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Bicycle Accidents

 

The rate of bicyclists who have been killed in roadway accidents has continued to rise over the past decade. A 6.3 percent rise in deaths occurred from 2017 to 2018 with a record total of 857 cyclists losing their lives in accidents on the road, the highest number in three decades.

Reasons for a Car Accident

Motor vehicle operators are failing to share the road with bicyclists and the results have been deadly.
When drivers are careless or negligent, it can lead to an accident with a cyclist. But while motor vehicle operators must always be cognizant of others on the roadway, bicyclists share a responsibility to keep themselves and those around them safe as well. Otherwise, a fatality could occur. When it comes to an automobile versus a bicycle, there will always be one clear and decisive outcome.
The roads are for everyone but when a driver or bicyclist fails to uphold his or her responsibility for keeping everyone safe, accidents can and do happen. There are many reasons why an accident might take place. Speed, failure to follow the rules of the road, failure to use a crosswalk, inclement weather, poor visibility, and insufficient space between a car and a bicycle in traffic are all common factors.
Using alcohol and/or drugs only increases the possibility of an accident on the road and more than a third of fatal bicycle accidents are a result of intoxication from these substances.

Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclists who get into an accident on the road are prone to any number of resulting injuries, including broken bones, road rash, major head trauma, brain injury, neck and spinal injury, serious wounds, and paralysis.
If you or someone you know is injured in a bicycling accident, you must always seek treatment even if you don’t feel any symptoms of pain at first. Issues can develop after the fact and you could be left paying medical costs out of pocket if you don’t file a claim in a timely fashion. Always seek out medical attention right after an accident, there are many medical conditions that might be caused as a result of the incident and you should have any issues diagnosed before they become bigger problems.
With your life and livelihood at stake, it pays to be safe on the road. Every driver has a responsibility to operate his or her motor vehicle in a safe and respectful manner so as not to injure other drivers going about their way. Here are some helpful tips to consider:

Staying Safe

Anytime you are riding a bicycle, no matter where it may be and no matter where you are going, it’s a smart plan to take some sensible precautions so you always stay safe.

Wear a helmet

Headwear such as a bicycling helmet is the best protection for you head in the event you are thrown from your bike in an accident.

Using hand signals

Always let others know what you are doing on the road. Simple hand signals indicating a left or right turn are among the most crucial methods of communication that you must employ.

Sufficient visibility

If you can’t see where you are going, you will have a very difficult time getting anywhere. If you are unable to see on either side, you will have a very difficult time seeing what’s around you. Your chances of getting into an accident are increased as a result. That’s why you want to have a headlight and mirrors on your bicycle.

Obey the rules of the road

Moving with the flow of traffic is the best rule of thumb. The only reasons not to do so are when you are attempting a left turn or you are trying to pass another bicyclist or motorist.

Avoid distractions

Distracted bicyclists are more likely to get into an accident. Do not use your phone for any reason while you are operating a bicycle.

In The Event of an Accident

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, what you do and say next can have a serious impact on any claim you might decide to file should you be entitled to damages due to negligence on the part of others.
You should proceed carefully after an accident. For starters, be sure to check if you have suffered any injuries. Even small lacerations can become larger concerns if they become infected. Neck and back trauma may not reveal themselves at first, but you could experience pain shortly afterward. In any event, seek our medical attention for any injuries that you may have sustained.
For accidents where there are one or more parties with severe injuries, dial 911 and wait for help to arrive. A police report should also be completed detailing the facts of the accident. You should also get the information of the driver behind the wheel of the vehicle or vehicles involved in the accident. This includes name(s), insurance information, license plate numbers, and so on.
Above all, do not admit wrongdoing. Do not apologize to anyone, do not take fault for what has occurred. Simply stick to the details of the incident when speaking with the driver and/or law enforcement.

How to behave after an accident

If you are ever involved in a car accident, what you do and say can have a major effect on your ability to get the compensation you deserve for any injuries you may have sustained.

Remain calm

The first thing to do is not to panic. Stay calm and collected. Make sure you are not trapped in the vehicle and you are not in any danger when you exit.

Check for injuries

If you are not hurt, check for injuries anyway. Feel around for any blood or broken limbs. In the event you have a passenger in the car with you, check to make sure they are okay as well.

Call 911

This is essential if you or anyone else on the scene has been injured, but if there are no injured parties have the police come out to the accident location. You may want to have a police report filled out which can outline the details of the scene.

Exchange information

Get all contact and insurance information from the other driver or drivers. If there are any witnesses present who can attest to what happened, get their information as well so you may contact them later to help support your claims

Gather evidence

If and when you are able, get out your smartphone and get as many photos of the accident site as you can. Take pictures of everything, your car, the other car, the flow of traffic, surrounding signs, and road conditions.
The more information you have to support your case, the better your chances of getting maximum compensation for your injuries after a crash. The insurance companies are going to make it very tough for you to collect and may even offer a substantially lower cash settlement. Don’t take on the insurance companies yourself, get an experiencing personal injury attorney on your side, one who has decades of experience winning car accident cases.

Filing a Claim

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of another driver’s negligence you could be entitled to damages in the form of financial compensation. You may be able to receive compensation for any medical costs, property damage or loss, and pain and suffering. The sooner you file a claim, the more likely you are to receive maximum compensation. But don’t rely on the insurance companies to pay out all that you deserve, their only goal is to give you the minimum or nothing at all, if possible.
That’s why you should never negotiate with the insurance companies on your own, always hire a highly-skilled personal injury attorney to fight for your rights and get you what you deserve. Typically, you have up to two years to file an accident claim, but your delay could have a significant impact on your ability to get the maximum compensation.

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