Bicycle accidents can be frightening, especially if they involve a collision with a motor vehicle. If a car or truck hits you while you are cycling, you could suffer devastating injuries. Recovering physically and emotionally could take a long time, and you might never heal completely.
If you or a member of your family was injured in a bike wreck that was someone else’s fault, you might have a right to pursue monetary damages. A Phenix City bicycle accident lawyer could help you get reimbursed for the cost of your medical treatment, time off work, and other costs associated with your injury. Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney at Bence Law Firm, LLC today.
Bike Injuries Could Have a Lasting Impact
The traumatic injuries cyclists often experience in crashes with motor vehicles can lead to significant, long-term impairment or disability. In a recent study, The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that the most common trauma-related injuries observed in cyclists include:
- Abrasions or friction burns to the skin, also called road rash
- Fractures and dislocations of the extremities
- Facial fractures and contusions
- Damage to the jaw and teeth
- Rib fractures and lung injuries
- Splenic ruptures and other damage to abdominal organs
- Head injuries, including skull fractures and traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
In addition to the physical injuries, the psychological trauma of a bike wreck could have a severe and lasting impact. Bicycle accident victims might suffer increased anxiety, depression, and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from their harrowing experience.
Any of these conditions could require hospitalization, significant medical intervention, and ongoing medical treatment. If the victim was an adult, they might miss time at work. If the injured person is a child, their parent might need to take time off work to care for them. Depending on the child’s age and the nature of the injury, their physical, intellectual, or emotional development might be affected. A proactive Phenix City bicycle wreck attorney could determine the extent of an injury’s impact and ensure a demand for damages provides comprehensive compensation.
State Laws Governing Bicycles
Alabama state has several statutes that affect cyclists, and compliance with these laws is critical for safe cycling. In addition, a cyclist who does not comply with all applicable laws could be considered negligent and responsible under the law for any injuries they suffer in a collision.
Alabama Revised Statute §32-5A-264 requires bicycle riders to use designated bike paths and lanes if available. If neither are available, cyclists may travel in the road, subject to the same laws as other vehicles. Bicyclists must ride as far to the right as possible and may not travel more than two abreast.
If a cyclist rides after dusk, their bike must have a light in front and a reflector in back, both visible for at least 600 feet. All bike riders under age 16 must wear a properly fitted helmet at all times. Helmets are not mandatory for older cyclists; however, helmets are proven to reduce head injuries. A jury might consider a person who suffers head injuries while riding a bike without a helmet negligent, preventing them from collecting any damages.
Preserve Your Rights with Swift Action
Statutes of limitation establish a time frame for parties to bring a lawsuit. Someone seeking damages after suffering personal injuries must bring a lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident to secure the opportunity to recovery financially.
Though, there are a few exceptions to this statute. Some scenarios could temporarily stop the clock or even delay its start. For example, if a negligent driver hit a cyclist and then left the state, the time the driver was outside the state’s jurisdiction would not count against the injured cyclist’s two-year window for bringing a lawsuit. Similarly, if a reckless motorist struck a cyclist who was a minor at the time, the injured individual could file a claim anytime up to two years after their 18th birthday.
Speaking with a Phenix City bike crash lawyer soon after an accident is always the best course of action. When the incident is recent, memories are fresh and evidence is readily available, which could result in a stronger case.
Enlist the Help of a Phenix City Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were in a bike wreck, you could be facing hefty medical bills while you are off work recovering. An aggressive legal advocate at Bence Law Firm, LLC could fight for the damages you deserve.
A Phenix City bicycle accident lawyer could ensure that negligent parties take responsibility for their actions. Call today to schedule a consultation.