The desire to be ecologically conscious has led to an increase in the number of cyclists on the roads every day. Streets have become more congested with cars, and cities are becoming friendlier to bicycles. However, this can be a serious danger to pedestrians, who are more used to watching for loud, large cars than they are for the slender, quiet bicycles. A study by one college examined the prevalence of these bicycle-pedestrian accidents in light of the uptick in urban bicycle usage. The study, which focused only on New York, discovered that there are over 4,000 New York bicycle accidents involving pedestrians every year. These accidents can be serious enough to lead to hospitalization and even fatal in some instances.
Injuries Caused by Bike Accidents
Bike accidents can cause a variety of serious injuries to pedestrians. Although bikes do not have the same amount of momentum as an automobile, they have the ability to inflict severe harm on pedestrians. Broken bones, sprains, and serious contusions or lacerations are common results of these types of traffic accidents, but bikes can also cause traumatic brain injuries if the pedestrian falls at the wrong angle or strikes their head on something during the fall. These brain injuries can cause concussions, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and seizures. They can even put a person into a coma or end their life if the injury is serious enough.
Responding to a Bicycle Accident
The steps to respond to a bicycle-pedestrian accident are much like those used to respond to an ordinary car accident. The first step is to take stock of everyone’s injuries and call for medical attention if necessary. Once that has been accomplished, it is important for the parties to exchange contact information and insurance details. The parties should also alert the police to file a report about the accident.
One of the largest differences between bicycle-pedestrian accidents and standard traffic accidents is their propensity to become hit-and-runs. Many cyclists do not understand that they have to remain at the scene of an accident like a motorist would, and even some of the ones who do know, choose not to. This can become even more complicated by the fact that most riders do not have license plates on their bikes, which makes them more difficult to identify. In these sorts of situations, the best option is to record as much detail about the cyclist as possible, maybe even speaking to witnesses to get more information, and then reporting the incident to the police along with the description.
If you were recently injured in a bicycle-pedestrian accident, contact a lawyer to find out how they can help. They can schedule a free case evaluation with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Des Moines, IA and determine what kind of financial compensation you may be entitled to. Call a law office today.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle and pedestrian accident injuries.