Bicycle accidents cause nearly half a million injuries each year. These injuries can take many forms, but injuries to the ankle are among the most common.
It’s not uncommon for people who suffer an ankle injury to need surgery and extensive rehabilitation afterward. Let’s talk more about ankle injuries in bicycle crashes, how and why they occur, and how you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Common Types of Ankle Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
The two most common ankle injuries that occur in bicycle accidents are sprains and fractures—and both often happen together because of the way the ligaments and bones are connected. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of one or more of the ligaments that hold the ankle bones together. A fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the ankle (i.e., the tibia, fibula, and/or talus). There are also tendons in the ankle that connect muscle to bone, and these can sometimes be stretched and torn.
Any ankle injury can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty walking or supporting weight. In some cases, the ankle may heal naturally on its own. With more severe injuries, surgery and physical therapy may be needed to restore movement and functionality. In extreme cases, the ankle may not heal properly, and some of the damage may be permanent.
In most cases, if not all, an injured ankle is weakened after the accident. This means that it will be more prone to future injuries even after it heals.
How Ankle Injuries Occur in Bicycle Accidents
One of the most common ways to injure an ankle in a bicycle accident is by “rolling” the ankle when you hit the ground. This often happens when the foot is caught in a pedal guard or restraint and the ankle can’t move with your body as you fall—causing it to twist. Fractures and sprains can also happen by a direct impact, either with a vehicle during the collision or with the ground or pavement.
Living With an Ankle Injury
Once you have suffered an ankle injury in a bicycle accident, life is going to change for you—possibly for some time to come. You will likely need crutches or a cane to get around for at least a few weeks. If your injury requires surgery and/or physical therapy, your recovery could take several months. If you work on your feet, you may not be able to go back to work for a while. Even after you are healed, your ankle will be weaker and more subject to injury.
You May Be Able to File a Claim After Your Injury
If your bicycle accident was caused by someone else’s negligence—for example, by a driver who wasn’t paying attention—you may be eligible to recover damages for the injury to your ankle as well as any other injuries you may have received. These damages may include:
- Costs of medical care (including surgery, if necessary)
- Costs of recovery (e.g., physical therapy, hired help at home while you are disabled)
- Lost wages (including future wages, if your injury affects the type of work you do)
- Pain and suffering (compensation for physical and mental anguish, as well as loss of joy and quality of life)
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident Ankle Injury
If you have suffered an ankle injury in a bicycle accident, your first priority is to seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t believe the injuries are that serious. If you fail to do so, your injuries could be aggravated by using the ankle, and delaying medical care could work against you in a personal injury claim. Next, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. The sooner you start the process of seeking compensation for your injuries, the better.
Max Meyers Law has helped many bicycle accident injury victims in the State of Washington to get the compensation they need and deserve. Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation or call us at 425-399-7000.