In a perfect world, all cyclists would go out for a ride and return home, perhaps worn out, but safe and sound afterward. In that world, all Santa Rosa drivers would show extra caution when sharing the lanes with someone on a bicycle.
Unfortunately, we know that even drivers who respect a bicyclist’s right to the road can sometimes become distracted or fail to check a mirror and can quickly present a dangerous hazard to a rider. A few seconds of glancing at a text on a phone can be all the time needed to veer into a cyclist’s path.
A Place Injured Cyclists Can Turn to for Help
At Bay Area Bicycle Law our attorneys are cyclists themselves and they know the dangers riders face anytime they must interact with traffic. Careless or distracted drivers can fail to monitor their surroundings and miss seeing someone on a bike nearby. Their next move could cause a devastating crash that leaves a bicyclist seriously injured.
When accidents take place we strive to support injured cyclists and make sure they don’t get stuck with the consequences of someone else’s mistake. Contact Bay Area Bicycle Law and allow us to hold that at-fault driver and his or her insurance company fully responsible for the cost of recovery. You didn’t cause this accident and you shouldn’t have to worry about paying for the physical and financial toll as you heal.
Distracted Driving Hazards for Bicyclists in Santa Rosa
If you’ve been cycling for a while you may have gotten quite good at spotting an inattentive driver and knowing when they have failed to spot you. There are plenty of instances where a rider is able to steer clear of trouble from a distracted motorist. But there are tragic cases where a mistake behind the wheel puts a cyclist on course for an unavoidable collision.
In the latest numbers from the California Highway Patrol, the threat these drivers present to anyone else on the road is clear. In a single year, distraction was a factor in 10,902 accidents with injury across the state. Distraction led to 118 lost lives in California in that same year. Almost a third of those deaths were related to accidents involving the use of a cell phone.
Many distracted driving statistics are flawed and likely much higher than reported. Officers responding to accidents can’t always tell if distraction caused an accident and offenders won’t always admit to it. What’s clear is the very real danger to any cyclist when a driver takes his or her mind and eyes off the road.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
A bicyclist rides with very little protection, especially when compared with someone sitting in a several thousand pound SUV. Vehicle passengers are protected by a steel frame, seatbelts, and airbags while a rider may have a helmet and some thinly padded clothing.
The injuries can be devastating and that’s why it’s so important that when it comes time to hold the driver to blame responsible a claim for damages includes enough to cover the wide range of costs associated with healing and recovery. Things like hospital bills and missed time from work can be reimbursed, but a civil lawsuit should also demand money for the long term. This would include compensation for any future medical care that might be necessary and rehabilitation that may be necessary down the road.
The list of common outcomes in a bicycle accident is an unpleasant chart of devastating injuries that could take months to recover from and could even leave permanent damage:
- Brain and Hea Injury –A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to short-term memory loss and even permanent brain damage. Doctors also see fractured skulls after these accidents.
- Broken Bones – Arms, wrists, hands, clavicles, shoulders, legs, hips are all commonly fractured in a bicycle collision.
- Amputation – The loss of limb either from the blunt force trauma of the impact or a surgical amputation at the hospital.
- Paralysis – Quadriplegia is a loss of control of both the upper and lower regions of the body. Paraplegia is a loss of function in the lower half of the body.
- Facial and Dental Injury – A cyclist can be thrown from the bike and land face first. Tooth damage and facial fractures can result.
- Joint dislocation – These often occur when bicyclists flail their arms trying to catch themselves during a fall.
- Road Rash – Pavement and street surfaces can do terrible damage to bare and even clothed skin.
Contact a Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Our goal is to get you back on your bicycle as soon as possible. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims means our attorneys already know how to deal with insurance companies who like to dismiss bicycle accident victims and their injuries. You’ve suffered physical, emotional, and financial damages and you should not have to face those hardships alone.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.