In Nevada, several people have resorted to bicycles as a mode of transport. This is because they are inexpensive, and they also provide exercise to the riders. However, bicyclists are exposed to risks that may cause them to suffer severe injuries or death if involved in an accident like it is with motorcyclists. Bicycle accidents are not entirely the bicyclist’s fault. In fact, a higher percentage of these crashes are caused by motorists who merely do not pay attention to cyclists or knock them over while distracted. It is not only a truck or car that can cause a bicycle crash. These accidents could also be caused by sinkholes, potholes, bad weather, etc.
If you have sustained an injury due to a bicycle accident in Las Vegas, you may seek help from an attorney so that you can be compensated. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney, we have skilled attorneys that specialize in representing bicyclists who are seeking to recover damages for their injuries. We recommend that you contact us as soon as the accident takes place. There are various bicycle accident injuries for which you can be compensated, and this article discusses them in detail.
The Physical Forces at Play When a Bicyclist is Involved in an Accident that Contributes to Injuries
When you are hit by a vehicle or when you strike a car or any other object, there are biological and physical forces involved, which explains why bicycle accidents may be severe. How fast you are riding, how much you weigh, and how suddenly you stop all contribute to how severe the resulting injuries will be after a crash.
When you collide with hard objects like pavements or vehicles, the injuries you will sustain will be severer if you come to a stop fast. Everyone’s brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which provides a certain degree of cushioning. However, sudden stops may still cause your brain to hit your skull, leading to brain injuries. Helmets also provide a given degree of additional cushioning, which helps to absorb a little of the physical forces that are involved when your head hits a hard object when in a fast motion.
Often, bicycle crashes also involve friction. Friction arises when you have a sliding injury. The longer it will take you to slide on the road or pavement before you come to a stop depends on the faster you were traveling. If you take longer to slide, it produces greater friction, resulting in severe injuries. Even when your bicycle suddenly halts due to an accident, you will still be moving. When this happens, it may force you to fly off the bicycle’s side or over its handlebars.
Bicycle crashes are unique occurrences that lead to very different kinds of injuries than injuries in a truck or car collisions. Bicycle accident victims are exposed to countless dangers that other drivers are not. For instance, they face open exposure to the roads, pavements, or other objects. The exposure may lead to the types of injuries that you’ll almost solely find in bicycle-related accidents. You should understand what types of injuries these could be since it can assist you or your family members take the right steps.
Bicycle accidents that involve an automobile or any other kind of object that forces a bicyclist to land on the ground usually result in particular common injuries. In case you have suffered a physical injury, our bicycle injury lawyers may help you to determine whether or not you have a valid claim. When your body lands on the ground with the much-unexpected force or hits an object, the results may be injuries of the spinal cord, bone fractures, colossal internal damage, or brain /head injuries. Additionally, the trauma of the blunt force to various parts of your body could be catastrophic. Head injuries are one of the common injuries caused by bicycle crashes. If a car collides with, then runs over you, it could lead to severe injuries like compound bone fractures or even immediate death.
Nevada has rules and regulations that require bicyclists below eighteen years to put on helmets when riding. Unfortunately, several bicyclists still ride without the helmet’s protection. Even though helmets cannot prevent all sorts of injuries, studies have indicated that wearing them can significantly reduce the danger of sustaining head injuries. Still, even while wearing your helmet, you can incur severe brain and head injuries leading to brain damage, coma, or even death. If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you should seek the help of a bicycle accident personal injury attorney before giving up your rights. Remember that even a minor bicycle accident could lead to severe injuries since you are very much exposed to the risk elements.
Common physical injuries you can sustain from a bicycle accident include:
Head trauma- Even if you are putting on a helmet, injuries to the head after a bicycle crash can be unpreventable. These injuries can be overwhelming. When the accident happens, you may be thrown over your handlebars, leading to injuries of this kind. The head injury that you suffer could range from cuts or scrapes to skull fractures.
Traumatic brain injuries- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are quite common in bicycle-related accidents. These injuries may range from a minor concussion to something as severe as a skull fracture, severe head injuries, or bone fragments penetrating through the brain, causing permanent disabilities. Even when putting on a helmet, the force with which your head hits on the road may be severe. Helmets could help to prevent skull fracture and penetrating head trauma. However, the impact of colliding with a vehicle or the road surface can result in other traumatic brain injuries. Severe traumatic brain injuries may last your entire lifetime. This means you will have to undergo necessary rehabilitation and medical care for the whole of the period. Other injuries may even be fatal.
Bone fractures- Without any protective gear around your body, you may sustain bone fractures due to the accident. Hands, wrists, arms, clavicles, shoulders, hips, feet, and legs are all bound to be fractured when a bicycle accident occurs. The commonly affected body parts include the wrists, hands, clavicle, and arms. The fractures happen when you reach towards the ground to try and break your fall. When this happens, you may require more than a single surgical procedure to contain the injuries. The injuries may also take a substantial period to heal. To determine if you have a fracture or broken bone, check out for the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in moving
- Lack of movement
If you think you have injured your bones or they are broken, you will need to undergo proper imaging for confirmation. This is the only way you can be sure that you have a broken or fractured bone.
Spinal cord injuries- Severe spinal cord injuries may also occur after a bicycle crash. This is especially so if you are hit by a vehicle from behind. The force of the automobile on you or your impact on the road surface may lead to spinal cord damage and vertebral fractures. Any damage to your spinal cord often leads to permanent life-changing effects.
Neurological damage- Any damage to the nerves may affect any body part and possibly lead to debilitating consequences.
Facial injuries- Maxillofacial trauma or facial trauma refers to the injuries to the face. They range from injuries of the soft tissues to facial bone fractures.
Amputation- Amputation refers to the loss of your part of the body through a surgical procedure to cut it off. If a bicycle accident leads to a severe injury to your body parts like toes, fingers, arms, or legs, amputation may be the best solution.
Dental & jaw injury- When you ride, you may have nothing protecting your face. As a result, certain bicycle crashes could lead to cracked, broken or chipped teeth, broken mandibles, maxilla fractures, or any other dental injury. This happens due to the force with which your face lands on the ground or hits an object. Dental and jaw injuries may result in long-term pain and discomfort, while others may lead to disfigurement.
Wrongful death- Certain bicycle accidents may occur with great force that they lead to the immediate demise of the victim. In case a victim of a bicycle crash does not survive their accident, his/her surviving members can file a wrongful death claim. They may be successful in recovering damages like burial and funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of consortium.
Hand injuries- Hand injuries will likely occur when you fall off or are thrown off your bicycle. This is because it is a natural reaction for any rider to attempt to prevent their falling with their arms and hands, and you would probably do the same.
Jaw fractures- A jaw fracture is also a likely injury after a bicycle accident. If you suffer a fracture to your jaw, you will likely experience intermittent discomfort and pain for a lifetime.
Neck injury- Joints, nerves, tendons, muscles, and vertebrae around the neck and throat could get injured when you get involved in a bicycle accident.
Joint dislocation- Often, a dislocation will occur when you try to prevent yourself from falling or when you come into contact with an automobile.
Road rash- Surfaces of roads are abrasive. This means that when your body rubs the roadway, it may lead to severe skin damage from the friction between your body and the road surface. Like it is in motorcycle crashes, road rashes often happen in bicycle accidents. When they occur, it may need you to remove the debris that gets lodged in your skin.
Paralysis- A bicycle accident may lead to paralysis of your arm, leg, or one side of your body. Paralysis is the loss of one’s ability to move all or a part of the body.
Knee pain- Knee pain is common due to how the knees are positioned when a bicyclist is riding. Often, cyclists sustain injuries in the quadriceps and patella when bicycle cleats get fixed to the pedals.
Lower back pain-Bicyclists are usually bent over a bike when riding. Thus, when a crash occurs, their backs are mainly exposed. Even when riding in the usual position, bicyclists experience much stress to their spines. For a bicyclist to achieve stronger strokes to the pedals, his/her body has to be flexed. This often results in back pain. There’re specific bike frames that could alter the rider’s position to protect his/her back.
Neck pain- Pains around the neck could begin from the lower part of your skull and spread alongside the neck to the shoulders. Any moment your body suffers a trauma, the muscles of the neck can be overly extended when your head shakes forth and back. Neck pain may also be a result of overuse since the neck holds your head up for more extended periods when riding. It may be helpful if you fix your posture then use kinesiology tape on your back.
Muscle tightness- Even though it may sound like a minor injury, muscle tightness may prohibit your capability of working, especially if you’ve physically demanding duties. Muscle tightness can become too much, resulting in tearing, which may take several months or years to heal. You can soothe the tightness of the muscles with the help of a foam roller. However, you should first consult a doctor in case you think you’ve torn muscles. Torn muscles usually require physical therapy and surgical repair.
Achilles tendonitis- Usually, Achilles tendonitis is an injury resulting from overuse. However, it may also occur during bicycle crashes. The bicycle has to be appropriately adjusted for you to ride comfortably. Also, you should ensure you wear secure shoes every time you ride. If you experience a swollen tendon, you should use ice to relieve the pain and also take some rest.
Apart from physical injuries, bicycle accidents can also lead to emotional trauma that could be extensive. Often, bicyclists feel too afraid to go back to riding their bicycles once they have been in harmful accidents with vehicles. After an accident, bicyclists may experience post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems that require medications or therapy. Additionally, bicyclists that have been in an accident may suffer from insomnia, nightmares, depression, anxiety, mental anguish, or other kinds of emotional pain. As per the Nevada law, emotional distress can be compensated for, just like any physical injury.
If you suffer a TBI, emotional trauma could be even more severe. Brain injuries may lead to loss of memory, cognitive difficulties, motor function impairments, and even confusion. Survivors of brain injuries may never entirely go back to what they were before. Lost enjoyment or quality of life is also losses the Nevada courts will compensate for after the victim wins his/her personal injury lawsuit. The worth of these damages depends on the degree of effect to the victim’s life, the age of the victim, and several other factors.
Evaluation after Being in a Bicycle Accident
Even if it is a minor accident that you have been involved in, you may have sustained severe injuries that you will not realize on the spot. Often, these injuries present themselves after several days or weeks have passed since the accident. Therefore, after being in an accident, there are a few things you could do to check for injuries if you do not feel like you got hurt.
Get a medical professional to check you out
In case you hit your head on an object, we recommend that you have the head checked out. Most people ignore head injuries, but they can be severe. Most of these injuries are internal. For instance, your brain may be bleeding, and you do not even know it. Signs to show you have suffered an injury to the head may include confusion, unconsciousness, a cracked helmet, or vision changes. If your helmet is broken, it’s a good indication that the accident was serious.
Stomach check would be so crucial if you hit your bicycle’s handlebars. If you hit hard enough, there may be soft tissue or organs in your stomach that may have been damaged due to the force. A good test to determine if any injuries occurred is using your hands to palpate your abdomen. What you will be looking for are stomach areas that are more tender and sore than others. In case the stomach appears to be hard or distended in one area, it could mean that you’ve internal bleeding. If you are bleeding internally, you will have to seek urgent medical assistance.
There is a chance that your ribs may be broken or your lungs punctured in the course of the accident. Most people also assume that areas like these cannot get injured, and so they overlook seeking medical treatment. What to do if involved in an accident is to try to breathe. If you experience any difficulty breathing, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. The general rule is to take a very deep breath. And in case you experience any pain while at it, it is an indication that your internal organs may be injured. While a cracked rib may appear to be minor, it can end up puncturing your lungs, resulting in serious problems.
It is easy to notice bleeding when it is external. However, bleeding may also be internal. You will have to check for the firm or distended areas to find out whether there’s a possible internal bleeding case. If you’ve external bleeding, you may have to use general first aid before getting to the hospital. Apply pressure to that area to try and contain the bleeding. If you think you will need to be stitched, then you should seek medical help right away.
Neck and spine
Spinal cord and neck injuries are severe. In case you believe you have damaged your neck and spine severely, lie still and wait for a medical professional to attend to you. Symptoms of a possible spinal cord or neck injury include tingling, numbness, inability to move your toes or fingers, etc. If you have difficulty moving your neck, seek medical treatment. If you continue moving your neck, you may risk suffering a permanent spinal cord injury.
To determine if you have broken or fractured bones, try moving your extremities. Often, you will experience shooting pain in case you have a fractured or broken bone. You may be incapable of moving your extremities without feeling pain, or you may be incapable of moving it at all. To know what kind of injury you have for sure is to be checked by a medical professional. Non-surgical treatment is ideal. The treatment will need you to undergo various stitches. The period it takes for treatment varies depending on how severe your injuries are.
Ligament and tendon injuries may be life-changing. If you have suffered injuries due to a bicycle accident, an expert personal injury attorney may help you. If you sustained injuries due to the negligent acts of someone else, the lawyer might help you get compensated.
Recovery after a Bike Accident
Even slight bicycle crashes could put you through significant pain & suffering. Chipped teeth, road rash, lacerations, and scars could all result from accidents police officers will rule as minor. Major crashes may lead to disabilities, permanent injuries, or wrongful deaths of loved ones. After being involved in a bicycle-related accident, we recommend that you consult a personal injury lawyer. You may qualify to be compensated for your emotional suffering, physical injuries as well as financial losses through the negligent party’s insurance company.
Find a Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Bicycle accidents, as less serious as they may sound, may result in severe and life-changing injuries. Therefore, you should treat them with the seriousness they deserve. Also, note that you won’t have to bear the loss the accident caused you alone, especially if it was not your fault. Immediately after the accident, contact an attorney so he/she may help you recover damages from the at-fault party. The damages you recover will help you recover from your injuries and get your life back to where it was. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Las Vegas, contact Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm at 702-996-1224. Our attorneys have vast experience in bicycle accident cases. We will ensure we pay undivided attention to the details that are required to succeed in your bike accident lawsuit.