Bicycle Accidents Statistics in the United States
Sadly, bicycle accidents are common occurrences in the United States. How often do fatal bike accidents happen? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), each year about 2% of all traffic fatalities are bicyclists. In 2021, there were 961 cyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents across the United States. In San Diego County, there were 15,043 traffic fatalities in 2021. That year, 690 bicyclists were injured and killed in accidents across San Diego County.
Notably, most bicyclist deaths occur in urban areas. It’s crucial to be able to navigate the aftermath of a bicycle crash to protect your rights and seek appropriate compensation for your injuries. If you were involved in a bike accident, it’s crucial to take the following steps:
Ensure Your Safety
After a bicycle accident, it’s essential to ensure you are not in harm’s way. Assess your physical condition and move to a safe location, if possible. Ensure you are not in the path of oncoming traffic. If you can, turn on your bicycle’s lights or use a flashlight to increase your visibility, especially if the accident occurred during low-light conditions. Taking these actions can help prevent additional bicycle accidents or injuries.
Call 911 and Obtain a Police Report
It is crucial to call the police, especially if there are injuries. The authorities will assess the situation and create an accident report. The police will document important information including the date and time of the accident, how the accident occurred, the location, the parties involved, and witness statements. Failing to get a police report can have a significant impact on your claim and the compensation you may be able to recover.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after a bicycle accident. Some injuries may not show symptoms immediately but could worsen over time, especially without medical attention. A medical professional can evaluate your condition, identify injuries, and provide necessary treatment. Ensure you follow your prescribed treatment plan and obtain your medical records.
Exchange Information with the Other Parties Involved
Ensure you exchange information with the other parties involved in the bicycle crash. Obtain information including:
- Full names
- Phone numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- License plate numbers
- Insurance policy numbers
- Insurance companies
Don’t Negotiate with the Motorist
After a bike accident, the motorist may attempt to engage in discussions or negotiations. However, it is best to avoid negotiating with the motorist. Emotions and adrenaline can cloud judgment and impact your ability to accurately assess the situation and the extent of your injuries. Instead, focus on ensuring your safety, seeking medical attention, and gathering evidence.
Document the Bicycle Accident Scene
It is crucial to document the bike accident scene and preserve evidence. If possible, take pictures or videos of the scene from multiple angles. Capture details such as skid marks, broken glass, car parts, vehicle positions, and any visible property damage. Ensure you photograph your injuries and the condition of your bicycle. These visual records will serve as valuable evidence to support your bicycle accident claim.
Speak to Witnesses
If there were any witnesses present, it is important to obtain their contact information and ask if they are willing to provide a statement. Witnesses can provide an unbiased account of the incident, which can be valuable during insurance negotiations, especially if your case proceeds to court. Ensure you collect their names, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Consult with an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Following a bike accident, it’s best to consult with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who can provide you with essential legal guidance and support. Bicycle accident attorneys will review the details of your case, assess your legal options, and guide you throughout the claims process.
A personal injury attorney will protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and represent you in court, if necessary, to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Common Bicycle Injuries Sustained in Crashes
Some common bicycle injuries suffered in bike accidents include:
- Head and Brain Injuries – Head injuries are a significant concern in bicycle accidents, which is why it’s crucial to wear a bicycle helmet. Bike helmets decrease the risk of head and brain injuries by 65% to 85%. However, even with a helmet, cyclists can still sustain concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), or skull fractures in severe bike accidents.
- Bone Fractures – The impact of a bicycle accident can cause fractures in various parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, wrists, ribs, or collarbones. Fractures may require surgeries, casting, or immobilization for proper healing.
- Soft Tissue Injuries – Abrasions, lacerations, and contusions are common soft tissue injuries that can result from bicycle accidents. Injuries like road rash can lead to painful skin abrasions and potential infections.
- Spinal Injuries – Severe bike accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, leading to partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have long-term effects on mobility, independence, and quality of life.
- Internal Injuries – The force of impact in a bicycle accident can cause internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and can worsen quickly which is why it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly after a bike accident.
Bicycle Safety Tips
These bicycle safety tips can help reduce the risk of bicycle deaths and bicycle-related injuries.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Obey traffic rules and use bike lanes or designated cycling paths.
- Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to other road users.
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing.
- Use bicycle lights and reflectors to increase visibility.
- Keep an eye on parked cars and look out for opening car doors.
- Regularly inspect your bike before each ride.
Contact San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in San Diego, it is crucial to contact experienced San Diego bicycle accident lawyers. The bicycle accident attorneys at Harbor Accident Lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of local laws and regulations and have a track record of obtaining maximum compensation.
Our San Diego personal injury law firm maintains a 99% success rate and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. Call our law office today to schedule a no-obligation, free consultation.