Bicycle accidents account for roughly 55,000 injuries, 800 deaths, and close to 600,000 emergency department visits a year in the US. Common bicycle accident injuries resulting from collisions with motor vehicles include head injuries, bone fractures, and spinal injuries. Serious bicycle injuries result in permanent losses from traumatic brain injury, fracture surgeries, and nerve damage. When a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bicycle, it is the cyclist who is most often injured. Jim Dodson, a bicycle accident attorney has successfully represented hundreds of cyclists in personal injury claims.
The most common injury we’ve seen in our practice over years of representing cyclists is concussion. By definition, a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. It is most likely to occur from direct contact between the cyclist’s skull and a vehicle or with the ground. While most people who experience a concussion will recover, a significant percentage will have permanent effects. The most common description of a concussion by someone who is not knocked unconscious is the feeling of being dazed, stunned, or confused. One does not need to lose consciousness to experience a concussion, nor does one necessarily have to strike his or her head.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI)
Although head injuries occur in 22 to 47 percent of injured bicyclists, they are responsible for over 60 percent of all bicycle deaths. In addition to concussions, skull fractures, brain contusions, and intracranial hemorrhages fall into the category of MTBI. Traumatic brain injuries affect victims in a wide variety of ways that include physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of smell, as well as changes in concentration, attention, speech, word finding, and other cognitive issues caused by the damaged area of the brain. Changes in sleep patterns, personality, energy, interests, decision-making, and loss of confidence may be experienced by the victim of MTBI.
Many traumatic brain injuries go undiagnosed, particularly when patients are reluctant to admit they are experiencing the various changes they are going through. Frequently, it is the spouse or someone close to the person who first recognizes the significant changes.
All too often a treating physician will be dismissive of the patient with the assumption that the patient will usually recover from a concussion. Having the patient treated by a neurologist who understands the consequences of a traumatic brain injury is critical in order for the patient and loved ones to understand and be able to cope with the correct diagnosis. In many cases there is very little treatment available. Proper diagnosis and follow-up care is critical to document the full extent of the impact of the injury on the patient’s life. This documentation plays a huge role in obtaining full compensation for injuries sustained.
Other Bad Bicycle Injuries
Collisions with cars, trucks, and SUVs frequently result in surgery for hip fractures, femur fractures, collarbone fractures, shoulder separations and dislocations. Spinal injuries may result in compression fractures of the vertebra of the spine as well as herniated injuries of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. All of these are serious injuries. Surgeries frequently result in expenses in excess of $100,000 in medical bills alone. And they often involve extended periods of rehabilitation, both in outpatient and physical therapy settings.
Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accident attorney, Jim Dodson has experience with all of these types of cycling crash injuries throughout Florida. The most common desire of our cycling clients is to recover and get back on their bikes, even those dealing with devastating injuries. If you've been injured in a cycling crash and you have questions or concerns, contact us online or call us at 727-446-0840. We are here to help you.