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Understanding the Common Injuries Created from Bicycle Accidents

Phoenix Bicycle Accident Lawyer

When a bicyclist gets knocked to the ground by a vehicle, there is a good chance that the individual is going to end up dealing with an assortment of different injuries. These injuries often include broken bones and fractures. Many times bike accidents happen between a car and the bicyclist, but that is not always the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, there were over 900 bicyclists killed and an estimated 494,000 hospital visits in 2013 due to bicycle accidents. The CDC website goes on to say that statistics from 2010 show that by adding up the medical costs and productivity losses, it exceeds $10 billion!

Here is a perfect example of a bicycle accident case:

  • The bicyclist was riding their bike along the right shoulder of the road, where they were supposed to be, in accordance with the law.
  • The individual ended up being hit by another cyclist who was traveling on the same shoulder of the road they were in going the opposite direction.
  • That cyclist was going the wrong way and should never have been on that side of the road.
  • Because of the other cyclist’s negligence, the cyclist who was going the right way ended up sustaining serious neck injuries and had to have the vertebrae in their neck fused together in a surgical procedure.

Some of the other common types of injuries sustained in bike crashes are:

  • Head trauma
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Neurological damage
  • Bone fractures
  • Bulging or ruptured discs

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The ulna, radius and scaphoid bones tend to be the easiest ones of all to break. When these bones in the wrist fracture or break, it can end up causing swelling and an intense amount of pain. If the pain and swelling is not too bad, many end up thinking it is nothing more than a sprain.

Bike accidents are a common reason why these injuries occur in the first place. Cyclists can collide with hazards out on the road, an object, a vehicle or another bicyclist. Any number of different things can cause them to fall to the ground and break a radius, scaphoid or ulna bone.

Treatments for Broken Bones

If you do end up breaking one of the bones in your wrist, a doctor might recommend treating it surgically or non-surgically.

1. Surgically – Doctors often recommend surgery when the break or fracture is so severe that you need a metal implant to give your bone the support it needs to heal together again. Wires or screws are often inserted into whatever bone was injured.

2. Non-surgically – If the bone is not broken too badly, the doctor can often put a cast on your wrist to help with the healing process. The cast will often extend around your hand and up your forearm. If your radius or ulna bone was broken, the cast will often go past your elbow. Your thumb is often put in the cast as well. The amount of time you will need to wear the cast is largely dependent on how bad the injury was and how well your bones heal together again.

After going through the treatment, you will probably have to see an orthopedic specialist to give the all-clear to take the cast off. You might also need to go through physical therapy to help get your muscles, ligaments and tendons moving again. They will be quite stiff from being immobile in the cast for all that time. You will probably have a few follow-up appointments to evaluate your wrist. You might also need to have additional CT scans and x-rays done.

Whenever someone is injured while out riding their bike, there is a chance that the individual is going to deal with both short-term and long-term repercussions because of the accident. Monetary damages for hospital bills can be quite overwhelming, not to mention the physical suffering and lost wages.

Safety Tips for Avoiding Accidents with a Cyclist

• Only pass on the LEFT of the individual. Never attempt to pass on the RIGHT. The same rules that apply to vehicles on the road also apply to cyclists. The slower cyclist should ride on the farther right side of the road. Other cyclists should only attempt to pass on the left of the cyclist.

• Try to ride in a single-file line as much as you can. It is not illegal to ride side-by-side with another cyclist, but it is safer to ride in a single line. This is even truer when riding on a road with a lot of blind spots or the road tends to wind around a lot of corners.

• Make sure to warn others who are riding in your group. If a car is coming or you see something in the road, yell it out and let the others know.

• Avoiding following too close to another cyclist. You need adequate space between you and another cyclist, just in case you do need to stop abruptly.

• Be cautious of other users on the road. You need to share the road with other cyclists, vehicles, runners and any other type of non-traditional vehicle you might see.

It is also very important that you wear your helmet. If you happen to get in a bike accident without a helmet, it can lead to severe injuries.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 60% of cyclists killed in 2014 were proven to not have been wearing a helmet.

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