Bicycle Accident Injuries
Utah is a fantastic place for cyclists to recreate–from the towering Wasatch mountains to the red rock mesas of St. George, there’s always somewhere new to explore.
Just like any physical activity, however, cycling comes with inherent risks. When riding on public roads, bicyclists chance run-ins with motor vehicles. On trails and bike paths, there’s always the possibility of hitting a pedestrian or another cyclist.
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries for the cyclist. Because bikers are so much more vulnerable than motorists, even a minor crash can have devastating consequences.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle crash in Utah, it may be time to consider contacting a personal injury law firm. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. The Advocates can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common injuries After a Bike Accident
In a car accident involving a bicyclist, there are dozens of potential injuries the bike rider can suffer. Some of the most common are listed below.
Head injuries and facial injuries
In many bicycle accidents, the most severe injuries are to the head. In fact, head injuries are the most common cause of fatalities and serious disabilities after an accident. Head and facial injuries include traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, broken teeth, and eye injuries.
Concussions are a common type of TBI that are typically not life-threatening but can have lasting effects. If a bicyclist experiences loss of consciousness, memory loss, or confusion after an accident, they may have suffered a concussion. It’s important to seek medical treatment right away if you suspect you’ve had a concussion.
Spinal cord injuries
In 2021, bike riding caused more than 80% of sports-related spine injuries among American adults. Most of these injuries were vertebral fractures in the neck or lower back.
Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, loss of strength, and lifelong pain. Most bicycle accidents resulting in spine injuries involve a motor vehicle.
Some bicycle accidents may result in internal organ damage. These kinds of injuries may not be apparent right away, so it’s important to seek medical care, even if you do not believe you are injured.
When a cyclist falls or is thrown off their bike, they risk breaking bones. Wrists, forearms, and facial bones are the most common broken bone injuries in cycling.
Road rash is typically less serious than other bicycle accident injuries. When a bicyclist makes contact with pavement or gravel, they may end up with abrasions caused by friction–these scrapes are known as road rash.
The faster a cyclist is traveling when they crash, the more serious their road rash may be.
Lacerations and contusions
Lacerations are cuts in the soft tissue of the body. Typically, the biggest concern when it comes to lacerations is infection. Cuts should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being bandaged.
Contusions are bruises caused by impact to the skin. Bruising can be painful but is usually a very minor injury.
Common Causes of Utah Bicycle Accidents
- Distracted driving
- Driving or riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving or riding
- Road rage and aggression
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Failure to see bicyclists
How to Stay Safe While Biking in Utah
Wear a bicycle helmet
You can’t always prevent an accident. You can, however, do everything in your power to avoid injury.
Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of head and facial injuries by 33-69%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A properly fitting helmet is your number-one ally in protecting your brain.
Familiarize yourself with local laws
Different cities and towns have different ordinances regarding bicycle riding. For example, some areas do not allow bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk, while others do.
By knowing and understanding local laws and regulations, you can help prevent accidents.
Make yourself seen
One of the top causes for bicycle accidents is motorists failing to see cyclists. Wear bright, reflective clothing, especially when riding at night. Ensure that your bike is equipped with reflectors and lights that meet local requirements.
Be as predictable as possible
Whether you’re riding your bike, driving a car, or walking, the best way to stay safe is to act predictably. Avoid swerving into traffic, running stop signs or red lights, or turning unexpectedly.
Using the universal hand signals for bicyclists can help you communicate with motorists and cyclists around you.
What to Do After a Utah Bike Crash
If you’ve been involved in accident, the best thing you can do is remain calm. If you panic, you’re likely to do or say things that can damage your bicycle accident claim.
Take the following steps after a bicycle accident.
Check for injuries
Check yourself and anyone else with you for visible injuries. If possible, administer first aid until emergency services can arrive.
Move to safety
If you were in the road when you crashed, move to the sidewalk or shoulder if possible. This will help keep you from being injured further.
Call the police
Even if you do not believe you were injured, call the police and file a police report. Many insurance companies require a police report before approving any claims.
When talking to the police, do not admit fault or cast blame. The police may conduct an investigation to determine who was at fault. If you apologize or accept responsibility right away, the investigation may not be completed and you will be assigned liability.
Exchange the following information with the other party:
- Phone number
- Insurance information
- License plate number (if applicable)
Document the scene
Take pictures of the accident scene. Be sure to document any injuries and property damage, weather and traffic conditions, and the other vehicle. These pictures can be used as evidence when building your claim later.
Seek medical attention
See a medical professional as soon as you can. You may have hidden injuries that you don’t know about. Let your doctor know you were in a bike crash so they know what to look for.
Consider contacting a personal injury attorney
If your accident was caused by another person, it may be a good idea to contact a bicycle accident attorney. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a case and can make sure your best interests are protected throughout the claims process.
How a Utah Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Insurance companies are infamous for doing whatever they can to avoid paying out claims. The at-fault party’s insurance provider may try to diminish the severity of your injuries or deny liability altogether. When dealing with physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial damages, fighting multi-million dollar corporations is just one more stressor in your life.
The bike injury lawyers with The Advocates have been representing accident victims for more than three decades. We are prepared to take on the stressful parts of the claims process for you, so you can focus on feeling better.
Depending on the nature of your accident, your Advocate may be able to help you receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Funeral expenses (in the case of wrongful death)
- Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering
You deserve an injury lawyer who will do whatever it takes to get you fair compensation for your injuries. You deserve an Advocate.