Many locals in Monroe enjoy bicycling, but unfortunately, it can also be dangerous. The Michigan State Police recently reported that motor vehicle crashes involving over 2,000 bicyclists resulted in 37 fatalities and nearly 2,000 injuries. These statistics emphasize the critical need for both bicyclists and drivers to practice safe and responsible behavior while on the road. While accidents can happen to anyone, taking preventative measures such as wearing a helmet and staying visible can significantly reduce the likelihood of serious injury. It’s essential for everyone sharing the road to prioritize safety and awareness to prevent tragic accidents and protect those who enjoy cycling.


Common Injuries Cyclists Sustain in Traffic Accidents


When motor vehicles collide with cyclists, they may experience a range of injuries that can cause long-term physical and emotional harm. Additionally, they may face financial difficulties due to medical expenses and loss of income. Commonly observed types of injuries include:


Head and brain injuries


This is perhaps the most common type of injury that cyclists face in traffic accidents. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), nearly half of all bicycle accident victims suffer from some type of head injury. These injuries may range from minor concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries, which may lead to permanent disability or even death. To protect against such injuries, it is essential to wear a well-fitted helmet at all times.


Fractured or amputated limbs


In a collision with a vehicle, cyclists may suffer from fractured or amputated legs and arms. These injuries may vary in severity depending on the impact’s force and the collision’s angle. In severe cases, amputations may be necessary to save a victim’s life, which can be an incredibly traumatic experience.


Neck and spinal injuries


The neck and spinal cord are particularly vulnerable in cycling accidents. These injuries have the potential to cause long-term disability and may require extensive surgery and physical therapy. Even minor whiplash injuries may take weeks or months to heal properly and significantly impact a victim’s quality of life.


Eye trauma


Cyclists may also suffer from eye injuries during an accident. This may include debris or dust from the road entering the eye or even complete blindness in severe cases. Eye protection can help decrease the risk of this type of injury.


Road rash and “traumatic tattooing”


When a cyclist is thrown off their bike during an accident, they may suffer from road rash and “traumatic tattooing.” Road rash occurs when skin is scraped off as it slides along the road. Traumatic tattoos are deep road rash injuries with embedded debris, such as gravel or dirt, creating a permanent ink-like stain. These injuries may require skin grafts or other surgical procedures to heal.


Dental Injuries


Lastly, cycling accidents can cause dental injuries, including broken teeth, loose teeth, or the loss of a tooth or multiple teeth. A severe impact to the face during a traffic incident can even result in a broken jaw.


What Damages Can One Recover After a Bicycle Accident in Michigan?


Bicycle accidents can cause substantial damage. According to the AAFP, bicycle accident-related injuries cost our nation more than $8 billion annually. A victim may sustain tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after a serious wreck and will be forced to look for ways to recover their losses. You will have to figure out a way to pay for your medical bills as well as make ends meet if you are unable to return to work for some time or have become disabled. The pressure of the financial strain can truly exacerbate stress and impede healing.


Personal Injury Protection (PIP)


The first option for recovery is to file a claim with your own auto insurance company using your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP coverage is available to all drivers in Michigan and covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic losses up to a certain limit. If you have a PIP policy, you can recover up to your policy limits, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses. Many people only carry the minimum required coverage, which in Michigan is $500,000 – although this will only cover your needs for up to three years.


Lawsuit against At-Fault Parties


If your injuries were permanently and seriously debilitating or disfiguring, you can sue any at-fault parties to recover your damages. The same is true if your loved one died in a bicycle accident. You’ll need to be able to show that the other party acted in a way that was somehow negligent or careless and that they caused the accident. This can be a driver of another vehicle, but it can also be other parties that were involved, such as a bicycle manufacturer (defective parts) or a government agency in charge of the roadways (defective road design or maintenance).

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can pursue damages for economic losses (such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage) and non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life). It’s important to keep all records and bills related to your injuries, as they will be used as evidence in your case. It can also be helpful to keep a journal of your recovery process and document how your injuries have affected your daily life activities.


Medical Bills


Bicycle accidents can often result in significant medical bills. These can include emergency room visits, diagnostic tests, surgery, and physical therapy expenses. You can likely submit your medical bills to your provider if you have health insurance. However, be aware that your health insurance may only cover some of your expenses. If you cannot pay your medical bills outright, you may need to work with a personal injury attorney to negotiate with your medical providers or seek compensation from the at-fault driver.


Lost Income


If you are unable to work after a bicycle accident in Michigan, you may be able to recover lost income through a personal injury claim. This may include wages you lost while recovering from your injuries and future earnings if you cannot return to your job or your ability to work is permanently affected. A personal injury attorney can help calculate your lost income and work with you to negotiate with insurance companies or pursue a claim in court.


Property Damage


Property damage is another category of loss that you may experience after a bicycle accident. This may include damage to your bike, clothing, or any other equipment you used during the accident. In Michigan, a driver who causes an accident is responsible for up to $1,000 in property damage. However, if your losses exceed this amount, you must take legal action to recover your damages.


Pain and Suffering


Finally, pain and suffering are a type of damage that is often overlooked in personal injury cases. This category of loss refers to the physical and emotional pain you experience as a result of the accident. This can include chronic pain, loss of enjoyment of life, or depression related to your injuries. Calculating pain and suffering damages can be complex, and there is no set formula to determine an appropriate amount of compensation. However, a personal injury attorney can help evaluate your losses and work to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your pain and suffering.


How Can Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault Help My Case?


If you have been in a serious bicycle accident, it can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. That’s where an experienced personal injury attorney in Michigan can be an invaluable resource. By working with an attorney, you can help navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Not only that, but they will also be able to help you maximize your compensation for your losses. In Michigan, there is a statute of limitations, meaning you must act quickly if you want to file a lawsuit. Our firm offers a free initial consultation to help you understand your options. Once you retain our firm, our experienced bicycle accident attorney will take care of everything for you so that you can focus on recovering and getting your life back to normal.

For a bicycle accident attorney in Michigan, call Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault today at 734-430-3012 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.