Getting around by bicycle is a growing trend. Bicycles are great for the environment and they provide riders with excellent exercise. Whether you use your bike as transportation or simply for recreation, you need to make sure you are safe on the road. In Wisconsin, bicycles are considered vehicles. When you drive on the roads, you must obey the traffic laws in the same way as motorized vehicles. Unfortunately, when a bicycle is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, the bicyclist may suffer severe injuries.
Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
According to the Department of Transportation, bicyclists are hurt in about 90% of accidents with vehicles. Bicyclists are virtually unprotected and can suffer serious harm. Some of the most common injuries include head trauma, back and neck injuries, broken bones, internal injuries and cuts and scrapes. A bicycle helmet will help protect the head but is not strong enough to handle heavy hits. You must get a head injury evaluated by a doctor as quickly as possible following the accident.
Traumatic brain injury, TBI, is a bruise to the brain that causes bleeding inside the skull. It can happen when the head receives a sudden, hard impact, such as when a bicyclist hits the ground. A TBI can quickly cause permanent brain damage. Sometimes the victim requires surgery to remove part of the skull to allow for brain swelling. When it swells it cuts off oxygen to parts of the brain, causing a permanent disability.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle safety is the responsibility of both the bicycle rider and the motorist to share the road. Drivers must be aware of bicycles and take care to prevent accidents. Bicycle riders should wear a helmet that fits properly. Your bicycle should have reflectors and if you ride at night you are required to have a light. Always ride at the right side of the lane in the direction of traffic.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can be particularly dangerous. As the victim, the first thing to do is to get medical care. Call the police to report the accident. The police officer will gather information about the crash and will make a report. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The negligent party is responsible for your injuries. Damages may include medical costs, rehabilitative therapy, pain and suffering and lost wages. Your lawyer will work with the insurance company to resolve the situation. It is helpful to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that all the evidence is available to prove your case. Contact our lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to learn how we can help you get the money you deserve.