If you are a recreational bike rider, you probably give little thought to the possibility of an accident, and you may not wear a helmet.
On the other hand, if you are an avid cyclist, you are very much aware that horrendous accidents can happen. You know about injuries such as brain damage, and you never ride without your helmet.
A look at the facts
According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 67 million people in our country ride bicycles. However, more than 600,000 cyclists receive treatment in emergency rooms annually, and 824 die. The most common cause of death is head injury. If a cyclist survives this kind of injury, he or she is likely to face some form of lifelong impairment. The CDC goes on to report that only 19% of adult riders and 15% of children use helmets; yet this kind of protective gear lowers the risk of head injuries by as much as 80%.
How accidents happen
Bicyclists, especially those accustomed to riding in traffic, must remain alert at all times and ride defensively. For example, a common accident occurs when a driver passes a cyclist on the left, then makes a right turn directly in front of the rider who then has no choice but to collide with the vehicle. A similar crash can happen when an oncoming motorist does not see the cyclist before making a left turn. The driver and cyclist collide, often with devasting results. Another terrible accident can occur when a cyclist rides too close to a line of parked cars. The possible result is getting “doored” when a driver, oblivious to the oncoming cyclist, opens the car door just as the rider approaches.
Seeking help for injuries
A helmet may indeed save your life in a vehicle-bicycle collision, and it may even prevent severe brain damage. However, if you are the victim of such a crash, this is the time to look into your legal options. Your focus should be on your medical treatment and recovery while an experienced advocate works on your behalf to negotiate full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.