Bicyclists are at a distinct advantage on Florida roadways. They often are required by law to share the road with cars and trucks and while they are provided their own separate bicycle lane, they still must traverse Florida roadways in a safe manner. However, unlike other motor vehicles, bicycles offer virtually no protection from injury in the event of a crash.
Motor Vehicles Exert Excessive Forces on Bicyclists in Accidents
This sounds obvious, but cars and trucks are very heavy. They are especially heavy when compared to bicycles. When a large object hits a small object, a comparatively larger force is exerted on the smaller object. That means when a car hits a bicycle, the bicycle feels a much larger force. Because of this force, bicyclists are much more likely to suffer more serious injuries in the event they are struck by a motor vehicle.
These collisions can often eject bicyclists from their bikes in an accident. These ejections can be as simple as being knocked to the ground. They can also cause the victim to fly through the air many feet and strike other objects or buildings. These sorts of collisions and the secondary impacts they create can cause catastrophic injuries.
Even if a motor vehicle crash doesn’t cause the bicyclist to soar through the air, by simply knocking the bicyclist off of his or her bicycle, it can cause a very serious impact with the ground. Often, bicycle accident victims suffer head trauma from the collision their head suffers with the ground after being knocked off of their bicycle.
Common Injuries of Bicycle Accidents
When compared to collisions involving only motor vehicles, accidents involving bicycles deal with much larger disparities in size and forces exerted. As a result, motor vehicle vs. bike accidents are far more likely to result in catastrophic injuries or death. Here is a brief breakdown of some of the most common injuries from motor vehicle vs. bike accidents:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – These injuries occur often because the bicyclist is ejected from their bicycle or ends up smashing into the windshield of the vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries are very hard for victims to deal with and recover from because there often is not treatment available.
- Neck injuries and back – The forces exerted on a person’s body in bicycle accidents are similar in location but different in scope as discussed above. Therefore, whiplash injuries to the neck and back and the resulting herniations to the spinal discs (or spinal vertebrae) are more likely to be quite serious in a bicycle accident.
- Crush injuries – In some tragic circumstances, the bicyclist is not ejected from their bicycle, but instead crushed underneath the vehicle. In these instances, the cyclist will often suffer catastrophic internal injuries which will require emergency surgery and a lengthy recovery.
- Internal organ injuries and rib injuries – Similar to the crush injuries, a bicyclist that is hit by a car will often suffer serious injuries to their internal organs and ribs.
How Much is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth?
I have a somewhat crass saying; “when a car hits my client on a bike, I win.” What that expression is meant to convey is that bicyclists, as a result of their vulnerability on the road, are well protected by juries. When a car hits someone on a bicycle, even if that bicyclist might share some of the fault for the crash, the operator of the motor vehicle will be found to carry a large amount of fault.
As with all other types of cases, the value of a bicycle accident case varies based on a number of factors, but bicycle accident cases can be very valuable because of one simple maxim: you can’t hit people. When a bicyclist is on the road, because of the fact that they are so exposed, we expect other motorists to provide them with a wide berth and to be especially cautious near them. All things being equal, bicycle accident cases tend to have larger recoveries than your typical car vs. car accident case.
Call Knapp Accident & Injury Law about Bicycle Accidents
Knapp Accident & Injury Law offers free consultations. Whether you have been the victim of a car vs. car accident or hit by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, we are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve and to get the treatment that you need. So, if you or a loved one has been injured on a bicycle, call us today so that we can meet and perform a free case review for you.
Knapp Accident & Injury Law is an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. We will walk you through, step by step, the process of pursuing your injury claim and treating your personal injuries. We will help you vet your options for treatment and the next steps to take for your injury claim. As always, all conversations and communication at this case review would be confidential as a result of the attorney-client relationship. After the case review, even if you do not wish to hire our firm, but to instead hire another law group, your information will never be shared with anyone else.