Some communities are recognizing the special hazards bicyclists face when sharing the streets with motor vehicles. They have added crosswalks, specified bicycle lanes and other safety features. But accidents still happen all too frequently. Most of them occur because drivers don’t watch the road for bicycles and usually only see a cyclist when it’s too late.
If you or a family member have been injured in a bicycle accident, an understanding of the issues that confront these bike accident victims is essential. The Ohio bicycle accident lawyers at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault, represent injured cyclists against negligent drivers who are supposed to share the road and will help you hold them liable when thoughtlessness injures you or kills a family member.
Car-bicycle accidents can be caused by speeding, reckless driving, drunken and distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic signs or signals. They occur most often in areas such as:
- Bike lanes;
- City streets (that have no bike lanes);
- School and pedestrian crossing zones;
- Parks and playgrounds; and
- Driveway and parking lot entries onto public streets.
Injured bike accident victims have a greater risk of suffering very serious injuries when hit by a motor vehicle, simply because of the disparity in size, and the cyclist has virtually no protection in such a crash. These can include:
- Bone fractures;
- Serious damage to limbs that require amputation;
- Internal organ injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Spinal cord and nerve injuries; and
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI, which is the leading cause of wrongful death for bicyclists according to the National Highway and Safety Association which keeps data on vehicle/bicycle accidents).
In addition to emergency surgeries, many bicycle accident victims also might need reconstructive surgery and post-operative treatment involving cosmetic procedures and rehabilitative therapy. Most victims often miss work – sometimes for long periods of time – while recovering. This often leads to dire financial consequences for the victims and their families. Victims who suffer devastating — and even permanent — brain damage could never have a normal life again.
Legal Damages and Insurance Companies
To pay for the many thousands of dollars arising from treatment for injuries in a bike accident and other damages, you must rely on the driver’s insurance company. In addition to medical bills, other legal damages you may recover with the assistance of an Ohio bicycle accident lawyer include:
- Lost income for your inability to work, and associated benefits with your job (health insurance, retirement).
- Pain and suffering.
- Disability payments if those apply.
- Additional wrongful death damages such as funeral expenses and loss of consortium to family survivors.
- Punitive damages if applicable.
Frequently, drivers and their insurance companies try to blame the cyclist for the accident, accusing them of being in the middle of the road or not looking out for vehicles. Many insurers will delay paying claims because they know injured victims and their families need the money and are likely to accept a substandard settlement offer if they just “wait the victim out.” Sometimes insurance adjusters will slow down the process and become a nuisance rather than a help; because adjusters work for the insurance company’s best interests – not yours.
But when you retain an experienced Ohio bicycle accident lawyer from Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault to deal with the insurance company, he or she will help you recover what you deserve. Contact our firm at 567-455-5470 or fill out our online contact form. Tell us about your bike accident and your injuries. The consultation is free.