Many people use bicycle riding as a way to get where they need to go, as long as weather permits and the distance is reasonable. Some people even enjoy riding bicycles for recreation, traveling for miles and miles in their leisure time. The one biggest threat to bicycle riders is vehicle drivers. Sadly, drivers may be distracted, careless or break traffic laws in which bicyclists pay the price. To get hit by the body of a car can cause agonizing pain, in addition to a multitude of bodily and mental injuries. Bicycle riders can play it smart by always keeping their eyes and ears out for potentially threatening vehicles.
It is important for bicyclists to be alert when going for rides where they must share the road with vehicles. In the article here, an Indianapolis, IN bicycle accident lawyer delves into further detail about how a bicyclist can be safer and how to handle the situation if you were to ever to get hit.
What kind of injuries may a bicyclist suffer from if hit by a car?
Most of the injuries a rider may endure can be painful and distressing. Damages can be physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial. Here is a more complete list of the several injuries a rider may suffer from if hit by a vehicle:
How should I respond if a driver hits me while on the bike?
Try to remain as calm and collected as possible. The driver is likely to be frantic, but you should focus on whether you have sustained injuries. Do a quick body exam by feeling your vital areas for pain or sensitivity. Check your head, neck, chest, and abdomen for bleeding or wounds. If for any reason you do not feel quite right, do not hesitate to call for an ambulance. Your health must come first when handling such a situation. Call for police and do not permit the driver to leave. The officer can handle the scene and the driver while you receive medical attention.
Is it possible to sue the driver for injuries due to the impact?
Yes, many injured victims will contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN soon after an accident. A person may want to find out more information about his or her rights, along with how to go about filing a lawsuit against the driver. The bicycle rider may be entitled to significant financial compensation for their injuries.
How can I be more prepared for my consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer?
A great way to help get ready for a legal consult is to bring any paperwork related to the accident, including an incident report, medical documentation, receipts of out-of-pocket expenses and medical bills.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 850 cyclists killed each year in traffic accidents. Cyclists are at a greater risk of serious injury or death compared to occupants in a vehicle because there is no protection afforded the cyclists from a bike. Some of the injuries that an Indianapolis, IN bicycle accident injury lawyer from the Ward & Ward Law Firm have seen in the clients we have represented include fracture bones, concussions, road rash, and other injuries.
There are certain types of bike accidents which are more common and contribute to more deaths and injuries for the cyclists. The following are the frequent type of accidents each Indianapolis, IN bicycle accident injury lawyer from our firm handles.
Right Hook Crash
There are two different ways right hook crashes occur:
By riding to the far left of the lane, the cyclist forces the vehicle driver to be more careful when they are passing the bike. It also affords the cyclists more room.
Right Cross Collision
When a vehicle pulls out of an alley, driveway, parking lot, or street to the right of a cyclist and slams into the bike, this is referred to as a right cross collision. In some cases, the vehicle doesn’t actually hit the bike, but pulls out so far and blocks the cyclists right of way that the cyclist is unable to avoid hitting the vehicle.
Left Cross Collision
When a vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of a cyclist turns left in front of the bike. The cyclist either slams into the right side of the vehicle after being cut off or the vehicle slams into the cyclist’s left side.
Door Prize Crash
A door prize crash occurs when an occupant in a parked vehicle opens their door directly into a cyclist’s way. The cyclist is blocked by the door from moving forward and wither slams into the door or swerves away from the door, putting the cyclist at risk of falling or being hit by another vehicle.
When a vehicle driver fails to stop and hits a cyclist from the rear, it is referred to as a rear-end crash. This is the most common type of bike accident for causing injuries and death of cyclists by drunk drivers.
What Are Punitive Damages?
As a bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN cyclists can count on for legal advice, our firm will help you to understand the damages that may be available. When you get injured, primarily because of someone else, you may have the right to file a lawsuit to get reimbursed for your injuries and damage caused to your property. Typically, a bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN has to offer will petition the court for an award that covers what you have spent along with money to cover your future medical care, if necessary. However, there are times that a court will award punitive damages against a defendant in a personal injury case.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
To understand how punitive damages work, it is essential to understand what constitutes a personal injury. When a person gets hurt by the actions or inactions of another, it is considered personal injury. Several situations cause personal injury. Some of the most common examples include:
When a person gets hurt in one of the above, or in another way, the at-fault party could be sought for compensation through either a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. Your bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN residents know and respect can help you to determine what your best options are during a free consultation.
The Degree of Injuries
Many different types of injuries can result from an accident or error. The most serious are those that cause death. In these instances, the survivor’s family may file a personal injury/wrongful death claim against the party responsible. Traumatic brain injury, a spinal injury, or loss of limb is the next most severe personal injury. When a bicycle accident causes a serious injury like this, it may result in lifelong consequences. A person may suffer physical, mental and emotional impairment as a result. These injuries are taken seriously in courts as the long-term medical care required to help the injured party is significant. It is important to have a good bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN cyclists respect on your side to ensure all of your injuries and medical needs are considered, and accounted for.
When the plaintiff is hurt due to the willful misconduct of another, the court may decide to punish the defendant. Thus, punitive damages are awarded. This financial award is usually well above what the plaintiff was asking for, and it overshadows any other monetary award the plaintiff would receive. While it is not meant to benefit the plaintiff per se, it winds up doing just that. It may be intended to send a message that doing something that directly causes the severe injury of another person will not be tolerated. Examples of cases in which punitive damages may be ordered include drunk driving accidents, medical mistakes caused by negligence, and dangerous conditions that cause an injury.
Punitive damages are not always awarded, but when they are it is for a good reason. If you have been injured by someone else’s actions or inactions, retaining a bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN provides is one way to try and recoup some of what you lost.
Let an Indianapolis, IN Bicycle Accident Injury Lawyer Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, you likely have suffered both physical and financial losses because of your injuries. To see if you are entitled to financial compensation for your losses, contact a bicycle accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN clients recommend from the Ward & Ward Law Firm to set up a free and confidential case evaluation and find out what type of legal options you may have.