Seattle is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States. This metropolitan hub consistently ranks among the best cities in the country for riding a bike by Bicycling Magazine. The Seattle Department of Transportation has recently launched a bicycle program, titled Bike Smart, meant to “triple the amount of bicycling in Seattle by 2017,” as well as “reduce the rate of bicycle crashes” by the same year.
Yet bicycling puts riders at risk of being involved in accidents with motor vehicles, a risk that could leave the riders with serious or even life-threatening injuries. In fact, a factsheet presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that the year 2010 saw approximately 515,000 visits to the emergency department due to bicycle accidents.
If you are in this situation in Seattle, contact a bicycle accident lawyer for help navigating the claims process to recover compensation for your damages from the at-fault motorist.
Bicycle Accident Injuries Can Be Severe
In some cases, riders involved in a bicycle accident may be able to ride away with few injuries or even none at all. In other scenarios though, riders may sustain minor or even severe injuries, depending on the nature of crash and with whom or what it occurred.
Some common bicycle-related injuries:
- Injuries to the lower extremities, which could include broken legs or ankles, lacerations, or strains or sprains of the muscles.
- Injuries to the trunk of the body, including the chest, upper and lower back, and stomach area. Riders may sustain broken ribs or vertebrae or may suffer from internal damage such as punctured organs.
- Injuries to the head, face and neck. An article published in American Family Physician in May of 2001 claims that “head injuries occur in 22 to 47 percent of injured bicyclists” and “are responsible for over 60 percent of all bicycle-related deaths and the majority of long-term disabilities.”
The hands and arms may be common injury sites for bicyclists who fall from the bike because they may use their hands to brace for impact. This can result in road rash abrasions, which can affect skin on any part of the body that contacts the rough pavement.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Claim
If you plan to file a claim against a motorist who caused your injuries, you must present adequate evidence of fault and the extent of your damages. This can include witness testimony (it’s important to gather witness information at the scene), the police report describing the accident and even video surveillance. Any photographs of the accident scene may help establish what happened.
Take photographs of your injuries and compile all medical records and other documentation. Also document the number of days you are away from work. Talk to your attorney about establishing your pain and suffering damages, which a pain diary may help bolster – this entails journaling your pain and effects of your injuries on a daily basis.
Call a Lawyer at Max Meyers Law, PLLC if You Have Been Injured
No bicyclist ever wants to be involved in an accident on the road. But if a car hit you while you were riding your bike, call Max Meyers Law, PLLC to speak with a bicycle accident attorney if you’re in the Seattle area. We will help you file a claim for compensation to cover the costs of damages and injuries. Call us today at 888-230-4970.