Bicycling has become a popular alternative to driving. Commuters who bike can increase their level of fitness and protect the environment. However, riding a bicycle can also be dangerous, especially when bicyclists share the road with cars and trucks.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses. A Jackson bicycle accident lawyer at Harris Law Firm can help you hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.
Typical Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists have a right to use the road just like motor vehicles. But, sometimes, drivers do not pay attention or follow the rules when sharing the road with bicyclists. There can be one or more causes of a bicycle accident, but below we discuss a few of the most common. If you were injured by a negligent driver, contact a bicycle accident attorney in Jackson, MS, at Harris Law Firm for assistance filing your claim.
Drivers who exceed the speed limit frequently cause bicycle accidents. A driver who is speeding may be unable to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or stop sign, causing them to collide with a bicyclist. If a driver is speeding, they might also not see a bike rider until it is too late.
A distracted driver behind the wheel is exceptionally dangerous. Distracted driving can include doing some of the following activities while driving:
- Personal grooming,
- Changing the radio station,
- Eating or drinking,
- Dealing with children, and
- Talking on the phone.
Drivers have an obligation to keep their eyes on the road and pay attention to traffic. If you think a distracted driver contributed to your accident, a Jackson bicycle accident attorney at Harris Law Firm can help you evaluate your legal options.
Failure to Leave Space Between the Bike and the Car
Drivers may also not leave an adequate buffer between themselves and bicyclists on the road. According to Mississippi law, when a driver passes a bicyclist, the driver must maintain a distance of three feet between their vehicle and the bicyclist. The motorist must also maintain that distance until they are safely past the bicyclist.
Running a Stop Sign or Red Light
Drivers need to come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic signals. This means that if the driver who hit you ran a red light or stop sign, they may be liable for your damages.
Often, drivers run red lights because they are using their cell phones or are otherwise distracted.
Drivers who are out late or driving home after a long day are more likely to cause a bicycle collision. Drowsy driving most often occurs during the late afternoon or between midnight and six AM. Drowsy driving is more common among those who suffer from sleep disorders, professional drivers, or shift workers.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Making an unsafe lane change can be dangerous for bicyclists and drivers alike. A driver might merge into another lane and not realize that the cyclist’s lane is not clear. If a driver did not pay close attention on the road and merged into you, they could be liable for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Bike Crashes
A bicycle collision can cause multiple types of injuries, ranging in severity. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries are discussed below. A bicycle accident lawyer in Jackson, MS, can help you recover damages for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Bicycle accidents often cause bone fractures. It is crucial to receive medical treatment immediately if you suffer a broken bone. Otherwise, serious complications can result. You may need physical therapy, surgery, or other medical care.
Another common injury in a bicycle crash is internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is often caused by blunt force trauma sustained when hitting a car or the road. Internal bleeding may not be apparent right after an accident. Oftentimes, adrenaline will mask injury symptoms in the moments following a crash.
However, internal injuries can be serious and even fatal. That is why it is important that you seek medical care as soon as possible after a bicycle accident, even if you do not think you are injured. Your doctor may order an imaging test when you go to the hospital. This can help determine whether you have internal bleeding or organ damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury happens because of a traumatic blow to one’s spine in an accident. The damage a person suffers is based on the number of destroyed or damaged axons, which are nerve cell extensions. Spinal cord injuries are divided into two main types: complete and incomplete. With a complete injury, the victim will lack motor or sensory function below the area of injury. With an incomplete injury, the victim will retain some motor or sensory function below the site of the injury.
A concussion is also a common bicycle accident injury. Concussions can be caused by the sudden force produced by an impact or by a victim’s head hitting a hard surface, such as a car hood or the road.
Whether your concussion is mild or severe, it can have life-threatening consequences. Make sure that you bring your helmet with you when seeking medical treatment. Examining the helmet can help your physician analyze the extent of the impact.
How Our Jackson Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you were in a bicycle accident, a Jackson bicycle accident lawyer can ease your burden by handling your legal claim so that you can focus on your recovery. At Harris Law, we know what it takes to succeed at the negotiating table and in the courtroom. Since 1981, Harris Law Firm has been helping injured clients hold negligent parties accountable. Thanks to our experience and skill, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. While we cannot change the trauma you have suffered, our attorneys can help you through the healing process. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.