reports and police statements before deciding where you stand. Once a decision is made to proceed with your claim, the lawyer will calculate a claim based on your medical costs, loss of earnings due to your injuries, pain and suffering encountered and non-economic damages which are called punitive damages and are recovered if the person who caused your accident behaved in an avoidable negligent manner.